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Friend's attitude/ behaviour...how would this sit with you?

(38 Posts)
balayage Sat 21-May-16 09:41:17

Friend split with her husband a couple of years ago, initial split instigated by him. They're not divorced, see each other almost daily as he comes round to cook for their DC (16, doing GCSEs) and do housework/house maintenance, garden upkeep, clean car etc. He has told her many times he made a mistake, and would like to get properly back together, go to counselling to work out the issues they had previously etc. She's not said no to him, however she tells us she has no intention of getting back with him.

This is at least in part because she is involved on an on-off basis with 2 ex partners (from before she married her husband), who are themselves married/ in a ltr. She sees them really only when she wants them to do something - one is a builder and is doing a load of work for her for free. Another lives locally, so she phones him for a lift from the station, home from the pub or whatever, and he always obliges, indeed they all do. She's recently started dating someone else and is already planning (he works in a garage) how he's going to repair her car for her, get a good deal on her next car etc....

She said men just cant do enough for her, because they all fall in love with/ become obsessed with her. She will often comment if we're in a bar that men are looking at her (I've/we've - when other friends are there - not noticed this).

Cabrinha Sat 21-May-16 10:13:25

Well, how does this sit with you?
If everything is exactly as you say, then she uses people.
I wouldn't be friends with her. It wouldn't even need to be a moral judgement - I just know that I wouldn't enjoy the company of that kind of person.

She's not necessarily using them all though - the now married ex boyfriend who is swapping sex for odd jobs - not feeling any sympathy there, I'm sure he's perfectly happy with the situation.

InaMay Sat 21-May-16 10:15:00

Not sure what you want us to say... "Oh, she's terrible, Muriel" or "I can see she might have some axe to grind with mankind after being dumped by her exH, although she's going about it in a very bad manner" or "You sound jealous".

Whatever you hope to gain from this, what 'sits with' me predominately is that you are not her friend.

balayage Sat 21-May-16 10:18:26

I feel like she's coming across as a user.

I'd never really thought about it before, she doesn't ask favours from me but then I'm not in a position to help her with anything, so maybe that's why? Her husband has always done everything as she works ft and he pt, at the time I didn't think much of it as it works (well, worked) for them.

I've always been very independent, if I cant do it myself, or afford to pay someone it generally doesn't get done! So it seems off to me.

balayage Sat 21-May-16 10:22:12

I'm not sure why I'm not her friend?

Everything I've posted are things she's said in front of me and other friends, not conjecture on my part.

It just doesn't sit well with me. I've not seen any of my other friends from this group for a while so I don't know what they think. I did mention it to another friend (who doesn't know her) who asked if I thought I was jealous of her. I don't think I am, but that gave me pause, hence posting.

InaMay Sat 21-May-16 10:29:13

Honestly, OP, you sound jealous. I undersand you might not have gotten to that yet, but if you really dig deep, you, being as independant as you say you are, are galled that she can 'use' people in this manner and has 3 men running around after her. Don't forget though, as much as she may be using them, they are also using her. If this is a state of affairs (pardon the pun) that she is happy with and the wankers she's with utilising are happy with, I don't see why you're bothered.

Actually, that's not strictly true, I can empathise with why you're bothered, it's not a situation I could necessarily condone. By speaking to others, albeit only one other, about her, you are effectively bitching about her. And now you've come on here to have another bitch. You're bothered, very bothered it seems. Why is that? Again, I think you're jealous. You may not want to be her. Who would? But you have a simmering resentment against the way she's living her life while you are doing it all yourself.

'Tis worth reflection in any case. Good luck with it.

lljkk Sat 21-May-16 10:33:36

I'm not good on tolerating vanity. Doubt I'd be "good enough" to ever be her friend, tbh!!

Seems to me these men are all adults & know what they are getting from her (how little or how much by their standards). So their choice to have that bit on the side. I could see her socially but probably not be a buddy.

