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To be concerned for a friend?

(22 Posts)
DoomDeer Sat 07-Jun-14 09:45:11

DP and I have a mutual friend who we usually see every other day, He lives locally and usually comes over dinner or a catch up, We've known him for over 5 years now and for a period of time he lived with us before we had DD. He's been like an uncle to now 3yr old DD.

About 2 months ago he started a new relationship, he came over and asked us for advice on dates etc. We were genuinely excited for him as he's quite often "friend-zoned" and it was lovely to see him so happy. I started to get concerned that we hadn't herd from him after a week of the relationship starting, DP assured me he was probably "in the throws of love" and so would be a little preoccupied to say the least. I agreed.

After 2 weeks, I went to his workplace as I was in town anyway to see how he was. He said he was fine, had been staying at his new girlfriends alot. Over lunch I asked about her, we joked about falling too fast. Then he dropped a bombshell, he told me they'd had a pregnancy scare! Having seen DP and I go through the struggles of an unplanned pregnancy, I thought he would have known better but I just said to him that he needs to be more careful, and possibly move more slowly as something like pregnancy this early in a relationship could have the potential to be a disaster. He agreed, I told him if he needed someone to talk to he knows either me or DP would be happy to lend an ear.

When I got home, I started to worry he'd told me the GF was alot older than he is (he's 26 she's 35) and had previously been engaged but it had fallen apart a year ago because her fiancee hadn't wanted kids. I didn't want to judge her before getting to know her so just put it down to over thinking things (a habit of mine).

I've now invited them round for dinner a total of 6 times. 3 of those times they told me they were coming, I bought and prepared food and then each time I get a call from my friend telling me "sorry GF is ill, we cant come", or "GF has to work late we cant come". The other 3 times they've just outright said no they cant make it, fair enough.

So, now 2 months into their relationship DP has even started to worry. We made the decision to contact our friends house mate to see what was going on. His housemate informed us the last time he actually saw our friend was a month ago when he came to collect more clothes but he still pays his rent on time. We asked if he'd said anything and well this is the bit that worried us. The housemate had said that his GF insisted on driving him to and from work even though they work an hour away from each other and that when he'd said he was going to go home as he had to open up his store the next day she'd out right said no and that she'd get up at 3am in order to drive him to work just so he'd stay with her.

Sorry this has been so long but I'm genuinely worried that my friend has got himself into a situation that he cant get out of. I don't know whether it would be unreasonable to talk to him or to just let nature take its course and just be there whatever the outcome. The other thing is am I just completely over-thinking this? Any advice would be great.

Littleturkish Sat 07-Jun-14 09:57:23

This certainly sounds like an awful situation.

Did the housemate express concern to the friend, and if he did, how did the friend react?
Does your friend have any family he is in touch with that you could contact?
Could you do the same 'drop in at lunch' thing you did before to check how he is?

You sound like a lovely friend and I hope you are able to offer your friend the support he needs.

patienceisvirtuous Sat 07-Jun-14 10:01:55

I think you are being pretty judgemental from your post.

Leave him be, and just be there if he needs you.

Canthisonebeused Sat 07-Jun-14 10:08:37

Is he particularly vulnerable and lacking capacity for some reason, because that is how you are portraying him in your OP, which is slightly odd, if he is more than capable of living an independent life then I would put it down to his priorities changing.

Granted the driving him to work etc all the time seems odd, but maybe his gf has some anxiety issues which he is aware of.

I don't think it's wise to get overly involved in other peoples domestic arrangements, unless some one is being abused.

If you feel he is not committed to your friendship since his relationship let him know how you feel around this, but I think some of your worry may be misplaced or viewed as as unwanted.

CundtBake Sat 07-Jun-14 10:09:00

If it's pretty judgemental to be worried about a friend who's clearly being controlled by new GF then I'd be happy to be 'judgemental'

It doesn't sound good, and you sound like lovely friends. I'd carry on dropping into his work place intermittently so he knows you're still there for him and you care about him, but sadly there's not much else you can do. He's a grown man and has to make his own decisions and commenting on his relationship to him could be very risky.

Canthisonebeused Sat 07-Jun-14 10:12:51

I don't see it is clear he is being controlled. The OP or flat mate does not know that he is being controlled, they are making assumptions out of what the see happening.

DoomDeer Sat 07-Jun-14 10:16:32

The housemate just seemed to think the Gf was a bit possessive, to be fair the housemates always wrapped up in his own world.

His family all live quite far and don't really talk, I guess we've been his family away from home in a way I don't think they'd provide much help.

I don't go into town that often, but I was thinking of making detour on my way back from work to see how he is.

He's also DP's closest friend (DP is a little unsociable) which is sad to see how much DP is missing that "bromance".

carabos Sat 07-Jun-14 10:19:27

Can't get past your overwhelming busy-bodyness tbh. Assuming he's an adult with full capacity you need to butt out hmm.

CundtBake Sat 07-Jun-14 10:20:09

If somebody posted on relationships about a DP who insisted on driving them to and from work even when it was inconvenient for them, always cancelled when they had plans with OP's friends and they were practically living with DP after a few weeks even though they were still paying rent at their own place these would be seen as huge red flags and everyone would be shouting LTB

DoomDeer Sat 07-Jun-14 10:28:09

I guess we are butting in, Both me and DP have been concerned for him, he's had a bit of a shitty time of it in recent years. We've seen him manipulated before and put in the "friendzone" and We were there to pick up the pieces when he fell apart.

