Friends are too intrusive after divorce disclosure
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DEAR HARRIETTE: I’m in a bit of an uncomfortable situation. I told a few friends that I am thinking of getting a divorce. I have been going through it with my husband for a long time, but I am now tired of the fussing and fighting and don’t have energy for it anymore. While that is true, I haven’t done anything yet.
Whenever I try to talk to my husband about our issues, he brushes me off and refuses to engage. Out in public is another matter.
We went to an event recently, and many of my close friends were there. My husband was acting particularly friendly and warm toward me, which is not how he acts at home. It was all very pleasant. Later, my friends had a million questions. They wanted to know what was going on since recently I had said we might be calling it quits. I know I did this by expressing my worries to them, but I’m living day to day, trying to decide what I’m going to do. I don’t need my friends pressuring me on top of it. Marriage is complicated. Since most of them are single, they really do not know what I’m going through. — Managing Expectations
DEAR MANAGING EXPECTATIONS: Something you learned as a child can come in handy now: Do not tell too many people your business. It is way too hard to manage once you put it out there. The damage is done, though, so now you are in damage-control mode. Talk to your friends. Admit that you are taking things day by day. Yes, you said you might want to get divorced when you talked to them earlier. Today, though, you are undecided. You are living your life and working through your issues. Ask for their love and nonjudgmental support as you figure this out. Do your best not to share blow-by-blow details with them anymore. Handle your business on your own.
DEAR HARRIETTE: One of my best friends, “Amy,” has begun to make me feel like she does not trust that I can have meaningful relationships with anyone other than her. Recently, I held a dinner to celebrate my 25th birthday. I invited 12 of my other close friends. Amy felt the need to call me afterward to ask how I knew the people at the dinner whom she’d never met. When I told her that I had known some of them since middle school, she said she thought that I had met them on dating apps. That’s such a confusing and random assumption to make. It’s important to note that I’ve told Amy about these other friends several times in the past, but she says she doesn’t remember. What could this be about? Could I be overthinking? — I Have Other Friends
DEAR I HAVE OTHER FRIENDS: Amy is suffering from some serious FOMO (fear of missing out). Sounds like she is covetous of your friendship and doesn’t want you to be close to other people. She finds it threatening that there are people in your inner circle she does not know.
Don’t buy into it. There is nothing you can say to allay her concerns, so just let her stew in her own juices, so to speak. By your actions, you can assure her that she is your friend and also that you have other friends.