Trapped next to the closet on April 27, 1998…
Dear Breakup Girl,
I try to be supportive, but a friend of mine is really beginning to tax my patience. She has fallen hard for a long-time friend of several years. Spending all their free time together, they are virtually inseparable. All their co-workers and family and friends fully expect them to get married. My friend thought that they would, too. So of course, something happens: he reveals to her that he is, in fact, gay. He has not come out but lives a double life. So now that he has entrusted her with his secret, he torments her constantly with every detail about his latest love exploits, even though he knows how she feels about him. What is worse is that he uses her as a cover–he has gone so far as to tell people that she is his girlfriend in order to keep his sexuality a secret. My friend goes along with it and rationalizes by telling herself, and me, that she doesn’t care what people think. If she doesn’t mind participating in this deception, it is not my place to say. But it does bother her, and she is calling me all the time to complain about it. It is always the same story. Of course she refuses to confront him, but continues to call me about it. She might as well just periodically play a recording of herself to me at this point. I have told her that she needs to decide what she wants and just stick by it, but it has become evident that she would prefer to do nothing and complain. I cannot tell her what to do with respect to him, but I appeal to Breakup Girl to help me figure out what I can do–I can’t stand to hear the same story over and over anymore–and it’t not like I have time to kill, but I also don’t want to abandon her–she has not discussed this with anyone else with the exception of one individual, and those discussions just ended in shouting matches.
Thank you in advance.
— Losing Patience
See my response to Unsure and Worried, but with the brightness turned all the way up, and without the jargon. Here, in fact, is the good word from Breakup Psychotherapist Belleruth Naparstek: “Tell your pal that you love her dearly, are worried about her, and think she’s selling herself down the river, but are now unwilling to immolate your eardrums on the phone about this any longer. As a devoted friend, you will talk about anything but this. This way, you’re not helping your bud obsess about this mishigas , which is dysfunctional — and which needs the bold light of psychotherapy to shine upon the motives therein — and she’s not wasting her time and effort, which is also dysfunctional.” Note: mishigas is Yiddish for “being the front for a gay fiance.”