Cabrinha Sat 21-May-16 10:35:07

Ah, so you bitch about her offline too.

balayage Sat 21-May-16 10:52:56

I've not bitched about her. To my mind bitching is being unpleasant, spinning the truth, etc. I've done no more than repeat what she said to me and ask a friend what they thought.

Isn't that what happens on MN all the time? People relay a discussion and others offer opinions. If I'm bitching then surely everyone is on here?!

Am I jealous? It's not how I'd want to live my life, but maybe I am resentful. She has made comment previously on my house, or laughed when I've said I needed to do X or Y at home (so couldn't meet for coffee etc) and said I should get my DP to do it hmm. I guess because that's what she would do.

KeepCoolCalmAndCollected Sat 21-May-16 11:08:13

I don't think you're jealous - it's probably more of a question of you questioning yourself as to whether you want to be friends with someone who is a shallow and cheap user?

GloopyGhoul Sat 21-May-16 11:16:20

You can be vaguely envious of the way a person might find certain aspects of life easy, without being jealous of them. I hate the automatic jump to "you sound jealous" if one dares to comment on another person's way of life.

balayage Sat 21-May-16 11:16:51

I do feel I may have to take a step back from our friendship - I have seen her much more frequently since her split from her h as she has wanted to go out more, and I've tried to be supportive as I have been through the end of a lt relationship and know how hard it is. But the more she tells me, the more I feel uncomfortable.

InaMay Sat 21-May-16 14:46:15

GloopyGhoul, I don't feel it an 'automatic jump' to read this and interpret how I sense the OP feels about this woman. It's all there. Jealous, resentful, vaguely envious... Whatever way you want to describe it, it adds up to the same thing. The OP has self-refelcted and identified that, for whatever reason, she no longer feels comfortable with this friendship. Ergo, this woman is no longer a friend. If we cannot accept our friends' choices, whether we agree with them or not and continue to be there for them, without resorting to sounding off about them on or offline, there is to my mind, no friendship.

OP, if you are as uncomforable as you seem to be with this woman's choices, stepping back from the friendship is probably the way to go. She may need/reach out to you further down the line, or she may not. Only you can decide if you'll be there if or when her choices are less jarring to you.

MaybeDoctor Sat 21-May-16 15:03:31

I do object to people who are freeloaders and threads on MN about people sponging money/childcare/possessions without reciprocating drive me nuts But she isn't freeloading - she is giving them something in return grin.

dudsville Sat 21-May-16 15:10:54

Have you had a moment recently of starting to add all of this up? I've had that recently with a friend. I'm currently waiting to see if a change in circumstances was the reason for her change in ethics, and if she returns to her old self then I'll be thrilled to have my old friend back. If she doesn't and this is a permanent change in her ethics then I'll struggle. I know lots of people are more flexible but I like being friends with people who a few specific core ethical principles with me.

Wasafatmum42 Sat 21-May-16 15:50:31

OP I think you need to let your friend get on with her life at the end of the day you don't know what`s in her head , big up to her ex for making sure he cooks for his kids and does the diy around the house ,my BIG QUESTION IS are you prepared to do her cooking , maintenance and what ever ex does for her? If the answer is NO butt out. Who needs friends like you???? Playground jealous stuff

balayage Sat 21-May-16 17:12:35

I have supported her by seeing her more often than I did previously, accompanying her on nights out - as mentioned when she was with her h, she was never that fussed about going out, now she is.

Would I cook for her and do her cleaning? Hell no, because she's a grown woman and, like any adult, capable of doing it herself. Her DC is 16, so not 6, so could cook her own dinner. Her h is obviously doing all this because he is hoping to resurrect the marriage. I agree it's nice for ex partners to be on civil terms and help each other out but this goes way beyond that, he is there every day!

Has she changed, or has she always been like this? I don't know, I didn't see her as much before, and she probably didn't talk quite so much about what others do for her. Certainly she also didn't see fit to tell me what my DP should be doing for me.

IWILLgiveupsugar Sat 21-May-16 17:18:57

Her h chose to leave her and is now sorry. His tough luck really - should have thought of that before he dumped his marriage.

