"Friends with Benefits"


#1

Hi all,
I am new to this forum, but I knew as soon as I found it, that it would be a good place to ask for advice. It's about a friend of mine and it has been stressing me out a lot...

My friend "Ashley" and I have been pretty close for a few years now. I'm 20, and she's almost 16 (due to the age difference, we're sort of like sisters). Starting about a year ago, Ashley began getting into some very troubling things. For one thing, she lost her virginity to a much older "man" (so-called) and began experimenting with all sorts of sexual sins. I, admittedly, did not make my displeasure known well enough. She knew I disapproved, but I spent more time avoiding the sexual topics she was talking about because they made me uncomfortable. All I told her was that I hoped she knew what she was doing and that she was committing serious/mortal sins. She, like myself, was raised in a good Catholic family and knows what she's doing is wrong.

Recently, her new topic of choice is purporting the positives of having "friends with benefits." I told her it was impossible for people (especially women) to have casual sex without it affecting them. She told me I was sheltered and ignorant and that it was a good way to "relieve sexual tension" without getting attached to someone. Even a few months after she had one of these "friends," she feels no regret for it. In addition to all of this, she's openly bi-sexual and supports homosexual relationships.

All of this from a girl who (sadly, I am not joking) goes to communion every Sunday (at a Traditional Latin Mass no less!). She says it's ok because she goes to confession beforehand, but clearly she is not truly sorry for her sins. On top of this, she used to respect my decision to remain a virgin until marriage, but now she mocks me for it. Deep down, I know her hostility only arises from the fact that she is feeling guilty, but it still bothers me.

I really need help, because I don't feel like I can ignore this anymore. Her family (despite being devout) is sadly un-involved with her life. I went to her mom once about someone she had slept with, in confidence, and not only did she tell Ashley it was me that told, she also un-grounded her within a couple of weeks. I even proved what I said was true by sending her mom a chat transcript in which Ashley told me what she had done! Going to her parents has never done me any good....

I care very much about her and know that, deep down, she wants to do the right thing. I really wish I could help her, but every time I even gently tell her she's wrong, I get mocked and criticized. Despite the fact that I feel very strong in my convictions to remain pure, being around brings me down and tempts me. It didn't used to be so bad when she respected the way I am, but now she mocks me and tells me she's going to "fix my virginity problem" by introducing me to certain guys she knows. I laugh off most of her insults, but they chip away at me.

So, as a good Catholic friend, what do I do? Is it right for me to walk away from her? If not, what can I do to help her and avoid driving myself crazy?
Thanks everyone!


#2

The best way to help your friend is to pray for her and to continue setting the good example that you are doing.

However, you must protect yourself from her negative influence, and you may have to "walk away" or at least set firm boundaries in your relationship with her. Otherwise, she could have a negative influence on you.

Of course you know she is engaging in high risk behavior and is on a path of self -destruction. Don't let her pull you into it.


#3

You are a good friend to care as much as you do. I commend you for going to her parents about her behavior. My own daughter has problems with purity and I would have loved it if someone had said, "You know, Mrs. C, I'm pretty worried..." I wasn't that fortunate. I'm sorry her Mom in turn betrayed your confidence like that. It wasn't fair.

At this point, I think you've done about all you can do to try and dissuade her from her behavior. So, I would stop trying so hard (difficult, I know. I'm a 'hands-on' type myself). Whatevever you do, stand firm in your beliefs. Don't let her mock you. If she does, politely tell her you won't tolerate it. If she keeps it up, walk away. Even if you two don't agree on moral issues, what she's doing is abusive and hardly 'friend' like. If she tries to talk about hooking up with this guy/girl or you doing the same, I would look her straight in the face, say "I'm not interested in discussing that. Would you like to talk about something else?" I genuinely think she may be doing some of this for the pure shock value. Take away the shock, the reaction and I'm sure the game she's playing will get old rather quickly.

With all of this, continue to pray for her (and I'd kindly ask you to keep my daughter in your prayers as well). I don't know why so many young girls think it's trendy to cheapen themselves for some guy's pleasure. Unfortunately, that's the culture we live in. Prayer is our best weapon. God Bless. I will be praying for both of you.


#4

Your priority in this situation is to protect yourself, your faith, and your morals. If your 'friend' mocks you and constantly tempts you then you should seriously consider ending this friendship. This girl has serious issues and sadly, has enough influence over to you. This is not friendship, trust me. Naturally, you care for her and want to help her but it is not possible to help people who insist in doing things their way and being self-destructive. She has to come to certain conclusions herself and has to make the decision to repent and live a chaste life herself. You can't do that for her. You've tried being a positive role-model but for the moment it is not working out. I say you've done everything you could for now and it is time for you to stand up for yourself . This is not selfishness, it is self-preservation and prudence.


#5

You have done everything you can do for your friend. Now you need to pray. For all you know her sin may turn into a great witness story later on. God does not like us to sin but He does allow it and if we make it back He can make great use out of it. I would walk away from this friendship at this point and let her know you will be there for her if she decides to shape up.


#6

[quote="dedo, post:2, topic:251711"]
However, you must protect yourself from her negative influence, and you may have to "walk away" or at least set firm boundaries in your relationship with her. Otherwise, she could have a negative influence on you.

[/quote]

That's what I would recommend. Friends are people that are there in good times and bad. The "mocking" issue is definitely a problem, and that's where I would set the boundaries. I wouldn't tolerate that, and would let that be known.


#7

Hi, ecgelhar.

Some people think attachment is their enemy. This is a common theme when talking about relationships and it shows even among people who believe in purity and chastity.

