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lavenderghost
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Default Apr 15, 2024 at 03:57 PM
  #1
As the title says, I feel like a terrible friend and am wracked with guilt. Please hear me out before judging though, and please be kind

A friend of mine whom I have known since we were 16 (we are both 32 now) is in a relationship where she is being treated poorly. She has been with him for approx 2.5 years, almost 3 if I am correct? This is not including the breakup they had at one point.

The man in question is a year older than her I think? I致e never actually met him, as I no longer live in the same country as my friend (my home country - England). We keep in touch via calls and Facebook messages etc.
Anyway, he is a year older than her, same age as my husband. He has a child, a son, from a long ago previous relationship that didn稚 work out. No idea how old his boy is, but he痴 under 10.
My friend was completely blindsided by this man dumping her out of the blue in late 2022, saying he 都aw no future with her, after previously telling her otherwise! She was absolutely devastated and went into shock. She was heartbroken for a very long time.
They壇 been together approx a year at that point. He hadn稚 been treating her the best as it was; mostly breaking promises, being generally inconsistent and inconsiderate, snapping at her or being short with her for no reason, that sort of thing.
Whilst they were apart, she made the mistake of staying in touch with him minimally. I have no idea why.
I remember the day he told her that he was going on dating apps now, almost like he was bragging about it. She kept her cool, but once their conversation was over, she burst into tears. I don稚 know why he did that to her, but it was incredibly cruel!
It took her a few months, but she was finally starting to get over him. And then of course, he came crawling back. Probably because he couldn稚 find anyone else stupid enough to go out with him! (I知 not calling HER stupid, by the way. Not at all.)
But he came weaselling his way back with apologies, grovelling, pleading, saying he was wrong and he never meant it, that he didn稚 know what he壇 be losing until he let her go, he DOES see a future with her, blah blah blah.
Apparently they had a very long and deep talk, and she took him back.
I and her other friends didn稚 think she should have, but 🤷🏼*♀️
For the first few months or so, he was on his best behaviour and treating her well.
But of course, he went right back to being a complete tool again!
And now he痴 even worse!
He kept on with the empty promises of wanting to move in together, get engaged, have a child blah blah. And first, of course, comes moving in.
My friend was actively saving and looking for a place. Any time she壇 ask him, he壇 have some excuse or tell her to 都top nagging, he痴 doing it (no he wasn稚!). In the end, she got sick of excuses and waiting around, so she and a friend decided to be roommates and rent a place together. Her boyfriend got annoyed with her for doing it with a friend and not him, and gave her the silent treatment for days as 菟unishment even though she壇 given him ample opportunity to get his ***** together but he didn稚 bother at all.

He痴 even more inconsiderate now, and will not do even the slightest little thing for her, no matter how small!
One example she gave was asking him to please get her overnight bag out of HIS car, where she had left it earlier (after he himself had insisted she leave it with him and he壇 take it back to his place, because she was staying overnight there). His response to her polite and simple request was 渡o. in a clipped tone, and 堵o and get it your f***ing self!
There have been other instances where he痴 done stuff like this whenever she has politely asked him to do one simple favour for her.
She is forever doing things for him. Big or small!

Another example she gave is on his son痴 birthday last month, her boyfriend had a couple of friends show up to see him, and they were sat in the kitchen drinking beer and talking. My friend was left in charge of his son (she is not his mother) during his party which his mother was not present for!
The time came for the little boy to open his presents, so my friend went to get her boyfriend - little boy痴 dad - so he could see his son open his presents. He refused. Said he was 澱usy.
So my friend and her boyfriend痴 mom were the only ones besides the other little kids to witness the gift opening.
Apparently there was also an altercation with the little boy and his cousin over something, wherein the little boy got hurt. My friend went to tell her boyfriend, and he snapped at her for 妬nterrupting him with his friends. She reiterated that his son has been in a fight and got hurt. He said 登h he値l be fine, don稚 make a big deal out of it.
So my friend had to go check on the poor boy herself, and the boy admitted he couldn稚 tell his dad and didn稚 want his dad to see him crying because he wouldn稚 listen.
Friend made sure he was okay, then came down to give him his dinner.
Again, not her job to do this! Boyfriend ignored her the whole time she was in the kitchen (where he was still sitting with his friends!) cooking for HIS son!
She was understandably angry and hurt and tried to talk to her bf but of course he made her out to be some unreasonable 渡ag of a girlfriend and his friends left. They got into a fight over his atrocious behaviour towards her and his own son, and she left.
He again never apologized and gave her the silent treatment for days.

