To not want to see my friend after this revelation.....

(106 Posts)
Writerwannabe83 Sat 14-Dec-13 17:11:32

I have a friend that I have known for 14 years now. When we were younger we were really close but then as life got in the way we didn't see each other as often. These days we meet up for a good old chat every few months and go out for a meal etc and I'm due to be seeing her this Monday.

My sister just phoned me, who is also friends with his girl, and told me that this afternoon our friend confided that she has started seeing a married man who also has children - the youngest of which is only a baby of 5 months old shock My friend, despite being 32 has never had a serious relationship, she goes from disaster to disaster, she lets men lie to her and use her, she goes for the wrong type all the time, sleeps with men because she thinks they will then like her etc etc - I'm sure you get the picture. But I never, ever, ever thought she would go this far.

My sister was really upset as she has not long broke up with the father of her children (after 10 years together) because it transpired he was having an affair. Our friend can't understand why my sister is so upset and sees no problem with what she is doing. Apparently our friend is convinced this is something special and has "never felt anything like it..." She was complaining to my sister that she never gets to see this guy because the baby is taking up all his time.

Now, I'm absolutely dreading seeing her. I'm upset on my sisters behalf but also, I'm currently pregnant and I know I will sitting there, listening to her talk about it like it isn't an issue, whilst imagining that it could be me at home with the new born whilst the husband is out cheating. I don't know how I'm going to be able to stay friendly or calm with her....

I'm tempted to just text her and cancel.
I know we shouldn't be judgemental, but I really don't think I can sit there and listen to her or face her.

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Sat 14-Dec-13 17:50:38

Just keep changing the subject, Writer, if she quizzes you it you can say that you don't want to know about it and will she please respect that. Then breezily chat about any and all other subjects. It's difficult, I know, but it can be done.

If there are two many silences then meet less frequently.

monicalewinski Sat 14-Dec-13 17:54:37

Just tell her.

My (married with children) friend had an affair, my husband had an affair (not with her!). I didn't fall out with her because she was a friend I truly cared about and she was also on self destruct - the fact I had personal hurt on the same subject didn't make me feel differently about her, but I did spell it out to her in no uncertain terms exactly the devastation she was wreaking on herself, her family and the married man's family. She distanced from me initially but as I was the only one being honest whilst not judgy she ended up coming back to me in the end and the affair finished (happy endings for all concerned thankfully) - we are still v v close to this day.

Be honest with her about how you feel, it's the best way to be.

Famzilla Sat 14-Dec-13 17:54:57

I have a friend who does stuff like this. Incredibly self destructive, no self worth, no regard for other people etc.

Well, she's not really a friend. I meet up with her and give her a non judgemental ear for an hour or so. She has no friends and although I can see why, I feel sorry for her and I can spare some time to go "mmhhhmm" once in a while because I know it's therapeutic for her. Like your friend, she has had an awful life and the way I view it is that it's not her fault she is the way she is.

fluffyraggies Sat 14-Dec-13 17:57:56

Well, you've already told her that you know about the affair, and from the tone of your 2nd text (and the fact that she hasn't replied) it must be obvious that you're not impressed.

I don't think YABU. Its not rocket science that there are certain things a person could do which would make you not want to carry on a friendship with them. Even if that thing didn't effect you personally. Racist behaviour towards other people, cruelty to animals, affair with married bloke with new baby ... all good reasons for me personally.

Writerwannabe83 Sat 14-Dec-13 17:58:10

You're right - I will go and hear it from her own mouth. I absolutely trust what my sister says over her though smile She will bend the truth in order to avoid a telling-off from me.

I just don't know why she keeps doing it to herself - she always meets the most absolute wankers who treat her like total shit but she convinces herself that it's love and it will be something special. They treat her like crap, it goes wrong EVERY single time, she never learns and we are all a bit tired of picking up the pieces. Everyone else can see these men for what they are, we warn her, she ignores us and just makes the same mistakes over and over and over again- she doesn't listen to anyone who tries to make her see sense. It's infuriating! After 16 years of this repetitive cycle it gets a bit wearing.

