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home : columns : dear harriette January 17, 2021

11/7/2020 9:25:00 AM
Dear Harriette
By Harriette Cole

DEAR HARRIETTE: My best friend and her husband are separated. She said that she doesn't want to be with him anymore, so she left him and started dating someone else. Her husband and I have always been friends since we all went to high school together, and he recently began confiding in me since the separation. We are spending a lot of time together, as neither of us sees my best friend often because she is dating someone new.

One thing has led to another, and now I have started seeing her husband regularly. I am beginning to fall in love with him. I don't know whether I should tell her, or if he should tell her. I don't want her to be upset, but this connection was out of our control, and we want to see this through. Do you think I will lose my best friend if I pursue this true love? -- Wishful Thinking

DEAR WISHFUL THINKING: While these things do tend to happen -- mainly because people who spend time together often grow close -- there is little good that will likely come of this situation. Whether it's right or not, your best friend probably believes that her husband should be off limits to you, especially since you are her best friend.

No matter how hot and heavy it has become, I think you should pump the brakes until you have a heart-to-heart with your friend. If you feel like you can't resist being with this man, you have to tell her and risk the potential consequences of losing her friendship, at least in the short term. Chances are, she will feel betrayed. You can explain yourself, including saying that it wasn't planned, that you two started spending time together to mourn the demise of their marriage, and things happened. Be prepared for the worst and see what happens. Your honesty will count for a lot.

DEAR HARRIETTE: I do a lot of motivational talks locally in my community. I am someone who knows many people in my town, and they have expressed how inspirational I am with my insight and guidance. Many teachers say I should speak with some of the students as a mentor or counselor, and I have done that as a volunteer for three years now. I have decided that I want to take this more public and create a business out of it, but I don't know where to begin. Do I need an agent or manager? Where do I start to build my brand and trademark some of my sayings? Can you give any advice on how to start branding yourself? -- Next Steps

DEAR NEXT STEPS: You have a few options. Do research to learn how much speakers in your field are paid. Find out if there is a speakers' certification program in your town that will give you credentials for speaking. Start taping your speaking engagements so that you have proof of how you command an audience. Build a social media presence for your work. Establish a website that showcases what you do. Ask some of the entities that have asked you to speak for free in the past to offer you an honorarium next time.

Harriette Cole is a lifestylist and founder of DREAMLEAPERS, an initiative to help people access and activate their dreams. You can send questions to or c/o Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.

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