Friday, July 10, 2009

I can do better.... give better advice that is

I felt so moved by this letter from Dear Prudence that I decided to write what my answer is to this issue. I think I can’t reprint Prudence’s reply because of copyright or I might sued and I really don’t want to. So here is the link:

Here is the original question:
Several years ago, I moved to South America. During my first few months there, I became fast friends with a local man. He was a wonderful source of help during an otherwise lonely time. After several months of friendship, we started a relationship, which lasted only briefly, as we realized that we were better friends than lovers. Eventually, I moved back home to the United States. My friend recently contacted me to tell me he is coming here for several months for work. I was thrilled at the chance to see him again and happy to help him navigate my country as he helped me in his. I'm now engaged, however, and my fiance was furious. He told me that all past relationships should stay in the past and that I should not be in contact with this man. I offered to see my friend only with my fiance present or with a group of friends, but he wouldn't accept that. As a threat, my fiance said he was going to start contacting his ex-girlfriends. He has trust issues because his mother cheated on his father and her other husbands. I can't stand the thought of hurting my fiance, but I don't want my friend to have to navigate a foreign country alone, either. I also don't want to bear the burden of my fiance's mother's mistakes. What should I do?

So here is my reply:
What is more important: your fiancée’s happiness or showing this guy around? I know it should be a one or the other. But I think that it is in this short time situation. So which is it?
I am going to assume that since you accepted his proposal and didn’t want to even date the friend; you are more invested in your fiancée’s happiness. So going with that, isn’t there another way to make sure your friend gets around other than you personally doing the showing? Also, you said the friend is coming to the U.S but didn’t say that he is coming to the town you live in. I am assuming he is coming to your town. And you mentioned having friends around. Here is a solution that makes sure your friend gets around and placated your fiancée. You can have one of the friends that would be around just do the showing around. You can get them, the two friends, in contact with one another now so they can get to know one another and won’t be complete strangers. Then your friend has a guide and your fiancée is still happy.

Your fiancée does have an ongoing problem. First is his immaturity. His threat to start contacting his ex girlfriends is very immature. This is not for you to say to him though. You two both need to go to couples counseling. If the counselor doesn’t address this, then you can in a session. But one on one will not be the best way to address. And don’t let money be an issue. You can do this with a pastor, priest, preacher, reverend because they are tried trained to do this and I am sure you can find a church in your area whether you go to one or not.

Your fiancée probably also needs individual counseling. He needs to deal with his trust issues. How would he deal with you going with a male coworker somewhere in the same car? If he can’t get over his trust issues and realize that not every woman is alike, you are in for a lot of future confrontations. Also, if you have a daughter, he could be a very negative influence in how he treats her. He could spread that mistrust.

He might not want to do individual counseling or couples counseling. But you have control over yourself. I definitely would go to counseling with or without him. And really think about what you are getting into, what you will have to go through and realize that you are making a commitment. And make a determination whether you are ready to make that commitment to him and yourself.

Good Luck In All Endeavors

P.S. It is fiancée not fiancé.

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