Q: I saw Rielle Hunter on “The View” talking about how wives get annoyed with their husbands because men are annoying, and that’s where mistresses come in. Of course Rielle Hunter is no one to base your life off of, but I can’t help but think that’s what’s going on for me and many of my friends. I’ve thought of leaving because he gets on my nerves so much, and I wonder if there’s anything left to hold on to.
This is a classic illustration of the fact that just because something is common doesn’t make it healthy. Do wives tend to complain about their husbands, especially when they get together and arm themselves with Jose Cuervo? Perhaps. But that usually is a tension-reliever, and many wives happily return home to their mates afterward.
But for others, it’s more serious. Your problems don’t sound like a “Man, I just wish he’d put his socks in the hamper” type of situation. This is more representative of long-term resentment that is accumulating without any relief. I can’t help you figure out whether your feelings are surmountable. But a counselor can.
Q: I was stalked by a friend for a while – not in a romantic way, but in a her-copying-me way and getting really angry and paranoid that I was replacing her if I wouldn’t answer her calls, etc. I have since been able to remove myself from the relationship and she doesn’t contact me anymore, but now an old mutual friend has moved back into the area and is contacting us jointly and trying to get everybody together. Do I say anything about how crazy she was?
That depends on whether you can stand to be near her again. If you’re willing to be together in a group outing, you need not say a word, though you perhaps might be a masochist. If you’re going to – understandably – beg off this particular rendezvous with your old mutual friend, it’s your right to keep it subtle. Telling her that “Jenny and I don’t really keep in touch anymore; I’d honestly prefer just to see you alone” should do the trick. Unless, of course, you’ve got yet another boundary-challenged friendship.
Andrea Bonior, a clinical psychologist, is the author of “The Friendship Fix.” www.drandreabonior.com.
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