Advice Column: Response to Concerned

Dear Hailey,

I had a best friend whose family is pretty close to my current spouse. Recently we tried to make amends and started to hang out recently. I am struggling with allowing her back into my life.

Here is the back story. I met my spouse through her as he was her brother’s best friend. Shortly after my boyfriend committed suicide, we started to talk periodically online at all hours. He eventually asked me out on a date. After our first date she found out and told her brother that he tried to have sex with her. It grew into this big thing and they stopped talking for a period of time. He did not try to have sex with her and was talking to her online a year before we started dating about her relationship issues trying to make her feel better.

It was really strange she brought this up a year later after finding out I was dating him. I felt like she may be trying to sabotage my relationship. This was not the first encounter as my previous boyfriend wrote her prior to him taking his own life. I do not blame her in any way for his death, but she never told me about it and I found out from the coroner.

Later on in my current relationship she made a status about something I confided in her privately about. My current spouse read it and deleted her off social media and she blamed me saying it was something I said. We eventually faded as I moved five hours away and every time I would see her I had a hard time connecting with her as she was always high. She blamed me for not asking her enough questions about her life and then said a lot of mean things to me so I stopped talking to her.

I moved back, started nursing school, and had two kids. We have tried rekindling things, but the first time she met my kids she was high. Again, I am having issues connecting with her as I feel like our lifestyles are very different.

I am not sure what her intentions are either as she has cancelled on me numerous times due to “quarantining” and acting like she is concerned of COVID yet she is on snapchat showing herself at events like parties or getting food in public when she claims she is quarantining after exposure. Also, she has had the tendency to come off very snooty yet she says mean things with a smile.

I confided in her regarding my sons speech issues as he is in speech therapy and is in a sped program through the state for potential autism and developmental delay. She has made comments like “you think your son doesn’t talk my ____ (name of dog) really doesn’t talk.” I can’t be her friend anymore, but I don’t know how to end things without it being awkward for my spouse as he has known their family a majority of his life. On top I found an old message between my current spouse and her where she told him I would have sex with him for drugs (which I would never do). I have no clue why she would say this as he doesn’t use drugs and she was supposed to be my best friend at the time. How do I have boundaries where she is not around me and it’s not awkward for my spouse?

Concerned

Dear Concerned,

I applaud you in recognizing her toxic behaviors. The betrayal of confidence, meeting your children while under the influence, the false rumors she spread, the dishonesty, the inconsistency, and the unkind and abusive comments, are all more than good enough reasons to put up firm boundaries and maybe even to end a friendship. I am assuming there are more concerns that you didn’t mention in your letter as well.

I guarantee that you will have the support of your spouse in whatever you choose to do. After all, he’s been the subject of her false and hurtful rumors in the past. He is more than aware of her toxic behaviors. If you haven’t already, speak to your spouse about your concerns. From what you have stated, he is incredibly supportive and is aware of her unacceptable behaviors.

You need to establish some boundaries. Decide together what that will look like. A few suggestions are: no coming to your home under the influence, and asking her to leave if she makes any inappropriate or hurtful comments. I know that there is another layer of difficulty because of the family connection, but do not rule out completely cutting her out of your life if things don’t improve and she doesn’t respect your boundaries.

From what you have explained about your friend, you will likely be met with some resistance if you decide to cut down on contact or eliminate in person contact. If she makes any threats or does anything at all that makes you feel concerned for your safety, file a police report and get a restraining order. I sincerely hope it does not come to that in the future but I do want you to do all you can to ensure your safety. Listen to your gut!

Remember why you are making this change. You want to protect your family, yourself, and your mental health. You aren’t doing this to be needlessly cruel, you are doing this out of necessity.

I wish you luck,

Hailey

Posted in Q&A

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