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I'd like to help a dear friend...


Archive A collection of the original messages posted on LoveShack.org's LoveTalk Forum from 1997-2001.

Old 15th September 2000, 4:26 PM   #1
Wiser Woman
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I'd like to help a dear friend...

and will probably be told to mind my own business by people here but it's painful to watch what he is going through and maybe someone has some insight into something I can say to help him out. He's at a very low point in his life. He's been involved for way too long (7 years) with a person who treats him like dirt. Cheats on him, lies to him, then thinks saying "I'm sorry" takes care of it until the next time she does something nasty to him. He and I have talked and talked but he always finds something to defend her about while I see, and he knows, there is nothing redeeming about her at all. He hates how he feels, is not sexually interested in her anymore... they still live together in a most uneasy truce most of the time. She pulls away from him, bounces back, tries to pull him away from his friends by saying they need "time together" and then when he's all ready and looking forward to some good time with her, she's off doing something else, usually WITH someone else or changes her mind and wants him to jump to her tune. She goes on vacation alone, talks about all the different careers she would like to have as if he is standing in her way, is basically very flaky, can't decide who she wants to be when she grows up and in general behaves terribly to him. His self-esteem is so low he has to reach down to find any at all. He's a charming, attractive, intelligent person who any woman would be lucky to have in her life and yet he stays with someone who treats him like dirt. He's had plenty of chances from women who have expressed interest in him but he feels a strong commitment to this rotten person which I admire even tho' it seems he would be better off and much happier without her. It's almost like he's been treated so badly for so long by this person that he thinks it's acceptable. And that he just can't find it in him to break away even tho' he says he should. He turns to me to talk to me and pours his heart out and my heart breaks for him each time. Is there anything I can say that will help him break away from this and get some self-esteem back? Or is it really true that only he can help himself?
 
Old 15th September 2000, 4:35 PM   #2
billy the kid
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Re: I'd like to help a dear friend...

your last sentence says it all.
Quote:
and will probably be told to mind my own business by people here but it's painful to watch what he is going through and maybe someone has some insight into something I can say to help him out. He's at a very low point in his life. He's been involved for way too long (7 years) with a person who treats him like dirt. Cheats on him, lies to him, then thinks saying "I'm sorry" takes care of it until the next time she does something nasty to him. He and I have talked and talked but he always finds something to defend her about while I see, and he knows, there is nothing redeeming about her at all. He hates how he feels, is not sexually interested in her anymore... they still live together in a most uneasy truce most of the time. She pulls away from him, bounces back, tries to pull him away from his friends by saying they need "time together" and then when he's all ready and looking forward to some good time with her, she's off doing something else, usually WITH someone else or changes her mind and wants him to jump to her tune. She goes on vacation alone, talks about all the different careers she would like to have as if he is standing in her way, is basically very flaky, can't decide who she wants to be when she grows up and in general behaves terribly to him. His self-esteem is so low he has to reach down to find any at all. He's a charming, attractive, intelligent person who any woman would be lucky to have in her life and yet he stays with someone who treats him like dirt. He's had plenty of chances from women who have expressed interest in him but he feels a strong commitment to this rotten person which I admire even tho' it seems he would be better off and much happier without her. It's almost like he's been treated so badly for so long by this person that he thinks it's acceptable. And that he just can't find it in him to break away even tho' he says he should. He turns to me to talk to me and pours his heart out and my heart breaks for him each time. Is there anything I can say that will help him break away from this and get some self-esteem back? Or is it really true that only he can help himself?
 
Old 15th September 2000, 4:58 PM   #3
Jenna
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Re: I'd like to help a dear friend...

Until he is ready to accept that this road is leading no where- and take steps to get his life back- all you can do is exactly what you have been doing- be there for him as a friend.

It is so hard to see people we care about in pain- and even harder when we can't do anything to stop it. Everyone knows someone who is treated badly and lets it go on and on and on- it is so easy for on lookers to say "I don't know why she\he puts up with that- "I'd" be gone in a heartbeat"- it is something entirely different to actually carry that statement out and make it real. Even the people who say it- would find a hard time "doing" it- should they ever find themselves in a similar situation.

Your friend is still weighing the bad against the good- something we all do. At this point-he hasn't tipped the scales in the bad direction. He knows how much it is going to hurt him when he breaks it off. Right now- the pain of staying is less that the pain of leaving will be- at least in his mind and heart.

Have you suggested counceling for him? This would be a way for him to regain some of his self esteem and learn to take charge of his own life. He may not be willing to do this- for fear of what he might learn of himself. All you can do is encourage him- maybe even give him the names and numbers of a few doctors in his area. It could be that all he needs is a little push- it couldn't hurt to try. (If that works- you might try giving him the names and numbers for a few good divorce attorneys- just a little humor)

Ultimately- it does have to be his decision- he is the one that will have to deal with the loss- and I suspect that if he has already admitted that he knows there is a problem- he will eventually make the break. So the best thing you can do for him is to listen, be caring, be available and BE READY when he does finally put an end to this insane relationship. He is lucky to have such a caring friend.

Best wishes Jenna
Quote:
your last sentence says it all.
 
Old 15th September 2000, 5:04 PM   #4
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Re: I'd like to help a dear friend...

He can only help himself. He thinks he is madly in love with this girl and will stick with her no matter what. The worse she treats him, the more he will kiss her butt.

He may even take the blame when she is nasty and inconsiderate. He is way too nice to her...and all the other girls he has ever been interested in and that's why he's never, ever had a great relationship. He just is NOT interested in girls who are nice and want to love him for real.

In years to come, he will look back on this red faced and completely embarassed. He will regret every second with her and see what a fool he has been. But for now, he has to go through this until he has had his fill. That will probably come when he walks in on her having sex with his best friend...or something of that nature. Even then, he may stick by her...depending on whether he is close to having his fill of her crap.

His problem dates back to his childhood. He was emotionally abused, his family environmnet was most likely very chaotic, and he was not shown much love or affection. He craves that now but when the real thing is freely offered to him by these NICE ladies, he rejects them because he is not used to real love and calm, healthy relationships. This is very foreign to him. To him, the chaos and rejection this current situation brings to the table is just like the home he was brought up in and what he is used to.

Once hs matures, is shown what alternatives are out there, and heals from the terrible wounds of his upbringing, he will want nothing further to do with this chick. I'm sure she takes massive advantage of him and he probably spends whatever money he has and does whatever he has to do to keep her around. And I'm also very sure that makes you awfully sick.

I'm sorry you have to be a witness to this tragedy. But this is what happens to people who are the product of abuse and neglect. They are not able to function properly in a healthy social environment because it is just unknown territory to them.

I hope he gets over this fast. But there is nothing you can do except by being kind and patient. One day, in a month or in 20 years, I promise you he will turn around and be very pissed at himself for what he does to his life now.

I hope I have helped put a perspective on this for you.
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Old 17th September 2000, 1:46 PM   #5
Wiser Woman
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Re: I'd like to help a dear friend...

Thanks all for your responses. I agree with all of it and guess all I can do is be there for him when he needs me to be and be the best friend I can be.
 
 

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