DEAR AMY: A while ago I found out that my wife was texting a co-worker. She does not delete anything off her phone, but she did delete these texts to this guy (who is younger and single), making it very suspicious. This caused a major rift in our relationship, and I am slowly getting over it.
They were in frequent communication across various avenues: Words with Friends, calls on their cellphones, Facebook, et cetera.
Now they have ceased all communication that they used to have. They are no longer Facebook friends, no more games on their phones, no cellphone calls — nothing!
I know that they talk frequently at work, but the lack of any communication that I can see and the change in what they used to do makes me suspicious.
I feel like they’re being sneaky about this relationship, and that continues to eat at me.
We recently ran into him when we were out for the night, and he was obviously uncomfortable and left quickly.
Am I overreacting for being suspicious about this? Any time I bring it up to my wife, she minimizes their relationship and tries to make it seem like less than it is (she’ll leave out details until I press for more). — Still Suspicious
DEAR SUSPICIOUS: You were suspicious when your wife and this guy were in touch, and now that they are not in touch, you are ... suspicious.
This reveals an insidious issue in your marriage. You and your wife are circling each other when you should be driving through the heart of this.
The best way to do this is with a seasoned marriage counselor. You need clarity to tamp down your suspicions, and she needs to be honest and completely transparent about this other relationship.
DEAR AMY: My co-workers and I don’t know how to handle a particular problem involving my boss. He is truly The Boss from Hell. We never know if we are saying “good morning” to Dr. Jekyll or Mr. Hyde.
It’s an emotional roller-coaster ride. He yells at his employees at the top of his voice at the slightest infraction, even when there are clients in the office. He then forgets all about it. We, however, never forget being embarrassed in front of each other or clients.
He never apologizes. We’ve heard him tell clients that his employees are idiots. He will never admit he has a problem and thinks it’s his employees who have the problem. Then he invites us to lunch for special occasions and dominates the conversation. It’s all about him. We don’t want to socialize with this nut.
We feel like hypocrites when we do, but we don’t know how to say “no” to this man. Many of us are looking for other jobs. — Working for a Narcissist
DEAR WORKING: Given your boss’s behavior, it is surprising he has any clients left. Now that online reviews influence so many consumer choices, if a client witnesses this, he could be placing the business in jeopardy.
If someone other than your boss owns this business, then this person should be told about your boss’s actions. Where I work there is a way to communicate serious concerns anonymously.
It is also possible for a brave staff member to confront the boss: “I don’t like the way you yell at me; I don’t want to socialize with you when I feel so disrespected.” Although if your boss is a true narcissist, this would have no effect and could make things worse.
If you have no other outlets, I hope that the first among you who gets a new job gives this person an honest talking-to on the way out, followed by a written account sent to the business owner.
DEAR AMY: “Hard Working Mom” described a deadbeat dad.
I work for a construction company and thankfully work with men who have called child support services the minute they were hired to make sure their wages were garnished for their kids. Some people do the right thing, and it’s important to remember that. — Reader
DEAR READER: Fulfilling your legal obligations is definitely “the right thing” to do.