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Resentment of fiance needs further examination

Q: My fiance and I are moving across the country for his job. I’m not happy, even though it makes sense for him to take this position and will be a great step for his career. How do I get over my resentment, which I know isn’t fair to him?

A: It’s hard to know if your resentment is a natural, temporary-ish reaction to the upheaval of leaving the life you’ve built here, or part of an underlying dynamic that’s problematic. Is there genuine reciprocity between you – maybe he’ll move someday for your job, or, if his job will always take precedence, maybe there are other ways you’re put first? Or do you feel you’re always second fiddle? Time and communication are your main hopes here: Talk out the nature of your feelings, and their antecedents, first with yourself, and then in a palatable way with him. And make it a project for both of you. It’ll be great practice for your marriage, wherever you may live.

Q: My wife recently reconnected with a friend who’s a mess: She’s had her condo go into foreclosure, clearly drinks too much and is divorced after cheating on her husband. I’m not worried my wife will do these things, too, but she’s a very loyal person and wants to help her friend. My concern is that’s going to take a lot of energy and be an intrusion into our marriage.

A: Attacking this friend’s character won’t fix anything. I understand your concerns, but your wife is in the friendship to stay, and focusing on aspects of this person that you don’t approve of will only make her feel defensive of her friend, and that her own judgment is being attacked.

Sometimes helping friends whose lives have become a “mess” is the very definition of friendship. That said, of course you deserve to not have your marriage damaged by any outside party. So, set specific boundaries together, like yay for occasional dinner invites but nay for loaning money.

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