Social Question

KNOWITALL's avatar

Would you say something to your friend about this?

Asked by KNOWITALL (14939 points ) January 22nd, 2013

A male friend of ours, Jerry, has been in a relationship with a woman for about three years. We haven’t hung out much because she’s rather cold and quiet to all of us (his group of friends from the last few decades, even in groups of one and two), and when she drinks she is really obnoxious and loud. She’s about ten years older than Jerry, tattoo’s but is “from money” according to herself.

A friend of ours that we’re close to, let’s call him Ben, has recently been defending her to the rest of us, saying “she’s not that bad guys.”

The last time I was alone with her, she accused Jerry of hitting her & being a drunk. Then she said he made her quit her job and pays all her bills, and gives her money all the time for her and her grown children. One day he’s evil and ten minutes later, he’s Mr. Wonderful and she wants him to marry her.

She talked bad about “Ben” at my house about one month ago, as well, which I didn’t tell him. I think she’s either just an ugly person inside or perhaps something is wrong with her, so staying away is my solution.

How do you handle it? We miss our old friend, and I don’t want Ben to think I’m just being mean to her, but he hasn’t heard her whole “I’m a gold-digger, isn’t that cute” spiel either.

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11 Answers

KNOWITALL's avatar

And sorry it sounds kind of juvenile, question me if it gets confusing.

glacial's avatar

After three years, it’s going to be hard to convince him that he doesn’t know “the real her”. I’m not sure what I would do, but it would likely depend on how close my relationship with him was. I could see either telling or not… but I’d have to be prepared to be shot as the messenger.

KNOWITALL's avatar

He has noticed that we’re all staying away more now, and kind of hints that we’re being bad friends to him. But it really puts us in a bad position of either listening to her badmouth Jerry around us, or sitting next to her as she practically strips at a restaurant table.

For her to badmouth Ben as well, who is a smart and talented person, and never mean to anyone, just pushed me over the edge. He is the person in the group who goes out of his way to help everyone out with anything, even money he sometimes doesn’t get back. We want Jerry to be happy, but we also want to be part of his life.

tranquilsea's avatar

If I was close to someone then I’d mention just once my concerns and then leave it at that. All my friends are living their own lives and they have a right to do so mistakes and all.

It can be hard to watch someone you love go through a bad relationship. I’ve been there and done that. I had to distance myself from my sister and hope that she’d come back once the relationship broke up: she did. She told me that nobody in the family could have warned her away from this guy as it was a decision she needed to come to on her own. We had all tried to talk her out of this relationship to no avail.

Bellatrix's avatar

When she started bad mouthing Jerry or Ben I would say I didn’t want to discuss them and if she has a problem with their behaviour, she needs to speak to them directly. If she starts up again, say “we have discussed this” and move away.

I think if you love your friend, you have to accept his choice of partner. Hard though that may be sometimes. It’s not up to us who our friends choose to be with. So you can make a choice not to see Jerry but you can’t make a choice to try to change his feelings for her. That is pretty much guaranteed to cause you problems with Jerry. Or you can make a choice to spend time with Jerry and just put up with his partner.

dabbler's avatar

If you can Jerry away from her, have a chat about your observations, and about what she says about him and Ben behind their backs (I know, it’s behind her back, but he was your friend first).
If you can’t get Jerry away from her, note that as a disturbing fact about his relationship.

wundayatta's avatar

You can’t stand her, but she comes part and parcel with your old friend. Is that correct?

Well, that’s the way it goes, sometimes. Either you put up with her to see him, or you don’t see him. Or there may be a few lucky occasions when she’s out of town and you can see him on his own. You probably can’t tell him you can’t stand her since his loyalty is to her now. Like I say, that’s the way it goes sometimes. You may not be able to see your friend much until he breaks up with her, if he ever does. Or until she mellows, if she ever does. But you can’t change her personality and you have no business telling him to dump her just so you can hang out again.

marinelife's avatar

Make your own decision—don’t base your actions on Ben’s opinion. Try to see your friend without her. If not, get a large group together (it will dilute her impact).

It’s a sad situation.

Brian1946's avatar

Anyone who badmouthed Ben and Jerry to me would be immediately ejected to another galaxy. Only a Häagen-Dazs whore would dare utter such blasphemy! ;-p

If she says anything mean about Unilever, dump her ass! :-o

augustlan's avatar

If an SO of a good friend of mine told me that my friend hits her, I think I’d have to address that with my friend. So that he can either get help and stop (he shouldn’t be hitting her, obviously), or he will be aware that she is spreading dangerous lies about him (of the type that could get him arrested). It’s tricky, though, because if he really is abusive, you could be putting her in danger by telling him that she’s talking about the fact. Even if you don’t like her, I’m sure you don’t want her to get the shit beat out of her.

Taking that part out of the equation, if my friend asked me why I wasn’t hanging around as often or why I didn’t like his SO, I’d be honest. I don’t think I’d offer the information out of the blue, though.

KNOWITALL's avatar

Thanks all, it’s a conundrum. Jerry is my husband’s best friend and has been since elementary, but we’ve stayed away except an occasional one-off get together since they’ve been together.

I just don’t like seeing both good friends of mine being bad-mouthed by this psycho all the time. And yes, we do miss our friend very much, we were super-close for a very long time. He did have a massive head trauma about seven years ago, so the abuse is a concern as well, but it’s hard to gauge if you aren’t around, and we’re good friends with his parents as well who also can’t stand her.

Ah well, I’ll try the group dynamic if possible. Thanks.

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