By Alma Gill

NNPA Columnist

Neighbor’s Loud Lovemaking is Annoying

Dear Alma,

I live in a lovely three-story apartment building and get along famously with most of my neighbors – except for one who occasionally makes love to his girlfriend very loudly. It doesn’t happen that often, and the other neighbors don’t seem to mind. I have tried talking to him about it, and I have even banged on the wall separating us, but it hasn’t stopped. I don’t want to be a nuisance, but this is annoying and awkward, especially when it happened when my dad was visiting. What should I do?

Sleepless in Seattle

Hey Sleepless,

Ok, I’m embarrassed and red-faced, although my brown skin won’t let you see it. LOL. This is really, really funny and such an awkward position to be in, especially when you have company. Despite it being so totally embarrassing, it’s not all that unusual. In fact, it has happened to me.  When I was dealing with this situation, I put a note under the neighbor’s door. Did it stop the noises? No. I think she enjoyed the attention.  You say you’ve knocked on the wall with no success. I’d suggest you contact the landlord or tenants association in writing. Check your rental agreement. It should mention violations such as property damage, disruptive behavior and/or excessive noise. This situation falls under those parameters.  Since you live in such a lovely building, I assume you won’t be moving anytime soon. While you’re waiting for the appropriate authorities to resolve this issue, I suggest you invest in a great pair of headphones and/or a white-noise sound machine.  I hope your problem gets better soon. All the best to you, my friend.


Forgiving my Cheating Husband

Dear Alma,

My husband and I have been married for eight years. He was my first love, and I love him dearly. We have four children, ranging in age from 10 years to 8 months. I am dedicated to my husband and our children. While I was pregnant with our last child, he had an affair and fathered a child with that woman. He and I have worked through our problems and are determined to make our marriage work. We have opened our home and will raise the other child with our children. My sisters and my girlfriend say I’m crazy and that I should not forgive him. Every time we are together, they make me feel stupid and say things that hurt my feelings. I don’t want to stop seeing them, but how can I get them to leave it alone and stop making me feel bad?

Signed, iforgivehim

Hello Iforgivehim,

Infidelity is extremely heartbreaking, and to have it happen while you’re pregnant rates as a super-sized undeserving blow. But that’s not the question you asked.  As for regaining the respect of your sisters and girlfriend, that might be harder than the reconciliation between you and your husband.  A best friend and/or sister-girl can be a tough nut to crack. You know how we are – wobble-neck and all, LOL. Truth be reminded, though, they are coming from a place of love, concern and protection.  I’m sure it was hard for them to witness your fears and tears of heartache and pain. Now that you and your husband have retied the ties that bind, you want them to be forgiving of him as well. Come on; you know that’s not how this ball is dunked. It’s much easier for a spouse to forgive, forget and move on than it is for an extended family member.

Continue to remain strong in your faith and decision to hold on to your husband and the unity of family. As long as you’re both at peace with your decision, it doesn’t matter what others think or say, including me. Only you and your husband know the details of what goes on in your prayer closet.  If your best life includes standing by your man, stand tall, chest out, feet firmly planted. Explain to your sisters and girlfriends how much their support means to you. Ask them to respect your decision to stay, just as they would have respected your decision to leave.  Remind them to refrain from using words that are damaging and hurtful. When the conversation leads to negative comments, defend yourself and especially your husband with a positive response. Redefine how you allow others to speak about your family.  It will take a while for them to come around, so be patient. Keep your head up! You are an excellent reflection and supreme example of the ability to forgive.


Alma Gill’s newsroom experience spans over 25 years, including various roles at USA Today, Newsday and the Washington Post. Email questions to:  Follow her on Facebook at “Ask Alma” and twitter @almaaskalma.