Dear Readers: Every year, I step away from the Ask Amy column for two weeks in order to work on other writing projects. Enjoy today’s “Best Of” column from 2010. I’ll be back with fresh Q and A next week.

Dear Amy: I have been married for 27 years. I work out with a few ladies at a local gym. I have become close with one of the ladies there; she has been married for 17 years.

Lady Friend tells me intimate things about her sex life with her husband. Lady Friend does not feel loved or appreciated by him. I have confided in Lady Friend about my marriage, too, but I don’t go into detail about my sex life.


Lady Friend and I send text messages back and forth, sometimes all day long.

Lady Friend has hinted about meeting me outside the gym.

Is it wrong for me to continue being friends with this lady since we are both married? Should I back off? Do you think this lady likes me as more than just a friend?

— Anonymous

Dear Anonymous: My question to you is, do you spend any time, any time at all, on the elliptical machine? Or is your relationship with your “Lady Friend” the only way you elevate your heart rate during these so-called workouts?

To answer your question, I don’t know if Lady Friend sees you as more than a friend. So, let’s talk about you.

You and Lady Friend are acting like true gym rats. This is cheesy and sleazy, and you know it’s wrong. So, interrupt this particular circuit. Recommit to your marriage and your workouts.

Dear Amy: Nine years ago, my daughter and her husband asked me to move with them into a new home.

I had been widowed for five years and they felt I should not be alone. (I am now 84 and in pretty good health).

We all got along very well until about six months ago, but I don’t know why. There are no children involved — just the three of us. Lately I get the feeling that my son-in-law is not happy with our situation. He barely speaks to me and mumbles “good morning” or “good night.”

I contribute to the household, pay rent, clean house, wash their clothes, take care of their dog, etc. I have spent thousands of dollars on this house and paid a third of the purchase price.

Should I speak to my daughter about this? — Challenged

Dear Challenged: First this: Your arrangement seems to have worked well for everyone for nine successful and peaceful years.

Unfortunately, each person in the household seems extremely averse to bringing up a topic — or even asking a question — that might result in an uncomfortable moment or two, and so you have spent the last six months engaged in an extremely uncomfortable silent standoff.

You are a full partner in this household — you helped pay for the house and pay rent and expenses.

Sit down with them (if you can’t manage to face him, speak with your daughter). Say, “I feel a lot of tension lately; can you tell me what is bothering you? It would be good to clear the air. I miss the way we all used to get along.”

You can email Amy Dickinson at or send a letter to Ask Amy, P.O. Box 194, Freeville, NY 13068. You can also follow her on Twitter @askingamy or Facebook.