Outgrowing friendships - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 5 Old 02-20-2009, 07:17 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I have a gf I've known for years. We met while both working as massage therapists at a convention. We had so much in common then. Over the years we both traveled in separate directions. Now we're night and day.

She has a very controlling relationship with her kids, which breaks my heart. She demeans and shames and using physical punishments and some things that seem more like torture (a 4 year old made to sit in a chair position without a chair for 5 minutes). She's condescending to me as an adult sometimes too. She's very rude about her religious and personal beliefs is they differ from someone else's. I get the feeling that she looks down on me but keeps me around in hopes of my seeing the (her) light.

I have been trying to let her fade from my life. I won't have her over anymore and I try to keep my DS away from her because seeing their kids being treated so cruelly would really upset him. I try to ignore her phonecalls and emails.

But it seems like everything I try is useless. We run into each other shopping and I get pulled into helping her shop by keeping track of her kids. Or something comes up that requires I call her or answer her calls. It's mostly sympathy for her kids that I keep getting pulled back into the "friendship" - they cling all over me when I'm around and they love my son.

I'm really not sure how to handle it. Part of me wants to be honest and straightforward and end the friendship. Part of me feels like I should stick around for her kids sake. Sometimes I wonder if the reason I can't seem to get away is because there is some "Greater Purpose" to be served here. Either for her or her kids.

I just don't know what to do. Especially when my thoughts or ideas fall on deaf or incredulous or unweilding ears.
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#2 of 5 Old 02-21-2009, 01:56 AM
 
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Maybe you can offend her in some small but crucial way? Then, she would break up with you.

Or contemplate moving.

I've only ditched a friend or two in my time. Generally they get the idea when you are always "too busy" to see them.

Shop someplace different for awhile. Vary your routine. Maybe then you won't keep bumping into her.
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#3 of 5 Old 03-01-2009, 04:03 PM
 
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Break-ups are a bummer. My husband's supposed BFF broke up with him rather explosively shortly after my last son was born. In retrospect we should have seen it coming. We offended him unknowingly but apparently in a crucial way because he took his stuff and has never spoken to us since. It has been a blessing because we didn't realize how hanging on to a toxic friendship can be such a burden.
So I think it might be a good idea for you either to stop hinting and be blunt with this woman, or as philomom suggests, try to offend her in a way that she'll break-up with you. You'll probably be glad that you did so.
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#4 of 5 Old 03-02-2009, 02:43 AM
 
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Shop somewhere else, and disconnect yourself from the source of where those calls that relate to her are coming from.

Maybe I'm a softie, but I like to give people the benefit of the doubt and not burn bridges unless there's obvious abuse going on. I would just make it a point to avoid running into her and having a reason to call her. If she asks why you're distancing yourself, you can tell her bluntly at that point.

Perfectly natural for people to drift apart. After all, you're not the same person you were when you first met her several years ago, no?

Sign hanging in Albert Einstein's office at Princeton: Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted, counts.
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#5 of 5 Old 03-03-2009, 12:46 PM
 
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i suggest just telling her how it is.
you have grown apart, you do not respect her parenting and it breaks your heart, you dont want your children around her, and your relationship can only continue if she takes a look at herself and try to be a better version of herself.
if you love her and want to help her, you could offer your shoulder and support while she face and resolves her demons and issues.
if you feel this is not your battle and you need distance to take care of yourself, then just tell her.

perhaps that is what she needs. some truth. (if she wont listen, maybe you could write her a letter, perhaps ask for her advice, what does she think you should do, what does she want to get out of the friendship, and what does she have to offer?)

i believe you are the best judge of your situation, just wanted to share my thoughts incase you can use them.
in the end, what matters most, is the health of you and your family. do what you have to do
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