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AIBU to walk away from 20+ year friendship?

(8 Posts)
Reginamangina Fri 31-Jul-15 01:53:20

My 43 year old friend never stops moaning about being single. It's all she ever talks about. She has had multiple disastrous relationships as she moves them into her house asap often under a fortnight after meeting in a nightclub (the same nightclub!) I've tried tactfully to approach the subject, I've tried to make suggestions as to how she could meet guys in non nightclub situations & take more time to get to know them, I've tried, after 20 years of the same pattern of behaviour and the same mind numbing conversation, being blunt and telling her that her blatant desperation is obvious to men & putting them off (confirmed by asking a few ex-dates what went wrong- her suggestion). After a conversation where I ask is she aware it's all she ever talks about, I'm told that's what friends are there for, to listen to her moaning about being single & depressed whereupon she states that she never talks about this to potential dates or strangers so they'd never know she was "desperate", I just shut up.

However we went out for my birthday recently with people she didn't know, bar one a friend of mine she was harassing chatting up online. All she spoke about all night to everyone hogging the group conversation was how she didn't have a man, all men are bastards and every one of her ex's has married the next gf after her etc. Needless to say all my other friends were home & tucked up in bed by 8pm unable to deal with this.

I've tried so hard over the past 20years to be supportive and constructive in my advice. I've been a shoulder to cry on with every break up. I've sat and put up with the 'you're ok you've got a man' conversations that happen during every communication we've had in the past two years. She didn't bother to call when I split with my ExH likely because she was unhappily engaged so had no real need for me. I've never bailed out on a friendship before and I've put up with some amount of bad treatment from people but I just can't bear it anymore.

AIBU to just walk away and let her wallow in her own misery?

amarmai Fri 31-Jul-15 02:01:59

YANBU Do what is best for you. You have supported her for decades now it's time to support yourself.

scurryfunge Fri 31-Jul-15 02:04:25

Some people seem to function purely around their relationship status. You have done what you can to be supportive. You can only try to encourage the belief that she should not be defined by whether she has a partner or not. Can you boost her self esteem by pointing out her other values?
I encountered a woman similar to this at work. She could not bear to be alone and focussed all her efforts on finding a man with total disregard for her own mental health. It's difficult.

FastWindow Fri 31-Jul-15 02:19:16

It sounds as if neither of you are getting anything positive out of this 'friendship'.

If you can't help her - and she can't take your advice or help herself - I'd be backing gently away from this one. Sorry.

Happy36 Fri 31-Jul-15 03:37:44

Well put FastWindow. Sad but true.

Atenco Fri 31-Jul-15 04:06:15

It doesn't sound like you are getting anything out of this friendship ever.

I have a friend who gets deeply depressed for years on end and I find it very very hard, but when she is not depressed she is an absolute delight.

Reginamangina Sat 01-Aug-15 00:30:50

Thanks all you're confirming what I thought.

Sadly this woman isn't a delight normally & the more I've thought of it I wonder why the hell I stuck around so long.

I find it really hard to understand or empathise with someone who needs a man for validation. If I'm honest and shame on me for saying this but I find it quite pathetic. I should be more caring.

TwistedReality Sun 02-Aug-15 12:13:45

You have been caring but tbh there is only so much you can give.

There's nothing more frustrating when someone asks your advice, you give it and they then totally disregard anything you've said only to repeat the same patterns of behaviour over and over again and nothing changes Its like groundhog day!!!
Yet you stop giving that advice and then get accused of not caring, its such a drain on your emotions.

I have had to deal with crap like this in the past. Only it was most things in her life not just relationship woes (although hers were very much as you describe!!) At first I would give advice only for it fall on deaf ears. Then I became a bit more blunt and would honestly tell her I don't know what to advise and she needs to figure it out for herself. Then I stopped engaging with her when she brought the latest drama up and moved the conversation onto something else. But hasn't done any good, nothing has changed

I think I have given up now, so I wouldn't blame you for walking away.
Its depressing being around people like this and you have tried for years to be there for her. Its time to put yourself first.

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