My best friend’s dated this guy for a year – he’s her first relationship; she lost her virginity to him.
She’s changed - her speech, her look, and her personality!
I miss my friend of ten years. They both know I don’t like him for her. He feels I’m jealous, that I demand too much from our friendship.
They recently took a break because he “annoyed” her, but it only lasted two days. Yet she’s told me she sees no future with him and doesn’t get butterflies from him.
He’s forced her to give up her hobbies and doesn’t allow her to see her friends. I think she just likes having a boyfriend and to have that intimacy.
Should I just wait in the shadows till they break up, try and convince her to leave him, or leave her as a friend?
Annoyed and Confused
Back off. They both know where you stand; anything more pushes them closer together.
He does sound controlling, and you may be right that he’s wrong for her, but she has to conclude that herself.
Keep contact, listen, let her vent, and hear her own answers e.g. about why he’s “annoying.”
If he isolates her further, she needs your caring and contact even more, perhaps eventually even an “intervention” by calling on more friends or her parents for help.
With no warning, my younger sister stopped talking to me a year ago. She’s refused to tell anyone why. We hadn't argued beforehand.
Nor had I committed any unpardonable offence. I don't know what she told her husband and three teenage children but they all stopped communicating with me.
I’m single without children. My sister had always included me in her family life, and I’ve been a doting aunt. She and her husband even invited me to witness the birth of my nephew.
What makes this worse is that both our parents died within weeks of each other last winter. A month later, my sister cut me off from every other family member (except for a brother thousands of miles away).
This is the worst hurt I've ever experienced, unlike anything that's ever happened in our family. I’d believed we all loved each other.
I can't figure out what I could do to repair this break. Friends have told me to seek advice from her husband and/or kids, but that’s like asking them to be disloyal to my sister, which I refuse to do.
Desperate for a Solution
Grief and loss are the natural reasons to consider. Think back on the period of your parents’ passing… were you available to her/them, did you as daughters have differing responses and attitudes, were there divisions you haven’t recognized created during the funeral/burial period or by their wills?
Example, if your parents left three equal portions to their children, she may (I’m guessing here) feel that with three children, she should’ve been given a larger portion of their legacy.
If none of the above applies, then grief itself does sometimes twist people’s thinking… old hurts surface, long-ago secrets haunt.
Write her a personal note saying how much you miss her, love her, and want to repair any hurt or offence that’s occurred. Apologize for not being aware of whatever’s the cause of her distance, but say you dearly want to know and make amends.
It may take some time before she responds. And you may later consider asking her husband if he knows the source of her behavior.
FEEDBACK Regarding the bride whose “no-kids-invited” wedding excludes her step-sister, age 12 (Jan. 9):
Reader – “I'd like to know more about who this no-kids policy is meant to keep out, but regardless, the step-sister should be going, period!
“The bride’s father should insist and if not, they should both not attend.”
Ellie – A number of readers reacted strongly to this exclusion, suggesting either 1) the bride should be commanded to invite the girl, 2) or the bride’s father refuses to attend.
To me, these views represent the dig-in-your-heels approach, which often results in long-term family rifts and resentments.
The child’s mother even said she understood all the planning her stepdaughter’s put into her wedding. And the difficulty for her husband from this decision.
My concern was for the girl… to try to “normalize” the situation by saying that, in fact, some weddings are indeed, adults-only. It IS a bride’s choice, even when poorly motivated.
Tip of the day:
When a close friend is lost to a relationship, keep a watch for danger signs like isolation.