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Help - Is She A Well-Meaning Friend Or Is She Trying To Hurt Me?

Posted by on Jun. 27, 2012 at 6:28 PM
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First of all, let me say I've known this woman (from the church my ex still attends) for over a decade. She says I'm one of the few people in this world she trusts to watch her kids. And when my furnace broke after my ex-husband and I separated and I was barely scraping by, it was she and her husband who brought groceries and a space heater.

But here's the thing. I don't ask her for advice, but she offers it freely and asks extremely personal, often hurtful questions. She told me today I should have bought a house next to hers so she could watch Hannah and I could get a "REAL" job instead of working from home for such a small amount. She also told me a judge wouldn't take Han from me and give full custody to her dad over work responsibilities, but if I can't take care of her physical needs I'll lose her. I AM working; I have 2 more years of alimony, giving me time to find a better paying job, I receive child support, I have savings, and I am looking for better employment, but I can't leave a 9 yr old alone to get herself ready for school, which is why I took the work from home job.  I also worked as a substitute teacher when my oldest daughter lived with me and she could help get her sister ready for school, but I don't have that option anymore.  She also criticizes my choice to buy an older home rather than a brand new one like she did. I like the charm of an older house; I like my neighborhood, I bought a house that had updated plumbing and electrical. I just like THIS house.  The ceiling in her brand new house caved in this week for the third time because of water seepage. I never said a thing. She asks me about my power bill, why I bought a house without a full-time job (to give my child stability and to get her into one of the top 10 public schools in the state - I did my homework!). She homeschools and bad-mouths public school at every opportunity. She asked me if I feel like a "liar" because my ex-husband is dating a woman who's highly respected in the church, making me look like I was crazy for leaving him. She sends me job links via email for which I have ZERO qualifications. I'm a teacher, not an accountant! Her meddling may very lead to the demise of our friendship. If I asked her for advice it would be one thing. It just feels like she's judging my choices, and I had enough judgment and criticism in my marriage to last me a lifetime. Yet I'm a mouse. I rarely ever tell people off. It's just not my style. Ask my kids. And BTW - she is 20 years younger than I am!!!

by on Jun. 27, 2012 at 6:28 PM
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Replies (1-10):
justsusan
by on Jun. 27, 2012 at 6:42 PM
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She might be well meaning-but that does not make her any less toxic!  She might be bossy and intrusive because she thinks subconsciously that either that is how you show concern for people (does her mom treat her that way?) or that it makes her feel "equal" to you because you are more mature than she is.

It sounds like God might have put her in your life to teach you how to set appropriate boundaries!!!  NEVER defend your decisions to her.  If she asks you an out of line question, try one of these techniques-1. say, thanks for sharing. 2. cock your head curiously and say, "why would you ask me that?" 3. say, "I know you care about me and want what is best for me.  But I am an intelligent adult and I dont need your help making decisions.  If I do, trust me, you will be the first person I ask!  You have enough on your plate, dont worry about me!  Now, would you like some tea?"  

You dont have to tell her off!  Just erect some appropriate fences to give her the feedback she needs on how inappropriate her behavior is!!!!

Also, find a group or church where you can make some new, healthy friends!!!!!!

wishbearmom
by Ruby sister on Jun. 27, 2012 at 6:45 PM
1 mom liked this

Her husband has said to her, "I can't believe you asked her that!" Maybe I should do the same - in a semi-jovial tone.

Quoting justsusan:

She might be well meaning-but that does not make her any less toxic!  She might be bossy and intrusive because she thinks subconsciously that either that is how you show concern for people (does her mom treat her that way?) or that it makes her feel "equal" to you because you are more mature than she is.

It sounds like God might have put her in your life to teach you how to set appropriate boundaries!!!  NEVER defend your decisions to her.  If she asks you an out of line question, try one of these techniques-1. say, thanks for sharing. 2. cock your head curiously and say, "why would you ask me that?" 3. say, "I know you care about me and want what is best for me.  But I am an intelligent adult and I dont need your help making decisions.  If I do, trust me, you will be the first person I ask!  You have enough on your plate, dont worry about me!  Now, would you like some tea?"  

You dont have to tell her off!  Just erect some appropriate fences to give her the feedback she needs on how inappropriate her behavior is!!!!

Also, find a group or church where you can make some new, healthy friends!!!!!!


wishbearmom
by Ruby sister on Jun. 27, 2012 at 6:55 PM

I do have a new church. I need to get more involved.

Quoting justsusan:

She might be well meaning-but that does not make her any less toxic!  She might be bossy and intrusive because she thinks subconsciously that either that is how you show concern for people (does her mom treat her that way?) or that it makes her feel "equal" to you because you are more mature than she is.

It sounds like God might have put her in your life to teach you how to set appropriate boundaries!!!  NEVER defend your decisions to her.  If she asks you an out of line question, try one of these techniques-1. say, thanks for sharing. 2. cock your head curiously and say, "why would you ask me that?" 3. say, "I know you care about me and want what is best for me.  But I am an intelligent adult and I dont need your help making decisions.  If I do, trust me, you will be the first person I ask!  You have enough on your plate, dont worry about me!  Now, would you like some tea?"  

You dont have to tell her off!  Just erect some appropriate fences to give her the feedback she needs on how inappropriate her behavior is!!!!

Also, find a group or church where you can make some new, healthy friends!!!!!!


manilowgal
by on Jun. 27, 2012 at 6:59 PM
1 mom liked this
Susan just gave you the best advise I could think of! I think this lady probably means well...just set your boundries! BTW that's the name of a book that may be helpful to you.
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RubyQ
by Gold sister on Jun. 27, 2012 at 8:11 PM
3 moms liked this

 I think you may have the term 'friend' confused with acquaintaince. Even a long term acquaintance. In reading your post it is noticeable that she has undermined your indepence at every turn or choice you have made: getting divorced, choosing home, caring for children, choosing their education, choosing your career path. Friends don't do that. People who are insecure about their own choices in life do this to others. Your success in any of these areas is a threat to her confidence in her own decisions. 

 Just because someone brought you much needed help 10 years ago, does not translate to your automatically owing emotional investmest in them or being a slave to loyalty out of thankfulness. In fact, some people help others for just this reason, because they don't feel you would be their friend for any other reason. In other words, it is another example of her insecurity. It is interesting that the one thing you mentioned about her saying something nice about you was something that was not personal about you at all, but was something useful to her: watching her children. 

 When people see others changing , and in a positive way, they often use the experience/person as a convenient stage-- for all their own fears about changing themselves to be brought under the spotlight. This is why it is so hard for people to break out of their molds when they are around those most familiar to them.

 I don't think she is well meaning, or a friend. 

roses9210
by Sister on Jun. 28, 2012 at 12:02 AM

All the replies are spot on!!!  She is not a friend.

Ziva65
by on Jun. 28, 2012 at 12:12 AM
1 mom liked this
great advice above! I particularly like Susan's answers, better than thine things I was thinking of ;)
dana63
by Momma of 40ish on Jun. 28, 2012 at 7:22 AM
2 moms liked this

 I don't think she is a friend because a friend would stand beside you and boost you not stand a head of you and drag you down at every corner. She should support each decisions you make and be happy that you are happy with your new home and your new life..

Hugs~~

VTHaven
by on Jun. 28, 2012 at 7:23 AM
1 mom liked this

 This is definitely not someone I'd call a "friend."

suzi960
by on Jun. 28, 2012 at 8:46 AM
1 mom liked this

well to me sue, she dosent sound like a friend...she shouldnt judge you at all... i say dump her butt....

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