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Unusual problem

(54 Posts)
Ironymaiden Sat 16-Mar-19 18:09:28

Hello. I am hopeful that someone can help me. I have one close friend, I suffer with social situations and my circle is small. My only close friend has been my closest friend for 12 years. I was sexually assaulted during my first year of uni and have found it very difficult to form relationships ever since. I am attractive I am told, but I have no self confidence at all.
My friend is everything I am not, and is quite pro active in making things happen for herself. I am very cautious, she wears her heart on her sleeve.

She has always been forthcoming with wanting a husband and children and I have not because secretly I fear I won’t be capable, or someone won’t love me enough to want to marry me or have babies with me.

Since we were friends, at 17 years old, I was adamant I did not want a serious relationship and went through my 20s avoiding situations and not settling down with anyone.

She did settle down, she got married and had a family. Her marriage broke down and she is currently in another relationship under a year.

I fear that sometimes she might like the idea of getting married more than she likes being married. She rushed her first marriage and now is rushing her second.

I have since met a lovely guy who makes me very happy. He is understanding and patient with me. We have been dating on and off for two years. He has a good job, and owns his own house. He has children from a previous relationship who he adores and sees approx 50% of a week.

At the beginning I did not want to meet his children, I did not feel it was fair for them to meet someone when I was unsure I would be capable of staying put.

She has constantly made digs at me being always single, and although in the past I have showed little interest in the past in marrying or having a family, she would always put the boot in, for example, because I don’t have any close family, she suggested a traditional wedding would not be suitable for me if I were ever to get married.

The startling behaviour that I am concerned about though is her attitude towards my relationship now. My boyfriend has been patient for two years, not pushing me into anything but we have been getting closer and the thoughts of spending a chunk of my life with him no longer frightens me.

Over Christmas, he expressed how much he wanted to move from our casual relationship to something more serious. She was gravely offended and berated him by calling him needy and telling me he was pathetic. (She was given an engagement ring at Christmas after 5 months of a relationship) she was not at all impressed that he wanted a relationship and in text message reminded me that she’s known me for 12 years and I have always said I didn’t want to settle down.

His birthday is next month and he wants me to meet his family, including his children, at a birthday lunch. I am very nervous but understand it is the next rational step in the relationship. She was extremely put out, and said that she thought he was rushing me, what about having to meet his children? Why was he introducing me to his children and said that it was not like I had family to introduce him to which would make the situation uncomfortable and awkward. This really hurt my feelings and although my boyfriend has assured me his family are really looking forward to meeting me, I feel awful and like I am not enough for him because I can’t give him the same in return. We will never do a birthday meal for me.

In his job, they are sometimes derogatorily referrered to as a farmyard animal. I recently complained to my friend about feeling unwell to which she replied “baby (animal)?”

She is constantly referring to him being this animal, despite never meeting him and never having any altercations or issues with any member of his profession.
She constantly makes jokes that he will remain a perpetual “batchlor”.

We have discussed the possibility of moving in together, down the line. Where I am currently living I am very unhappy and would like to move. We have talked about waiting to see how things go and maybe after the summer moving in together. I told her that I was considering it. As I knew she would be happy I was moving from my current situation but she was totally against it. She said he was rushing me, he is rushing and trying to force a relationship and that it is not the right thing to do. She reiterated the fact I always said I didn’t want a relationship or kids. I feel so rejected that I have tried so hard to be honest with myself and overcome my fears, for what feels like her desperately trying to push me back into the pit Ive been in the last decade.

If we have any sort of weekend plans, even for his birthday, she will ask me to babysit or have her children over night. She completely ignored my 30th birthday this year. She never came to any of my birthday celebrations over the years and right now is acting very jealous of my relationship even though she seems very happy and content with the man she is with. Can anyone shed any light on the situation or give me advice on how to help her accept me changing my mind about my future?

Bunnybigears Sat 16-Mar-19 18:13:21

She is jealous and wants you to stay single so you can be her always available single friend. Distance yourself from her and tel her you do not appreciate her derogatory comments about him.

melissasummerfield Sat 16-Mar-19 18:14:33

She really doesnt sound like a good friend to you op, she should be happy that you are finding happiness after many years of struggling to find your feet.

I know you say you dont have many friends, but friends like this are not worth having.

