Social Question

Sayd_Whater's avatar

So my friend told me some scary news and I think I blew it. How can I fix it?

Asked by Sayd_Whater (439points) March 30th, 2016

So one of my friends told me recently he was a father of a two year old. At first he told me it was from a one night stand with a local from a far away country and that the mother told him when she was still pregnant but he decided to ignore it. My reaction was kinda bad, and I snapped at him for ignoring a young life like that and started to tell him to man up. Afterwards he got really nervous and changed his version and then told me he only knew about it now… And that he already had other plans for this next year… There I got really angry, and told him he should change whatever plans he had to go meet his daughter at once, before she grows any older because he was missing the best years of her life! And well, he just hang up the call and stopped replying my messages. I know I was a bit mean towards him because I was shocked and honestly it really pissed me off the way he disregarded a human life, his own daughter. I guess I just expected more from him. So despite the fact that he is being a terrible liar and a coward, somehow now I feel bad for not being “a supportive good friend”, and I fear he won’t talk back to me anymore. Should I have done anything different? Is there anything I can do or say now to solve it? Or should I just leave it there, doing or saying nothing else at all?

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22 Answers

Judi's avatar

You can get, “I’m sort I was so harsh” but the truth is you have very strong feelings about this and he seems to to be the type of person you can respect. Maybe you are both better off not being a part of each others lives?

Sayd_Whater's avatar

Perhaps… That has actually crossed my mind… I don’t know… A part of me tells me to let him go with his life and his problems the way he wants, turns out he is not the kind of friend I actually would like to have anyway. The other part of me, tells me I should have been a good friend and supportive, and be there and maybe help him out, and I feel that I completely failed at that. He told me that he only said it to me and another friend, who unfortunately also told him to ignore it, which made me feel even worse. I remember also telling him to tell his family, to have more support, but he immediately refused that idea. I don’t know what to do. I feel bad for him, but I feel ever worse for the single mother being alone raising his child.

Seek's avatar

Well, you think he’s a liar, a coward, and someone who disregards human life.

Why the heck should he want to be your friend, since you think so poorly of him?

Here2_4's avatar

Does he know for certain he is the father? Maybe he has doubts, and that is why he is confused about what to do.

Sayd_Whater's avatar

@Seek Good point… Good point… But I didn’t use to think that about him, I think he is acting weird because he his scared and nervous… We can’t blame it on hormones, can we? I’m just making excuses for him… How lame is that? Does this means, that the right thing to do is just do nothing and ignore all this, like I never met him or knew about any of this?
@Here1_4 My first reaction was that all this could be a scam, but he said he was pretty sure by now…

zenvelo's avatar

Why do you call this “scary news”. Nothing scary for you.

Yes, you could have been a bit more supportive, he opened up to you. You were in a position to calmly say he needs to take responsibility, rather than biting his head off.

So, apologize for your reaction, not for your opinion, then either support him in being in the child’s life, of cut off your friendship.

Coloma's avatar

You should be PROUD of yourself for telling your friend how you really feel and not just what they want to hear regarding this matter. You can tell him that you are sorry for being harsh but you consider fathering a child to be a really serious matter and that like it or not, he does have an obligation, to, at the very least, offer some sort of support for his daughter. If your friend drops you because you are an honest and ethical person,’re better off without that kind of friend. A close friend of mine just told me the other day that she values me to tell her the truth and not just what she wants to hear.

This is a very good trait, and you did nothing wrong! Good luck, I hope you can patch things up but your friend needs a friend like you, someone to give him a kick in the ass and yes, to man up as you said.

Seek's avatar

There is telling your friend the truth because they’ve asked your opinion and you care about them, and then there’s yelling at someone because you think they’re wrong and you have to fix them.

Sayd_Whater's avatar

You see guys, this is my dilemma.
@Zenvelo and @Coloma Thanks a lot for your answers, really made me feel a little better. I know it’s not scary for me, but it might be for him, hence why his reaction, perhaps? You guys are right… Maybe I should say I’m sorry, I see how saying “man up” can sound offensive to a guy… But it just came out… Couldn’t help it, and it was probably the strongest thing I said… I’ll think about a “I’m sorry” message but I’m not sure if I should give him some time first because, he is not replying me, and this was only some days ago, he might be also thinking about it, and I’m not sure what to do yet, I’ll definitely consider it.
@Seek What are you talking about?!? Yes I was mad that he is ignoring this subject for almost 3 years and was planning on keep doing it, (but I didn’t yell because I hate yelling), taking that part off, which one of the both options you presented do you think I did, in your opinion, after reading the events I described?!? The truth is, we used to be really good friends, that’s why I was the only other person he has ever told about this. But if he turns out to behave like this, my idea of him changed drastically, as you said, now I think poorly of him, so maybe he doesn’t need me as his friend after all… That’s why I don’t know what is the best thing I can do right now…. Do you think the right thing to do is just do nothing and ignore all this, like I never met him or knew about any of this like he is doing, for his own sake? (x2) Or is the right thing to not give up on him, and somehow keep trying to talk to him to help him into what I think is doing the right thing for the child sake?

NerdyKeith's avatar

Well I think you should just apologise. Like it or like it not, its his choice to make. It might not be the most responsible choice to make but its his. You need to take your feelings and emotions out the picture completely.

I understand that you considered him a great friend for many years. You can try talking to him about it again, but you can’t push him to bend to any demands. He might feel ill equipped to be a father. And by entering into this child’s life, he could be doing her more harm than good. I’d apologies for your reaction, then talk things through with him. Find out why exactly he didn’t try to see his kid. Talk this through calmly.

Coloma's avatar

@NerdyKeith Posits a good point as well. It is his choice, but still…don;t beat yourself up for having an emphatic reaction. It happens, see where you can go from here.

