I have been great friends with my boyfriend for 10 years now and we have been dating for three. Throughout that time, I've become close with many of his friends. I love them dearly and I respect the close relationships he has maintained throughout the years, and I know that they respect and love me as their own good friend now too. Unfortunately, from day one, I have never really taken to my boyfriend's best friend's now-wife. She was rude to me when we began dating and later explained that she just didn't like "outsiders" dating her best friend — but I'm not an outsider! We were friends for 10 years before we started to date! Of course knowing how much his friends mean to him, we laughed it off. As the years pass, I can't help but cringe when I find out she will be anywhere we are. And the sad thing is I absolutely adore her husband. He is sweet, kind, smart, and a ton of fun. In social settings, she is alienating, rude, loud, unkempt, and just a total nightmare to be around.
I love all the other guys’ girlfriends, but this one makes my skin crawl and I can't take it anymore. What can I do to have a good time when we're all out? I hate having my evenings ruined because I have to listen to the loud, obnoxious things that she says. Any ideas? — Fed Up Phoebe
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Dear Fed Up Phoebe,
Just from reading your letter, I can feel your frustration. It sounds to me like this woman is very protective of her friends, but since you've been part of this group for three years now, it's absolutely time for her to let you in. Since she and her husband are constant fixtures in your boyfriend's life, you're going to have to make this tolerable somehow. Whenever I meet people that I don't mesh well with, it's easy for me to pick up on the things I don't like, but I've found that once I fixate on the negatives, I end up disliking that person even more. So, instead of letting her get under your skin, try to find some good in her, or at least something you have in common. I also suggest talking to her. If she's affecting you this much, chances are she feels it too, so perhaps a good heart-to-heart is in order.
Since you've made friendships with the other girls, try to hang out with them more when you're in a group setting. I'm not telling you to alienate her — two wrongs don't make a right — but when she starts to annoy you, simply walk away. Unfortunately, not everyone gets along, and while it can cause awkwardness within a circle of friends, it's important to realize that you don't have to be her best friend in order to have fun with everyone else. Perhaps after a talk you guys can agree to disagree, but keeping the elephant in the room is only going to make matters worse.