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Ask E. Jean for DearSugar: Do I Have to Like Him?


Dear E. Jean--

First let me say, I love my best friend dearly. She’s an infinitely forgiving person, who at the heart of her nature is a peacemaker. I'm more independent and am not as concerned with the approval of others. It is very important to her that I provide my approval in this situation.

She has asked me to accept and like/love her boyfriend after she took him back. When they first started dating he was inconsiderate, rude and frankly intolerable. I found him to be intellectually challenged and lacking in any social grace. She however thought he was wonderful. Then she found out two things within their first year-and-a-half of dating.

1) He had given her a STD. Herpes. He’s in the navy and claimed he didn't know that he had it when he gave it to her. She forgave him.
2) He then said that he found out he may have gotten another woman pregnant, but he’d have to wait on the DNA result to know for sure. He said it was a one night stand; he hadn't used protection, and hadn't had contact with this person until she called him with the news of the baby. FYI, the baby wasn't his. And he’s NEVER told the woman that she may have an STD.

My friend took him back. She says that he’s made changes, gotten a second job to save money, is working towards getting an engagement ring, planning their future together, calling more regularly, etc. She wants me to forgive him as well.

I've told her the most I can provide at this time is courtesy and respect for her decision. But that it’s too much to expect me to like a guy, who spreads disease, cheats on her, and still to this day loses his temper in violent outbursts.

They may be moving to my city in the future and want to stay with me while they look for a house. I can't stand the idea of him being under my roof. She’s very upset with me. How far should I go to show support without sacrificing my own self respect? Should I cave and let this guy into my home??

To see E. Jean's answer

MY DARLING: Cave? Cave? He’s a worthless, bottom-feeding reptile. A psycho manipulator. A disease-spreading scoundrel. A violent liar who’ll end up hurting your friend very very badly ... Come on -- COME ON! Don’t you see what’s going on? She’s sucking you in. She’s made the dumbest decision a woman can make and now she is manipulating you by being “very upset” because you won’t forgive him.

Take a stand.

Her decision does not deserve your “courtesy and respect.” Her decision deserves you to say to her: “You’re my best friend in the world. You’re magnificent. You’re splendid! I love you. I want you to be happy. But he’s sleazy cheat, a brutal liar, and a clod who can’t control his temper.”

Your friend won’t like to hear this, but tell her anyway. She’ll start to hate you, keep telling her. Her future happiness, health, and peace depends upon it. She’ll probably stop speaking to you. But mark my words: The day he knocks her across the room in one of his “violent outbursts,” she’ll call and thank you for warning her.

As for the swine entering your house? No way.

Stick to your guns, darling! Your friend needs someone to speak the truth!

