My husband’s very introverted, so his social circle mostly involved his small-town childhood friends, notably his best friend and wife.
It’s always bothered me that they constantly belittle him. They criticize his choices as ostentatious (we’re neither - just boring, middle-class people).
His friend’s a heavy smoker who refuses to step outside to smoke. My husband won’t speak out because early on, the couple took him in when he first started his career.
When he tries to object, they remind him that when he stayed with them, they didn't impose rules on him. So he backs down.
Several years ago, the husband made some bad investments and they lost everything.
Since then, when they visit us in the city, they announce that we’ll be paying for everything. Frankly, we can't afford to do this.
We’ve offered to get take-out or make dinner at home with a couple of bottles of wine, but they insist that they want to go out.
We used to be on good terms, but now the wife won’t even greet me in my own home. If we’re out, she scowls and sulks, barely acknowledging my presence. Sometimes she’s also hostile to my husband.
The digs about our "ostentatious" lifestyle have gotten worse and they lecture us on how we should be living instead.
Recently, the husband propositioned me.
I told my husband and he was furious. Still, when he finally confronted his friend, he said that he was only bringing it up because “I” was upset.
So now he only sees them when he visits his hometown. But he recently mentioned that he missed having them visit us.
I said I'd be fine with that, on the condition that the guy doesn't smoke in our home and they both treat us with respect.
He said, "You know that’ll never happen" and dropped the subject.
I don't understand why his loyalty extends to people who are so awful to both of us. I see them as disrespectful and downright predatory. He still thinks of them as his oldest friends.
It’s causing arguments between us. How do I get my husband to look beyond his perspective to what everyone else sees?
His so-called friend has crossed the line by propositioning you. Loyalty has to take a back seat to reality. His “best friend” would betray him, if you were willing.
There’s been enough payback over the years, especially on their visits when you’re stuck with all the costs, to even the score.
They’re both taking advantage of you, and showing no respect for you or your marriage.
You have a foot to put down. Do it. Tell him you love his kindness and loyalty, but the friendship has outlived its “best before” date by the couple becoming jealous, hypercritical, resentful, rude and yes, predatory.
It’d be a mistake to have them stay in your home again.
My office supervisor is smart, efficient, and helpful.
The problem is that she’ll ask me to get a coffee with her, then ask questions about my personal life and make judgments like, “You need to change how you handle that.”
How can I tell her that my personal life’s my business, without ruining our work relationship?
Upset and Judged
Change the topic back to work-related matters. Put her in a “box” in your mind – whenever you’re together, you ask the questions… about the job, the industry it’s in, etc.
If necessary, avoid some coffee breaks with her by being “busy” with work.
FEEDBACK Regarding the woman who purposefully skipped her sister’s wedding (May 4):
Reader – “She did this to stay home and sulk?
“It’s over the top emotional manipulation.
“I disagree that the writer should consider forgiveness once more. The sister's pattern of behaviour is consistent, and it sends up red flags of emotional abuse.
“Holding onto that concept of forgiving once more means you hope (or expect) the sister will behave differently at some point.
“It also means that the writer will continue to tread this agonizing cycle of hurt feelings, self-analysis, and choosing whether to forgive.
“It's unfair that one person carries the burden of the emotional labour in this relationship.
“Instead, the writer should be asking herself whether or not she has the energy for her sister, and if she does, how she plans to tolerate her interactions with her sister.
“This website has helped me tolerate contact with emotionally abusive people: http://outofthefog.website/.”
Tip of the day:
A “best friend” who propositions your partner has crossed the line. Loyalty no longer applies.