Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Advice: To give or not to give?

Last night I was catching up with a friend who was recently married. I got all of the dish on the wedding, the planning, the parties, etc. In the course of conversation, she mentioned that she had had a bit of a tiff with a friend of hers from college. Apparently this friend had questioned the fact that she was getting married. My friend (let's call her K, to avoid confusion) didn't think that the friend brought it up very nicely and felt a bit attacked. In the friend's defense, the wedding was planned in a rush and the couple have only known each other since June or so, but K (quite obviously) and many other people see the reasoning behind the quick planning (and no, it isn't a baby...). Not to mention he is a really great guy and they are super-cute together.

But this whole conversation got me to thinking: is it possible to offer similar advice or opinions and have them well-received? Eb and I have definitely had this worry: if one of us was pretty serious about a guy that the other saw some fairly red-flag sort of issues with him, would the other one accept those opinions gracefully or would she get and stay mad? I have already had one friend get married to a guy I was less than excited about, but I only hinted at it, because I absolutely knew that she was going to marry him anyway, whether or not my worries were well-founded. I think most of the time we choose to keep our opinions to ourselves because we know our friends will pick the boy over us. And yet if we're right (even just up to point) and we let our friend marry a man that will make her life so much harder than it needs to be, or a man that won't love her like he should, or a man that is clearly not able to take care of himself much less another person (or people!), are we liable to some degree? I know that it will ultimately be the friend's decision, but still...

So here's my question: does anyone know of an actual situation in which someone was deadly serious about a not-so-good guy and then her friends told her their worries and she actually listened? Because I sure don't know of one, but deep down I really want to believe that it could happen. And I also want to believe that, should the circumstance arise, I would listen too.

4 comments:

Stephanie said...

I had a friend getting married and I wasn't so sure she was doing it for the right reasons. She listened to me, and got married, and I think it was good for her actually. But my reasons had nothing to do with the husband.

Barbara said...

Oh, God. I would much rather have one of you tell me that you had suspicions than waste a lot of years on someone who you knew was a dud in the first place! I'm not saying I would dump him on the spot, but it would definitely make me look into it further. You know, get my friend in the FBI to do a background check and follow him around for a few months. JK.

hockeyman said...

I don't know whether anyone really listens or not but after i read this I saw another blog with these two quotes... the dilema rises all around us....

"Americans can always be counted upon to do the right thing - after all other possibilities have been exhausted." - Sir Winston Churchill

"The darkest places in hell are reserved for those who maintain their neutrality in times of moral crisis." - Dante Alighieri

ducklet said...

they rarely listen. the reason to give advice is so that later on, when it all comes crashing down, your friend can't say to you, 'Why didn't you TELL ME he was evil?!?