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Have finally blown my top with a friend. Why do I feel so rubbish then? (Long)

(59 Posts)
alison56 Thu 17-Sep-09 00:00:00

I have this friend, let's call her Mandy.

I've known Mandy for ages (about 11 years). We are in a group of friends - we all graduated at the same time.

Mandy is perfectly lovely but not very self aware. She's had a series of rubbish boyfriends (including one who stole from her). Her last boyfriend was totally up his own arse. He finished with her after she'd sold her house and moved in with him - she was devastated and turned to us all for sympathy (which, naturally, we gave).

When she's in a relationship, she takes on that person's persona. If he's into motorbikes, she's suddenly into that too. She had one who was into pot holing and swore blind to us that she had "always loved pot holing" even though we knew she's never done it in her life. I suppose it's a sign of lack of confidence or something but it's really annoying because we're not daft and we know what she's saying isn't true.

When she's out of a relationship, we see lots of her. When she's with a bloke, she only seems to get in touch when she wants something, for example, if she wants somebody's husband to do some work on her house. Friends she turns to for company (and mutual support on the dating scene) are dropped like hot potatoes once she's in a relationship.

The other thing is, she often makes excuses to get out of things. When I had my first child christened, she left very early, siting a need to "go to B&Q", which left everyone gobsmacked. She left another of our (significant) parties very very early to join her boyfriend at another party instead (at his friends' house).

The problem is, she doesn't like being on her own. So no sooner has she come out of one crap relationship (making us swear to tell her if we see her making the same mistakes again) than she's into another. Inevitably we all see alarm bells ringing about the new boyfriend and nobody has the guts to tell her because she doesn't seem to want to hear it at the time.

And so it goes on and on....

Anyway, she started seeing this bloke two years ago. We have only met him once in that time because he (1) never comes to any get togethers or (2) they cancel at the last minute. It's irritating, but aside from that, she tells us things that set alarm bells ringing again (for example, he seems quite controlling - all her boyfriends have been the same).

This bloke (David) seems a bit anti-social (you might say shy if you were being kind but given his job I wouldn't say he was shy...). He doesn't have many mates. He doesn't really like going to social gatherings for her family ("couldn't be bothered" to go to a christening because he doesn't like kids - she told us this - so they didn't go).

Now Mandy's a traditional girl, and she's very good looking and has a lovely figure. She's always wanted the big white wedding. Earlier in the year they got engaged and fixed a date for November. You can imagine our surprise then, when she announced that they were only having 20 guests to the wedding because that was "all that David wants".

Despite this, she goes out and buys the whole shebang - big white dress, full length veil, the lot. And all this is for 20 guests in a hotel. Strikes us that she wants the big white wedding but they can't afford it so we don't question it - we totally understand if money is an issue - we'll just go to the evening do.

The next thing, they announce that they are going on a big expensive honeymoon (seriously expensive) doing something he's very keen on - so suddenly we realise the small wedding isn't about lack of money at all - it's really about what David wants. Only they can't go anywhere that doesn't have "English food" because he's a "steak and chips man - strictly no veg", so as much as Mandy longs to go to the far east, it's never going to happen because, as she puts it, "there's nothing David will eat".

You can imagine that everyone has an opinion on all of this behind her back. He seems to rule the roost - but it's too late because the wedding is booked and she's desperate to have children - "can't wait to get the wedding over with" as she (sadly) put it. So they can start trying.

Anyway, we get the invitations for the wedding and the bride and groom are asking for cash as presents. They have actually said in the invitations "you can buy us a present if you like but the cash will do" - which makes me want to go and lie down in a dark room.

And then we get talking to her and she's boasting that they aren't having an evening buffet at the wedding because not having a buffet is saving them £1900 and isn't that brilliant because £1900 is a huge saving. Instead of a buffet they are doing a sausage sandwich but it's strictly one sandwich each, with the exception of David's work colleagues, who can have two sandwiches because they have big appetites.

We are staggered (and puzzled - how will it be policed??!!).

And we're thinking "right, so we're not invited to your wedding but we can come in the evening and bring cash but you aren't even going to put on a spread....".

Nobody says anything. It's her wedding - the arrangements are made and nobody wants to add to what must be a stressful time by pulling her up and telling her she is really beginning to offend people. And of course, nobody is feeling like busting a limb to go to this wedding as it all seems a bit one-sided.

Then came the last straw.

