Dear Dr. Reality Steve,
This is a problem I haven’t quite gotten to yet since I’m not currently engaged or married, but we gotta get you to 10 emails! So, question: what do you think about having a friend you’ve slept with come to your wedding, and remaining friends after you get married? Context: I’ve known a guy since elementary school, we “dated” in middle school, slept together in college once we realized we were both in a flings-with-no-emotion phase. We are now totally platonic and he’s someone whose friendship I value (we’re able to reminisce about old teachers and classmates; we’re the same person in a lot of ways in terms of life choices; I just like him as a person!). I’ve always wondered if/worried that once I get married, I’ll have to give up that friendship because we slept together. I’d never withhold that info from a future spouse, and I’m sure I could reassure him (said future spouse) until I’m blue in the face that it would never happen again, but I’ve had a guy freak out on me before when it came to an ex hookup and insist that I cut ties with him. Thoughts?
Mulling it over in the Midwest
Comment: I think that once you’re married, you won’t voluntarily give him up as a friend, it’ll just happen. You’ll become too involved with your new life, that I can’t imagine many scenarios where you’ll constantly be hanging out with your ex. Will you? If you have plans of that, you probably shouldn’t. Doesn’t mean when someone gets married they have to ditch all their friends, but a lot of the time, you just don’t have nearly as much time as you used to. I think you’ll see it slowly fade away. And what if he gets a girlfriend and/or gets married? I’m sure you’ll see it on his side too.
It also will depend on how understanding your future husband is. Some will be bothered by it, some won’t. But I’m telling you, I don’t think you’ll be spending as much time with your ex once you get someone new in your life and get married.
First off, thanks for the helping hand in bringing my wife and mom back to earth. They are both huge fans of The Bachelor and nothing is more fun to me then predicting each episode as it goes. The show is complete trash but I don’t think there is a better show to watch while having a few.
Anyways lets get to it. My wife’s best friend of 10 years recently cheated and then divorced her husband of 2 years. I have grown very close to him over the past 7 years and I have completely taken his side. The guy was my best man and I was his.
Well my wife’s friend has stayed with the guy she had the affair with and my wife wants me to meet the guy. I have zero interest in meeting him or ever talking to her again. Am I wrong?
My wife has stayed neutral and wants to keep them both as friends but I feel that’s a bit backstabbing to my buddy.
Comment: This guy was your best man and his wife cheated and left him? Your loyalty is to him. However, I think it’s harmless to at least meet the new guy. I think the understanding is you guys will never be BFF’s. I’m sure your wife knows how you feel about her friend and her new man. Explain to her how uncomfortable it makes you and you’d rather not. But if this is gonna cause an issue in your marriage, I say you just bite the bullet and meet him once. But make it clear you don’t want to. If I was your wife, I wouldn’t put you in that situation, but it looks like she is. I think your friend would know you’re not betraying him and getting a new BFF. Hell, if anything, after you meet this guy, you can run back to your buddy and relay what a douchenugget he is. It sucks your wife wants you to do this because I can imagine how uncomfortable it’ll be. I mean, what kinda small talk do you make with a guy who stole your buddy’s wife? Just not a good situation all around and I don’t envy you. But for the sake of not getting in a fight with your wife, just meet the guy once and then try to avoid hanging out with them ever again.
Pretty straight forward question for you, just wanted a man’s opinion. I met a guy at a bar last week and we hit it off and exchanged numbers before I left. We texted a bit that night but that was all. I was fairly interested in him and would meet up with him again. My question is do you think guys generally prefer to initiate or is it cool if see if he’s going out and try to meet up again?
Comment: If he wants to see you again, he’ll contact you. It’s been a week and he hasn’t texted back? Not a good sign. I think any contact you get from here on out from him will probably be of the 1:00am variety and him asking, “Hey, what are you up to?”
