Post # 1
My wedding has brought up a lot of issues with a particular friend who I’ve tried to cut ties with since she behaved badly at both my shower and bachelorette party. I posted a bit more about this here:
This girl’s mother has been terminally ill for more than a decade. In the past few days she’s texted me a few times that her mom has recently taken a turn for the worse and that she needs support. Bees, I feel like a horrible person, but I don’t want to support her. I don’t feel like I have anything left to give her. I’ve tried to be her friend and give her opportunities to redeem herself and time and again she’s proved to be self centered and full of drama. I feel like I’ve given her time and energy so many times before and she’s sucked me dry. I genuinely feel bad for her situation with her mom, but I don’t want to be her shoulder to cry on.
I don’t want to be mean to this person, but I also don’t see maintaining a close friendship over the next few years. I had hoped that we could just quietly drift apart, but I don’t know if that will be possible when I’m receiving texts every day (pray for me, or I need some hugs, or I hate watching my mom’s illness progress). What should I do??
Post # 3
Try to put yourself in her position. Her mother is dying and she’s turning to you for a bit of compassion and support. Is it really worth it to shun her and basically tell her that you don’t care when she’s going through something so shitty? How would you feel if it was your parent in that situation and you had a “friend” who didn’t give a fuck? I bet you’d be pretty devastated. If it were me, I’d be there to support her and deal with your relationship afterwards. It’s not the time or place to break up with her.
Post # 4
You sound like a really good friend. But being a good friend doesn’t always mean you have to be there for them all the time. It’s kind of like a kid getting picked up by the cops and a mom bailing him/her out every time. They learn to rely on their mother, and she’s supporting this behavior.
In your case, you need to be honest with her. You need to do for yourself first. This friend will rely on you throughout the whole illness and death (God forbid it comes to that). Then what? Money issues? SO/Husband issues? You will be a lifeline for this friend all the time and you will exhaust yourself on her issues when she should be taking care of herself…just as you should be taking care of yourself too.
It is a difficult thing to do, but I think you just need to tell her that you understand the hurt she is going through, and you will pray for her, but you have a lot of your own priorities that need to be taken care of. Is there no one else she can lean on?
[Edit] Her texts shouldn’t burden you. I would continue to support her by replying and praying, but if she’s asking you to physically be there and you can’t, then see if you can find someone who can be with her during this diffcult time.
Post # 5
Do you have mutual friends? If you are really not wanting to help out (even though I agree with Upstate), call on those friends to help her out. Maybe one will step up and take your place.
Post # 6
In your last thread, you said, “I’ve asked her in the past what’s been bothering her lately, hoping that we could have a really honest discussion about it, to no avail.”
Isn’t it possible that this is what’s been bothering her lately? People facing heavy situations like that can go several ways, and one of them is escapism…that can involve getting very drunk and picking up guys to distract yourself from the sad things. Breaking up with a serious boyfriend who you were planning on marrying doesn’t exactly put you in the mood to celebrate someone else’s relationship moving on to marriage, no matter how happy you are for them. It makes you feel alone and isolated, especially when your friends aren’t out escaping right alongside you.
I’m not saying you’re a terrible person, but the bad behavior you’re talking about sounds like you have a friend who is depressed and in trouble and the part that you’re focusing on is how it affects you, without considering how she feels. Sometimes you think you can handle a social situation and it turns out you just can’t. Did she behave badly? Sure, and you have every right to be angry about that, but if this behavior from her is coming from her depression over her mom’s illness, is it worth losing her over this rough patch? Or is this more than just a rough patch? Does she generally just disregard other people, is she generally selfish, does she always have to have everything be about her?
If she’s a toxic friend, you can be nice to her but stay distant, because a toxic friend will only hurt you. If she’s not, though, if this is just one rough patch in her life and the worst thing that she’s done is walk out on your bachelorette party when you knew that she might be having trouble with wedding-related things, I’d reconsider.
Post # 7
Her problems are not your responsibility. Yes, it’s terrible that her mother is dying, but that has nothing to do with you. And yes, it’s awful that she is facing this alone, but that’s what happens when you shit all over your friends. If I were you, I’d sent a sympathetic response to her text (so sorry to hear this. I’ll be praying for you /keeping you in my thoughts.) and not engage her anymore than that. There’s no reason to be mean to her, but you don’t need to pour your heart into supporting her either.
