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Worried about a friend


Eliza50
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This is about a very good friend of mine.

 

There's this guy in her circle that she's known and liked for ages (something like 20 years). They were both in relationships with other people when they met but they had common friends, so, they stayed in touch. About 3 years ago she broke up with her long-term bf and a year later this guy broke up with his gf, too (except she's still staying in his place 2 years after their break-up because she can't find a job or so he says).

 

Anyway, 6 months ago this guy and my friend started sleeping together. They had decided not to tell their other friends (4-5 people they're very close with....I'm not in that circle although I've met everyone involved). That lasted for a couple of months and then there was a misunderstanding or something that led to them barely talking to each other (his choice according to my friend). I had told her she was better off without him as I found the fact that his ex gf still lived in his house very weird.

 

That guy sent her a very lengthy email today...4 months after their ''breakup'' if we can call it that. She forwarded it to me asking for advice. It was a very disturbing email. Basically, he was telling her that it was all her fault they had stopped talking, he took no responsibility for anything (he apologized for some time he had called her names saying he had done it for her own good) and he said that unless she talks to him/meets him he's going to forward that email with details about their sexual relationship to all their friends and he added that if she planned on denying it, he had proof. He mentioned a bunch of other things, too...(not nice) things she had told him about their common friends when they were 'together'. What was more disturbing was that he presented all this as a ''gift'' to her. He gave her a time line, too....talk to me before Monday or I'm forwarding the email.

 

I was shocked but I was even more shocked when I talked to her and I found out she was rather pleased with the email and acted like it wasn't a big deal and ''I don't care if he forwards it to the others'' but she did email him telling him not to do anything until they talk.

 

This isn't a young girl, it's a woman in her '50s and I know it's her life but I can't help worrying about her. He sounds unstable, threatening and dangerous to me. I told her that I would not meet him and I would even talk to a lawyer. Surely, this email screams blackmail, doesn't it?

 

I just want opinions on whether I have a reason to worry or am I overreacting.

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What a psycho. Is this spam or sent from the GF? She should not respond and make sure this weirdo is blocked/deleted on all devices, messaging apps and social media. Agree...who cars if he sends it? Makes him look like a psycho. They should not meet. Tell her to keep it in case she wants a restraining order.

I had told her she was better off without him as I found the fact that his ex gf still lived in his house very weird. ''I don't care if he forwards it to the others''
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I had a friend for a decade where I would get too emotionally invested in how she engaged in such inappropriate decisions when it came to men. It's so emotionally draining when you care and try to talk sense into people like this. I'm no longer friends with her and am actually glad I am no longer exposed to the train wrecks of her life.

 

Don't ask, don't tell. You gave her advice. Leave it be. Don't be drawn in to her bad decisions and drama. In hindsight, I wish I hadn't spent hours of needless angst in trying to save someone from themselves. And no, it doesn't mean you're a bad friend for letting her handle her own life without input, unless she specifically asks.

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Your friend can handle her own affairs. It's better not to jump to conclusions about who is being victimized. If she's not perturbed by his email, why is she showing it to you?

 

Both of them appear to still have been living with their exes while they were seeing each other. I'm not judging based on that. I have tried to date while living with an ex (a long time ago) and it is one experience I'll never do again. Neither of them have taken the necessary measures to move on from their respective ex-relationships.

 

Both your friend and this person sound un-equipped to handle a relationship so their actions and their words are going to reflect individuals who are both not in the right frame of mind.

 

Take a step back. If you feel yourself getting emotionally involved, this isn't your place. I'd question the motives of your friend and the way she may be emotionally manipulating her friends into sympathy and pity.

 

Give her a wide berth. You can lend a supportive ear and tell her that this person is unhinged but encourage her to develop her own identity and independence overall. Give her the encouragement to move on in her life.

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Both of them appear to still have been living with their exes while they were seeing each other.

 

My friend broke up with her bf 3 years ago and she's been living alone since then. It's the guy who, although he broke up with his gf 2 years ago, he still lives with her.

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No question the guy is totally psycho, but your friend likes it that way and seems to be happy to play games with him.

 

Seems like what you are finding out about your friend is that when it comes to relationships, she is not quite healthy herself.

 

So should you worry? Any worrying from you is kind of pointless in that it won't change her or what she does with her life and relationships. In your shoes, I'd take a huge step back and only give your opinion or advice if explicitly asked. Outside of that, be careful that you don't feed into her drama or become her shoulder to cry on so that it enables her to keep engaging in the drama. Step way way back.

