Ask Ann Cannon: Should I blow the whistle on my trash-talking ex or let the game go on?

Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune The Salt Lake Tribune staff portraits. Ann Cannon.

Dear Ann Cannon • My ex-girlfriend routinely posts negative things about me on social media. I have her blocked, but we have literally hundreds of mutual friends. We have been broken up two years now and I am engaged to someone else. Do I just keep ignoring her or do I try to get her to stop?

— Sick and Tired of This

Dear Sick and Tired • Ugh. What is wrong with people? There may be some exceptions, of course, but publicly posting negative information about someone you know in real life — even if you feel justified — is rarely a good idea. For one thing, writing an unflattering post about another person can backfire and end up throwing some shade on YOU.

My advice? Don’t worry about the hundreds of friends you have in common. They probably get what’s going on, and even if they don’t, who cares? Continue to ignore your ex-girlfriend’s online comments — unless, of course, she goes all Fatal Attraction on you, in which case you should put your pet rabbit in the Federal Witness Protection Program and call the police STAT.

Dear Ann Cannon • My ex and I are good friends, and we try to do a lot of family stuff with our kids. However, our friendlier-than-typical post-marriage relationship sometimes makes my fiancé feel insecure. My ex and I are never ever getting back together (cue Taylor Swift). How do I make my fiancé feel more secure in our relationship?

— My Ex Isn’t in Texas

Dear My Ex • First, let me say I think it’s awesome you and your ex (who isn’t in Texas) are on such good terms. This is a big win for your kids. Meanwhile, I do understand why your new partner may feel occasionally insecure, especially if the two of you haven’t been together for a long time. So what can you?

Here’s one idea: Figure out what his/her “love language” is as described by Gary Chapman, either online at 5lovelangauges.com or in his book “The Five Love Languages.” Does your fiancé appreciate gifts? Compliments? Acts of service? Contact comfort? What about time spent together participating in an activity you both enjoy?

Make a concerted effort to “speak” to your fiancé in the language that makes him or her feel most valued. As time passes, your fiancé’s Maturity Gene should kick in, which will further help to resolve the issue.

Dear Ann Cannon • Sometimes I get the feeling that a good friend of mine is more interested in my husband than she should be. My husband, on the other hand, seems pretty clueless about the whole thing, but I am wondering if I should say something to him about it. What do you think?

— Mildly Uneasy

Dear Uneasy • Thanks for your question, and I’m sorry you’re experiencing some discomfort.

OK, there isn’t a lot of concrete information here. I don’t know, for instance, what your friend is doing that causes you to feel this way, which makes responding to your concerns a little tricky. But let’s give it a go.

Honestly, unless you have actual proof that your friend’s behavior — whatever that may be — is a real problem, I don’t think I’d bring up the subject with your husband. Sometimes saying a thing gives it a life and power it doesn’t deserve to have, you know? I’m not saying you should turn a blind eye, but you also don’t need to invite trouble where there really isn’t any.

I’m wondering if this is an opportunity for you to engage in a little self-reflection. Is it possible you’re feeling insecure or unhappy about some things in your life and that you’re projecting your feelings onto the people around you? Again, because I don’t know much about your situation, it’s hard to say. But you might ask yourself the question.

Meanwhile, if you DO discover something that backs up your sense of unease where your friend is concerned, by all means talk to your husband.

Wishing you the best.

Ann Cannon is The Tribune’s advice columnist. Got a question for Ann? Email her at askann@sltrib.com or visit the Ask Ann Cannon page on Facebook.

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