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Is it possible to be in an abusive relationship with a friend?

(19 Posts)
TooShyHushHush Sun 09-Oct-11 23:26:11

Name changed for this.

I have recently fallen out with a friend. We were very close for about 4 years.
My DH never liked her, said that she looked down her nose at me, and after spending time with her I was always in a bad mood.

Since she has been in my life, I feel my self confidence has taken a nose dive. She alluded to me being in an abusive relationship (I did moan at her when DH was being annoying but in no way was he abusive) and told me I am a bad parent.

She tried to convince me my DD has behavioural problems and would only call if she wanted something.I felt wrung out and put down and belittled.

The reason I ask is that I have been in abusive relationship in the past and the relief I feel now she has gone, coupled with the fact she used every confidence I had ever given her to undermine me, makes me feel like I can breathe for the first time in four years. I feel like I am out of an abusive relationship.

Am I being over dramatic or is this possible? DH says he is 'glad to have me back'.

springydaffs Sun 09-Oct-11 23:30:53

Of course it's possible to be in an abusive relationship with a friend, a colleague, a sibling, a child, a parent, a boss etc etc. All relationships have the potential to be abusive relationships.

Glad you're free - phew.

solidgoldbrass Sun 09-Oct-11 23:36:40

If you spend time with an abusive person, that person may well abuse you. Very abusive people quite often abuse everyone they come into contact with, because they are fucked up, inadequate, unpleasant bullies. You are well rid of this one.

Cheeseandharps Sun 09-Oct-11 23:40:56

If you feel relief it's over, then it was an abusive relationship. The red flags for relationships with partners seem the same as relationships with friends, especially if a new friend is all over you and claims to have a really deep connection with you.

MSDP Sun 09-Oct-11 23:41:28

Yes it is, I have a friend like this who my parents could not stand for all the years I have known her. Trying to finally get rid completely but unfortunately children are best of friends.

TooShyHushHush Sun 09-Oct-11 23:44:30

I feel a bit of an idiot to be honest.

I thought the whole abuse angle was more restricted to people living together (we did share a flat for a bit but that was years ago, before we were properly friends)

I feel like such a mug. I can look back now and see that she was running rings around me. I actually took my DD to the GP sad

Still feel in a way I am making a fuss about nothing, but thank you so much for your replies.

Tyr Sun 09-Oct-11 23:46:16

One term for them is "psychic vampires;" a type of emotional leech who will feed off any weaknesses in your own life to compensate for their own inadequacies. Never tell them you have problems.
A good way to get rid of them is to only ever contact them with news of your good fortune in one respect or another- even if you have to lie about it.

TooShyHushHush Sun 09-Oct-11 23:46:20

Woah, cheese - that rings true. She told me that she didn't ever have female friends but I was different. blush

Cheeseandharps Sun 09-Oct-11 23:53:25

TooShy, it's sort of flattering at the time, it's only with hindsight that you can see it as odd. Tyr's description of psychic vampires sums it up well, as this sort of friend loves it when you're down sad

garlicScaresVampires Sun 09-Oct-11 23:59:41

Gawd, yes! In between Abusive H1 and Abusive H2, I shared a flat with Abusive BFF (I've learned my lesson now, honest blush)

In the style of Mumsnet amateur diagnosis, she's NPD. Life and soul of everything, a walking wisecrack, couldn't live without me but found it terribly amusing to put me down all the time. She actually stole my friends - I didn't believe this was possible, but she bloody did it - copied my clothes and hair, etc, and I eventually found out she blatantly lied to make old friends fall out with me. She's a nutjob.

She always has one very close female friend (currently my ex-best-friend) and drops them after 10 years or so, when she's used them up. For the past 25 years, she's been having an affair with her ex-fiance, whom she shagged on his wedding day. She's a charmer.

TooShyHushHush Mon 10-Oct-11 00:05:28

Thank you. I think I was a little in awe of her as she had traveled the world, was very educated etc etc .

But she always told me my life was too grounded, I need to do X,Y, or Z.

Best Rid then, thanks again.

whathappenedtom Mon 10-Oct-11 00:05:37

Yep, been there too. Recently ditched -vampire- friend. No one else was worth of her friendship hmm, criticized my weight, my home making skills, my lack of job, may parenting, my big mouth hmm, lied to me, started to citicize my DCs. She was gobsmacked when I started to ignore her calls. hmm

TooShyHushHush Mon 10-Oct-11 00:07:16

garlic, she has cut dead a couple of previous friends in the same way. She has a New BFF now.

TooShyHushHush Mon 10-Oct-11 00:08:24

I guess I am over thinking it because I honestly don't have many any friends.

whathappenedtom Mon 10-Oct-11 00:08:27

tooshy I was awe to of my friend, very glamarous, beautiful home, apparently great social life. She also told me to get a job, loose weight etc. Er, no I don't want a job....

whathappenedtom Mon 10-Oct-11 00:09:52

Until you truley leave the -vampire- ex-friend behine you won't make a space for new friends. You are worth more and so am I? I'll be your pal. grin

TooShyHushHush Mon 10-Oct-11 00:12:15

whathappened, the situation was a bit reversed. She is a single Mom, with lots of family support so gets all the free time she needs. I work part time in my 'little job' that bloody feeds us around my DH. We are skint and never have any free time as one of us is always 'babysitting'

garlicScaresVampires Mon 10-Oct-11 00:24:12

I doubt you're overthinking it, TSHH. Just the same as with maliciously selfish husbands, we get 'desensitized' to abuse and think we can cope with their psychological backhand - little realising that means we're already where they want us! Good friends make you feel stronger and happier, don't they? Not anxious, slightly desperate and 'coping' hmm

I only started realising what an absolute nightmare that woman was, when I started analysing what happened with my marriages. It's the same process, really - once you can name the behaviours, and see what they did to you, the horror of it all finally becomes clear.

Not that I'm saying you have to do all that! (Well, I'd advise it if you've got a history like mine shock) You're rid of this leech and, as you say, well rid. But, no, you're not overthinking it smile

She's what's known in the trade as toxic. Be very happy you are out from under her!

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