Unconditional love for a friend?(18 Posts)
I have written before about problems I've had with a very good friend asking to borrow money, frequently. That thread is here although doesn't need to be read for this thread, just in case it rings a bell for ppl.
The money thing has mostly been okay. I asked for the 500 back because we were buying a house and needed it. She has paid back 250 in instalments. She has asked to borrow in that last quarter of the month a couple of times and I have said no. She came to stay once and I paid for cinema and dinner which I was more than happy to do. She finally separated from her DH and was very low. There was a wait for the table at the restaurant and she insisted on buying us a drink each at the bar. I had a small wine. She had a large. Bill was £10. 4 days later she asked to borrow money. I told her how crazy this situation is where she pays for wine and then asks for money etc.
Anyway, she has been having an affair at work for over a year. He is 20 years younger. This is her third full on affair at work in the last 5 years. In the past I have never judged her as she has had a very tough 20 years caring for her DH who has serious MH issues and is emotionally abusive.
She left this DH a few months back. He has moved back to his parents as he is not self-sufficient, and is now living a few hours away from friend and their DC. DC goes to stay with her dad every other weekend and then this new fella goes to the marital home for a sleepover.
Her DH has messaged me a couple of times and he is constantly messaging her. Saying how sorry he is, that he wants to win her back and is working on himself so that he can do so etc. etc. She is telling him she doesn't know if she wants him back, that she cannot know how she will feel.
AIBU to think she should just tell him she has moved on? I understand she might be trying to protect him a little but then she is moaning about how demanding he is being with his texting etc and all the while she is shagging this guy young enough to be her son. I believe she will never have him back and feel that it is really quite cruel not to tell him so. I know the money situation has soured our relationship a bit and I don't know if that's clouding my view here, but I just feel like she has had a bit of a personality/morals transplant over this.
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What is the unconditional love bit in the title about? I feel unconditional love for no-one except my kids. Everyone else has to behave in a loveable way to be loved.
I would refuse to be go between between your friend and her ex. They can sort things out between them like adults.
You sound far too involved in your friend's life
Sorry if the title is misleading. I struggled to think of something more apt. I guess I just mean that I am a loyal person and likes to support my friends through good times and bad. I suppose I just feel sad that I am struggling to accept her behaviour over this.
I think I probably have allowed myself to be too involved. I've moved around a lot in the last 3 years and haven't got many close local friends yet. (Friend is not local either). We text each other most days although it has become quite superficial. I don't even know how to distance myself in that regard. Do I just try to text less and less and how do I field the inevitable "what's wrong" messages?
I have been through a tough time the last couple of years and feel I am coming out of it now. I do recognise that I've been in my cave a little licking wounds and so this friend is one of the very few with whom I have had very regular contact with. I'm starting to rekindle friendships that have been on the back burner and I think that will also help me in distancing myself from this friend.
You are way overinvolved in this. You are going to end up massively resenting your friend if you carry on like this and that will sour your friendship forever. Assuming you want to save the friendship, you need to step back and get some perspective.
Do not engage With her ex. If he approaches you, reply the first time that he needs to talk to her not you, and then ignore from then on.
Stop lending your friend money. Stop it completely. You don't pay for anything. She is used to getting money from you so will keep asking for a while, but she will get it after a while. When you have established the new dynamic, then you can buy her the odd coffee etc, but first you need to establish the new boundary.
Stop texting her all the time. Constant texting is keeping her constantly at the forefront of your mind. That's why you are overinvolved. The texting is just a habit. Decide you aren't going to do it any more, and you'll find the habit disappears quite quickly. Meet up with other friends. You need more balance among your friendships instead of being so focused on this one woman.
Thank you son. Very good advice. And if she texts me on a daily basis (it's been a two way thing) how do you suggest I deal with it? I haven't been replying these last few days. She will know sth is up and will ask me if we're okay.
You can still be friends but I suggest that you cut ties a bit now. She sounds like she is all over the place and her personality may well have made life harder for he DH who obviously has a lot of issues of his own. What goes on between her and the men in her life is really her business but if you feel really uncomfortable about it now then its best that you see her less and less so you don't have to get involved in it. Sounds like she is going to continue to keep asking to borrow money from you and this is perhaps not helping her to sort herself out financially. You have told us the negatives of the friendship but not mentioned what you get from being with her.
