Do You Hate Your Friend’s Mate?
You love your friend, but can’t stand his or her new love interest. How can you clear your conscience without ruining the friendship?
Scripting Your Relationship Advice continued...
No matter what action you take, "You still run the risk of losing the
friendship because your friend might know what's going on on some level and not
want to confront the problem," Jaffe says.
Personality clashes: Let's say your friend keeps pushing you and your
significant other to go on a double-date, but you just can't stand her new
This is a balancing act, Daily says. "You have to balance how obnoxious
this person is versus how important the friendship is to you," she says.
"If you are not sure the relationship is going to go the distance, you can
beg off of couples activities for now and instead say, 'We can't do next Friday
night, but maybe me and you could do lunch next week.'"
If your friend is in jeopardy: The stakes are raised if you feel that
your friend is in jeopardy because of his or her choice of companion.
"If you feel that your friend is in danger and there is something that
you can't keep your mouth closed about -- like he made a pass at another
friend, is ... using drugs, or you saw him on a child molester web site -- then
you owe it to your friend and the friendship to tell them what is going on
without making a judgment," Daily says.
But remember this can be risky, she says.
"If they end up going back to or staying with this person, they will
feel disloyal if they continue having a friendship with you," she says.
"You have to understand that there is a very distinct possibility that they
will stay with the person and you won't be friends anymore."
Another caveat: "You are assuming that they don't already know what you
have to say," Daily says. "They may know it and not want everyone else
to know it. There are a lot of things we deal with in the privacy of our homes
that we don't want to be public knowledge."
Letting Go: No matter what you decide to do, do it once and then move
forward, Arnold says.
"Let them know, and then let go," she says. Letting go may sometimes
mean being a bridesmaid or a groomsman in the wedding. "Stand up and
support your friend in the wedding if you are asked, because ultimately, you
are there to support your friend, and once you have asked the initial
questions, you have done all that you can do."
These are lessons that Jon ultimately learned. "We eventually told him
that she is very domineering, and he said he noticed it and feels that way,
too. But he doesn't really stand up to her," he says, adding that
"maybe he actually likes it."
He must. The two are set to get married, and, you guessed it, Jon will be
one of the groomsmen.