How to Deal with Being Stabbed in the Back By Your Best Friend Because of Your Older Man

David Schwimmer and Zoe Buckman Relationship

“I feel like you’re sleep­ing with my father; it’s just weird,” she said when I revealed the age of my older man. After years as friends, she never minced words. We had spent our col­lege years together danc­ing, drink­ing, and flirt­ing with guys our own age and we were also, as the cliché goes, like sisters. 

I antic­i­pated her skep­ti­cism when I told her I was dat­ing some­one 25 years older than me, but I was con­fi­dent she would get over it. Not only did she help us plan our wed­ding, but over the course of five years, I could tell she had grown to like him; or so I thought.

While shop­ping in Chicago, our long-term friend­ship was pit­ted against my loy­alty towards him. We were perus­ing the floors of Ralph Lau­ren when I said the antique fur­ni­ture in the store was old-school and gar­ish. I turned to walk towards the ele­va­tor and heard her say to another one of our girl­friends, “I don’t know how she can say she doesn’t like antiques. She’s mar­ried to one.”

Ini­tially, I didn’t respond and just stepped onto the ele­va­tor, with my girl­friends fol­low­ing closely behind. The minute the doors closed, I couldn’t con­tain my anger, or my tears.

How dare you say some­thing so mean and thought­less about my hus­band! He has been noth­ing but nice to you and he takes care of me and treats me bet­ter than any man ever has.” Tears rolled down my face.

I would rather be with an older man who loves me and respects me, than with a younger man who treats me like crap.” The crappy man dig was directed at her hus­band, who was a lead­ing con­tes­tant for hav­ing the worst qual­i­ties in a husband.

I stormed off of the ele­va­tor and out onto Michi­gan Avenue, prac­ti­cally run­ning to get away from them. I could hear her pant­ing behind me, “I’m so sorry, I really am, I was only kidding.”

She con­tin­ued to apol­o­gize pro­fusely; I told her it was okay, but in truth, my heart was break­ing. This was the first fight we’d ever had. In 15 years, we never said a cross word to each other, but the minute she com­pared him to an antique, I saw red and couldn’t let it go with­out con­fronting her.

Only a day passed after we returned home before she called me, cry­ing. She asked if we were okay, and of course we were. We were friends too long to let a thought­less com­ment come between us.

I learned that week­end that I love my older man enough to stand up for him, and I love my friend enough to for­give her. If you’re a lady in love with an older man, remem­ber to clearly set the bound­aries with your friends; your age gap rela­tion­ship isn’t a joke and nei­ther is his age.