Social Question

tragiclikebowie's avatar

How should one react in this situation (see details)?

Asked by tragiclikebowie (4805points) May 23rd, 2011

A bit of background:

I found out from a friend that one of my best friends has recently become pregnant, for a second time. I adore her son, who just turned three in February, but I can’t be happy for her over this pregnancy.

She recently had relationship problems with the father, whom she is not married to, and cheated on him. They proceeded to break up and get back together I don’t even know how many times over the past 4 months. In addition, I have never liked the guy she’s with. I don’t think he treats her well enough and there is a question of abuse in the past.

They are not in a good space financially and I feel like they’re trying to use a child as a “fix” for their relationship.

How should I react and what should I say when she tells me herself? I don’t want to say anything that would upset her or jeopardize our friendship.

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15 Answers

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

It seems weird to me that you think that it’s somehow your job or that it matters whether or not you are personally happy about her having another child. When she tells you, say that you will support her – that’s what friends do. She will have enough people judging whether or not it will work out and you will learn yourself soon enough when you try to start your own family that you really don’t need to hear it, whatsoever.

Judi's avatar

Say good luck (in a nice way) smile, and back off.

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

I think you should give her a hug and congratulate her.Offer help if she needs it.:)

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creative1's avatar

Walk away and let your friend handle her relationship since it appears she needs to see this relationship to its end. Sorry to hear another child is being brought into a not so good situation but you can not change it.

tragiclikebowie's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir The issue is I lack tact. I don’t want to come off as dismissive, or like I don’t approve because I know she doesn’t need that. I know my feelings don’t matter in this situation but I am concerned and I have a hard time hiding it. And you’re right, I don’t have anything like this going on in my life, and don’t plan to anytime soon, so I don’t understand. I’m just looking for a little guidance on how to not sound like a bitch, because I’ll have a hard time on my own.

zenvelo's avatar

Given you have the insight to recognize you lack tact, I think you should bear in mind what @Simone_De_Beauvoir says, but be short and sweet and a tad distancing like @Judi suggests.One does not have to be either overly congratulatory or disdainingly distance. Be neutral in judgment but supportive for her.

Jeruba's avatar

I agree with @lucillelucillelucille. Leave judgment out of it. If all you can manage is “Great!” or “How about that!” then say that, with a smile.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@tragiclikebowie Hmm,well then keep it short. Say ‘great, congrats…hope you’re healthy and the baby doubly so..what do you want to eat? blah blah blha’.

Coloma's avatar

Yes, not much you can do. She isn’t going to become un-pregnant. lol
All you CAN do is decide if you are able to be supportive, or not.

Sometimes friends that are oblivious to their issues just cannot be maintained.

I recently let go of a friend that, while other issues were involved, truthfully, I also could not ‘support her in choosing to stay in her verbally abusive marriage to a 2x cheater. Sad..but, after 2 years of being ‘supportive’ and she doing nothing but continuing to complain, well….it was time to let go. Just not healthy.

Sometimes the most LOVING thing we can do, is distance ourselves.

BarnacleBill's avatar

A friend with two children when you have none is very different than a friend with one child when you have none. When she tells you she’s pregnant, ask her how she feels about it, and respond back in kind – I’m thrilled = I’m happy for you, I hope it will fix my relationship = good luck with that; it’s a lot of responsibility for a tiny baby. Ask her how she’s feeling, and then change the subject.

mazingerz88's avatar

Something somewhat similar happened to me and a close friend. Sad to say, our friendship died a slow death. He separated with his wife after finding out their second son was not his. Told him to focus on his job since he still needs to support his kid. Instead of doing that he had a girlfriend and had three kids with her. Eventually they split after his youngest died of leukemia and his girlfriend took in another guy. They never had a time where they were ever financially fine. In my view he’s the one who kept hitting himself over the head. Instead of just focusing on his kid with his first wife, he had more he can’t support. I knew it was going to be a train wreck. I hate him for not listening. Last time I heard he was back to drugs and thin as a stick. So, I may have an idea of how you feel about your friend.

ItalianPrincess1217's avatar

Either fake your happiness for her or don’t be part of her life anymore. She doesn’t need one of her best friends judging her and being unsupportive. How would you feel if the tables were turned? You may not agree with her choices in life but the fact is, it’s her life to live. Nobody else’s.

_zen_'s avatar

I’m going to have to agree with everything @Simone_De_Beauvoir said.

Poser's avatar

If she’s a friend, prepare to be there for her. If there’s a question of abuse, look for the signs, and prepare to make a really hard decision to call child protective services when you see those signs. She has a choice to be in the situation or not. The children don’t. If she is not willing to protect the kids, you have to be prepared to. Just know that often (maybe always) the correct decision is the hardest one. And you’ll probably lose a friendship, but you might just save a life (or two).

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