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Saturday, December 8, 2007

On the horns of a dilemma...

A dilemma is a problem offering two solutions or possibilities, of which neither is acceptable. The two options are often described as the horns of a dilemma, neither of which is comfortable.

Let me assure you...I was anything but comfortable on Thanksgiving Day. In fact, it was probably the least enjoyable Thanksgiving I can remember in all of my 38 years on this earth. Oh the food was delicious, most of the company was delightful, and it was a pleasure to see out of town relatives after a year-long hiatus. But the dark cloud of what I knew must have been hanging over my head all day, because my friend asked me what was up - she said I wasn't my usual cheery self. I had made up my mind that I wasn't going to interfere...I would be what the Bible calls a 'talebearer'...a gossiper, and it wasn't my place to get involved. After all, she knew what she was up against, didn't she? She'd been this way once with my relative, so I didn't have any responsibility here.

(Cue dark theatrical music and fade everything but my friend's face to black, while zooming in on her trusting eyes at hyper-speed). Strangely, I felt an immediate pressure of the sharp and pointy kind upon my backside. It was as if someone had taken a two-edged sword and thrust it right between my shoulder blades - my heart was pierced and I had to tell her the truth, no matter what the repercussions for me were to be. So outside we went and I spilled my guts...or what was left of them. She cried, I cried and then she and relative left to "talk things over".

Looking back, I wish I wouldn't have said anything...in the heat of the moment, I felt as though I was doing something "noble" by telling her. To that, I now say "phhht". Although I took absolutely NO pleasure WHATsoever in telling her, I now realize it didn't do any good. She is still with said relative and relative has told me that he wishes he could "beat the living sh** out of me for blabbing his business" to her. (I told you he was a sleazoid...I probably never would have referred to him in that manner, except for the fact that he made that last statement.)

So...live and learn people. Keep your mouth shut. Take it from someone who's been there. Everyone (including me) says "I would want to know the truth if it were me," but in the end, it's like Jack Nicholson said, "You can't HANDLE the truth."


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5 comments:

Amy said...

I'm sorry it went down like that.

Years ago the best man in our wedding was cheating on his girlfriend, who was a great friend of mine.
I suspected he wasn't faithful but I didn't tell her.
I felt terrible when she found out on her own and they broke up.

There is never a good answer for these situations.

Lis Garrett said...

Oh Karen, I am so sorry. For what it's worth (and it's probably not worth anything) I would want to know. In fact, I was in the exact same situation YEARS ago, but I was the friend who ultimately got her heart broken. Although it hurt finding out, I got to confront my boyfriend and then end the relationship on MY terms. You said that your relative has cheated on your friend before this time - how many times will he cheat on her before she kicks him to the curb? I agree with Amy - there's no easy answer to these situations. However, I'm not sure I would have been able to sit back and watch my friend be made a fool.

Emily said...

you know, it was a difficult situation to be in (for you), and you did the best you could. it's just so hard to know what is the BEST thing to do in situations like this, what is the RIGHT thing. hope you're not too hard on yourself.

~ Our Humble Cottage ~ said...

Hello! Visiting from Mel's blog. Just wanted to comment on your post.
As one who was cheated on in my first marriage, I would want someone to tell me. The shame of being made a fool out of hurt me so much and on top of it at the time, I begged him to come back. If I was the woman then that I am now I would have knocked him and her around and moved on with dignity. Thankfully, I have been married for over a decade to a really awesome man who loves me unconditionally.

You did the right thing, even if it hurt you and your friend. If your intention was not to hurt your friend but expose the problem, then you are a true friend indeed. Shame on your cousin for saying that to you too.

Elaine A. said...

It's what I like to call "stuck between a rock and hard place" Who said that anyway - oh well, I just did! Anyway, I am sorry you had to go through that, those situations are tough. I hope things are better now...