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wife ends up falling out with all her friends and ending contact

(130 Posts)
jatek Fri 19-May-17 01:10:25

My wife has just informed me that she has ended all contact with a close friend of hers because someone told her she got drunk and divulged sensitive information about her. This is a friend who found her accommodation when she was homeless, bought her gifts for herself and our Daughter, advocated for her when she got accused of a crime she didn't commit. She has been a very true friend to her. Yes it does look likely she got drunk at a hen do and told people something she shouldn't have, but I don't think it was anywhere near bad enough to end a friendship over.

This is just the latest person she's cut contact with. Prior to this she had another friend. A really nice person. This friend told my Wife that she had had an abortion. My Wife later said she didn't want to stay in contact. Her reasoning was it was insensitive because she was struggling with infertility. I agree it may not be the most sensitive thing to say to someone struggling to conceive but we all make mistakes socially. And that was her friend. My Wife and I now have a two year old.

Before that there was a friend who she sent a really nasty letter too because she had not visited her for three months and my wife lived down the hall. She felt rejected and wrote a letter which she put under her flat door. This must have felt quite intimidating. My Wife later cut contact because 'she never made enough effort'.

My Wife is lucky in that she has loving parents, a Brother and 5 Cousins who she hasn't fallen out with and she meets up with. But she is still lonely as she doesn't have any friends. Women to hang out with.

Whenever she meets a new friends I'm just waiting for her to find fault in them and the inevitable fall out.

She's a great Mum, is very kind and empathetic most of the time. She's a very good Wife too. She is educated and has a good job and good relationships with her family. However for some reason she always goes on the defensive with female friends, looking for them to fail her and falter and she immediately becomes aggressive and ends all contact. It's like she expecting them to be perfect but at the same times waiting for them to slip up.

I felt compelled to apologise to the last friend she ended contact with as she had been so good to her. She replied by saying 'you know if it wasn't this it would have been something else. She would have found a reason to end contact anyway'.

It is so true and really brought home to me that she will never have lasting friendships if she stays like this. I've spoken to her about it but she is adamant she is being reasonable and her friends have ended up being backstabbing bitches!

AIBU to think it's my wife with the problem? Or do these friends seem to deserve being 'cut off' ?

joangray38 Fri 19-May-17 01:18:23

Your wife has very high expectations- is she as helpful to her friends or does she expect them to run around after her . From what you put you already know the answer - 90% her fault. Everyone makes mistakes - like getting drunk - it's how they are fixed that matters and it sounds as if she doesn't give her friends that chance. She wants a perfect friendship but in reality they don't exist.

gleam Fri 19-May-17 01:20:23

It may be that your wife has higher standards for friendship than you do?

Atenco Fri 19-May-17 01:21:24

I had a friend like that, though she was like that with virtually everyone. She saw everything in black and white. I don't know what you can do about it though. It is sad that she has this idea that other people have to be perfect.

Run4Fun Fri 19-May-17 01:24:35

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Plumkettle Fri 19-May-17 01:25:44

Still, your wife must have good qualities otherwise she wouldn't be able to make so many friendships in the first place...

KeiraKnightleyActsWithHerTeeth Fri 19-May-17 01:35:56

Does she make friends easily?

SpangledShambles Fri 19-May-17 01:36:41

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Pallisers Fri 19-May-17 01:45:24

Something sounds off about this thread.

Like it isn't true?

I actually know someone who is very very like the OP's wife as described. Her brother in law (husband's brother) said to me once "the thing is X will fall out with all of her friends eventually" and she did/does. For reason after reason.

Her husband still loves her as do her family and in laws and she does ok socially but there is no doubt she is a woman who is difficult to be friends with. Actually a lot of people would describe her as scary.

Pallisers Fri 19-May-17 01:46:27

I had a friend like that, though she was like that with virtually everyone. She saw everything in black and white. I don't know what you can do about it though. It is sad that she has this idea that other people have to be perfect.

I think this is the case in the woman I know.

PyongyangKipperbang Fri 19-May-17 01:55:53

I have an ex friend like this, and she is renowned for falling out with people except I didnt know until I was friends with her.

I dont know how to describe her, its almost as if she has a list of things that a friend of hers should do or be and if you dont tick a particular box then thats it, friendship over. When things are good she is kind and generous and lovely to be with. When they are not she is cruel and selfish and mean. She sets people up to fail too, which I dont understand because she has a loving and supportive family, a DH who she treats like shit but who still stands by her and 2 kids who adore her but one in particular is turning out just like its mum. The other one she is less keen on as she doesnt fall in to line like its sibling does.

I think it comes down to the fact that she thinks that she is the centre of the world and if you dont agree with her then you hate her, are against her and therefore she must cut you off. She goes through friends very quickly.

SukiPutTheEarlGreyOn Fri 19-May-17 02:41:49

There's a point where integrity can tip over into being judgemental. While there's nothing wrong with setting a high bar for friendship it can sometimes result in being overly harsh when people display fairly standard human foibles and fail to meet up to expectations. It sounds like there's a pattern of behaviour being repeated but while it continues not to be seen as an issue by the person doing it there's no impetus for her to reflect on whether breaking away from these friendhips was the best strategy or whether a different approach would have worked better/will work better in the future. So things are unlikely to change till she sees it as a problem herself.

