How to Stop a Husband-Chaser

Dear Ms. Demeanor:

My husband has this female friend he once worked with for about a year, before we were married. He told me that she had deep feelings for him, but the feelings were not mutual. I've never had a problem with my husband having friends of the opposite sex. But she continues to contact him (my husband and I have been married now for eight months). She called just a few nights ago and never even asked how I was doing. She just bluntly asked for him. He did not take the call, so I expect her to call again soon. My husband knows how I feel about her.

How do I politely tell her I don't want her calling my home anymore? Please help me. I don't want to be rude, but I've had enough of this woman and her pity parties.



Dear Jaime:

To be honest with you, this is really your husband's problem and he seems unwilling to deal with it. He should say something to her like, "Listen, your calls are troublesome to my wife and me as a couple. You know I wish you well. At this point, however, it's just not appropriate for you to stay in touch with me. It seems as though you're not willing to accept my wife into this friendship, and I must tell you that my marriage is my first priority."

Unfortunately, if you do the dirty deed, you'll only look like the unpleasant wife. But if you feel you must say something, try, "Look, your calls are inappropriate. Both Jim and I would appreciate it if you'd simply back off and leave us alone." Make sure your tone of voice is level, unemotional and firm. If she thinks she's made you sweat, she's won and you've lost.

More important, though, is the need for you and your husband to communicate clearly. It takes a while to get completely comfortable in a marriage, so don't be ashamed if you feel a need to talk with someone professionally. One last point, based on my own experience with my husband: You may have told him how you feel, but have you told him what you want him to do to solve this problem? I've learned a long time ago never to expect my husband -- or anyone -- to read my mind.

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