We all have our quirks and failings. I guess you need to step back a little bit and decide if this is a friendship you wish to continue with. Its ok to let go if that's what you want to do but perhaps she brings something to your life which you really like. Only you can decide which path to take now.
I'd just reply that you're busy at the moment and text her less frequently. I don't reply to texts as soon as I get them as with some people they then text back again and it's all too time consuming. I don't look at my phone that often when I'm not working anyway.
I'd tell the ex firmly to stop texting you and that you won't reply to any more of his messages. You aren't his friend anyway by the sound of things.
Wait a while before replying to her texts. If she asks what's wrong, just say you are busy. Moving, new house, etc. Make the space between receiving a text and replying grow longer.
I just read your other thread now. I think you should have a rethink of your attitude to friendships. I understand that you want to be a loyal and good friend, and that is a fine thing to be, but as with all relationships, they need boundaries. Relationships without boundaries are not healthy. I think this is why you have this unhealthy friendship with this woman. Your attitude to friendship seems to be that you will put up with any behaviour in the name of friendship.
Time to work on some other friendships and build them up in a manner where you are equals who enjoy each other's company but also respect each other's boundaries and space.
Thank you for the posts. I can't actually think of any positives for this friendship over the last couple of years at least apart from shared history etc and that question was a bit of a moment for me. I appreciate the replies and the perspectives. I understand what you are saying son.
She and her ex have split up and live apart; this isn't an affair, it's a relationship. And, to put it bluntly, what is it to you if he's young enough to be her son? I really wouldn't get over involved in her relationships, or try to relay news to the ex which is really none of his business. It sounds like you don't like her very much anymore, sometimes friendships come to an end - that's normal. There's no point keeping someone hanging on in your life if you don't like them and don't need to keep in touch, you're wasting both of your time on each other. Find some new friends you actually like spending time with and contacting.
I think you might be mistaking "unconditional love" with "unconditional giving", OP. You can love someone unconditionally and not get over-involved in their lives. You can love them unconditionally and choose not to give them money. Hell, you can love someone unconditionally and choose never to see them again. Love does not equal money or a lack of discernment. If anything, unconditional love in action demonstrates discernment.
So you ever talk about you - your life, your problems, general day to day chat, or is it all about her?
You are a cashpoint and someone who will indulge her in the drama of her latest affair. stop loaning her money and tell her you don't want to hear about her sordid affair any more and I bet you won't see her for dust.
It sounds as if you are rescuing this friend instead of trying to move her towards bring more self sufficient. Whilst it may seem a friendly kind thing to do, over the long term all it does is keep the person dependent on you, as if they are a child.
Your use of the word unconditional also suggests you are not seeing her as an adult who should be more responsible with their finances, not asking you to bail her out all the time.
I'd seriously consider whether this is even a friendship as she is seriously misusing you and taking you for granted.
Re her DH I'm not in regular contact with him. He sent me a message out of the blue to wish us all a HNY. We then exchanged a couple of messages. I didn't say anything about my friend. Just wished him well.
I don't want to get involved in her new relationship, believe me! I would rather not know about it. When she was here she was constantly checking her mobile and messaging him and then telling me that she has no quality time with her DC. I do know that DC gets impatient with her always being on her phone as I have witnessed DC saying so.
She has said she won't tell DH about her new "relationship" as it has no future because of the age gap (they have both decided that) and because it's "not really a relationship". So she just tells her DH that she needs time to figure out what she wants. Yet her and this man are apparently head over heels in love.
My original question was just really asking about how much someone should put up. I didn't think too much about the actual wording of the title. Was just trying to sum it up as succinctly as possible.
I think this friendship has clearly been on the rocks for a while and I don't feel I want to/can hang on any more.
You can be in love with someone yet realise the relationship has no future. Your friend may just be living in the moment.
As she and her husband have separated this isn't really an affair any more and she doesn't have to tell her ex she is seeing someone else if she doesn't want to. You said she had left her husband a few months ago so its not as though they split up last week.
If he is still wanting to get back together then it would be kinder to him if she told him it was over and stopped returning his calls, but as they have kids together who stay with him and you describe him as having serious psychiatric problems and being emotionally abusive she maybe fears for her and her kids' safety if she tells him she has found someone else.
I think this is her business anyway and you should focus on your kids and your relationship.
If you don't get anything out of the friendship then it is no longer a friendship and I'd walk away.
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