I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Dump Him

The question of today: What do you do when you can’t stand a friend’s significant other?

I should probably leave it at that. A 16 word blog post.

I won’t be offering any stories from my own life, that’s for sure. This blog is about making friends, not losing them, so no personal examples here. No siree.

But it’s happened to everyone hasn’t it? Someone you adore inexplicably pairs up with someone you just don’t get, and what you don’t get even more is how they could be together. Because she’s so friendly, and he’s so….arrogant. Or he’s so funny and she’s such…a dud.

There are two different ways this scenario can come to pass. Scenario A: Longtime friend starts dating someone new and he makes your skin crawl. Or scenario B: New friend introduces you—finally!—to his longtime partner, and she offends you each time she opens her mouth. Afterwards you just want to thank him for keeping her away from you this long.

Now I’m not talking about a bad person. Your friend’s new guy isn’t abusive—physically or emotionally—and he’s not cheating on her. There’s no basis for you to tell her to end it. You’re just not really feeling him.

In the tales I’ve been told, there are only two courses of action. 1) Try to make this a one-on-one friendship. Don’t focus on the couple aspect. Every now and then you’ll have to suck it up and go to dinner with both of them, but mostly it’s about you and her. Girl’s night! OMG! 2) Let the friendship slink away. It often seems that when BFFs don’t like each other’s partners, the friendship starts to fade. It’s not necessarily a conscious decision, unless you’re Lauren and Heidi and then it goes down for our viewing pleasure. But mostly, I think it’s a sad but quiet dissolution.

I know you people out there—yes, you—have been through this. What’s your coping mechanism? Is there a way to make her more tolerable? A trick to avoiding him altogether? You can be anonymous. Now…go!

18 Comments

Filed under The Search

18 responses to “I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Dump Him

  1. Anonymous

    What an interesting topic! (As usual!) – I have fortunately not had to be on this end of the equation – I don’t really dislike most people enough to avoid them ( I just tend to be scatterbrained and awkward, and that’s my trouble with making or keeping friends…)

    What I HAVE experienced, however, is the friend who decides that they don’t like my hubs. Granted, he was even more awkward than I (at that time) – but mostly in a shy way! Anyway, my Maid of Honor decided about three months before my wedding not to stand up with me because she didn’t like him – and told me so, explicitly. I’m not saying I would definitely have negotiated the situation much better – but I CAN say that she really shouldn’t have been my MOH in the first place, if that’s how she felt! YIKES!

    • I can’t believe this… That’s not really a friend, is it? If she can’t be there for you on one of the most important days of your life? Yikes is right.

  2. I don’t think I would let the friendship slink away. I would cultivate a one on one relationship with my friend. And the willingness to keep this friendship around depends on how much history, experiences you share with this friend. A definite tricky call, but it seems harsh to cut out a friendship based on his or her choice of a spouse/boyfriend/girlfriend.

  3. With every choice we make, we have to live with the consequences. For me, when a friend starts dating someone I don’t like, I tend to give my friend room to figure things out. I’m not going to put myself in situations where I’m confronted with someone I don’t like (I don’t hide how I feel very well), but I’m also not going to abandon my friend. So, sure, I might try to keep things one-on-one. I might ask questions to get my friend to think about why she’s with that guy and what he brings to the table. And I might even let things slide for a bit. I’ve never lost a really close friend due to someone they were dating … but, I have let acquaintance friendships fizzle when I can’t stand their partner.

  4. Been there, done that. In fact, still doing it. I have gone the Girls’ Night Out/mums’n’kids route. Since we don’t live in the same town, I only see her a couple of times a year, and I can’t remember the last time I saw him. (Probably the time he said something so politically offensive and unkind that I silently vowed to avoid him as much as possible from then on.)

  5. For me, it’s a case-by-case situation. In some instances, I find out that I’ve been a little too quick to judge and I see the SO’s good qualities after hanging out more. In others, I stick my nose up, declare the SO a lost cause and avoid, avoid, avoid.

    Ya know, that sounded a tad less bitchy in my head.

  6. Karen A.

    I have to go for the one on one. The amount of time I spend with my friends spouses is pretty minimal, especially in a small group setting where I have to directly interact with the spouse.

    I did have one direct contact that left me thinking, “I really need to keep this friendship, because she is married to him, and she definitely needs friends if she has to spend time with him.” More a response protecting my friend than of dealing with her souse. (They are still together.)

