#8 Friend blindly marrying a jerk / Invited to doomed wedding

Dear Abby: My friend Natalie recently called to ask me to be in her wedding. I agreed, of course.

Abby, Natalie is making a huge mistake. They have nothing in common. He drinks a lot and smokes. She doesn't. He puts her down about her weight. She loves children. He doesn't. I could go on and on. She's the nicest person I have ever met, and I think she deserves a lot better.

I think she feels that he's the only man who will marry her. I want her to open her eyes and see this jerk for who he really is, and I don't want her hurt any more, but I'm afraid if I say anything, it will destroy our friendship.

Abby, Natalie's mother doesn't like her fiancé either, but her mother hates Natalie too. (Her mother has even threatened her life.)

I don't want to be in this wedding because I know the marriage will not last. What can be done to stop Natalie from making the biggest mistake of her life? —WORRIED ABOUT MY FRIEND

DEAR WORRIED: If Natalie is making serious wedding plans, it's unlikely that she'll listen to what you have to say.

Some people have to learn the hard way, and Natalie may be one of them. Be there for her on her big day -- and be around later in case you have to pick up the pieces of her broken heart. That's what friends are for. —ABBY

Gabby's Reply

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Gabby’s Reply

Hi Worried: The very advice you are offering your friend (stay away from him) is the same that you need to take about her. Natalie is merely mirroring your addiction to hanging around people that need therapy. "Nicest person . . ." yet she attracted, and is conning, this equally sick "jerk." I think not.

You've been focusing on her problems so that you don't have to identify and handle yours.

That you're afraid to tell her the truth and that you know she doesn't value your opinion is not what most would call a supportive "friendship."  Your friend: "H'mm, let's see what can I do today to destroy my life and upset my best friend? I know, I'll bring someone into our relationship whom I know she will not get along with."

The more serious problem is that you have already been invalidated by her. More accurately, you already have set her up to invalidiate you. You have been ineffective at supporting Natalie in removing herself from the potential violence and hateful relationship with her mother.

An actualized woman would say,

"Natalie, communicating into that environment, (continuing to relate with someone as violent as, as sick as, your mother) indicates that you need therapy. I need to know that you are committed to healing yourself. Tell your mother to get into, and stay in, therapy until you feel loved and safe. Natalie, if you don't take this action, I'll have no choice but to stay away from you. I need to know that I have a positive effect on all with whom I relate."

You are correct. No other man, at least not an actualized one, would marry into that family. For her to bring him into her family, to submit him to the same abuse her mother inflicts upon her, is not a gift of love. Not until she estranges herself from her family, the people who feed her addiction to abuse, will she attract a "nice" person. Thank you, Gabby

BTW: "Nice" people can't be trusted to communicate openly, honestly, and spontaneously. They are stuck in their "nice act." They are addicted to withholding thoughts, especially the important growth-supporting ones, the ones they keep to themselves (always for good for reasons—politeness, harmony, etc.). For example: The "nice" teachers silently support badmouthing of parents and students in the teacher's lounge; in this way they get to look good, and the poor teachers remain on staff. In other words, they unconsciously thwart the intentions of their principal.

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Check back occasionally for minor edits (last edited 12/5/12)

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