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She won't stop lying

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Oh where oh where do I begin?!


I am part of a group of four girl friends. We all met 4 years ago and our lives have changed a lot since we cemented our friendship.


S - S has got engaged. She is marrying her fiancé in December and asked the three of us to be her bridesmaids.


K - K has got married and has a baby now who just turned one.


J - J has just gone through a divorce. She has been in a new relationship for about 15 months.... J is the problem!


J has always been a bit secretive. She has had several relationships since filing for divorce but we always knew who she was seeing. She can be a bit fickle.... one minute she would be madly in love and the next she had cut all ties. It didn't really matter to us because she always made time for us and we found her love life pretty fun to listen to considering we're all in long term relationships and are out of the dating pool so to speak. We would all rather she was out enjoying herself than sat in moping over her ex-husband.


Anyway, we would see each other every three weeks or so. We went on holiday together and in December 2015, S surprised us all by asking us to be her bridesmaids when we met for Christmas lunch. We were all so excited and made loads of promises to help her with the wedding.... But by March 2016, J revealed that she had a new boyfriend and literally dropped off the radar.


I would say in the last year we have seen J a total of three times. She would not tell us who she was seeing and every time we made plans to meet up (particularly difficult for K who has childcare issues) she would drop out giving pitiful excuses on the day such as "I'm getting my car MOT'd" or "My new phone is getting delivered today". So we started meeting up without her. It was clear to us that something was wrong with her relationship because she admitted after telling a hundred different lies about why she couldn't tell us who this guy was, that he had ordered her not to tell us. Specifically, not to tell me.


I found out who it was.... it wasn't hard to figure out in the end and I'm not surprised he wants me kept in the dark.

He has form for financially abusing vulnerable women. Leaving them in mountains of debt. I know of one girl who was left with debts she couldn't pay so her father had to bail her out. J has just had her divorce settlement through and she has now bought a house with this guy. I'm not sure if he has invested any money in the house but he was living with his parents so I don't believe he has.


S is at her wits end because she cannot get her to commit to the wedding preparations such as going for a bridesmaid dress fitting and J won't tell her his name for the wedding invitation. It's put her in a really bad position because she doesn't want this guy to come to her wedding now but doesn't want to fall out with J.


We have now confronted her with who we believe he is and she has looked us all dead in the eye and said it's not him. She looks like she has lost weight. She looks ill and I heard she's been hospitalised with stress and depression last year. We don't know where she lives anymore.

S contacted her a few days ago and said she was sorry but she doesn't think she is committed enough to be her bridesmaid and J accidentally posted in our group message confirming that the guy she was seeing is who we all suspected. She has since texted us all separately asking to meet up like there is nothing wrong and I have not replied. K has also not replied and S is struggling to keep the peace.


I feel like while she is with this man there cannot be a friendship because she has chosen to lie to protect him rather than tell the truth to help herself. S met up with her this weekend and told me and K that J's phone never stopped ringing and it was him telling her not to say anything about him. J has admitted to S that she knows this guy has a hold over her but she's not happy and is very stressed. J wants to meet me but I'm frustrated with her and think too much damage has been done. I have messaged S to say I will only see her when we have bridesmaids meetings and I don't feel the need to see her for any other reason now. I wouldn't be able to hold my tongue and I know I would divulge what a snake he is and that could ultimately cause tension at the wedding which is the last thing I want to do.

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Your friend is neck deep in a controlling, abusive relationship. You know this. I think you need to show some serious compassion and actually be a good friend to her rather than being mad at her and causing all this tension. The more you guys cut her off, the less she will have in her life to lean on when she finally decides to get out. She needs your help and support, not your judgment and wrath.


I know personally how insanely difficult it is to stand by and see your close friend self destruct in an abusive relationship. Been there, done that, have the t-shirt. Truly hardest thing in my life to clench my teeth and say nothing when she lied about the bruises on her arms. By the time she was finally ready to get out, I was literally the only person left in her life she could turn to and did. After she got back on her feet, got counseling, etc. she told me flat out that if it wasn't for me, she'd be six feet under by now. She was so deliberately isolated and brainwashed she believed that even her own family and parents were against her and wouldn't help her and would just turn her over back to him if she went to them. No joke. Sounds insane, but she believed it. There is a lot more I won't get into, but what I will say to you is never ever turn your back on a friend that you know or suspect is in an abusive relationship. You won't convince her to get out by telling her what scum he is, you need to let her know that you are there for her no matter what and without judgment.

