Well What a Rude Thing to Say.
December 3, 2011 6:03 PM   Subscribe

How to establish boundaries with way out of line friends?

Someone that I would consider to be a dear friend has recently offended me to no end. After nearly two years of friendship it's apparent that I have a serious lack of boundaries and expectations within our friendship.

Sam* is someone that I would consider to be a close friend and to some extent he would consider me to be one of his closest friends as well. Due to recent circumstances I'd relocated to a new city far from where Sam and I lived. So consequently we'd gone from seeing each other regularly 3-4 times a week to not at all for the past 4 months. Before leaving I'd announced my pregnancy to family and friends including Sam. His initial reaction was upbeat and positive. We've kept in touch by phone and he was the first to know I was coming into town to visit. I've now been in town for about 2 weeks and a couple days ago we had our first encounter. I obviously look a lot different now than when I left 4 months ago! This is where it became ugly:

After greeting and settling in Sam immediately said something along the lines of him not believing that I'd actually decided to "keep" my pregnancy. Well that itself left a horrible taste in my mouth but I'd chalked it up to him regarding some precarious circumstances around my pregnancy. Precarious as in not being married. It bothered me but I made no mention of that. Sam continued to say several things related to my pregnancy and relationship that bothered me, but again I did a "well that's just Sam and his opinion." However, it really got under my skin when after I affirmed my pregnancy in a that's-the-end-of-this-subject tone, he said that he didn't want anything to do with me or my baby. He said it within a very unusual matter-of-fact context that initially threw me off because nothing about my pregnancy or personal life includes him at all. Within that one comment I felt as if Sam insinuated himself in my pregnancy, relationship, and lifestyle in an outrageously inappropriate way. I'd never dreamed in any capacity that Sam would have any role of contribution or involvement besides the general pleasantries any expecting mother usually receives. The idea that he'd actually felt involved enough in my decision to have a child to let me know that he "wants nothing to do with it" disturbs me.

He followed most of what he said with plenty of well wishing along with a big dose of skepticism and no support.
I was upset and I felt he was out of line but I didn't say so. We talked about other things and even made plans for lunch in a few days. It wasn't until after the conversation was over that I'd realized how rattled and angry I was. I was crushed and for the first time in months I was self conscious all over again about my decisions. I'm very upset with Sam for what he said but mostly with myself for just letting him talk to me that way. I don't think Sam is by any means a bad guy and I know that he has communication issues just like this with others. I believe he said those things because throughout our two years I'd never established that he can't talk to me without boundaries. I've usually just accepted any conversation we had to just run its course no matter how overbearing it became. Additionally since the conception of our friendship Sam has routinely dispensed unwarranted "guidance" and probably has an inflated venerable interest as he's years older than me. I'm particularly upset because my partner and I are comfortably prepared and able to securely raise our child, and we certainly didn't need Sam's advice/warnings. I also found it very odd that he openly had a negative opinion while we're incredibly excited and looking forward to our new addition. He isn't religious at all so me being unmarried couldn't be that offensive. Knowing Sam, all of those comments which I'd found horribly imposing probably just went right over his head. Regardless, I really feel the need to let him know that what he did was in fact horribly imposing and an unacceptable way to address anyone. I'm not sure if it's best to not mention my feelings and just let the friendship go or talk about it with him. This is not the first time he's invited himself with very unwelcome offensive advice but I certainly want to make this the last. