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To feel like I cannot keep supporting my friend

(13 Posts)
TheSeptemberIssue Thu 03-Sep-15 12:10:55

I will have to be vague as I don't want to 'out' myself but a friend of mine is going through a crisis with her DP (they've been together a year and don't live together, in an attempt not to drip feed)

From what I can gather, he is under tremendous pressure at work and is also getting a lot of grief from his ex wife about how often he sees his children, so wants to take some time away from the relationship to get himself sorted and through a very tricky time in his career.

My friend is understandably devastated and I have been trying to support her since it happened but I am getting emotionally drained at the constant messages, calls, emails etc... that I am expected to answer. I could cope if this was 'he's left, he's not coming back' but it's looking like a case of him wanting space for an unidentified amount of time and her accepting this, waiting for him and putting her life on hold. The latter means that I am going to have to support her and have the same amount of messages, calls, emails etc.....as she struggles through the next however many months.

I'm struggling with my own issues too (which I won't divulge as it might out me) and I just don't have the headspace to send 30 emails/texts a day.

Am I being unreasonable??

RainbowFlutterby Thu 03-Sep-15 12:14:55

No yanbu. It probably sounds like you are on the surface, but when you have your own issues and someone is that depressed it can be incredibly stressful. I've been there, and I don't know what the answer is unfortunately. I always ended up offloading on to my mum blush

But I do understand. Is she supporting you with your issues?

NotSayingImBatman Thu 03-Sep-15 12:15:49

I'm going through the same with my DM and her waste of space husband. Constant phonecalls, texts, hysterical voicemail messages, showing up at my house unannouced.

It's draining, I have no advice, but I hear you.

WhyCantIuseTheNameIWant Thu 03-Sep-15 12:17:34

Yanbu.
Is there a way you can compromise?
Say no daytime texts as work has increased or something.
But give her an hour to chat every few days? Over a coffee or similar...
Her problems are not yours, but as a friend it would probably help her.

LongTimeLurking Thu 03-Sep-15 12:19:30

So he is pulling the 'I need space' routine is he. Clearly she needs to wake up to the fact that he has dumped her and the relationship is over.

YANBU it can be emotionally draining supporting someone in this kind of situation and at some point you will have to draw a line and be less available to her.

Scobberlotcher Thu 03-Sep-15 12:21:16

What about having a template message that you send which says I can't chat now but will call you tonight/ tomorrow night/ whatever and send it to her in response to each of her messages so you are giving her some time but not all of your time and so manage her expectations?

Oysterbabe Thu 03-Sep-15 12:22:13

Yanbu but he ain't coming back and someone should tell her.

TheSeptemberIssue Thu 03-Sep-15 12:23:15

Every few days would be fine for me, but every night means I am spending time on the phone with her instead of interacting with the DC's or speaking to DH when they've gone to bed.

I might have to have a word...

No, she's not supporting me with my issues. Hers are WAY more important.

RainbowFlutterby Thu 03-Sep-15 12:29:58

Yup. I had the same. My problems were nothing compared to my "friend's". I used to glaze over and change the subject whenever I could. I agree with pp about having a standard text reply (wish I'd thought of that!). Something like "I know it's hard, we all have hard times. Thinking of you, speak soon. x"

RainbowFlutterby Thu 03-Sep-15 12:32:04

Or even add in "We've all had relationships end at some point." That might drop the hint that it really is over iyswim.

uglyswan Thu 03-Sep-15 13:37:44

Oh wow, you're really annoyed with her, aren't you? Don't blame you. Is this a one-off in a normally more balanced friendship and one that you want to maintain? If so, can you schedule a fixed time for her every so often to talk about her crisis? So if she phones outside that time, you can say "Sorry, can't talk now, let's have coffee on Sat. 11ish?". You might find yourself getting less annoyed with her if you have more control over when and how often you have to discuss her DP's issues with her. And do change the subject as much as you can! You can be supportive by getting her to talk about other things that aren't her DP.

JawannaDrink Thu 03-Sep-15 16:06:26

No wonder he needs space...if she is that needy with a friend imagine what she is like as a girlfriend! I'd be telling her to get a grip and get on with it.

CrazyCatLady13 Thu 03-Sep-15 21:00:26

I've been in the same situation, having to distance myself from a friend in a violent relationship. What got me through is thinking that I couldn't help anyone else if I was too drained myself.

As terrible as it sounds, you have to put yourself and your family first. Can you set aside a time each day / few days when you can devote a few minutes to her, and let her know that she'll have your full attention at that time, but that you might not be available at other times as you have other commitments?

Also, as previous posters have suggested, having a few stock phrases can help, such as 'sorry to hear that, can't talk now, can talk xxx when I'm free' acknowledges her problem but gives her time to work it out without your input.

Her problems are her problems, don't take them on your shoulders! I like the phrase on here 'not my circus, not my monkeys'.

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