After previewing, sorry for this being so long!
April 7, 2010 9:28 PM Subscribe
Am I cursed with "bad friends" or am I the bad friend? Looooong explanation inside
posted by anonymous to human relations (39 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
So I'm still a little worried somebody could probably figure out who this is by the situations I'm about to describe, but I've been feeling really bad about myself and I wanted to get some second opinions.
Basically, I'm worried that whenever I stand up for myself, everybody gets mad at me and in some cases stops being my friend. I feel like nobody else ever gets themselves in these situations and I wonder if it's just me being too stubborn.
Over the last few years I've had a series of big blowups that I feel like have something to do with this. Some of them involve my spouse's friends, others involve my own. We both have our own and mutual friends outside of these friends, but we both have a hard time making friends so it feels like we lose half of our friends every time a fight like this happens.
Anyway, here are the examples:
I had a friend in college who started speaking with a person who was stalking me (the threatening, frightening kind of stalking - we used to date). I asked my friend to stop speaking with that person. My friend, who had just started speaking with this person (never met in person, just a few conversations online) said that they could be friends with whomever they wanted. My friend then continued to speak with my stalker and even visited in person on multiple occasions, even updating my stalker about new information about where I was, what I was doing, and about my (soon to be) spouse. I eventually put up an ultimatum that my friend needed to stop speaking with my stalker or we couldn't be friends. We stopped speaking after that.
Another situation involved my future spouse (we were engaged but not yet married) and our mutual friends. My spouse and two of our friends lived in one apartment, another one of our friends lived in a different, smaller apartment. One day, my spouse came home and the 3 friends told my spouse that they had been talking and decided that they would like to switch the living arrangements - the three friends would live in the apartment my spouse lived in currently with the two and my spouse would move into the other apartment. (I should mention I basically lived there as well, but so did the friend's significant other who lived in the smaller apartment, so it would be one couple trading apartments with the other couple.) There would not be any change of names on the leases (this was in college, the new arrangement was to be for the second semester) and the apartment that my spouse was to move into was smaller and more expensive (since there would not be any roomates to share rent costs with). My spouse didn't want to go along with their plan and eventually refused. We both were very angry but I feel like I was more confrontational and outwardly upset at them (I felt like they were taking advantage of my spouse's generous nature and tried to use peer pressure to get him to agree). We stayed friends, but the relationships cooled after that.
Lastly, my spouse and I got into a huge fight recently that made me want to ask this question to askmefi. My spouse and I plan a yearly weekend vacation to get together with friends from my spouse's hometown (this is a separate group of friends from the previous example). In previous years, one of this group of friends (friend A), has been unable to attend for various reasons. Friend A was roommates with my spouse when we first started dating in college (and before the previous example who were my spouses next roommates). Friend A always disliked me and treated me poorly. Friend A made light of my personal appearance, religious beliefs, and gender. Obviously Friend A and my spouse no longer speak because of this. However, the other friends of this hometown group are still friends - they have never seen how poorly Friend A treats me. My spouse and I have never requested that the rest of the group stop being friends with Friend A and we had just avoided seeing Friend A up until this point. This year, when I realized he would be able to be invited, I stood up for myself and requested that Friend A absolutely not be invited for the reasons I listed before. I wanted to have a good time and if Friend A was there, I would not have been able to. (I believe Friend A has no interest in making peace with me.) The entire group of friends said I was being unreasonable. Things escalated very quickly, and I was accused of ruining the vacation because I wouldn't invite friend A. One of the friends even suggested that Friend A's attitude may have been "constructive criticism", "correct about some things", and that I had "changed" my spouse so he would turn on the group. The rest of the group rallied behind this particular friend's opinion (Friend B). They also stated that my spouse was not standing up for our marriage and only for me because he did not automatically side with them (The argument was based on Friend B's statement that my spouse is allowed to have different thoughts and feelings than me because we're two different individuals and my spouse should never forget this "friendly reminder"). At this time, the trip is canceled until I explain what Friend A did to me that makes me feel the way I feel or I apologize for being exclusionary. They have made it totally clear we are no longer welcome and they are planning their own trip including Friend A. Friend A has not even spoken to either of us directly - everything has been relayed through Friend B, which is why we doubt that if there was an apology that it would be genuinely from Friend A. My spouse is infuriated with these friends (the group were friends since grade school) and we've both agreed that we're standing our ground.
So that's where I am right now...does this happen to other people? Am I just unlucky in picking friends? Typing it all out I realize that maybe it has more to do with living with friends (most of the time a bad idea)? Or in the case of the third one, single vs. married (all but one of the group is single and the only other married friend in the group agrees with my spouse and I)?
More than anything I just want to know if there's something I'm doing that's causing all this. I've always been self-conscious and a worrier - help me figure it out askmefi!