Dear Annie: I have a lifelong friend who, over the past 10 years, has gotten so steeped in her church that she has become unbearable. She tells me constantly (bragging is more like it) about how her God has blessed her and her family with their new house, all her lovely grandchildren and getting her together with her current husband (they met online after two divorces). She says she has received everything she has prayed for and goes on about what an amazing job God has done for her family.
I mean, it’s getting hard to listen to. I don’t want to sound sour, but my circumstances are vastly different, and she knows it. I lost my husband to homicide, and my son passed away at a young age. It seems everything in my life has been an ice-cream cone in the dirt. After one too many losses, I figured there was no God and have given up on religion.
I can’t help but be jealous of her good fortune, yet I always reply by saying how happy I am for her. Still, it seems as if she is trying to rub my nose in it. I keep my mouth shut as she goes on and on about how God is blessing her daily. Do you have any ideas short of scrapping the 60-year-old friendship? – Friendship Woes
Dear Friendship: You might remind her that “the Lord giveth, and the Lord taketh away.” She has every reason to be grateful for her blessings, but shoving them in your face is ungracious and shows a lack of consideration for your circumstances. Perhaps this is her misguided attempt to bring you into her religious circle, but it is not working. Tell her gently that you are certain she doesn’t intend to hurt you by constantly boasting about her blessings, but you would appreciate it if she would stop before it becomes too much to bear.