Good luck flowers

user1473878824 Sat 16-Mar-19 18:18:27

Dump her. She’s absolutely awful. Every single thing she has said to make you doubt things is bollocks. For once I’d say ghosting is the best option if you don’t want to confront her. What a bitch.

EstrellaDamn Sat 16-Mar-19 18:22:16

She's not your friend. She's enjoyed having you around so she can feel superior to you, but now you're close to being happy she's resenting it.

Drop her. She's a real bitch.

Cyberworrier Sat 16-Mar-19 18:22:48

Oh dear, it sounds like a toxic relationship with your friend. If you want to keep the friendship, you really have to call her out on her behaviour and unpleasant attitude. If you don’t want to (which i would understand as a non- confrontational person), you need to stop sharing personal stuff with her as she is using it all as ammunition to dig at you, your partner- your life! A true friend wouldn’t do that. Sounds like your confidence and happiness has improved more through meeting your partner and that she doesn’t like it.

Divgirl2 Sat 16-Mar-19 18:23:02

She's jealous that you're getting everything she wishes she had. I'd got LC on her for a few months. You need to do what makes you happy.

MustBeDueSomeBetterFeet Sat 16-Mar-19 18:23:11

This is a completely dysfunctional friendship from what you say. Neither of you seem to be happy for each other or respect each other's choices.

That being said, I wonder whether some of what she says about your relationship might be a bit close to the bone.

You say you've been dating your partner 'on and off' - why 'on and off'?

He's obviously got children and past relationships that will factor in how your own relationship will develop, have you considered the impact on you?

He wants you to move to him - is that the right thing to do? Are you just doing it because you're unhappy with your living situations, or because you truly what to share a life and a home with him?

Personally, I think there are two separate matters to be addressed here.

MustBeDueSomeBetterFeet Sat 16-Mar-19 18:23:36

*want to share

screamifyouwant Sat 16-Mar-19 18:28:25

She is not your friend. A friend would be encouraging you to be happy .
This guy sounds serious and is going at your pace to keep you happy this is very positive. Do not listen to her , distance yourself from her. Good luck with your relationship you deserve to be happy .

WhoWants2Know Sat 16-Mar-19 18:30:57

Just to clarify, how long have you been seeing this man?

I'm assuming the farmyard animal refers to a policeman. I take a pretty dim view of people who refer to them as pigs.

Drum2018 Sat 16-Mar-19 18:32:24

Id stop telling her anything about your relationship for a start. Keep her a few steps behind. If you decide to move in with your partner then don't tell her until after the event, for example. She doesn't get to control you or your relationship. She is making you feel like you are not worthy of this relationship. She is battering your self esteem.

It sounds like your partner is very caring and patient and no doubt didn't want to jump into a serious relationship after his break up. Now you are both at a stage where you wish to commit further. You and he are doing everything at a nice slow pace, which suits you. Go to his birthday meal, meet his kids and see how things go. You are a bit away from moving in if you have yet to meet his kids, so you still have time to build a friendship with the kids. I wouldn't bother telling your 'friend' anything about it.

Ironymaiden Sat 16-Mar-19 18:34:47

On and off, mostly because when we met it was just a casual friends with benefits situation. He isn’t the type that can have sex and not get closer, I would be. At the very start of our relationship even though we were casual, he ended it with another girl he was seeing casually because he liked being with me more. He has been patient with me but sometimes I get scared that he doesn’t know how broken I am and I disappear. We are back together since August and things have never been better. In December we decided to properly date, and in April I will meet his children. As the weeks go past, I am able to open up to him much more. He knows about the sexual assault and has convinced me to see a therapist who deals with rape victims. In his line of work, he understands a little bit more than most men might, I think. He is strong, and protective but he isn’t smothering. Every difficult choice I feel like I’m making to drag myself out of my pit, it feels like he is ready to catch me but letting me do it myself and I feel stronger and braver. I feel safe with him and I never felt safe like this with anyone.

I am moving to be with him as it is much closer to where I work and he owns his house. I have no ties to where I am and he has his children. They should come first and I would never ask him to move away from them. If I ever do have a baby, how he is with them is how I want the father of my child to be with my baby.

I do disapprove of some choices she makes, but I am happy for her as long as she is happy.

Starch Sat 16-Mar-19 18:36:10

She sounds judgemental of you, you sound just as judgemental of her.

