Annie’s Mailbox: Only friend does spiteful things
Dear Annie: I am a 24-year-old female and have been friends with “Danielle” for 12 years. In fact, she is the only friend I have. Recently, I expressed some personal frustrations to her about my in-laws’ lifestyle. I said these things in confidence. My husband is aware of my feelings, and we have reached an understanding. However, last week my brother-in-law came to visit and was extremely distant. He was obviously angry with me but refused to say why.
My brother-in-law and Danielle converse often, and I am fairly certain she told him what I said. He is in the military, lives several states away and only comes around for holidays. I want our times together to be enjoyable for my husband’s sake, and that is all at risk now.
This isn’t the first time Danielle has done spiteful things to me. For the past four years, it seems she has been out to get me. She makes lots of snide remarks, and this last incident proves she holds me in disdain. I have even called these things to her attention, and she apologizes, but nothing changes.
In the past, I have overlooked Danielle’s underhanded behavior in order to save our friendship, but now I am at my wits’ end. I want to confront her about this latest incident but don’t know how to do it without creating some very bad blood or hurting her emotionally. Please help.
– Confidences Betrayed in N.C.
Dear N.C.: If this latest incident turns out to be Danielle’s fault and you confront her, at best she will follow custom and apologize but change nothing. This is a toxic friendship, where you think it’s necessary to appease her every time she hurts you. Apologize to your brother-in-law for whatever you may have done that upset him, and be cordial – nothing more – to Danielle. You need to branch out and find more trustworthy friends.
Dear Annie: I strongly disagree with your advice to “Just Curious,” who asked about attending the future visitation of her ex-husband of 36 years. While I do think the situation needs a gentle hand, the visitation is supposed to be honoring the memory of, and paying respects to, the recently deceased. If a man and woman spent 36 years together, despite the fact that it didn’t work out in the long run, they shared many memories (and children).
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