Advice: Ask Alma

Alma Gill says that trying to regulate your significant others close friendships can be hazardous.
Alma Gill says that trying to regulate your significant others close friendships can be hazardous.

By Alma Gill
NNPA News Wire Columnist

Dear Alma,

I hate my husband’s best friend. They are total opposites and I just don’t get it. I understand they grew up together and went to the same high school, but really, it’s time for this relationship to end. My husband graduated and went on to college. His friend didn’t and has been in and out of jail. He does drugs and my husband doesn’t do drugs. This guy is a total loser. As long as I’ve known him, he has been a terrible friend to my husband. For example, we had a dinner party and had invited a few friends and our neighbors. During the dinner, the neighbors were robbed. Although he has never admitted it, I know my husband’s friend did it. He left the party right away, never came back and when our neighbors went home they had been robbed.

I’ll give you another one. We were at another mutual friend’s birthday party; everybody was jamming, having a great time. Later on, we found out someone had gone through the ladies purses and stolen the cash. It was him! A family member who doesn’t even know his history saw him upstairs around the coats and bags. Whenever he’s around you better bet something gets stolen. He is awful towards women, he uses them and takes them for everything they have and then breaks up with them. At what point will my husband wake up and let go of this guy? It’s just not funny anymore. We’re almost 30 and it’s time for things to change. We’re about to start a family and I don’t want him around my children. How can I tell my husband he has to pick between me or his friend? I’m at the end. I just can’t take it anymore.

Signed,
Choose Me or Lose Me

Hold on Honey Lamb, you’re about to get your feelings hurt. Your predicament reminds me of the artwork hanging on Chris’ desk. Chris is a guy I work with. His son drew it and it says, “I love mommy & daddy and my buddies!” LOL! Lawd, that cracks me up every time, because even a four-year old recognizes the importance of your buddies. I know, slow your roll, we aren’t talking about a four year old, and I get that. But the loyalty and dedication to your buddy never fades. I’m sure your Boo and his BFF have some stores to tell, some stories to keep, some stories they’ll never forget or repeat. I can’t help but wonder: why are you now ridding him of someone he’s held dear, long before you met him? I think if we check the Handbook of Marriage 101, you can’t regulate a friendship that existed before your marriage. Unless that said friend is an ex-girlfriend or ex-boyfriend. That’s just like asking him to stop eating PB&J’s because they’re not your favorite.

The evidence shows, this is his dude and dudes aren’t easily replaceable. Men aren’t like women, they don’t have multiple, BFF’s designated by rank and associations. Bromances are built and broadened over years. They see each other through up and downs, health issues and handcuffs. Your husband most likely uses this friendship as an anchor, it’s unconditional, a reminder that we all walk by faith. I’m sorry to break the news, but their ride or die Kawasaki doesn’t have a seat for you. And that’s okay.

Be wise, Sunshine, and reverse your anger. I know you wanna glass of Novocain to ease the pain every time you see him coming, but you may have to let this one run its course. You said he and your husband are opposites and that may be true. But there’s some common ground, deep down in there somewhere you aren’t recognizing. Don’t offer him an ultimatum, because you know as well as I do, you ain’t leaving. And stop giving your husband’s friend the power to dictate the path of your family. Until you have proof your husband has become someone you don’t recognize, don’t hold him accountable for a crime he hasn’t committed. It’s your responsibility to have faith in your husband. If a situation ever arises, he surely will choose his family, there should be no question about that. Allow your husband to handle is compadre. Sometimes, the best thing you can do is not ponder or obsess over it, and instead, just believe that it will work out for your best.

Alma Gill’s newsroom experience spans more than 25 years, including various roles at USA Today, Newsday and the Washington Post. Email questions to: alwaysaskalma@gmail.com. Follow her on Facebook at “Ask Alma” and Twitter @almaaskalma.