Friend Advice Needed

Discussion in 'Teacher Time Out' started by Ms.Holyoke, Sep 10, 2019.

  1. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Connoisseur

    Joined:
    May 14, 2012
    Messages:
    1,821
    Likes Received:
    573

    Sep 10, 2019

    One of my best friends from college lives in another state. She has been seeing this guy for two years who is not a good guy. He seems to be very emotionally abusive and she tells me that her parents, friends, and siblings do not like him. Her therapist told her to break up with him.

    Examples of his behaviors include:
    -sexual abuse in the beginning of their relationship
    -refusing to leave or sleep on the couch when they fight (she has bad back problems that the couch makes worse)
    -she locked the door once and he yelled at her "open the door or it's going to be bad" (meaning that he will break up with her)
    -not respecting her wishes about her not wanting to spent time with a friend who pulls her hair
    -generally not respecting her wishes
    -she thinks he probably has aspergers but thinks that this means he is less likely to cheat on her

    It is all around a bad relationship. I've been advising her to leave him for two years on and off but they got engaged a few months ago. I assumed that they had sorted out their issues but she called me yesterday crying again. However, she said she is still probably going to marry him. They already moved in together so it's hard for her to leave. She told me she sometimes wishes she was single again but I think she's also afraid to be single. She's also afraid of his reaction if she leaves. I messaged one of her friends in the area trying to get the contact info of her best friend because I'm worried about her. But at this point, I also can't spend hours every day talking to her. I was exhausted from school yesterday and wanted to sleep early but stayed up until 11pm talking to her. I turned my phone off today because I really want to relax and not talk about this again when I know she is not going to leave him. I want to be a good friend but I really don't know what to do!
     
    Tired Teacher likes this.
  2.  
  3. vickilyn

    vickilyn Magnifico

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2014
    Messages:
    9,180
    Likes Received:
    2,265

    Sep 10, 2019

    Sadly, accept the fact that your friend is as unstable as the potential groom. So the question that raises goes something like this - are they more alike than anyone wants to admit? Some people seemingly want to be in relationships with lots of drama. Everything is even better for them, it seems, if they can get family or friends giving advice that they will never take, because it gives them a chance to rehash over and over about things that anyone who knows them is already well versed about. Without sounding harsh, but being realistic, you do need to set the boundaries of what you are willing to listen to over and over again, especially since the advice is never heeded, thus is useless to offer.

    Simply put, save yourself.
     
  4. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Connoisseur

    Joined:
    May 14, 2012
    Messages:
    1,821
    Likes Received:
    573

    Sep 10, 2019

    Yeah, she just messaged me that she overreacted and they are back together...I'm sure I will hear from her again soon.
     
  5. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2001
    Messages:
    24,947
    Likes Received:
    2,093

    Sep 10, 2019

    You can’t save her from her own bad choices. Just let her know that you are concerned for her safety and well-being and be there when the pieces need picking up.
     
  6. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

    Joined:
    May 13, 2004
    Messages:
    5,816
    Likes Received:
    133

    Sep 11, 2019

    Sadly, she's making a mess of her life, but it's not your responsibility to fix things. Some people have actually stopped being friends w/ people like this because they're such messes & the friend's spent so much of their own time to help w/o success that it's physically draining on them (the friend). I'm not saying to end the friendship w/ her unless it's just too much for you to take, but there's nothing really you can do. And yes, when you can't listen to anymore, turn off your phone (but you shouldn't have to do that either). Hey, whatever happens w/ her, happens.

    You must promise yourself if you haven't already that if she gets seriously injured (or worse, hopefully not) that you're NOT going to blame yourself for a bit of it. You've tried to get her to break up, but you sure can't go over there & drag her out of the house to save her.
     
  7. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Phenom

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2008
    Messages:
    4,261
    Likes Received:
    915

    Sep 11, 2019

    If she already has a therapist advising her I doubt she will listen to you. Unfortunately, something terrible might have to happen for her to wake up. I don't think you'll get any advice here that you haven't already heard before.
     
  8. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Connoisseur

    Joined:
    May 14, 2012
    Messages:
    1,821
    Likes Received:
    573

    Sep 11, 2019

    Yeah she wants to talk again this week...I’m sure about how they are together again. I told her that this week is just really busy for me.
     
  9. rpan

    rpan Cohort

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2017
    Messages:
    634
    Likes Received:
    463

    Sep 11, 2019

    People only hear what they wanna hear and do what they wanna do. It’s up to her to make the choice to leave before you can help her leave. The ball is really in her court. You can be there to pick up the pieces of the choices she makes and sometimes that’s all people need to know, rather than hear solutions to whatever they are facing.
     
  10. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

    Joined:
    May 19, 2007
    Messages:
    6,438
    Likes Received:
    1,283

    Sep 12, 2019

    I agree with the advice you have been given. It is time for you to step back and let go of her, for your own mental health. If you feel comfortable explaining to her that you are through with the drama...you have your own life to get in order...do so. If not, just continue to ignore her requests and eventually she will give up
     
  11. vickilyn

    vickilyn Magnifico

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2014
    Messages:
    9,180
    Likes Received:
    2,265

    Sep 12, 2019

    Even more importantly, it is time to send a clear message that her rehashing things, whether together, or falling apart, doesn't help her learn to stand on her own two feet, nor does it magically make your days any longer, giving you more time to be "the friend" while others expect you to do your paid job as "the teacher." You can tell I am much older, and maybe a bit jaded about "friends" that want it always to be about them. They may occasionally throw you a bone and ask a question about your life before launching into their latest crisis, but their eyes kind of glaze over if your answer is more than a sentence or two long in the reply. I'm all about compassion, but not so much about more of the same old, same old.
     
