Not wanting to be friends anymore


#1

Here is my situation. About 3 years ago, I made a friend with a woman who over time I came to realize was mentally unstable. In all the years I’ve known her, I’ve known her to get caught up in any scam that offers a solution to her mental problems that doesn’t require medication. I’m not sure if she goes off her medication more frequently than that, but her condition has never seemed very controled. Overall I have had to realize that having a friendship with her means having a friendship with someone who does not respect boundaries, is constantly demanding and seeking attention and is constantly creating drama.

Some months before my wedding, I tried to set up boundaries with her, and she reacted by ending the friendship…then begging for it back a couple days later. About two months before my wedding, she informed me she was dating my 19 year old brother. Then my family and parents had to deal with tons of drama. My parents were embracing of their relationship and out of the blue, the two of them vanished. When they came back, it had turned out that she had told my brother that my parents did not accept her and never would because they don’t accept decisions he makes on his own. My parents tried to show support, but then had to deal with being informed that my brother was going to move in with her. Well that didn’t last long as she constantly jumps from job to job and living situation to living situation. My brother came home explaining that they were living in a house with a couple that was abusing them. For some odd reason, my parents felt compelled to invite both him and his girlfriend to move in with them. She then began tormenting my parents in their house. My parents were about to kick her out, but had trouble finding the heart to do so. Eventually my mom blue a fuse at her and she changed her tune for a short time completely (at least to my mom) so she never got kicked out. In July (after I was told she was insisting that she needed more commitment from my brother), they became engaged.

There is no wedding date set as my parents have postponed dealing with this with “we’ll see.” and they have no funds to pay for it outside of using my parents. My Dad tried to have a heart to heart with them about readiness for marriage, and they stormed out and seemingly moved out. However then they moved back in without even asking my parents if they were still welcome. My parents don’t know how to confront the situation except that they’ve informed them that they plan to sell the house next year and that they have to move out by then.

Aside from their being no where near ready for marriage, I’ve simply had it with the friendship. Every time I talk to her now, I’m just being polite. In all honesty, I want nothing to do with her because I’m sick of the drama of it. I’m petrified of being asked for wedding advise or to be a bridesmaid. My husband and I don’t even want to go to their wedding if they do get married, but we don’t want to be confrontational either. I feel like its either be a doormat to her or be the meanest rudest person in the world, hurt my brother and risk her pulling some mean stunt on my family.

I’ve been told just to ignore her, not answer her calls, not invite her over, etc, but everytime she calls, I feel obligated to answer and I am just waiting for the day she starts sending me angry mail and messages because I haven’t done “my part” in the friendship. What is the moral approach to a person like this?


#2

How old is your exfriend?

Are your brother and his fiancee sexually active and living together in your Mom and Dads’ home?


#3

Heavenly Father, thank You for intervening in the lives of this family and this trouble ex-friend. Thank you for showing Your Holy presence in their lives, and bringing about the changes that You deem necesssary in order for all to move forward in life.

Note: Morally, as a Christian, you should pray for her, but you should not feel obligated to continue the friendship. If she starts to harrass you, you can consider your option of filing a report with the police and/or seek the advice of a lawyer. You deserve peace in your life, and you should be concentrating on your marriage not the drama your brother and your parents have brought upon themselves because of a woman they have allowed into their lives.


#4

[quote="bkayw, post:2, topic:212398"]
How old is your exfriend?

Are your brother and his fiancee sexually active and living together in your Mom and Dads' home?

[/quote]

I think she was like 23 when I met her so that would make her 26 now. I'm not really sure. I haven't kept up with her age. My parents do require them to sleep in separate rooms.

I really know know about the sexual activity. When they told my parents they were moving out, they insisted they were going to remain chaste. She had gotten him to start going to Mass with her and they were even going to daily Mass for awhile. However, she got upset over something my family's parish priest said to her in the confessional. She called me up to inform me that she was going to register at a different parish. It sounds like it didn't go well though as when they became engaged, they informed my parents that they were no longer Catholic (too many rules) and what they were involved in sounded new agey. She listed her religion on facebook as "open minded." However, a couple days ago, her religion on facebook changed back to Catholic.

I know I need to stop worrying about it and just pray for them, but whenever she calls or tries to be friendly, I feel obligated to be friendly. I wouldn't feel obligated if I told her straight out the friendship is over, but I know if I do that, she'll have a blow out. My husband says I need to learn to become comfortable with giving her the cold shoulder and ignoring her phone calls. Maybe its just that a lot of our friendship has involved her claiming that I was giving her the cold shoulder and ignoring phone calls when I wasn't. She's already accused me a million times of not wanting to be her friend when at the time I did want to be her friend. I feel if I just change to actually giving her the cold shoulder, she'll take it as "See you were a liar the entire time. You never once tried to be my friend." I feel like I owe her honesty, but she doesn't know how to take honesty.

Edit: Oh I knew this was going to happen soon. Just after I posted this, she sent both me and my husband an email asking us if we'd like to be a bridesmaid and groomsman. Aaah!! We don't even want to be at this wedding! I have a million and one reasons why these two should certainly not be married. How can I stand up there as a bridesmaid?!


#5

Honesty is the best policy. Tell her you are not interested in pursuing a close friendship; but are happy to be polite and wish her the best.

Acting as though you are her friend; or truly care is bearing false witness and is a grave sin against the eighth commandment; it seems also damaging to your relationship between you and your husband.


