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Ask Amy: Is it ethical for me to stand up in church and witness wedding I fear is bad news? – OregonLive

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Dear Amy: My very best and oldest friend, “Curt,” is getting married to his longtime girlfriend.

I have spent a lot of time with them, and I can say definitively that Curt’s life is much worse since they have been together.

His fiancée is extremely controlling and has him on a very short tether. Recently he told me that she threw a shoe at him in a fit of anger.

I believe this relationship is really bad for him and that his fiancée is an abuser. She has done what she can to isolate him from family members and doesn’t speak to his mother (and is threatening not to allow her at their wedding).

I am worried for Curt and very unhappy about this marriage, which she is pushing him into.

Curt has asked me to be his best man, and I honestly worry that it is unethical for me to stand up in a church and witness this wedding. I can’t imagine composing a speech or a toast.

Am I obligated to take this on?

– Not the Best Man

Dear Not the Best Man: You are not obligated to take this on.

However, I think you should.

Abusers gain their power by isolating the person they are abusing, and they make life so uncomfortable and so untenable that most people back away – or are pushed away. Tell “Curt” what you see and how you feel about it. And tell him that you will always have his back.

Consider this an act of extreme friendship. The way you can justify this is to tell yourself that you are standing up for him, if not for them.

For your speech, describe your close friendship, tell a wonderful story about him, and – sincerely – express your wish for a happy future.

You can email Amy Dickinson at [email protected] or send a letter to Ask Amy, P.O. Box 194, Freeville, NY 13068.

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