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Thread: a problem with a friend

  1. #1
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    a problem with a friend

    Hi everyone,
    I have a platonic friend who I think is like a best friend to me. However, we don't really match in our personalities. She came into my life years ago when I was single. She grew up cuddling her mom and brother and always having girl nights, painting each other's toes, watching movies with her other girl friends, etc, even as an adult. I grew up not cuddled much by my mother past my childhood years, solitary in all years of school, and used to being on my own. I am a true introvert in every way, preferring to stay by myself as much as possible.

    When I was single, I did go over to her house once a week and just visited her two young children and her husband, and even watched movies with her occasionally, but I honestly wasn't too much fan of doing any of those things. I like sitting and talking with her over tea, but the movies I didn't really like. I did it for her, because I do care about her, I really do. She had supported me through family problems/death and has been so loyal to me when I had no other friend.

    A big issue came up a couple years back, when she wanted to cuddle with me on the couch, and get in her 25 second long bear hugs with me. It took lots of arguing and communication for her to finally back down from the cuddling with me. For her, it's an expression of friendship, but for me, it is weird and I don't like physical intimacy, however platonic, with another woman. A man, of course, I thrive on it, but not with women. She would tell me her emotional connection can only be reached through physical connection. I of course cannot understand this, but eventually we compromised and I gave her her ridiculously long hugs.

    She doesn't work, as her husband makes 6 figures, she home-schools her kids now in the mornings, and she would often gripe for years about her husband not meeting her emotional needs. Their arguments often stemmed from her wanting time away from him for her emotionally supportive girls, and he conflicted with that, claiming she never cooked any meals or cleaned the house and she had all that free time.

    Fast forward to a year and a half ago, when I met my boyfriend. He's chill, and I am chill, and we just click for the most part, and every weekend I would go to see him. My friend was pretty chill about my visiting my boyfriend, but she still gave me a hard time when she felt I wasn't making enough time to see her every single week. I told her that I have a drive to see my boy, but not as much of a desire to physically spend time with her...it was a hard convo and I am not sure if I was wrong but I laid it out to her and she eventually backed off...but then again, I did make time to see her.

    Enter pandemic, and immediately she was whining and crying about how we only took outside walks with each other and not hour long hugs and vising her house with two vulnerable children and husband. It was the same old thing with her, and I even went to putting on ponchos to finally hug her. After the months of pandemic were finally abated a little, I took up seeing my boy again, landed a full time teaching job physically in a school in September, and of course this was drama with her, wondering why I only see her for an hour or two per week and I spend whole weekends with him. I take walks with her, spend time with her outside, and she is claiming it is not enough; she wants me to be there in her house, watching movies with her. She is not alone; she has two young children and a husband, and it just doesn't sit right with me. She also has many other close friends, and they have jobs. etc and only visit her maybe once a month. For me, she must see me every week or she sulks. She even wrote me all about this to my work email one time, which made me raging mad. She craves female presence in her male only household.

    Suddenly, I am having a markedly low desire to even talk to her anymore, and it started after her crying to me about how our walks are not enough, and after sending me a sob story about how we don't' watch movies. I am mentally exhausted from teaching at my new job, and often work into the evening hours, composing music for the kids and writing lesson plans. I drive over hour to work and drive over an hour back, and last thing I want is to sit and talk with her when I talked for 6 hours straight. I hate her always ALWAYS comparing my relationship with my boy to her. I just want to be alone for some reason, and I can't figure it out. My boyfriend makes me feel differently. I feel relaxed with him; not so much my friend, and i can't understand why. Is this my issue? What's wrong with me? Should I suck it up?

  2. #2
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    She also compared my heartache of my boy and I not kissing due to pandemic with her heartache of not getting close hugs with me. It made me mad she was again trying to parallel my relationship with him with her.

  3. #3
    Platinum Member melancholy123's Avatar
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    OMG you need to "break up" with this woman! She is suffocating you and you obviously dont like it. You sound so mis-matched as friends and you dont even seem to actually like her. I think you should back out of this "friendship" that is just not working. If you cant tell her this then you need to stat being unavailable anytime she calls or emails you.

  4. #4
    Platinum Member Andrina's Avatar
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    No, you shouldn't suck it up. Your friendship worked for a time. Now, you've grown apart from her, and she shouldn't be demanding time from you. As for me, I don't have time for a zillion friends. I have one friend I get together with regularly, and a few more, less often. I have a hobby I engage in twice a month with 5 others, I have my grandkids and father to spend time with, and like my alone time and time with my husband. I also have a job, and sometimes have forced overtime. I can't handle any more than that. I would be grouchy.

