Relationship Advice

But I'm the. . .

woman with red scarf

About eight years ago, I first became friends with my college roommate "Cindy." At the time she was dating "John." Our friendship ended shortly before Cindy moved out of our college apartment. In all honesty, I was going through an unhealthy time, and she had her own problems.

Not long after that I got my life back on track, met my future husband, and attended law school. Four years later, I touched base with Cindy. In retrospect, my husband thinks I contacted her because I either subconsciously wanted to show her I was in a good place or wanted closure.

Cindy was now engaged to John. Back in college, people didn't think John was good enough for her, and I thought she was rebelling by dating him. But I grew to see maybe John was more insecure than anything else.

When I introduced my future husband to Cindy and John, he did not like John. John was his usual crass self. He would brag about drinking in college, talk inappropriately about women, and turn any conversation into a story about himself.

When I told my future husband about John's good qualities, he said he was waiting to see them. He didn't want to become friends with John and Cindy, but he made the best of it for my sake. In time, John's behavior started to wear on both of us, and Cindy's faults became more noticeable.

Then John offended me in a whole new way. At our wedding, he met my attorney mentor, a professor at my law school. She agreed to give John advice. When her help fell short of actually getting him in, John told my husband he thought my mentor didn't help at all, and neither had I.

To top it off, when I threw a going-away party for an attorney friend at my house, I invited Cindy and she wanted to bring John. My gut told me John would either irritate or embarrass me in front of my boss, attorney friends, and business contacts.

So I politely asked Cindy to ask John to dress and act conservatively. Mind you, he often dresses in T-shirts with holes, plays with his tongue ring, and flips cigarette butts on the lawn. Cindy and John were offended. I apologized, but inside I was angry. Many times John offended us, but we didn't make an issue out of it.

The next time we saw them Cindy talked to my husband while coldly ignoring me. When I spoke with John, he turned it into an argument and yelled at me in public.

How can I move on so I don't feel angry towards these people?

Marie


Marie, we can all own the sense of going to a school reunion, or not going, based on what we are now. Your husband is likely right. You wanted to show Cindy you had gone somewhere and had a better man than she did.

Everyone in college knew John as an ass, but you pretended he had a silver lining he never showed. If that were true, it would work both ways. When we see someone good, we should suspect they are hiding their bad side. When we can't accept that some people are an ass, and that is their good side, then we spend our lives misjudging others.

If good people go along and don't call others on offensive behavior, how can they say something later on? When they do, it will sound like they are just repeating something they heard today on a talk show.

Your anger is displaced. You shouldn't have mined your past to make yourself feel good now. Own up to it. It's on you. Tell your husband, "My bad. Let's bid these two adieu." Then take him out to dinner and promise, in the future, you'll be more careful about swaying him off his feelings.

Wayne & Tamara