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AIBU to think DP's friend being a bit needy and to ask him to try to stem it?

(30 Posts)
Paperandstone Mon 10-Nov-14 16:33:38

Really looking for advice on this one as can't decide wheter IABU due to PMT!!

this isn't a big issue at all ..... really just started to niggle me, ever so slightly, and I wonder whether I should do something about it now or just not bother.... anyway here goes:

Been with DP just over a year. He was previously single for a long time before me. He had quite a few close female friends. One of which he used to spend a fair bit of time with. He used to eat at her house maybe 3 x a week. She is married with one DC. She is a good friend to him and he enjoys spending time with her, but my impression is he was starting to feel a bit lonely in his life and therefore spent perhaps a bit too much time with her/her family rather than getting out there and creating a life for himself. I feel this then created a dynamic/pattern with her, that would inevitably suffer to some extent (when I say suffer, I mean just not be quite the same) when he got into a relationship.

Anyway, throughout our relationship I have observed her to be quite needy in terms of his attention and at times, very much trying to involve herself with things that I think should be the sole concern of us, as a couple, if you see what I mean. Very personal, important stuff. I won't go into those issues here as he did firmly pull her up on that , but I will expand on the needy communications!

For example, we moved in together and our new flat is now quite far away from her, so he doesn't spend so much time over there (and hasn't really since we've been going out). She sends him quite guilt-trippy messages over this. For example, one was along the lines of my DC really misses you and wants to speak with you and is crying that you didn't pick up your phone just now. I found this to be quite guilt-tripping and not very healthy. AIBU?!

I understand to some extent why this is happening, as I say above, I think the friendship they had before was slightly unhealthy because he was feeling lonely and so perhaps relied on her a bit too much for support. Maybe she feels this is still her realm? She must also miss him as they don't spend a lot of time together now.

I don't know.... maybe it's really stupid to post on here, because I don't feel threatened and there is ABSOLUTELY nothing going on between them (just to be very clear on that as I know some Mnetters may jump to that conclusion), it's just niggling me a bit and I wonder whether it's only going to get worse.... I really can't imagine sending this type of message to one of my male friends, whether or not he is in a relationship actually. But maybe that's just me...!

Should I say something to him about it or just ignore it? If i do say something, what should I say?

Thank you!

SophiaPetrillo Mon 10-Nov-14 16:38:07

She sounds like a pain in the arse. I'm surprised her DH hasn't had something to say about her being so dependent on your DP and by "dependent" I mean she needs HIM to need HER (if that makes sense). He's in a relationship now and the friend needs to accept that, and your DP has to start putting you first.

grunty Mon 10-Nov-14 16:38:50

It sounds to me that she thought of the friendship as a potential or actual relationship even if he didn't. I think he has to manage her expectations and cool things right off and cut altogether for a while. I can't believe he doesn't have an inkling tbh.

Paperandstone Mon 10-Nov-14 16:41:36

thanks for these replies. She has been so very very good to him in the past, and I kind of feel like he is uncomfortable pulling her up on it as she has been so good. I feel sorry for her DH but he seems to put up with an awful lot (won't go into that here) so am not surprised he hasn't said anything...

personally I think she loves him...

AMumInScotland Mon 10-Nov-14 16:45:31

Oh dear, she's more than a little in love with him, I'm sure. But he needs to draw a line under it and either move this into a more 'normal' friendship, or distance himself altogether, for everyone's sake.

Maybe he could push the 'You have DH and I have paperandstone now, and it's just not a good idea to carry on as we were" line? I can see that he doesn't want to just 'dump' her after relying on her company, but it sounds like she got as much out of the arrangement as he did so he doesn't have to feel guilty.

Friendships change when relationships come along, she needs to recognise and accept that.

Paperandstone Mon 10-Nov-14 16:49:07

Another thing that gets my goat a little bit is the amount of contact. ALOT of text messages!! Most of it is fairly innocuous i.e. look what I was up to last weekend, with lots of photos.... but it's just a bit... I dunno.... a bit too much... and a bit immature?! Maybe IAMBVU now in respect of that particular point...

