Sunday, February 25, 2018
Parenting & Relationships

Tell her the truth about the friendship impediment her husband has become

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Don't just skip out on friendship; tell your friend the truth

Q: My friend's husband is obnoxious and offensive, and I'm out of serenity. I just want to leave now, but our lives are entangled. I feel like a heel waiting out mutual obligations to make my exit, but I don't see any good in telling them what's going on.

My friend will just see one more person denigrating her husband. She seems happy and she's repeatedly assured me she's happy with him. Her husband generally gets defensive and is unable to admit fault.

Does waiting a couple of weeks and then pulling a quiet, gradual exit make me a coward? (No, it's not really possible to see the friend without her husband.)

Friendship Breakup?

Carolyn: I think the best thing you can do is tell your friend you value her greatly and know this is a sore subject with her, but you'd prefer not to be around her husband due to some things he has said/done lately. (Specific examples required.) Say you'll understand if she can't do this, though you'll miss her.

That is, if you really mean it that you plan to exit regardless: As unkind as it will feel, truth-telling is kinder, because it leaves room for her to respond instead of just wondering where you went. You might not like the response, but taking that chance also allows her to surprise you with a response that works for you both.

Anonymous: I had this happen years ago when a friend's significant other dropped the N-word at a party, in front of my other, heavily pigmented friend, no less.

When I said to my friend, "What the heck?," she attacked me for not trusting her judgment about men, which had never been good, so I backed off.

The problem is, we have a mutual friend who later came to me and said the other friend missed the friendship and did I want to reconcile. I thought about it and realized, no. I didn't feel any anger or animosity over what happened, but whatever bond we'd had was just no longer there and I honestly didn't miss her.

Ever since then, I get sarcastic comments about how judgmental I am; since I don't want to rekindle the friendship, I must still be angry.

But I'm just totally indifferent. I've said the above to the mutual friend but the sarcasm and eye-rolls continue. At what point can I abandon reasonable discourse and tell her to drop it, possibly in a raised voice?

Carolyn: It sounds as if you're at the beginning of a bigger transition, not just out of one friendship but out of a cohort you've outgrown.

Just a theory, not passionately held, but the fact that you're getting "sarcastic comments," accusations, eye-rolls and someone relaying friend-to-friend messages says you've got at least one other friendship you won't miss one wee bit when it's gone.

Anyway. You can explain to the eye-roller one time: "I feel no anger over that past racist comment. I don't want to reconcile with her because I don't miss her friendship. If you're absolutely convinced I'm not being straight with you, then so be it."

Then give some thought to that whole outgrown-cohort thing, seriously.

Comments
Your 4-year-old daughter could land a role in ‘Waitress’ at the Straz

Your 4-year-old daughter could land a role in ‘Waitress’ at the Straz

TAMPA — Could your 4-year-old be the next Lulu? A touring Broadway show wants to find out. Waitress, which runs April 24-29 at the David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts, is looking for a local 4- to 5-year old to play a small but c...
Published: 02/23/18

Tell Me About It: Teacher distant after co-worker’s faux pas

I am a teacher at a large high school, and typically only interact with those in my wing of the school. On the first day we returned from break, I bumped into "Polly" while signing in and cheerfully asked, "How was your [vacation]?" She glared at me ...
Published: 02/23/18

Tell Me About It: Daughter needs an ear, not to be rescued

Q: My daughter is in a relationship with her high school boyfriend. They are now living together in a different state with no relatives nearby. My daughter, 25, is a people person with a bubbly personality and makes friends easily. Her boyfriend does...
Published: 02/22/18
Plan your weekend: Monster Energy Supercross. Gasparilla Distance Classic, Clearwater Sea-Blues Festival, slam poet Neil Hilborn

Plan your weekend: Monster Energy Supercross. Gasparilla Distance Classic, Clearwater Sea-Blues Festival, slam poet Neil Hilborn

Extreme Monster Energy Supercross Championship: The action-packed dirt bike stunts and racing returns to Tampa for the first time in two decades. Each track in the 16-city series is different, so competitors will ride between 15 and 20 laps around t...
Published: 02/21/18
Updated: 02/22/18
As spring approaches, parties, food festivals bloom at Florida’s theme parks

As spring approaches, parties, food festivals bloom at Florida’s theme parks

Can you feel it? The air is gradually thickening with humidity and the layers of clothes are getting thinner. Spring has almost sprung and with it brings a bumper crop of festivals in Florida’s theme parks full of food, wine, concerts and parades. Th...
Published: 02/21/18
In theaters this week: ‘Annihilation’ based on Florida author Jeff VanderMeer’s book, ‘Game Night,’ ‘Every Day’

In theaters this week: ‘Annihilation’ based on Florida author Jeff VanderMeer’s book, ‘Game Night,’ ‘Every Day’

ANNIHILATIONAuthor Jeff VanderMeer told me at last year’s Times Festival of Reading that Annihilation (R) is going to blow everyone’s mind. The Tallahassee author is biased, of course, having written the novel it’s based on, but there’s some reason t...
Published: 02/21/18
Top things to do this weekend: Supercross Championship, Olate Dogs, Gasparilla Distance Classic

Top things to do this weekend: Supercross Championship, Olate Dogs, Gasparilla Distance Classic

BIKE RACE: Monster Energy Supercross ChampionshipThe action-packed dirt bike stunts and racing of the Monster Energy Supercross Championship return to Tampa for the first time in two decades. Motorcyclists will race at more than 60 mph and fly off ju...
Published: 02/21/18
This week’s top concerts: Willie Nelson, Los Lobos, Clearwater Sea-Blues and more

This week’s top concerts: Willie Nelson, Los Lobos, Clearwater Sea-Blues and more

ON THE ROAD AGAIN: Willie NelsonI’m sure that when Willie Nelson had to postpone his recent Clearwater concert after a bout with the flu, you, like me, took the news well, spitting through clenched teeth: "OH NO YOU DON’T, 2018. YOU WILL NOT TAKE WIL...
Published: 02/21/18
Green Thumb, Flamingo Festival and more spring festivals coming to Tampa Bay

Green Thumb, Flamingo Festival and more spring festivals coming to Tampa Bay

spring eventsFlamingo FestivalHelp celebrate the young flock of flamingos that recently arrived at Sunken Gardens at a colorful festival with live music, kids activities, and beer and wine for sale. Wear pink for $1 off admission. $10, $8 seniors, $4...
Published: 02/21/18
5 things to do under $5: The Romantics, Free Hugs Guy, Ybor Fiesta Day

5 things to do under $5: The Romantics, Free Hugs Guy, Ybor Fiesta Day

1Blast Friday: This block party in downtown Clearwater brings a free show by the Romantics, right, the power pop new wave band that brought us What I Like About You and Talking in Your Sleep. There’s also a family-friendly food and craft vendor...
Published: 02/21/18