You know the golden rule when it comes to your friends and their happiness -- never rain on their parade. So when your friend gets engaged to that guy she’s been seeing that you can’t stand? You swallow it and try to be happy for her, even if you think she’s making a big mistake.
Maybe that’s not such a great idea after all. About a decade into my marriage, when everything was really crumbling apart, I was talking to a girlfriend that had been part of my now ex-husband’s social group growing up. I was crying and saying that I just didn’t understand his behavior, and she said something that shocked me. “Well, you know him, he’s always been like that.”
Um, no, actually, I didn’t know that, but thanks. I knew he had some quirks, but we all have our quirks, right? I didn’t know he had a lifelong pattern of becoming totally obsessed with a new shiny object and then dropping it like it’s hot when the luster wore off.
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Another friend recently told me, “I don’t think he actually likes you. I think he likes the idea of you. He liked the comforts of being married, but not enough to do the work of keeping you.”
Do you have any idea how damn exhausting it is when the person you’re married to becomes an absolute jerk almost every time they’re forced to do something even mildly unpleasant? When they ignore you for days on end, but tell you nothing’s wrong and it’s in your head?
When they want everything their way all the time and there’s rarely any compromise and they don’t give a damn whom they hurt in order to have their own way no matter what? When you get lectured for doing things they don’t like, but if you try to say you’re bothered by something they’re doing, they get super pissed off at you?
It’s really hard. And it’s something that people apparently knew about my ex-husband before we got married.
Going through my divorce, I’ve had people say, “Yeah, none of us could figure out why you liked him -- he’s always been kind of a jerk,” and, “I’m surprised you lasted as long as you did in your marriage!"
Why didn’t any of these people tell me this before I decided to marry a guy I’d only known for a year?
On the other hand, I probably wouldn’t have listened.
Have any of your friends married someone that you didn't like?
Image via David Gallagher/Flickr