How to support a long-time waiting friend?

posted 1 week ago in Waiting
Post # 2
16 posts

Honestly, sometimes you just have to be plain honest. Let her know that you don’t mean to hurt her or upset her by what you’re about to say, but as a friend you feel she deserves the truth of what you think. Be honest, but gentle. Let her know the reality. Bc honestly maybe they will do all those things in that timeline, but we all know that it’s likely to not happen. So let her know your perspective. 

“hey (friend), so I’ve been thinking. I want to be a good friend to you so I don’t want to just agree and listen. I feel like I should tell you what I see from my perspective bc that’s all I see, I’m not in your relationship to get the full idea. All I see is that you guys have been together for 6+years, and are within proper marriage age, and have been shut down when it comes to commitment conversations. I think that someone who really wants to get married would be jumping at the topic by this time.” Etc etc. You get the point lol basically just state that you are saying this bc you are a true friend and don’t like seeing her go through this year in and out. 

idk this prob doesn’t help but I’m hoping this works out for your friend!!

Post # 4
6643 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: September 2016

misstomorris :  I would tell her “It doesn’t sound like you are heading toward engagement, friend, and I’m concerned that you are allowing your boyfriend to appease you. I’m also concerned that 5 years from now, you will not be any closer to marriage and you will have wasted that much more time with him. You should not be willing to date someone for 11 years without a firm commitment, when you’ve been clear that you wanted marriage for 7 of them.”

The fact of the matter, though, is that you cannot force her to prioritize herself or see that, by taking herself off the market before he officially does it, she has given him all the choice power that she should have in her relationships. Even though she seems hurt by your engagement/marriage and those of the people around her, she isn’t hurt enough for it to light a fire under her ass (or for her to share the flames with her SO).

Post # 6
6643 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: September 2016

misstomorris : Oh damn. Your friend is such a fool, OP. Is this her first serious relationship or something? I would probably have an uncomfortable conversation with her because it sounds like her boyfriend is a child and nowhere near marriage material (especially given that she sounds like someone who sees her identity as being rooted in her desire to be a wife in a pretty traditional sense).

Based on all that you shared, I’d flat out tell her that I think she should move on if she wanted to be married. After that, it would be hard for me to listen to her talk about marriage as it relates to him. He has shown her, multiple times, that he doesn’t want to marry her and would make a terrible husband. I couldn’t sit and watch someone bang their head against a wall, so if she insists on doing it, I’d have to bow out and tell her, “I can’t genuinely support you on this matter so it’s probably best that you not talk to me about it because you aren’t going to hear what you want from me.”

Post # 8
1009 posts
Bumble bee

misstomorris :  Since your husband knows the boyfriend well, has he offered any insight into the situation?

Post # 10
227 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: November 2020

I have friends like this but unfotunately you can’t change her. People rarely change at 30yo…It can ruin your friendship. Some of my friends get emotional even if I comment on their short-term bf. We are all protective of our SOs and don’t like pity

Post # 11
3957 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: November 2016

misstomorris :  I have a very close friend in a similar situation, except she won’t even talk to her S.O. about a timeline.  She never asks for my opinion on their relationship or whether I think he’ll propose, so I have not straightforwardly told her that I don’t think it’s going to happen.  I agree with PP to be honest if she tries to discuss it with you.  I would honestly love it if my friend asked me, even though it would be a hard conversation.  I definitely sympathize; it is so hard to see your friend giving years to a crappy S.O.

Post # 12
791 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: December 1969

In my opinion trying to convince a friend to wake up and smell the roses with a guy who is never going to marry her will get you the same results as talking to a friend in an abusive relationship who isn’t ready to leave.

My marriage therapist once told my ex-husband and I that they’ve been taught to never suggest their client ‘wake up’ because those clients typically never come back.  I’ve found with friends, even having a gentle ‘come to Jesus’ conversation with them will damage the relationship.  Women’s lives often revolve around relationships be it with their SO, family, children, and anything not supportive of the relationship is a danger to that coveted relationship.

I’m not saying not to be a voice of reason to her, because everyone needs that one friend who won’t sugar coat things, but from her one reaction to you questioning her I think anything more direct may have you cut out and being the bad guy.

Post # 13
1476 posts
Bumble bee

misstomorris :  I feel your pain as I have a close friend in the same situation (although not as severe since my friends bf hasn’t cheated on her that I know of).

It’s hard to watch because you know she deserves better but you can’t make her do better.

TwilightRarity :  had great advice and I’d follow that. When it comes up again just be honest in a kind but firm way. You aren’t obligated to enable her. 

it’s hard not to say anything but my friend hasn’t asked my advice in awhile (since the last time he tried to break up with her and she convinced him to take a break instead which was against my advice) so I’m holding my tongue unless she asks me for advice again

Post # 14
2792 posts
Sugar bee

Tell her to post here for advice!! You know the bees will say what you feel like you can’t! And maybe hearing the same thing from multiple strangers will get it to sink in better?

Post # 15
8957 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper

misstomorris :  

l think you said earlier that the conversation about this is likely to happen again and you will speak your mind when it happens. I wonder if it would be better if you actually raised it yourself, perhaps specifically  in reference to this vague 5 year thing. Say upfront you do not believe she is happy with it, that you really fear she is being made to waste her fertile years. Say even that it is making you wretched to listen to her in this situation and that if anything is to change she must, really must be the one to instigate it. Maybe get her to outline what she really wants and even rehearse it with you how she will raise it. Get her to have him outline his plans precisely . Ask her what her reactions would be to his possiblly saying marriage and/ or children are not really in his plans. Encourage her to absolutely NOT accept some vague placatory response or gift. 

l do hope you can stiffen her backbone OP .

Eta having said all that, l think pp supernurse is , sadly, right….

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