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Best Friend is 26 (F) seeing 54 (M)


Jellybean9
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Need some advice on how to deal with the situation.

 

My best friend who I have known my entire life is bessoted with her Dad's "Best Friend". They have been seeing each other for a year now. Her Dad has no idea of the situation.

 

She is the sort of girl who wants the getting married and having kids with the whole happily ever after. That has been her ultimate goal from day one. She has only ever had two relationships prior to this one and is conscious of keeping the number of men she sleeps with "low".

 

I have no issue with an age gap what so ever. In fact when she stated dating him a little over a year ago I encouraged it. Slightly regret my decision as I've got to know him. But at the time I thought it was good for her as she was still sleeping with her ex who was treating her like a doormat. If finally got her out of that situation.

 

I tried to encourage her to enjoy single life but she was having none of it. So when she got back in contact with this man at her Dad's birthday (he knew her when she was a child) she was all the attention he gave her.

 

I was like why not go on some dates. Didn't think it would get to this point...

 

She is very anti-online dating, she slightly judges me for it. She is all about meeting people in real life. Problem is her job is so isolating that she will never meet anyone and we aren't the type of girls to pick guys up in bars. This really narrows her options. Which is why I think she is settling for this man!

 

Also remembered her being adamant to not be like her mom one day. As parents also have a 25 year age gap. She said she feels her Dad never was able to be the best Dad he could be due to his age.

 

Now my issue has nothing to do with the age gap as such but it does play a role.

 

He is just not a nice man in general. He cheated on his previous wife (mother of his kids) with a women he still contacts to this day! He knows talking to his ex-mistress upsets my friend but he does it on the sly.

 

He also keeps in contact with two other exes. Again she is not comfortable with but he has made no effort to stop.

 

He also invites her to family gatherings to show her off to his ex-wife and really gets off on the idea. So it's a major ego boost to him.

 

My friend really wants kids one day. Well even now she would happily have one. I can't help but feel he has had the "snip" or infertile as he has told her he would happily have children with her.

 

Guess what they haven't been using protection and she is not pregnant... Makes me feel he is lying about his ability to have kids and stringing my friend along. She will waste her best years with this man!

 

He already has his kids and now grandkids. Means he will not lose out on anything. So obviously it is not a big deal to him.

 

He is slightly suffocating. We had planned a night out with the girls only for him to turn up to her flat to watch the boxing! We ended up staying in as he wanted to come out with us. Clubbing with a 54yo was not on the top of me and my other friends agenda.

 

We stayed in and watched some films which he insulated as they were juvenile. We are only in our 20's. He has a judgement on everything that I like that he feels is "young" as we were playing video games and felt we was being childish.

 

On another occasion, which happened to be the last time I ever saw her. I went out for dinner with her and cocktails. For her to get a phonecall from him to say he is at her flat. He knew she was out with me and knew I was going to stay there the night. We rushed back to the flat and he stayed the entire night with us. Invading his way in and not giving her any freedom. She does not see this as being wrong though.

 

My friend also keeps insisting on us doing things all together. I don't want to seem rude about it. But he makes me feel uncomfortable. I can't be around him anymore.

 

She suggested we go on a double date with my then boyfriend. I just couldn't do it. I would be too embarrassed to sit with her bf and my then bf. Which is terrible as she is my best friend and I shouldn't let the age gap get to me.

 

But I do feel it's beyond the age gap and is to do with the sort or man he is in general.

 

So how do I deal with this situation?

 

I feel guilty for encouraging it this time last year. So I feel partly to blame when she is upset with certain things he does. So I'm struggling sitting back and watching this all unfold.

 

He is also getting in the way of my friendship with her.

 

I know the age old rule is to never get involved with your friend's relationships. So I haven't said a thing to her about how I feel.

 

But she keeps pushing for us to "hang out" with him and I'm not comfortable with that anymore. Do I tell her? As I can't keep putting it off.

 

I don't want to lose her as a friend. Like I said I've known her my entire life.

 

Some advice on how to deal with the situation would be great guys.

 

Thanks :)

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Well, I think you can tell your friend your opinion about her boyfriend and your suspicions like you did here, but then that's it. It's up to her to make the ultimate decision. And then, you'll just have to get use to seeing her less and less as her boyfriend isolates her from her friends. It seems like he's controlling her and it may be a bad relationship, but there's not much you can do. Hopefully the relationship will eventually break up and you'll have your friend back.

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Be honest when she invites you all to hang out together, yes. Explain why you're not comfortable with him. Her reaction isn't on you.

 

At the end of the day, you can explain your concerns to her but that's about it. If she is willing to let this break apart your friendship, then that tells you something about where her priorities are. It sucks, and I get it. I lost a long-time close friend to a toxic man a couple years back, but I can't make her choices for her. All I could do was outline my serious concerns about this guy and why I would not be getting together with her in his presence. She let the ball drop and made no effort to maintain the friendship thereafter.

 

She might be making a huge mistake with this relationship, but sometimes, people have to learn the hard way.

