Dear Coleen

I feel stuck between a rock and a hard place. I have a couple of close friends I’ve known since university who are married, and they’ve fallen out badly with some other friends of ours.

These mutual friends are in the right – they lost money thanks to a property venture set up by this couple, who made bad decisions and didn’t tell them the full facts. They were also horrible when things went wrong.

The thing is, I wasn’t affected because I had no money to invest, and I really like this couple and don’t want to cut them off, but I don’t agree with how they handled things or how they treated our friends.

I’m worried that if I stay close to this couple, my other friends won’t bother with me any more because they’ll think I’ve sided with them, even though they behaved appallingly. At the moment, I’m avoiding all of them!

I’m quite a reasonable person and tend to think there are usually two sides to every story, but I’m not sure I can get away with being diplomatic on this one.

What should I do for the best?

Coleen says

Well, I think all you can do is be honest with both groups of friends about how you feel.

Tell the couple that you don’t agree with how they behaved, so they know where you stand, but that you hope it won’t affect your friendship.

And say something similar to the other group – that you know this couple handled things badly, but you don’t want to be forced to make a choice or get embroiled in the
argument.

If they value your friendship, they’ll leave you out of it and they won’t discuss it with you.

This isn’t your issue and good friends ought to understand that and not put you in a position where you feel you have to side with one or the other and get involved in the rights and wrongs of the situation.

It’s horrible when something like this breaks up a group of friends, but sadly it can be the price you pay for mixing business with pleasure when things go wrong.

Learn from it and, if this couple ever approach you with a “great idea” for something, politely decline.

Good luck!





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