June 6, 2017
Is Your Friend Marrying the Wrong Person?
1. Should you tell a friend they’re marrying the wrong person?
In most cases, you should keep your mouth shut, but it depends on a few factors:
- Are they wrong for your friend or wrong for you? Do you dislike the way their partner has impacted your friendship with this friend or are you genuinely concerned for your friend’s happiness?
- Are you really a good judge of whether or not someone is right or wrong for somebody else. I’m a so-called relationship expert (I read dozens of new studies each week and engage with thousands of couples each year) and I’m not even comfortable making that kind of call in most cases.
2. Are there any cases when you should speak up?
- If there is abuse. If you’re concerned about controlling, berating or shaming behaviour, you might want to speak up specifically about your concerns.
3. Does your relationship with the person getting married matter? What if you’re a sibling or partner as opposed to just a friend.
- It’s your job as someone who loves them to do your best to support them. You’re not their life coach. You only see a tiny snippet of their relationship, so your perspective is limited. You really have to examine whether or not you’re projecting your own feelings and concerns onto their relationship — regardless of whether or not you’re a friend of family member.
- I’m of the old-school belief that family members can take more latitude because you’re more likely to be in this person’s life for decades to come.
4. If you decide to speak up, what might the consequences be?
- You may be putting your relationship with that person at risk. A partner, for most people, is a family member. In some cases, friends are like family, but the average length of a friendship is 7 years and the average length of a marriage is longer (you may read that it’s only 8 years, but that only applies to people who divorce – not those who stay married). If you speak up, you may risk your friendship.
5. The bottom line is that you should generally stay out of other people’s relationships.