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Could you help me word an email?

(33 Posts)
DoormatOrDiva Thu 09-May-13 18:54:54

To my bff, who is very happily ensconced in a relationship with someone I fear could be a narcissist, and potentially bad news.

I've spoken about the relationship already and don't want to go into it all again.

Things haven't improved - at least not from my perspective. However she is choosing to stay with him and ignore the latest warning signs (going awol every so often, the odd verbally abusive row, strange women friends texting him about 'meeting up for dinner/drinks, and 'whatever the night brings').

We had a blazing row - the first one ever, in 40+ years. It started because she mentioned that her DP realised that I had restricted him on my fb friends list - because she was looking at photos of my kids and he couldn't see them.

I actually did it a while ago, after a creepy and unfunny practical joke in which he sent me a photo of himself with severe bruising on his arm, and said my friend attacked him. Again, already spoken about this elsewhere, don't want to go into it all again.

Anyway - she sort of implied that I was being unreasonable to restrict him, and I should make an effort because he is special to her. I had once said to her, I thought he might be a bit narcissistic - and that if he was, he would be subtly trying to cause a distance between us. She reminded me of those words, and said it looks like I am the one who is putting the distance between us, not him.

I post a lot of family pics, and not comfortable with him having access. She was hurt I'm sure, but kept asking me why I can't just chill. I got drawn into it and mentioned the practical joke again, as something I find quite hard to get past, and trust someone, after. She was really exasperated and told me I was being stubborn.

She then said since I brought it up, she did question my loyalty - as I hadn't immediately realised it was a joke. How could I even think she could be capable of attacking someone etc. (I actually predicted this would happen at the time - and wondered if that was a narcissist's way of stirring up trouble all along. The only surprise was it's taken this long for it to fester and brew!)

I said he's manipulating her and she got really upset and swore at me. I got angry and said domestic violence is not even funny as a joke, and if she thinks she's above the possibility of ever landing in one where domestic violence occurs, she's being really arrogant.

Anyway - I don't think we can keep talking as regularly as we have done before, as it's awkward. The subject of her DP is now like a huge white elephant in the room, whom she can't talk to me about, and I can't talk to her about.

I want to send her an email with words to the effect that I will always be there for her, and email may be better as a means of communication right now - but without it seeming like I'm rejecting her and distancing myself. Is that even possible?

Tbh I'm not even feels really sad. Like it's the beginning of the end of a lifetime's friendship and I can't even stop it happening.

Lweji Thu 09-May-13 19:29:42

Complicated, but you could just say that you don't like him and what he does to her.
That she can leave him out of your relationship, but that you won't discuss him at all again.
And that should he ever need your help you'll be there for her.

Nothing you'll say will change her view of him, so justbremove yourself.

Walkacrossthesand Thu 09-May-13 19:44:10

You could start by commenting that it's up to you what access you give to whom on your FB list just as it's up to her what boyfriend she chooses. You've explained why you're not comfortable with her boyfriend having access to your FB profile, and you have no plans to change that - but that doesn't mean you no longer want to be her friend, and you hope you'll be able to continue your friendship with her regardless of the fact that you don't like what you've seen of her boyfriend. If she doesn't want to see you separately from the boyfriend it may have to be an email/text friendship, but you two go back a long way, you value her friendship and you don't want to lose it. Hold fast to your boundaries!

tallwivglasses Thu 09-May-13 21:09:11

what the previous poster said. I'd also be tempted to list every single red flag she's shared with you and recommend the Lundy Bancroft book. he's got what he wanted hasn't he. bastard sad sad

cjel Thu 09-May-13 21:22:50

I'm not sure that I'd go into too much detail about him,remember he will read it. I'd try and say that you are very hurt and sad that things have changed between you, you really miss the relationship you used to have,that you want things to be back to the relationship you used to have and long for the day when she wants that too. Maybe say that its really sad that a disagreement over him has led to this and hope that she knows you still love and care for her and will always be there for her anytime she feels like getting in touch.?

