Life Advice

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Health & Spirit

Time to tell best friend the truth about her husband

Carolyn Hax on

Dear Carolyn:

This is a very difficult note to write. For years I have concealed from my best friend that her husband attempts to grope me when she is out of the room. The first time it happened, I was in the guest room and he entered late at night and tried to kiss me, which I rejected in shock.

My friend adores this man, she praises everything about him, his wit, his wisdom and his appearance, and seems completely happy with him. Her social media feed is full of smiling photos of the two of them sharing adventures.

I don't see my friend very often, because she lives in a different part of the country. That's one of the reasons I haven't told her; stupidly I hoped it would stop happening. I also wondered if somehow I brought this on myself by being open and friendly. (Until this happened, I genuinely liked him.) As well, I was sure the revelation would either destroy her happiness, which I had no desire to do, or would turn her against me. Until this, I had no secrets from my friend.

I go out of my way to avoid him whenever I see my friend, and suggest we do things on our own. Recently my friend told me I had changed, I was no longer the fun, loving person she remembered, and she was questioning our friendship. She asked what had happened to cause me to change. Is it time to tell the truth?

-- Anguished

 

Yes. I'm sorry.

Embracing her while avoiding him was a valid and compassionate choice, but only if you were able to pull it off. You weren't. Not your fault. Blame your friend's acuity and the quality of your friendship. And, of course, the groper: They all made it impossible for you to distance yourself from the husband without also distancing yourself from her.

So, Plan B. You tell.

Telling right away the first time would have been a valid and compassionate choice, too, by the way, especially if you had reason to believe it wasn't a onetime or isolated mistake.

...continued

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