Do you ever notice how almost every A Practical Wedding post includes the words “and that’s ok.” Like we need that pat on the head that our opinions, feelings, beliefs, and convictions are approved of by the higher liberal powers. Well, ok, I like that affirmation. I’ll take someone telling me my views are “ok” because it feels really good to have other people on board with what you’re thinking and feeling.
But sometimes, something happens that isn’t ok. Sometimes, a close friend does something wrong. Other friends rally around to support the wrong friend, because that’s what friends do, because they’re going through “a really tough time right now.” Well, yes, that happens when you do the Wrong thing.
It’s so Politically Correct to support your friends no matter what. And, to a huge extent, I’m the most supportive person in the world, even when I think you’re being an idiot, even when you know you’re being an idiot. My oldest and dearest friends in the world have both had their moments of making less-great choices, and I supported the hell out of them (though not their choices, just cheering them on to make better ones and waiting patiently until they did).
I’m not Ms. Judgy Pants (like I was raised to be, sorry Ma), and I see 99% of issues in shades of gray. I understand we’re all on a path to becoming our best selves, and sometimes we hit rocks (or sometimes we become rocks in our own paths). I believe in the power of people to grow, but I don’t expect them to shoot up like Jack’s beanstalk. It’s a process, and there’s no magic.
All that is why my hard-line stance with Wrong-Doing-Friend comes as a shock to me. She crossed a line I didn’t even know I had, because it had never before been tested. She betrayed the man who married her, for a guy who would date a married woman. Yes, she is going to need a ton of support, because a relationship that starts like that statistically ends, badly.
I’ve been torturing myself over this. The issue of friendship, support, and betrayal have swirled around my head for weeks. And I have to decide how I’m going to deal with it because they may be in town for the holidays, and would normally be welcome to stay with us. I spoke with the wisest person I know, my Maid of Honor, and she gave me the words I needed to hear: “You want to keep the sanctity of your home and marriage; this bothers you, you are not obligated to share your space with them if it causes you stress. And that’s ok.”
In a world of blurry lines in shades of gray, where people live together, sleep together, use each other for casual sex, hook-up, ditch their long-term girlfriends for no good reason – taking a stance, when you’re not religious, not self-identifying as conservative or even politically Republican – when all you read are feminist and liberal writers and blogs, when everyone you love and respect is bending the traditional rules in one way or another, when you believe in bending rules that don’t suit you…
It’s a very scary and isolating decision to say: That’s not ok.