Sunday, December 17, 2017
Parenting & Relationships

Tell Me About It: Be honest about friend's romantic choices

Carolyn Hax is away. The following is a past column.

Q: I have a friend who came out of the closet and moved from a creepy husband (alcohol, crawly hands, very parental, controlling) straight to a live-in girlfriend with a similar personality. I know that what my friend goes for is not my business, even if it makes me worry. But lately, every time I see her, she asks me if I like her girlfriend. And since I don't, I've evaded the question or lied outright. But now she's reminded me that her friends never liked her husband, either, and didn't say so until after she'd broken up with him; she'd never have stayed with him if she'd been given honest feedback. She has asked, openly, for me to give her my honest opinion. Should I?

Seeing a Pattern

A: Yes, absolutely — about everything but the girlfriend.

You don't have to like your friends' mates. But you do like your friends, and for that reason alone any friend who seeks your opinion deserves more than your careful evasions.

Plus, as a friend, you're in a position — close, but not too close — to see things she might have missed. Useful things, like her being in a live-in lesbian relationship with her ex-husband.

The trick is to skip the pointless "nope, can't stand her" and stick to what counts, which is whether she's happy.

If she were, she wouldn't be fishing for feedback. You can say that to her — and that you're worried, and that her love dynamic seems awfully familiar, and that you're deliberately not saying anything about her girlfriend, since you're right: It isn't your business.

Which brings us to the sum of all honest opinions: She shouldn't count so much on friends to form her opinions. How does she know "she'd never have stayed" had her friends been honest? Because she already had major doubts of her own, apparently.

If her instincts are telling her once again that something's not right at home, then the better answer is to trust them, and not wait for her friends to weigh in.

Comments

Tell Me About It: Thrown off by sudden, no-gift Christmas

Thrown off by sudden, no-gift ChristmasI am meeting part of my family for an early Christmas celebration. Five days out, my cousin e-mails everyone to say she will only be giving a present to her mom and our grandparents. She is skipping our aunt, my...
Published: 12/14/17
Plan your weekend Dec. 15-17: Katy Perry, boat parades, Star Wars parties, comics Gilbert Gottfried, Michael Carbonaro

Plan your weekend Dec. 15-17: Katy Perry, boat parades, Star Wars parties, comics Gilbert Gottfried, Michael Carbonaro

Superstar Katy Perry: In the ever-escalating arms race to be the most eye-popping pop star on the planet, sometimes you have to call in for backup. Even if you’re Katy Perry. When plotting her lavishly spectacular Witness Tour, which arrives i...
Published: 12/13/17
Updated: 12/14/17
Top things to do this week: Star Wars parties, comics Gilbert Gottfried, Michael Carbonaro

Top things to do this week: Star Wars parties, comics Gilbert Gottfried, Michael Carbonaro

NEW HOPE: Star Wars partiesWith the opening of Star Wars: The Last Jedi, the force of fan excitement is strong, so of course there are Star Wars parties this weekend. The giant movie complex Riverview 14 GDX is having celebration with characters from...
Published: 12/13/17
5 things to do under $5: Gasparilla Bowl beach day, Hanukkah on Ice, boat parades

5 things to do under $5: Gasparilla Bowl beach day, Hanukkah on Ice, boat parades

1 Battle at the Beach: The Gasparilla Bowl is coming to Tropicana Field on Dec. 21, but before that the bands, cheerleaders and dance teams from Florida International University and Temple University will have a day of beach-related games and competi...
Published: 12/13/17
6 gift ideas for grandparents and grandchildren to spend more time together

6 gift ideas for grandparents and grandchildren to spend more time together

A grandparent can be a tough person to buy a Christmas gift for. Likewise, many grandparents are stumped on what to get the kids besides some cash. Why not make your Christmas gift something you both want more of: more time together making memories. ...
Published: 12/13/17

Tell Me About It: Leave gender out of division of housework

Leave gender out of division of houseworkWhy is it that when a woman cares about the division of labor at home ó like her home being a decent level of clean ó she is considered to be overreacting?OK, Iíll get down from my soap box now. (Iíll also bre...
Published: 12/13/17

Tell Me About It: Overwhelmed parent weighs out options

Overwhelmed parent weighs out optionsQ: Since my kids were born, my job basically covered the cost of day care. The kids came home overtired and overstimulated.As they became preschool age, I restructured my work to freelance so I could drop off and ...
Published: 12/12/17

Tell Me About It: Identity of biological father is revealed

Identity of biological father is revealedQ: When I was 18, my mother revealed that the father I grew up with was not my biological father. She claimed she didnít even know my bio father, and never contacted him again after their brief weekend fling a...
Published: 12/11/17

Tell Me About It: Parentsí extreme sheltering feels creepy

Parentsí extreme sheltering feels creepyQ: My daughter, 11, has three friends from school. One girlís parents are generous hosts. "Emma" is an only child and has a pool, fun toys, great snacks.The problem is that Emmaís parents donít let Emma be a gu...
Published: 12/10/17
Top things to do for the week of Dec. 11-17

Top things to do for the week of Dec. 11-17

Katy Perry: The Teenage Dream songstress roars into Tampa’s Amalie Arena on Friday ($45.75-$195.75). amaliearena.com. Hanukkah: The Festival of Lights begins Tuesday, bringing fun celebrations including Hanukkah in the City at the Sundial St. ...
Published: 12/08/17
Updated: 12/12/17