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Advice for a friend....LONG SORRY

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NakedFinger

Brilliant_Rock
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Hey ladies….ok since so many wonderful women on this site give thoughtful and insightful advice, I thought I would come to you for help with a friend, since she wont sign up for this site.


Ok…backstory: She is 29 years old and is going to be 30 in October. She dated her bf for a year or so in HS. They broke up, and got back together during college. They dated for 5 years consecutively. She wanted to get married, and made it very clear to him. They fought about it a lot, and finally she broke up with him because he wasn’t proposing. Well they were broken up for about 2-3 months, he kept calling her, and finally begged her to come back, saying he made a mistake and wanted to marry her and was ready to get married. So they got back together, and she moved into his house. Well….its been three years since, and he still hasnt proposed.


She is extremely unhappy, depressed, cries every night, but she says she loves him very much (has also alluded to the fact that she is older, wants to have kids, and doesnt want to "date" or start over again. So I think she is settling). He is completely insensitive to her feelings, dismisses her comments on marriage, they get in a fight every time she brings it up, etc. The house is in his name, and he pays the mortgage because she doesn’t make much. He constantly throws that in his face, calling it “his house”, has friends over all the time, leaves it a mess, etc. When she moved in she thought it was to get towards marriage, and keep a home together etc. But he sees it as his house, and she just stays there. Its so annoying.


Here is my dilemma……how much do you get involved in your friends relationships? And how do you give them advice to get out, not knowing if they ever will (meaning like if you bash the bf, and they stay together, then they resent you….etc etc). My problem is, I want to give her the advice I think she needs to hear, which is LLLLEEEEAAAVVVVEEEE, but sometimes I think she doesn’t want to take advice from me because she just thinks I am comparing my relationship to hers. Like my bf and I have been together since HS (no breakups), so I think she feels like “you’ve been waiting a long time too, who are you to talk?”. The big difference is though, I am 24 (not 30) so not feelings of time running out, biological clock ticking, etc, we BOTH decided to wait to get engaged since we were so young, we bought a house TOGETHER and it is OUR home, we act like a married couple, and my bf doesn’t act like a frat boy LOL. Plus (and I haven’t told her this yet because I want everyone to be surprised), but he has the ring. Plus I never LEFT and had my bf PROMISE he was ready to get married and not do it. So its hard for me to not see her situation as problematic, but at the same time, I don’t want to use my relationship as a gage for hers. I am just afraid if I say too much she will resent me if she stays with him, but whenever she complains about him or questions what she should do I just want to hit her and say “WAKE UP”! LOL


I don’t know, sorry for the long post. I guess I’m just looking to let it out and seek any tactful advice you think I should give her. Thanks!
 

NewEnglandLady

Ideal_Rock
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Jul 27, 2007
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6,299
Unfortunately there is really nothing you can do for her--she has to hit rock bottom on her own. I doubt she has any self-esteem left...she''s too drained to even stand up for herself. I''d probably focus on that--remind her that she can be a strong, smart woman in hopes it might help her find her backbone. It''s such a sad story and unfortunately too common. This is why no contact after leaving is so important. Too often the woman comes back after the man throws her a few crumbs. If a man is ready for marriage, the man will come with a ring and a date and nothing short of it.
 

purrfectpear

Ideal_Rock
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Mar 31, 2008
Messages
4,079
Well, feel free to show her this.

It is his house.

She is just staying there.

Nothing is going to change.

She''s not getting any younger.
 

LadyBlue

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Mar 14, 2009
Messages
1,616
You can not do anything if she is does not want to hear other opinions. It''s hard when someone says you should live this person that you love and you has been with for that long. The only thing I will suggest is for her to start doing projects in her own, spend time with family, learn new things, relaize that she is not alone, she doesn''t need him. Myabe she will realized that she can be happier with out him.
 

NakedFinger

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
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690
Thank you ladies for your responses.

I do understand (and actually tell many women with similar troubles on this site the same thing), that is so easy for everyone else to say "leave" because they arent the one in the relationship. But i just worry for her I guess.

Her job has relocated to Boston (from NYC). So she has until July to figure out whether she is going to move to Boston or get a new job. Her biggest deciding factor is her bf, because he cant go to Boston. So she is talking about staying here with him. Now I would hate to see her move obviously, but I would also hate to see her give up an opportunity or not do something she wants to do, for a relationship that isnt solid.
 

lliang_chi

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Mar 13, 2008
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3,740
Sorry, but there''s nothing you can do to help your friend. Since she is at a crossroads, can you maybe encourage that she foster her career, but I think that''s about as far as you can go. I''m sure it hurts you to see her in this spot, but really it''s her life and you can''t make her listen to you. Good luck.
 

LaraOnline

Ideal_Rock
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Feb 24, 2008
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3,365
Erk, girls that are in this position should be hired by the education department to give talks in sex education classes around the country.

This REAL ''family planning'' is an absolutely vital part of sex ed, which has been completely ignored in the interests of pandering to intellectual fashionable interpretations of gender politics.

