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New friendship budding...and an uh-oh!

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Old 05-18-2011, 11:01 AM   #1
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Default New friendship budding...and an uh-oh!

There seems to be a lot on this forum about friend issues lately. Here's a new twist: A client at the gym where I work has been actively getting to know me in a social way. We naturally click and have a lot in common. She takes my class 3x a week and stays for almost 2 hours intermittently working out and wasting time because she has nothing to do until later in the day. She is new to town, from a totally different climate and culture in so many ways, a self described introvert, and without a single friend here after living here for almost 2 years.

She needs and wants a good friend. She asks me to coffee. I love this girl already and am so excited to get to know her and if all keeps clicking, introduce her to my "Ruths" (aks best friends). That sounded kinda homosexual, not that there's anything wrong with that, but for the record, we're talking straight friends.

Here's the problem: I just figured our that her husband is the one in the local paper for threatening to do harm to our local (and struggling) economy. It's his way of trying to gain leverage to get out of paying $150,000 in fines for not following local laws and DNR ordinances. I can equate him as public enemy #1 in our small town. What he's threatening is not only unfair, it's completely ignorant and directly effects me and every single person who loves winter here. While I don't wish him harm, I would like him to quietly go away. There are people around town that hate hate hate him and I wouldn't put it past some YaHoo to destroy his property or something.

So the question is, do I get involved with her? It would do me NO good to be associated with her husband in any way. Plus, I hate what he's trying to do and also what he had done to be punished in the first place.

I know befriending her does NOT mean I'm befriending her husband, but because I'm a straight forward, brutally honest person, how can I go about nurturing a new friendship with this white elephant in the room?

What would you do? I'm a follower of Christ and I can tell ya, I'm probably gonna gain a new friend, for the good or the bad of it.
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Old 05-18-2011, 11:15 AM   #2
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If you're a follower of Christ, perhaps you should keep an open mind and consider that what you read in the paper isn't always accurate. You don't know this man. If he does turn out to be a jerk, appreciate that your newfound pal must see something of value in him, and I think we can all relate to loving folks in spite of their faults.
Glad you met a new friend!
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Old 05-18-2011, 11:30 AM   #3
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If you're a follower of Christ, perhaps you should keep an open mind and consider that what you read in the paper isn't always accurate. You don't know this man. If he does turn out to be a jerk, appreciate that your newfound pal must see something of value in him, and I think we can all relate to loving folks in spite of their faults.
Glad you met a new friend!
Well that is kind of my point. Christ would not only befriend her, He'd have her husband over for dinner, too, despite if what is written in the paper is true or even worse is true!

Hmm! That was short, simple and quick! I think I'll have coffee with her and consider having them both over for dinner in the near future! Screw what others in town will think. It's the right thing to do.

Any other opinions?
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Old 05-18-2011, 11:49 AM   #4
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I think you're doing the right thing, had you not known who her husband was, going for coffee wouldn't be an issue and you'd be excited about a new friend.
I can't help but feel bad for this woman honestly, perhaps the reason she has no friends after 2 years is this reason and that reason alone, afraid of being judged based on her husband and not her.
Good for you looking at HER as a person - hopefully more people will see the goodness you see in her and follow suit just my opinion
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Old 05-18-2011, 12:11 PM   #5
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Yes, I agree with the above. Make your own decission. Get to know them but do be prepared to be honest with her. Honesty with kindness is okay. If it were me, I'd keep things light. Coffee and the gym. You don't want to be her only "go to friend" if they have all these problems and she confides in you it might get a little straining. You want a friend, not to be a therapist.
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Old 05-18-2011, 12:43 PM   #6
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Maybe if his wife starts to make friends, he may start feeling some sort of ties to the community they are in. Its hard to move to somewhere new, and watch a loved one sit alone with no friends and feeling like no one cares.

It probably won't change him, but his wife and you will be gaining a friendship and that is of more value than anything.
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Old 05-18-2011, 07:12 PM   #7
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perhaps the reason she has no friends after 2 years is this reason and that reason alone, afraid of being judged based on her husband and not her.

That was my thought as well.

I'd have coffee with her. Just let her talk and get stuff off her chest. You might learn some info into what he is doing. I wouldn't have him over yet until you get to know her better. I just hope she isn't going to be the "needy" type that will constantly call you when she has nothing more than a hang nail.