As for the other two, it's hard to feel sorry for men who are currently cheating on their partners. If she is using them, well, they ate doing worse to their wives. Might be why your friend doesn't respect them and takes them for what she can get.

I would imagine they're getting something out of it!

balayage Sat 21-May-16 17:32:49

They're all getting something out of it. It just doesn't seem to me to be a very honest way to live. Her h left because he felt unhappy and taken for granted, and that he did everything, yet is still doing it.

I also don't think bragging about how she,can wrap any man round her little finger and get them doing everything, and then laughing at me because I chose to do things myself or pay tradesmen (she could afford to, as she has a v good job, property and other investments) is that nice a thing to do. It doesn't sit well with the independent feminist in me.

CupidsArrows Sat 21-May-16 18:02:33

I wrote a long comment about a friend I have that's similar to yours but actually it boils down to this:-

I have a friend like this, infact she was my best friend. She is a user and everyone in her life had a use (myself included). This last year I have taken a massive step back because I didn't like the way she was treating me and I didn't like the way she treated others. What I discovered was actually I don't really miss her from my life all that much.

We meet occasionally for a coffee/catch up with our kids but other than that I've tried to keep my distance. She's tried to arrange nights out etc but I've always had a legitimate reason I can't go and now that I'm pregnant again she's stopped asking.

I think the difference in our two stories is my friends actions directly impacted me but something doesn't have to impact you for you to not like it. Honestly if you don't like what's she's doing then distance yourself otherwise I'd say to keep out of it.

Wasafatmum42 Sat 21-May-16 18:30:33

now the penny drops it doesn't sit well with the independent feminist in me have you actually put yourself in your friend`s shoes ? its hard to have your husband walk out on you and you have to deal with a teenager as well probably she just got fed up of men treating her like an object and that's the only way she can get her own back. I'm sorry the independent feminist in you feels its wrong maybe that's how your friend feels her feminist in her is taking control of her independence

SandyY2K Sat 21-May-16 18:39:34

Your friend is a user. She's having affairs with two men.... who are getting sex in return. Not only is she a user... but her morals are way underground.

Her husband should move on and find someone else. Women like this don't change.. they don't want to change and love the power.

balayage Sat 21-May-16 18:46:25

I was a lone parent for many years (with no financial, practical or emotional involvement from my child's dad at all) so I understand perfectly.

I don't see what she's doing as independent, quite the opposite. If her h knew she was seeing other men (I'm in no way going to tell him, that's not my mess to get involved in. But inevitably at some point it will come out) there's no way he'd be prepared to do all the things he does - she acknowledges this, yet continues to give him false hope.

I don't see men treating her as an object at all. She says men are always looking at her/ flirting with her/ interested in her but when she's said this on occasions when we're out in a group, it's not something we've noticed.

MistressDeeCee Sat 21-May-16 18:48:14

Yes, she is a user. How exactly is this majorly affecting you, though? None of these men sound as if morals are their strengths. They're users too, they're not hanging around her for no gain. I wouldn't care less, in your shoes. Mind you her bragging about them and going on about men looking at her would bore and annoy me so Id tell her to leave it out, there's more to life than talking about and defining oneself by how men view you and whether they fancy you or not. Aside from all that you sound a little jealous of her

MistressDeeCee Sat 21-May-16 18:53:08

As for her H not being prepared to do all he does for her if he found she was seeing other men - you'd be surprised what people do when they're in love. Some people up the ante re. getting their partners back if they feel there are other contenders out there. What they tell you and what they actually do, can be 2 entirely different things.

Anyway - why are you making yourself 'The Male Defender' in all this? Nobody in this scenario sounds particularly brilliant after all, the H instigated the split with her didn't he? She doesn't have to want him back on his terms actually, & if she is dangling him well, he is allowing her to. He best knows why. Not you. Don't let envy get the better of you and try not to be so invested in what she does and doesn't do men-wise, it'll do your mindset no good

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