Life Advice



A bully's behavior must be dealt with

By Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

Dear Amy: One of my dearest friends, "Susan," is married to a man many of the people in our group don't enjoy. I tolerate him, because I love her.

"Bernie" talks at us instead of to us, monologues, and interrupts a lot.

My friend has told me privately that he's verbally abusive to her, but she loves him, so she lets it slide. I've managed my relationship with him by being playful and joking with him, which he has seemed to enjoy.

Bernie recently "went off" on me. He became enraged and verbally abusive when I asked him mildly to please allow me to finish my story before interrupting. I felt completely blind-sided by his ugliness, ranting and yelling.

I was shaking when I told Susan about this. She responded, "Oh that's just him, it doesn't mean anything."

Later she told me not to expect an apology, because he never apologizes.


Later, I told her that I was worried it was going to be weird to be around him, and she said, "Oh don't worry, he's completely over it."

Unfortunately, Amy, I am NOT over it. I don't ever want to be around him again because I feel angry, disrespected, threatened, and afraid that unless I treat him with kid gloves, he might go bonkers again.

I don't want to say this to her because she has normalized his behavior. That's her choice, but it's certainly not mine. However, I will at some point have to say something.

Any suggestions?


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