Boy, the nosey part of me wants to know what he is doing.
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Old 05-18-2011, 09:05 PM   #8
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Maybe his wife doesn't like him so much either. I'd say befriend her and worry about him later. I highly, HIGHLY doubt she is out to do anyone any wrong. It sounds like she's just lonely. Not everyone is a potential friend or likeable; my personal viewpoint is that if I meet someone I actually click with and like, I'll take my chances.
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Old 05-19-2011, 09:36 AM   #9
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Good words, guys.

I guess there's no reason not to state what the issue is, because you may be thinking it is worse than reality.

He and his brother developed a large tract of land in the forest. Any time you have people messing with the woods up here in the northwoods, you get people's attention and some of them get upset. The DNR has strict rules and regulations for land development. For instance, you cannot cut down a tree if it is, like 10 feet close to a body of water. Some people actually cut down diseased or rotted trees on their shore at night to get away with it.

Anyway, without a permit, not only did they clear trees by the water, they didn't get the Army Corp of Engineer's plan for water drainage/maintenance. They even built a 9 hole golf course without a permit.

There was a trial. They were fined $150,000. Instead of paying, they are now saying that unless the fee is waived or reduced, they are going to close off the snowmobile trail that links 2 towns. This trail is vital for the financial success of the businesses in winter. It is the main trail I have to take almost every time I snowmobile from my house. Without it, I will have to go around the entire largest chain of lakes to get to the next town. Or, most likely, just choose to go to a different town. This would be financial death for the next town - and that's the town the development is in!

Talk about cutting your nose off to spite your face!
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Old 05-19-2011, 09:44 AM   #10
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AM i reading right . . . he is threatening to cut the road to the town he has financial investment in?
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Old 05-19-2011, 10:30 AM   #11
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Well the guy sounds like a regular butthole, but that isn't her fault.

My previous marriage was to a man who lots of people didn't like, and I was not even aware of it until 2 years in when we moved to the town he was originally from. Eventually I got it on my own and left his sorry behind for issues totally unrelated to his infamous acts, but if people had judged me by who I was married to, rather than my own merits, I wouldn't have had any friends either.

Just because her husband is a turd doesn't mean she is. She may not agree with his actions or support them. She may hate his guts too for all everyone knows.

If you like her as a person don't let him drive you away, it sounds like she may really need a friend too. If he is as bad as mine was, that is probably exactly what he'd like to happen anyway, so that he can isolate her from others that might influence her to stand up to him.

Something to think about - if she has not mentioned to you who her husband is, she may be avoiding the subject so as not to drive people away because she knows that is likely to happen with his reputation. Not being able to make any friends after 2 years, hanging out trying to be sociable and avoiding going home...all of these things point to being lonely and unhappy - NOT promoting her husband's agenda.
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Old 05-19-2011, 11:41 AM   #12
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It's a snowmobile trail, not a road, but yeah, it's the only one direct from here ("the snowmobile capital of the world") to that town.

She has only mentioned her husband matter of factly and not directly said who he is and the trouble he's in. She is in no way involved in his development and has never promoted any agenda.

It does seem like he tries to isolate her. It also sounds like he is verbally abusive (I happen to be a survivor of domestic abuse).

I'll give it a shot. You can never have too many friends.
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Old 05-19-2011, 11:51 AM   #13
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He sounds like a bully.

Yep, go for it. Just let her talk. You'll learn a lot and like you said, "You can never have too many friends."
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Old 05-19-2011, 01:31 PM   #14
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You are very lucky. You have an opportunity to be a force behind change for a community in a godly way. You are be-friending the wife and in turn have an opportunity to be-friend him as well..When you have friendships with people, you have more of an opportunity to speak into there lives and you can even sway them(in a good way) Get them to see different perspectives and if thats not good enough, what about the fact that this lady probably is having a hard time making friends if they are associating her with her husbands not so nice doing in the community.. Use discernment..but this sounds like a great opportunity that has come your way..
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Old 05-19-2011, 09:03 PM   #15
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I know there are a ton a cliches "Agree to Disagree" "Disagree without being disagreeable" Thats baasically what you need to do. If a situation comes up politely say "I disagree with what your doing but that doesn't mean we can't enjoy each others company"
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