Tem­po­rary breakup prompts friend’s nasty text

The Observer (Sarnia) - - LIFE - Email: askamy@tri­bune.com Twit­ter: @ask­ingamy AMY DICK­IN­SON

Dear Amy:

I need some per­spec­tive.

My fi­ancee broke up with me for a two-week pe­riod, for seem­ingly no rea­son. She was ap­par­ently go­ing through fam­ily is­sues and felt she couldn’t be a good girl­friend while cop­ing with all of that.

Dur­ing that break, my best (guy) friend sent her a nasty text about how poor this de­ci­sion was and how much she “didn’t de­serve” me.

My fi­ancee and I got back to­gether soon af­ter his text was sent.

The prob­lem is she still holds a grudge against my best friend be­cause she feels he shouldn’t have got­ten in­volved.

In my eyes, he was just be­ing a friend, but it’s got­ten to the point where she doesn’t even want him at the wed­ding, where I want him to be my best man. I’ve tried talking to both of them and he’s will­ing to bury the hatchet if she is, but she’s not, and is hold­ing a grudge. What should I do? — GROOM TO BE Dear Groom:

I’m not go­ing to re­act the way your friend did, but be­fore mov­ing on to your ques­tion, I do think it is im­por­tant for you to rec­og­nize your fi­ancee’s be­hav­iour as be­ing wor­thy of scru­tiny. She dropped you sud­denly and with­out ex­pla­na­tion. I as­sume you trust her to stick with you now?

Your guy friend should not have sent this text. His choice to do so il­lus­trates the wis­dom of not be­ing trig­gered and re­ac­tive when re­spond­ing to some­one else’s personal sit­u­a­tion.

How­ever, even if it was a mis­take — surely your fi­ancee could un­der­stand that loy­alty to­ward you drove his be­hav­ior. She might have friends (or be a friend) with this level of loy­alty, where feel­ings tem­po­rar­ily over­ride good judg­ment.

Your friend should not merely of­fer to “bury the hatchet.” He needs to per­son­ally and sin­cerely apol­o­gize to your fi­ancee for his choice to send a nasty mes­sage to her. He had many bet­ter choices he could have made in the mo­ment to show his sup­port for you.

Does your friend still be­lieve that your fi­ancee doesn’t de­serve you? If so, he prob­a­bly shouldn’t stand up with you at your wed­ding. You and he should have an hon­est and pri­vate con­ver­sa­tion about this.

You should en­cour­age him to apol­o­gize per­son­ally to your fi­ancee. If he chooses to apol­o­gize, she should hon­our your long­time friend­ship by ac­cept­ing his apol­ogy. Dear Amy:

My boyfriend is 66 years old and is a blue-col­lar worker.

He has a habit of mak­ing many comments to waiters and wait­resses about their wages and tips, while they are serv­ing us.

Here are some ex­am­ples: “If you do a good job, maybe I will give you an ex­tra $2 tip,” or, “Your tie looks ex­pen­sive; they must be pay­ing you too much here.”

This is em­bar­rass­ing to me, and I think it shows dis­re­spect to the server. Restau­rant work­ers work very hard and don’t need to feel be­lit­tled by id­iot cus­tomers. They just chuckle when he makes these comments.

I have told him nu­mer­ous times to stop do­ing this.

How should I handle this sit­u­a­tion? Should I apol­o­gize for him? I don’t want to pun­ish my­self by stop­ping din­ners out. He thinks I am over­re­act­ing and he says he is just clown­ing. The bizarre thing is that his grand­daugh­ter is a wait­ress and he is very proud of her. — FRUS­TRATED Dear Frus­trated:

How would your guy feel if a client came onto his work­site and made a sim­i­lar com­ment to him? (Truly, he might not mind it at all.)

On one level, I in­ter­pret his comments to­ward other hard­work­ing peo­ple as his way of iden­ti­fy­ing with them (most of the comments any of us make are re­ally a reflection of as­pects of our­selves). He is try­ing to con­nect, but he is go­ing about it in a clunky way.

I don’t in­ter­pret these comments as be­ing patently dis­re­spect­ful, but more as be­ing un­nec­es­sary and po­ten­tially off-put­ting.

You can’t con­trol him; you should not apol­o­gize for him. You shouldn’t call him an id­iot, nor cast these re­marks as id­i­otic.

Now you can ig­nore this be­hav­ior, be­cause it’s on him.

He could test your re­sponse and re­ac­tion by ask­ing his grand­daugh­ter how she feels when cus­tomers make comments like this. Servers deal with this sort of “hu­mour” all the time.

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