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Agree with andrina and dancing fool. Also be prepared to lose her as a friend if she makes nice with this guy and they become an item. One of the best decisions I made last year was not to look at a letter my friend got from her boyfriends mistress threatening her. I didn’t want to know her name or the details in case I got dragged in. I did support her emotionally but as an outsider. In a weird twist based on some Facebook posts I discovered that the mistress might be someone I know - even though I knew her in a totally different context. So I’m glad I never knew her name. (Her boyfriend died last year so this is all moot now - the whole thing is so sad). Point is yes I was tempted to know. Yes I’m so glad I didn’t get that invested. We’re still friends and I can still be supportive as an outsider. I highly suggest you stay out of this.

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Well if she is 50+ years old then unfortunately she's a grown adult who is making her own decisions. The guy sounds like a total nut and he's also blackmailing her. Why would he send details of their sex life to all their friends!! What a psycho! You could advise your friend to warn him that if he continues to harass her, she will show his messages to police. After that she needs to completely block him on everything. If she continues talking to him then she is actually a willing participant in all of this. She is making these dumb decisions and you can't really stop her because it's her life. You can give advice but after that it may be best to stop getting involved. The guy sounds really weird and it may be best to keep your distance from him.

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Is this the same friend you've been posting about since 2018? If so, maybe it's time to step out of the picture a little as it seems this "friend" stresses you out all the time and there's just too much drama.

 

Not sure which friend you're referring to (I have many friends and I've posted about 2 or 3 of them) but, no, I've never posted about this one before.

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Why would she meet someone who is threatening her?

 

She's had a crush on him for ages (even when they had stopped talking she was full of excuses for him), so, I think that she's just happy he took the time to write that email, she feels like it's a proof he cares and I'm afraid she's going to get involved with him again. It seems strange to me, too, as she is a very strong person, she has overcome so many things in her life (dysfunctional family, worst father you could imagine, a brother with permanent health issues) and she's done so well in life (started her business from scratch) but when it comes to this guy it's like she's a different person.

 

I know you're all right that I shouldn't get any more involved and I don't plan to, I've already told her what I think and that I'm here for her whatever she decides to do. But I can't help worrying.

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My friend broke up with her bf 3 years ago and she's been living alone since then. It's the guy who, although he broke up with his gf 2 years ago, he still lives with her.

 

His situation has a lot more potential to get messy than hers then. It makes sense if he's gone berserk and your friend appears so flippant. She too may have said something to infuriate him and instigate that type of behaviour. I doubt your friend is going to tell you the whole story - just the juicy bits. I think she's seeking attention in the wrong ways and it's coming back to bite her in the behind.

 

If she continues to throw out information like this and behave carelessly or without caring for her own wellbeing, don't become a part of her story. Like I said, give her a wide berth and even if you do offer a listening ear, I wouldn't ruminate too long on what she says. Let her be her but don't let her affect you.

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Not sure which friend you're referring to (I have many friends and I've posted about 2 or 3 of them) but, no, I've never posted about this one before.

Ah, okay. Thanks. I asked because all the other "friend posts" have a similar theme so I wondered if it was all about the same friend. But if you seem to be having so many different friends who all have this much drama/issues, maybe better to start choosing friends more wisely.

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A short update: apparently, they met and talked and she's still finding excuses for him - he's insecure, he was just looking for a way to talk to her, he would never send the email to her friends, he's jealous, he doesn't think he's good enough for her, he missed her so much (even though he had been the one who had stopped talking to her) and they're now thinking of vacationing together.

 

I just told her to be careful and changed the subject.

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A short update: apparently, they met and talked and she's still finding excuses for him - he's insecure, he was just looking for a way to talk to her, he would never send the email to her friends, he's jealous, he doesn't think he's good enough for her, he missed her so much (even though he had been the one who had stopped talking to her) and they're now thinking of vacationing together.

 

I just told her to be careful and changed the subject.

 

Good work.

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Good call. She wants excitement, flattery etc from another woman's live-in bf. Being the other woman is good for that sort of thing. She may have mid-life crisis and certainly is not looking for anything serious, which is fine. Sounds like she likes drama.

I just told her to be careful and changed the subject.

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I just told her to be careful and changed the subject.

 

Best move you could have made. At 50 she presumably knows that blackmail is illegal. I'd limit any discussion of him, and if that means she's in my life less rather than more, I'd consider that to be safer and saner given the company she's choosing.