SophiaPetrillo Mon 10-Nov-14 16:50:40

Nah, don't think YABU at all. I would be pretty pissed off if DP/DH was getting a ton of stupid texts and photos from ANYONE, not just if they were of the opposite sex. She sounds a bit desperate and needy, he needs to distance himself.

MonstrousRatbag Mon 10-Nov-14 16:50:49

Or alternatively, they supported each other as good friends, even over quite personal things, she let him into her family life, helped him out, cooked for him and allowed her DC to see him as almost an uncle figure. Then he got a girlfriend and jocked her off without a backward glance. She's bewildered and her children are upset.

I would suggest to him that in all fairness he should be clear with her about how he sees the friendship and whether he is going to continue with it.

SophiaPetrillo Mon 10-Nov-14 16:51:55

Ratbag you make a fair point actually, although it's different to my own. AIBU at it's best grin

LittleBairn Mon 10-Nov-14 16:54:43

YANBU. What was your DP reaction to the DC text? She's treating him as if he's an absent father.

Myearhurts Mon 10-Nov-14 16:54:52

I don't think that she is in love with your DP. However I think she got really used to having his attention and is now annoyed that it's been taken away from her to some extent.

It's possible that she saw herself as a little mother hen, taking in your poor DP who didn't have anyone else in his life.

Also it's possible that she likes the idea of basking in the glory of lots of male admirers. I'm guessing OP that she had/has a few other men that she kept on a string?

Now he has moved on and she isn't getting the same attention supply that she once was, so she is annoyed and is trying to pull him back in.

I think your OP has to set some boundaries. He doesn't have to confront her to do this, he just doesn't have to answer the guilt trippy messages. He should consider having limited contact with her, maybe a phone call once a week?

Paperandstone Mon 10-Nov-14 16:54:54

MonstrousRatBag - I really agree with what you're saying. To be fair, he hasn't "jocked" her, but I do think he needs to be clear about how the friendship will need to develop as he is not around so much.

Paperandstone Mon 10-Nov-14 16:56:27

LittleBairn - he basically left it a while and then said something along the lines of you're being a bit silly, been v. busy at work. need to speak with your dh about something so can speak to your dc then.

MonstrousRatbag Mon 10-Nov-14 16:58:52

I'm very surprised at the negativity of the comments towards the friend. OK, she is getting it wrong, but how is everyone so sure of her personal problems or dodgy motivation?

You could equally say the DP sounds like a bit of a user. Ate at her house 3x a week, now he's got the OP he can't be arsed with his friend and has dropped her children without a word.

(Not saying that's true either, just pointing out we don't know).

DialsMavis Mon 10-Nov-14 17:03:47

Hmmmm she sounds a bit of a nightmare... But my DC would be v upset if my single male friend who comes to stay at least fortnightly (he lives 100 miles away) stopped coming.

Paperandstone Mon 10-Nov-14 17:03:51

MonstrousRatBag it's not because he's got me that "he can't be arsed". We now live 3 hours away from then so the change in terms of him visiting is more because of the distance/logistics rather than the fact he has me (although the relationship has definitely contributed... as it naturally would when you fall in love? I dunno.)

I agree it's not sensible to focus on her motiviation though.. who knows...

LittleBairn Mon 10-Nov-14 17:04:15

Its very odd that she has a DH, I though she was a single mother and your DP had been a substitute father.

Paperandstone Mon 10-Nov-14 17:05:16

LittleBairn... no not at all. Married to DH for 6 years!

MonstrousRatbag Mon 10-Nov-14 17:06:07

Oh, please don't think I was accusing your DP. I was trying to make a point about not projecting when actually we don't know. And moving so far away makes it entirely understandably he hasn't been there. It sounds as though friend is trying to hang on to the closeness despite the distance and is getting it wrong.

SuperFlyHigh Mon 10-Nov-14 17:07:00

It'd be warning bells with me (red flags) but only because of the guilt trip stuff and all the texts.

It's not healthy the texts and stuff about her DS crying etc when he doesn't pick up. what does her DH make of this/think about this?

