Dear Amy: Over the past two decades my partner and I have helped a friend through several abusive relationships, rehab, and financial issues. Now, not unlike her history of addiction, she’s suddenly “found God” to the extreme.
Yes, she is definitely a “babe” (and she dresses like one), but I’ve suggested a milder route in her search for purity. She disagrees, and says that I just don’t get it.
Maybe I don’t get it, but if she got a job and dialed God back a few notches, I think “Hot Man” would find her. While entertaining, after more than 20 years we’re getting tired of the drama. Any thoughts on where God is going with this? Is this another addiction running its course?
Spiritual: As healthy as my own ego is, even I can’t claim to speak for God. Perhaps you should think of this phase as just one more example of your friend’s higher power’s mysterious ways.
Yes, she sounds exhausting, and yes, in my opinion this sudden hyper-religiosity might be promoted by the same brain circuitry that has fed her various addictions. Fortunately, this is not your lifelong job to sort out.
I would think that after more than 20 years of intervening and trying to protect your friend from her own addictions, passions, and choices, you would take this as your cue to “let go and let God.” Stand down.
Your friend will probably want to draw you in for the save once this phase passes, her “hot guy” turns out to be a hot dog, or the sand beneath her metaphorical house shifts beneath her. You can then decide if you want to intervene yet again.
Dear Amy: For the past 25 years I have been part of a small “game night.” The group consists of a married couple, “Travis” (a single man) and myself. We have met monthly for very enjoyable evenings. The married couple recently had an acrimonious separation, but have now reconciled and are “working it out.”
The wife just told me that during one of their battles, her husband accused me and Travis of saying disparaging things about her. This is patently untrue. As hurtful as this has been, I have kept her comments to myself, not wanting to drag Travis into the battle. I have not spoken to the husband.
It will soon be my turn to host, but I am unable to set my anger at him and my distrust of her aside. Any suggestions as to how I can diplomatically handle this?
— Feeling Like a Pawn
Pawn: I wonder why people pass along secondhand disparaging comments or accusations onto the innocent party.
Most often, these comments are repeated to try to disparage the person who (allegedly) originated them: (“When we were having a fight, Stan told me you said mean things about me!”) And yet this reportage always backfires, because the innocent party now feels as you do — disliking and distrusting both people.
I suggest calling or writing an email to the wife. You might say that you are genuinely happy that she and her husband are working things out, but that because of the accusation she passed along to you, your feelings are hurt. You might add, “I’m now wondering why you chose to tell me that, because not only do I feel drawn into your problems, but now I’m holding onto this unfounded accusation. I have never disparaged you, to your husband or anyone else. I’ve chosen not to pass this along to Travis, and I hope you won’t, either. I’d like to move forward, but I want to honestly let you know how this has affected me.”
This friend owes you an apology.
Dear Amy: “KQ in Kentucky” brought up the modern-day annoyance of people yelling into their cellphones.
I was at an airport waiting for my flight and the person next to me was absolutely yelling into his phone (the surrounding area was quiet). I was trying to read and finally got fed up, so I just started reading aloud. Very aloud.
He got the message.
— Frequent Traveler
Traveler: Responses to this subject are flooding in, and … this is that rare topic where everyone agrees. Stop yelling!
© 2023 by Amy Dickinson. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency.
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