His behaviour has been very unusual over the last few weeks which I guess is what put my back up.

I think DP and I will just let him be until he wants to come to us.

CarbeDiem Sat 07-Jun-14 10:34:06

You sound concerned op - ignore the negative comments.

There's not a lot you can do tbh. He's a grown man not a child.
yanbu to be concerned but would be if you interfere.
He knows where you are if he needs you.

wafflyversatile Sat 07-Jun-14 10:37:19

Agree with CundtBake If this was the other way round people would be shouting Red Flag! Male DPs never seem to be allowed anxiety issues.

That said there is only so much you can do. He may be perfectly happy and the arrangements might be just as much his choice as hers. Maybe... hmm He won't leave until he is ready, if ever. I'd see about meeting him for lunch and try to open up conversation. Push him too much and he is likely to defend her and his relationship. Asking questions that will help him come to his own realisation that this isn't quite right.

CMOTDibbler Sat 07-Jun-14 10:41:16

I'd be concerned too. Your friends gf sounds very like a friends stbxw who isolated him as much as she could, would cancel arranged events at very short notice due to 'illness', and had 'accidental' pregnancies which were her conceiving when she wanted to, against his wishes.
Over their marriage, he was financially and emotionally abused until she'd been having an affair for some months and presented him with divorce documents. Which now she won't sign because its not gone the way she wanted...

You can't do anything about it, apart from keep contacting him

CatsCantTwerk Sat 07-Jun-14 10:45:18

I would also be concerned. I think you need to go see your friend at work when he is alone and try to talk to him. Maybe he would open up better to You dp?

Smartiepants79 Sat 07-Jun-14 10:47:03

It does sound odd.
Although I do think you are perhaps a little over-involved there are some reasons to be concerned. Dumping very close friends this early on is never the sign of a healthy relationship in my opinion. You would expect to see him less but if she is that special you'd have thought meeting you would be a priority. The driving him about is also weird.
Other are right though, there is little you can do about it without risking the friendship altogether.
Keep an eye out and carry on making attempts to see them both. Not too often or it looks like stalking! Just make sure he knows you'll be there for him.

wafflyversatile Sat 07-Jun-14 10:49:09

If during conversation he does express concerns then perhaps refer him to or discuss signs of abusive relationships with him.

Here is a page about when you are concerned about a friend.

Aeroflotgirl Sat 07-Jun-14 10:51:05

Yanbu at all. If it was a woman instead of a man, it would be different advice. Men can be subjected to abuse in a relationship too, and as a good friend you have every right to be concerned. She does sound very controlling, mabey trying to cut him if from his friends and family, which abusive men tend to do, but in thus case it's a woman doing it. Do you have his parents or family contact details. Have you tried contacting him and getting him alone.

whois Sat 07-Jun-14 10:57:13

Yanbu at all. If it was a woman instead of a man, it would be different advice

I agree. It might be nothing, but it might be something. No real advice but try and keep the lines of communication open. Maybe try and have lunch or something. Make sure he knows you're there for him.

Thenapoleonofcrime Sat 07-Jun-14 11:11:32

I am not sure how the advice would differ- with the best will in the world, when a man or a woman gets together with a very possessive controlling person, it is their choice and you end up standing on the sidelines looking on- being there for them if and when they need help, sure, but there is very little you can do.

This situation reminds me of a male friend who had two such girlfriends in a row, the second he married. She isolated him a bit from friends and family, had paddies if he met up with old female friends and so on. I was concerned, but ultimately couldn't stop him. When I see them though, infrequently, he seems very happy, he seems to like being in this small bubble with her in which it is just them against the world.

That's what strikes me from your posts- your friend has really had you as a family, and now has her as a family (substitute). Neither seem entirely healthy really, but it might be that this very suffocating lady is the type of relationship he responds to (sadly).

DoomDeer Sat 07-Jun-14 11:28:20

Thenapoleonofcrime I have to agree with you, He didn't have a very healthy childhood and I think it plays apart in why he's prehaps attaches to people. I suppose DP and I have always been quite protective of him, as we know what he went through and he's a genuinely nice person who'm we've got on with and had many years of friendships.

Unfortunately, the part that concerns me most is that he's quite naive when it comes to relationships (likes to see the best in people). for example, there was a girl he liked who kept leading him on then getting back with her ex but our friend thought that she had really liked him and kept waiting for her. It was horrible to watch and all we could say was don't let her take you for a ride.

I think I'll take all the advice on hand and just keep the passage of communication open so he knows we're here for him. I'll make a point of going down to his work as it's not far from the station on my way back from work once a week or so as well.

Thanks everyone.

Nanny0gg Sat 07-Jun-14 11:31:10

If somebody posted on relationships about a DP who insisted on driving them to and from work even when it was inconvenient for them, always cancelled when they had plans with OP's friends and they were practically living with DP after a few weeks even though they were still paying rent at their own place these would be seen as huge red flags and everyone would be shouting LTB


And I don't see that being concerned for someone that you are clearly extremely close to as being judgemental or a busy-body. I think it's perfectly normal.

And if it was a woman, it would definitely be the usual thing to do. Why is it different because it's a man?

OberonTheHopeful Sat 07-Jun-14 12:40:49

OP, the details you post are alarmingly similar to how my last relationship started. Four years away from her and I still, in some respects, feel like I'm putting my life back together. I'd say you are very right to be concerned, though there is probably little you can realistically do other than make it clear to him that you're there. I wish I'd had a friend like you at the time.

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