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Not sure how to handle this.....please help.
July 27, 2005
5:27 pm
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lollipop3
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I am having a dilema about a long time friend and I could really use some advice. I know what I want to do but I feel guilty and was hoping some of you , perhaps with a little more recovery time than me, could help me to handle this in a "diplomatic" way.

Anyway, here goes.....

I have been friends with this person for almost 30 years. For a very long time we were best friends. However, over the past 10 years or so, she has really gone down hill. She has a lot of psychological problems as well as drug problems. Our relationship has really deteriorated over the past few years because of this. I have tried to help her in every way that I know how but up until this point she has refused to help herself so I told her 2 years ago that I no longer wanted this "drama" in my life and if she got help for herself than I would support her in any way I could, but otherwise I was no longer interested in continuing our friendship.

I should also point out that this was a very one sided friendship. If she needs something, she calls....otherwise I don't hear from her.

Anyway, back to the point. She has recently started calling to tell me that she is getting help for herself and wants to rekindle our friendship. Then came the real reason for the call.....she is getting married and wants me to be her maid of honor. I hesitantly said yes because I was caught off guard and didn't know what else to say but I really don't want to do it!

I have barely heard from her in almost 2 years! I have moved on with my life and really don't want to have that type of friendship with her anymore. Not to mention the fact that it is an expense that I really cannot afford. I also believe that is the only reason she is asking me...because the old me would have jumped right in and taken care of everything....parties, bridal showers, etc. and she knows that.

My question is....how can I get out of this in the most tactful way? I don't want to hurt her feelings but I don't want to put mine aside either. She is a very fragile person with a lot of problems and has tried to commit suicide several times. I'm afraid that if I decline, that she will be very upset.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Lolli

July 27, 2005
6:46 pm
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vesper
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This is a hard situation, but I always say, go with your gut instinct. If you do this anyway, you will end up regretting it and be upset with yourself for allowing her to use you. You are not responsible for her actions. You can't let yourself be talked into this because of your fear that she might hurt herself. Call her back and tell her the truth--you really can't afford it now and wish her the best. She may try to talk you into it anyway. Hold your ground. Tell her you will attend the wedding but can't be her maid of honor. Thank her for the honor--maybe she doesn't have any close friends. Also let her know that you are glad she is getting help for herself.

July 27, 2005
6:57 pm
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lollipop3
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Thank you for your response vesper. I know that I will have to talk to her about this at some point....I just know it's not going to be easy.

You are right in that she doesn't have a lot of friends. I hate to even say this about her but she is a very selfish person. In her mind she believes she is very selfLESS and acts indignant if anyone tells her the opposite. But believe me, she is anything but selfless.

I've always felt very bad because she really did have a horrible home life as a child but at this point in my life I feel either get help or leave me alone. She needs constant reassurance and it sucks the life out of me. Things like...."do I look fat?".....when she literally weights 98 lbs at 5'5. And the latest....I only have a 5 people from my side coming to my wedding....."am going to look stupid?". I really do feel bad and I say "no, of course not" but what I really want to say is....what do you expect? You do nothing but use people when you need them and can't be bothered with them when you don't.

Over the years she has caused me so much trouble. I have be screwed over more times than I care to admit. I don't hear from her for months or even years at a time, then she comes in like a tornado...leaves all kinds of destruction and disappears again. I just don't want to deal with it anymore.

AND....did I mention that she was my maid of honor when I got married 18 years ago....and she backed out 2 days before the wedding!!!!!!

Why do I feel so guilty about this?????

Lolli

July 27, 2005
7:01 pm
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exoticflower
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YOu could just tell her that you don't think at this point in your own recovery it is good for you to take on so many festivity related responsabilities...parties, dinners, to say nothing of the stress...honestly, I would think that would be a part of the problem. YOu could also say that you don't feel comfortable doing it as you are not so close anymore and think it more apropriate a job for some of the wonderful friends in her life that you know love her so much..Or of course there's that you just can't afford it and don't want to let her down by doing a poor job with all of the other things going on...of course you should only say these things if they are true, but if all else fails you can certainly just tell her that it isn't something you feel comfortable doing right now but that you wish her all of the love and luck in the world. Take care of you, one way or another, Lolli. The last thing you need at this pivotol point (but aren't they all?) in your life is the pressure of resentment, which you will undoubtedly feel if you take on something you don't feel comfortable with. Not to say you should always look out for number one, but I know if this where me it would be DESTRUCTIVE to me, I would be a martyr, get resentful, forget to take responsability for my own emotions, a whole mess of things. Just my thoughts based on what I know to be true of ME, I think we have a bit in common in enough areas, I think there might be some truth in this for you too? (((lolli)))), whatevery you decide, I hope it is the best thing for you.

July 27, 2005
7:02 pm
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sdesigns
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Something similar had happened to me a long time ago. This woman had been my best friend and she went to a party w/ me where I was supposed to meet this new guy- it was all sort of arranged as he was interested in me too. Well, my BEST FRIEND (ha) goes and sleeps w/ this guy- she'a virgin up to this point. Of all the nerve. Several years later she asks me to be her maid of honor (marrying a different guy) and stupid me- I do it. Plus make her wedding dress and my dress. Stupid, stupid me.

I felt really used as we were not close anymore but I had to act like we were. It was all a charade.

My vote is- try your darndest to get out of it if that's what you really want to do. she may not like it, but YOU will be happier and thats impt. SD

July 27, 2005
7:07 pm
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sdesigns
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Just saw your other post- she backed out of being maid of honor for your wedding 2 days before? and now she's asking you to do something she couldn't manage? HMMM... I think the answer would be a huge NO, I won't be your maid of honor. Its pretty ballsy that she would even ask. Geez.