  7. Francis

    I’ve been on the bad side of this situation. I had two BF’s and the 3 of us had been ridiculously close since freshmen year of college. After meeting my (now) husband our friendships fell apart. Admittedly, he is a bit socially awkward, very shy and quiet in new groups which can translate to snobbishness or general lack of interest. With me or his good friends, he is a motormouth, never shuts up!
    My friends were pretty open about their dislike for him-to me and to our mutual friends. It is amazing to think back to the moment when they asked me to choose between him or them….I can’t believe I actually wavered for a moment! The final blow came at BF1’s wedding. She named her sister the MOH but BF2 and I took on most of the MOH duties. Later that night, our thank you cards got mixed up and I accidentally got BF2’s. It thanked her for being her “secret” MOH and said she was sorry she couldn’t be more public about it. That time in my life rates almost as painful as my parent’s divorce. It was very much like mourning the death of two people you loved who had just betrayed you before keeling over.
    I was left friendless, my entire social group was tied to those to girls. Luckily, things worked out with the hubs and I’ve since made a new circle of girlfriends. Happier, healthier and hopefully smarter.

  8. Anonymous

    I have definitely lost touch with someone in the last 2 years, mostly due to my dislike of the man friend she decided to latch on to. He is a great deal younger than her, and a great deal douche-ier than anyone I have ever met. His is a special kind of douche–he has an air of arrogance and very rude social behavior and is the kinda guy who likes to make you feel bad for being yourself and for being friendly and interested in his life. I tried and tried to be my usual overly-outgoing self and drag him out of the douche hole he lives in, but to no avail.

    It got so aggravating that I could not tolerate being around him anymore. Since my friend never leaves his side and chooses to spend her days rotting away in their shared space and seemingly never reaches out to anyone anymore, I no longer see said friend. But I feel that her choice has been made to be with him and my choice has been made to avoid interaction with him. So we move along like that now.

    The worst part of it all was that I wanted to invite her to my wedding and I tried to figure out a way to do so without involving him. No way around that one. So I invited them both thinking they would never come since it is far away. And now she mentioned that they were excited and talking about my destination wedding recently. Ugh. Spending DAYS with that particular man sounds awful, which is why I did not want to invite them in the first place.

    This topic is a hard one. So many great women see a special side of some really socially awkward men (and vice versa) and no one else gets to see if for whatever reason, and then all the friends get is the lame side, and it is really hard to accept that for your BFF. We always want the best for them.

    We all want to date someone awesome who knows how to handle themselves in your friend group and places value on winning your friends’ affections. But not everyone can do that, or even wants to. So they fall flat and people dislike them for it, and suddenly the relationships are strained as a result.

    So it is all very tricky. I have no answers for the best way to deal with it. All my attempts failed, which is sad.

    • Fanfan

      Your comments are very moving for some reason. I think you have been very understanding on both sides.

    • First of all, you comments about Mr. Douche are hysterical. But, at the same time, I totally understand the pain involved. It’s hard to lose friends to someone we don’t understand and can’t see any good in– as you say, we all just want the best for our friends. And when you think you know someone so well, and they turn out to choose someone who sucks, it’s so confusing.

  9. T.L.

    What do you do when its your daughter dating someone; who, according to her, both parents and friends have told her (some rather bluntly) to get rid of him? He is not a bad guy (not abusive etc…) but we all see her frustration, anger and the way he treats her. He is dismissive and makes her feel last on his priority list. She admits all this freely without prodding or coaxing. Any suggestions would be welcomed.

  10. Luckily, I really like the spouses my friends have chosen. Since I am single, alot of our get togethers tend to be girls nights instead of couple stuff. That’s not always the case but in general, I spend more time w/ my friends sans husbands, so even if I don’t care for their husband, it doesn’t really impact my relationship w/ them…

  11. Unfortunately I have been in this situation before, and the final was I quit hanging around this friend so much. Untill finally we went our own separate ways.

  12. Ooof, tough one. I think, from personal experience, it’s never a good idea to tell her the new man is suckville, USA. My best friend in the world started dating someone more than 20 years her senior, divorced, alcoholic, wouldn’t let her even leave a toothbrush for fear his kids would learn about her, etc. I called him “Old Man River” and said I didn’t think it was right, the way he disappeared on binges for days at a time. That was 5 years ago.
    She still doesn’t speak to me.

  13. This is always a tough one! I tend to go the one-on-one route, so that I can keep the friendship–but I’m kind of a one-on-one girl anyway. That being said, whatever you do, don’t badmouth the significant other! It’ll always come back to bite you (said from experience).

  14. san

    Been there. The thing is: I can stand the occasional couple dinner, but my husband doesn’t have anything in common with her husband and therefore is not interested in couple’s activities at all ( I try to keep the friendship one-on-one for that very reason).

  15. Pingback: The Guy-Friend’s Girlfriend: A Dilemma | MWF Seeking BFF

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