I think you should ask yourself if you truly value this friendship or whether you might be hanging on to it because you feel it’s the only one you really have.

justthecat Sat 16-Mar-19 18:37:03

She is jealous and wants you to be single to make her feel like she has a better life, it’s all about her.
She’s not your friend.

user1473878824 Sat 16-Mar-19 18:37:23

OP, he sounds lovely. She does not. Do you get anything out of your relationship with her or just constant shit?

oneforthepain Sat 16-Mar-19 18:38:34

She's not your friend, I'm sorry. This isn't how friends treat you.

My concern here is that if you didn't recognise that her behaviour is toxic rather than consistent with a healthy relationship, what are you using to guide you in the relationship with your partner? What are you using as markers of love and decency? What model are you using to guide your expectations and what you expect from others and give in return? For instance, your worries about not bringing your own family to the relationship aren't something you should need to worry about at all.

I'm not judging you, just wondering if some targeted support with this area could help your confidence, self esteem and enhance the quality/health of the relationships you have in your life?

Ironymaiden Sat 16-Mar-19 18:41:15

She is a good friend when things are normal with me, when I am single and just doing my own thing. I am used to her being in a relationship so it is not a big deal for me to go to her house to hang out, or see her kids. She is mostly nice but doesn’t want me ever to be happier than her. Which is ok, but I wouldn’t be happier than her in my relationship, we would be equal. It’s why I can’t understand why she doesn’t want me to be in a relationship just because I said at 17 or 18 I would never settle down. If she was single too I would understand.

oneforthepain Sat 16-Mar-19 18:44:36

Oh, I'm really glad about the therapist. I hope that helps you continue building yourself up.

Every difficult choice I feel like I’m making to drag myself out of my pit, it feels like he is ready to catch me but letting me do it myself and I feel stronger and braver.

This is exactly what a decent partner - or friend - should be like. Nurturing, encouraging, wanting to see you grow in confidence and strength, happy for you when you do but there for you if you stumble.

It doesn't sound like your "friend" at all.

(I assume he's in policing, btw. Her comments were really unpleasant. She clearly has issues with that and maybe they are driving some of this behaviour, but regardless it's not how you treat somebody you are supposed to care about.)

oneforthepain Sat 16-Mar-19 18:45:45

She is mostly nice but doesn’t want me ever to be happier than her. Which is ok

That's not ok. At all.

Babdoc Sat 16-Mar-19 18:46:18

Absolutely ditch this non friend who is trying to sabotage your happiness.
But just a word of caution about your relationship with this chap.
Do you know why his previous relationship failed?
If he is in fact a policeman, there is a higher than average incidence of domestic violence and coercive control in their marriages. Be very careful that he is not simply grooming you to be his next punchbag.
Of course not all coppers are wife beaters, and I hope the chap is as loving and supportive as you say, but I’d make enquiries about the ex wife, to be on the safe side.

Creatureofthenight Sat 16-Mar-19 18:47:38

I’m afraid she doesn’t sound like a very nice person OP.
The fact that you said you didn’t want to settle down a decade or more ago does not mean you can’t change your mind!
Your friend is a good friend when you are single because that suits her better. It does not sound like she places any value on your happiness.

2birds1stone Sat 16-Mar-19 18:47:47

Either she is massively jealous because she is a bitch and as others have said wants to feel superior to you.

She is massively jealous because she secretly fancies you

Or she is jealous because she feels like she has screwed up her life and doesn't know how to fix it and where she deemed that you struggled as well now you are finding your feet After taking your time she doesn't know how to deal with it.

Either way she is not nice and doesn't seem to have your best interests at heart. I have made huge mistakes with men but my friends stuck by me and supported me and only said I told you so afterwards...

If you are happy with this guy and he gives you the safety and security you desire then follow your dreams and do what you want to do. Ignore her

TonTonMacoute Sat 16-Mar-19 18:48:24

The word is 'frenemy'.

Look to your own happiness, and if that means dumping her, so be it.

HomeMadeMadness Sat 16-Mar-19 18:48:30

She likes having you as her permanently single friend. Obviously a lot of her self esteem is tied up in her relationship status and she likes to have you in a (what she considers) to be lower status situation (i.e. single) so she can feel better about herself.

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