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Ugh -- I feel your pain here.

 

I've had a friend for decades who has ALWAYS made bad decisions about men. She had a years-long affair with a married guy, among other bad decisions, and I got to the point where I just told her I thought it was wrong, I thought she was making a mistake, and that it wasn't going to turn out like she hoped it would, but that I loved her and would be there for her. I made it clear, though, that I did not support her having an affair with a married guy AT ALL, even if I supported her as a person. She finally had to let him go when he flat out told her he wasn't ever going to leave his wife for her (whew!) and she no longer talks to him. Since then, she's been involved with another guy I thought was wrong for her (not a married guy but one who still wasn't ever going to be with her regardless), and I told her the same thing -- "I support YOU, but I think you're short-changing yourself waiting around for something that isn't going to happen." To this day, she still makes excuses for why they're not together, going so far as to say that he has "financial stuff he has to get together before he can be in a relationship" -- uhhh...no. He's in his early 50's. She's known him for nearly 30 years. If he doesn't have it together -- financially and otherwise -- by now, I doubt he ever will. It's just a lie she tells herself to avoid admitting that he just doesn't want to be with her. I have stopped talking to her about him. If she mentions him, I respond politely, but I don't ask about him, nor do I encourage a lengthy conversation about him. It's exhausting and frustrating to engage in endless conversations about toxic and/or dead-end relationships.

 

My point: You can be a caring, supportive friend without supporting your friend's bad choices in men. If she starts talking about him, it might be helpful to tell her, one time (or one last time, if you have already told her): I'm here for you, and I want you to be happy, but I think you're making decisions that are not in your best interests, and I don't feel that I can encourage you in making these decisions, so it would probably be better if we didn't talk about this guy --I can't offer you any advice or encouragement on keeping that relationship going. It would be disingenuous/wrong for me to do so.

 

I hope your friend someday realizes that this guy is bad news. He sounds, quite frankly, unstable. Yikes. It sounds as though she has really low self-esteem and is acting out of desperation rather than actual caring/love for this guy. That's something in her that needs fixing, and you don't have the power to do that. Only she does. For your own sanity, try to steer clear of discussions about her love life, but if you can't, you may have to take a break from her for awhile.

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It sounds as though she has really low self-esteem and is acting out of desperation rather than actual caring/love for this guy. That's something in her that needs fixing, and you don't have the power to do that. Only she does. For your own sanity, try to steer clear of discussions about her love life, but if you can't, you may have to take a break from her for awhile.

 

Every time I've told her he's bad news (which she admits, too) her reasoning was that she works hard all week and she needs ''something'' to kill time during the weekends. As for vacationing together, she 'justified' it by saying 'it would be nice to see a new place'. I know it's not the whole truth because she has many good friends and there are nice men who are interested in her...it's her choice to waste her time on this guy. We've had so many discussions that never go anywhere about him in the last 2 years that I've lost count.

 

The good thing is that I'll be going on a long trip in July and I'm invited to a friend's summer house in August, so, I won't be hearing much about him and his new drama (because drama is all he's about).

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Agreeing with you is irrelevant unless she takes action. I wouldn't have that conversation anymore. I agree with people that my life would be easier in non-pandemic times if I drove and I also make the choice not to act on it. Difference is I never tell people I plan to drive nor do I complain about my choice - I just agree that my choice isn't always the best one for me.

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She's had a crush on him for ages (even when they had stopped talking she was full of excuses for him), so, I think that she's just happy he took the time to write that email, she feels like it's a proof he cares and I'm afraid she's going to get involved with him again. It seems strange to me, too, as she is a very strong person, she has overcome so many things in her life (dysfunctional family, worst father you could imagine, a brother with permanent health issues) and she's done so well in life (started her business from scratch) but when it comes to this guy it's like she's a different person.

 

I know you're all right that I shouldn't get any more involved and I don't plan to, I've already told her what I think and that I'm here for her whatever she decides to do. But I can't help worrying.

 

Given that, her behavior, when it comes to relationships, is not strange at all. She is in fact exactly at a level that is comfortable and familiar to her - dysfunction and drama. It's what she perceives as love.

 

Personal business, life, financial success has absolutely nothing to do with emotional or relationship health. The two are not connected. Or to put it another way, nobody is strong all around - everyone has soft spots, weak spots, dysfunctional spots, and so on. This is guy, the dysfunction he brings around is her weak spot and that's that. Best thing you can do for her is to actually refuse to be her therapist and shoulder to cry on.

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