Literally, since the day I was born “Kathy” and I were best friends. Like all friendships, we’ve been there for each other through the hardest times of our lives, and of course, the best! As an only child, she’s been like a sister to me. Anyway, about five years ago, Kathy started cheating on her boyfriend, and baby’s father, with her boss from work, who also happened to be married. I told her from day one that I didn’t think this was a good idea, but she insisted she loved this man, so I just turned a blind eye. I never hid the fact that I didn’t approve of the relationship, but I also never brought it up unless asked.
Well, here we are, five years later, and she is still seeing this married man. In the last year, his wife found out and left him, though never filed for divorced. Kathy found out this married man not only had a wife, but a girlfriend of almost a decade!! The girlfriend knew nothing of the wife or Kathy until Kathy called her and spilled the beans. Secretly, I was hoping this would be it, this would be the end of it and Kathy would finally see that this guy is no good. Boy, was I wrong.
This morning, in my normal routine of coffee and reading Facebook, I see Kathy has updated her status that she is moving TODAY and is starting a new life. Well, this was news to me, so I send her a text to find out what’s going on. Turns out, she’s moving moving in with this married man two hours away, bringing her 7-year-old daughter along with her. I don’t agree with this at all, and voiced my opinion on the matter. Kathy told me she didn’t tell me because I don’t support the relationship and she is surrounding herself with people who do. So here I am: completely hurt, shocked, and beside myself that Kathy would throw away a 30-year friendship like this.
Am I wrong for voicing my opinion? This is not only going to change her life, but also that of her 7-year-old daughter. I honestly feel like she’s setting herself up for disaster, and was pushed away because I voiced the opinion that no one else would. — Pushed Aside
If I’m reading right, in the five years since you first mentioned your disapproval of your friend’s relationship, you’ve “turned a blind eye” to what you consider a disaster for her and her young daughter. If that’s truly the case, your friend has only your initial expression of disapproval and your silence on the topic to assume you still don’t support her relationship. And in that event, I wouldn’t think you were wrong in voicing your opinion about her sudden plan to move her daughter and herself two hours away to live with this no-good guy.
If, however, your eye hasn’t been so blind and your voice hasn’t been so quiet, and this is a topic that has proven to be a source of tension between you and your friend, you probably over-stepped your boundaries by mentioning your disappointment in her decision. Clearly, your friend knows how you feel, and if that knowing is based on more than her general intuition and some comments you made five years ago – if, for example, you’ve rolled your eyes or made snide remarks when she talks about her boyfriend — you’ve probably said enough at this point. Because, while it makes sense you would worry about such a close and long-time friend — as well as her daughter — the fact remains that it’s not your life. She’s a grown woman who is capable of making decisions for herself and her daughter. You may not agree with those decisions, but it’s not your place to make them for her.
Furthermore, the decisions she’s making right now don’t have anything to do with you. Her deciding to move in with her boyfriend — as much as you disapprove of that — does not equal her “throwing away a 30-year friendship” with you. You’re linking these two things in your head that are not connected in reality. Her life is not an extension of your friendship. So, why don’t you tell her that? Tell her that while you don’t approve of her relationship, your friendship has and will always remain very dear and important to you. Remind her that your love for her is not contingent on her making decisions you agree with, because if you’re sad about the state of your friendship, just imagine how she must feel. If she’s decided to only align herself with people who “support her,” then your disapproval of her relationship must feel like a personal rejection of her as a friend. If that isn’t the case, then tell her so. Don’t let this stupid relationship she has with this prize of a guy become some sort of statement on your friendship. Isn’t thirty years together worth more than that?
*If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, send me your letters at [email protected] and be sure to follow me on Twitter.