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Need some friendship advice!

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  • Need some friendship advice!

    My best friend and I have been friends for many years and we are extremely close even though we live on opposite coasts. We speak on a daily basis.
    She got engaged in January and I was really happy for her because it's something that she's always wanted. I admit that I was a little surprised because of concerns and problems with the relationship that she frequently voices to me. I kind of felt that she just wanted to get married so bad that she didn't care if the relationship was all that great. It's not for me to judge, so I was excited for her and helped her in the planning process where I could. Over the next few months her relationship got a bit rocky. She confided in me and I listened and was supportive and kept my opinions to myself. She told me several times that she was thinking about not going through with the wedding but that thought never stuck. I have always felt the her SO is not right for her. I have only met him a couple times and I really don't care for him. Anything else that I know about him is strictly from her. This being said, I know that everything she tells me about their fights or arguments is a bit biased. Around April or May they had a huge fight and she called me crying. They started fighting about where the money was going to come from for the wedding and it kind of snowballed from there. During the coarse of this fight she found out that he was $60,000 in debt and that he never bothered to mention it. She was shocked and I was shocked that she didn't know it was that much. She had always told me he had debt but I figured she knew how much it was. When she tried to talk to him about it he went ballistic and told her it was none of her business. She went on to tell me that he's very secretive and that there are lots of things that he says are none of her business. She had never mentioned any of this before. When I asked her what she meant she told me that all of the bills are in his name and that she doesn't have access to any of the bills. She's not allowed to open them and she doesn't have any of the passwords for anything, including her phone bill. She eventually opened up to me about how controlling he is and how he calls her names and belittles her when they fight. I let her know that there were some serious red flags and she agreed. It wasn't more that two days later and she was back to her normal self and wedding planning. I was starting to get really concerned and I felt like marrying him was a huge mistake, but I kept it to myself. It's obvious now that she was keeping a lot of things about her relationship from me for a while. I understand, I'm not super comfortable with people knowing my relationship problems, but I had always been honest with her about my relationship. After she initially "let it all hang out" she stated calling crying or upset much more frequently. She'd always say, "You're the only person I can tell this stuff to," at some point in the conversation. Her fiance is very verbally and emotionally abusive as well as controlling. I see that now. I struggled with whether or not I should tell her that I didn't think she should marry him. I'm supposed to be in their wedding and I no longer felt like I wanted to support that marriage. I decided against saying anything because I knew she'd get married anyway and that It would probably only cause a rift in our friendship. She's an adult and she needs to make her own decisions.
    Fast forward to a few weeks ago, my friend found out that she was pregnant. She said that she was excited and that the baby was due 8 weeks before the wedding and that they were going to go forward with the wedding as planned. I wanted to be excited for her, but I just wasn't. She had become increasingly more miserable over the last few months, and I didn't see how this was going to make anything better. Things had gotten so bad that she was nothing but negative constantly and I had to avoid her from time to time just so I could have a break from her drama. Our relationship has never gotten to this point. I feel like I'm her only outlet and the only person she's honest with, but it's become very draining. Somehow, her fiance has become even more of an ************** to her since they found out that she was pregnant, even though he wants to have the baby. A couple days ago she called me crying because he started yelling at her because she was tired and didn't want to have people over. There was a lot of name calling and he eventually just had people over anyway and told her to stay in the bedroom if she didn't want to deal with it. Today we were talking on the phone and I heard him come home and literally just start screaming at her about having to cancel dinner plans. It was a little shocking to hear. She got off the phone with me immediately. She called me back a couple hours later crying,etc. I told her that she shouldn't be putting up with this and that it absolutely isn't okay. She agreed and I realized that we've had this conversation several times now.
    I don't know what to do or say anymore. How do you help someone that won't help themselves? I've tried being here for her to lean on and confide in, but I'm not sure I can do it anymore. It's emotionally draining because this is a person a care about very much. I've never been friends with someone that's in an abusive relationship. I can't stand that she makes excuses for him constantly. I've started to feel very irritated toward her. The friendship has become one-sided. I've gotten to the point where I don't support her marrying this guy at all. I'm supposed to be in her wedding and I don't want to go anymore. Do I walk away from the friendship? I feel that as long as she is with him things will be as they are now.

  • This is a tough-love scenario where you have to woman-up for her benefit. I'm going with the assumption that this guy is a disaster and that she can still escape since they're not married yet. (The baby is another matter.) If I were you, I'd tell her in no uncertain terms that you can't back her up on the guy or the marriage because to do so would be contributing to ruining her and you won't do that. If that means she rejects you, so be it. Hopefully she'll get the message and it will only be temporary.

    I'd go one further as well and tell her parents what you've learned about the guy. If you don't want to share stuff she's told you, just limit it to what you've overheard on the phone (the screaming, etc.) and your impressions that she's showing signs of emotional abuse. Tell anyone else who might have an impact as well. Get the groundswell going that this guy is a douche and needs to be bounced out. Whatever it takes. Right now he's vulnerable, but after they're married, it will be much more difficult to oust him and he'll start in with the lifetime abusive conditioning.

    The reason this is such a big deal and a determining moment is that it might be the difference between her life being ruined or basically saved. Do what you have to do to get her out of it, because if the guy's doing all this stuff now (controlling, abusing, etc.) and has all these issues now (debt, paranoia, etc.), it's not going to get better after marriage. It'll get worse, and she'll basically be relegated to 'abused wife' for the rest of her life. Don't let that happen!
    [FONT=Trebuchet MS][COLOR="#800080"][B][SIZE=4]Woman trapped inside a woman's body![/SIZE][/COLOR][/B][/FONT]

    Comment


    • Welcome to the forum jehn.

      The final paragraph of your post suggests you have it figured out quite well. Your friend won't help herself. She's locked into a poisonous relationship and she uses you as her outlet. She cannot share her feelings with her bf, since that will only set him off, so you have to absorb it.


      How the H did she become pregnant? Did she ever tell you, or him, that she was working on that project? With all the turmoil she relates to you, but not practicing bc? She's starting to sound a bit nuts. I'm not a big fan of abortion, but if there were a case for it, this would be it. Maybe too late now.

      In your shoes, I would call her and tell her you have given the matter serious consideration. Tell her what you have taken from the many calls, the crying over the phone, and set out for her vividly what you see that she can't or won't see. Tell her frankly of your view that she is making an egregious error and you regret that you cannot play along anymore; you refuse to paste a smile on your face and attend a wedding that you recognize to be wholly inimical to her best interests, not to mention your friendship. Tell her that you'll not attend and that, if she goes ahead regardless, you are still her friend, but only if she spares you the drama and the sharing of misery that has become a mainstay of your friendship. Tell her, as you have told us, that you find it draining, depressing not in the least uplifting.
      I do not grow old; if I stop growing, I am old.

      Comment


      • Jen's post got in which I was composing, but I see we are saying about the same thing. The idea of going to her folks seems a bit of stretch, but perhaps necessary.

        Like Jen, I am drawing from what you have related that the guy is a disaster, and that it putting it charitably. There's a good argument to me made that no stone should be left unturned in preventing this ruinous relationship being cemented by the bonds of matrimony. For sure, the guy is not going to turn over a new leaf and become a great husband after the ceremony.
        I do not grow old; if I stop growing, I am old.

        Comment

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