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Please talk to me about my friendships with women

(5 Posts)
wheelbag Mon 06-Mar-17 23:25:30

I know this is a problem with me as it happens a lot to me. I just don't know what I can do to change it.

My friendships with women are always unbalanced. Either I am the one trying to meet up and feeling rejected if they say no or don't respond to me, or they are all-encompassing friendships where they rely on me to support them in everything (emotionally, mentally, sometimes financially) to the point that it has the intensity of a romantic relationship.

I am straight btw, and have few problems in friendships and relationships with men. I know enough to know that the male/female divide in my friendships is probably down to my terrible relationship with my (abusive) mother and my good relationship with my father,.

I am always idolising one or two women and wishing they would be my friend - inviting them out, driving long distances to meet up with them, refreshing my email and waiting for them to message me, looking to help them in whatever way I can, availing myself to them, trying to impress them. I'm high when they contact, depressed when they don't, want to be like them, change my style and the way I speak. I put them on a pedestal and when I see, maybe on social media, that they've had a gathering to which I haven't been invited, I get a feeling in the pit of my stomach that I am worthless and unlikeable and always on the outside.

^^I realise all this is dysfunctional.

The result of my contorted, co-dependent friendship technique is that occasionally one of the women I put on the pedestal will respond and will take up my desperately wanting them to be my friend and I will end up being their counsellor,mother,friend,replacement daughter, replacement mother, cook, housekeeper, money giver, which means that I am always on the end of the phone to discuss minute details of their life, am used as a prop in most instances, to bolster them. Not a true, mutual friendship. But then once I am in it, I get enough validation from the feeling of being included in their lives - even as some kind of minion - that I don't want to change it.

On the flip side, just to prove I am not a freak (!) I have a happy relationship with my partner and very good male friends. I don't even think about the dynamics of these friendships, never try to contort myself into something I'm not. Just easy and relaxed and long-lasting.

I've read that we try and repeat with others what we have experienced in our past in order to make it good again. And I can see that my desperation to be accepted by women comes straight from my mother's seemingly constant dislike of me. I could never do anything right. I ran in circles trying to please her and never did, got ritually humiliated, laughed at, rejected. I think on some level I believe that it's impossible to please women and that to be accepted properly I have to just pretend that I barely exist, fit seamlessly into their lives, be useful to them in every way.

Can anyone relate? And what do you think of this? Although I may appear like I know my feelings well, I don't understand anything beyond this or what I could do to change it? Or what I need to hear?

0riole Mon 06-Mar-17 23:41:21

I have absolutely no useful advice, however I have found myself in a similar predicament with two different people recently. Both very different women in almost every way.

Have bent over backwards for both, one in particular more recently. This gone Saturday and the days since I've been very very unwell, and neither had text or emailed me back (I have told them both, albeit one for a work reason and the other for a social reason). Last week I have been there for the 'one in particular most recently', literally all night until 7am in the morning a few days and at her beck and call. She text me Sunday to ask if I was coming out for a drink, I said sorry but am very ill. No reply. At all. Has consistent form for it so shouldn't be surprised.

So in short, I think all varieties of women may just be absolute bitches? Can we be friends instead? grin

rightknockered Mon 06-Mar-17 23:50:32

Hi OP. You're not alone. I had an extremely dysfunctional and abusive relationship with my mother, and have spent most of my life trying to find a friend to fill that gap. I've only recently moved on from trying to desperately please women I admire, but all my relationships with men tend to be sexual in nature. I have had two abusive marriages and have now accepted that I'm happier and mentally healthier living alone. My childhood was the stuff of nightmares, and my memories run through my mind as though I am watching a horrific film, I'm so detached from that part of myself. Yet it has had a huge impact on my life.
I have a young daughter and watching her as she fizzes through life, enjoying close friendships in a way I never could makes me sad for myself, and I take comfort in the fact that she will always, as much as in my power to safeguard for her, have healthy relationships. And hopefully be much happier than me.
The hardest thing is dealing with disapproval and criticism from women I hope to befriend. In the past I would just bury my head in the sand, brush it aside and continue trying to be friends with women like that. I think I'm finally learning to step away when I witness it, because it says a lot about them if they can be so judgemental about me without even trying to get to know me. I've decided I'm worth more than that. That is as far as I have come. But it is a huge step forward for me.

Shoxfordian Tue 07-Mar-17 06:10:27

I think you could benefit from some counselling to try to work through this as you've acknowledged that some of your behaviour is dysfunctional

Also maybe try to instigate a 1 to 1 rule for your interactions with women: you send a text; wait for her to reply.
If she doesn't then move on.

Think about how you value your time and your own life too. Help someone if you can but don't drop everything as you've described.

Probably the best advice I can give is to talk to a therapist or a counsellor though to work through these issues

PurpleNurple69 Tue 07-Mar-17 06:20:39

I don't really have any advice wheelbag as I'm pretty dysfunctional myself smile but you have an amazing insight to yourself. I see many of the traits you describe in myself when it comes to male and female relationships but I've never been able to put it into words - I just know I'm a bit 'fucked up'!

I think I'm going to explore this a little further......

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