There have been times he痴 snapped at her, called her a *****, called her other names, told her to **** off, slammed doors, threw something near her (but not at her). He hasn稚 been physical with her (yet) but he has definitely been aggressive and passive aggressive.
Overall, he痴 selfish, manipulative, massively disrespectful, makes 0 effort, barely even gives her the bare minimum, makes false promises, won稚 commit despite these promises he makes, and is overall just a horrible person and treats her disgustingly. But he will breadcrumb and lovebomb her, and give her juuust enough affection after all of this, to keep her around. Of course he will still have sex with her! 🙄
But even after all this time, he won稚 commit despite claiming he wants to, yet there痴 always some excuse. His Facebook still says 都ingle for goodness sake! And they have never posted each other even once. It痴 like he痴 actively hiding her?

He is fully aware that she wants to get married and start a family, and at 32 she痴 running out of time to do the latter, she says.

I have gently told her many times that this is an emotionally abusive relationship, and I知 not the only one either. Her brother hates him, her parents aren稚 keen on him either, and all of her other friends are also saying the same thing.
She痴 cried to me and vented to me so many times about how he treats her and she痴 sick of it. She recently had a pregnancy scare (thank god it was negative!) and didn稚 tell him because 都he knew how he壇 react. (She thinks he壇 think she 鍍rapped him even though he was the one who insisted on the so called 菟ull out 僧ethod樗!)
Anyway. I have given her so much advice over the year + that she痴 been complaining about him again, which she has asked for by the way!
She says she knows what she has to do but she 屠ust can稚 do it because she knows she will cry and get upset again after last time. I told her that I know, and I understand completely. Of course she will be upset, of course she will cry, but she痴 upset and crying NOW, too. She痴 also scared that no one will want her and she will be alone. I致e told her that she already feels alone in her relationship, but that it is better to be alone than be with someone who mistreats her so much. Also, she still has time to meet someone who won稚 make her feel this way, who will love her and treat her right. It isn稚 too late, she痴 still only 32. And that holding on to the wrong person unfortunately won稚 make her happy; he won稚 give her everything she wants in life.
I have shared my own experiences from when I was in my late teens and early twenties, and stayed in toxic relationships where I was treated like that - and WORSE in one case - and it left me with deep trauma that I am still healing from to this day in therapy. (All of which she knows about and sort of witnessed) And I wouldn稚 wish that on anyone, let alone someone I care about and consider a friend.
She keeps saying she knows, she knows what she has to do, and then says she痴 going to do it then never does.
The thing is, currently I知 going through something very heavy with my adoptive family, which has hit me extremely hard and has hurt me deeply. This is still ongoing and she knows about this. It has badly triggered some old wounds from my past involving my bio family. I致e also just suffered a miscarriage and I didn稚 even know I was pregnant until it happened. Husband and I are devastated. (She knows what I知 going through currently.)
Yes I am in therapy myself.
So the last time she mentioned her idiot boyfriend being his usual selfish self, I once again sucked it up and supported her, telling her the same things pretty much. That he doesn稚 deserve her, she deserves to be treated better, he痴 being emotionally abusive and she needs to leave him.
She once again said she was going to break up with him that evening.
The next day she told me she hadn稚 done it, and had in fact slept with him again. And I知 ashamed to say that I just snapped.
I told her that I知 sorry but I can稚 deal with this anymore. The truth is, hearing about her toxic relationship is triggering my own trauma related to my past relationships that were abusive/toxic, and I have told her this before as gently as possible. But I still wanted to be a good friend and support her and help her.
I snapped and told her some pretty brutal truths: that i understand she loves him, but the fact is that doesn稚 love her, that he doesn稚 even respect her because of the way he treats her, and he is using her for whatever reason - I don稚 know, maybe his own ego? As a 澱ang maid? I have no idea. I pointed out some examples she痴 given me and said 電oes that sound respectful or loving to you? I also called out his lack of commitment and false promises and how he is leading her on, reiterated that she deserves better and I called him a name I won稚 repeat. But I meant it!!
I told her that this is extremely frustrating and triggering for me to deal with right now, and that I知 sorry but I can稚 do this anymore.
I haven稚 spoken to her since. I just needed some space.
I知 going through hell myself and it痴 tearing me apart. I only stopped miscarrying yesterday and I知 grieving and in pain.
I知 also feeling guilty and upset, and like I知 a bad friend. I meant what I said and I will not take it back.
But I feel awful because I KNOW she needs support but I can稚 deal with this right now. It痴 bringing so many painful memories back for me too, and it痴 so annoying that she refuses to dump his absolute loser who isn稚 good enough for her.
She is not tied to him in any way (they don稚 live together, no kids, no finances tied together, don稚 work together, nothing like that). So really what痴 her excuse? He isn稚 threatening her. Tbh I think if she did dump him, as harsh as it sounds, I don稚 think he would even care or try to stop her. So he痴 not forcing her to stay with him.