"Doing things" with a person who's not attached to us is the actual enemy, what impoverishes ourselves, our souls and reduces our dignity.

We're made for much more than that. Perhaps your friend is missing on some positive image of what love and married love really are about. I'd think of ways of explaining to her what proper behaviour is (including how one should treat a spouse, not only the basics like don't have sex until you're married) and what good there is out of behaving like that (i.e. a loving family), as opposed to relying only on prohibitions.


#8

Unfortunately, the culture has twisted young girls and young women so much, that many of them are even more aggressive sexually than are males. This young friend of yours is an example of how females have become as callous and uncaring as their male counterparts. It is sad, and very harmful to the individuals as well as society. Divorce sex from conception and eventually, this is what we come to - coupling like animals, even worse than many animals! Some animal species mate for life and are quite devoted to each other and their offspring! :(

I don't know what you can do to reach your young friend. She needs the input of her father, she needed it a long time ago, so that she values herself more than to ruin herself like this. Of course, right now, she can't see the ruination, but she is doing just that, one empty sexual contact at a time. Risking pregnancy and disease for what? But someone 15 isn't going to listen - she believes she is 10 feet tall and bulletproof. I could tell young ladies like your friend that what she is doing is harming herself forever, but would she be able to actually hear my message? Doubtful. Would I have listened to an older female, when I was looking for love by giving myself to men? I don't know, probably not. If my father had truly shown me how I should expect to be treated by young men, definitely I would not have gone through what I did. At the time, I didn't know I was causing myself irreparable damage. It was just what everyone was doing, or so I believed.

You might try one more thing. If she would read a book, or watch a DVD presentation by someone who has been where she is, and who now has regrets, it might still touch her heart. But she might already be too far away for something like that to reach her. It may have to come through something more painful.

I will add "Ashley" to my prayers. I wish I could do more. I was hoping to get involved in abstinence education, so I could really speak to young girls about their choices, but all the funding was taken away when the current administration came into office. So the educator I was working with could not employ me and he also had no way to get back into the public schools he had been working in and having good results in. He is working on a website, but it may be less effective than having a real person talk to the kids face to face. Girls like Ashley might listen to a presentation if we could find a way to crack into that tough act they put on, how they don't need to get involved, just get their satisfaction and move on.

Well, I don't know if any of that will help you. Keep praying for her. Pray for her father or another father figure to come into her life and show her what real mean should treat her like, with respect and cherishing.


#9

I really, really appreciate the responses! Because I am going away to college in the fall, I won't have to deal with her on a regular basis, so I think I'll just continue to be there for her in any way I possibly can. But I do think I need to distance myself from her. Even though I feel good about where I am and avoiding sexual temptation, I'm still afraid that spending too much time with her will begin to affect the way I view sexual relationships.

And Irish Girl, I will definitely keep your daughter in my prayers! Juliane is exactly right when she says that modern culture pushes women to be more sexually aggressive than men. It's hard not to get caught up in it because it so easy and socially acceptable to do so. So, although I am greatly sad for Ashley and your daughter, I understand why they are acting the way they do. I know that without devotion to the Blessed Virgin and the daily rosary I say to her, I would be the same way.

I also think I'm going to "accidentally leave" a copy of a small booklet at her house that my mom gave me called Pure Womanhood by Crystalina Evert. It's a great quick read and she knows exactly how many young women feel today. I absolutely love it


#10

I would not have believed this had I not experienced it within my own family, and had it confirmed by my friend who is an abstinence educator with thousands of hours of up to date contact with teens. He knows the inside scoop, and when I told him what was going on in our family, he said that it is common for the girls to go after the boys very aggressively, that they see conquering a boy as marking their territory and gaining something on the “battlefield” of sexual conquests. It is so twisted that I could hardly believe it. But this man has in-depth experience with teens and I have no reason to doubt that what he says is true.

I think you are very wise to limit your time with Ashley, but to pray for her to the Blessed Mother.


#11

It’s good to know there are people like you shepherding teenagers, especially someone with grounded Christian values.

You should IMO keep a civil but cool distance from her. Two reasons.

One, disrespect doesn’t slide between friends, and sex life is definitely off-limits. If she mocks you, you should be blunt about it: “Ashley, that’s rude.” You disapprove of her sex life, but you don’t insult her for it.

Second, your distance might get her to reflect on her attitudes. This will also clear your head and free yourself of worrying over her – because to tell the truth, since her parents aren’t picking up the ball, and you’re not a relative, there’s not much else you can do. Unfortunately, a sex life without boundaries is like playing with fire; if she rejects those boundaries she’ll just have to learn the hard way–but she’ll learn sooner or later.


#12

And you know something? It's mostly a sham. This society's confused sexual confidence for promiscuity.

For my mates (most of whom have had sex) and I, if we go out and some girl too forward, too touchy, dressed too provoctatively -- we're not interested in her, frankly. Some men would take the oppurtunity. But for the most part they're not people I'd get along with, and they're not worth a woman's time anyway.

Sometimes even nice women get shortchanged, even those who don't sleep around and let it all hang out, because they don't set proper boundaries. So as much as the secular world can chat sh^t about pre-martial celibacy, it's the safest way to guard against burning yourself. And it usually works.

[quote="TheRealJuliane, post:8, topic:251711"]
Unfortunately, the culture has twisted young girls and young women so much, that many of them are even more aggressive sexually than are males. This young friend of yours is an example of how females have become as callous and uncaring as their male counterparts. It is sad, and very harmful to the individuals as well as society.

[/quote]


#13

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