Doctor Love: Stuck in the Middle and Thrifty

Sunday, March 5th, 2017

Readers, please send your letters. They can be emails, formal letters or handwritten notes. They are edited solely for grammar and spelling. Also, they are sometimes edited for length.

Dear Doctor Love,
My husband and I are friends with a group of like-minded people who all hang out together. We BBQ’s, throw pool parties and generally have a great time. Recently one of the couples has announced they are divorcing. Though it is a mutual agreement she is very bitter while he is overjoyed with his new found freedom. They come separately to our gatherings, and it always ends in her pulling me aside crying and confiding in me things I do not want to hear. I am friends with her husband, as is my husband, and we do not want to be in the middle. She always wants me to agree with her negative comments about him and I am put on the spot. If I do not agree with her she becomes belligerent and accuses me of taking his side. How do I help her handle their separation without picking a side?
/s/ Stuck in the Middle

Dear Stuck,
The divorce of friends can have an affect on those around them, but while the dust is settling and the wounds are healing, don’t take sides. There will be a period where she will rant and cry, but usually this passes and life goes on. Right now she sees you as her confidant, but you do not need to be her ally. You should listen as she lets her pain out and understand that her life is changing dramatically, but you do not need to have an opinion on the relationship or her soon to be ex husband. The relationship between the two of them will go through many changes in the next while. By remaining silent, your words cannot be used against you at a later date, because anything you say can and most likely will come back to haunt you. If she cannot move past her anger, and you find yourself still being put in an uncomfortable position when around her, you may need to distance yourself from her. The main thing to remember is that you are on the outside looking in, and you can remove yourself from the situation at any time.

Dear Doctor Love,
There are four of us, one unmarried couple and two singles and we are renting a vehicle for a day. How should we split the costs? In thirds, because they are a couple or quarters because there are four individuals?
/s/Thrifty, not Cheap.

Dear Thrifty,
If they were not cheap they would offer to split the cost four ways.

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