Temporary2002 Fri 19-May-17 02:56:48

Why in the world would you contact the person and apologuise for? I'd be quite annoyed if my dh did that. It is your wife's business who she does or does not want to be friends with. Surely the drunken loudmouth friend is the one who should be apologising to your wife.

iamAlexandr Fri 19-May-17 03:09:58

I know someone like this. She falls out with everyone, including almost all of her family, and changes job frequently because of it. I think it's beyond setting a high bar for friendship when almost everyone fails to meet the test. Most human beings are not perfect but are fundamentally decent.
I don't know what the answer is, probably counselling, but I can't imagine that people like this would agree to it because in their eyes they are the righteous one. I bite my tongue a lot and save any kind of comment to gently trying to encourage her not to cut-off the one remaining family member she has contact with (who I really think loves her dearly), and generally expect to be dropped at any minute myself. If anyone has any better ideas I'd be interested to hear them.

Squishedstrawberry4 Fri 19-May-17 03:29:51

She seems to be seeking out faults to create separation. The people I know who do this have had a lifetime of rejection and are reenacting history. Did she have problems with friendships as a child?

Friendship isn't always smooth and sometimes issues need ironing out but a good friend is worth their weight in gold.

midsomermurderess Fri 19-May-17 03:31:26

This reminds me of an article in the Daily Mail about women 'ghosting' their formerly close friends.

LaLegue Fri 19-May-17 03:38:38

Another one here who has a friend (actually I've known a few over the years) exactly like this. It must be exhausting being them, constantly in persecuted victim mode over something or other and always feeling as though they need to 'stand up for themselves' and confront someone over something.

Having a confidence breached isn't nice but it doesn't sound as though it was worth cutting contact for, given that this woman was such a supportive friend in other ways.

I think this sort of very black and white thinking and extreme emotional responses to relatively minor things are often part of a personality disorder. I'm pretty sure with my friend that's the case.

patronsaintofglocks Fri 19-May-17 03:43:57

Look up borderline personality disorder

imjessie Fri 19-May-17 03:46:09

She needs to sort it out before your child starts school because you basically need to see all these women twice a day for 7 years and you really don't want her to be systematically working her way through them all !! Can you get her to see a psychologist and try and work out why it happens ?

SuperBeagle Fri 19-May-17 03:51:08

My aunt is like this.

She got married last year and her own daughter said that there was no one at the wedding who she (my aunt) had known for more than 2 years.

I'm quite confident she's a psychopath though, which explains her inability to maintain relationships.

scaryclown Fri 19-May-17 04:24:28

It sounds like she finds it difficult to deal with and manage very severe damages if trust between friends, and I do understand this, as it's really very difficult to deal with some that seem to go through all the layers of trust.
I've had this particularly in situations like you describe when a friend becomes helpful during a particular period, but afterwards, instead of the friendship going back to equal, it remains in a dynamic of 'together' person and 'useless' person. With me, once I realise someone may see me as beneath them, i'll be watching them closely and will disengage if I feel they think they are controlling me. I don't do this with 'true' friends, but there are a lot of people who want a 'friend' dynamic to have layers of power and to me that's not a friendship.

I'll try to give an example, so say I have a friend who I get on with, have good conversations with and they find out I"m looking for some extra money. They say they feel embarrassed to give me money direct, but they say they need some documents sorting and phonecalls made and i say 'oh well that's a good way for me to pay you back for giving me money'. Next time I meet them they say 'oh another friend needs some work doing, will you do it?' I think great, mutual benefit etc. A few months later when I have money and status and things are going well we go out for a meal. Both friends ask me to do things like take their coats to the cloakroom, phone a taxi and act as if them paying me once makes me subservient for ever.

Perhaps a good friendship manager would talk to them, say it's not acceptable, explain a how they feel, say the dynamic has to change etc, but I would actually just end both friendships.

Is that where you think she needs help?

ThumbWitchesAbroad Fri 19-May-17 04:29:27

My sister can be like this too. She's not quite so black and white in her thinking as the OP's wife, and some of the others mentioned here - but if you make a friendship error in her eyes, that's it, you're out.
In her case I think it largely stems from a very low self-esteem, which feeds into a paranoia that no one really likes her anyway - so any infraction of "the friendship" rules just proves to her that that person doesn't like her after all, so must be cut off.
She does actually talk about "the friendship" as though it's almost a separate entity as well, and she does have pretty high standards (read: is quite needy) in what she expects from friends. She's very generous herself, but there has always been this element of expectation of getting the same back; which of course doesn't always happen.

I agree that your wife may need counselling to address the issue - but if she doesn't see it as an issue in the first place, then she won't go. sad

scaryclown Fri 19-May-17 04:32:08

Also, whose side are you taking here? For someone to build relationships they need to feel supported by someone at least who sees their perspective. If you are highly critical of her and blame her for these situations because she is the only person in the situation you have contact with, you may be helping to create the dynamic that causes this. People need to feel loved to behave positively.

LaLegue Fri 19-May-17 04:47:04

Thumbwitch you've just described my friend to a tee. The neediness and falling over backwards to be the most supportive generous friend she can be, even if you don't need or want that level of support and generosity and find it a little overwhelming. It's less about what I or others need and more about making herself look amazing. But then she feels let down if other people don't consantly find ways to reciprocate those slightly over the top efforts.

fiftyplustwo Fri 19-May-17 04:51:02

Is it still possible to reconnect with those people she has fallen out with? There seems to be quite a lot of "drama" going on right when the friendship ends, but still there might be possibilities to patch things up. This is of course true only if she herself recognises that she has a problem ("is aware").

I've personally never fallen out with a friend in that abrupt way, as I can remember, not even as a teenager. For me it's always an outdrawn process, where you fall off out of touch with each other and one day suddenly realise it was over a year (or two) since you last spoke.

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