If you were a guy and the weight of cultural power behind you, wouldn''t you sit on your hands, too? I would. This issue of dissatisfied, emotionally confused (even exploited) live-in girlfriends is a very important part of the cultural landscape that just ISN''T addressed in any adequate way - not by the media, not by popular culture, and certainly not by parents and friends.

Meanwhile, the girl watches her dreams of family and future disappear down a gurgler, as her values are compromised...and because the guy''s not encouraged to think of her in gender-specific terms in relation to sexual needs, he may not even be an out and out bad guy, depending on the situation...(is ignorance of the law a defence)??!


This stinks, and I will be doing everything in my power to help prevent my girl(s) from falling into this trap. Big question is... HOW??? As I said, this is an issue that is not culturally addressed (except here on PS, of course!!!)

My view is that biologically, women are PROGRAMMED to desire exclusivity and mutuality, because that enables us best reproductive success. It comes as a shock to a young woman to discover that sex is really about babies after all (well, it did to me
) but at the end of the day, even if you choose not to take up ''the offer'' of children by using technology, or because of physical inability, it is highly likely that emotionally, you are hard-wired to desire that kind of relationship (marriage) that best provides you with good outcomes for the biologically inevitable result of children.

Even if the guy''s a creep.

By choosing the guy, over and over, she is reinforcing the idea that they are ''wedded'' in spirit. She is symbolically risking pregnancy over and over again, making it hard for her to see how she decently can leave. She has already committed.

However, sooner or later she has to see the writing on the wall.

I had to leave a guy at age 29 nearly 30. It was effing awful. I don''t envy her.

But hearing about her job moving to another city really gives me a world of hope. (presumably she likes her job!?)

Contrary to all my fears, I didn''t drop off into saggy baggy land on my 30th birthday. If he''s hopeless, she needs to leave. NOW!

There is another aspect to this: a financial one.
It sounds like her guy is financially stable, and that her life might be more comfortable with him than without him..?
No doubt that aspect is also weighing heavily on her mind?

I wonder how she contributes to the current household''s finances... does she pay for the groceries, for example, so that he can pay the mortgage? In Australia there is some legal possibilities for long-term de facto partners who are forced to walk away from relationships without access to the assets they have been helping their partner collect over the years. Is there similar legal protection where you are? Is there a women''s interest group that would be able to provide information on that?
 

bee*

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
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Messages
12,170
Date: 4/20/2009 9:49:18 AM
Author: NewEnglandLady
Unfortunately there is really nothing you can do for her--she has to hit rock bottom on her own. I doubt she has any self-esteem left...she''s too drained to even stand up for herself. I''d probably focus on that--remind her that she can be a strong, smart woman in hopes it might help her find her backbone. It''s such a sad story and unfortunately too common. This is why no contact after leaving is so important. Too often the woman comes back after the man throws her a few crumbs. If a man is ready for marriage, the man will come with a ring and a date and nothing short of it.
ditto. I don''t think that there is anything to be there for her but just listen and try to build her up. Hopefully she''ll get the courage to leave him soon. I really feel for her in that position.
 

princesss

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Mar 18, 2007
Messages
8,035
Start magically loving the Red Sox, and start bringing up all the amazing things that can be done in Boston. Go on a girls weekend and have a blast. Go casually look at apartments. Because really, in an economy like this, she shouldn''t give up a solid job. She can move forward personally, and hopefully shed this BF.

Be really excited about this opportunity, and point out that solid relationships can survive temporary times apart, and that she can give it a year for the economy to get back on its feet and then start looking for a job in NYC again. And then cross your fingers and hope that she figures out that he''s no good for her.
 

LaraOnline

Ideal_Rock
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3,365
Date: 4/20/2009 11:33:40 AM
Author: princesss
Start magically loving the Red Sox, and start bringing up all the amazing things that can be done in Boston. Go on a girls weekend and have a blast. Go casually look at apartments. Because really, in an economy like this, she shouldn''t give up a solid job. She can move forward personally, and hopefully shed this BF.


Be really excited about this opportunity, and point out that solid relationships can survive temporary times apart, and that she can give it a year for the economy to get back on its feet and then start looking for a job in NYC again. And then cross your fingers and hope that she figures out that he''s no good for her.
That is such a great idea, just build her up and push her, make it fun, have a girls trip together, awesome idea!!!!
 

jcarlylew

Ideal_Rock
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Jun 27, 2008
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3,899
tell her that you care for her, and that you are there for her.
 

Pandora II

Ideal_Rock
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Aug 3, 2006
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9,613
I found myself at 32 living at home with my parents in the middle of no-where having moved back after living in Italy for 8 years, too ill to even think about getting a job and with no house, no boyfriend and no idea what to do with my life once I was better.

Then by sheer chance I met DH at a party - the only party I went to in over a year - and I''ve now been married nearly a year, have a mortgage and our first baby is due in 4 weeks... and am happier than I have ever been in my life and ever thought possible.