  12. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Phenom

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2008
    Messages:
    4,261
    Likes Received:
    915

    Sep 13, 2019

    Honestly, at this point in my life, this kind of friend would be too much for me to handle. I have a lot on my plate without taking on someone else's drama.
     
  13. runsw/scissors

    runsw/scissors Phenom

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2006
    Messages:
    4,478
    Likes Received:
    92

    Sep 14, 2019

    My best friend was in a similar situation. The abuse you describe is not what she went through, but she was treated badly all the same. I don't think the guy ever got physical. He did take advantage of her financially, though, by talking her to "loan" him thousands of dollars over the years. He messed around on her a lot (my speculation) and toyed with her feelings. No one who cared for my friend liked him in the slightest and told her to dump him. Long story short, she never did. They were "together" for more than 15 years despite never living in the same city or even seeing each other for months at a time. Seriously, you are not dating if you see the guy for a few days a year. This guy was a real peach. It only ended when she found out that he had gotten married to someone else from his grown daughter.

    Some people will wear blinders and refuse to take the off until it's too late. There is nothing you can do. At one point I told her that if she was going to continue "seeing" this guy I didn't want to hear any of her sob stories. I was pretty blunt about it. I just said she was making her own decisions despite what everyone who loved her was telling her about this guy, so she was going to have to live with what happened. Unless she was asking for help making a change in the situation I just couldn't talk about him or what he did because it was stressful for me. At first she was upset with me blaming me of being uncaring and all that, but I was like "Look. It's because I care about you so much that I keep telling you to leave this guy. He's bad news. If you don't want to do that, fine, but it's not my responsibility to take on your sadness and stress when you won't let me help or take my advice. So this subject is taboo with us." I also cut down on the number of times I called her, and when we talked it was always about other stuff. We are still friends to this day, but it took him going off and marrying someone else to end it. And it only ended because she found out. I don't think he'd have her told her himself.
     
  14. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2005
    Messages:
    5,400
    Likes Received:
    917

    Sep 14, 2019

    I have had to be blunt with three different friends over something similar. One married the same @sshat she had been dating since high school. Even their wedding photos indicate their misery. She asked me if she should marry him, and I told her I wouldn’t marry someone like him. Then she got mad at me. Same with the other two. I won’t offer unsolicited advice, but they ALWAYS asked me for advice. Each time it made them mad.

    People have to realize their role and save themselves. People who play victim always wait for people to save them. It gets old. It’s hard to watch friends struggle, but they have to do it until they realize they have to fix it themselves.

    Two of my friends figured it out and left. I happily assisted with moving on. They are both doing great now. The third, not so much. She does nothing but complain. I had to hide her on social media, and as soon as she starts a complaint, my reply is, “You know how to fix that.” I won’t let her continue. She is learning to avoid the topic with me.

    I completely understand why people do it, though. Change is hard, even when it involves leaving behind a bad situation. I know because I spent way longer than I should have with a verbally abusive, mentally ill, controlling husband. At least I was smart enough to keep it to myself. My friends saw that I didn’t do things with them much, and they picked up on his douchiness when they were around him, but they didn’t listen to me complain because I knew what needed to be done. Eventually I did it, and my friends told me how glad they were. Then they helped me start again.

    Don’t enable. Be there when she starts over.
     
    Tired Teacher likes this.
  15. Tired Teacher

    Tired Teacher Comrade

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2019
    Messages:
    303
    Likes Received:
    142

    Sep 14, 2019

    There are many reasons women stay in bad relationships/marriages. Like you, I have a tendency to say, "Get out" if it is that bad. I "stifle" myself a lot though. :) There is a book called: Codependent No More...If your friend likes to read or is into self- help books, you might buy it for her for as a gift and recommend she reads it. Maybe even offer to discuss it with her when she is done. From what you describe, it could be very helpful to her. It could make her see what part she is playing in the relationship and how to change her self for the better. There comes a time when listening to complaints is counter productive and enabling. I accidently meant for this to go to IMAteacher, but then saw the OP.
     
  16. Tired Teacher

    Tired Teacher Comrade

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2019
    Messages:
    303
    Likes Received:
    142

    Sep 14, 2019

    @ Mrs H, Wow! I totally understand you feeling like being a good friend, but being tired. Some things are out of our control....like your friend and who she has chosen to be with....I normally keep friends a lifetime, but I had to just let go of one a few years ago.
    She'd call me, talk constantly, and ignore any suggestions I had. She'd tell me why nothing would help or work. I knew her for many yrs of my life and she later became an alcoholic. She exhausted and drained me for awhile.
    I thought I might be able to help, but realized I could not. It was out of my control. I just totally stopped taking her phone calls. I felt a bit guilty at the time, but she was wiping me out time wise and emotionally. Also, I knew nothing I could do or say was going to help her. You could suggest that she talk to a counselor. It is for the best that you are taking a break.
     
  17. Rabbitt

    Rabbitt Connoisseur

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2007
    Messages:
    1,875
    Likes Received:
    102

    Sep 19, 2019 at 10:42 AM

    THIS! And I think you tell her exactly these words bluntly, short and sweet. Then say you don't want to talk about it anymore. You want a friendship.
     

Share This Page

Members Online Now

  1. vickilyn,
  2. skyline,
  3. TheGr8Catsby,
  4. YoungTeacherGuy,
  5. TnKinder,
  6. Mami1Maestra2
Total: 276 (members: 8, guests: 238, robots: 30)
test