A friend who was there for me when I needed her is now completely taking advantage of my kindness. Is it fair of me to want her out? (Apologies for a long story inside).
posted by anonymous to human relations (28 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
Background: A couple years ago, I left my husband and moved out with nowhere to go. This friend took me in, and I stayed with her for a month rent-free, after which we both moved into an apartment of her choice that was outrageously expensive (she's big into image and social status). I paid whatever I said I could afford (she knew this going into the agreement), and only stayed for six months (which she also knew). That situation ended dramatically, with her accusing me of not paying more rent (again, something not initially agreed upon and a result of her superficiality) and rancor was only avoided because I took the high road and didn't ask her for my share of the (expensive) deposit. Despite this, a few months later, we buried the hatchet. She also, notably, would always remark that I was an ideal roommate: quiet, clean, respectful and friendly.
Present: About a month ago, I received an email from her saying that she wanted to stay with me for a week until her apartment was ready. She had put her stuff in storage, given up her job/ lease, and visited her parents in Iran for three months. Warning bells went off in my head - from past experience, she's notoriously unreliable, never tells the whole story, and is terrible with money management because of her constant need for an expensive lifestyle. Still, because of what she did for me way back when - I would have been homeless if she hadn't helped - I said yes. Turns out, it was less than 24 hours notice.
Of course, when she got here, more and more of the story kept spilling out. Essentially, she has no job, is studying for a pharmacy licensing exam, is constantly waiting on relatives to send her money, and apparently got married while she was in Iran. What really irks me is that she refuses to ask her so-called husband for money, despite him apparently being rich.
All this would have been okay, except... it's been almost a month. She says her old pharmacy will immediately give her a job when she receives her license. She's looking at luxury condos to move into, and yet this woman has no money to eat, to do laundry, or to fix a flat on her leased Lexus. She's borrowed my credit card to the tune of $250, with no indication of when she is going to pay me back. She's inconsiderate - messy, wears my clothes, parks in my spot, is using my laptop, and is constantly complaining that my apartment is too old, too small, too hot, too cold, too blah, blah.
As I write this, I am aware that I sound like a doormat. It's cathartic to write this, but at the end of the day, this girl has nowhere to go. I guess she has a couple of other friends she could stay with, and also suspect that she pulled this one on me because no one else would put up with her crap. It took me two years to get back on my feet after my divorce, and now her being around only reminds me of how depressed and anxious I used to be when I lived with her. My boyfriend is a sweet, supportive person, and is fine with me staying with him, but is also losing patience with the whole situation. He and I will be getting married soon, but for now our lives are chaotic with work (I just started a new job, and he is at the tail-end of his doctorate).
I am not sure what to do. I've tried talking to her about being cleaner, and telling her that she needs to ask her "husband" for money so she can at least buy food and do laundry, but she doesn't want to "depend" on him. Wtf. My apartment is a tiny one-bedroom, and while it is cozy, it IS old... and within three days of living there she had already broken the stove and a closet doorknob.
I've come to the conclusion that I have to ask her to leave, but don't know how. When I do, knowing her, she's going to say "I helped you when you had nowhere to go", and guilt me into letting her stay longer. I know I have to be strong, and not a pansy, but I'm looking for advice on how to tell her she needs to go. Her exam is tomorrow (she pushed it back a week twice already) and when it's done I plan on talking to her. Is this unfair of me? Should I just be patient and keep talking to her about being a more considerate roommate? Is there a kind way to tell her to leave? As it is, she is basically living there, and I'm not. I'm not asking her for any money, except what she charged to my card.
Please help! Again, I am aware that I am being somewhat of a doormat, but she (says she) has nowhere to go, AND I am very grateful for her help in the past. Appreciate all advice, thoughts, and opinions.
Thank you so much, hive mind!