Etiquette

Cutting ties with an anti-marriage friend

I've been friends with a co-worker for almost 10 years.

To give some context as to her relationship experience: she's approaching the age of 50, has only dated one man briefly in college, and in all the time I've known her has never had a single date.

She swears up and down that she never wants to be married.  Which I'd be 100% okay with (it's her life, not mine) if she didn't harbor so much anger towards couples.  Outright she'll tell people that they're "crazy" for wanting to get married and that most married couples have just "settled" for their partners, and actually gets gleeful when she hears about a divorce.

The thought of partnering with someone sends her into a defensive tirade.  She'll say she doesn't want a relationship because she needs her time alone, that if he wanted to spend time with her she'd tell him to piss off, and if her partner voiced his opinion she'd tell him to shut up.  These tirades aren't triggered by anyone asking her if she'll ever get married.  They often start by anyone referencing anything to do with marriage even if it has nothing to do with her.

I've been in a happy stable relationship for a while now but don't mention very many details about it because I like to keep my private life exactly that.  Lately this anti-marriage friend has been very short with me and the slightest misstep in conversation will set her off (even if it's something as simple as her not hearing me the first time).

I'm just emotionally exhausted from spending time with her and her temperamental outbursts.  It's hard to avoid her as we work together.  But I'm just utterly sick of her attitude towards relationships and my "stupid decision" to get married.

Re: Cutting ties with an anti-marriage friend

  • downtondivadowntondiva
    500 Love Its 1000 Comments Fourth Anniversary Name Dropper
    member
    edited August 5
    I don't know how close you are to this person, but she doesn't sound like much of a friend if you can't even talk about your relationship and she tells you that you're stupid for wanting to get married. However, if you want to give her another chance and try to save this friendship, you should tell her that you respect her decision not to get into a relationship and that, in turn, she needs to respect your choice to get married - and that if she can't do that, you may not be able to talk/spend time with her anymore. But then you have to follow through on that if she keeps acting like this.

    That said, I would not blame you for distancing yourself from her now, even without saying anything about this issue directly. It's very hard to have someone in your life who is always questioning and insulting your life decisions, especially when the decisions you are making are normal and healthy ones. Obviously you would need to be careful about it since you guys work together, but I see nothing wrong with moving toward keeping your interactions with her more about work/business stuff rather than anything personal. 

    [Edited for clarity]
     

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    jennyd76short+sassyahoywedding
  • levioosalevioosa Southern California
    5000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 5 Answers
    member
    jennyd76 said:
    I've been friends with a co-worker for almost 10 years.

    To give some context as to her relationship experience: she's approaching the age of 50, has only dated one man briefly in college, and in all the time I've known her has never had a single date.

    She swears up and down that she never wants to be married.  Which I'd be 100% okay with (it's her life, not mine) if she didn't harbor so much anger towards couples.  Outright she'll tell people that they're "crazy" for wanting to get married and that most married couples have just "settled" for their partners, and actually gets gleeful when she hears about a divorce.

    The thought of partnering with someone sends her into a defensive tirade.  She'll say she doesn't want a relationship because she needs her time alone, that if he wanted to spend time with her she'd tell him to piss off, and if her partner voiced his opinion she'd tell him to shut up.  These tirades aren't triggered by anyone asking her if she'll ever get married.  They often start by anyone referencing anything to do with marriage even if it has nothing to do with her.

    I've been in a happy stable relationship for a while now but don't mention very many details about it because I like to keep my private life exactly that.  Lately this anti-marriage friend has been very short with me and the slightest misstep in conversation will set her off (even if it's something as simple as her not hearing me the first time).

    I'm just emotionally exhausted from spending time with her and her temperamental outbursts.  It's hard to avoid her as we work together.  But I'm just utterly sick of her attitude towards relationships and my "stupid decision" to get married.

    Well, she sounds just lovely. I would stop her when she starts her tirade. "Jane, I know your views on this and we disagree." Then change the subject, "Have you tried that new Mexican restaurant on 5th? I hear they have great bean dip." If she persists in ranting, tell her, "I'm not interested in discussing this," and walk away. Continue to distance yourself and keep your conversations purely work related. 


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    jennyd76charlotte989875ahoywedding
  • thisismynickname2thisismynickname2 City By The Lake
    2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
    member
    What everyone else said. 
    But, I'm a smile-and-nod person. If she goes on a tirade, smile and nod. When she's done, "So we can still meet at 2 to work on that spreadsheet, right?"
    ________________________________


    eileenrobshort+sassyahoyweddingJeeGooDowster
  • OK, I would tread lightly on this:
    1) Be as polite as possible but also say, "I think we are going to have to agree to disagree here." 

    2) If it continues just re - state: "I heard your opinion and don't agree with it.   Now let's move on to the task at hand." 

    3) If it's brought up again I think you need to say, "Sweetie I get your opinion on the matter.   I just told you that we don't agree on it.  Now let's do the job we need to." 

    And if it persists I'd go to HR if her inability to close her mouth is actually creating an environment that makes it hard for you to get your job done. 

    I can't understand why she's single.   She seems like SUCH a catch! 
    ahoyweddingernursej
  • I don't have any real advice here but i work with someone really negative and I just smile and agree and just start doing my work or look at my phone when she's going on her tirade...

    on another note...this may sound judgy but to me her rants sound like she really WANTS a relationship!!! HAHAHA.
    ShesSoColdahoyweddingcharlotte989875short+sassy
  • She sounds bitter. You can't fix her, so you just have to decide how much of her company you can take. If she's bringing you down, just deflect and change the subject. You won't be able to change her mind, but you can set boundaries on how she behaves around you.
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