Ask Demetria: My BFF Was Inappropriate with My Husband

Jill Scott's "husband" and "bff" in "Why Did I Get Married?"

Dear Demetria:

My best friend and I grew up with my now-husband of five years. Their relationship, as far as I know, has never been substantial. It’s the hi-and-bye type.

The first two years of our marriage, she lived with us. An incident occurred during that first year when he was showering and she went in for her morning rituals. (There was another bathroom in the house.) I told her I wasn’t comfortable with that scene; we talked about it and resolved it then.

Circle back to a few days ago (four years later): She tells me she called my husband for advice on a new phone (I knew this), and he didn’t seem to want to get off the phone with her. She says that they could have been great friends if I wasn’t insecure, and that she thinks I am insecure because she is smaller than I am. (My weight has increasingly gone up.) She also explains that she never saw him in a sexual way before.

I can understand that I may have handled the situation poorly, as far as making them uncomfortable or on guard with each other, and for that I do feel bad. But in my defense, she was never close to any of my boyfriends before, none of them had ever moved in with me or anything of the sort, and it never occurred to me that she wanted to develop a more substantial relationship with him. Their friendship had always been how it is now, touch and go. But now I’m partly confused and hurt as to why, four years later, she would basically hit me where it hurts about something that shouldn’t matter. Should it? —Anonymous

You’re a good friend. Or a really naive one. I can’t figure out which just yet. Maybe both.

Something about this story reminds me of Jill Scott’s character in Why Did I Get Married?—specifically the part about the best friend and the husband creeping. I’m not saying that your husband is up to something. I am directly, blatantly, saying that your friend is, and chick gotta go. You (and your husband) may have grown up with her, but she ain’t living right, boo. What does she mean, she never saw your husband “in a sexual way before”? Before? Does she see him that way now? I need answers. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

Your bestie probably shouldn’t have been your bestie anymore after she entered the bathroom when your husband was showering. Anybody with basic common sense knows you don’t go around someone else’s husband when he’s naked. This is 2 + 2, not algebra. At best, you should have had a conversation about inappropriateness and suggested she find another place to live, because clearly the current situation isn’t working out too well. But really, the friendship should have received the ax and she should have been kicked out. That episode was no mistake. I mean, there was another bathroom in the house. Her actions were intentional and sloppy.

If you want to feel bad about how you handled it, feel bad that you were too tolerant. Most women in your position would have unceremoniously asked her to leave the house.


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Ask Demetria: I Want to Skip My BFF's Wedding!

vallyn-1b My BFF is engaged and so happy. Her fiance is a thug, cheater and liar. I don't support ratchet, so I hadn’t planned to attend the wedding. I was just going to claim work responsibilities. Now BFF wants me as bridesmaid and for me to pay for my dress. How can I tell her that I will not be attending and won't be a bridesmaid? —Anonymous

You don’t tell her that. You buy the dress and you be a bridesmaid.

I skipped my best friend’s wedding when we were 22 because I didn’t approve of her mate. Really, I didn’t approve of her getting married. Like your friend, she had asked me to be a bridesmaid.

There wasn’t anything particularly wrong with being a bridesmaid, and she was incredibly happy. But there was something going on with her, and she was, in my opinion, in no position to get married. She was coming off a particularly eye-opening experience she had as an adult, and she was still reeling. And by reeling I mean she made one bad decision after another, each progressively worse. Her marriage was her first time any of the decisions would be life-altering.

That was part of it. The other part was I’d known her since she was 12, and getting married at 22 was not the plan. She was supposed to graduate and move to New York. And then she was 22. “Who gets married at 22?!” I thought. None of our friends nor I knew the guy. She didn’t know him. They dated for only three months before they got engaged. There were a lot of reasons, I thought, for her not to get married.

I asked her if I could speak freely, and she said I could. So I said all that, and she thanked me for my opinion and said she was getting married anyway. So I started badgering her about it to the point that I even annoyed myself. Then we got into a huge argument about me badgering her, and I declared I wasn’t going to her wedding because I wasn't supporting bad decisions.

The result was she got married anyway, and for two years we didn’t speak. Her kid was born, and I didn’t meet her oldest child until his first birthday and missed out on being his godmother. We’ve long since “mended” our relationship, at least to the point that we talk, mostly on Facebook.

I still haven’t met her second kid, and one morning this year, I woke up to a 1,000-word, out-of-the-blue email telling me more than a decade later how much I had hurt her by not coming to her wedding. “If you didn’t want to support us,” she wrote, referring to herself and her now ex-husband, “then you should have come to support me.” I ruined a great friendship from my high horse. A decade later, I am still mending it. Missing her wedding was not worth it.

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