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Hi everyone!

I am reaching out to get some outside advice about a problem I'm having with a friend of mine. I have a small group of friends and one of them I have known for almost 10 years. All the years I have known her, she has dated men who do not stick around for long. She gives them something that they want/need for the moment (in many more ways than what we are all thinking!) and then they leave her in the dust. Despite us warning her of red flags we might see, she always pins us as the bad guys and then something happens and we are stuck in a "We told you so." position. 

She has been with a new guy for maybe 6 months. We met him a few times and he seemed nice! Then he began making her late for our gatherings, he came to one with her after causing an argument.  He didn't converse with any of us at the gathering despite us trying to include him in conversation, ask questions, etc., he then got really rude with one of our friends when we decided on a place to go that he didn't particularly like, continued to not talk to us and then left abruptly from the event, leaving her with us to go home-one hour away. (He took her car.)

Without dragging this on too much, we were told at the beginning of their "journey" that he had an apartment that he allowed his sister to stay in because she needed a place to stay after returning from serving with the Marines, but then she developed COVID-19 and had to quarantine, so he stayed with my friend for the time being. But he left the sister his car to use, while he also owns another place in the same area, where he could have stayed. My friend then allowed (and still allows) him to use her car to go to his job (over an hour away from where we live), out with his friends, various personal appointments. It began inconveniencing me because she then relied on ME to get her to work (we are also coworkers, we carpool regularly) more days than normal. I began turning down or rescheduling dates because I didn't want to leave her high and dry. 

It has been 6 months and we haven't seen him attempt to get a new car, take back his apartment, and every time they went to stay closer to where he worked, they stayed in a hotel.

My friends and I see these red flags and have tried in our different ways to make it apparent to her that there is something wrong. It has come to the point that none of us want to be with her, everyone avoids being where he is and turns down invitations if he is at all included. The other 4 of us have made plans without her because of this and we don't know what to do in order to tell her. We are all stuck because we know that she will not like it, and pin us all either against each other (she has lied to us all about some details of this) or we will be the bad guy. How should we approach this? Should we all tell her at once, should someone tell her individually? Should we wait until something happens and then express concern? 

Sorry for the long write up-and thank you for taking the time to read and help! 

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Just now, Tonight.majestic said:

Hmm, is it possible this man is lying about owning property and a car? 

That is what we are all convinced of! We know that he has "shown" her where he worked (he now has a job in our town that we live in...also suspicious). He also would not give any answers about what his new job was when I asked (again, in a social situation where I was not aware he would be joining us). And we all have tried asking HER questions about him without trying to come across as nosy, but we've all gotten different answers from her. 

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1 hour ago, JSouth9191 said:

How should we approach this? Should we all tell her at once, should someone tell her individually? Should we wait until something happens and then express concern? 

Unfortunately, I discovered that in those kind of cases you will always be the bad guy. Tell her and "Oh you are just jealous". Wait until something happens and "Oh you never liked him and support me". You cant really "win" there not because he is a bad guy but because your friend seems like a type that falls in love quickly and doesnt care that she bangs her head against the wall. So you either let it run its course and pick up her pieces after or tell her, make her mad and probably gain the same outcome where he leaves here and you pick up her pieces. You really cant win there. Until she herself realizes some stuff.

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I was just thinking that maybe the person living in his apartment isn't really his sister, but maybe more like his ex or someone he's hooking up with at the same time. In any case, you are quite right that a lot of this doesn't really add up. Your friend seems to have a pattern of dating bad men and that's probably due to low sense of self worth and self-esteem. Someone who likes themselves wouldn't be dating losers and users lol

I think unfortunately there isn't really anything you can do because it's her life and she can date whoever she wants. But you are not obliged to spend time with that guy or even invite her to events if she's going to bring him. He doesn't sound like a nice person, he's very rude and he seems to be taking advantage of her for her car and place to live. I would recommend you don't get involved though and if you don't actually want to hang out with them, then don't. I recommend you don't give your friend lifts in your car if you have somewhere else to be. It's not your problem she gave her car to her boyfriend. Just set some good boundaries and practice saying "no" to her a lot more often. If she needs a lift then she can get her car back or catch public transport or an Uber. It's really not your problem.

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Sometimes, the truth hurts 😕 .

I think you should be blunt with it all.. from how it's affected your friendship - to you saying NO to having to give her extra rides.. Just say no to that, so it does not affect you so much.

She may be accepting of his tude, but no one else has to.

Maybe just have to let her.. learn the hard way.

Until she open her eyes .. she is stuck in this with him.  Is her choice.

 

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4 hours ago, JSouth9191 said:

 And we all have tried asking HER questions about him without trying to come across as nosy, but we've all gotten different answers from her. 

Sadly she doesn't seem like a friend. You are all ganging up on her, gossiping and yes, asking nosy questions.

If you don't like her or her choices/ people, stop pretending to be her friend.

Unfortunately this friend group seems like a bunch of catty bullies and busybodies .

It would be a good idea to reconsider hanging out with these nasty nosy people and most of all, just leave your so-called friend alone.

 

 

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Time to stay in your lane and stay out of this without the excuses over how it's affecting you - tell her "I'm not comfortable being around him and I don't have time to drive you places"  There is no "I told you so" position -it's a choice to say that to someone and most real friends try never ever to say that.

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I would try to foil his attempts to isolate her by taking turns with those who care about her to spend one on one time with her. This will keep her in contact with each of you without ruining your group nights with one another.

I would also allow her to be inconvenienced when you have somewhere else you need to go with your car. Suggest ahead that she and BF work out alternate arrangements for the times when you will not be available to curb your own social life for her. Be frank about this.

The one thing I would NOT do is bad-mouth the BF. This only serves to isolate her, and it positions her in a Romeo-Juliet scenario where it's the two of them agains the world--exactly the kind of dependency on him that you don't want.

People often need to learn their own mistakes on their own. It's best to keep your communication open to avoid isolating her, even while you're not willing to listen to complaints about him (change the subject) so that you don't behave as the kind of pressure valve that will let her vent and feel better to return to him while you feel worse and can do nothing about it.

One exception would be if she confides that he scares her or she otherwise views him as threatening in some way. In that case, I'd make up a code phrase, such as "Did I leave my umbrella in your car?" that would signal you to call the police for her.

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I agree with Catfeeder and the others that suggest you do NOTHING.

The other thing is, if she is a liar and pits friends against each other, why are you friends?  Sounds like maybe this friendship has run its course.  let her be and live her own life.  Length of friendship or any relationship is not the reason to maintain a toxic relationship.  Maybe you've put up with crap for 10 years.  And you should have left this friend back in high school or college or whatever.  

Focus on your life.  Do not cancel your own dates or life because of her.  That is your own choice and fault.  Stop equating sacrificing your own happiness with being a good friend.  That is being a martyr.  

Don't judge other people's decisions.  Let them live their own lives.  He may be an ass and you maybe completely right about him.  But it's not your decision.  When someone ASKS for help, support or advice, that is different.  Until then-- stay in your lane.  

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Don't over-involve yourself. It doesn't warrant that. Manage your car trips according to your own schedule as that is a work issue and leave the personal (your friend's relationship) out of it.

Decline any conversations about this person around others. Just excuse yourself and move on to the next thing in your day. As soon as you remove idle gossip you'll free yourself up with so much more time and motivation to pursue other things more worthy. 

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