Friday, March 25, 2011

Dilemma

I'm in a quandary regarding a good friend of mine.

Here's the story:

She recently separated from her husband - they had been married for close to seven years I believe. They have two little girls together. It was a love match (not arranged, she is not of Indian descent). She had told me that she and her husband were having problems for some time now in our phone conversations from the past last year.

During the last few months she has been taking some job training. The teacher of the class and her got very friendly. He eventually told some weeks into the class, he liked her. She could see that. Suddenly when I would be talking to her on the phone, prior to the separation, she would be talking more about this guy and how great he was and in the same breath how and her husband had been having problems and it seemed like a good time for a separation.

Within the first week that she and the husband were separated, the teacher and her were dating. Talking to her, its all about how great this new guy is, how perfect he is, how he makes her happy, how she hasn't been happy in ages, how he respects her, how he likes the same things she does, how just made for her he is.

I am not comfortable with this - look I get that she and her soon to be ex were having problems, I don't discount that and they might have needed a separation, but what I have an issue with is this, frankly what I consider, grade school behavior. Her emails sound like notes I use to get when I was in high school. This man is the love of your life?! How is it that he happens along just as your marriage is falling apart? This man completes you, he is perfect?

My other friends think I am not seeing the whole picture, and maybe I am not, maybe its because I come from a very conservative social background (Indian), but this just doesn't seem right.

She and her husband separated in January and already she is talking about how she wants all of us to meet this new love of her life. And how is all of this affecting the daughters I wonder. She says that this new guy makes her happy and that her being happy is better for the girls - is that true?

To be honest I know she is going through some rough stuff and she is one of my best friends but this behavior is upsetting and angering me. I don't like it - does that make me a bad friend? I am not jumping for joy that this guy is the love of her life (truthfully I don't believe he is, I'm sure he is a nice guy but probably the reason he seems so perfect to her right now is that he is the an thesis of her ex). More importantly, I don't feel like getting emails from her chock full of how great this new man is and about all the things he does that are so special.

The dilemma is that I want to snap at her for this behavior but I hardly imagine that would be productive - what should I do?

7 Comments:

Blogger secret agent woman said...

Arrrg, I wrote a long comment and blogger ate it! Here goes again.

I believe I started with a disclaimer about not giving advice except, as in this case, when directly asked.

So, yes you're friend is probably being impulsive and yes, she is probably seeing the new guy through rose-colored glasses. And infatuation always has a childish feel to it. And while a happy mom is generally a better mom, I also think it's best not to bring a new man into kids' lives until you are certain and also I hope she isn't neglecting the kids for the new romance.

Still, none of that is really the point. The point is what is your role here? As a friend, you are not required to wave pom poms and cheer for them, or have his face printed on a shirt for you to wear. On the other hand, snapping at her or letting her know you don't like having to hear her glowing assessment of him will only hurt her. I would suggest the middle way (she says Buddhistly). Listen, tell her your glad she's happy, if she asks offer only very restrained versions of your concerns. If you meet the guy, you only have to be polite. At this point its impossible to predict whether things will work out for the two of them. But either way, you want the friendship to be there. If the relationship works, you don't want her remembering (and telling him) that you said she was being an idiot. And if it fails, you SURE don't want her remembering you said she was being an idiot. Salt in the wound is virtually never appreciated. Ultimately, if you love your friends, the most important thing is letting them know you have their backs. Even when they are being giddy love-sick fools.

9:05 AM  
Blogger mommanator said...

wow are we living similarily. My best friend whose hubby died has gone off the deep end about a guy. I dont particularily like him. neither do the rest of my family. AND I am honest to a fault sometimes, hence mommanator! She keeps asking 'so how do you like him' whats a gal to do. So I finally said how I really felt, she was surprised. I told her I wouldnt be disrespectiful or anything like that but he just isnt my cup of tea.
and I feel if the 'shit hits the fan' I will have to be there to help her out and pick up the pieces.
arent friendships complicated sometimes. Your job is just to be a friend. you can do it gal! luck & peace!

11:54 AM  
Blogger secret agent woman said...

P.S. 8your, not you/re. Hate it when I do that. And also, I was thinking more about this and realizing how grateful I am for my friends' patience with me in my relationships.

5:55 PM  
Blogger JoeinVegas said...

SAW seems to have said enough

4:50 PM  
Blogger Merci said...

She is in emotional turmoil and needs her girlfriends very much right now. Wish I had had close friends to turn to when my marriage broke up. My mom had always been my confidant, but she was sinking into dementia at that time and was not available to me. I had to go it alone, and it was next to impossible to sort it all out effectively with no one to talk to. I still shut down emotionally when I think about it.

You can suspect that she is wrong about this guy, but you can't know for sure. Can you suggest a breather to her without telling her that she is wrong? Maybe some time off from BOTH men to get centered? You said that she has been telling you for some time that her marriage is in trouble, so the situation existed before this new guy came along. Even if he goes away, she will still have long-standing problems to address. No matter what she decides, there is emotional turmoil ahead for her.

10:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am an old fashioned person and my words probably would not sound good to most of the Young folks.

It is never good to make decisions tangled in two relationships. She needs to take time off from both relationships, take her rose colored glasses off about her rebound relatioship and think clearly.

She is messing up her kids for life, by being selfish. I hope she wakes up before it is too late.
If the second relationship does not work out, she will be in a real emotioanal mess.

Austen

12:13 PM  
Blogger Virginia Gal said...

Secret Agent - Thank you so much for the advice, I shall heed it, because as you said, ultimately what is my role here.

Momommantor - so you are going through the same thing?! Its a dilemma indeed, no?

Joe - sage words from Secret Agent.

Merci - You are right, despite how I feel about this guy, I need to be there for her, this is a tough time for her and she needs her friends.

Austen - I definitely feel as you do but as others have pointed out that might not be so productive.

1:34 AM  

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