Dear Abby: I’m Sick Of My Friend Always Venting About Her Marriage
Oh tell me about it.
I had a friend a few years ago who always complained about her husband.
First, it was because his job drove him away, then when he got back home, she got peeved by his quirks, or she complained when the Christmas present he got her was too practical and not “romantic” enough for her tastes.
I gently reminded her a time or two during all her years of griping about her husband that I was a single lady who’d like to be married, even if my spouse was occasionally annoying, as hers was (a slightly annoying husband is better than NO husband at all, in my perspective), but she kept right on with the complaining about her spouse.
It was so irritating to be a single lady wanting to get married having to listen to a woman gripe all the time about her husband.
Then, I once had a friend who got married in a civil ceremony, then she (about a year later) had a church ceremony, and she was thrilled. She would NOT SHUT UP about her husband and how great marriage was. I also gently reminded her, “I’m single and cannot even get a boyfriend.”
In other words, if you are a married lady, try not to go to either extreme in front of your single lady friend who wants a man and cannot get one: don’t bitch and moan about your man all the time – you sound ungrateful, and it’s annoying – and, if you are happily married, I don’t need to hear about that constantly, either.
The occasional husband-mention to your single lady friend is FINE, but I’m talking about women who bring it up in almost every conversation.
Edit. Upon reflection, and after reading other opinions on the other site about this letter – it’s possible that the LW (Letter Writer) is the one in the wrong.
The LW admits to Abby that her friend was really there for her during the years after her husband died.
Now that the friend is the one in need, LW is reluctant to give her emotional support, which does make LW sound like she’s selfish and self-absorbed and horrible.
The LW got what she needed from her friend, but now that LW is happy with her new boyfriend, she does not want to return the emotional support to the friend that the friend once gave her.
You know, if LW’s new boyfriend dumps her, and she finds herself sad about it, you bet that the friend is the first person she will want to phone to gripe about it and to receive emotional support.
So, in a way, it is rather hypocritical of LW not to want to give the friend support at this time.
I lost my husband of 45 years three years ago.
My longtime friend, “Grace,” was very supportive and included me in family dinners and outings so I wouldn’t be alone.
A year ago, I moved away to start a new life for myself.
Grace still lives in the same town and is still married to a verbally abusive, depressed husband. She told me once that she envied my freedom, but not how I got it.
I have met a wonderful man. We are in love and will see where it goes.
When I talk to or see Grace, she never asks about my life or what I am doing. She vents at length about her husband, her marriage and other things in her life.
I think she liked it when I was miserable, too.
Now that I’m happy, I don’t really want to see Grace anymore. She’s using me as someone she can unload on, and in my opinion, that’s not friendly.
What should I do? Keep avoiding her? I don’t want to confront her, but if I need to, I would like to do it in the best way. — MOVING ON
I don’t think you should “confront” Grace either, but avoiding her isn’t the answer.
Have an honest, non-confrontational talk with her. Tell her you are concerned that she is so unhappy.
Explain that the amount of venting she’s doing is creating a wedge between you, and she needs to make some important decisions about her life and her marriage.
I don’t know how economically dependent Grace is on her husband, but it might help her self-esteem to find a job. If she’s unable or unwilling to do that, she’ll have to decide if this is how she wants to spend the rest of her life or discuss her options with an attorney.
Yahoo! News published the letter above, and (Link): many people left comments under the letter.