My close friend, 29, is engaged to marry a girl, 26, next year but I’m worried about his relationship. He treats her like a servant, always demanding her to do things for him. He refuses to show her any public affection, yet kisses his friends’ significant others on the cheek.
Worse, she does whatever he asks.
He never treats any of his other female friends like this; he treated his former dates like angels, and was lovey-dovey. The only other person I’ve seen him treat this way, is his younger sister.
He and this fiancée both experienced rejections previously. So my friends and I feel they’re “settling” - she's afraid to fight for respect; and he doesn't think he can get anyone else, and resents her. They’re total opposites but she does all the compromising.
Though I fear he’ll eventually be divorced, I’m leaning towards saying nothing.
It’s a question of your integrity vs. your comfort. I suspect you won’t be able to stand being around this unpleasant relationship for long, so I suggest your talking straight-up to your friend.
Appeal to his self-interest and say you worry about his future happiness. Explain that he seems to be pushing his fiancée, as if to hope she’ll end it. Say you wonder if he’s settling just to feel he’s accomplished this phase of life; and you fear he’ll end up far lonelier if married to someone he doesn’t respect, perhaps doesn’t love at all.
You’ll risk his reacting by cooling your friendship for awhile, but, in his present mode, I doubt you’d keep close anyway.
My best friend admitted he liked me a year ago. We’re finally going on our first date.
For the past year, it’s been amazing. He waited until he felt he was old enough to give me what I deserve. He spends time with my family, makes me smile when I’m sad, and he’s always there when I need someone to cry on. There’s nothing I want more than that date.
Unfortunately, both of us come from families who are expecting arranged marriages for us. What we’re doing is strictly against our family's beliefs, and I know that every time we want to hang out alone, we're going to have to lie to our parents. We’ve been best friends even after we moved to university, and I can't imagine ever loving anyone else.
My parents are not the type I can talk to, and I was wondering if sneaking out is worth it. I like him for all the right reasons and don't want to throw away this opportunity. Yet I know that sneaking out will make me feel guilty.
What should I do?
Since it appears you are from the same culture, with similar parental values, it seems logical that someone should suggest to both sets of parents that a perfect arranged marriage would be between you two.
Your best friend has already set the stage by getting to know your family, who must approve of him enough to accept that you’ve been close friends. You two need to find an intermediary to amplify that connection and guide your parents to the belief that they’ve thought of this themselves.
You’re obviously too conflicted about sneaking around for that to work; it would more likely put a dark cloud over your time together. Talk to a community leader or respected family friend to work this out in the open.
I've lived in a small-space condo for many years, pared down belongings, and don’t like clutter.
I have friends/family who love to shop and give gifts – dishes, plants, souvenirs etc. I always say thank you, and added "you shouldn’t have.”
Is there anything else I could say or do to curb generosity without seeming ungrateful?
How long must I keep the stuff?
If I find it a good home, is this acceptable?
I feel guilty about not reciprocating, but also feel a growing impatience about all this.
Alert these well-meaners before birthdays and other gift occasions, by saying, “Remember, I have no room for gifts. But I do have a favourite children’s charity, so you can honour me through that by buying safe toys which I can deliver to the kids.”
That should make you and the others appreciate generosity for its true value of benefiting others.
Tip of the day:
When a friend sets out on a trouble-strewn path, a warning is better than turning away.