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Question
Posted by: Charlize | 2005/07/02

Help needed with friend

I have a friend, she's 28, has two kids, 3 and 6months, and I've known her for 2 and a half years. Since I've known her, she's always complained about her husband. They recently got seperated. She has been terriblly clingy and jealous of our friendship. She can't seem to be without my help all the time. I'm happily married, and have a child myself. My family is my very first priority, and I will never let friends come in the way of that. She always needs someone to be with her or to spend time with her, or to help with the kids. Since she seperated she even moved into a house 100 m from my house. She claims it's for security reasons, but it's to be around me. How is she ever going to learn to stand on her own two feet? She's even involving me in jealous mind games with her husband and trying to tell him that i've organised dates for her...! I've told her, that we need a break until she sorted out her own personal stuff. Why then do I feel so guilty?

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

She sounds like someone with Learned Helplessness, very low slf-esteem, and not prepared to even try, any more, to cope by herself, and thus placing unreasonable demands and expectations on you. You are a kindly, caring person, who is being dragged towards the end of your tether, by an endlessly demanding and endlessly needy person. SHe needs serious counselling, to learn to take charge of her own life. Who knows, a major reason for her mariage breaking down could be her excess neediness. It's like the swimmer in trouble who strangles the lifesaver. You are absolutely right to set clear limits, as to when and how often she may contact you ( if and when you resume contact ) and in the meantime it's reasonable to insist on a break without contact so you can recuperate and so that she can see a counsellor and get her act together. You have nothing to feel guilty about.

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

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