Best to leave this alone
Dear Annie: I have a cousin who is married, and he and his wife are very close to my wife and me. We started spending time together, not because of my cousin and me but because our wives hit it off and developed a close friendship. We spend the holidays together, visit one another at least once a week and go out together.
My cousin has two young daughters, one with his wife and another with his ex (who cheated on him, by the way), and he brings them along with us to spend the day together. Lately, my wife and I have been noticing that my cousin’s wife has changed dramatically. She used to be more lively, talkative and happy, but now she seems distant and quiet, and sometimes she comes up with excuses to not go out with us. We think this change came about because we found out a couple of months ago (through my wife) that she is cheating on him.
She is employed at a correctional facility, and apparently, her lover is also employed there. We think that she suspects we know about her infidelity, and might be trying to avoid us. My wife was able to obtain proof of this infidelity, and we don’t know how to proceed.
Should we confront her about this? As I said, we are close, and it hurts me to see that she is doing this to my cousin, who has already gone through a situation like this. I see his wife going about her business with us and the rest of my family as if nothing has happened, and it makes me uncomfortable. She knows that her husband’s ex cheated on him, and she accepted his daughter as her own.
My cousin was deeply hurt after he found out about his ex’s cheating, and he has told us repeatedly that he will not tolerate another infidelity. He has tried to hurt himself on a couple of occasions. I am worried that if he finds out from someone else, he might try to hurt his wife or himself, or if he finds out that we knew about it all along and didn’t tell him anything, then he might get upset with us and not want anything to do with us. I don’t want this situation to escalate into something worse and know that I could have done something to stop it. What should I do? — Cousin Clueless
Dear Cousin Clueless: Sit this one out. Mind your own business. It is always hard to see people you love in trouble, but sometimes the best thing you can do is send them kind thoughts and hope that things will work out or they will reach out to you. If he does, you can be an empathetic friend and tell him how much you support and love him.
(Send your questions for Annie Lane to email@example.com. This column is syndicated by Creators Syndicate columnists. Visit the website at www.creators.com.)