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I understand why you feel disrespected because she was lying to cover up with a guy who was a total nightmare, but am I correct in inferring that she had isolated herself, and has only just started to reach out? That it's only now that she may be prepared to start 'telling the truth to help herself'?


Heck, I'd be prepared to spend time with a total stranger in this predicament, let alone a former friend!


I guess you need to work by your own priorities and values in this situation, but I agree totally with DancingFool in that she needs serious compassion and understanding right now. It's a pity she can't depend on her 'friends'.

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Im sorry your friend is being blindes by this man. It is very normal to feel this way towards her but I have to agree with dancing fool. Reach out to her tell her you miss her. I know it is hard to act like nothing is bothering you and i understand your friend may be extremely upset as one of her bridesmaids isnt giving all her commited time but she is obviously goibg thru something. Understandably so you ladies feel like she should be able to come to you about anything first off do not take any of this personal. This is not about you or anyone else but J.

Just be her friend....she is going to need someone when she is good and ready to leave.

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Firstly I haven't been judgemental and I haven't cut her off. I have reached out every week for a year and never once criticised her choice to be with him. Secondly, what do you mean by wrath? I'm not plotting anything against her I am carefully considering my next step. She has cut me off for a year. Lied to me repeatedly so that now I don't know what the truth is, and i still don't believe she is going to tell me the truth the next time I see her. I will see her in a group setting, not one to one because she is telling us all different stories and I think the three of us need each other there so that the burden of addressing this matter is shared and not pinned to one person.


I cannot tell you how many times I have reached out and in all honesty having been in an abuive relationship myself I know she has to figure this out for herself. She only wants to speak to me one on one to lie about this guy.

If I was her only friend left in the world I would meet her but she has a lot of people around her including family. I am NOT the person she feels comfortable confiding in and that's because he has filled her head full of crap about me having something against him so she's not going to open up to me anyway.

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Oh and furthermore, to everyone who has commented about what a dreadful fair weather friend I have been to her. I have literally driven around her neighbourhood for hours looking for her car so that I can find out where she lives and knock on the door to see if she's ok! I've cooked food for her, rang her repeatedly, visited her place of work. I cannot tell you what me and my friends have done to try and see this girl and we have had the door slammed in our faces every time.


She has contacted me and continued to lie on this text about this guy. I cannot see her on my own. We need a group intervention. I am already public enemy number one according to him so anything I say will get des straight back to him.

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Is she aware of this guy's past?


Guys, I don't think you have been fair to the OP. it sounds like she has bent over backwards to accommodate this woman. She has been unreliable and repeatedly lied - she has not been any type of friend. At some point, we don't have to continue with being treated like sh@t.

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Manipulative and abusive man have a way of getting their victims isolated from their friends and family and way of life.


If she's reaching out to you, be her friend and forgive her. Sounds like she is trying to break free, and needs your support. If you truly care for her, set down the victim-tude and see what she has to say. She may be trying to make amends.

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Victim-tude? Okay I have no idea what this means but it sounds derogatory so how is that helpful? I have reached out for support on this forum and have been met with nothing short of criticism and nastiness. This is supposed to be a place of constructive and objective advice!


I have messaged her and she has yet again denied it's him not realising she posted his name on the group chat! She has just bought a house with him and is saying how excited she is and wants us to help her choose wallpaper with her despite her still not telling us where she is moving to!!! I am at a complete loss at what to do. I have cried genuine tears over this woman. We all have. We are scared of saying the wrong thing to her in case it pushes her further into his clutches. She is in way over her head and I feel we have already lost her and she won't come back to us as the girl we know. Just a girl who thinks by lying to her friends she gets to have him and us.


Thank you Hollyj - the last thing I want to do is dissolve our friendship but I simply don't know what there is left for me to do. I have told her I love her but I know she is lying and it's not fair to her or me that she's in this position. She has told me she loves him and she is fine. I am completely at a loss at what I can do now other than support my other friends and wait for something awful to happen, which inevitably it will, and that breaks my heart x

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Look, I know you've gone above and beyond reaching out to her before. What's another day?


If you aren't interested in hearing what she has to say, then why are you asking a bunch of strangers for advice? If you want to keep doing the same thing and just not reach back out to her, no point in trying to deflect by even replying to what we have taken the time to post and advise on your behalf. Just go about your day then, and keep on trucking.


