What to do about this (interfering) “friend”?
breakingupslowly · 28/03/2021 17:01
There’s a person in my life who’s helped me out a lot since my DC was small, and I was a single parent. She was my next door neighbour, and she used to babysit (sometimes still does), and generally became a family member that I never had. I moved house over a year ago, and we’re still in touch. She invites me and my DC round for dinner every week without fail, which is nice, but I also see it more or a chore than anything else these days.
She’s much older than I am and can be white interfering when it comes to my personal life and any decisions I make, including financial ones. Last year I took out a car on finance and she kindly agreed to be my guarantor. But I feel as though she holds this over me as she sometimes refers to it as “her” car. She comments on my relationship choices, and is very opinionated. I’m in my 30s so I’m more than capable of making my own decisions.
Aibu to want to back off from this relationship a little, and reduce these weekly dinners? I feel obliged and I don’t want to hurt her feelings. But I’m also fed up of being a people pleaser to the detriment of my own happiness. It’s exhausting.
Am I being unreasonable?AIBU
You have one vote. All votes are anonymous.
cansu · 28/03/2021 17:04
I think you need to call her out on the comments. So next time she overstep you tell her. Eg what you mean by saying its your car? I appreciate you being a guarantor but it is still my car. Then move on. If she takes the hump you will know exactly where you are with her. It seems like the dynamic needs resetting.
makingmammaries · 28/03/2021 17:05
It was extremely kind of her to be your guarantor. That involves a risk for her. If you meet a bad’un and default on the debt, she has a problem. So, in my opinion, you can’t have it all ways, though you could certainly reduce the frequency of the dinners.
BoyTree · 28/03/2021 17:05
How long before you are able to move the finance into your own name?
It's a tricky one because as much as it sounds like she is sticking her oar in where it isn't wanted, agreeing to be a guarantor is a MASSIVE favour, so it would be really rude to accept her help with your car then reduce your social contact not long afterwards.
Will it be easier in a few weeks when you can do other things, see other people and maybe break the routine a bit more naturally?
VettiyaIruken · 28/03/2021 17:07
I think your mistake was getting/accepting/asking so much from her.
You back away now and you look like a user. I've had the guarantee and the childcare, now I'm done.
I am NOT saying that's your intention but you can see how it might feel.
That said, if she feels that her help entitles her to dictate your life she's wrong. Try to disentangle yourself financially first of all. How long until your car is paid off?
Also, lots of thanks but I'm happy with my choices
Its good to know that if I ever want/need your advice I can count on you.
breakingupslowly · 28/03/2021 17:09
I can see why it comes across as me being a user but I do honestly appreciate the help she’s given me. Without her being my guarantor, I would be in a mess. She makes me feel like a child and like I don’t know my own mind at times. I’m not the most secure person, and she triggers a lot of self-doubt and anxiety in me. I don’t know how to politely tell her that weekly visits, where we really have nothing to talk about, are too much.
jellybellybanana · 28/03/2021 17:09
But I’m also fed up of being a people pleaser to the detriment of my own happiness. It’s exhausting
It's amazing how people can be so clueless about themselves. She babysat for you and still does, she guaranteed your loan, she feeds you and your kids every sodding week, and has done much for you.
But you see her as a chore and want to ditch her now she is of little use to you. And you think you are a kind and lovely people pleaser?
Garlia · 28/03/2021 17:11
She has been a huge help to you, so your comments seem a bit unkind but I can also see why her comments have offended you a bit. But by accepting her help and actually asking her to be a guarantor (I would have said no!) I think it would be unreasonable (and shitty) to start backing off as this relationship seems important to her.
Could you reduce the weekly and just don't talk about really personal/financial stuff in detail with her so then she won't offer her opinion.
LawnFever · 28/03/2021 17:13
You sound like you’ve needed a lot of support so I can kind of see why she treats you in that way, you were happy enough for her to provide free child care though before you decided you had nothing in common...
MadMadMadamMim · 28/03/2021 17:14
The trouble is you have taken the "child" role in this relationship because it made your life easier.
I agree with others that she sounds incredibly kind. She's been supportive, looked after your kids, has you over for food, guaranteed your car. She's acted like the mother you wanted at the time.
There's little point now in insisting you are grown up and want to be independent and cut her off.
I agree with others that you used her when it suited you.
Oldbird69 · 28/03/2021 17:14
You say that they sometimes babysit for you still, and guaranteed your car finance, but you haven't said what you do for them other than eat a meal they provide once a week? It sounds like a typical family arrangement to me tbh, which usually includes unwanted advice in my experience!
breakingupslowly · 28/03/2021 17:18
I definitely have taken on the child role, I admit that. And not having a mother myself, I needed it at first. But now I feel as though she uses things as a way of controlling me and it makes me uncomfortable.
Also, I’ve offered to cook for her so many times but I have a cat, so she refuses to visit as it means she can’t bring her dog (she won’t leave the house without her dog). I do shopping for her and help wherever I can, but there’s not much else I can do.
Tinydinosaur · 28/03/2021 17:19
Yep. It was alright while you were getting help off her but now you've got everything you want you can't be arsed with her. Lovely.
Don't involve people in your finances if you don't want them involved in your finances.
breakingupslowly · 28/03/2021 17:20
I don’t want to ditch her at all. I’m posting here for advice on how to make things a bit less intense. I’m very much an introvert so having dinner every week where I get grilled about my life choices is a lot for me. I’d be happy to do it once or twice a month, but every week is a lot.
Enidblyton1 · 28/03/2021 17:22
It definitely sounds like you’ve fallen into a parent/child relationship. She has given you so much, but you’re feeling controlled.
I would have a think about what you can do to change the relationship dynamics. As pp said, offering to cook for her next time could be a good start.
BramStoker · 28/03/2021 17:22
Sorry but I agree with others that you have been very happy to 'take' in this friendship but are now unwilling to 'give' with your time and company
I imagine your DC would miss her if you suddenly stop the weekly visits. I'm not sure thus is about being a 'people pleaser' it sounds more about you wanting to please yourself!
Sillysandy · 28/03/2021 17:28
The dynamic between you both has become a bit messed up. You need to reframe it. It should not feel like a chore.
I have a friend with lots of money that I spent a good bit of time with when I was temporarily short of money - I was retraining for a career change. She treated me quite a bit in places I would not have been able to afford (I would also treat her but in places within my budget) and helped line me up a couple of contract roles. All of this was highly appreciated. I would like to think she appreciates me as a friend too.
I've noticed that now, years later, the dynamic in our relationship feels unequal. She makes throwaway remarks about getting me to do some nannying for her or herself and her husband bringing me along on holiday so I can help with the kids. I have never done any nannying, have a successful career and children of my own.
When she met my partner for the first time he was meeting his daughter for a fancy birthday lunch. She remarked with no context or knowledge of his financial situation that the restaurant they had booked was very nice but expensive and wouldn't he be better going to the pizza chain up the road. He looked totally confused as to why this woman was telling him he couldn't afford the lunch he had organised for himself.
My advice is to come up with some strategies to make this work for you. Can you come up with some stock phrases for when she's being too opinionated about your relationship choices
"Yeah, I guess I will have to wait and see how it works out"
The car is a tricky one. The next time she calls it her car I'd laugh and say listen thanks so much for that digout, I hope I can help you out someday. If she persists with it being her car say you are owed a few quid for the repayments then. I'd change the weekly arrangement to once a fortnight. Don't over explain, say this week is not good but what day suits for next week?
It will feel a bit strange but remember she's not the enemy, she has been very good to you.
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