I'm having my daughter christened and she replies to the invitation telling me they are coming. Then at the last minute she tells me (via facebook) that she isn't coming because she's going shopping instead. Specifically, she is going shopping to a shop that hires out wedding suits because she doesn't trust David's choice for his dad and best man and she wants to go with them (the wedding is 2 months away).

At this point, it's so late that I have already given our caterer the final numbers so I will have to pay for them even though they are not coming.

Despite this, I just stay calm and quiet. It's annoying but I don't want a showdown with her given that she's in the run up to her wedding so I say nothing.

Two days later she sends me a text to ask if I'm coming to the evening of her wedding. I haven't yet sent an RSVP because I haven't secured a babysitter.

When I tell her this, she gives me a deadline to say yes or no because she "has to give the hotel final numbers" by next week (7 weeks in advance).

So then that was it - I finally told her that her bahviour was hacking people off. I didn't mention a thing about the wedding because I didn't want to add to the stress a wedding causes (and it's probably too late for her to change anythign about it) but I told her I was fed up with her making daft excuses to leave early and that I thought she lacked self awareness. I mentioned the irony of not coming to our christening (after numbers were finalised) yet asking me to make a decision about her wedding (for the purposes of final numbers).

I said I thought that going shopping for a hire suit was a rubbish excuse when the shops are open until 6pm. Wy couldn't she come for an hour or two?

So now I feel better that it's off my chest at last. I didn't want to confront her but she was really pushing me to the limit. Other people got it off their chests by declining the wedding invitation with no exaplanation.

I keep thinking "it's not her fault - she's obviously been told they are not going to the christening, they are going for the suits" but I wish she'd grow some bloody balls and stop treating her friends like this.

Have I done a bad thing?

She hasn't replied yet.

Meh.

junglist1 Thu 17-Sep-09 00:08:41

It sounds like somebody needed to tell her. All that fawning and doing whatever your partner wants makes me a bit nauseous TBH. And if she was a good friend she wouldn't keep letting you down. She needs to get some backbone and a personality of her own

lavenderkate Thu 17-Sep-09 00:09:50

Hmm. Alison56. What was her response?

I have a friend scarily like this, she's so flaky, can't be on her own, constantly making excuses (not even good or believable ones most of the time) she gets shat on by men, most of them she seems to end up with hit her.

Tbh I don't blame you for getting annoyed with that behaviour, I think you're on the money when you say she's not self-aware. Maybe this will be a wake-up call.

How do you think she's likely to respond?

alison56 Thu 17-Sep-09 00:12:39

She hasn't replied. Probably hasn't seen the message.

Soembody did have to tell her - I didn't want to but it had happened so many times that I couldn't hold it in any longer.

dittany Thu 17-Sep-09 00:15:01

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

alison56 Thu 17-Sep-09 00:19:51

probably not - we don't live or work closeby and (naturally) she's busy organising her wedding.

I just feel we should have all said something earlier. Shame it had to get to this stage.

Maybe we should all have grown some balls but it's hard isn't it?

I just wanted you all to reassure me I had good reason to be hacked off.

junglist1 Thu 17-Sep-09 00:23:53

You do. I'm hacked off and I've never met her!!

lavenderkate Thu 17-Sep-09 00:27:59

me too ! If not a little sorry for her pathetic-ness.

I read this out to my dp and even he's hacked off! wink He said "what kind of friend is she? and who does sausage butties at a wedding in return for cash!?"

Maybe you could save her even more money on her buffet... take along 20 packs of smartprice bangers and say that's your wedding present. wink

Buda Thu 17-Sep-09 09:40:28

OMG. Everyone can only have one sausage sandwich except his colleagues?????? He sounds like a complete loon.

You can't let her marry him. Someone needs to sit her down and tell her that he is not normal. He is barking.

Katisha Thu 17-Sep-09 09:47:49

When all the friends hate the man in question and think he is a loon it is generally a very bad sign.

He sounds like he has a personality disorder to me. He will probably cut her off from all her friends in a matter of months.

She needs to get out NOW. She won't of course. Resign yourself to the fact that in a few years or sooner she will need you all to pick up the pieces again.

Tortington Thu 17-Sep-09 09:49:02

you need to pull her about the sausage sandwich

its fucking bizarre

bring money

know we are going on a lavish honeymoon

have a sausage butty....just the one mind

ChopsTheDuck Thu 17-Sep-09 09:49:26

get her this book and send it to her anonymously if you don't want to tell her in person!