TreadSoftlyOnMyDreams Mon 10-Nov-14 17:12:22

I'm inclined to agree with MonstrousRatbag [great name btw] especially if he's built up a relationship with her [and her DH's] kids. By all means cool things down but make an effort for a few months. Saying something like "you're being a bit silly, need to speak with your DH about something" is a slap in the face I think for someone that's made a real effort and is now being reduced to the status of "my mates loony wife"

The texts and pics might be excessive but they might also be an indication of how hurt she is. Perhaps her DH isn't much of a talker or your DP loves Strictly Come Dancing too. Who knows but your DP isn't coming off too well in my eyes even if she is being irritating.

Roussette Mon 10-Nov-14 17:18:12

I do think we have to look at it from her point of view. Your DH and her spent a lot of time together, her cooking for him 3x a week etc. You (OP) then come on the scene and your DP drops her like a hot potato. Now admittedly she should realise that would happen as your DP is now hooked up with you, but it is a bit hurtful. Almost like our DP used her while he could, then something better comes along - you OP.

I am not saying it is like this but if she has a bit of a needy gene that is how it could come across.

I think your DP needs to say to her very very gently that now he has moved, it's not going to be very different because he can't spend so much time with her and now he is married, it will be different. But he has to thank her for how much she supported him in the past and say that he is always on the end of an email should she ever need him blah blah...
Basically I think he needs to speak to her.

Paperandstone Mon 10-Nov-14 17:20:22

I like this Roussette, thank you.

HidingBehindTheBush Tue 11-Nov-14 12:20:40

I had an old friend that was like this...except it was her Brother.
She and he were close but didn't live in each others pockets, both in relationships.
She would make demands on him and would constantly phone and text. When she split with her dp it got worse and she wouldn't leave him be, she would get angry if he didn't respond and would call/text at least 10 times in a half hour period, demanding he talk to her. Or would get annoyed if DB came to visit and brought his dp with him.
What it actually boiled down to was the fact that she couldn't stand her DB giving the attention to his own dp.
The friend wanted to be the most important person in her DB's life and couldn't accept that he was happy with his dp and wanted to make a new life with her.
What Sophia said upthread and by "dependent" I mean she needs HIM to need HER.... this was so true in her case

She actually became quite nasty about the dp behind her back but was nice as pie to her face.
When they got married, friend was trying to think of ways to stop the wedding going ahead!!

Anyway we lost contact several years ago so not sure how it all panned out, but I did tell her at the time if she carried on with her behaviour she would lose the relationship with her db altogether.

This does sound like a very similar situation, but your dp's friend must realise that his life is different now. His priorities have changed and he now lives 3 hours away, so its quite obvious the relationship is not on the same level anymore.
Doesn't mean they cant be friends albeit a different kind of friendship. Your dp will have to stay firm with her in explaining that he cant be at her beck and call anymore

outofcontrol2014 Tue 11-Nov-14 12:35:15

Oh gosh, OP, you know you're going to get the chorus of 'He's cheating and you should leave', don't you? smile

My DH was like this with his ex when we met. They had split up years before but were still friends. She was very needy (MH issues, housing issues, job issues - having a tough time all round). There was absolutely nothing going on (she had another partner, who was a an absolute git), but DH felt a sense of obligation because of her vulnerability that was difficult to wrap my head around at first.

I think she was also struggling to adjust, and afraid that she was losing DH as a friend with my coming on the scene. This meant that she made some quite extreme demands at times, almost to test the boundaries (ringing up drunk at 2am in hysterics!)

DH and I managed to reset the relationship by working together. I was clear from the start that I would never dictate to him how he ran his relationships, and we agreed about establishing sensible limits (not accepting guilt tripping, ignoring unreasonable demands, saying no sometimes). We made a lot of effort to ensure that we both were part of her support network, so that rather than fearing she was losing DH it was like she was gaining an additional friend in me. It took a few months, but worked like a dream. I suggest maybe doing the same - make this woman a mutual friend, not just an individual one and you might just gain something valuable in your life!

She is now one of my best friends and I love her to bits, even if she is bonkers. Rather amusingly, she finds herself in the same situation with her current (much nicer) partner's ex!! smile

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