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How do you deal with an 'elephant in the room' conversation topic?

(4 Posts)
yelllowpinkgreenblue Sun 16-Aug-20 16:46:01

This is quite long just to give some context. A close friend of mine has an on / off relationship with a guy (Tom) who she thinks is 'the one' . Until a couple of months ago, every time I spoke to her she would tell me what was going on between the 2 of them and even though I (and i haven't told her this) think she would be better off dumping Tom because there are better men out there, I try to be supportive. I don't think he's abusive or anything, I just think he's messing her around.

A couple of months ago, friend suddenly stopped talking about Tom, and seemed to make an effort to actually not mention him. If i asked about Tom, she would briefly say that she had seen him or spent time with him but then quickly change the subject. It reached a point where I felt awkward mentioning Tom and I made a decision not to talk about him unless she did first. I met friend for lunch today and she didn't mention Tom at all, even though when she was showing me some photos on her phone she scrolled past a very recent (taken in the past week) picture of Tom.

It now feels like there is a huge elephant in the room every time we meet. She is clearly spending time with Tom, maybe dating, maybe not, but won't talk about it. Because I care about her, I want to check she's ok but also feel like it's not my place to push the topic. A few weeks ago I did send her a text message saying that she hadn't seemed herself recently, that I hoped she was ok, and if she wanted to talk about anything she knew where I was. She didn't reply and I've seen her since and she hasn't mentioned it. What would other people do in this situation?

OP’s posts: |
Didkdt Sun 16-Aug-20 18:04:29

I don't normally discuss my husband when out with friends.
She may know you disapprove or she may feel she could do better but doesn't want to so isn't up for talking about him anymore but all you can do is be at her side

Sakurami Sun 16-Aug-20 18:08:22

If they've been together for a while, it's normal not to talk so much about your boyfriend. Just ask her how things are going next time you see her.

user1481840227 Sun 16-Aug-20 18:17:01

I would literally ask if it was ok to have a chat about the elephant in the room! and then say she's been quiet about Tom lately so you were just a little bit concerned and wanted to check if anything bad had happened or if it was it just the usual stuff going on.

She might consider it to be a bit embarrassing if you refer to the 'usual stuff' but at the same time if that's what it is that's going on then I think it's for the best that she doesn't keep going on about it or him to you.

Female friends generally are supportive and listen to this stuff for a certain amount of time, but then it becomes tedious and frustrating and I actually think it's better for them to sit with their own emotions and really deal with it themselves and discuss the bad things with their partner....instead of using their friends as a sounding board and then once they've got their thoughts out they go back to carrying on as normal with their partner.

I wonder is it possible that maybe another friend told her to stop going on about him to her?

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