Reader: Women Can Be Friends with Men

Ms. Vicki

Dear Ms. Vicki,

First, I need to say something about a reply that you posted recently. You said that women who claim to hate having women as friends and would rather be around guys are cray-cray and that men need to stand clear of them. I'm sorry, but that is not always true.

I am a woman who grew up always hanging out with boys and playing their games and with their toys. I feel more comfortable around guys than I do with women. They [women] usually have too much drama going on.

I am married and have three kids, and still most of my friends are guys. Granted, I have pulled away from them as the years have passed. Most of them have wives, and I understand that most women get jealous when their guy is talking to other women.

But even though I don't talk to my guy friends anymore, other than an occasional happy birthday text, I still consider them friends. My oldest friendship has been with a guy I met in the third grade. The last time I saw him was four years ago, but we still text each other for birthdays. I am sorry that this was so long, but I had to say something.

Second, I am looking for advice. I am an E-6 in the Marine Corps; my husband was an E-5 while he was in the Corps. Two of his sisters are also married to military guys. One is married to an E-6 in the Corps and the other to an O-2 in the Army.

My issue right now is that my sister-in-law who is married to the E-6 has been unfaithful for the last two years. Two years ago, they moved back to the U.S. after serving overseas. When he went home to visit his family with their kids, she went back to where she's from and hooked up with an old friend from high school.

She did not want to move with her husband to his next duty station, but then she changed her mind at the last minute. She was at the new location for one year before she convinced him to let her move with the kids closer to where she was going to school. She has been in this new place for almost a year now and is living with the guy she hooked up with when they first got back to the States. The whole family knows what she is doing, but no one has told her husband.

My brother-in-law, the O-2, is also upset with the situation and doesn't feel that it is right to keep the husband in the dark.

The new guy in my sister-in-law's life has been in and out of drug rehab and doesn't work at all. These two are living off the BAH that the E-6 earns. I want to tell the E-6 what is going on with his wife, but at the same time I feel that someone blood-related to her should be the one to say something. I don't want to open up my mouth and cause a family feud between everyone.

Most of the family disapproves of my sister-in-law's actions, but no one will say anything to her in fear of driving her away from them. I think about this all the time, usually trying to figure out a way of telling the E-6 what is happening without him knowing it came from me.

-- Should I Speak Out?

Dear Speak Out,

Well, this is definitely a trainwreck waiting to happen. What type of woman would leave her husband, a hero, for a low-life guy who has nothing going for himself? Who does that? Your letter further clarifies that I can't make this stuff up. This is sad what she is doing behind her husband's back, especially while he (the E-6) is taking care of all of them financially.

Listen, this is tough to watch. It's like watching a sinking ship with people you love onboard. Who could watch that? I'm also wondering if your sister-in-law is abusing alcohol or some other drug? She is not thinking very rationally right now. This situation will only get worse. I pray that it won't get violent when your brother-in-law finds out.

You know, I wish I could just say "tell him" -- of course he should know! I would want to know and so would you. However, I can't tell you to tell him. If he were your brother, I'd say tell him. Interesting, right? Maybe because I believe you and your biological brother could resolve any hard feelings that might occur.

On the other hand, your brother-in-law will be upset when he finds out. He will say that someone should have told him sooner about what was happening. Which brings me to my last point on this issue: People in relationships should always go with their gut instincts and not put their heads in the sand. I'll bet he knows something is just not right, but he won't trust his gut. I'm not blaming him, but my advice to everyone is to check things out when something doesn't seem right.

Lastly, I appreciate your comments about that previous column. Of course, I know that women can have some male friends; that's normal. My comments were directed at women who say they can't have any female friends. Those women usually have some issues.

Thanks for writing me and please let me know how everything turns out.

-- Ms. Vicki

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