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not sure what to do next about this friend.....

(47 Posts)
Tommy Sun 17-Jul-11 21:55:21

I have a friend, we'll call her Sue. She's not particularly a close friend but she would probably say that she was IYSWIM. Our childen are friends and we live nearby so we help each other out with picking up from school etc and go out socially sometimes.

There have been a few occasions over the last few months or so where I have started a thread about my concerns about her - quite needy and very "in your face" but also very flakey - not turning up to things she said she would and letting people down etc but it's turnied into a big moan so I've deleted them!

Anyway - she recently told me that she was leaving her husband and has told lots of people about this including saying that our mutual group of friends are not being supportive and have told her she is being selfish and should stick out her marriage no matter what.

As far as I am aware, no-one has said this to her - I do know that no-one has said "yes, leave him if you don't love him anymore" but I hope we have been trying to get her to see both sides of the story especially as we have 2 friends whose husbands have recently left themand have realy been through the wringer.

She sent me an email this evening, with 2 other friends copied in to say that she is leaving her husband and that she knows we don't approve but there are things in her marriage that we know nothing about and her other friends who have known her longer who do know about them. However, she would like our support and "unconditional love"

I feel very uncomfortable abut someone asking me for my unconditional love. Isn't that something that grows over time?

Her attitude and behaviour has been causing me a lot of angst over a few months anyway but I feel this is a bit of a turning point. I haven't replied to her email and no have no idea what to do or say.
What would you do?

AnyFucker Sun 17-Jul-11 22:00:23

I think you should acknowledge that there are things that you are not privy to within her marriage

I don't actually kow what you are asking here

are you asking if you should support her in her decision ?

yes, you should

sidorek Sun 17-Jul-11 22:03:25

I would not get involved, I would not reply to this email. Sounds like, she wants you to be supportive to her, but given the history... I would back off.
Had a similar story behind me recently and it turned really messy, with me being a vilan for not being supportive enough. Classic drama traingle when a rescuer becomes a persecutor.

AnyFucker Sun 17-Jul-11 22:04:31

look, my BF has been an absolute trial to cope with getting out of her abusive relationship

she has made me feel many times, it would be easier to just fuck off and leave her to it

but I didn't

and now she is where she should be (away from him)

most of the time, she lied and obfuscated what was really going on, did the push/pull he is nasty/no he isn't it thing for years

now i know the whole truth, I wish I had listened more to what she wasn't saying

you see what I mean ?

Tommy Sun 17-Jul-11 22:06:08

I don't know what I'm asking ..... sad

It' very difficult to say "yes, there are things in your marriage that I'm not privy to" but she does spend a lot of her time saying things like "well, it's alright for you - your DH earns more than mine/you have a very happy marriage etc " as though the rest of us live in a bed of roses

ninah Sun 17-Jul-11 22:06:53

but this is not a particularly close friend
it all sounds v dramatic. I'd tend to ignore the email but just speak to her next time you see her, tell her that naturally you're fine with her choices

MOSP Sun 17-Jul-11 22:08:26

AF - is that the friend you have posted about in the past? Glad she's got out now smile

AnyFucker Sun 17-Jul-11 22:09:08

I dunno

walk away if you like, it is your choice

she shouldn't make you feel bad about that

but ask why you feel bad

my friend really tried to push me away, she would have preferred that I butt out

it would have been easier for us both, tbh

piratecat Sun 17-Jul-11 22:09:37

hmm, you should support her decision, but not get involved in bouncing emails about it back and forth

next time you see her, say you are sorry to hear about her marriage, and that it is her choice to make.

AnyFucker Sun 17-Jul-11 22:10:02

MOSP, yes it is

thank you, sweet, for remembering

it's been a hard road for her

Tommy Sun 17-Jul-11 22:10:46

I see what you're saying AnyF - I don't think it is an abusive marriage (although I know that I may be completely wrong of course) but I do feel that one the one hand she is not telling me the whole story but on the other hand, she wants me to love her "unconditionally".