To see more advice from E. Jean visit Elle Magazine and AskEJean.com

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NMM911 NMM911 8 years
Tell her she has your emotional support, but that you just can not have him in your home. It is yours, so don't get sucked in to her drama. If she prefers this pitiful excuse for a man, well so be it. If I sound hardhearted, it's because I have had a similar experience. I let them stay with me, and when he lost his temper with me, he went after me too...it took the police to get him out.
SassyAss SassyAss 8 years
There is no way to steer another’s heart. But you can be totally honest with your friend.. Tell her he has not convinced YOU that she is safe from harm emotionally and even physically. Tell her you need a chat with him where you can spill your thoughts on what he is has done, then if... only if he can convince YOU that he is a changed man you'll consider the proposal of visiting. If nothing else happens you'll be sending him the message that she is not alone and won't be an easy target and that she has some protection and love on her side. He'll may make every attempt to be rid of you in her life. But if you tell her upfront to expect that, she will at least have her eyes open when it happens. When she complains about him, remind her later what all she said! Then hope!
HelloKittyMini HelloKittyMini 8 years
I would like to thank those who left comments, and to Dr. Jean for selecting my question for public post. I've found a lot of the comments helpful in evaluating the situation. Although, I have not yet come to a final decision on how to handle the matter. Thank you.
nessabum nessabum 8 years
he gave her herpes, with which she will be stuck with for the rest of her life--and she takes him back??
JaimeLeah526 JaimeLeah526 8 years
Wow. The man really should have told his one night stand he had an STD. Can't you pass herpes to your baby?
lilxmissxmolly lilxmissxmolly 8 years
AMAZING advice E. Jean!!!! if you "cave", you will regret it when he hurts her agian and she blames you for not telling her.
LaLaLaurie06 LaLaLaurie06 8 years
Your friend needs to get out more and meet other guys...Is this, like, the only dude she's dated? Cuz seriously, there are other men out there... Good advice from E.Jean.
rubialala rubialala 8 years
Totally take a stand. Don't enable her to treat herself poorly.
pinupsweetheart pinupsweetheart 8 years
I agree. I wouldn't let him in your house. If he wants to be such a great man to her, he can find temp housing until they find their new place.
PrissyLilBadAss PrissyLilBadAss 8 years
E. Jean.. well said! Stand your ground girl! 2 of my best girlfriends have had boyfriends that I didn't like. My other friends thought I was rude for expressing my discontent, but I knew it was the right thing to do. One of the girls is still with her inconsiderate, slacker boyfriend. The other broke up with her boyfriend and THANKED me for telling her how I felt, and helping her see what her man was really like.
jessikatastic jessikatastic 8 years
I was in a similar situation, except my BFF's boyfriend hadn't done as horrific of things, and I let them stay with me. He was manipulative and evil, and it took less than 2 months for him to work his 'magic' and now she and aren't friends anymore. We'd been the closest of friends for 5+ years, and now she lives in my city and we pretend each other doesn't exist. I don't even know what the hell happened. There's probably more at stake than you realize if you give in, even a little. Don't make the same mistake as I did, even if it seems like it would be manageable.
Community-Manager Community-Manager 8 years
Well said, E. Jean!
partysugar partysugar 8 years
Great advice once again E. Jean!
Tiinnaaaa Tiinnaaaa 8 years
This guy sounds like a complete ASS!! Its bad enough that your friend wants him in her life, bur you do NOT! And you should NOT! Nothing good will come of him staying with you.
auddie auddie 8 years
To be fair, you can have herpes for years and never have an outbreak. Someone can truly have it for a long time and have no clue. It's also really not a big deal as far as STIs (correct term!) go; it's easily controllable and unfortunately all to common. However, this guy just sounds like a jerk in general. Cheaters always cheat and any violence is unacceptable. Violent people do not change ever, unless they truly decide to change themselves, such as voluntarily going to therapy or anger management. He will just get worse over time. Please don't give in and let them stay with you. Just because she's your friend, doesn't mean you owe it to her or anything. You also don't owe her a huge explanation as to why they can't stay.
sass317 sass317 8 years
I knew a couple that bailed out the wife's childhood friend over and over. They even helped her find a counselor, an apt, and took her on vacation with them after her possessive bf threw her down a flight of stairs to help her break away. The apt was across the street from them, she took him back (of course) and he moved in with her and they saw him leaving the complex with other girls. They sat her down and tried to tell her and she believed him over them. Later the wife got a call from the girls sister-she was in the hospital. He had given her an STD and she developed a terrible infection and would probably be sterile. HE made her drive herself to the ER bc he didnt beleive anything was wrong with her and when she told him the reason she was so sick he tried to say SHE cheated on HIM and thats why she caught the STD and got mad at HER! All you can do is stick to your guns and hope that one day she comes around and is adult enough to admit she was wrong.
nicachica nicachica 8 years
We're here for you! you do NOT have to put up with this guy in your house because it is YOUR HOUSE and you get to decide who stays over, not your best friend. like Pop says, stand your ground and don't let your bff make you feel bad about this cuz you know its wrong. good luck! i hope she gets out of this sticky situation. this guy sounds like no good!
popgoestheworld popgoestheworld 8 years
Agree w/ E. Jean. Do NOT let him stay with you. It's your house, you make the decisions. Do NOT feel guilted into this. Stand your ground!!
hills hills 8 years
she sounds like shes a pretty insecure person as shes putting up with all his crap. Truth is as u know he'll end up hurting her badly, and isnt good news. You can explain all what u have said here, about the pregnancy and std and say that u lv her and dont like seeing with this person because u personally think hes bad news, then mayb u could say that u dont want ur freindship to end because of him and that u can be civil with him but u wont have him living under your roof. The fact is you've respected her decision now she should do you the courtesy of respecting yours.
Ster Ster 8 years
I wouldn't actually says she's 'manipulating' you. I'm sure she's very much in love with him (how unbelievable that may be) and is truly upset that you dislike him so much. But being a true friend means you sometimes need to say things people don't want to hear. Sit her down and calmly explain to her how you see things. Remind her of when you were both still single and used to talk about the kind of guy you envisioned a future with. Does he fit the bill? Is he really the guy she pictured herself with? And can she truly imagine being with him for the rest of her life, cheating and tantrums included? If she says he'll change: no he won't. If this is what she picks, this is what she'll end up with and she needs to be very aware of that. However chances are quite big she'll stay with him anyway. This is the situation in which she'll need you the most, don't turn your back on her. Friends are there for their friends, even when they make stupid decisions. She does deserve your respect on this, because in the end, it's her life, not yours. All you can do is give your opinion and hope she'll change her mind.
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