Post # 1
Wow that got really long… Sorry bees! And thank you for those who make it to the end 🙂
Okay bees I need some advice, words of wisdom and just some general help with this situation.
I don’t know what to do with my best friend. She makes a lot of bad decisions and has bad luck that wouldn’t seem so bad if it weren’t for her horrible decision making skills. She has full on admitted that she makes her decisions based on what will make her happy in the moment and never thinks about the future. She knows that is why her life is screwed up and has said she will change but still continues to make bad choices.
Without going into too much detail, she graduated from culinary arts school about 2 and a half years ago but has not had a job last longer than 6 months because she misses a lot of work because of personal issues. These issues include an abusive boyfriend she is always going back to and when she isn’t with him she quickly finds another man that she “loves” and moves in with him. She hasn’t had a permanent place to live in over 3 years, she goes between living with her mom, new boyfriends or when she’s with the abusive one, in her grandma’s backyard in a tent. She has a car but it’s in her sister’s name and their relationship is so screwed up it seems like at least once or twice a month the sister is threatening to call the cops and say my friend stole the car. When my friend does have a job she gets decent paying ones but won’t save any of it and puts all the money into her family or her boyfriends, who in turn do nothing for her and they all end up screwing her over eventually. She just won’t take care of herself. I could go on forever explaining the hole she has dug herself into. Like I said a lot of it is bad luck but if she would just put the effort into saving money and planning for her future while her life is having a good moment the bad ones wouldn’t be as bad.
She has been my best friend since grade school, we’ve never gotten to see each other a whole lot because she moves a lot but we have always been close. My problem is coming from the fact that I am just tired of trying to help her. I decided a long time ago that wouldn’t help her with money or living situations because any time someone does it completely ruins her relationship with them. But I am always there to help her research jobs, apartments, cars, giving her rides, etc. I really try to be there for her as much as I can but I like I said I am tired.
I hate to throw in the “different places in our lives” cards but it couldn’t be more true in our relationship. Her life is a mess and here I am about to get married, start my dream jobs (teacher and coach), and begin getting ready for kids to come in a few years. I just feel like I can’t talk to her about anything because she has said she is jealous of my life but does nothing to change hers. So every few weeks I get message from her telling me that her life has changed drastically again, I just can’t keep up with her.
I really don’t want to let the relationship go or give up on her but I find myself wanting to see her and talk to her less and less because I don’t want to get sucked into her drama when I know she won’t fix it. What would you do bees? Hang in there with her because she is your best friend or distance yourself from her? And if you think I should keep my relationship with her alive, how do you think I should move forward with it? Keep helping her or distance myself from her drama? I love her so much; I’m just tired of it all…
Post # 2
Tough one. Over time, with a variety of experiences, I’ve decided there’s a fine line between helping and enabling. People who continually rely on others for help sometimes need to be stranded to let them learn for themselves. And also, is it a one-way friendship? Has she been there for you in difficult times? Or are you always the one there for her.
It’s exhausting being the helper / carer. To me, friendship is a two-way street. I’m not saying keep score of who does what for each other, but if you genuinely feel that you’re being drained by her neediness yet she doesn’t put anything back into recharging your friendship batteries, then it might be time to back off for a little while and see what happens. It doesn’t mean you don’t care.
So, there are two ways to go about this. You can have a heart-to-heart with her and explain why she is exhausting you, and that her inability to change has worn you down. This might be a wake-up call for her. Or you can delay answering texts, be unavailable or less available if rides are needed, let her do the researching herself. She might learn some skills that help her improve herself. I don’t know the right way to go about it as I don’t know you both, but I wish you luck.
Post # 3
alyssaC: If it were me, I’d allow the distance to grow. I am not ok with getting sucked in to people who fill their lives with drama and trouble due to their own bad choices. It’s just not what I want in my life.
I wouldn’t cut her off, I’d just allow the distance to creep in. She’ll probably always be part of your life, but I very much doubt that she’ll ever be a best friend who is able to give you as much in terms of support and companionship as you are able to offer her.
Post # 4
2ndTimeLucky: Thank you so much for that. Now that I think about it she hasn’t really helped me through anything because I’ve never gone to her with my problems, I’ve always helped myself or only relied on my family for help. She has always been there for someone to talk to but ever since she said she was jealous of my life and it hurt to hear about everything going so good for me it’s been harder for me to share with her. After she made that statement though I just wanted to shake her say, I made my life good and it was hard work but I earned the right to be happy! I think I might try to just give a the relationship a little distance. And I hate to bring this up but she is supposed to be a bridesmaid in the wedding and I’m little sad now that I don’t feel comfortable talking about my wedding because I’m not sure our friendship will make it to the wedding and if it does I’m not even sure if she’ll be able to come because her life is that volatile.
Post # 5
I would honestly let it go, as much as it hurts to lose a lifelong friend:/ some people can’t be helped and don’t want to change their destructive ways for one reason or another. she is likely not in a place to be a good friend to you, and friendships should be a two-way street. give her some distance and give her a chance to learn to take care of herself.
in terms of your wedding – talk to her and see if she still wants to be a BM/come to the wedding. give her an out, and don’t expect much from her during the wedding planning or wedding itself.
Post # 6
You don’t have to end the friendship (it sounds like she’s not a malicious person and she’s never intentionally wronged you) but you can and should stop enabling her. Most people have to figure out for themselves how to be a grown up, and for some people it just never seems to sink in. So stop holding her back. No more rides unless she can give you a good reason (job interview + broken down car = that’s a maybe…. Not an automatic yes…). No more job hunting for her. If she says she’s jealous of your life, instead of finding that hurtful, talk her through how you consciously decided to get there. Tell her about times you did the right thing instead of the easy/feels-good-now thing. Be her role model. Don’t make her decisions for her and don’t plan her next steps (that’s what you do when you find job openings for her). Show her how to do that on her own. And it’s perfectly okay to tell her why you’re stepping back a bit and what kind of emotional toll her constant chaos takes on you.
Post # 7
Horseradish: Thanks for the advie. Looking at it I do enable her, I’ll stop I just hope no one else picks up where I left off.
Post # 8
Woke up this morning to a text saying she tore a buch of ligaments and broke her leg yesterday. She asked me to drive her to a few appoitments this week. O and she has no issurance, ugh can anything go right in her life?