Advice for taking space from a friendship?

posted 2 weeks ago in The Lounge
Post # 2
Member
1629 posts
Bumble bee

For some reason my post isn’t going through, so apologies if this shows up more than once!

isoldeabandoned :  Holy shit.

Bee, your friend is mentally unbalanced, or perhaps she’s obsessed with you, she may even be in love with you. It doesn’t matter. What matters is she has completely gone off the rails with what’s appropriate, you feel violated, and you do not want to continue this friendship.

Send her an email telling her that while you care about her and want the best for her, you feel very concerned about her expectations for your friendship which seem very unhealthy. Even though it’s hard, tell her EXACTLY what she did that was so problematic. Tell her that you felt uncomfortable, manipulated, even violated. At this point it’s up to you to state what you want. If you want to continue the friendship but with boundaries, tell her explicitly what those boundaries are. If you want to take a break but will reconnect with her in a couple months, tell her exactly when you will reconnect with her and block everything so she cannot contact you afterwards. If you want to end the friendship totally (my preference) tell her that you wish her the best in life but you need to move on from the friendship for your own emotional health. Send it, then block her on everything. 

This is a FRIEND. Not your fiance. Not your family. Not your boss. She takes whatever emotional space you care to allow her, and there is no mandate specifying that you need to do xyz in order to end a friendship. You have been MORE than kind, more than understanding, more than empathetic. You can let go if you want to. 

Post # 3
Member
95 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: May 2019

Eesh!

Im exhausted just reading this. 

The reality is your friend is more invested in this friendship than you are. Insert a joke about her planning to murder you or something here. 

Do you want to quit altogether or just get space? I am curious whether her good qualities still exist or if her obsession has wiped them all out? 

I’d be freaked out if a romantic partner wanted to be like this with me, let alone a friend. If my husband said something about how can we deepen our relationship over our whole life if I can’t plan for March….I’d die laughing.

i think you need to tell her that her anxiety and clinging is hurting your friendship and your expectation of how this friendship will work is very different from hers. Explain to her that if she can’t share you and find a way to be around your other family, friends and husband she will be choosing to spend less time with you. She was extremely rude to your family and your fiancée and I’d have a real problem with a friend who can’t handle being around anyone I’m close to at all.

Let her know what the maximum access she can have truly is. Also I’d lay out how much more time she’s currently getting as compared to like your sister or husband or whoever. 

This is not normal and you aren’t a bad friend if you limit it. You’ve only known each other 2 years! I see my very best friends of over decades maybe 1x a month on average. I don’t go on globe trotting adventures with them often and we’ve never had long conversations about how we rank in importance to each other. It kind of feels like your friend has movie expectations of what friendship should be.

And if she doesn’t like it, oh well. I’m having a hard time figuring out what she is giving back to you in exchange for everything she takes. 

Good luck! 

Post # 4
Member
1112 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2019

Woah your friend is OBSESSED with you!

Post # 5
Member
1369 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: February 2017 - Seattle, WA

This makes me soooo uncomfortable!!!  OMG!!!!!!  If I were in your shoes I’d cut ties…quickly.

Post # 6
Member
342 posts
Helper bee

isoldeabandoned :  Okay, there is a lot to unpack here. Your friend obviously has a different idea of what your friendship was or is supposed to be. Although you do not have a romantic or sexual relationship with this friend she will only ever be happy in the friendship if you have some form of exclusivity to her. She has dreamed up this whole fantasy life where you two travel and maintain this long-distance relationship while never having other personal commitments.

In short, she doesn’t want you to have other relationships. This is extremely unhealthy. Requiring scheduled skype/phone calls that last hours is obsessive. Crying because you have other people in your life and are not as committed to her fantasy friendship is not normal.

I would not limit their friendship. I would end it. She is unbalanced and I would have serious safety concerns for myself and others around me. Especially if you have a child.

 

Post # 7
Member
8966 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper

isoldeabandoned :  “Does anyone have any experience like this” — No, because this is not normal. You should not feel bad for being uncomfortable with this. Any normal emotionally healthy person would be uncomfortable with this. 

Me personally, this would be too much and I would “break up with” this friend for good. I would say something like “I’m sorry I can’t give you what you needs from this friendship. Rather than have us both end up hurt and frustrated, I am backing away to give you the space you need to find someone who can be the friend you need.” 

If you want to give her a chance, I suppose you could just be very blunt about how much time you are willing to commit. Honestly though, I don’t think this will work. It will probably just delay the inevitable meltdown that she’s sure to have at some point.

Post # 8
Member
205 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: April 2018

This is so far outside of what a normal, healthy friendship is, I have a hard time wrapping my mind around your situation. Unfortunately, I’m not convinced this is a relationship you can just step back from – it sounds like you will need to drop her completely. She’s a terrible friend anyways. If everything you told us accurately reflects your interaction with her, she is in no way worried about your needs or your life. 

Post # 9
Member
125 posts
Blushing bee

Honestly, I’m a little scared for you. 

She sounds obsessed with you and mentally unstable. None of this is normal.

I’d move on from this friendship entirely. 

Post # 10
Member
4619 posts
Honey bee

Wow. It’s like your friend is in love with you – the bad, obsessive kind of love. I’d be honest with her and say that it’s all too much, and you both need a break. She really sounds off kilter at the moment, and I would also recommend she see a mental health professional.

Post # 11
Member
2028 posts
Buzzing bee

What everyone else said. This is so abnormal it sounds made up! (I know it isn’t)  I would get this very unbalanced and obsessed person out of your life.  Don’t feel guilty or obligated – she is really scary. Like Fatal Attraction scary.

Post # 12
Member
87 posts
Worker bee

Wow,  she sounds exhausting!

I think you should be honest with her- explain that the need for your exclusive time and “commitments ” is overbearing and way more than a normal friendship. It is entirely reasonable that you will make other friends, whether you get married and or have children or not! Tell her you need to have a break from the friendship and she should use that time to readjust her expectations of the friendship. Only resume contact if and when you feel less creeped out! 

I would definitely address her behaviour, don’t just ghost her. I think to be cruel is to be kind. If you don’t want her in your life anymore (no one would blame you!) Give her specifics so that she is at least aware this is how she’s coming across. If she’s in any way open to self reflection,  that may bve helpful for her

Post # 13
Member
342 posts
Helper bee

One more thing. If you end this friendship be very direct about ending it. If she takes it very badly and threatens to harm herself don’t hesitate to call emergency services. She sounds super unbalanced so be prepared for anything. If she shows up at your house unannounced after you end it, don’t open the door for her and tell her to leave or else you’re calling the police. If she doesn’t leave, actually call the police. You need to be very careful here. This sounds like it can escalate into some stalker-level shit. 

Post # 14
Member
590 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2018

Honestly, Bee, I don’t think a “break” is the right thing — I think you need a full break UP. She clearly has emotional problems, as it is NOT normal for adults to act this way. I remember being connected at the hip with friends in middle and high school, but after we started dating and had romantic relationships, that stopped for all of us. She’s, like, still in that middle school phase, which suggests emotional immaturity at the very least. Weird. I wouldn’t keep this person in my life if it were me. 

Post # 15
Member
981 posts
Busy bee

isoldeabandoned :  Your friend’s obsession with you is obviously unhealthy. She reminds me of a few ex boyfriends who couldn’t move on, months after we broke up, and I started dating someone new. Could it be possible she’s in love with you? Her questions about your relationship with your fiancé struck be as odd, and familiar. 

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