When one of my close friends got engaged this past summer to a guy she’d been dating only a short time, I can admit that I wasn’t as thrilled as all her other friends. Yes, I was excited for her, but the proposal seemed to come out of left field, and I had mixed feelings.
Let’s just say, I’m not a huge fan of her fiancé.
He has an irritating tendency to mansplain everything. A lot of the questions he asks and the comments he makes are pretty condescending. I can tell he’s not actually trying to be malicious or an asshole. It seems to be a habit that he’s either been exposed to or engaged in for so long, that it’s just a normal part of the conversation for him.
Nonetheless, I can barely stand 20 minutes of that shit, so I don’t know how my friend is going to spend a lifetime with him.
He is also materialistic and easily impressed by how much things cost. He loves the performance of wealth. He can talk endlessly about expensive cars, exclusive neighborhoods, and how much revenue the company he works for generates in a day.
I’m all for having nice things, but I find the constant talk of money smothering.
This is why I was so surprised when she announced her engagement. Instead of congratulating her, I wanted to scream, “Why the fuck are you marrying this dude? He’s insufferable!”
I legitimately thought the photo of the ring she sent was a joke at first because I didn’t think she would marry someone so asinine.
As I slowly got used to the fact that she was engaged, I had to ask myself whether or not I should keep my mouth shut about how I genuinely feel about him. Obviously, if he was abusive or if I thought he might harm her, I would speak up right away.
But telling my good friend that her fiancé is an air-headed jackass… just makes me look like the jackass.
Even though I desperately want to tell her that she deserves better, I realize that confronting her about her engagement is invasive. I may be dumbfounded that she wants to spend the rest of her life with this guy, but to her, marrying him makes perfect sense.
I know that if I questioned her decision, it would hurt her immensely and our friendship would be over.
So, I quickly learned the valuable lesson of biting my tongue.
It’s never the right move to make someone justify their engagement or marriage. No matter how delicately you lay the groundwork, you’re going to come off as rude and unsupportive. You may have good intentions, but they don’t actually matter; you’re not the one getting married to said obnoxious person, so your opinion doesn’t technically count. There’s no need to butt into someone’s exciting moment and leave everyone with hurt feelings and resentment.
That’s wrong and it won’t accomplish anything positive.
At the end of the day, I know it’s not my business, or my place, to point out her fiancé’s bad habits.
Maybe she sees them and is fine with them; maybe she doesn’t see them at all. Just because the qualities she wants in a partner are not the same as mine doesn’t mean that she’s wrong or that her relationship is invalid.
It’s been an interesting experience that I’ve learned a lot from. I’ve learned that your friends don’t always end up with who you think they will – or should – and that’s okay. I am pretty outspoken, but I’m realizing there’s a time and place to speak your mind.
I’m figuring out how to maintain bonds as our lives shift and change.
I would much rather keep a friendship intact because I care more about my friend, than I do about trying to prove I’m right.