Advice for a woman whose friend has a crush on her husband.

Advice on sticky friendship dilemmas.
Sept. 7 2010 10:27 AM

Why Is My Friend Asking To Kiss My Husband?

Is it just in jest, or does she have a crush on him?

(Continued from Page 1)

Sincerely,
Friend or Foe

Dear Friend or Foe,

I'm blessed with a core group of friends from college. We're from a variety of backgrounds and enjoy learning from each other. One of them, "Emily," practices a particularly conservative form of Christianity. I'm also a Christian, but from a much more liberal protestant denomination. I teach Sunday school and attend church regularly, and Emily knows that. Yet when discussing the choices that she and her church friends have made, she'll say, "Since we're Christians, we [do it this way]." More often than not, it will be something that I disagree with.

This bothers me because, a) I feel she's grouping me in with beliefs I don't share, b) I feel she's putting me down as less of a Christian for not believing/acting as she does, and c) I'm confident she speaks to non-Christians this way and is representing her very narrow beliefs as mainstream. Am I being over-sensitive, or would it be reasonable to ask her to preface such opinions with, "In my belief system …" rather than to paint with such broad strokes?

Sincerely,
Still a Christian Even if You Don't Think So

Dear SACEIYDTS,

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I'm not a Christian myself, but I know that Jesus' message was one of inclusion, not exclusion. It's a shame that Emily has forgotten that lesson as she goes about subtly denigrating those who don't worship in exactly the same manner as her. (I'd hate to see how she acts with those who actually pray to a different God!) I suggest sitting down with her and saying that you sometimes feel as if she's dismissing the version of Christianity that you practice and that it hurts your feelings because you consider yourself an equally devout person. You might also remind her that religion, at its purest, is not about judging others but about love and humility, forgiveness and sacrifice. At that point, either she'll admit that she believes you're an apostate who deserves to be burned at the stake or she'll realize the error of her ways and try harder in the future. If it's the former case, I don't see how the friendship can survive. Or, really, I can't see why you'd want to remain friends with someone who is so intolerant. Hopefully, though, she'll see the light—no pun intended—and change her ways. Insisting on her using a particular grammatical clause may be asking for too much, however.

Sincerely,
Friend or Foe

Please send your questions for publication to lucinda@imsohappyforyou.com. (Questions may be edited.)

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