Tell Me About It: Friend has role in her own unhappiness

Published August 30 2018

Carolyn is away. The following is a past column.

Q: What do you do when a good friend is about to tie the knot with a dud? Heís not a bad guy; heís just a dud. They live in different cities and fight all the time because he doesnít call, he doesnít write, heís not doing this, heís not doing that ó thatís all she can talk about, unless itís the size of the ring she wants.

Anyway. Iím just venting. I feel like Iím about to lose a very close friend. Yet itís not something I feel I can address with her. When theyíve fought before, Iíve made it clear I think she deserves better, so my feelings are "out there." I want to be happy for her, but I just canít. Is that wrong?

Common Scenario

A: Not at all.

Wrong is slamming the guy when all the gagworthy behavior seems to spew from your friend. Yeah, yeah, heís 50 percent of every transaction between them. But all she can talk about is his not calling, not whatevering, not ponying up a big ring?

Her 50 percent contribution sounds like a tour de force of stereotypes, cliches and need. Maybe you donít want to see it because she is such a good friend, and thatís actually a cool thing. But the dud isnít her problem; she is.

In fact, ultimately, choices always speak most of the chooser. Please keep that in mind whenever you get the urge to remount the whole you-deserve-better ballet. She doesnít deserve better, not until she conducts herself better, sets her priorities better, articulates better, picks her battles better, knows herself better.

Unfortunately, when you air that particular viewpoint, your friend-loss risk tends to spike.

Probably for good reason. Your friend is an adult making what she thinks is the best decision for her. (More than) enough said.

Unless she hands you the opportunity to express your concerns about her ó her fighting, her discontent, her possible doubts ó- itís time to trust her and let this play out.