Dear Wayne and Wanda,
"Mike" is one of my best friends. We have known each other since college and are now in our mid-30s. From the beginning, Mike and I have had strong chemistry, but in college he was always dating "Jessica." Still, there were a few drunken nights when we sort of crossed the line -- nothing serious, just some make-out sessions -- and afterward we laughed it off and said it couldn't happen again. I was in the wedding when Mike and Jessica married the summer after we graduated. And, not surprisingly, I was one of the first people he called when they decided to get divorced. We dated for a couple of months. But it was long-distance (he lives out of state in our hometown) and we decided to just go back to being friends.
Then Mike started dating "Kelly." I was a little surprised when just a few months later, they moved in together. And then about a year later -- this spring -- they announced their engagement.
I already felt apprehensive, like Mike is totally rushing into another marriage because he can't be alone. But then things got more complicated when I visited home recently. We met for drinks and he totally came on to me. He actually kissed me (I was caught by surprise and stopped it almost as soon as it started) and told me he has always loved me and will always love me but things with me are just "too hard" because of the distance and all our history. When I said maybe he should reconsider getting married, he said "marriage isn't necessarily forever." What?! Then, not long after that, Kelly arrived and we didn't have a chance to talk further.
The wedding is a few weeks away. I feel like the friend in the movie who comes running down the aisle when the priest asks if anyone objects, because I think this is a huge mistake. Should I try to talk him out of it? Or should I just let them be?
-- Wannabe Wedding Crasher
Wanda says: Wow, drama! And is anyone else thinking, "poor Kelly"? From your letter, it's clear that Mike has a history of serial monogamy tainted by chronic cheating, which is a recipe for disaster and also a sign of someone who needs to sort out himself before he can ever be functional and successful in a relationship.
Should you go storming into the church and halt the vows? Let's not fight drama with more drama. No two people know what is really happening in a relationship but the two in it -- which would be Mike and Kelly. So don't assume he isn't heading into this with the best intentions. But you've known Mike a long time and have some historical perspective on his actions and impulses, which included him kissing you just weeks before his wedding! Not OK.
Pick up the phone, call your buddy and call him out on that: tell him that last-minute makeouts aren't the way to kick off holy matrimony, and get him to talk about what's going on in his head and heart. Whether or not the wedding happens, as his friend, you have a right to call him on his behavior, express concern, offer support and have an adult conversation.
Wayne says: "Marriage isn't necessarily forever" -- what an excellent line. Let's get this thing trending and make it the hot marriage vow of the summer! And don't even get me started on the merch opportunities. Mike is a genius!
Not really. In fact, he's a selfish and sad man who doesn't care one bit about the scorched trail of used and confused friends and broken hearts he leaves behind.
If Mike was really your friend, he wouldn't put you in this situation to begin with. And if he truly wanted you in his life as a partner, he would have made it happen by now -- long-distance or otherwise.
But that's not Mike's M.O. and that's not what you need in your life. If you hang around, you're just going to end up as an accessory to his next marital meltdown. So skip the wedding, dump Mike as a friend and pray for Kelly.
• Wanda is a wise person who has loved, lost and been to therapy. Wayne is a wise guy who has no use for therapy. Send them your questions and thoughts at firstname.lastname@example.org.