It’s no secret that I love the Real Housewives. In fact, some of my best friends are former Housewives. (Hi, Jill!) The Real Housewives of the OC is on now and I’m predictably hooked. There are so many fascinating relationship dynamics that I’ll try and dissect in future posts, but what I wanted to focus on today is the Brooks and Vicki stuff. For those not watching, Brooks is Vicki’s boyfriend and hasn’t had a very easy entry into Vicki’s group of Real Housewives friends for a variety of reasons. Right now, everyone’s convinced that he’s faking his illness. I can’t comment on that, aside from saying that I’m dying to find out how this saga ends, but I can comment on how to deal when it seems like everyone you know hates your boyfriend. It’s an icky situation and here’s what you should do.
If there are several people saying the same thing about the new man in your life, it would be silly to completely ignore what you’re hearing. After all, the people saying this negative stuff to you do love you and want the best for you. So, if you hear that folks are talking smack about your boo, I say you get some details on what’s being said. In a very non-confrontational way, ask someone close to you to repeat the gossip going around and take the time to listen to what they’re saying. Really take it in. Does it resonate with you? If so, maybe this gossip is true and you need to rethink things with your man. If not, now is not the time to refute this gossip or yell at the person who shared the news with you. Thank the person for sharing this icky stuff—it probably wasn’t easy for them to say it to your face—and then take a beat to yourself before you do anything else.
Talk to your boyfriend
After you’ve had some alone time to calm your emotions and really process what you’ve heard, it’s time to talk to the man of the hour. Bring up the issues you know people are talking about. If you think these issues could be real, start figuring out how to deal with them or how to end it with him. If you think this is just mean gossip, ask him how he thinks you two as a couple should respond and cook up a plan that you both feel comfortable with. If you decide to stick together through this, the important thing is to actually stick together! Face this as a team, not a lone soldier.
Shut it down
And then you have to totally shut down the rumors and gossip. Talk to those close to you and explain why these rumors don’t hold water for you and how fantastic your relationship actually is. Or, explain that the rumors brought up some issues for the two of you and you guys are working to build the relationship you want. Say your piece and then explain to your loved ones that you will never discuss this issue again. Case closed. Also tell them that while you can’t control what they do, you would hope that they’d respect you enough to stop talking about it when you’re not present as well. Once you explain where you’re coming from, set firm boundaries on the gossip and request what you think is good behavior from them, walk away. You’ve done all you can to shut it down and now it’s time to disengage and let your plan work.
I hope this helps those of you dealing with a crappy boyfriend vs. the world situation. As for Vicki and Brooks, we’ll have to tune in next week to see what the deal is there.