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Question
Posted by: Nicci | 2012/04/23

Friends

A male friend of mine was sponsoring a " recovering"  drug addict. He helped with money, clothing and food as she was unable to find employment. This weekend he finds out that she did not go into rehab as she was supposed to. He is really furious at her for wasting his time and money and deceiving him. When I asked him what was bothering him, he told me and I was very sympathetic towards him. Out of the blue, he sends me an sms to ask me if I want the woman''s telephone number so that I can contact her as he thinks I don''t believe him! I was gobsmacked and did not know where his sudden anger at me came from. He told me to have a nice life and never bother him again! I don''t know what I said or did to enrage him to such an extent that he has now cut all ties with me. I have read and re-read the messages between us and cannot see anything which could''ve made him so angry. I must mention he is a very, very moody person and also suffers from depression. He can be very pleasant when he wants to - this is not the first time he cut me off. The previous time lasted two weeks and then he came running back to me again. I feel sorry for him as he has not had an easy life (grew up with an alcoholic father and himself was an alcoholic at age 17, was expelled from school etc.) How do I deal with this behaviour of his? He can become rather abusive when he is angry, this morning his parting words to me were f**** you! I am hurt by his behaviour, but am not prepared to take the brunt of his anger or his verbal abuse. I am not the addict who took him for a ride, he should be directing his anger at her, not at me! I think this friendship may have run its'' course. I am not prepared to put up with this any longer. Must I just leave him alone to calm down and if and when he decides he wants to be friends again, take him back or tell him to take a hike? I feel so hurt by his treatment and don''t think I deserve it. It does not help trying to talk to him as he just gets more angry and says really mean things. Advice please. Thanks

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

His anger is reasonable and understandable. Apparently, she DID deceive him and waste his time and money. However, he does seem to have seriously over-reacted to whatever annoyed him about your reaction to these events - maybe he felt somehow that you were sympathizing with the addict, rather than with him ?
You say this isn't the first time he has cut you off in this way, so it may be a part of his unhelpful way of dealing with disappointment and depression.
Yes, don't accept his anger, or the implied invitation to take the blame for what the addict did. For right now, it seems wisest to leave him to cool off ( talking to him while he is in this sort of state is clearly not useful ), and if he later approaches you apologetically, that would be the better time at which to decide how to respond - whether to explain that these episodes are very hurtful for you, and you would rather end the friendship amicably, or to accept his apology and try again, or whatever. There's no need to feel guilty if you decide that you have had enough and will prefer to live without a relationship with him, from now on.

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Our users say:
Posted by: Nicci | 2012/04/24

Thanks for your input Maria. No, I have decided that I do not want to take this friendship any further and I don''t feel guilty about it all. I don''t deserve to be treated so badly by a so-called friend!

Reply to Nicci
Posted by: Maria | 2012/04/24

Your friend sounds a lot like someone I know who tends to fall for hard luck stories and then people abuse his kindness. Only you can decide if you want to take more of his bad behaviour or if you''ve had enough. It certainly sounds as if he has treated you very badly and I don''t think you need to feel guilty at all if you decide to give up on the friendship.

Reply to Maria
Posted by: cybershrink | 2012/04/24

His anger is reasonable and understandable. Apparently, she DID deceive him and waste his time and money. However, he does seem to have seriously over-reacted to whatever annoyed him about your reaction to these events - maybe he felt somehow that you were sympathizing with the addict, rather than with him ?
You say this isn't the first time he has cut you off in this way, so it may be a part of his unhelpful way of dealing with disappointment and depression.
Yes, don't accept his anger, or the implied invitation to take the blame for what the addict did. For right now, it seems wisest to leave him to cool off ( talking to him while he is in this sort of state is clearly not useful ), and if he later approaches you apologetically, that would be the better time at which to decide how to respond - whether to explain that these episodes are very hurtful for you, and you would rather end the friendship amicably, or to accept his apology and try again, or whatever. There's no need to feel guilty if you decide that you have had enough and will prefer to live without a relationship with him, from now on.

Reply to cybershrink

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