I feel like a terrible friend and selfish, but the truth is it痴 been detrimental to my own mental health. On top of everything else. I honestly feel I can稚 speak to her right now.
Am I a bad person? 😞 What on earth do I do now?

Last edited by CANDC; Apr 15, 2024 at 07:33 PM.. Reason: Community Guidelines
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Default Apr 21, 2024 at 05:54 PM
  #2
Ah Lavender you are not a bad friend, everything you you wrote about what you have done and said has been very good. Honestly you have said the right things. There was something I read the other day that said "You cannot simultaneously set a boundary and tend to the other person's feelings." And this makes us uncomfortable, because we want them to be ok too, but a boundary is to do with you not them.

A quote that has always stuck with me is "the amount of abuse we put up with before we walk away, is exactly equal to the amount of abuse we give ourselves." I would guess ultimately your friends problems come from somewhere deep within herself. Its not even about this guy, he is a symptom.

But I am so so sorry to hear about what you are dealing with... Reaching the point where you have to protect yourself does not make you a bad friend. It makes a person dealing with too much.
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Default May 09, 2024 at 06:55 PM
  #3
Quote:
Originally Posted by TryToBeBetter View Post
Ah Lavender you are not a bad friend, everything you you wrote about what you have done and said has been very good. Honestly you have said the right things. There was something I read the other day that said "You cannot simultaneously set a boundary and tend to the other person's feelings." And this makes us uncomfortable, because we want them to be ok too, but a boundary is to do with you not them.

A quote that has always stuck with me is "the amount of abuse we put up with before we walk away, is exactly equal to the amount of abuse we give ourselves." I would guess ultimately your friends problems come from somewhere deep within herself. Its not even about this guy, he is a symptom.

But I am so so sorry to hear about what you are dealing with... Reaching the point where you have to protect yourself does not make you a bad friend. It makes a person dealing with too much.
I completely agree with this

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Default May 15, 2024 at 07:25 AM
  #4
How are you doing today?

It痴 tough to see someone making bad decisions, but watching her do this at the moment seems to be causing you a lot of pain at a time in your life when you could do without extra stress.

If you were my friend I壇 be advising you to take a little time away from contact with this woman, not to break off the friendship, but to be in touch a little less often than you have. That maybe sounds harsh but you致e likely got very little influence on the decisions she痴 making, so it痴 a case of being witness to these glaringly red flag situations with little control over them which will be hard on you.

In short look after you. She hopefully might work this out herself but you probably can稚 influence that.
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