Dear Carolyn • My fiancÃ© and I have had a rough year living apart (jobs in two foreign countries). Jealousy and trust have been constant issues, but I really thought things were getting better, and we're both very excited for our next transfer, when we can finally live together and plan our wedding! I just found out an ex of mine will be working in my new office. I immediately told my fiancÃ©, because there was no reason to hide this from him. Now he's furious, says he feels betrayed and thinks I orchestrated this whole transfer to be in the same office as my ex! I love my fiancÃ©, but I'm at my wits' end on this hamster wheel of jealousy and distrust. How can I show him that I am his alone, and that, while the new work environment may not be ideal, it's not a reason to accuse me of wrongdoing?
Dear Anonymous • I can answer that, but I won't, because the objective preserving your relationship with your accuser is one I refuse to encourage. Such jealousy is a major predictor of abuse. My advice is this: Tell him, "I won't stay with someone who believes me capable of what you're saying." Then don't cave when he sweetens up. Face the ugliness he spewed, learn from it, leave.
Dear Carolyn • I read with interest your April 22, 2012, response to "Tough Love," whose friends' candor about her sexual habits hurt her feelings. I'm on the other side of a very similar situation. My friend asks me for dating and sex advice on a near-daily basis; never takes it, though. The answer to almost all her problems is the same: Stop offering up easy sex when what you want is a relationship. How can I help her with gentleness and tact, if I even can?
Helping a Friend
Dear Helping a Friend • That's the nut, isn't it? That you can't help someone who asks for advice on a near-daily basis? She's shopping for what she wants to hear, when a willingness to hear unwelcome truths is the unhappy person's best friend. But you can try. Next time she seeks advice, ask her what she's hoping to hear because you've advised and advised to no avail.
Carolyn Hax's column runs Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.