Earthbound_Misfit's avatar

You are judging your friend’s behaviour here. It really is his business, not yours. However, if you feel the choice he has made affects how you view him and whether you have a friendship with him, perhaps you should just walk away and leave him to live his own life. If you truly want to support him and you recognise that his behaviour is perhaps driven by fear, then apologise and be supportive rather than judgemental.

It really is down to whether you can accept his right to make his own decisions or whether you believe his choice to ignore his child is something you cannot overlook.

flutherother's avatar

Even if he wants nothing to do with his daughter he should at least pay child support to ensure she gets fed. That is your friend’s responsibility and not just something he chooses to do or not to do. I can understand why you got mad at your friend and if he has a sense of morality he will understand too.

Coloma's avatar

@flutherother Agreed. He can choose to not be a part of the childs life but he does owe her support in a monetary way.

Judi's avatar

No one know what the arrangements with the mother were. She may have said, “I don’t want you to be a part of this child’s life and I don’t want a dime from you.”
Her family may have muscled him out of the child’s life and knows that if he pays support it gives him rights and they said they didn’t want anything. He could be paying support and the OP doesn’t know.
So many possible things going on here

Coloma's avatar

@Judi That’s possibly true as well, but from what the OP has said it appears the guy is just trying to dodge the bullet he shot. haha
You’re right though, a good reminder to not jump to conclusions which can be easy to do.

flutherother's avatar

@Judi He said when the mother informed him she was pregnant he chose to ignore it so it doesn’t sound as if he is taking responsibility. In any case the money isn’t for the mother it is for the child and it is the child that is entitled to it.

Seek's avatar

I think we’re reading really deeply into this.

The product of a one-night-stand with a local from some other country likely doesn’t fall under any kind of child support jurisdiction. And how many of us have the resources necessary to just up and move to another country?

Think it’ll mess a kid up to not have a dad around? How about having a dad that you can only see when he can afford to visit your country, but only for a few weeks at a time because that’s how long the visa lasts. And doesn’t Daddy love me enough to move here forever?

Maybe it’s actually a good thing that this mother raises the child alone? Maybe she has a really supportive family and a real partner (this is almost three years after a one night stand) who treats the baby like his own? Maybe it’s none of the OP’s business at all what other adults do in their lives, and a friend telling someone in confidence that they think they might have a child isn’t an invitation to get a lecture better suited to a middle school sex ed classroom.

NerdyKeith's avatar

@Seek Thats a very good point. Which is what I was getting at (partially) when I was talking about the possibility that he might feel ill equipped to be a father.

But well said.

Sayd_Whater's avatar

Thank you for contribution guys, I’m also trying to understand better what the hell was going though his mind to have this kind of behavior in the first place. It really doesn’t suits him but then again, I know people will always react differently to scary news. And in his case, he decided to ignore it. I still strongly disagree with that. Regardless of how hard this has been on him, I can only imagine how MUCH HARDER it has been for the single mother and child.
Of course, I could always go down the same road with him, try to forget about it and pretend like nothing has ever happened or just playing the “it’s none of my business” card and get out of it and I almost wish he hadn’t told me nothing at all.
But now that he has told me, and as much as I don’t want to be a judgmental person, the truth is that I cannot let it go. I believe that both child and mother have rights that must be respected above all his fears. I believe that as much as I know we should respect each other’s privacies, we live in an open world where people’s actions affect other people. And that people have feelings. If he messed me up with his insane behavior I have the right to fight back and try to help him to do the right thing! I don’t even see it as a right, but more as a duty while being his friend! Also, being the only other person that actually knows about it, makes me feel a HUGE RESPONSIBILITY in actually doing my very best to guide him into doing the right thing as fast as possible. I come to the conclusion that I just can’t let it go, and I know some will tell me that I was probably out of line, messing with none of my business, I think I prefer to be out of line than out of business. And that I prefer feeling guilty for going out of my way doing what I think is right, than regretting doing nothing at all.
I just can’t stand the idea of the possibility of remaining friends with him, keeping his secret, and turning out to meet her years later when she’s older and comes looking for him and looking her in the eyes and see how hard it must have been for her growing up without a father, or being completely clueless about him, while I knew all about it.
I sent him him a message saying I was sorry for being harsh but that I would like him to stop running from his duty, that I would be his friend and also that I would help him out in whatever he would need to do the right thing and help both mother and child. I also told him that if he refuses to do it, he would not also be missing out what could possible be the happiest moments of his life and the opportunity to make his daughter happy, but also he would be loosing a friend willing to help as well as all the respect I had for him. I also requested the mother details so that I could send her some baby stuff and presents as I always like to do to all y friend’s babies! (I think this one will scare him ;) I also sent him some cute videos of fathers and daughters just trying to reach his heart. Let’s see how this one rolls.
Note: I’m not trying to fix him as a person, but I’m trying my best to fix the situation I was, luckily or unfortunately, told about.
But yeah guys, by all means, feel free to criticize me, I need to be ready for when he replies that.

Seek's avatar

Nothing says “My favourite BFF” like having someone literally push themselves into my most intimate family relationships whether I want them to or not. ~~

Were I the “friend”, I’d block your email and stop answering the phone.

Sayd_Whater's avatar

I wouldn’t be surprised because that was exactly what he did to the poor mother and child… ;(
However I still have faith in him and humankind.
It is interesting how people react differently and unpredictable to different situations.
So is the definition of friendship. I guess, for some, a good friend is the one that helps you facing the anxiety that would make you avoid any stressful situation, not letting you give up and standing by your side in the war, conquering your fears. For others the good friend is the one that is aware when your fears already control you, protecting you by letting you go in peace and closing the door behind you.

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