Post # 8
You should support her.
Someone who you are (or even were) very close with has reached out to you in a very difficult time. I read all your posts, and while she hasn’t necessarily been an amazing friend to you, she also hasn’t done anything to you, other than not displaying enthousiasm about your wedding, and given her situiation I don’t blame her.
Be a friend. Text her back, be there for phone calls, and even stop by with dinner for her. It doens’t take much from you to do that, and it would mean the world to her.
Post # 10
Ditt0 @HappierKate: and @sara_tiara: I really think you need to be the bigger person and support her. True, she hasn’t been the greatest friend, but it also doesn’t sound like she’s done anything super horrible and worth losing a friendship over. And I’d bet money that her mother dying has something to do with the bad behavior she has be displaying lately . People react and grieve in very different ways. Give her the benefit of the doubt.
Post # 11
i just read the 2 other posts you put about about your friend and honestly i think youre being a little unfair to her. cut the girl some slack. maybe she wasnt happy to be at your bachelorette party since she recently ended her own relationship that was serious enough she thought they would be married soon. maybe she was embarrassed to be at your bach party knowing she had made that announcement and it led to nothing… i am not saying it was “cool” of her to behave that way, but it happened and its possibly justifiable…
it also sounds like while she has lost her relationship, she has been also been coping with her mother’s illness, so she is facing a very uncertain future while also most likely having to be an actual adult with a job/responsibilities. a lot of people cope by pulling away from the people closest to them. often because they dont want to burden their friends (which in this case it sounds like she would have been right to be worried about)
i really think that you should try a little bit harder to be a friend to this girl, since in your first complaint thread you detailed a 15 year friendship and expressed wanting to keep her in your life. give her a pass on the bachelorette behavior and be there for her.
Post # 13
@UpstateCait: It’s not that I don’t give a f*%#. I just don’t feel up to playing the BFF role in this situation.
I think everybody who posted that I need to suck it up and that she hasn’t done anything completely God Awful have valid points. There’s a lot of history with this friend. Some of it is good and made me want to salvage the friendship. Some of it is terrible and makes me wish that I didn’t have to deal with her. Most people can relate to loving a friend, but it’s the bad stuff that can’t be explained in a post or two. The posts just talk about the latest drama.
Maybe there’s a better way to word what I’m trying to ask. Is there a way to be supportive without getting sucked in? Like I said, I genuinely feel bad about her mom and the current situation. But, like @Megz06 said, there’s always something and I don’t want to be the go-to girl anymore.
Post # 14
I have read your past boards. Clearly this friend has had so many unfortunate things going on in her life and was finding it hard to just put on a smile and be happy for you when she is so clearly unhappy. I think that her desire to get drunk and pick up men is her way of dealing with everything going on in her life. I feel that based on your past posts you haven’t given people the full story at any point and are only focusing on how you feel. I’m inclined to think you are the selfish one in this friendship. This girl has been obviously going through some tough things and needs her friends to help her through them. She broke up with someone that she expected to marry shortly before you got engaged, she has a terminally ill parent, no wonder she wasn’t all that interested in your bachelorette party! Maybe instead of focusing on talking about your wedding you ask how your friends is handling things.
Post # 15
I don’t know if this is good advice or not because you’re in a tricky position. Have you considered telling her, “Why don’t you help me with wedding stuff and while we work, we can talk?” That kind of forces the conversation and activity to stay on you a tiny bit at least, and will give you a way to keep grounded. She’ll be helping you get things done that need to get done, and in exchange you’ll be helping her through a rough time and giving her a much-needed shoulder.
Or maybe you can round up mutual friends for the same thing, or round up mutual friends for a night of just plain hanging out and blowing off steam and giving her an outlet. If a bunch of people are helping her, she won’t need to lean on you as much. If you don’t want it to be that you’re her only friend, try to get her interested in being friends with other people as well! Encourage her to do things that will bring her closer with other people (go after a hobby, take a class, find a support group, etc.). On that note, maybe offer to go with her to a support group meeting and she’ll connect with other people who are going through the same things that she is and she’ll be likely to form bonds with them.
I know some of that borders on getting sucked in, but if she only has you to rely on, and you want to help at least a little bit, the only way to keep from being her only shoulder to lean on is to help her find other shoulders.