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July 27, 2016

I Dumped My Friend, But My Husband Didn't

Hey, Bonita…

I have a friend whom I recently cut ties with. Our friendship was very unhealthy, with power imbalances galore, and I’d been needing to step away from this person for some time. The only thing is, before I cut this person off, my husband met this person as well, and came to like them a lot. When I decided to cut this person out of my life, I didn't mention it to my husband—I made the choice quickly and in my best interest.

However, I recently had to tell my husband that I'd cut this person off (he was just making conversation and brought them up), and my husband seems to be upset by my choice. I should also add that I let him know this person is no longer welcome in our home. I have tried explaining to my husband the dramatic details of my 10-year-plus friendship with this person, to get him to understand that I really don't need this person around, but I get hints of his judgment and disappointment.

As my husband, I'd honestly prefer for him to not even be in touch with this individual, but I know I can't dictate his friendships. The only problem seems to be that he feels he can dictate mine. What do I do? I'm about ready to just cut him off from ever discussing this person with me.

Y’all are married and your husband won't respect your decision to not be friends with someone? That's pretty tacky on his part. I've definitely been friends with people whom other friends didn't like, but the dynamic is different in intimate relationships. A seriously committed or married couple should be backing each other up socially. He can have his reasons for liking this person, sure, but hubby really shouldn't be challenging your decision to not like them.

This is not an issue he should feel justified in judging you or questioning you about, especially when you say you had an entire decade to decide this person was crappy and not worth your time. I don't know if your husband is respecting your intelligence here. I think you should sit him down and retell him his responsibilities and duties as a married man. You're his wife, he should respect you and your decisions, and he certainly shouldn't be trying to make new friends with someone you can't stand. Seriously, hubby?


I'm in graduate school, and I have a classmate who texts me constantly. She's an extremely nervous person who will text me about assignments weeks before they are due—before I've even started on them. If our teacher says he’ll email the class on Thursday, for example, she will text me on Wednesday afternoon to ask if I've heard from the teacher yet.

It’s driving me crazy. She lives alone and doesn't have many friends. She's in her 40s and still lives with her parents. I want to be friends with her, but she just doesn't seem to know what she's doing, and it seems she might always push people away.

I don't think all this constant contact is a genuine attempt to stay abreast of schoolwork. This woman is lonely and isolated, and now that she's back in school she's reaching out socially in the only way she feels comfortable. Maybe she's not the type who can just ask a classmate to grab coffee or go see a movie. She might be assuming that you don't want to be casual friends with her, so she just texts you about school instead. Either way, I'm willing to bet that any 40-year-old living with her parents probably needs a friend.

If she's just super-anxious around school and harassing her classmates constantly, it's only going to make the rest of you anxious, too. Let her know that it's not OK that she's blowing up your phone about class all the time, but also tell her that she's welcome to hang out with you whenever your schedules permit. The main thing I wanna stress is that it's best to be firm and direct with people who violate communication or social boundaries. She probably has no idea that what she's doing is alienating, and she needs to know, especially if she ever intends to make a new friend.

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