Late last night and early this morning I found myself pondering the concept of “loyalty” within the context of friendship.
I am a big believer in being a loyal friend.
But what does that mean?
Loyalty According to Robin:
- Loyalty means standing up for people who have and will always stand up for you.
- Loyalty means you don’t cut them out of your life because your new boyfriend/girlfriend/husband/wife/neighbor/buddy/housemate doesn’t like them.
- Loyalty means you forgive them when they fuck up and apologize as they have forgiven you.
- Loyalty means you accept your friend for who they truly are, not who you think they should be. Or whom. Whatever.
- Loyalty means you don’t stand them up for the BBD (“Bigger, Better Deal”).
- Loyalty means you reciprocate their generosity.
- Loyalty means you check in with them from time to time, especially when you know they are going through something difficult.
- Loyalty means you are honest with them, even when it hurts.
Where am I going with this?
I don’t know.
However, as I noodle over “loyalty” this New Year’s Eve early morning, I am reminded that regardless of how much personal growth we can claim occurred in the 364 days of any given calendar year, something is always lurking around the corner to knock us on our asses and remind us:
We aren’t there yet.
But if we are wise seekers of truth and improvement we keep at it, because until we take that last breath and begin our leap into the next adventure (or eternal black nothingness – take your pick) we owe it to ourselves to follow this mandate:
“Perfection” is an elusive mirage – it does not exist.
Ah, but seeking perfection?
That is its own reward.
Happy New Year. I look forward to regaling you all with stories of my impending world takeover next year. Until then, please enjoy this blog about the difference between being loyal and being a
(Readers, please recall this blog Social Media Drama in which I demand we cease using women’s genitalia as an insult and replace those words like “cunt,” “pussy,” and “twat” with “Donald Trump,” “The Donald,” “Trump,” or “Trumpy.” This is really starting to catch on all across America and Europe! I am very influential, you know.)
My wife and I are having the same argument we always have about loyalty. This week’s fight is over her best friend’s ex-husband James, who I am friends with and have been for over 15 years.
James left his wife 6 months ago and apparently this means I am not allowed to hang out with him any more. By the way, we spent a lot of time with them and I have never been around a more unhappy couple in my life. She was a total bitch to him and he is finally happy.
James and I and five other guys take an annual camping trip in Southern Idaho and a couple of days ago I mentioned shopping for some gear this weekend to my wife and she blew up. She is pissed I am even considering going on this trip and says it will be a “slap in the face” to James’ ex-wife Kim.
Regardless of how we work out this particular issue, this is a common topic. My wife has a very skewed perception of what “loyalty” means and I’m tired of being asked to make the same choices about people and yes, even dry cleaners, because she has decided they aren’t in her life anymore.
So what do I do about the trip and my wife’s crazy head? LOL.
There is a difference between:
a) a loyal man; and
b) a mindless slave to the whims of another, also known as a “Trump.”
Your wife wants you to be both. I’d like you to stay within the realm of option “a.”
The difficulty is properly identifying which is which because it requires a situation analysis each time the question arises. I think we need a decision tree, don’t you?
Unfortunately, after I spent hours yesterday and this morning finding the right WordPress plugin, installing it and creating the Loyal Man v. Trump Decision Tree, the feature isn’t working.
In reality, as Mr. Patience and Understanding pointed out to me while witnessing me banging my head against the keyboard this morning, we don’t need a decision tree to answer your question about your friendship with James.
Let’s start with the advice before we tackle the bigger issue of your wife’s “crazy head.”
Advice: Under no circumstances should you bail on this trip or on your friendship with James
This demand is wholly unreasonable and if you capitulate you will be deemed a whipped pathetic mess of a man by not only me, but also my millions of readers. I will kick your ass if you go this route, and I’ll tell you why:
Absent abuse or truly terrible behavior during a marriage and/or divorce, people who choose sides and carve up friendships according to who was “to blame” are dicks.
Yeah, I’m calling your wife a dick.
When The Original (also known by Mr. Patience and Understanding as “The Canary in a Coal Mine”) and I divorced, we saw this first-hand and given the fact we stayed good friends and still hung out together (and still do) it was very odd to witness what happened to our social group.
One by one they all started inviting just one of us to parties we had always attended together, usually ostracizing the one they blamed for the divorce.
In other words, I missed a lot of parties.
One person in particular not even in our social group was and is really bothered that The Original and I remained so close and that Mr. Patience and Understanding and I regularly socialize with him and his new wife (“The Pistol”).
This person derisively and condescendingly referred to us as “Bruce and Demi,” as if getting along post-dissolution was a bad thing.
I’ve seen people ousted from their social groups because one spouse wants to play the victim: a purely innocent player in the drama caused when their mean, awful, terrible spouse left them.
Just this morning you updated me and told me two men had bailed on the trip under pressure from their
ball-busting bitches wives.
Please give these men my blog address and ask them to write me, because at some point they will decide they want their testicles back and help will be needed in locating them. I have developed an app called Find My Nutsack® which will be available for download soon.
James has committed no sin: he got divorced.
If your wife makes this into a really big deal, she has issues. Serious issues.
Let’s talk about your wife
I’m not going to be too rough on her because I understand why she is the way she is. Her parents went through an ugly divorce that went on for years, and she never dealt with the emotional problems that arose when her father left the family, remarried, and basically never saw the kids again.
What an asshole.
I can see why the concept of loyalty is important to your wife, but if this type of ridiculous demand is being made on a regular basis that woman needs some therapy.
Sorry for the punt, but in this case it’s a good play to call.
Recent Loyalty-Based Demands by Your Wife:
- When she asked you to switch dry cleaners because she picked up your clothes once and felt that the woman was rude to her, that was unreasonable, especially since you have been going there for years, it’s right next door to your office, and you have never had a problem with them.
- When she asked you to not donate money to the political campaign of someone who had been repeatedly rude to her over several years, that was reasonable, because we shouldn’t reward bad behavior in others by giving them money.
- When she asked you to dump James, that was unreasonable for the reasons detailed above.
I won’t totally punt here; I’ll give you another option to try first:
- Make a nice dinner for your wife and open a nice bottle of wine. Why wine? Why not!
- Have a list of examples over the years of times she has asked you to make ridiculous choices based on the concept of “loyalty,” either to her or someone else.
- Tell her you think this issue may stem from feeling abandoned by her father. Ask her if she thinks that’s possible. Be kind and listen.
- Raise the issue of James, your friendship, and be firm that you won’t abandon him simply because he got a divorce.
- Ask her how she would feel if you divorced and everyone excised her from their lives.
If you don’t get anywhere with this conversation, see a marriage counselor. This type of controlling behavior only gets worse as we get older so you’d best tackle it now.
Please keep me updated!
PS: Readers, don’t forget to share on your social media using those little sharing buttons! I will remember you when I’m rich and famous. I won’t talk to you any longer, but I will remember you!