Saturday, April 23, 2011

Easter said than done

Q. We are invited to a friend's for Easter dinner. Though I met them through my significant other, (they were his friends first) they are now good mutual friends. My signifacant other and I are not getting along...and it makes me not want to socialize with these friends at this time. How should I navigate through all of this?

A. Dear Other with significance,
I believe the answer to this question depends on where you think the relationship with your partner is going. If it's on the outs, don't go. You don't have to accept each invitation extended. Thankfully decline, wish them well and remind them that you love their company but you have other plans or something unexpected came up. Things do pop up and it doesn't all have to be shared. If they ask what it is, say something like, "Thank you for your interest and concern. You are a good friend. I think I can handle this on my own. But I'll let you know if I need any help." Even if the thing that came up was the need to stay home and catch up on personal time or personal projects, going for an outing, or watching a movie. Now, how the two of you choose to spend your time is up to you. It can be together or apart. If you need a sure stand by you can always pull the dirty ace card- Diarrhea. Keep this option close but only use it as a last resort. No one contends this issue. And no one wants you around if you have it. 

If you and your loved one are just going through a rough patch and both plan to work through it, go to dinner. Seeing someone you love in a social situation can bring out the best in them and remind you of what you love about them. Unless being around these friends causes some of their less desirable qualities to come out, then don't go. If they use social settings to make sarcastic comments about you and take sugar coated jabs at you, don't go. And if that is the case I would recommend talking with your partner about this issue. And if it doesn't start to change then maybe it is time to think about moving on.

If they want to go and you don't, then you may have to do some persuading. You might have to suggest something spontaneous, like a day trip for the two of you. Or be very honest about not wanting to go and spend your Easter trying to resurrect your relationship by opening up about what you are both feeling. Either the stone will roll away, lightening your heart or it won't budge. If it doesn't budge, there may be less chance of breathing life back into this relationship. 

Whatever you choose to tell your friends or loved one, I hope you know that you can be direct without being open. We don't have to answer or justify every question put to us. If you can't or don't want to do something you can leave it at that. You are not obligated to expand on the reasons why you have chosen this or that. You simply have. And that is all you should need to share.  

I do hope this helps you find some peace this weekend. It can be such an enjoyable time to get together with loved ones.