Prince Charming’s Alarming


I’m worried about my friend’s new relationship. The guy is very charming and good-looking, but I just don’t think he treats her well. I’ve heard him make fun of her job, tell her she’ll never go back to school, put down the way she dresses, etc. My friend is head-over-heels and can’t stop talking about how awesome he is and how she can’t believe she found him. I want to say something, but I don’t know how. -Worried BFF

Has she had a history with guys who don’t treat her well? If this is a pattern, you can feel justified in bringing it up as a larger concern about her belief in herself (that perhaps generalizes to her non-romantic life as well).

If this guy is the first wolf in sheep’s clothing, your job is a little more delicate, as she might be prone to thinking you just don’t happen to click with him in particular. Pick a private, leisurely time, and broach it not as an indictment of him but as a desire to listen to what she’s thinking: “Hey — I’m so happy to see you happy. I noticed him making fun of you a bit the other day, though.”

Where You Stand On Her Big Day

My cousin and I have always been extremely close. I’m an only child, and she has a younger sister who’s very rude (I think she has Asperger’s). My cousin got engaged a few weeks ago, and my aunt asked my mother to tell me that I won’t be the maid of honor. It will be her sister. Of course, I’m devastated. I also don’t know why she couldn’t tell me herself. Now I feel like I don’t want to be in the wedding at all. -Hurting, VA

Please don’t use a permanent solution for a temporary problem. Making a big stink about this will keep the conflict going indefinitely, when in reality this could be turned into a simple question of who stands where for a half-hour. Your cousin’s decision could be about any number of things unrelated to you: pressure from her parents; a peace offering for her sister; an expression of optimism and faith about her sister’s mental health; a way to assuage her guilt over something you’ll never even know about.

I understand how hurtful this is to you, but you already won. You’ve always been closer to your cousin than her own sister is — a sister who has been dealt her own set of challenges.

Dr. Andrea Bonior writes Express' advice column, Baggage Check.
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