AdviceHey, Bonita!

My Best Friend’s Girlfriend is a Bummer

My best friend has been living with my husband and me for years, and it used to be pretty awesome. We were psyched when he got a girlfriend and all about her moving here. After months of living at Best Friend House, our roommate situation has grown uncomfortable. She only talks to me if she has to and projects such a chilly attitude that I rarely say anything beyond a polite “hello” when our paths cross. It’s pretty clear she dislikes me. She also dislikes Athens and has said she’s not interested in making any friends here. Because my best friend is her boyfriend, we don’t get to see much of him anymore. It was unfair to assume she’d move here and we’d all get along great, but I didn’t expect this much negativity.

My best friend is also disappointed in how things have turned out, but she’s important to him, so she’s important to us. I’m no longer holding my breath on friendship, but is there anything I can do to ease the awkwardness until they can get their own place?

I Got the Best Friend Blues

She’s dealing with one or both of these things: social anxiety or a shitty attitude. Explicitly stating a desire to not make friends seems indicative of both. I know the fish-out-of-water feeling of being new to a town, but a statement like that pretty much ensures that one will never grow roots here. Anxiety could mean that she’s preemptively rejecting friendship because she worries she won’t be liked anyway. Does she have a group of friends in her old town? Was she known to be social in the past? If the answer is yes to those, then she could also be dealing with jealousy. Sounds like your friend met her after he became super tight with you, and some folks can’t handle their hetero partners having opposite-gender besties.

I suggest letting your friend know where you stand with his new girlfriend, and that you can’t abide by her miserly demeanor. She’s been here for months, and in that time I’m sure you’ve offered to take her out, show her cool stuff, see shows, go swimming, etc. If you’re extending olive branches and she’s breaking them, she’s choosing to be a brat. I want to give her the benefit of the doubt and suggest that she might just be awkward, but signs are pointing to her just being a curmudgeon. Your friend is going to have to decide if he wants to sit and pout with his boo or live his life with his friends.

My boyfriend and I have been living together for about two years. Before he moved in, I had a small nagging worry about his drinking. The worrying has gradually gotten stronger, as I’ve had to clean up the cans and bottles every day, apologize for his behavior to friends who come over, put him to bed on the rough nights and suffer through out-of-character, malicious fights that he doesn’t remember the next day.

Through all of this, I still brushed it off as rowdy, young adult times—until I spent more time with his family. My boyfriend has always told me his parents are alcoholics, but it wasn’t until I spent time with them that I saw the same habitual drinking. One of his siblings just moved in with us until he can get back on his feet, and now the drinking is even more out of control.

I’ve mentioned my concern to him, but unfortunately, only during emotionally charged conversations or while he was intoxicated. He once said “of course” he knows he has a problem, but shut down after that. We talk about marriage and starting a family, and this is undoubtedly one of the most caring and supportive relationships I’ve ever been in, but this is becoming a seemingly insurmountable obstacle for me. He won’t talk to me about this seriously, and I’m running out of ideas and patience.

How do I talk to my boyfriend about my concerns about his drinking? Am I overreacting? What are my options if he doesn’t want to change his habits, but I still feel upset watching him drink? I just want him to be healthy, happy and fully engaged in the life that we talk about building together. Bonita, please help me.

You are not overreacting at all. You say you want to marry your boyfriend and have children, but look at him. Imagine your children hearing him drunk and screaming horrible things at you. Imagine him attempting to discipline a child while intoxicated and how horribly that can play out. Imagine your kids watching you drag him into bed night after night. Imagine him never around because he’s drunk.

You should talk to him about it when he’s sober. Make a date to talk specifically about your relationship and how it’s affected by his addiction. If he does not want to listen or feels that he should not change, you must put your own future first. I think he loves you, but not nearly as much as he loves the way alcohol makes his body feel. He is physically addicted, and addiction is powerful. Do you have any idea how often my parents beg me to quit smoking? And I love no one more. Don’t marry this man in his current state.

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