Sometimes The Best Advice Is To Give No Advice
An old friend recently got back in touch with me and it was a pleasant surprise.
“I’ve got news” she announced.
“Your pregnant?” I answered instantly.
“No, I’m getting married”. I screamed down the phone with glee at her news. I was genuinely ecstatic for her.
“Who is the lucky bloke?” I asked my old friend who I suddenly realised I had missed terribly. There was a small pause before she told me that her fiance was called Tony.
I was relieved. The reason? My friend was in a relationship with what I could only describe as a ‘dog’ that was great at impersonating a human being, that answered to the name of Douglas. Douglas or ‘Dougie’ (to all his equally irritating mates) was the main reason me and my BFF had ended five years prior.
I loved my friend like a sister and we were inseparable. However, I witnessed Douglas turn my once outgoing confident friend into an insecure woman who began to live like a hermit. We argued over him countless times until I couldn’t bare watching the relationship any longer. In the end I lost a great friend. At my happiness for her I proceeded to tell her the following:
“Oh girl, I am so happy for you. I am so glad you saw the light and did not end up with that c**t.”
There was silence. I called out her name thinking the phone went dead, but then I heard five dreaded words I will never forget.
“I was joking, its Dougie!!!”
My throat sank to the pits of my stomach. Inside I prayed to the highest God, the Universe and any other omnipresent thing to ask if they would just open up the ground to swallow me and my phone. But alas, the prayer was not answered. As I attempted to apologise the words could not manifest from my mouth quick enough.
“Well that’s you being honest as usual, I wanted to invite you to our wedding” my friend snapped.
The apology eventually came out in its thousands but it hardly touched the sides. I missed my friend and I blew it again.
Over the years I have heard many women say, if their friend knew that their partner had done them wrong, they would want their friend to tell them. In my case not so. My grandmother would often say in her strong Jamaican accent “Never get involved with man and woman love life, you will always lose”. The old dear was right after all.
In my career I have had the opportunity to work with women in violent or mental abusive relationships. The one thing I have noted that they all have in common, is that deep down they know it's wrong. The last thing they need is a friend telling them how stupid they are being.
I admit I have a tendency to put my ‘foot in my mouth’ but this I can say is the worst. Sad to say I was not invited to the hen party and my wedding invitation has still yet to arrive in the post. Cheers to the happy couple.
For advice about Emotional abuse in relationships please contact the charity Womens Aid
*The name of the subject has been changed.