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It's unfortunate you don't like her bf, but it happens. So you don't have to "deal with the situation" because she makes her own choices and you make your own choices. Trying to convince her directly or indirectly to break up with him is an exercise in futility. She will either continue to date him...or not. She knows who he is, how old he is and what he's about.

 

She wants him in her life. It seems she now has a bf and is not as interested in clubbing/hanging out with you as much. He is not "invading his way in" if she gave him the keys to her place and invites him over.

 

Try to hang out more with your fellow single friends. It may be time to expand your friendship circles and get more involved in places to meet men such as volunteering or taking classes, courses, joining clubs or groups.

 

All you have to do is avoid him if you don't like him and curb any discussions about him. Simply ask her to do things one-on-one, instead of feeling like a third wheel.

I went out for dinner with her and cocktails. He knew she was out with me and knew I was going to stay there the night. Invading his way in and not giving her any freedom.

So how do I deal with this situation?

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Thanks guys.

 

I've never ever had to approach this situation before.

 

There have been guys and girls jn my other friends lives that I didn't care for. I would be polite when I see them but was never forced on to them like this.

 

She doesn't have many friends and those that she has only two of us know about him. This is probably why she is pushing him on to me. Suggesting we constantly do this as a group.

 

I've never been in a situation where I say anything bad about someone's partner as everyone learns from their own mistakes.

 

Even friends that to through a break-up I wouldn't go in all guns blazing on the hate wagon. As they may get back together or whatever.

 

I have been keeping busy with other friends. Single and in committed relationships. She can see that.

 

Just don't want to voice my concerns about him but want to let her know I'm not comfortable being the third wheel. .

 

The thing is he doesn't even have keys to her flat! He came over unannounced and we had to rush back from our evening to let him in.

 

Guess I could just gently say I'm not comfortable. Just feel bad as she sees me getting on with other friends partners and stuff. Just not him.

 

Also where it is just me and one other friend who knows about him. It isolates her more.

 

I've always created friendships where people can openly talk to me about things and not get judged. Now she will feel I am judging her pulling away.

 

Maybe I'm just over thinking the situation.

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Friends grow apart. You don't approve of her or her bf, so hang out more with your other friends. It's not your problem to solve. She's an adult and you are not her mother. Simply hang out one-on-one. Go to lunch or whatever when he's not around. You can tell her you don't like being a third wheel, but actions are more effective. Besides even if you had a bf you claim you wouldn't hang out because "you're too embarrassed by his age". Yes you are overthinking. Run your own life, not hers and you'll be much happier and more at peace..

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Well I've introduced on of my friends to him. She even said it was incredibly uncomfortable being around them.

 

Then when she mentioned meeting my bf at the time. I was all up for it and so was he. Then she was like oh we can turn it into a double dats.

 

My boyfriend knew that he was a much older man and knew the back story of him. As he questioned how it came about. He even said he wouldn't feel comfortable meeting him.

 

So maybe I am overthinking things.

 

Guess I'll keep busy with my other friends. If she genuinely misses the friendship she can question me. If not like you said people grow apart.

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Eh, I’m less concerned about the age gap and more that he sounds like an overall jerk. There’s not much you can do, sadly, except to support your friend and be there for her. She’s an adult who will make her own decisions. In your shoes, I would not be interested in double dates with this guy.

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She is the sort of girl who wants the getting married and having kids with the whole happily ever after. That has been her ultimate goal from day one. She has only ever had two relationships prior to this one and is conscious of keeping the number of men she sleeps with "low".

 

I know women like this. They seek out and settle in relationships in the hopes that they will get their happily ever after fantasy, only to realize that happiness comes from within.

 

I don't know about you, but I have never known anyone to take relationship advice from their friends or family. Including myself. Best you can do is to share your concerns, and how you feel about being around him, and then let go. Some of it might sink in, some not... at the end of the day it's her choice if she decides she wants to give her life to this man.

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Eh, I’m less concerned about the age gap and more that he sounds like an overall jerk.

 

Exactly.

 

He sounds like a liar, a cheater, a control freak. What kind of man sleeps with a girl he knew since she was a child? That is sick.

 

I think your friend has serious issues as well to even consider this man. The whole thing is wrong and the one person who will end up losing badly over it, is your friend.

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I wouldn't say I was a bad friend. I did not know for one minute when she said she went on a date with him the sort of man he was.

 

Her first date with him was a secret until she told me. I tried to create a safe place in our friendship for her to talk about it.

 

I only encouraged dating him instead of sleeping with her ex. I encouraged her to enjoy single life but she refused to do that. Suggested online dating and she hates the idea of that. So when I suggested to date him. Never thought it would lead to this.

 

You are so right. The fact he knew her when she was running around in pigtails and is with her now disturbs me. It was sharing that fact with my ex was the reason he couldn't sit and have dinner with him. Glad I'm not the only one grossed out by that.

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Let's be honest here, it's a really messed up situation. She is essentially sleeping with her father and he is bordering on being a pedophile.

What in the heck can she see in him?