In some ways I feel a bit sorry for her as there are 6 of us from the initial close friendship we had (including my sister) and all of us, except my friend, have long term partners, husbands and children. I think she pulls away from us quite a lot because she feels like she is being left behind. She is just so, so desperate to be loved that she will blindly go off with any man who shows a passing interest,throw herself into it and convince herself that it's the 'real thing' instead of just seeing them for what they really are.

lydiamama Sat 14-Dec-13 18:00:38

You do not have to see her, or listen to her if you do not feel like it, you are pregnant. She is heading to a very low dark place though, so if you can try to get a common friend to try and talk some common sense into her

monicalewinski Sat 14-Dec-13 18:06:15

Why don't you just be brutally upfront and tell her what you just posted - exactly.

Make the point that you are telling her this because you want her to break the self-destruct cycle. It sounds like she is setting herself up to fail every time, and now it has come to the point that she is potentially harming other people it is time to stop.

Be honest (not nasty), just blunt - firm and fair.

Tiptops Sat 14-Dec-13 18:12:18

Sounds like she has very, very low self esteem and needs validation from a man to feel good, no matter who that man is. Not that it is any excuse, just what comes across from your post at 17:58.

You absolutely don't have to see her if you don't want to, but I think a face to face conversation about how wrong this is and how disappointed in her you are would hit home more than just a snub by text message. I'd try hard not to go in angry initially as it may just make her defensive, try and coax her into seeing it from the other side.

Timetoask Sat 14-Dec-13 18:13:48

Tell her that she needs therapy, there must be a reason why she always gets involved in destructive relationships.
Personally, I prefer to have friends with a moral compass, so I wouldn't see her again.

ToffeeOwnsTheSausage Sat 14-Dec-13 18:17:26

"She is just so, so desperate to be loved that she will blindly go off with any man who shows a passing interest, throw herself into it and convince herself that it's the 'real thing' instead of just seeing them for what they really are."

This rang a bell to me. I met my DH at 23 and before that I was so desperate to be loved (no one ever had before, including "family") and have some security (lived in many many places) I just figured a ring on my finger = security. When I met DH and actually knew I loved him as it was so soon after meeting (2 or so months in) I doubted myself.

Maybe she doesn't think she deserves happy ever after so takes bad boys as better than nothing (also rings bellssad.)

Writerwannabe83 Sat 14-Dec-13 18:17:39

You're right tiptops - she doesn't haven't any self esteem. I think that's why we all put up with her constant destructive behaviours, because we feel sorry for her. She was kicked out when she was 16, her parents aren't bothered about her, her brothers aren't bothered with her, people she considers to be close friends are pretty vile to her - but she just accepts it. It drives me crazy when I see what types of behaviour she accepts from other people, it's like she doesn't think she deserves any better. She probably thinks having a married man with children be 'in love' with her is like having some kind of status....

Writerwannabe83 Sat 14-Dec-13 18:19:35

And yes tofee - she will take bad boys over nothing. Honestly, some of the guys she has entered into 'relationships' with..... It chills me. They are horrible to her, ashamed of her, nasty to her, they use her and she just lets them.

AnnaKissed Sat 14-Dec-13 18:23:26

I was in a very similar situation (pregnant, close friend having an affair with a married man.) We stayed friends but I made sure she knew what I thought of her actions, and maybe she listened to me a bit because we had been friends for so long, I don't know. He eventually left his wife for my friend and they are still together now, but whenever we talk about their relationship or his children, I clearly stand up for the ex-wife as much as I can. So maybe hearing the hard truth from an old friend would be good for her.

Just another thought, but you say he is married man who also has children - the youngest of which is only a baby of 5 months old but could he be separated already from his wife? Maybe that's just my wishful thinking?

AmberLeaf Sat 14-Dec-13 18:24:16

Do what you feel is best for you.

Your friend sounds like she has self esteem problems.