She has certainly not been unconditional in her support for me

AnyFucker Sun 17-Jul-11 22:12:40

she has been unconditional in her support of you ?

then why could you not do the same ?

people in awful relationships throw massive rocks in the way of getting out

that is how it is

just take it from there

Tommy Sun 17-Jul-11 22:16:10

she has not been unconditional in her support for me

I can see where you're coming from AnyF but no sure if this is a similar situation to that of your friend. It just doesn't ring true


I do feel sorry for her but she is driving people away

I don't think it would kill you to tell her that you wish her luck in sorting out her life, or something similar to that. You seem to want permission to tell her that her troubles are all her own fault or that she should work on her marriage, when you can't possibly know what it's really like.

Tommy Sun 17-Jul-11 22:22:38

no I don't want permission to say that springchicken.
I have given her details of a marriage counselling agency and encouraged her to call them. I have been sympathetic when she has been upset.

It's the "unconditional love" bit I have the problem with.

AnyFucker Sun 17-Jul-11 22:25:20

eh ?

she hasn't always been supportive of you ?

that was a typo then ?

actually, that doesn't matter

my mate was sometimes "absent" for me, too (for reasons of her own)

it didn't influence my decision though, I did what I thought was right

so stick with that

AnyFucker Sun 17-Jul-11 22:26:20

I mis-read sorry, my mistake

it doesn't change my advice though

AnyFucker Sun 17-Jul-11 22:27:43

friends are not always perfect < shrug >

puzzlesum Sun 17-Jul-11 22:28:45

Re-reading your posts, it sounds as if she could be working up to announcing she has been having an affair. Is that possible? I could be completely wrong but it just seems a little dramatic to be asking for 'unconditional love' from friends about a life choice that is hers to make, if that is what she thinks is best for her and for her children in the long term.

This is all written without knowing the context of her recent behaviour, or her own support that came with conditions, of course.

I would focus in on what practical support you can (and wish to) provide - not debating whether she is right or wrong to leave her husband (not that you have, by the sounds of it).

Oakmaiden Sun 17-Jul-11 22:34:18

By "unconditional love" is she not just asking that you carry on being her friend even if you think she is wrong for wanting to leave her marriage?

I can't see why that is so difficult.

Tommy Sun 17-Jul-11 22:34:56

interesting puzzlesmum - I saw her yesterday at a children's party and she spent the whole afternoon texting and didn't join in much with the mummies' conversation. I did wonder if he was having an affair....


Tommy Sun 17-Jul-11 22:37:52

to me, "unconditional love" is something which I have for my children....
Not sure that anyone else has ever asked me for it TBH

Pigglesworth Sun 17-Jul-11 23:00:53

Tommy, is your concern about this woman and her personality and her way of relating to you - i.e., is her behaviour throwing up a lot of "red flags" for you and now with this latest saga you are wondering whether or not you should take a step back?

I would. I had an acquaintance like this - lots of drama, inappropriately clingy/ overly familiar - turned out she had lied to me and others about a lot of things, to conceal her own feelings of inadequacy I presume. I don't want to be friends with a compulsive liar so took a massive step back. I don't regret it at all. You have a right to choose who you want to be close to.

Tommy Sun 17-Jul-11 23:07:32

that is exactly it Pigglesworth

am very sad about it because I thought that is was my problem IYSWIM but since this has all blown up, lots of people have said things that I had been thinking. I know it all sounds a bit "play-groundy" but she is the only person I feel like this about.

Had been thinking for some time that I should take a step back

Ingles2 Sun 17-Jul-11 23:08:16

it's by using the unconditional love phrase, she's making you out to be a much better, closer friend than you actually are...right Tommy?
Give her what you can, and what you feel comfortable giving .
You don't have to be an intimate confidante if you don't want, but you can always be kind

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