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How to help?

Posted by on Jan. 22, 2013 at 10:24 PM
  • 11 Replies

My friend's fiance recently broke up with her, he seems to be playing with her feelings.  He goes from definitely not wanting to make things work, to agreeing to see a marriage counselor, to threatening to kick her out if they can't come to an agreement on custody.

Granted, I only know the situation from her point of view, and she tends to be the "poor me" type, but it seems like he has found someone else, but wants to keep on good terms with her so that he can get back with her later.

HER stance goes from definitely thinking it will work out, to needing to get her shit together to prepare to be split up.  But she hasn't done one damn thing to prepare.

I keep telling her she needs to speak to a lawyer to find out what rights she has, she needs to get temporary assistance, look at apartments, and find a job!  She agrees but never does anything.  I want her relationship to work out, but it doesn't seem realistic.  I'm the only friend she has, so what I say to her is really important, and I'm losing my drive to help since she won't do anything I suggest.  I think she just wants me to tell her it will all work out. I don't want to push her away so she feels like she has no one to confide in...

My question is: Should I just tell her what she wants to hear and let her vent to me, or should I push harder for her to do what she needs to, even though she's not listening?

by on Jan. 22, 2013 at 10:24 PM
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by Gold Member on Jan. 23, 2013 at 11:47 AM
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 You can't make her take the action she needs to take because she's still in denial and holding onto the hope that he'll change his mind. All you can really do is be there for her, listen to her, and support her.

by on Jan. 23, 2013 at 11:47 PM
I think you have done great. Just be there for her. You can give her advice but only God knows if she will listen. Good luck to you both.
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by on Jan. 24, 2013 at 1:10 PM

Some people don't want to fix their lives...they only want to be the poor friend/relative who doesn't get any breaks. You've told her what you think, you've listened to her complain, you've tried to be a good and supportive SHE has to do something. You can't fix it for her. She's the one who has to accept that it's over and get her shit together as you put it. She's the one who has to find a way to support herself and her child(ren). She's living in denial if she thinks he's going to suddenly have a light bulb moment and make things good again with her. But, as I said...some people just need to be victims. Next time she starts venting, say to her "You know I love you and I would do anything in my power to help you get an apartment or a job and get your life back on track but you don't seem to want that. I've told you what I think and it seems you don't agree so why should we keep going over this again and again? I'm not going to change my mind on this subject and it seems that you aren't either so let's talk about something else." She'll probably get angry with you and maybe even stop speaking to you for a while. But she needs to hear it and maybe it will be what she needs to stop playing the martyr and get a life. I hope so...good friends are hard to find. Hope that helps! ♥Hugs♥ 

by Platinum Member on Jan. 24, 2013 at 1:21 PM

 Just listen. Tell her you're her friend and want to be supportive, but if she wants advice, to just ask. When she's ready, give her the advice, then say no more. It will be up to her whether she takes it or not.

by on Jan. 24, 2013 at 1:29 PM
You can't want it MORE than your friend. However with that being said here is what I consider doing. The next time we spoke or had a visit I would share with her the options for the day.
1. Today we are going to seek legal counsel
2. Today we will go to office to apply for assistance.
3. Today we will begin to create a log of jobs you will apply to.
4. Today you will begin to create a situation that is better for you and your child.
5. Today you will focus on loving yourself and recognizing your self worth.

She would be able to pick any 2 of the 5 listed options and if she declined to do so I would share with her how you appreciate the friendship but until she makes a change you will need to be a friend from a distance. Tough love hurts but it works! Be strong and I hope all goes well...
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by Bronze Member on Jan. 24, 2013 at 3:18 PM

Her actions speak louder than words.  She wants you to listen, nothing else.

Now that you know this, you have to decide how available you are to listen to her spin her wheels....

It is funny...I saw "When Harry Met Sally" a few weeks ago and the Carrie Fisher character spends a good portion of the early movie (about a 10 year time span) saying "I don't think he is ever going to leave her (his wife)" and ever other one of the friends saying "of course he is never going to leave her".  It isn't until SHE is ready to move on that she takes action and finds her Mr. Right.

You friend isn't going to listen to you until she is ready to listen to you and you can't change that.

by Ruby Member on Jan. 24, 2013 at 3:19 PM
She needs to get some self esteem, dump him and get a job.
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by on Jan. 24, 2013 at 4:11 PM

 Just listen and hopefully she will be ready to hear your advice in our time.

by on Jan. 25, 2013 at 9:19 PM

I think the problems run a lot deeper for this woman than the fact that you are the only friend she has...

You can't 'make' her do anything, and telling her what to do kind of says 'I think you're an idiot for not figuring this obvious answer out.'

Being stuck in the middle is hard, but it's not half as hard as it will be if you pick the wrong side --either 'he's an asshole, dump him' or 'stay' --because if she picks the other choice, you have your relationship to reassemble, too...

Hand her the book Divorcebusting and let her figure it out herself. See if you can spend some time talking with her about other areas of her life.

by on Jan. 26, 2013 at 4:35 AM

Maybe you should just let her vent to you and listen and you can repeat what she says so she knows you hear her.  Maybe you can say, what do you intend to do?  Or what are you going to do about it?

You are right, she needs to see an attorney to know her rights.  However, she lives there so it is like she is a tenant in a way and he can't just kick her out.  He can tell her to leave and if she does, then he has no hassle.  If she says, no.  Then he is going to have to go to court to put her out. If he lays a hand on her to force her out she can file assault charges.  He could call the police but she can tell them she lives here and she has his baby, too.  She needs to have an agreement on child care and custody.  It is always better for a woman to be married before she has kids.  They then get in trouble and want someone to make it go away and you can't.  Only she can. She put herself in this position and she has to get herself out.  Maybe she just wants to bitch, but she is not taking your advice.  Whatever she does, you can't make her relationship work, only she has any control over that.  Let her vent to you.  If she asks what to do, tell her you already suggested what she should do and that is to see an attorney and find out what her rights are.  She can collect child support money but she better not leave the child with him now as he could lock her out.  She might have to go to court to get back in or get police to get her things.  I don't know if she is on the lease or if he owns the place they live.  If she is on the lease, then both are equally responsible for the lease and before she leaves, she needs to inform the landlord that she is moving out and that the fiance needs to be contacted about renewing the lease or keeping it going.  She is going to have to find her a place to go and to get a job and find someone to help with the child or to find a daycare.  You have told her all that.  Now it is up to her but you can listen and just repeat the things back to her that she says if nothing else.  Good luck.

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