Mostly Cloudy88° WeatherMostly Cloudy88° Weather

Grow up and put your history behind you

Grow up and put your history behind you

Q: Bad history is interfering with a friendship. A casual female friend whom I miss invites my new wife and me to her parties. The problem is that she may still be good friends with a person with whom I had a relationship (before marriage) that ended with extremely ill feelings. I have avoided this person ever since and don't speak to her when I run into her. I don't want to attend my friend's party if this person might be present, but I hesitate to be candid. My wife also acts somewhat hostile to my friend because of that person. Should I be candid, should I speak with my wife, and how do I stay friends? Am I doomed?

Wanting to Keep a Friend

A: Doomed, maybe, if your wife really thinks it's okay to punish your friend for someone else's transgressions.

But there's other doom potential here, too: Why the drama? Just go to the parties, assume the ex will be there and deal with her like an adult. Or, don't go, and invite the casual friend over for your wife to get to know better.

Most significantly: Why the angst for a "casual" friend? If the friendship would cause your wife legitimate pain, then the obvious solution is buh-bye friend.

These three misalignments suggest there's something more here — that this friend provides a social nutrient you aren't getting anywhere else. Does "casual" mean more to you than you're letting on? Are her parties the key to a group of people whom you miss, collectively, enough to warrant the fuss? Is there an unscratched itch with the evil ex?

Any one of these would explain your skittishness, and your wife's (which you're overdue to discuss with her, by the way — you can't let hostility stand).

But no two of them would call for the same solution, so this is as far as I can take my answer. Meaning, one hot potato, back at you: You won't accomplish anything until you come clean with yourself first about what you're trying to do.

Then, if the result is one that doesn't let you just drop it, please make sure your wife is the next person in on the truth.

Be health-conscious for yourself, not your boyfriend

Q: After a rough semester, I find myself a few pounds heavier. I joined a gym and go three to four times a week, and watch what I'm eating.

My boyfriend thinks I am becoming the image-obsessed, anorexic type. Although I enjoyed lying around and eating fast food with him, this was never my ideal lifestyle. As happy as I am to be with someone who loves me for who I am (he says that a lot — every time I order a salad or head to the gym), I don't want to feel guilty for trying to stay healthy, especially when I still do indulge. How can I get him to be less concerned about my good habits?

Not Starving

A: It's your job to be healthy; it's not your job to prove you're healthy. (True whatever his motives may be.) Be yourself and give him reasonable time to get acquainted.

At his next few salad-prompted declarations of loving you for who you are, it also wouldn't hurt if you reminded him, "This is who I am."

Grow up and put your history behind you 08/21/08 [Last modified: Tuesday, November 2, 2010 1:32pm]

Copyright: For copyright information, please check with the distributor of this item, Washington Post.
    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...