He Says, She Says: Handling the "Fat" Question, Your Spouse's Relatives, and Friendship Woes
My husband and I have socialized with this other couple for years, and now they're divorcing. I intend to remain great friends with the wife. My husband says to steer clear of both of them. He's really angry about this -- what gives?
She Says: You're not taking sides. It always irritates me when men accuse women of being catty with each other and then, when we behave as true friends should, we're labeled as being anti-male. So tell your husband you and your friend don't engage in slag-fests about her ex (uh, you don't, right?); you have lives, and interests, beyond that. And if, after a while, you help her compose that perfect Match.com ad that gets her back in the game, well, that's what friends are for, right?
He Says: I say respect your husband's wishes. Continuing to socialize with the ex-wife is taking sides. Besides, do you really want to hear about Sir Scummy's lack of sensitivity and his adventures with his woe-begotten group of Scotch-soaked buddies? No, you don't, and neither does your husband, which is why he's telling you to stay far away. You'd be better off spending your time watching Divorce Court than taking part in their real-life version of it.
Originally published in Ladies' Home Journal magazine, March 2006.