Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Me and My Big Mouth

I probably should never have opened my mouth. But I just couldn’t help it.

For months, I’d listened to my friend Monique complain, cry and obsess about her new boyfriend.

First she worried that with his tattoos, nipple rings, revoked driver’s license and crass sense of humor, he wouldn’t fit in with people she hung out with. (I told her if he made her happy and treated her well, real friends would overlook differences).

Then she was offended when he didn’t ask her to be his date to a friend’s wedding. (I gave him the benefit of the doubt. He was standing up in the wedding, maybe he just didn’t want her to get stuck alone for the evening).

Then he wasn’t available for things that were important to her… meeting her parents, hanging out with her friends, going out on normal dates. (I told her to start making a mental note of these disappointments and decide whether or not this relationship was worth all her yearning).

So by the time she called Sunday, I just couldn’t take it anymore.

She was crying – said this guy had basically blown her off all week. When she tried to talk to him about it, he took hours to respond and got defensive -- as if SHE was being annoying. She went on and on about how he’s going through a bad time in life because of his issues and tragic background. She said she just wanted him to talk to her and tell her what the problem was so she could understand why he was being this way.

I probably should never have opened my mouth. But I just couldn’t help it.

“What exactly are you waiting for him to say?,” I went off. “There is absolutely nothing that can come out of his mouth that can excuse what’s going on here. Bottom line, he’s just not making you happy. Why do you need him to explain that to you? Isn’t it fairly obvious?”

I told her she was amazing, and beautiful, and the life of a party, and successful, with a masters degree and a great job and her own condo and car. But she was putting up with a loser who was acting like SHE was the loser. And the longer she did that the longer it was going to take for her to find a GOOD guy, someone who would NEVER blow her off for a week, ALWAYS want to meet her family and friends, someone who would feel LUCKY to get her phone calls, not burdened.

Monique and I have always been bluntly honest with each other. But I’m sure she wasn’t prepared for my tirade. I told her I was sorry to be so harsh – I’ve never even met the guy (don’t get me started).

But she was epitomizing the line my friend Felice’s ex-boyfriend articulated so well for her when she kept giving him more chances.

“Women spend too much time letting assholes explain why they’re assholes.”

By the end of the conversation, Monique said she was so thankful that I was being honest and that I was giving her the strength to stand up for herself and not put up with crap. She said she was going to confront him that night and tell her that she didn’t want any part of what he was doing.

I told her I’d be on call if she needed to drive straight to my place after the confrontation.

I texted her a reminder of what a great girl she was and how she could have better if she just sought it for herself.

I called her the next morning to make sure she was o.k.

Six hours later, I finally heard back. Knowing exactly what had happened, I let it go to voicemail.

In her message, she said her talk went well. She told him she doesn’t want to be treated badly. He told her all about these issues he’s been having. She said she was glad they had the talk because she feels badly for him because she cares about him.

“It was good,” she said, going on and on about how she’s going to try to be better from now on about not obsessing and blowing off her friends to accommodate his schedule. Somehow, in her mind, things are now just peachy.

And I just don’t have the energy to call her back.

Women spend too much time letting assholes explain why they’re assholes.

Best friends' words are a waste of breath.


Stacy said...

Oh boy - I've been here many many times and there is no amount of words that will make her listen. I have learned that for my own sanity I can't hear all the details of every disappointment because it gets to be too much to handle. Hopefully you have made it clear what you think and all you can do is wait for her to realize it herself.

Lynn said...

I've been the girl with the asshole boyfriend. I cut him so much slack that I married him. Your friend will never drop him because of what you say, she has to come to that realization herself. All my wonderful friends did what you are doing for her, and while I listened & knew they were right, things just hadn't gotten bad enough yet. Now that I'm out of the marriage, it's amazing to me that it took as long as it did for me to wise up, and I'm sorry that I drove my friends nuts in the process. And I still have a friend who has now wasted 5 years of her life on a loser guy, and was VERY vocal about how I needed to drop mine. We have drifted apart because she bought a duplex with him & basically spends all her time with him. It's sad.

John said...

Same could be said for men. It isn't gender specific.

I should have stopped reading after the 3rd paragraph. If she had any uncertainties she shouldn't have wasted his time, nor her time in the first place.

John said...

And, as for the relationship, you are making judgements about someone you haven't even met. Wow. There's "your" problem right there. Not his or hers.

As far as giving advice to a friend, they can ask first, and if you deem it so important to give anyway, ask them if they want it, and if they do, give it once (hopefully after you actually have spent some quality time with that other person) and move on.

All we've read so far is that he didn't want her to go to a wedding with him and he didn't want to meet the parents. My next question is how long has the relationship been? 6 months? A year? If it has been a while, i.e. several months minimum and exclusive, then she can express her feelings directly to him. Perhaps he is unaware of the problems? If the situation doesn't change to your friend's liking, your friend will have to make a decision how happy and satsified she is or isn't. Perhaps this person isn't treating your friend well on a consistent basis? The first thing you do is communicate that. Your friend based on your description struggles with communication, confrontation, and with an overbearing friend who gives opinions on people she hasn't even met.

Perhaps I am the only one who didn't see or read the horror?

9 said...

Sounds like your girlfriend is kind of neurotic and annoying. Why is she dating someone if she's worried about his tattoos and appearance. She sounds pretty shallow me!

Jen said...

I love this post - and all I can say is that the sex must be really good. That's usually what keeps people in relationships that don't work in any other context. She'll come around eventually, just make sure you're there with a glass of wine when she needs you.

bestonline323 said...

I love this post.
I can completely relate to you. I have the biggest mouth in the world!

i need to put it in the dryer and shrink it =]

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