It sounds more like a parent/child dynamic the way he controls her and tells her what to do, maybe that's what turns him on. It's sick.

And why would any 20 something want grandpa along for the ride if you're going to the clubs or even to the movies? Ewww.

 

There is nothing you can do about it now. It is her choice, but I sincerely do wonder what on earth she is thinking.

I know what he is thinking, he is happy to be able to control someone he see's as a little girl and can use and abuse her as he pleases.

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There are times that I hope my friends will tell me the very thing I don't want to hear.

This may be one of those times.

 

Friends can often see things that we aren't willing to recognize.

 

I don't know how strong your friendship is, but I know my friends and I can give it to each other straight and I also know it comes from a good place, no matter how much I don't like hearing it.

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If they hide their relationship from dad -- that's proof positive that this is not a good relationship and she knows it deep down. If she wants to date grown men, then at the very least, she needs to act like an adult and be honest about things. Its kind of ironic how she said dad wasn't a present dad because he was 25 years older than mom or wasn't the "best" dad and now she is dating someone older than daddy. I would either distance myself from her and set a boundary or i would be upfront "it is puzzling to me that you say your dad wasn't a good dad because he is so old and then you want a man who is your dad's age...your kids if you had kids with him would have an even older dad than you had". or "don't you want to date someone you can tell your dad about?

 

to me, this guy is slimey because if he wasn't - he would NOT date her or refuse her advances because dad is his good friend or he would have asked dad if he could ask her out

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She suggested we go on a double date with my then boyfriend. I just couldn't do it. I would be too embarrassed to sit with her bf and my then bf. Which is terrible as she is my best friend and I shouldn't let the age gap get to me.

 

Why shouldn't you? He clearly lets it get to him, and he's opting into this relationship with 54 years of life experience. It's not like he doesn't know that there's a difference between 26 year olds and 54 year olds. It's like buying a Volkswagon and then getting upset that you own a German car.

 

We stayed in and watched some films which he insulated as they were juvenile. We are only in our 20's. He has a judgement on everything that I like that he feels is "young" as we were playing video games and felt we was being childish.

 

What a hypocrite!

 

I don't know her and I don't know him. But reading what you wrote, they both seem desperate and foolish. She doesn't want to repeat her parents' marriage--yet she is. He thinks 26 year olds are juvenile--yet he's with one. You may lose your friend no matter what you do, through no fault of your own.

 

Less is probably more when it comes to criticism in this case. I don't think you're wrong to feel the way that you do. But I do think that in her current state of mind she is probably unable to appreciate the logic of your argument. I'm not saying to hide your feelings. I just think you have to pick your places and go lightly. Be as much of a friend as possible, and walk away when you need to.

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Thank you to everyone who has replied.

 

You have all made me feel better for the situation. As I felt guilty finding it bizzare.

 

I pride myself on not judging people and their life choices but this has been a hard one to accept.

 

I know some people like to take advice from people. I know I appreciated it when I was blind in an emotionally abusive relationship. But not everyone is so forthcoming with advice.

 

She is stubborn like I said I suggested she enjoys single life. Then she went on and started dating this old man.

 

So even if I say anything to her. She will hold it against our friendship and peg me as the bitter friend.

 

It's a tough one.

 

She has invited me for dinner this week. So I think I'll mention how I don't mind coming if he isn't there as he makes me uncomfortable. Then if she wants to know why I'll explain briefly.

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This could be a friendship you just outgrow.

There were some friends from childhood who we just naturally went our different ways in our 20s.

Different values, different things we cared about in life.

 

The last time I ran into one of those friends whose dramatics I just couldn't take anymore, she had three kids, three different dads, no dad in the picture and she hadn't worked since her first pregnancy.

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So even if I say anything to her. She will hold it against our friendship and peg me as the bitter friend.

 

It's a tough one.

 

This is true, and even as it alienates you from her, it would only embed her more deeply with him in some warped Romeo and Juliet us-against-the-world scenario.

 

I skip that. When the goal is to see someone you love hurt less, then inflicting more pain on them that would only accomplish the opposite of what you'd want doesn't make much sense.

 

If my BF were talented at bringing out the best in people, I'd give double dating a whirl. It could model for friend and whutshisname how loving partners treat one another. If it doesn't help to improve his treatment of her, it can possibly highlight for friend what she's missing by stark contrast.

 

Otherwise, I'd apologize to friend that BF can't make it and opt out of playing third wheel on her dates. I'd tell her that I'd rather not hang out with a couple when I'm on my own. She can view that through an insulting lens if she chooses to, but then that becomes her issue instead of yours.

 

Head high, and fingers crossed that she'll wise up at some point. If you come to sense that this is the case, you can offer help to her without badmouthing the old guy. You're smart enough to know how that can backfire.

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I am much more straight forward, I would just tell her I am too uncomfortable around a man of his age, no need to go into how creepy he is, (even if it is the truth).

 

Hopefully in time she will see for herself that this man is not doing her any favours and in fact, he is draining her from any life she might actually have enjoyed as a 20 something.

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