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OTHER PEOPLE'S PROBLEMS

OTHER PEOPLE'S PROBLEMS

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THE 'AFFAIR' AFFAIR Listen: Recently IÕve woke up in the middle of the night to see my husband staring at me. When I ask him whatÕs the matter, he tells me he knows IÕm having an affair. This has happened every night for the past two weeks. Every night I assure him IÕm not having an affair and every night I go back to sleep thinking he believes me. Two days ago, he confronted me during dinner. The kids, thankfully, were eating at a friendÕs house. He would never say who he suspected me of having an affair with or why, but just continued steadfast in his belief of it. I canÕt understand why he would think that or why he would continue to say such a thing. My friend theorized that he wants to have an affair himself and is using the accusations as justification. What do you think? Signed, Faithful Okay: Hmmm. I have no idea. He sounds psycho, almost in a knife-wielding way. How do you feel safety wise? Has he threatened you? Well, even if he hasnÕt, and I havenÕt been married so I donÕt know first-hand, it sounds like a bad situation. ÒAre you having an affair?Ó just doesnÕt translate ÒgoodÓ in any way. Even if youÕre not doing the dirty with someone else, your husband either a: doesnÕt trust you or b: doesnÕt want to trust you. IÕm not sure I agree with your friendÕs theory wholeheartedly. He may just be one of those jealous types (although surely you would have known about that before you married him) and something may have set him off (an innocent conversation, perhaps, or an overheard telephone call; I donÕt know). If thatÕs the case, youÕll need to find out what that was. As to the theory: the fact of the matter is that many people who are cheated on do feel the need to get revenge by sleeping with someone else, too. But who would feel the need to justify the affair before they did it? Why not just have the affair and keep it under wraps? A likelier -- and more painful -- possibility is that heÕs already had an affair. And now that heÕs been unfaithful, heÕs convinced that youÕve been unfaithful, too. If he could do it and you not find out or catch on, he might be worried that youÕve done it and he didnÕt catch on. Thus the suspicion. So what do I think? I think that either way, your marriage is in trouble. Listen: My girlfriend and I, both recent graduates, are up for the same job opening. When we first applied, it was just another position, but now we both really want it. The company is dynamic and in a growth field and the job includes a lot of travel and responsibility. We both agreed from the beginning when applying for the same jobs that we would be adult about it. Now she says that if I love her, IÕll take myself out of the running. IÕm not taking myself out of the running. Is there anything I can say to her to make this go over easier? Signed A Go-getter Grad Okay: Is she crazy? I mean, donÕt say that. IÕm just asking: is she crazy? The way I see it is that you both want this job and IÕm guessing from the economy that neither of you have a job. You need to work as a team; if you stay in, the odds that one of you will get it are much higher. Then the one who gets it can do some networking, pull some strings, and help the other one get a dream job, too. Okay, thatÕs a little simplistic, especially if there are bedtime talks and feelings involved. ItÕs too bad you arenÕt just cold-hearted, business-oriented robots. Then it would be a perfect plan. So to answer your question, there isnÕt much you can say. You could always go the corporate kiss-ass way and say something like, ÒI donÕt need to even bother taking my name out of the hat -- youÕre obviously the best candidate for the job.Ó It is sort of politically dicey to remove yourself from a short list like that; any chance you have for other jobs in the company instantly dry up. You could throw that in there and she might understand. I mean, you donÕt want to commit career-suicide just because youÕre in love. What IÕm thinking here is a ÒI know you are, but what am I?Ó gambit. It goes like this: she says, ÒIf you love me, youÕll remove yourself from consideration.Ó You say, ÒIf you love me, youÕll remove yourself from consideration.Ó Now, unfortunately, if this works, that other guy gets the job. But it probably wonÕt. YouÕll probably decide youÕd much rather one of you got the job and keep both your names on the list. One last thing word of advice. This situation can only get worse. As in, you could get the job. Or she could. If yaÕll canÕt work through the application process, thereÕs no way youÕll be able to deal with the actual selection (unless itÕs that other guy and then misery does love company). You both need (a la Oscar nominated actresses) to be prepared with a Òyou deserved itÓ face. You know the one: disappointed for yourself, but happy for the other person because they really were the best candidate. Even if they werenÕt.

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