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Is my friend being used or am I am too judgemental?

(15 Posts)
strawberrysalsa Fri 30-Jan-15 13:17:52

My best friend has befriended a man who is about 10 years younger than her, all good. The problem is that he is a heroin addict with serious health problems and I feel he is manipulating my friend.

I am trying to write my concerns without adding in too much bias but am finding it hard. My friend has 'lent' her friend lots of money...she has confided the amount to me and we are talking £1000's...she also buys him food, provides a constant taxi service and is available to talk for him day and night. All this is causing her money worries and I have suggested 'no' is a good response to some of the more outrageous demands requests.

To be fair the man's health problems are real...he has had a triple heart bypass and been hospitalised more than once, and if my friend wasn't supporting him he may well not still be alive.

Its her life and I have never told her, or even thought, the friendship is wrong...she is over 21 and is obviously allowed any friends she likes...but I do feel she is being used.

I should say I have never met the other friend, my only information comes from my friend...but some days he is her only conversation. Am I jealous, too judgemental or are my concerns valid?

Hope it all makes sense.

HowCanIMissYouIfYouWontGoAway Fri 30-Jan-15 13:33:45

It sounds like she is to me, but as you say, she's over 21. If she wants to give him all this help, that's her choice.

Have you asked her if she feels pressured into helping him? If she is confiding money worries to you then that would seem to me that she isn't happy about it and may actually in a roundabout way be asking you for your help.

I think all you can do is ask her is she happy to be giving him all this, is it what she wants to do. There's nothing wrong with saying you're worried, particularly now she's told you she's worried about her finances.

Fairylea Fri 30-Jan-15 13:37:55

Is she in love with this man? If so and he genuinely needs the help and she is in a position to give it and they make each other happy.... I can think of worse things. Is he getting help for his heroin addiction? That would worry me more than anything else.

strawberrysalsa Fri 30-Jan-15 13:59:32

I think she is totally infatuated with the man, she is married btw so I think its just emotional.

He has had help for his addictions and I have been on the end of far too much information about him going through detox, getting clean and then getting re-addicted to various substances. As far as I know he is on methadone again at the moment.

I think she does feel emotionally pressured to continue supporting him. I do try and suggest she may be being used but I am never sure how much of my unhappiness over levels of support my friend is offering have to do with my strong feelings against drug use.

Basically I offer her lots of cups of tea and try to be as non judgemental as possible.

Fudgeface123 Fri 30-Jan-15 15:01:15

What does her husband say about the money she's spending on him?

strawberrysalsa Fri 30-Jan-15 15:37:22

her husband doesn't know about all the money, though he does know about the friendship and that she supports him with food parcels and such like. My friend does think her husband would go ballistic if he knew how much had been 'lent'.

Who knows she may get it all back but as her friend is now on benefits and applying for disability...or whatever its called now...I'm not sure I believe that. Though my friend still really believes she will get every penny back.

limegoldfinewine Fri 30-Jan-15 16:02:02

Tell the husband.

mutternutter Fri 30-Jan-15 17:27:31

Keep out of it. Listen but don't judge

Oldraver Fri 30-Jan-15 17:51:06

I would tell her she is being used, I wouldn't pussyfoot round it. What she then does is up to her. Maybe she has got in too deep and doesn't know how to back out, and this toad is playing on that

strawberrysalsa Fri 30-Jan-15 18:25:51

I really want to tell her she is being used...I kind of have but gently as its her life and I feel odd telling a grown up what to do.

I am really grateful for everyone's response. Its a situation that has been increasingly nagging at me and its good to see there is no one correct answer.

LadyLuck10 Fri 30-Jan-15 18:49:57

She's being used and really stupid honestly. She's lying to her husband as well. You should tell it to her straight before she gets deeper into trouble.

Ryeford Sat 31-Jan-15 00:12:17

I can tell you absolutely that she is being used . I was once in a relationship with a heroin addict also ten years younger than myself , and I learnt a lot . You have to understand that the habit is all consuming - they have to get a fix at any cost - there is no choise for an addict . The drug is their life and as it renders them incapable of functioning or managing their lives in away that would allow them to fund their habit honestly they become dishonest and incredibly devious . Your best friend , OP, will be being played like a hooked fish . As the addiction advances the amount of substance required to make them feel " normal " steadily increases so the need for money goes up as the ability to acquire it ( honestly ) decreases . It is very likely that this user ( in every sense ) has no real health issues at all , but has fabricated this as a means of extorting money from your friend . He will use every trick there is to solicit support ( money ) from her . Addicts emotionally and financially drain friends, family , loved ones alike . It is impossible to have a relationship with an addict because their need to use is greater than anyone or thing in their lives . There is also a very real danger of infection(s) if this relationship becomes a physical one - hepatitis c being the main one but others as we'll obviously . I once told my story to someone , their comment was "you were lucky not to become hooked yourself" . This was something that had never entered my head , but is another possible danger for any one who might be easily influenced . One last point , by supporting this person your friend is enabling the guy to continue/ increase his habit and is not really doing him any favours at all . NEVER believe a word that comes out of a Junkies mouth .

AgentZigzag Sat 31-Jan-15 00:53:14

'My best friend has befriended a man'

It sounds more like he befriended her for his own reasons.

I can't help but think she knows full well that she's being taken for all she's worth, but that she's getting something out of the 'friendship' that she thinks is well worth what she's paying.

Why do you think she keeps going on and on and on at you about the situation? Because if it's to try and gauge how 'normal' this is and you're only giving her soft answers to placate her she maybe thinks everything is OK and she's doing the right thing?

Or do you think she's trying to draw you in as well?

Whatever you decide to do or not do (and I wouldn't advise telling her husband, that's for her to do) none of it is your responsibility, even if you don't say anything and she gets herself into deeper trouble, you shouldn't feel guilty for not stopping her. As you say she's an adult and must know that 'lending' thousands of pounds to someone without talking about it to her DH is pretty shit.

I think she's enjoying the drama of it, that someone needs her so much and thinks she's going to be the one to 'fix' him.

(It actually crossed my mind that maybe he doesn't actually exist. I know that sounds a bit far fetched but if you've never met him and the only info you have is what she's told you is that possible? It'd explain her husband not noticing the thousands of pounds that have disappeared from the bank, because that's a bit odd on it's own isn't it?)

musicalendorphins2 Sat 31-Jan-15 04:41:57

Many heroin addicts do have heart issues, so although he could have made it up, it would be pretty easy to ask to see the scars from his surgery. Anyways, she is being used. Like feeding a stray cat, the cats instinct to to keep coming around and mooching. She should not give this person money. My relative M(80+ yrs old) has given almost all of their money to another relative, S, over the last 20 years, and has no savings left.

strawberrysalsa Sat 31-Jan-15 19:09:02

Agent thanks for your insight, I think I will be stronger in my comments when she talks about her friend and let her know how concerned I am that she is getting herself into real trouble.
Music I agree when you say she is enjoying the drama of someone needing her so much and she really does want to think she is 'saving' him. Not that I think anyone can help an addict until they are ready to sort their lives out.

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