Carolyn Hax offers readers of The Washington Post with compassionate, thoughtful guidance to life’s many complicated social dilemmas.
But one concerned woman got the advice-column equivalent of “STFU.”
Seeking suggestions on how to deal with her friend’s possibly-gay husband, the woman wrote:
Many think my best friend “Sara” has it all: four adorable children, a successful husband (“Jim”), and a beautiful home. Jim is an absolute dear, but here’s the thing. I think he’s gay.
Recently, I sat down with Sara and shared my hunch. True to form, she listened attentively and thanked me for my concern.
But since then, Sara has not mentioned our conversation about her husband’s sexuality. I am concerned she is in denial. How should I gently revisit the topic?
Carolyn wasn’t having it, and good on Carolyn. This woman’s “hunch” is hardly enough to warrant inserting yourself into someone’s marriage. Talk to us when you see the Grindr icon hidden on the 6th page of his apps.
But the advice columnist took it one step further, suggesting the woman was the one who needed help, not her friend “Sara.”
Here’s how she responded:
Never. Not gently, not roughly, not with discreet tactical brilliance, not ever. That’s how.
And if there were such a thing as boundary school, I’d sentence you to it. Because, oh my wow. This is so not your business.
With the benefit of all doubts firmly in place, I’ll venture you just really want your friend to be happy. And that’s great. But if your idea of helping her be happy includes a first step of having to persuade her that she’s unhappy, then that’s your flashing red railroad-crossing barrier, your Do Not Disturb hang-tag, your singing telegram reminding you to butt the heck (and everything else) out. If your friend wants your help, she can ask.
And while I’m here: No one, anywhere, ever, has it “all.”
For more, much more, of Carolyn Hax’s no-nonsense advice, read to your heart’s content.