Guest columnists and contributors are generously sharing their talents and insights while I’m taking some time to care for my new baby. Today’s letter is answered by columnist and blogger, Billie Criswell.
You are absolutely right to not forbid your fiancé from hanging with his friend. This is your choice, not his, and it shouldn’t be imposed on him. I don’t necessarily like your solution of just avoiding social situations with her, mostly because it’s not a solution at all. It sounds like you are risking alienating yourself from a group of friends more than avoiding a person whom you just don’t care for.
You say you want to handle this in a mature way that doesn’t affect your relationship with your fiancé, but you give yourself away by saying that you can’t understand why he would want to hang out with her if you don’t like her because of the importance of your relationship with him. That is not very mature…he was friends with her before he met you, he still finds her an appealing friend, and really, it has nothing to do with you at all. So as far as not feeling resentment when he hangs with her, you just gotta pony-up and get over it. How will you just “get over it” you ask? Well, you just have to stand up for yourself a little and call out this woman for being so domineering. Sounds like she’d do the same to you.
Asserting yourself doesn’t mean you have to be a total bitch about it; it just means you gotta speak your mind. The next time you are at a social gathering and she offends you, simply state, “Wow, that really hurts my feelings.” And then, excuse yourself. If you can’t get a word in, you can say, (while she is taking a much-needed breath), “I feel like it’s hard for me to state my opinions around you — you barely give me time to speak.” If she tries to get all sassy with you, be prepared to back up your statements with all the wonderful examples you have already. Rehearse in the mirror if you have to. And let me also say, avoiding her at social gatherings doesn’t necessarily mean you have to avoid the gathering altogether. Just don’t make a point to hang around her specifically.
You have to be able to deal with people like this and avoidance only gets you so far. If it’s unlikely that her relationship with your fiancé will fizzle out, then you need to find a way to work it out without completely cutting yourself off from your mutual group of friends. So put on your big girl pants, and let this girl know what is hurting your feelings. Otherwise, you will likely continue to subject yourself to her rudeness whether you try to avoid it or not. It will take a load off your chest and allow your relationship with this girl to evolve rather than become a point of contention.
* Billie Criswell is a columnist and blogger from the “Delaware Seashore.” She loves zumba, bloody marys, and cooking. You can follow her shenanigans at Bossyitalianwife.com.