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You Asked: Should I Give this Guy a Second Chance?


Dear Sugar --

I have a very confounding problem. My boyfriend's best friend just moved to our city, which is very thrilling for my boyfriend, who has been pals with this guy since childhood, however, he not only has a severe drinking problem (a functioning alcoholic, if you will) but spent his last visit saying offensive things to complete strangers and (here it comes) touching me inappropriately.

We were in a large crowd at a concert and I guess he thought he could sneak in a few hip grabs, "accidental" ass brushes and hand holds (all of which I thwarted). It made me incredibly uncomfortable and was amplified by the fact that he was wasted. By the end of the concert, he was picking fights, attracting unwanted attention from security guards, shouting and throwing stuff. Finally, THIS was the most disturbing and worrisome thing: at one point when I was talking to my boyfriend, he leaned over and very purposefully put the flame of a lit lighter right underneath my calf, giving me a tremendous scare and almost burning me. My boyfriend only witnessed this particular incident and verbally chastised him but later seemed to chalk it up to a "haha, he's just crazy like that" moment.

I am obviously in shock and total awe that this person will now be a permanent fixture in our lives. The friend is also very demanding of my boyfriend's time and seems to be borderline obsessed with him. To make matters worse, he will be staying in my boyfriend's apartment until he can find his own place.

My boyfriend is not oblivious of his friend's problems and has expressed concern for the amount of time and energy he will require, but he insists that he just wants to help give the guy a chance to straighten out his life and succeed. I respect his rationale and have not raised a single complaint about this impending event, but how on earth do I cope with this person? I would never try to come between them but I will certainly not sit around and let him drunkenly grope me. I haven't mentioned this stuff to my boyfriend yet and don't know if I should sit on these feelings until I see they're justified or go ahead and tell the boyfriend about my worry over his friend's shenanigans, which could potentially wound their friendship. I mean, should I be giving this guy a second chance? Opinions please! --Stuck in Between a Rock Rachel

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Dear Stuck in Between a Rock Rachel --

Let me first say that you are being very mature about this whole situation, however I am far from excusing this guy's behavior. It's totally inappropriate for him to grab at you and physically harm you, even though he meant the lighter incident to be playful. I understand that you don't want to get in between their friendship, but what kind of a friend is this guy to your boyfriend if he is making you feel uncomfortable? Not a very good one if you ask me.

If you're not quite ready to rock the boat and are willing to give him a chance to redeem himself, could you ask your boyfriend to move in with you until he finds his own place? That way you can keep more distance from him and he can get a taste for what "real life" would be for him once he gets settled. If they stay together in his apartment, it's going to feel like vacation for both of them making it easier to get into some good old buddy trouble together, aka over drinking, saying offensive things to complete strangers, or even mishandling you. Since your boyfriend is aware of his shenanigans, hopefully he can set a good example and keep him in line so he does have that chance to straighten out his life and succeed like he says he wants to do at this time.

In the meantime, if this guy keeps up his derelict behavior and continues to make you feel uncomfortable, you're going to have to speak up. I can guarantee you that your boyfriend would want to know what's going on between you two. Good luck and I hope everything works out!

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