The whole thing is horrible, it must be like washing a car crash in slow motion. I'd hate to see a friend of mine in that situation, and I don't know how you've managed to keep your mouth shut this long.

Its scary really, especially considering they want to bring children into this relationship. He sounds like a controlling bar steward and I'd be really worried for her.

Tortington Thu 17-Sep-09 09:49:49

tell her you will go to the wedding but you intend to have 3 sausage butties and what would she do about it?

OrmIrian Thu 17-Sep-09 09:59:01

It may not be her fault but she's let it happen. She needs a shock to make her see what an idiot she is. Don't feel bad.

Bramshott Thu 17-Sep-09 09:59:20

YANBU to feel hacked off, and clearly something needed to be said. However, these things are always better done face to face or over the phone - I'm a bit confused that you mention a "message" - text message? email? answerphone message? IMHO that's a mistake - you need to call her or see her, and have it out in person or on the phone, otherwise you will end up trading messages, not really understanding each other, and it will turn into a much bigger mess!

AttilaTheMeerkat Thu 17-Sep-09 10:07:37

Don't think you;ve done a bad thing at all.
All you can do is be there for here when the solids hit the fan in her marriage as they inevitably will given time.

"Mandy" undoubtedly has had a long series of abusive relationships of which this is the latest. Counselling to get to the root causes of why she's continually picking losers (was wondering what she learnt from her own parents about relationships) would be a good start for her as is learning to be more confident and love her own self for a change rather than taking on someone else's persona.

Women with low self image and worth like this (she may be good looking but she probably does not think she is that attractive) are ideal fodder for abusers; they have radar for such women and will target them. She won't though seek help for her underlying issues until she is ready to do so and that may be some years off yet.

No more facebook crap or phone calls; face to face conversation is best in these circumstances.

thedollshouse Thu 17-Sep-09 10:13:56

I think you were very restrained. It sounds as if she has proved over the years that she isn't a good friend. Let it go, she doesn't sound worth the stress.

wheniwishuponastar Thu 17-Sep-09 11:01:53

i've no idea why you are friends with this woman - she sounds awful. personally i would be honest, said in as kind a way as possible. you aren't doing her any favours in not telling her the truth. just supposedly giving yourself a quiet life, but it isn't really.
maybe you feel crap because its finally out in the open and the situation is totally crap. don't play along with her craziness, pull a face so she knows it is not normal and isn't on.

SueMunch Thu 17-Sep-09 11:56:23

Oh oh my god I'm sorry but I'm still in stitches about the sausage sandwiches.

If it was me I would have just declined the invite. If she got in touch then I would have gone all guns blazing - these arrangements are so insane it's almost like an elaborate hoax.

You are asked specifically for cash. You go to the wedding and have a sausage sandwich. Some people there get to eat two - but you aren't important enough for that.

You should send this wedding arrangement to a bridal magazine - I'm sure all the trendy London types will be doing it by next summer!!

TracyK Thu 17-Sep-09 12:03:50

Get rid of her - she's a drain on you and is a one sided relationship.

Get on with your life and leave her alone.

cyteen Thu 17-Sep-09 12:10:12

I'd at least wait for a response before sacking her off (but then I am nosy).

She sounds an utter drip, the poor girl.

alison56 Thu 17-Sep-09 12:15:07

Thanks for your replies.

See, I'm laughing about the sausage sandwiches now.

We've all been thinking this is sort of the last straw, this sausage sandwich thing. We have wondered whether we ought to take a packed lunch instead - or order a full blown indian banquet to be delivered.

I mean, is there any garnish? Because garnish would make us feel slightly better.

And boasting about how much money they are saving???? Isn't your wedding a time when you extend your hospitality (within your means)?. I could understand if they were skint but their honeymoon is totally OTT.

I haven't heard from her yet. I agree that messages are not the way forward, but at the same time it's often easier to articulate your feelngs that way because you can edit what you've written so you say exactly what you mean.

I think I just feel rubbish because I know that, actually, she's a nice girl and she would hate to think she goes around offending people like this. I do genuinely like her but she doesn't seem to have any self awareness at all.

She IS going to marry him - doesn't matter what any of us say. And yes it's going to be a car crash but I've no idea whether she will ever see it and by the time they have children it will take twice the bravery to point out the obvious.

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