Hey Dr. Reality Steve,
One of my best friends is engaged, and I know I’m supposed to be happy for her, but I absolutely despise her fiance. He is a real a**hole. Her last boyfriend was brutal too, and this one is definitely an improvement, but she could still do much better. He’s arrogant, misogynistic, and rude. I could provide horrifyingly specific examples, but I know people who read this column, and don’t want to be too obvious! In the past when she’s opened up to me about relationship issues, I would be honest with her and ask if she really thought this was someone she could see herself spending her life with, to which she would always back pedal, downplay whatever back thing she told me, and say she definitely wanted to be with him and that he was so great. Now that they are engaged, I feel like I will no longer have these openings to discuss this. None of our friends like him, but nobody wants to say anything to her, since it will hurt her, she wouldn’t end the relationship, so it would end the friendship. She has asked me to be a bridesmaid and speak at her wedding, like she did for mine. I feel sick about the fact that I know I can’t do it with the same love and enthusiasm as she did for me. It makes me feel like a terrible friend, What do you think I should do? She is definitely making a mistake and we all know it, but no one wants to be the one to say anything. Most of our friends are married, and she definitely wants to join the club. They want to get married right away and she seems really caught up in the whole wedding part of it and not the actual marriage. I basically just want your thoughts, a solution is not necessary, just some unbiased opinions from a male perspective would be great, as women tend to be more harsh on men.
Thanks Dr. Reality Steve, enjoy your off season, you deserve it!
Comment: Unfortunately, there’s not a whole hell of a lot you can do. She’s in the bliss phase and now planning a wedding, anything you say negative about her fiancé is gonna go in one ear and out the other. You just have to be supportive and suck it up for her, and eventually she’ll probably find out on her own what hand she’s been dealt with him. Another crappy situation to be in because you can probably see how this is going to turn out, but you still have to be a supportive friend. Not a fun position to be in. You can always bring up your concerns to her, but highly doubt she’s gonna cancel a wedding over it, so then it seems pointless to bring it up. Hang in there, don’t make it obvious you despise him, and hopefully things will get better.
If all else fails, perform a sting operation to bust the guy cheating and expose him to your friend. There’s always that.
Dear Dr. Reality Steve,
My husband and I dated for over two years before getting married last year. Throughout our time dating (and the years prior that we were good friends), he rarely mentioned his family, and I came to understand that things were very strained. He told me that he had a rough life growing up and that his parents weren’t really in a good place. They were pretty much out of his life due to them not having jobs, constantly asking him for money, and not being there for him like parents should. I kind of developed a negative connotation of them from pretty early on, knowing that he deserved a loving, supportive family, but I quickly learned he was more of a parent figure to them.
While we were dating over those 2 years, we saw his parents maybe twice, just quick drop-by visits on Christmas. When it came time to plan our wedding, my family paid for everything, planned everything, and pretty much took the entire burden with no help from his, as we had expected. (This caused me to feel even more negative feelings toward them..hello, they were pretty much MIA). We did invite them, though. His dad made an a** of himself at our wedding, and we totally skipped over having him dance with his mom. Just awkward, nonexistent relationships basically. At this point I felt like I would rather them just go away and not have a relationship with him at all. My family had pretty much become the family he never had.
Now a year into our marriage, my husband has expressed a desire to have a better relationship with his family and that we should hang out with them occasionally. It is all I can take not to roll my eyes when he mentions this. I know it is his family, he still has love for them, and I should support him, but it is so hard not to forget how bad of parents they have been when I am the one that has watched him hurt for the past few years. Honestly, I don’t even consider them my “in-laws” and cringe at the thought of them being grandparents to our future children. I guess I am struggling with them not only being bad parents to him, but also that I do not have the ideal mother and father-in-law that most people envision. Should I bite the bullet and try to be a good sport on these occasional visits? What’s the best way to handle this as his wife?
Comment: Another situation where someone just has to suck it up and deal with things. I mean, it would be pretty sh***y to tell your husband he can’t see his family, right? Is this something where he wants to see them more and more? I guess it all depends on what “occasionally” means. Regardless, it’s his family and if he wants to mend a bad relationship with them, there’s really not much you can do. Maybe you can tell him before getting you involved, that HE needs to rebuild that relationship first since you barely know them. That’d be the only way I’d think you could get out of hanging out with them every time he wants to. You can’t make it obvious and attend none of his meet ups with his family, but say you’d rather he fix it first before you move in on it too. Good luck.
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