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a old friend has gone off the rails since her separation

(7 Posts)
susia Sun 07-Sep-08 21:00:36

Hi, I have an old friend who I have known for years. She split up from her husband about 18 months ago and since then has become increasingly intolerable.

I don't know whether what she says is true or not. The things she says about her ex husband are awful and it seems like he is behaving really badly, refusing to see one of their children and being horrible to her. However, I also think she is refusing to let him see the children.

She only talks about herself and her misery and although I really feel for her about her marriage break up she is in a much better situation than many people e.g financially. She will get the sum of the house about £250k when it is sold. She does however have to try to get a job for the first time in 15 years.

I do feel sorry for her but I am also a single parent (of one not 3 children) but have never received a single penny from my ex. I also think she is wallowing to the extent it is becoming really selfish. She thinks her situation is worse than anyone else's and is totally disinterested in talking about anything apart from herself.

She also says things like she will only live in a certain area (where houses are about £300k) and how children shouldn't have after school care/childminders cos it is not fair on them when this is what I have always had to do (I have always balance part time work with very little money in order to spend as much time with my DS but not working was never an option for me). So she makes me feel guilty for working.

When I last saw her I told her my Dad was really ill and how he was seeing a consultant in another town in preparation for an operation. She said I should be going with him. But for me the issue is childcare, my Dad and I have agreed that it is not appropriate for my son to go and I don't have many options of someone to leave him with overnight. So, as one of his Godmothers, I said, 'could you have him overnight (he is 6)so that I could go with my Dad?' and she said she couldn't possibly as she is a single parent of 3!

I have offered to help her many, many times. I have offered to have her 3 stay with me for a night, weekend, week. I have enough space and experience with children but she doesn't take me up on it.

Now a couple of friends of mine have said to me they don't want to meet up again if she is there. Last time we went out for example she said how noone understands what it is like for her etc to a friend of mine who is a single parent of 4 and has no money at all.
My other friend said afterwards that she'd rather not see her again.

I don't know what to do, she is a good friend and I want to help but has become such hard work.

susia Sun 07-Sep-08 21:05:04

she even complains about the weather etc when she had 3 weeks with her kids in south africa this Summer (and talks about how little money she has. I said she was lucky to have had 3 weeks of sun. I know I am coming across as really unsympathic but I feel that she is not aware of how she is coming across at all.

Janos Sun 07-Sep-08 21:17:07

This must be very hard to deal with susia. From what you're saying she sounds incredibly negative. People like that are very draining and hard to be around - they suck out all your energy.

But....you say she's been a friend for many years, so she must have some good qualities at least! What are they? What was she like before this happened?

susia Sun 07-Sep-08 21:23:42

No she was never this bad but she did talk about her unhappy marriage alot. But she became a good friend because she has always been kind and is good with children.

Janos Sun 07-Sep-08 21:32:57

I do sympathise because I have a good freind who is currently behaving in a similar way (for very different reasons).

Your last sentence really struck a chord with me and that's why I replied...often feel that way myself.

Do you feel a bit like, every time you make a suggestion/try to do something helpful it gets knocked back with a "yes..but" followed by a list of reasons about why it isn't possible?

However, one thing that keeps me going and trying to help my friend is that she has been very supportive and gone out of her way to help me in the past. And I know that she is very depressed, which makes me more inclined to bite my tounge when I'm thinking 'get a bloody grip!'.

One thing that struck me is your friend is being critical of you - which is bloody rude and uncalled for.

She also sounds a bit self absorbed an unaware of how she comes across to others.

Just wondering...Is she maybe jealous of you? Scared of change? Depressed?

susia Sun 07-Sep-08 21:45:12

Janos I think she is scared of change and depressed. I don't think she is jealous.

taxiservice Mon 08-Sep-08 17:49:00

Most people talk negatively because they genuinely need help or support. Some people deliberately talk negatively so that they can get what they want from people.

Beware.

I would keep away for a while and see who she turns to. I bet she'll find someone else and will be absolutely fine. Find another friend to support you in the meantime.

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