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When men break up your friendships

(7 Posts)
L1llyAnna Thu 27-Apr-17 20:15:49

Hello, having seen some good advice given on here, I thought I’d ask you lovely Mumsnetters for your advice/opinion on my dilemma smile

I’m having a bit of a tough time with one of my best friends at the moment. We’ve been friends for years, and have taken very different paths in regard to our lifestyles and views, but that has never been a problem before. We see each other and talk fairly regularly, and this situation is making things increasingly awkward.

I know all friendships change, but ours has taken a turn since she started dating her current boyfriend. They’ve been together for a number of years, but he’s never particularly liked me – for reasons I can’t go into (too identifying). They’ve had a difficult relationship, and I’ve supported her when things have been particularly bad. I personally think he’s manipulative and controlling (there’s no DV or anything like that), and is changing her into an inherently negative and judgemental person, but I have never told her that outright. How do you bring that up with one of your oldest friends?

She tells the boyfriend everything that we talk about, including really personal things relating to my family, finances, health, etc. Suddenly, I was being told what his opinion on things relating to my life were by her. I asked her to stop sharing personal things that I tell her with him, but it became a ridiculous situation where every time I told her anything she would ask if she could tell him.

Her opinion on things I talk to her about has become increasingly judgemental as well, which I attribute in part to him. An example of this relates to my lovely boyfriend, who my friend’s boyfriend dislikes only because he disagrees with what he does for a living (I know this because my friend told me). As a result, my friend has become increasingly rude towards my boyfriend, and makes no effort to talk/get to know him, which is making me feel uncomfortable. I’ve told her this, but it’s not made any difference.

Because of all this, I don’t feel comfortable sharing a lot of things in my life with her, and our friendship is suffering. Her boyfriend is likely to be in her life for a while; they’ve both said they plan to get married/have kids and are currently saving for a deposit, so I have to accept he will be around for a long time.

My dilemma is this: Where do I even start with making things better? Do I tell her the whole truth? How do I even bring it up?

I expect some of you will say that I should just cut off contact with her, but she’s one of my oldest friends, and when we avoid discussing anything to do with boyfriends/personal things on my part (not always easy though), we do have fun together.

Justmadeperfectflapjacks Thu 27-Apr-17 20:18:06

Sounds like it would be better to have her as just a casual acquaintance than a friend.
She has no loyalty to you. .

ErrolTheDragon Thu 27-Apr-17 20:28:43

Sounds like classic EA bloke trying to get rid of 'his' woman's friends. You might be better off without her, but she may really need you to hang in there, even if she doesn't recognise it yet.

Notonthestairs Thu 27-Apr-17 20:59:02

I've had a similar situation. I tried to hang on to our friendship but ultimately she cut me off which I found tremendously hurtful. I left the door open but now (7 years later) I've given up hope.
We met up again recently in fairly random circumstances and had a good giggle. I sent her a card later in the hope of sparking something but I never heard back.
So my experience is that you need to let it go a bit but leave things open. Personally I wouldnt force a discussion as I suspect that she'd be defensive and it wouldnt go well. friendships do change no matter the history. I dont say that lightly, I was very upset for a long time.

MakeItRain Thu 27-Apr-17 22:08:18

I'm in a slightly similar position. It's difficult, but sadly, for her the focus is her relationship. I agree with Errolthedragon, that it's linked to her partner trying to isolate her. But I don't think you can do much as the friend in this situation.

Bizarrely with me and my friend, the situation was reversed a few years back. She did "hang on in there" and I left my awful marriage eventually.

Having been on the other side means I understand that it really won't be straightforward for her and she'll be caught up in wanting her relationship to work. It's difficult, but ultimately I think all you can do is leave the doors open and let her know you're always there as a friend, but other than that I think you sadly have to back off a bit while she works her relationship out.

I don't think she'lloyds be in a place to listen to criticism of her relationship or reasons why you don't want to confide in her. I would do what you say works and have a good time together talking about other things. I do understand the sadness though.

springydaffs Fri 28-Apr-17 00:30:07

You say there's no DV but this is classic DV. She is in an abusive relationship, clear as day. DV includes all forms of coercive control.

If you're going to lose her anyway (and it looks like it..) you might think it's worth saying something? Get genned up about DV, all its forms, so you're ready and understand it thoroughly. She may not listen now but later on she might.

Otoh you could continue the friendship, even as it diminishes further (which it will sad ), just to hang on in there for her. This would esp be important if/when any kids come along: someone to keep an eye out for them.

At the moment you have effectively lost her, or losing her, to a cult (of two: him and her): he is slowly brainwashing her.

Read Lundy Bancroft's book Why Does He Do That? Look at Women's Aid website, look up the Freedom Programme.

springydaffs Fri 28-Apr-17 00:32:47

This happened with my sister. She's still with him - 30 years and counting sad

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