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Confronting a Messy Holiday Dinner Guest

Dear Andreus,

I had a fantastic Thanksgiving with my partner, family, and friends. However, there is a friend and his partner that comes every year for dinner, with a standing invitation. The problem is that the friend’s partner is rude and has no boundaries.  He is constantly bashing our friend (his partner), and they are usually the first to leave. When they leave, everyone talks about how uncomfortable he makes them. The issue for me, is that no one has addressed it. I want to say something, but I don’t want to create a situation and then our friend doesn’t visit anymore. Our friend isn’t the issue, it is his partner. What should I do?  We could really do without his presence at our holiday festivities.


Wilfredo R.

Dear Wilfredo,

The only thing to do is to confront the situation. Someone has to do it, otherwise, saddle up for a continuous ride. The behavior has not changed, because it has not been addressed.  You teach people how to treat you by what you allow, and what you enforce. Every year that goes by where this happens and no one says anything, it just gives permission for it to continue. If you are afraid of hurting your friend, talk to your friend first, then, if need be, talk to the partner. And if everyone is so uncomfortable, would it really be that bad if they don’t come back? I hope this helps.

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