DoormatOrDiva Thu 09-May-13 22:11:30

Thanks - I'm mulling it over still. Doubt I'll send anything tonight. Wrote something earlier but it was massively long and the more I wrote the angrier I got!

tallwivglasses I've already recommended the Lundy Bancroft book. In fact I pleaded with her to do me a favour and read it before moving in with him - I would feel much more at ease then. She hasn't.

I sent her a link of red flags and early signs of potentially abusive relationships too, and asked her if she recognised any, because I could see quite a few. She thanked me and asked which ones did I see. I don't know if there is any way back for our friendship from answering that, so not replied yet.

Partridge Fri 10-May-13 05:51:39

To be quite honest I think you need to let it go. I have read several of your posts before and it seems that you are slightly fixated on this.

Harmful relationship or not, I would have been incensed if you sent me an unsolicited email about red flags and recommending books about dysfunctional relationships. You are probably right about him but i think you have done as much as you should at this point.

She obviously really cares about you as she is still communicating with you to some extent. I think if you feel so strongly about the relationship you need to keep your own boundaries, withdraw gently and be there when it all comes crashing down. Otherwise you risk pushing her away for good and she will be too ashamed to come to you when it does go tits up and she needs you.

CogitoErgoSometimes Fri 10-May-13 06:20:18

I don't think there is any form of words you could put in an e-mail that would say what you want to say without stirring up more trouble. You've said your piece already, got nowhere, and I think you therefore leave it at that. She knows how you feel so an e-mail would be superfluous. She's got your phone number and presumably knows where you are if she needs you. If she prefers some dodgy bloke to her best friend, despite what she knows, then it's entirely her call and NOYB....


BerylStreep Fri 10-May-13 09:48:31

'I'm sorry about the things I said. It is because I care about you, but I realise you are free to make your own decisions in life. I really value our friendship, and am here anytime you want to give me a call x.'

gertrudestein Fri 10-May-13 11:36:13

I agree with what Beryl said. It's a great idea to write an email, but remember that it's permanent and can be read out of context, so don't use it to get any of your grievances out, or even to put your point of view across about the specifics of the situation. Just use it to remind her that you care for her and that when she needs you, you'll be there.

BeCool Fri 10-May-13 12:04:16

I agree with Beryl above, but I would also add something along the lines of "I don't like your P, and I don't want to spend time with him. Sorry if that is hurtful to you but it is how I feel". Perhaps too brutal?


"I'm sorry about the things I said. It is because I care about you, but I know you are free to make your own decisions in life. So am I. I don't like your P, and I don't want to spend any time with him. Sorry if that is hurtful to you but it is simply how I feel. I really value our friendship, and the time we spend together. I am here any time you want to give me a call x"

The above is short and sweet, but it clearly says that you acknowledge her right to make choices you disagree with, but that works both ways.

I'd also delete her P from my FB if you haven't done so already.

FrequentFlyerRandomDent Fri 10-May-13 15:10:19

What BerylStreep said.

Nothing more.

He will read it. You will regret every word. Take the higher ground and vent somewhere else.

DoormatOrDiva Fri 10-May-13 16:32:25

Ok I've sent it. Thank you for your replies, but this is what I finally came up with, for better or worse. Oh well it's done now.

I'm really sorry you were hurt and upset - it's sad and painful for me too. I know sending you a list of red flags and going on about reading Lundy Bancroft's book is probably highly offensive and risks putting a lifetime's friendship on the line.

You may find it incomprehensible why I'm speaking so strongly - but the only way I can explain it, is for me, it feels very much like watching a premonition of a loved one in a car crash - only it's happening in slow motion. And it's not just you in the car, it's [ds] as well. If the situation was reversed, what would you do?

The smart thing to do in a 'normal' similar situation would be to be very careful to stay neutral, say nothing, (because the person in the middle of the relationship, typically won't listen to a word anyone says anyway) and if it all goes belly up - one can still be around to offer support, right?

Trouble is, it's complicated by the fact that you're thousands of miles away and I know how isolated and alone you've been. No one else is around to say stuff. You're also caring for a vulnerable child.