July 27, 2005
9:19 pm
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lollipop3
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Thank you Exotic and SD for responding.

I hear what you're both saying and I know what I have to do, it's just that I know it is going to be a big scene and I'm not sure that I'm up for it.

I never realized how truely manipulitive most of the people around me are until the past year or so since I began my recovery from alcohol and codependency. Now I find it so frustrating when someone asks me to do something and I say no, they just keep going and going and going to try to get me to change my mind. I'm so tired of having to explain and defend myself and my reasons for not wanting to do things.
For instance, I recently got call from another friend, who I haven't heard from in months, at 9:00 on a Sunday night to invite me over to her house for a pool party that same night. I was on my way home from a weekend away with my b/f and I had to wake up at 5am for a new job the next day so I said no thank you. For the next five minutes I had to say "no, thanks"....."no really....thank you but I haven't even gotten home yet".....no, thanks, I appreciate the invitation but I have to get up early".....and on and on until I finally got angry and snapped..."I SAID NO, THANK YOU". ....then I get the "geez, sorry I asked".

WTF.....I said no and that should be the end of it!

I"m sorry to go on and on....I'm just having a really hard time with this maid of honor thing and it is reminding me of ALL the people in my life that have taken advantage of my kindness and I'm just tired of it. There were so many toxic people in my life and I've basically narrowed my circle down to my b/f, my family and my one best girlfriend and that's it. Unfortunately, there are a few that I always think are gone but pop back up from time to time and for some reason I can't bring myself to say "please just leave me alone!!!

I know I will do what is right for me in the long run....I guess I just need to vent.

Thanks guys,

Lolli

July 27, 2005
9:48 pm
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exoticflower
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Lolli, give yourself credit! You have tohe right and power not to allow a big scene. You can say your piece kindly and honestly, gently, even, and if you are being guilted or bothered with it beyond that, you can say "I'm sorry, I won't do this". YOu are allowed to claim calm in your life and to protect it, and you can do it all without being rude. When she sees you being healthy, she may well realize that you don't lean on the sort of qualities she is interested in anymore. Healthy behavior repels unhealthy people and treatment:)!

July 28, 2005
1:20 pm
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kathygy
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Lolli, you have the complete right to take care of yourself and choose who you want to have in your life. You have the complete right to say 'no' to this woman. You don't owe her anything. I would just say I'm not comfortable being your maid of honor and I am not intertested in starting the friendship back up again. If she keeps trying to change your mind I would say I said no and I am getting off of the phone now, I wish you the best. Goodbye. There is no law that says you have to participate in a conversation when you have already stated your position, you don't even have to explain yourself. I see nothing to feel guilty about. The guilt is an old reaction from your childhood messages you recieved. You are not responsible for her feelings. She can choose how she wants to respond. If she chooses to feel hurt that is her problem not yours. Feel good about taking care of you.

love,
kathy

July 28, 2005
5:31 pm
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lollipop3
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Thank you for your response kathy. I was hoping to hear from you.

I agree with you 100% in everything you said, however it does seem to remove any human emotion.

I know this girl like a book. She will not just take no for an answer. She will cry and she will want an explination. If I give her an explination she will promise to change whatever behavior I find disagreeable if only I would just do this. Although I don't want to be involved in this wedding, I also don't want to be mean and what you suggest WILL require me to be mean.

I know that her feelings are not my responsiblilty but I don't want to have to be that forceful.

I just wish there was some way that I could get out of this where her feeling wouldn't get hurt.

Is going into hiding an option? LOL

Lolli

July 28, 2005
6:03 pm
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itavarap
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You could always lie or something. I know it's not ideal, and I don't prefer dishonesty ever, but in this case it might protect everyone who's concerned.

Tell her that your work has just come up with some trip that you HAVE to take during that particular week. You can't get out of it, because you need it so you can apply for some promotion, or something. Hell, even I'd understand that kind of excuse and I'm not even your friend.

Sometimes, it seems, a white lie is better than the truth if it spares someone's feelings. If you lie and then you feel real bad about it later, and your relationship with her ends up improving, you can always go confess to her later and apologize and tell her why you did it.

Honestly? I'd lie. I'm a nice person and usually very honest but I can't stand this kind of confrontation, especially with a person who's got any kind of drug/alcohol issues. Those people know exactly how to stomp on my buttons and cause me to cave in.

July 29, 2005
2:55 pm
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kathygy
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It dosen't sound like its possible to get out of this without her feelings being hurt. You sound like you are taking on too much. Its nice that care but you seem to care too much given your history with this woman. Maybe what I said did sound cold but I am familiar with this type of person who won't take no for an answer and they try and try and beg you to change your mind. You need to take a clear and take a firm stand with her so she will believe you when you say no. You don't have to participate in a dialog with her trying to change your mind. It only makes you feel worse. Even though it may seem cold to you I think you need to take care of your self first and not worry so much about her feelings that's why I suggest you keep it short and to the point. If you want to be loving about it you could say, I care about you and want you to be happy but I'm just not comfortable ...I'm sorry I'can't help you, you'll need to ask someone else.

July 29, 2005
5:35 pm
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lollipop3
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Kathy,

Thank you again for responding. You are so right when you say that I am taking on too much in this. I have to admit, I definately like your second suggestion better (the gentler approach.). I think I'm just afraid of a confrontation but I guess this will be a test of my boundry setting abilities and my resolve to have a healthier life.

Thank you so much for your input, it is always appreciated.

Love,
Lolli

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