Caroline Rules: Friends and Honesty
What Do You Do When You Can't Stand a Pal's Spouse?
Caroline Manzo puts the real in The Real Housewives of New Jersey, and her fans relate to the reality star's no-nonsense attitude, focus on family and, above all, abundant common sense. Check back at Glo every Monday as Caroline helps solve your most pressing dilemmas.
The Dilemma: When your kids begin dating, sometimes you are none too pleased about the suitors they bring home as potential marriage material. But usually you can voice your opinions as their parent, who clearly has their best interests in mind. But what happens when a friend starts dating, or worse, marries a man you can't stand? Whether he treats her poorly or simply doesn't bring anything to the table, what's the best way to show your concern without jeopardizing the friendship? Or is her choice of mate simply none of your business? Where's the line?
Caroline's Ruling: Wouldn't it be wonderful if personalities never clashed and everyone just got along? Unfortunately, that just isn't the case. I'm willing to bet that most of us have had or will have to deal with this situation at some point in our lives. Whether it be a friend or relative, our protective instincts kick in when someone new is introduced into the life of someone we care about.
So what do you do? How do you deal with it? Good question with a very simple answer: not your business. However, there are exceptions to the rule. If you feel that your friend is in real danger by maintaining a relationship with this person, then you need to step in. By that I mean any situation that could be detrimental to the health and welfare of your friend. Anything beyond that is not your problem.
Whether or not you like this person has no bearing on how your friend feels. I know that it can be very difficult to sit back and stay quiet. Let your friend realize for himself or herself that this isn't the ideal person for them, and when they do, you be the shoulder they need to cry on. The last thing you want to do is jeopardize your relationship.
The bottom line is this: It's your friend's relationship, not yours. Whether you're a fan of his or her partner doesn't really matter. Their happiness isn't contingent upon you accepting their significant other. Just go with it and be happy for your friend. As long as she's smiling, you should be smiling with and for her.
There's an old saying: There's a lid for every jar. So the lid doesn't fit your jar — big deal.
From marriage dilemmas to family issues, Caroline's got the answers!Photo by Michael T. Greco