    A friend who makes you feel bad for turning down your invitation is rude. I'm the type of friend who asks a friend to do something, and if they turn me down, I think the ball is in their court to ask me to do something next. If they don't, I let the friendship fade away, but I never feel as though a conversation needs to take place. A person's behavior, action or non-action, alls you all you need to know.

    You don't have to feel obligated to stay friends with anybody. You have two choices. You can either tell her how your friendship will be on your terms and if she complains, you can't be friends anymore. Or, you can tell her that you appreciate her being a friend, but now your life has changed and you think it's best to go your separate ways.

    Good luck.

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  6. #5
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    She doesn't sound like a stable person at all. And that's probably why she doesn't work outside the home -many people work outside the home even if their spouse makes a lot of $ - sometimes it's a volunteer position rather than paid but many people like to work and/or want their own money/financial independence -sounds like she chooses to isolate herself, to be at home, to home school her kids as part of her instability. No I'm not saying someone who doesn't work and is at home homeschooling is unstable -I'm saying it's probably part of her general instability. Please keep your distance from her or she could start to impact your life and your relationship in harmful ways. If she seems to need professional help you can do the thoughtful thing and refer her to a therapist but even if you feel some benefit from this -like powerful, or like you're "helping" her - this is just too creepy.

  7. #6
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    Thanks ladies. So do you think her requests about me visiting her are alienating me from her?
    I admit I feel resentful and also a terrible friend when she points out, but you spend all weekend with him and watch movies and you donít watch movies with me? Sheís always pointing out how Iím different with my boyfriend. Itís making me feel awful and itís also making me feel obligated to see her. I would want to see her on my own volition, not just guilt tripped into visiting.
    She says she has a right to bring up her feelings to me, and I know sheís right. Iím just feeling mad for some reason.
    The thing is, I COULD make time to see her. I know that. Whenever I do, I feel stressed though. Iím just trying to work out why I just donít want to see her. I like talking with her but I just donít want to visit.

  8. #7
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    I think you have a really odd idea of what it means to have a friendship. And to think you're a terrible friend because you're not acceding to her constant and unreasonable demands. She does not have a "right" to bring up her feelings whenever she feels like it. She doesn't have a "right" to dump on you/overwhelm you etc. When people have feelings they need to express they -if they are stable -choose a time and a place that is appropriate and sometimes they reconsider whether it's a good idea or fair since we all have feelings that are negative that then pass -we resolve them on our own. Do you have a "right" to vent to your boyfriend every time he does something slightly annoying? Like if he was on a business call or sleeping or watching a movie and you felt annoyed do you have a right -right then -to make him stop what he's doing so you can "express your feelings?


    Of course you can make time to see her. But you have a life and you have priorities. You don't want to see her because she is physically and emotionally overbearing. She's an emotional vampire. That is why.

  9. #8
    Platinum Member reinventmyself's Avatar
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    That was unsettling to read.
    I don't know how you've endured that for this long.
    Just curious. Do either of you have other female friends?
    My guess is if you did you could compare some of the limitations a platonic friendship might look like.
    This isn't it. .

  10. #9
    Platinum Member Rose Mosse's Avatar
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    I think she's controlling you and manipulating you possibly because she doesn't think she has control in other areas of her life. You're the one aspect she has the most say in because you let her...

    Take care of yourself. This isn't a friendship anymore.

  11. #10
    Platinum Member catfeeder's Avatar
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    The woman is an emotional 12 year old, and there's no way that I'd indulge that--especially in a pandemic.

    I treasure my walks with friends these days, or porch lunches or phone cocktails, but I haven't even hugged my own family members since the Covid in February.

    I'd tell her that I'm physically and emotionally exhausted from navigating the new job in a pandemic, and I'm not spending time with her or anyone else these days. I'd stop telling her anything about my social, romantic or family life, and if she complains about my boundaries, I'd tell her that she has the time and money to work that out with a therapist, but I'm not playing.

    No dramatic breakup, no answering whiney emails or texts, and my phone rule would be that if she doesn't have nice things to say, she can hold off on dialing until she does--my complaint department is closed.

    I had to shut down a long time friend this summer, and I've had peace ever since--at least to whatever degree our scary politics and raging pandemic can be peaceful.

    Head high, and don't allow a grown adult to manipulate you by acting like an infant.

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