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Ill Friend obsessed with my Dead Husband(116 Posts)
Sorry, I have had to name change and will be a bit careful with details in case this is identifying...
My husband died 7 years ago after a 12 month battle with cancer. It was, obviously, awful but I am now happily starting a relationship (well, 6 months ago) with a lovely man.
When DH was alive, we were very good friends with a couple - we went on holiday together many times, spent a lot of time together, and DH and I are godparents to their children. DH knows her from university.
This couple have now split and also the lady, lets call her Ann, has become more obsessed with my husband as 'the one who got away.' She (I realise I could just block her, but that doesn't feel right either) has changed almost all her pics on Facebook to one's of him, and often posts long rambling posts about her 'true love' and how she should 'have gone for it in 2000' (which is pretty much when me and DH had got together.) She has also talked about how she 'knew there was a spark' and I am finding it very upsetting. For what it's worth, I never EVER thought there was even the vaguest spark between them, they were just very good old friends (and I am normally quite intuitive about these things.)
However.... about the same time as DH died, she was diagnosed with 'a slow growing brain tumour' and this has possibly (although she, and various other also close friends, say her current mood and situation is not related to that - I don't know enough about brain issues to know how these things can work.) She is still working full time, and holds down a good job with lots of responsibility but is now also registered disabled and walks with crutches and lives in sheltered housing. I have moved to Scotland, she is still down south, so I am not able to visit easily but do tend to keep in touch via email at least twice a month (I am a bit rubbish at phone calls as I am knackered in the evening!)
I am getting more and more upset about the situation but now don't feel as if I know her any more. However, it's not a simple case of cutting her out of my life (which feels awful in itself due to her situation and possible deterioration) as we have many mutual friends. I also don't feel right talking to her about it as, despite what some might have said, she seems quite vulnerable and as if she is living on a different planet (her posts and things she has said imply this, I can't give too much detail) but I am finding it more and more distressing.
What can I, if anything, do....?
(thanks for reading, if nothing else it has helped me vent!)
Yes, I can see how tricky this is.
Would any of the mutual friend be prepared to intervene do you think? Someone could tell her that you find all the Facebook posts about your late husband distressing and that she should stop.
Have you had any conversations with any of these friends specifically about this issue rather than just about her general health? It would be interesting to know whether they are as appalled as you are.
You can just hide her Facebook posts without de friending her, by the way. You can also stop emailing if you want to. Do you normally initiate the emails or does she? If it's you, you could just stop.
She is being extremely inconsiderate to say these things in front of you, his widow!
I'm wondering how much the brain tumour is having an impact on her behaviour.
If her friends are right and it's not that that is making her behave this way, then actually, I think she's being a total bitch. She's making you question the whole history of your relationship with your late husband, making you look into memories for hints that there was something going on between them, that's an awful thing to do. Are you sure this woman is your friend? She doesn't sound like it.
If it's the brain tumour causing it, then it's not her fault, but likewise, you don't have to put yourself in the situation and be OK with it.
This must be very hard for you.
It sounds like she's desperately lonely and holding onto a memory (whether real or imagined) of a happier time. Any person in their right mind would keep thoughts like these to themselves, out of respect for you (and your children, if you have any) which suggests to me that she is not in her right mind.
Braun tumours, depending on their position, can effect behaviour and personality. I believe frontal lobe is most responsible for this.
If she is slowly dying from this tumour I think the kindest thing to do for you and her, is to hide her from your newsfeed so that you don't have to see it anymore and she can continue to live in her fantasy land.
The only other thing I can think of is for one of her friends or relatives to have a gentle word with her.
What do your mutual friends think of all this?
Thanks for your reply
Re the contact we have, it's probably 50/50.
I have not had conversations about it with the mutual friends we have yet, even though it's been going on a while, as Ive moved so far away and been renovating a house - hence the lack of both time and money has meant I haven't been visiting much recently! I also think it;s a conversation I would have to have at the right time rather than just calling. I am not sure quite why, I think it's because of the brain tumour situation, it's almost like kicking someone when they are down
Have any mutual friends commented on her FB posts ?
