There have been recent posts about male friendship, and I thought I might pose this question to you all. If you have a problem with your male friend (maybe he had hurt you, an argument, etc.), would you talk to him about it? I mean, the following:
So my buddy Steve is getting married in a month. You can say that we're "best" friends, and have been for 15 years. Yesterday, we had his bachelor party. His two brothers and me are the groomsman (one of his brothers is the best man). The bachelor party pretty much consisted of his brothers' friends, him, and me. He, his brother, and their friends are more the strip-club going, poker-playing kind of guys. I'm from a vastly different social circle, and so these things weren't exactly my thing, but I went along since I wasn't the best man (and so wasn't organizing the stag) but I was his best friend.
The thing is, the whole day, he "got along" much better with his brothers' friends than with me, to the point that I felt completely left out. His brothers' friends were nice to me, but for Steve, it was as though I wasn't even there. The whole night, he said only three things to me -- and he said them when he was drunk -- saying that "If you feel comfortable, you can always leave, I'll understand". Like I said, he was drunk, and I just went along with the night, so I stayed.
It's today, the stag's over, and since I live a bit away, he took me to the train station (that's how we usually do things). The train runs hourly, and he was a bit late and so I missed the train -- meaning I had to wait for an hour. He was like, "oh", and then drove off.
So, I now most of you here value close friendships. The wedding's a month away, and if I don't say something, it's just going to eat me up until then. I am struggling with whether I should talk to him about this. It's not the first time he's completely ignored me when his other friends and I are together. I know he values my friendship (heck, or else one of his other friends would be his groomsman and not me), but sometimes I don't think he cares about how I feel. A part of me tells me that I need to, or else our friendship could easily go sour or drift apart, but well, I'm a guy, and it's hard to express my emotions to another friend, even a close one.
To be truthful, I don't see that he really wronged you. Yes, you were out of your comfort zone at the bachelor party, but to be frank it was his bachelor party. He shouldn't have to be worried about make sure you were ok. Yeah, the train bit sounds a little harsh but for all you know he we running late to somewhere else after he dropped you off. Yes, he most likely owned you an apology for making you miss your train but that is nothing to tangle up a friendship over. My opinion let it go, in the long run it means nothing. Enjoy your friendship and don't sweat the small stuff.
Hi N. Vest,
Thanks for your comment and advice. In hindsight, I agree with you since the day of course was about him and definitely I don't think it should be about me -- and if it were, I would be entirely selfish in our friendship.
But in general (and this is for everyone, not just N. Vest), if you really needed to talk to a close male friend about a serious issue, would you muster up the courage to do so? I refer you to this article if you are not already aware of it:
Very interesting article. Like most men, I've run into conflicts with a few male friends. But like the author of the article, it's just not talked about- either to the friend I'm in conflict with or another friend who I can vent to. The problem is either ignored for the good of the friendship, or the friendship dies. There's no middle ground.
That being said, in my most recent rift with a friend of mine I did consider talking about it with another, non-mutual friend. I would only vent in person, though, and I didn't have an opportunity to meet with Friend B. I suppose that even if I did, and I did vent, I would have kept it short and to the point: "Ben has been annoying me recently. I feel like he doesn't take our friendship seriously anymore." Friend B would probably have just asked a question or two and/or offer up some reasons why Ben is acting differently. So, like the author of the article says, men just don't fight. And if they do talk about their friendship problems its not productive to the friendship like it is for women. Interesting stuff.
I can honestly tell you that if I "lost" a friend because I somehow insulted his wife by NOT talking to her or by not giving him a call the day he lost his job, he isn't that close of a friend anyway.
Even the opening story, people drift apart. Guys I was inseperable with 15 years ago, we just slowly started drifting apart to where now, I'm nice, I'll talk, but there isn't any spark. Not that we had a fight, we just grew apart into different men. Other guys I wasn't that close to years apart, I'm becoming much closer to because of where I am heading in life.
If someone pisses you off, crap, just mention it. It is my wife and her friends that bottle shit like that up or get all pissy because of a perceived slight where the other person was just oblivious and never even noticed what was going on.
I'm having a hard time relating to that article. I know there are men who would rather end a friendship than talk about some minor unpleasantness; I've lost a friendship because of that (that I know of). (And one romantic relationship -- it's not just men that do that!) But I don't get why it's that hard. Hard, yes, but not that hard. And what does being a man have to do with being afraid to talk? Surely fear of minor discomfort is not the mark of a strong man?
Or is that we imagine it's harder for men to talk about something unpleasant? I bet it's just as hard for women. I know two women that have a hard time talking about negative things; I'm married to one.
Now about the situation, I'll agree with the earlier poster. Sorry you felt uncomfortable, but you knew what you were getting into; it was his party arranged for his benefit; and he did you a favor dropping you off. I think he treated you well enough.
Do you talk to him?
"I was angry with my friend/I told my wrath, my wrath did end.
I was angry with my foe/I told him not; my wrath did grow."
Not talking about it will make it grow, unless you can just slough it off. If you do talk, I suggest it be from a perspective not of "You wronged me" but "I got angry, don't know why it's nagging at me." That is, it's your feeling, not something he has to fix.
Best of luck with it all.
And what does being a man have to do with being afraid to talk? Surely fear of minor discomfort is not the mark of a strong man?
Discomfort plays a larger part than I think you give it credit for. But like the article pointed out, the barrier to discussions are avoided because it makes men look weak. Men don't like looking weak, so if it can be avoided it will be, even to the detriment of a friendship.
This. You would be in the wrong if you "confronted" him with your panties in a twist because he had more fun then you at his own bachelor party
i agree with the other responses about the party in that it was his and he was the one that was supposed to have fun. now about the train station... i would be a little angry too if my friend was just like "oh" and left me there to wait for an hour. i moved to nebraska a few years back and right now only really hang with one friend on mondays and tuesdays and i feel i can tell him pretty much anything. he's really annoying when he's drunk and he gets drunk like every monday when we hang out and I'm wanting to tell him that. havent yet though because im like most guys... i dont like to talk about that stuff but i think i will tonight. i wont blame him for getting drunk and being annoying... i will probably be like " i kinda like you better when youre not drunk" i have no idea what he will reply to that with though but if he gets defensive i will just drop it and apologize. i guess i will have to put up with it in order to keep our friendship. i think you should at least try to talk to you're friend but do what im going to do... if he gets angry just drop it and apologize. when you bring the subject up though, dont get after him like you're angry at him (even if you are) just make it sound like youre simply wondering why he left you there without saying anything or offering to wait with you so that he doesnt feel like you're yelling at him. best of luck man.
RE: Bachelor party: Yep, it was HIS BP; he's SUPPOSED to have more fun than you. Let it go.
RE: missing the train: call him on it. I would interpret his "Oh" as embarrassment over incoveniencing a friend, not as "I don't give a shit".
Call him up and invite him over for an evening.
Give him some slack, and room and I think things will mend up.
He is facing getting settled down with one person for life. That is rather scary. He is going to be off. It is not a bad thing but it a major change in his life. He may be pushing you way without realizing it as if he can't have two best friends, his wife and you.
That may not be the case but relationships do change, the best thing to is to give him room. Let things be. After 6 months - 18 months things will settle out as he establishes his new relationships and life.
Sometimes the best thing to do is give room and slack to let things be between friends over rough patches. The now is so NOW give it time to just be.