I find the way you are replying to us is pretty critical - so I have a feeling your friend didn't get back to you because she was afraid of you judging and her disappointing you. If you are her friend, talk to her and stay open.


And no one here needs to be objective - that's not what public forums are about. If you want someone objective, go pay for a therapist. They are paid to not be straight with you.

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I'm sorry but I haven't received anything but criticism apart from maybe two people on here who have actually read my post. I have every right to stick up for myself when I'm being portrayed as a terrible person. I have come on here to help HER and to try and see whether there are people out there who have been in a similar position.


I have been met with nothing but abuse apart from two people who have actually read what I've put written and can see that I am stuck between a rock and a hard place. If I was a crap friend I wouldn't have taken the time to Post on here, would I?


This thread has turned into a witch hunt not a place to get advice and understanding. You have literally used this thread to give 5% advice on what I should consider doing and 95% is just an excuse to be nasty. Shame on you for that. Look at your own behaviour. If you can't be nice then leave. I've still yet to read anything that says, "I've been in a similar position" or "Have you considered this".


You have more or less justified some of the abuse she is suffering at his hands by blaming me for it!!! That is totally disgusting. That she is afraid of me? Are you actually kidding me?! You're a disgrace!

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The fact is you can't help someone who doesn't want help. And it would seem at this time she does not want help from the OP.


OP I would send her one last message stating you are here for her if she wants out of the relationship but you cannot continue to watch her hurt herself. I have done this before and heard from the friend a few months later and helped her leave the relationship.


You've tried to reach out, she's lied and avoided you. It's time to take care of yourself and just wait it out.


Sorry you're dealing with this. It's incredibly frustrating to watch.

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Thanks Iggy5129. I sent her a message about a month ago. I basically said that I loved her and felt we had grown distant but I would be there for her. She said thank you for still being her friend but said everything was fine. She hasn't disclosed very much to me but I know through S that she is very unhappy.

It's painful to see someone you have been friends with for so long change her personality in front of your eyes. It's hard to see S, who should be planning her wedding, having to plan her whole day around J, despite her really not wanting this guy at her wedding. She has asked whether being a bridesmaid is going to be too much for her at the moment and given her the opportunity to just come as a guest but she is adamant she wants to be bridesmaid, which is lovely, but I get this awful feeling she is going to be a no-show on the big day.


I messaged her a few hours ago and she seemed her normal cheery self but I can't really discuss this matter over text messages. You can disguise what's going on with a smiley face or take your time in replying. This year she has cancelled on me 3-4 times in person after I have taken time off work and travelled to see her only to get a text saying "sorry something came up".

I know she's not going to meet me one on one because she's scared of admitting to me that she's been lying about him.

I just wish she had told me sooner so I could have warned her about his past but he has clearly known I would do that and threatened to leave her if she breathed a word of it.


I've re-started the group chat to see when we are all free. But again, it's only me K and S that seem to turn up. Unfortunately I think I'm only gonna get the truth when he really hurts her.

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why do you guys interrogate her to admit to his name? She knows she is dating an abusive guy. You talk of wanting to "stage a group intervention" and "get her to admit" like you are dealing with a criminal. Of course she is scared and ashamed of disclosing her situation then.


i would suggest backing off, but leaving the door open to her. i would say "J i fear that you are having a hard time and afraid to ask for help. when you feel ready, i would like to be helpful." you can tell her if he is giving her hell about you to save your number under Sally's bakery. have a code. if she orders sesame rolls it means she needs out of there now, "thanks Sally but i'm cutting out carbs" means so far so good. if you know a good NGO, therapist, social worker, suggest them. let her come to you for anything more than that, don't push it on her. don't play interventions, hunt down her car, cook for her if she doesn't ask, don't track her address and don't force names out of her. you are not her mother, guardian or parole officer. you have no option, or rights, but to respect her choices. even if they break your heart. we have the right to make our own mistakes. be there quitely, for when she wants to reach out. don't count on her being an active friend now.

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Hollyj I feel terrible for her. Her mum had breast cancer last year too and she more than anyone deserves to have a wonderful wedding. She has been with her fiancé for 12 years and has dreamt of her wedding day for at least 10 of those.