A friend of mine had a brief affair with a married man, like your friend, she didn't know at the outset that he was married. When she found out and told me, I said that people, including her will get hurt. She did see him for a little longer, then ended it. I didn't 'approve' but I wasn't going to end our friendship because of it. She was still my friend even though she was doing something questionable.

I also have another friend who has very shit taste in men and seems not to learn, well, she is learning now finally. I know it can be frustrating when you feel like your advice is being ignored, but if a person has self esteem problems it isn't as easy as just listening to what someone else says and changing your actions. low self esteem is deeply ingrained. It is very hard to change the way you value yourself. The model of relationships that you grow up with is also very influencial and difficult to re-learn.

Life and relationships is complex, it really isn't so black and white.

maddy68 Sat 14-Dec-13 18:24:25

Friendship should not be conditional. Sometimes people make bad choices. Yes tell her your views but she should know that you love her anyway despite everything

ToffeeOwnsTheSausage Sat 14-Dec-13 18:25:24

There is one guy I let treat me badly for years. We were both very young, wanting different things and even when we were grown up I still took any crap as having him about with tears was better than not having him. When I think back to that time I allowed myself to be treated badly, but I was also asking for too much, I just know it was because I didn't think I deserved the bits in my life that were great so I was on a self destructive mission.

ToffeeOwnsTheSausage Sat 14-Dec-13 18:26:56

But I am not sure the OP does "love her" maddy68.

maddy68 Sat 14-Dec-13 18:28:10

I'm not sure she dies either. In which case she should maybe re evaluate her 'friendship'

maddy68 Sat 14-Dec-13 18:28:25

Does!!

Writerwannabe83 Sat 14-Dec-13 18:28:28

I don't love her - I tolerate her because of how long I have known her and because I know she doesn't really have any friends. That sounds awful I know.

scaevola Sat 14-Dec-13 18:28:40

You do not have to condone life choices of which you disapprove.

You do not have to associate with people who are living in ways you disapprove of.

You can however tell her that you will be around to help pick up the pieces.

You could stay in touch, if you both agree you can leave this issue to one side.

AmberLeaf Sat 14-Dec-13 18:34:14

I feel sorry for her.

Her low self esteem means she picks crap men/relationships and is surrounded by fake friends [inc you OP from what you have just said] and her family sound toxic.

Writerwannabe83 Sat 14-Dec-13 18:44:38

It is hard for her to have true friends as she doesn't make the effort with anyone. She only wants people around her when something big is happening in her life. The only time I ever hear from her is if she wants to talk about something - and more often than not it will be her latest 'relationship'. Like I said, she hasn't once contacted me during my pregnancy to check I'm ok, despite knowing all the problems I was having. If something isn't directly happening to her then she isn't interested. I see her a few times a year and I'm under no illusion that we have a close friendship, it is just one of habit. I don't dislike her, I'm not nasty to her at all, I make time for her but at the same time she is very,very hard work.

The sad thing is that she's actually done really well for herself - she has always worked as soon as she left school, she had to seeing as she was kicked out. Alongside having to work she still went to college and she has recently completed a degree - all of which she has funded herself through sheer hard work. She is really, really dedicated and never expects anything from anyone, she has worked for everything she has - but she doesn't see this as making her a worthwhile person. She sees a person as only being worthwhile if they have a relationship or a family, and she is just so desperate for it to happen to her.

Balaboosta Sat 14-Dec-13 18:48:25

I don't agree with one thing you are doing, which is to conduct this dialogue with her via text and hearsay (well your sister, but not the actual horse's mouth). What's with that. Speak to her. You will say whatever you say iyswim. And see if the friendship survives it.

XiCi Sat 14-Dec-13 19:00:13

From your posts I just feel desperately sorry for her. Sounds like she needs a real friend whilst you just sound smug about how better life has turned out for you and your other friends and overly judgmental about her admittedly bad life choices so far. She clearly needs support, if you really are a friend then give it to her or just let her be instead of slagging her off. Things seem bad enough for her as it is without so called friends wading in to stick the knife in

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