I have been a friend to a woman for about 9 years who I like, but her husband is awful. He is loud, obnoxious and rude, treats her disrespectfully and often drinks too much. I suspect others find him as horrible as we don’t have any mutual couple friends so I haven’t been able to gauge that. My husband refuses to socialize with him and I am running out of excuses as to why we can’t have dinner, go out etc. I would like to retain the friendship but it’s causing me stress and I hate lying about having plans when I don’t just to avoid them. No I am NOT going to tell her how I really feel about her husband so you need to be more creative than that.
Dear Upset in Utah:
So that’s why I never see you anymore.
Before I answer your question, I’d like to tell you a funny story. A couple years ago, I decided to go on a very strict diet, and part of my new eating plan was the absolute avoidance of butter and cheese. I know, WTF? It didn’t last long – no amount of size 6 jeans hanging in my closet can compare to a good Briquette de Brebris.
One night, Tom and I decided to check out a new French restaurant in Portland. He was hoping to change my mood with a night on the town, as my severe caloric reduction had transformed me from the wonderful and charming love monkey that I am into a withdrawn, bitter and angry bitch prone to flying into rages and crying jags. Although Tom was enjoying my new figure, I wasn’t letting him anywhere near it, so the diet wasn’t going well for him either.
Don’t worry, I’m getting to a point.
As we were seated in this lovely French bistro, the waiter handed me a menu replete with butter-laden dishes. It is, after all, le frenchie way. As I perused the selections I panicked, knowing there was nothing for me to choose that would not violate my new eating plan. I forced a smile through the tears that had begun to well up in my eyes (I told you, crying jags) and made a choice:
“I’ll have the trout amandine, but can you please ask the chef to prepare it without any butter? Also, I’d like the salad to start, but I need the blue cheese removed from the blue cheese dressing. For dessert, I’ll have the pot de crème, hold the crème.”
Tom, as has become his habit, put his head in his hands and wept. The waiter disappeared into the kitchen and a few moments later the chef appeared at our table. I know he was the chef because he wore a tall funny hat and had soup on his shirt.
“Get out!” he screamed, and swatted me about the head repeatedly with a baguette. Luckily, it did not have butter on it so my diet was intact. As other diners looked on in horror, we were escorted out of the bistro, but not before they took a photo of us with a polaroid camera, wrote “Stupid American Assholes – Do Not Serve” on it, and posted it at the bar.
Do you see where I am going with this? I’ll give you a hint: “No I am not going to tell her how I really feel about her husband, so you are going to have to be more creative than that.” You’ve read my blog, right? I’m trying to encourage people to be more honest and direct with each other, so what makes you think I am going to give you roadmap with which you can continue to deceive your friend?
If she is indeed a friend with whom you would like to continue a relationship and you cannot change your husband’s position on the subject, you HAVE to tell her that your social outings are limited to girl on girl action. Unfortunately for you, the only way to do this is to be honest about how you and your husband feel about her mate.
Your other choice is to continue to avoid scheduling couples’ time, but at some point (unless she is profoundly stupid) she will likely figure out what is going on and confront you about it. And then what?
Please don’t take this the wrong way, but I would hazard a guess that this situation is far more stressful for her than it is for you. Not only does she feel rejected and ignored by someone with whom she has been a friend for close to a decade, but she is also apparently married to a prick of historic proportions. If he is as bad as you say in social situations, imagine how tough her life must be behind closed doors. And how much she really needs a good friend in her life.
“We are all travelers in the wilderness of this world, and the best we can find in our travels is an honest friend.”
You need to either be honest with her or if that is impossible, abandon the friendship and admit that this person doesn’t really mean all that much to you. Being honest might end up tanking your relationship anyway, but at least you won’t have to play the Evasion Game™ anymore.
I am a member of a religion that has been getting a lot of bad press lately (I am a Scientologist). Over the past few years and against the advice of my management team, I began spreading the word about Scientology and expressing my enthusiasm about it in a variety of non-traditional ways.
Here is my problem: my career has been negatively impacted by what some people label “proselytizing” and I don’t think anyone takes me seriously anymore. I am currently auditioning for a new wife, as the last one ran screaming into the woods with our child, but until I find the right woman I am lonely and worried about my job.
Robin, what should I do?
-T.C. in L.A.
Where is Shelly Miscaviage?