I'm frustrated with J because S is spending more time accommodating her than actually planning what she wants for her own wedding. She has even had to delay giving the invitations out because J wouldn't give her his name! She doesn't think she's going to turn up on the big day and if she does she's anticipating he will cause trouble. She's given her the opportunity to stand down saying she won't take it personally if she feels she's taking too much on, and she can still come and sit at the top table with us, but J is adamant she wants to be a bridesmaid. She has missed the dress fittings and everything. I know S was upset about that particularly when J said she couldn't go because he'd arranged for her to get her nails done as a surprise! I think that was thoughtless not malicious but still, it's yet another way of doing what he wants rather than being with us. We miss her.

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Hi RainyCoast,


It's not so much that we need her to admit his name it's that we want her to tell us why she's not allowed to tell us his name. She's not (as far as we can tell) being physically or sexually abused, this is more financial/coersive/ controlling abuse.


S met up with J alone a few weeks ago. I was away on holiday and K couldn't get a babysitter. Apparently he was bombarding her with messages and phone calls. S heard him saying to her "You're not talking about me are you?" and J tried to play it off as a joke but it was clearly upsetting her.


The other issue we have is J already has contacts with social services and councillors because it's her line of work.


I understand that she has a right to a private life but she has admitted that it hasn't been her choice not to tell anyone it's been him forcing it on her. It's just very worrying.

You're right she has to make the effort and I'm not counting on her being an active friend. Every now and then she will put something distressing on the group chat and we can't get hold of her (hence the driving round looking for her), said she's ill and can't get out of bed (cooked her food and dropped it at her dad's who didn't know she was even unwell).


I suppose if she really wants us to either help her get out of this relationship or introduce us to him and get our friendship to get back on track then she will make a massive effort. Until then I suppose.

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Totally agree with that RainyCoast. I have only advised S to speak with her fiancé about the wedding.


J knows she is missed we are forever telling her, she says it back but doesn't commit to any plans. It was mine and S's birthdays last week and she missed lunch. Didn't acknowledge our birthdays at all. K messaged and said she missed out on a lovely day and we would have liked to have seen her but maybe another time. No animosity from us at all. We have not once been nasty just sad she couldn't come.

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i'm afraid there is a million abusive manouvers at play regardless. she probabl can't even leave the house or call her family without him freaking out.


agree, don't take the bait when she posts dramatic things. she needs to at least say where she is if she wants something dropped off.


that's a relief, that she has resources available. they probably already noticed something is off at work.


she won't say it because she is afraid you guys will want to save her. she is too codependent to leave now, and probably ashamed.


i know it's hard. that sometimes it takes us so long to start loving ourselves enough to get the help that others thought we deserved all along. leave the door open. but don't count on her. it's true that it may take something drastic for her to accept help.

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I think the group in conflicted JaggerJim.


K - very upset J has only seen her baby twice since he was born and doesn't really show any interest in how he is or how he's developing. She only seems to be interested in what's going on in her own life and like me, thinks she's put S in a terrible position. Out of the 3 of us, she's the one most likely to tell her she is acting out of character and making a mistake putting this man before her friends and buying a house with someone who is a bad influence on her and making her unwell.


S - she has a heart of gold but she's suffering the most because despite J being her bridesmaid and taking the pressure OFF her, she is actually the person J is confiding in and is putting a lot of pressure ON her. I think deep down she feels that the only reason we are in this predicament is because J is part of her wedding but at the same time she is hoping the wedding will help bring us all back together. I feel so unbelievably bad for S. This should be the happiest day of her life and yet the wedding is centred around J at the moment.


Me.... if I could go back 18 months and prevent J from meeting this guy then I would. But that can't happen. while I can't alter things between us, I know deep down that S thinks she can fix things and I need to go along with it for her sake so she has the wedding she deserves. I'm just going to follow S's lead on this one. Also, if things get worse for J then I don't want her to think she can't come to me. We were best friends. Just because I don't want to watch her suffer doesn't mean I'd turn my back on her. It's tough.

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Yeah she said a while ago she was off work with stress and when we asked what kind of stress she said it was to do with him. I had a horrible feeling she might have a black eye or something and couldn't face going in but I have no evidence of that.


The door will never be closed but I know if I see her one on one I will ask her what is going on with the lying? The covering up for him? The dozens of missed plans we arranged with her? I don't want to come off as accusing her, but at the same time I can't sit there and digest anymore lies and pretend it ok to do that.


I also don't want to turn round and say all these negative things about him to her but I feel pushed. We are all stressed and worried to breaking point. Sometimes to protect a friendship you need a bit of distance. I can only see her if we have a pre-arranged meeting where we can discuss something like the wedding and not the elephant in the room.

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