No one can stand my friend's fiancé. He's not a bad person and he seems to mean well, but he is obnoxious, rude and really, really, REALLY annoying. He's lonely and wants to hang out. We are running out of excuses to avoid him and my friend and her fiancé are starting to notice something's up. I hate drama. How do I deal with this?
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (42 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
Before I start, I can't believe I am having to ask this. It all sounds so high school and I'm embarrassed that this is a problem for me and my friends. I've typed this question into AskMe and deleted it many times over the past year because it seems so silly and I almost convinced myself that I could ignore it and the problem would go away on its own. Unfortunately it's not going away, it's getting worse, so here I am.
My friend and I go way, way back. During her teens she had some self-esteem issues and dated guys who didn't treat her very well. She ended up with a guy who was textbook emotionally abusive. It nearly destroyed our friendship as I did not want to stand idly by while this guy treated her worse than dirt. Some of the things he said and did to her, I would not wish them on my worst enemy. She didn't want to hear it so we drifted apart. I realized that despite her choosing him over me, she needed a friend more than ever, so I rekindled the friendship and kept my opinions about him to myself. She rarely brought him up in conversation with me and I never asked, and that's how it was for a few years. Eventually she began talking about him again with me, but this time her tone had changed. She was fed up with him and wanted out of the relationship. It was not long before she met a new guy. This new guy, I'll call him Tim, put the light back in her eyes. She dumped the abusive guy and began seeing Tim. I was thrilled and hopeful that she might finally be happy. And she is very happy. Several years later, she and Tim are engaged.
This is the part I’m struggling with: For the first few years, our friends and I made genuine efforts to get to know Tim and include him whenever we made plans to hang out. I promise you, we are not snobby or cliquey, not in the least. My friends are all very friendly, warm, social people who enjoy meeting new folks and making new friends. I know how this question sounds, and we must seem like horrible people, but please believe me that we’re not like that. And we all hate drama, believe me that we’d love to like Tim, it would be so much easier if we did. We just do not like Tim, and it’s getting harder and harder to pretend that we do. For years, we’ve tried to see what my friend sees in him. We sort of can, as he does have some good qualities and sometimes he is relatively tolerable, but about ninety percent of the time we can’t wait until he leaves the room. At first he just seemed like a bit of an oddball, but the more we got to know him the more his eccentricities began to emerge. He’s so unlike anyone I’ve ever met before that it’s tough to describe how he is. He seems to vacillate between acting like a grown man (he’s in his 30’s) and acting like a five-year-old.
When he’s acting his age, he can get very outspoken, not in a good way. Often he’s arrogant, obnoxious, and sometimes downright offensive. He’s prone to making jokes and unsolicited comments about the size of women’s breasts, sometimes right to the women’s faces (according to him I could benefit from a bigger set). He makes other charmingly sexist jokes such as, “Ugly waitresses don’t deserve tips.” He loves to regale anyone who will listen with TMI about all his past conquests (supposedly he was quite the ladies’ man before he met my friend). He makes little effort to take an interest in other people’s passions or hobbies, and prefers to steer all conversations toward his own favorite obscure interest. If he’s not taking over the conversation with a monologue about that, he’s blatantly ridiculing people’s opinions on various other topics. He never knows when to drop it, and will keep needling people about uncomfortable or controversial topics well past the point of good fun. It's painful.
When he’s acting like a child, which seems to happen whenever he’s overly excited or has had a few drinks, he’s all about toilet humor and inappropriate touching, like talking about boobies and wieners, and trying to play with our hair or tickle us. We make it clear that we do not want to be touched, but he seems to think it’s a hilarious game to keep trying to get us. He’s so persistent that at times his target has to get up and leave the room to escape him. He frequently speaks or sings in a high pitched baby voice. My friend thinks it’s adorable, and he seems to believe that everyone else will also find it cute. Once we were at a nice restaurant and he got upset about something. After he finally quieted down I heard a scraping noise from his direction. I had to snatch my dessert spoon out of his hand, my spoon that he was using to dig a hole in the wooden table top! I have plenty more examples. It’s very strange. And it’s exhausting to be around him as he’s always trying to be the center of attention.
He makes us so uncomfortable that we began to purposely exclude him from our plans. But doing that meant we’d have to exclude our friend as well, or else she would wonder why everyone else’s SOs had been invited but not hers. We had a lot of Girls’ Nights for a while to avoid the issue, and I’m ashamed to say that we did secretly exclude my friend and Tim on a few occasions. But then some of our boyfriends/fiancés became good friends and started hanging out on their own, and I’m afraid the jig is up. My friend and Tim are beginning to wonder why Tim isn’t also friends with the other fellas. They found out once that the guys had a big Boys’ Night without Tim, and they were really upset but they blamed it all on an acquaintance and it blew over. So now we’re lying about what our SOs are doing on the weekends to avoid bringing the issue up again. Tim keeps asking, so I tried begging my boyfriend to invite Tim out just once in a while, but he refused and said the other guys would kill him if he did. We can’t keep the charade going for much longer and I’m dreading the direction this is all headed in.
Maybe as her good friend, I should take her aside and let her know what’s going on. I feel terrible that I’ve been keeping this from her. But my friend is completely oblivious to how Tim comes across to others, and in fact she is very proud of him. She would be devastated to find out that we don’t like him. As you know, the last time I tried to talk to her about a boyfriend I nearly ruined the friendship. I don’t want to risk that again, especially since it’s not like Tim is deliberately rude and offensive (I honestly do believe he means well, and thinks he’s just being fun and sociable), and it’s not like he treats her badly. My friend really is happy with him. The only harm he’s caused her is annoying all of us to the point where she’s becoming alienated alongside him. What can I possibly say about that? How do you even begin to tell someone that their boyfriend is just too annoying?! I’m confused about what to do or even think about all of it. I’m in desperate need of an outside perspective as to how to deal with this situation now, or how to react when it blows. Please help me!