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 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.
I'm going to take a different approach than the other responses, just to stimulate a conversation. I think you SHOULD talk to him about the bachelor party and how you felt left out. It appears from your post that you two are quite good friends, since he only chose you to be in his wedding party and not his other friends. And like you mentioned, the bachelor party consisted of his brother's friends, plus you, essentially making you the only friend of his in the party.
So, while I agree with everyone that it was your friend's day and it shouldn't be about you, the fact that he ignored you -- his only friend in his party -- I understand, and he should have been more sensitive, making you feel involved. Even though he appears to get along better with his brother's friend, the fact that he chose you as a groomsman suggests that he considers you a good friend, and he shouldn't treat a good friend like he did.
That being said, you shouldn't say anything like "you hurt me" or anything that places blame, but rather say something "I felt hurt" that talks about how you feel. But also don't push it too much.
But yeah, I think the fact that you were the only friend of his makes your situation very unique. If his party consisted a mixture of his friends from different groups (school, work, family, etc.) and you felt left out, then you have no right. But here, I think you have *some* right. Some...
Hope this helps... conversation-starter, perhaps?
Wait, what? Someone agrees with me? Haha. :) Good for me. Dave, hopefully you and your friend will work things out.
A bride's perspective:
Technically, the best man is the host of the bachelor party. As the connection between all the attendees, the groom has an obligation to be civil, but it's really the best man's job to make sure everyone feels included and to take everyone's tastes into account, although the groom's tastes primarily.
For better or worse [ha!] a bride would totally get away with an "oh" at the train station 4 weeks before her wedding - in the sense that if everyone involved were women and were writing this on a women's forum, the advice would be "She's super-stressed. She has tons to do. You should let this one slide. If it's a pattern after the wedding, too, then maybe you can bring it up." Having been through it recently, I think the "super stressed" and "tons to do" is baloney, but my husband ended up doing lots of our last-minute errands because he has the more flexible work hours.