More wisdom from the Hax

Carolyn continues to come through.. maybe I should write her sometime… Not that the following situation is exactly the same as mine, but it’s close. Loss of respect for a friend is tough, but it’s harder because you wonder if you’re being too hard on them, so you end up being hard on yourself.

Dear Carolyn:

My roommate “Mary” has a long-distance boyfriend of three years, but is seeing another guy, “Mark,” who knows about her boyfriend and also is one of my friends. Mary says she is remorseful, but shows no sign of stopping or coming clean.

Listening to her talk about her “boy trouble” infuriates me. I think it’s asking a lot of me to keep mum when she hooks up with Mark and then later her boyfriend comes over. I told her I refuse to hear about it any more, because it lowers my opinion of her and I want to stay friends. She said she wants me to stop judging her and respect her. I said I respect her enough not to say anything to the boys, but that is all I can do. Am I being too judgmental?

— College Student

For those who think Mary’s demand for respect is even more egregious than her behavior — like, say, me — you’re not being judgmental enough.

Everyone behaves badly at times, but good people fight their dark instincts, and are first in line to deplore them. They judge themselves, harshly.

Tell her again you won’t listen any more, and mean it this time. Tell her and Mark — nice friends you have, by the way — that you won’t lie to protect them if asked.

And when she asks you again for respect, kindly suggest that she earn it.

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