Other replies came in as I was typing mine - now reading with interest
thanks guys, it helps to be able to discuss properly
Doinmummy no, they don't. They seem to, from what I can gather, not engage enormously at all - lots of the posts can be weirdly rambling and incoherent
How is her relationship with her ex, your dp? How old are their children and who do they live with?
I don't know what to say but couldn't read this and run.
I cannot imagine how angry and upset I would feel if someone else were claiming my (also late) DH as their own.
How dare she
I think you are amazing to be gritting your teeth and staying in touch with her. But despite her ill health I think you need to be kind to yourself and find a way to either stop or avoid this distress she's causing you.
Can you block her and ignore it all, or would you rather know what she is claiming about him?
Could a mutual friend try and talk some sense into her?
Might a letter work, where you tell her his real feelings about her (just a friend)?
Those suggestions all feel like I'm clutching at straws really. Hopefully someone will come along with some better ones.
Posts to do with DH are pretty much ignored. The other stuff, there are replies or reactions but largely when it's something more bland and, dare I say it, normal
Ah hang on, just re read, have I completely misunderstood?
Somerville I don;t know what else, if anything, she is claiming other than the 'spark' and how she wished she had made more of it. She hasn't implied anything else, it;s more huge regret that she never did make a move
I hope I am making sense!
StealthPolarBear they are friends from uni, not exes!
What do her children think?
Have you ever replied to one of here statuses with "I find this quite distasteful and upsetting"?
She is (I can't give too much detail) 'estranged' from her kids at the moment so no idea
Can you unfollow her on fb so you see less of it?
Firstly I would block her on Facebook. It sounds very upsetting and decidedly odd. She is clearly ill, lonely and perhaps going through some changes in her personality.
What are your mutual friends opinions on this situation.
I really think you need to try and create a space between you and her. This is very unhealthy for you just as you seem to be in a good place.
But, bizarrely, implies they (she and the kids) are still close - this is via FB, but I am, obviously, in touch with her former DH
Its very strange behaviour and also quite out of character from the woman I was such good friends with. I think that;s why I am torn!
I'm thinking... does it really matter?
You had your relationship with your husband. You saw him through to the end of his life - you were his life-partner. You now, rightly and happily, have a new love. That's good. Could you let go of some of the ownership of your husband? No matter what this woman posts on fb, she is not you, she wasn't his wife. She can't take away what you were to him.
When you can, talk to mutual friends. Tell them (if you can feel it) that you don't mind, that she's reviewing her life because of her condition and wishes it was different but you are secure in your love for your late husband and his for you. Then get on with your life.
If you don't want to 'cut her out', you could at least distance yourself gradually.
'Quite out of character' does go with brain tumours.
Aww love so sorry to read your story. It must be heart wrenching for you!
She is obviously suffering mentally (due to stress or effects of tumour) as this is overtly unacceptable behaviour that has crossed over into being cruel.
I would draft something for the next time she posts something on Facebook and then post it for all to see and ensure you keep the higher ground. I would ensure I'm very polite and courteous (to maintain higher ground and to get all mutual friends onside or at least you can't be seen as mudsliging) but get across how crushing it has been to live with her insinuations of a relationship with your late husband. I'd end it with kindly asking she be more respectful and remind her how you have been a loyal friend and that effectively admitting an affair and that therefore insinuating your life with your husband has been a lie has been crushing and unfathomable. Perhaps even end it with that you intend to remain a supportive friend to her (so you aren't seen to be bashing an ill person).
There's always more than one way to skin a cat (my dad used to say) kill the bitch with kindness and politeness. She needs a very formal reminder of who he married and what respect you deserve as the grieving spouse xx
It is very very odd behaviour. I'm surprised none of your mutual friends have messaged you, even just to say a sympathetic "WTF?!"
i would comment on one of her posts she is being distasteful to the extreme the man is dead he can't defend himself at all
I think you would be well within your rights to reply to a status as stealth recommended. Brain tumour or no brain tumour, this isn't ok.
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