Life does not end at 30 and there are plenty of women out there who aren''t settling because they think they are ''over the hill''. Yes it''s scary to start over again - but also exciting - so she needs to get the ''age rut'' out of her mind.

The relationship is obviously going nowhere and she has obviously lost so much self-esteem and respect that she can''t see how little she is settling for. The job move sounds ideal but she''ll probably put the boyfriend first.

Why is he being such an a$$hole? I don''t get how men can like being in relationships that can hardly be fulfilling - total mystery to me, but plenty seem to do it...


How can you help?

My advice would be to convince her to see a therapist who could help her understand why she would do this to herself - and give her a copy of ''Women Who Love Too Much''.
 

CurlySue

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Apr 8, 2009
Messages
792
So... here''s my "I had a friend" story that I think applies to your situation. Take it for what it''s worth.

I had a friend who lived with her boyfriend for seven years, all the while waiting for her proposal. It was agony for her, and it was agony for all of her friends, too. It was all she talked about, and it was obvious that the situation was depressing her and stripping away her self-esteem. It was difficult to watch, and while I wanted to "be there" for her, it became hard to support her at times, because she seemed unwilling to listen despite asking for advice.

I never volunteered advice, but when she asked for it, I told her the truth (as I saw it). After about four years of giving her advice only to have her not listen to it, I finally told her that she had a few choices... she could either accept her situation as it is and not complain about it any more, or she could actually decide she''d had enough and leave him. If she accepted her situation, that was fine, but I didn''t want to spend all our time talking about it anymore. If she decided to leave, I would be there for her in any way she needed me.

Maybe that was insensitive and selfish of me, but it was just how I felt I needed to approach it.

She stayed with him, and it really wasn''t ever a huge topic of conversation for us anymore.

The good news... he FINALLY proposed to her, and they are getting married this fall. So I suppose it all worked out... now I just have to stop thinking about him as a big selfish numbskull.
 

Bdiddy26

Rough_Rock
Joined
Apr 16, 2009
Messages
46
I''m not sure If I''m the best person to help since I am in a similar position but I would tell you not to push her to make a decision b/c I think you''re right in assuming that she would resent you a little. Instead of pushing her to leave him maybe push her into activities that she can enjoy with out him. Take her out on the town, go join a gym, help her raise her self esteem. Going to boston to check it out is a great idea. And you said your bf has a ring and is going to ask you soon? Well i think that would definatly push her to make a decision. If you just get her out of the house more away from him and raise her self esteem a little it might just do wonders for her.
 

Italiahaircolor

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Dec 16, 2007
Messages
5,184
Sadly, I think your friend got sucked into a relationship that had a glass ceiling.

I think that it's probably time for her to pick herself up and get serious about what it is that she wants vs. what she can expect from this relationship. You can only "woo's me" for so long before you either loose the right to complain or get your butt in gear. Her time is now. Like PurrfectPear said, nothing is going to change...he has shown her very clearly who he is and what he wants...it's up to her to decide if those are things she can live with. If it were me, I'd be gone...and being mentally drained has nothing to do with it, I wouldn't give him permission to hold my future hostage a minute longer.

And on a side note...I think you need to let her find her way. Offer her as much support as you're comfortable giving...but then let her find her way. And please, don't go off on how wonderful your relationship is and how you've not made the same mistakes she has, like you did your posting...it's not constructive.
 

purrfectpear

Ideal_Rock
Joined
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Messages
4,079
I''m afraid if she turns down her transfer, she''ll be UNemployed and UNengaged
 

NewEnglandLady

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jul 27, 2007
Messages
6,299
Well July just happens to be a fabulous month to move to Boston! Beaches and cool breezes and none of that hot NYC heat! :)

When I was in the process of leaving my then-boyfriend, now-husband, I befriended a couple of women here who were going through the same thing. We''re all happily married now, but still talk about writing a book about smart women who make stupid decisions in relationships, haha. Tell her we''d be glad to have to have her at our next lunch where she can utter those familiar words "Why didn''t I leave sooner?" I really think that if she gave herself six month away from this guy so that she could get over wanting to go back to her "comfort zone" and gain some perspective, she''d look back and wonder what she was thinking by staying.
 

LaraOnline

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Feb 24, 2008
Messages
3,365
So much of it is luck, isn''t it... picking a winner?!

I mean, you really can''t know which way the guy is going to go when you go into a relationship because our current fashion is to ''prove ourselves'' into the role...

we don''t have parents, lawyers (lol) or negotiators meeting across the dining table, working out how this relationship is going to be put together...

depending on our personal circles and circumstances, we don''t get more than lip service about ''where a guy sees himself going forward'' sometimes for many years before we are able to really socially ''allowed'' to expect some kind of future...

I don''t really see why this girl has to see the failure of this guy to come forward for her as any particular failing of hers''...

Unfortunately though, it''s how we tend to have to wear it...until we get angry that is!
 

AmberGretchen

Ideal_Rock
Joined
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7,770
I like Princess''s idea - emphasize the positive. You are right she will resent you if you push her too hard, but its tough to resent someone who is just gushing about a wonderful opportunity
 
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