My husband’s best friend thinks I’m a threat to his seven-year relationship with my husband. I generally ignore his rudeness, although my husband has enabled much of it, probably to avoid conflict. For example, two weeks before we married, this friend threw a bachelor party and hired women who were basically prostitutes. Some very inappropriate things occurred. When I confronted him, he said, “I am sorry you feel the way you feel. I take full responsibility.” He did not say, “I made a mistake. I apologize to you.” During couple’s counseling, my husband admitted his friend’s hostility toward me but wouldn’t say anything negative about him. I have decided I will not socialize with his friend. My husband does not like this idea and promises to stick up for me from now on. But, as a matter of principle, I don’t want to socialize with someone who hires prostitutes, etc. Is it OK to say, “Enough is enough”?
You can’t establish boundaries when you’re standing in quicksand. While you criticize your husband’s best friend, you and your man are sinking into a quagmire. The way out is to stop parenting your husband. Instead, work to bring equity into your relationship. Right now, you’re behaving like a mother who has discovered her son is playing with a kid from the wrong side of the tracks (“someone who hires prostitutes”). It’s not your husband’s fault; it’s the influence of that bad kid. That script might play in elementary school, but your husband is nearly 40 years old. He has the capacity to say, “Hey, man, I don’t want a bachelor party. Let’s go play golf or something.” The choices he made were not solely his best friend’s responsibility. And please don’t say that your husband didn’t know what his friend had planned. All he had to do was ask and then set some appropriate boundaries. That is expected behavior for a man who has transitioned from being single to being in a lifelong commitment.
I think that the apology you received was acceptable. Wanting something different only creates stress in your life. Redirect your energy toward developing shared values in your marriage so both of you can begin to make decisions based in love rather than selfishness.
I am 35 years old and gay. It took 27 years to come to terms with my sexuality, and since then, I have made little attempt to date or come out because I can’t get past the assumed rejection from my very conservative family and close friends. My closest friend, a woman with whom I share a house, has led me to believe that a gay relationship would be suicide in my professional career and family life. There are certain truths to this thinking, but damn! I’m tired of not having the intimacy and companionship I crave in my life.
Does your housemate love you? Or, does she fancy herself in love with you? You can’t ignore that question any longer. Here’s another: Are you going to live your life for your housemate, your family and your conservative friends? Or, will you accept the divine invitation to be who you really are? Doing so requires tremendous courage, commitment and perseverance. It also may require the assembling of a new group of family, friends and colleagues from among the hundreds of people who understand the risks associated with living in reality and who nonetheless choose to be real.