On poor life decisions

Dear Coquette,

I have a friend who is suffering from a domestic dilemma, and it’s making me want to become completely unavailable to her. I’m not a bitch, so let me explain why.

A year and a half ago, after not hearing from her for about a month, she tells me she’s dating a new guy. They’re in love, they’re soul mates, and they don’t see why they shouldn’t get married. She’s a smart girl and had a decent career going, so I thought it would blow over. A few weeks later, she announced their engagement, and while I thought, “Oh hell no,” I didn’t warn her. I just said, “Congratulations!” I felt that it wasn’t my business to tell her what to do with her life.

A month after the marriage, she’s pregnant.

Fast forward to when the baby is four months old and she’s telling me she’s considering a divorce. Her husband is manipulative, jealous and really pathetic. She feels obliged to succumb to his every whim and want (e.g. she is made to feel guilty if she doesn’t have sex with him every single day). Every time she tries to voice her concerns and complaints, the talk ends with her feeling guilty — like it’s somehow all her fault. She says when things get heated, he screams and breaks things. She tells me he never hits her, but I don’t buy it.

About three weeks ago, she called me to say she told her husband she’s leaving him. He panicked and started treating her like a queen — predictable. I don’t hear from her for two weeks and today she says, “He and I are working things out.”

I’m sick of this, and her husband completely sickens me. (Luckily, they live in another state.) There is no doubt that he’s going to be a horrible father. (He already has been. He knocked up some other girl ages ago and has some daughter somewhere out there.) I never thought she’d be so weak. At this point, I don’t know what, if anything, to do. Thoughts?

If you’re sick of it, then end the friendship.

She’s an adult. She made her own choices. None of this is your fault or responsibility. Let your lives go their separate ways.

They live in another state, which pretty much means all you are is a long-distance shoulder to cry on. You’re part of her support network from a former life that she doesn’t want to admit is over now that she’s got a baby and an unhappy marriage.

You don’t have to support her. It doesn’t make you a bitch to let her know that you’re done dealing with her chaos. Her situation sucks, but it sure as hell isn’t your problem.

If it makes you feel any better, you can let her know that you’re not abandoning her. You can tell her if she ever leaves the bastard, you’ll help her as a friend to make positive steps in building a new life. She won’t appreciate the gesture, but it will make you feel less guilty.

On a more general note, people who make poor life decisions tend to make them over and over. Stuff constantly falls out of the sky when you’re around them, and if you’re not careful, eventually that stuff will start falling on you. It’s best to recognize the pattern and distance yourself from those people. If that means moving on from friendships, so be it.


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