#6

Dear OP.

I am really sorry you are going through all of this. I am event more sorry that this woman is now dating your brother.

I understand when you say 'If I tell her I changed my mind and no longer want to be her friend she will say ‘See I knew it all along’". I as well would not want to feel the guilt of that statement. However, realize this… That is her manipulation tatic to keep you were she wants you. She knows you don’t like to feel guilty so she has you conditioned ‘Do as I say or else a big guilt trip is coming your way’.

I think your husband has half a point to learn to give her the cold shoulder and not feel bad. Personally, I prefer upfrontness. ‘Please don’t call me I no longer have anything to say to you’ And then CLICK hang up the phone. (trust me, after the first time you have the courage to do this, it will become easier and easier and actually kind of fun;))

Do not give her the opportunity to speak. She obviously does not deserve it and you can not afford to have the guilt thrown on you.

Also, as another poster said, pray for her

CM


#7

[quote="twoangels, post:4, topic:212398"]

Just after I posted this, she sent both me and my husband an email asking us if we'd like to be a bridesmaid and groomsman. Aaah!! We don't even want to be at this wedding! I have a million and one reasons why these two should certainly not be married. How can I stand up there as a bridesmaid?!

[/quote]

Send back an e-mail both to her and to your brother, and spell it out clearly that you do not agree with their marriage, and don't want to participate in their wedding in any way, not even as a guest.

Yeah, I know. All hell will break loose. But if you play along now, all hell will still break loose later on, perhaps a few years into the marriage, when your brother won't be able to put up anymore and will separate and divorce her. So why not swallow the bitter pill now, rather than later, and at least make it clear to your brother that you believe he is headed to a disaster.


#8

This woman is a manipulator. I would not only urge you to ignore her, but also to advise your mother that once you take this stance, this girlfriend/fiance' person will likely malign you in front of family members and then later, further abuse your parents as she seeks a new target to aim her negative emotions at. Ultimately she will turn on your brother, but she'll wait until after the wedding when she's got him where she wants him.

You really need to help you parents extricate themselves as well. This sad situation could last for DECADES if no one intervenes and gets these two sick young adults out of you parents' home. You parents should go to counseling so that they can figure out what issues they have which allowed all of this to happen to themselves. And yet, you cannot become enmeshed with your parents either.... it's a difficult balance but now that you are married and expecting a child the lines are very clear.

And about the bridesmaid/groomsmen request, what an obvious ploy to gain your loyalty and affection, or at least to have you under her thumb for the next few weeks (?) or months (?) until the ceremony! She's very clever to try to control you in this way. Just say no. Please say no. It will be painful but you will be thankful each and every day as the wedding approaches and you do not have a part in the ceremony and the drama that will surround it. Imagine the sort of wedding showers and parties she will expect you and your husband to throw for them if you are members of the wedding party! Furthermore, this will mean that you will have to speak to her or spend time with her on a regular basis until the wedding is over. That would be torture. You have a child to think of as well, you cannot spend that sort of money on this couple! Also, you must take care to safeguard your energy level so that you remain healthy for your baby. Boundaries must be very clear with this woman or she will run right over you. By asking you to be in the wedding, she might be secretly hoping that you will ask her to be the baby's godmother and your brother, the godfather. And then she'll ask you to be her baby's godmother.... it will go on and on....

This is how people get trapped in bad relationships. They are not honest with themselves or the other person. You know what the right thing to do is.... and you will feel such a sense of relief when you at last draw that line in the sand so that she sees it too. It will be much better for your own marriage, and your baby too. I believe that unborn babies feel their mother's stress, those stress hormones may adversely affect the baby. Distance yourself from this and watch the drama unfold without you.... you can throw a life-line to your poor parents if they ask for help. They will experience a great deal more pain than this woman ever will, she is so sick. Imagine her as a mother, playing these mind games on an innocent child... and this child would be your niece or nephew. How sad!

Is there any way to intervene with your brother or is he so enmeshed with her that he cannot accept the truth either? Clearly, he is not making a decision that is in accord with God's will. I would urge you to speak to your parish priest, or the priest who would marry your brother and this woman, and express your concerns about her mental health. This sounds like a marriage that is doomed to failure, and the priest who marries them should be aware of this.


#9

I have known more than one person like this in my life, and I have seen them wreck the lives of friends. It's so hard for people who want to be charitable, but it's so necessary to get them out of your life!

She is mentally ill, from you said, and also unwilling to combat her condition with medication. You are not obligated to have a relationship with her, or let her control your life.

Tell her respectfully, I would suggest over the phone, that you do not agree with she and your brother's relationship and that you would therefore not feel comfortable standing with her at the wedding. Tell her she is no longer allowed to manipulate you and say goodbye. Encourage your parents to do the same! These people only get worse because others ENABLE their behavior. A zero-tolerance, no support method is the only way to stop the madness. Otherwise, she'll trouble you and your family for years.

She needs help, but I don't think you are the one to give it. Pray for her, distance yourself respectfully, but don't let her get into your life so thoroughly.

Best of luck--I know this is so hard!! Prayers for you!


#10

Heavenly Father thank You for bringing peace and the Presence of Your Holy Spirit to this family. Lord, thank You for quickly bringing closure where there needs to be closure, and for extricating where there needs to extrication. Thank You our Lord and Saviour for putting Your Mighty hands into this situation, and making right what needs to be made right, and for bringing healing where there needs to be healing. Amen.


#11

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