to be concerned about my best friend or am I interfering?(17 Posts)
Backstory- I'm 24 years old and completed my degree in June. I didn't feel ready for the whole grad-scheme, commute into London type career and desperately didn't want to move back home so I took a live-in position in a hotel in a very very remote area in Scotland. I don't own a car and the busses stopped running in November. In the village there is just the hotel I work at, a pub and 2 cafes. The nearest town is about 8 miles away and now without the bus I'm basically stranded on my days off!
Anyway, I work with a girl who very very quickly became the best friend I ever had. We had this immediate emotional connection which is rare for both of us. She says she's never even really had girlfriends, let alone someone she feels this close to. I have a lot of friends but very very few "close" friends and the connection we have is something I've never quite felt with a friend before- we joke around that we are "soulmates"!
Anyway, she has been working here since August 2014 and does not have a car either. She has been dating the hotel deputy manager since November 2014. He's a friend of mine and a really fun guy to hang out with, but I really hate the way he treats her. He talks to her with such disrespect and in front of our colleagues (she blames this on being Hungarian..says its just how "Hungarian men are.") They get 2 days off a week together and all he will do is drive her to the supermarket. He never ever takes her out- for dinner, to the cinema, for the odd night away at a hotel. There's so many amazing places around her that he could take her (she's not from the UK either) but she hasn't seen any of them. It's a trip to Sainsburys and that's it. She has also admitted to me that he really doesn't know her properly. His gifts are the stereotypical flowers, chocolates, teddys. She says he doesn't know her well enough to actually get her something meaningful.
But now they have gone and bought a flat together and have a mortgage and will be moving in in February. To me, it's madness. The way they live just isn't "normal". It's hard to explain but being this remote and this far away from civilisation, to me, isn't exactly "reality." She has no social life outside of work and even work only has me and one other girl that she spends time with. They've never even gone away for a couple of days together and he is completely married to the job. She tells me all the time about her life before and how she was so full of life, always socialising, wanting to travel, and to me it feels like he's completely suppressing her. I'm not saying he is abusive but does anyone else think it's odd that by having a car he is sort of the one in control and he just refuses to take her places? If I was in love with someone I'd WANT to take them to places and make them feel special.
Ever since they announced that they've bought a flat I've tried to be happy for them but she has noticed that I obviously have issues about it but I really don't know whether or not to tell her. She wants me to but I can't see what good it will do as it will just sound like I am attacking him. I just really want whats best for her and every time she tells me about what she was like before she moved to the UK it sounds like she is talking about a different person. She admits she's a hopeless romantic and hasn't not had a boyfriend since she was 15 and my friend and I agree that it's like she came here, met him (the only eligible guy!), fell for him and his sense of humour and just sort of stuck with it, despite their whole living situation being completely out of the ordinary. At least just rent somewhere for a few months to see if it works before making such a big commitment!
Anyway can I get some advice, should I voice my concerns? As I said I really can't see it doing any good and it's not like I don't WANT her to be with him I just feel like she is under his thumb a bit and she told me she has always been the one to "wear the trousers" but with him she's like a defenseless puppy! Every time he talks down to her I can feel my blood boil. Maybe it's just true love and she makes these sacrifices for him? There's just quite a lot of tension between us now which I hate but I can't pretend to be happy for her when I think like this.
Sorry for the long post and I am fully expecting most people to tell me to back off but I am really struggling with this one!
She won't listen whatever you say, so just make it easy on yourself, take your own advice and back off. X
strawberry that's what I think- she won't listen and will probably just be offended. I usually am not the sort of person at all to interfere because quite frankly I usually do not care enough but it's different with her somehow!
1) Too late they have already bought the property
2) you are projecting how you would feel on to her.She may well be completely happy with being the 'little wife'.
She's not you. What might be "normal" for you, may not be what she expects or wants or needs.
Why dont you or she learn to drive and then you can go further on days out?
Just be there for her if and when she needs you. She won't listen to you now.
I agree with you this all sounds very unhealthy though. I don't think you are projecting or that you 'have feelings for her'
I can see it is a very tough situation to be in, but I do not think she would listen if you expressed concerns. If she is settling down with this guy and buying a flat she is obviously content on some level. She has to live her own life and make her own mistakes. If he's not right for her she has to realise that herself.