What people would usually do - step away (because it's difficult to watch unfold) and hope it all works out for the best - doesn't work in this case because there is so little 'other support' going on, and I really care about you. So I'm really struggling with what to do for the best. I'm probably handling it really badly and kack-handedly. But please understand I get no joy from making you feel sad and angry etc.

One thing though - NO MATTER WHAT is going on with us - please do your best to cultivate good friendships and a circle of support where you are. I know [DP] is very special to you and I'm willing to accept that I may be completely wrong - just don't isolate yourself. I'm so sorry if this is yet another over-stepping thing. Love you! Take care xx^


Partridge Fri 10-May-13 20:18:44

I think it's great - apart from the car crash stuff confused. It was all going so well until/after that...

If I was the recipient that would incense me. I hope she takes it well...

coffeeinbed Fri 10-May-13 20:36:47

The sending of this email makes no sense to me - you're not saying anything she does not already know.
You're just saying "I'm right, you're not"
What do you think/expect/hope is going to happen when your friend reads it?

Partridge Fri 10-May-13 20:52:36

Yes I agree actually. I think if you really wanted to salvage the friendship you would have apologised unreservedly and offered support.

This email seems all about you and not about her IMHO. You are like a dog with a bone.

Bogeyface Fri 10-May-13 21:14:33

I would send her a message that just says that you will always be there for her.

Because as it stands, if she wants to leave she wont come to you for help for fear of "I told you so".

cjel Fri 10-May-13 22:09:56

i'm not sure that the stuff you said was necessary either. you've said it enough times and you did labour the point of how alone/isolated/in danger shewas and I think you should have concentrated on being a friend and apologising for upsetting her.

ekidna Fri 10-May-13 22:19:12

how's your life?

BerylStreep Sat 11-May-13 00:47:00

Sorry, but I think your e-mail was a bit intense / in her face.

I doubt you will get any positive response to it.

Bogeyface Sat 11-May-13 01:21:10

Your email was very "me, I, me, I" . I wouldnt expect much back from it tbh.

SweetSeraphim Sat 11-May-13 20:37:28

Did you get a response?

ElizaDoLots Sat 11-May-13 20:54:49

I think the more things you point out, the more she will dig her heels in. I'd be tempted to keep him restricted on Facebook (or remove him altogether) and drop contact for now, with the understanding that she can come to you whenever she needs to. She may need a bit of space to realise her mistake and I'm not sure it's your place to point it out to her.

ElizaDoLots Sat 11-May-13 20:55:53

Ah, I should have read the thread first ... too late - sorry!

stopmovingthefurniture Sun 12-May-13 02:30:24

You're sensationalising everything. I can appreciate why but it's exhausting and it doesn't help your case when you're trying to present yourself as the voice of reason.

You're patronising her ('I realise you might find it incomprehensible/what would you do?/I know how alone you've been...). Apologising that your friend is sad and upset is patronising because you are only pretending to apologise. What you're actually doing is expressing regret that she is upset before explaining how just and reasonable you're being.

You suggested that you'd rather go away than stay close in the present circumstances, but you can't because she needs you to keep telling her stuff she needs to hear. That's hurtful, as well as patronising. So is the car crash idea.

In marshalling all your arguments so comprehensively, you've come over far too strongly. Your need to be right and to justify yourself has clouded your 'feel' for the friendship. Your friend needs people in her life who will continue to treat her in a way that reminds her of her own worth. The more she obeys bossy people (as you are being) the more she will be vulnerable to cruel and controlling partners.

Other people's choices cannot be influenced by anyone else looking on and wringing their hands. Your friend may also feel that it's unfair of you to blame her DP for this friendship ending when you're doing this.

You said earlier you thought email contact only might be preferable. What if things have come to pass as you predict and your friend needs someone to call? She would have to be thoroughly desperate and degraded to call you, given what's been said. As far as I can see, that's the one thing that would have been important; to stay in the game (you refer to this yourself and seem to think it's not all that important. It's everything).

I think you need to eat a huge slice of humble pie and read a book on boundaries.

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