Harriette Cole: She refuses to take the blame for putting me in a bad situation

DEAR HARRIETTE: My friend and I recently got into a fight because she put me in an uncomfortable situation.

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I am a fairly reserved person, and she is very extroverted, so this can cause us to have conflicting reactions to certain scenarios.

She pushed for me to enter this situation, and I went ahead with it because I didn’t want to disappoint my friend and I am not great at setting boundaries. Things ended up reaching a point where I finally told my friend that we needed to leave.

I am upset at her and myself for not putting a stop to everything sooner.

I want to blame her for everything that happened, but she says it’s unfair that I blame her because she would have left if I had asked. She was just so adamant and loud about wanting to go to the event that I went with her.

We’ve talked it over, but I wouldn’t say everything is resolved because whenever she says it’s unfair for me to blame her for everything that happened, I just stare at her — I don’t know how to respond.

I don’t blame her for the actions of others, but I do blame her for putting me in the situation.

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I don’t know if I’ll ever look at her the same way. How should I move forward with the relationship?

— Lack of Trust

DEAR LACK OF TRUST: First, you cannot blame your friend for everything that happened. You made the decision to go with her.

You may have felt coerced, but you could have said no. Eventually, you did draw the line.

What you must realize is that you cannot trust yourself to make a smart decision when you are being pressured by this person. Perhaps you should distance yourself from her, at least for a while.

Know that this is not a punishment for her. Instead, it is an acceptance on your part that you don’t seem to be strong enough right now to make smart decisions when you are in her company.

Rather than testing yourself, you can choose to surround yourself with people who share your values.

DEAR HARRIETTE: My husband is partly retired. Usually when I get home from work, he is already here, and he has been drinking alcohol for a couple of hours and smoking weed.

I hate walking into a cloud of smoke and the stench of liquor at 6 in the evening.

When I have asked my husband to slow down, he just shrugs it off and tells me to lighten up. How can I get him to stop getting intoxicated on a daily basis?

— Sober Up

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DEAR SOBER UP: If this behavior is different from the norm for your husband, there may be a chance to alter it.

If, in his partly retired state, he is bored and needs something to do, perhaps he can get involved in a hobby or other activity that takes him out of the house on a regular basis.

Stimulating his mind and spending time with other people may fill the space that he now uses to drink and get high. Discovering purpose may be the best antidote.

Harriette Cole is a lifestylist and founder of DREAMLEAPERS, an initiative to help people access and activate their dreams. You can send questions to askharriette@harriettecole.com or c/o Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.

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