Also, it sounds like you have a pretty intense friendship as a result of living and working so closely together in a remote area. She's happy to settle there, but this sounds like a temporary step for you. The nature of your friendship is bound to change over time. Seems like you are not quite ready for the changes yet, but she obviously is.
I've lived in Budapest and she's right to a small degree, in that Hungarians can be very abrupt and cold.
This doesn't excuse "talking down to her" and being disrespectful.
What can you do? Not a lot. If someone has made their mind up and is set on a certain path, they usually go down it and make their own mistakes.
All you can do is gently, tactfully, offer some advice, and be there for her if/when it goes wrong.
YANBU to be concerned.
Is it time for you to move on yourself? Maybe things have reached a natural end point for you there. Is her oh encouraging her to learn to drive? I can't drive and dh refuses to take me places because he's long term annoyed that I rely on him which is fair enough so for me, it matters if he's encouraging her to learn or not. if you're drifting apart anyway I don't think it would hurt to report back to her your concerns about how she says she's changed and leave it at that - she's leading you to these conclusions perhaps by saying how different she used to be.
YANBU to be concerned. I would perhaps the same if it were my friend but you have mentioned your worries to her and she disagrees so all you can do is be there for her if she needs you. Enjoy their company as a couple, enjoy your friendship with her and then maybe move to another place. ( I get the impression you do not plan to stay there forever anyway).
She will know where you are if she needs you. If she is happy - so much the better.
Your friend is probably quite aware that he is not Mr Right but is ok as Mr Right Now.
Given the remoteness of your job, I wouldn't imagine that there will be a huge number of eligible bachelors and she has just hedged her bets for a while.
The enclosed living space/working space will mean that her relationship is more intense and the lack of other things to do can lead to things expediting out of boredom and the want for something new or exciting.
Let her have this but carry on being a good friend. Unless it puts you out of money re:sharing rent or similar then you shouldn't be too concerned
thanks everyone so far your input. I do agree that our friendship isn't quite "normal." It's not romantic as such- but it's definitely a closer bond than either of us have ever felt with a friend. She did once say that if it wasn't for him she would have wanted something to happen between us (which is strange for both of us as neither of us consider ourselves bi-sexual.)
I am moving to Australia in 6 weeks, so I think that if she is still wanting me me to tell her what's on my mind, I may just let it all out before I go. After all it's her who really wants this chat so I may as well just have it all out since I am leaving anyway. I think as others have said everything is heightened and elevated here since it sort of is like being stranded on a desert island!
Oh and in regard to the driving I really have tried to encourage her to get a car but she doesn't want to spend the money on it right now and he won't let her get insured on his car (another slightly "controlling" aspect of their relationship which bugs me)
It all sounds very intense (probably exacerbated by the remote location and lack of alternative interests/friendships/activities). I'm also not entirely sure that you should be concerned. You're comparing her rose-coloured glasses view of her past with her current reality. People and priorities do change.
I read your post thinking why on earth would a recent graduate who can't drive choose a job that leaves them stranded in the winter? My point is that sometimes our choices can seem incomprehensible to others but that doesn't make them wrong.
APlaceonTheCouch truthfully I did not intend to stick around here as long as I have. My original plan was just to work here for the season and I left for a week in September but something just drew me back! But I am leaving after Christmas as yes I am very bored at being so cut-off from the world. I was set on leaving at the end of November but it was actually her who convinced me to stay.
and yes you raise a good point- I guess priorities do change. I am trying to see it all through her eyes instead of mine. I think because I grew up with a father who spoke to my mum like crap on a daily basis I am naturally defensive and easily annoyed when I hear it!
She is still young and when your young you can be blind to the bad things. I would voice my concerns (with tact) and just explain that you are looking out for her and want to be sure shes happy.
However i do have to echo 'Adele' and ask, do you have feelings for her? Dont be to quick to dismiss the question, by the sounds of it, you do care very deeply for her (which is understandable but maybe its a bit more than that...)
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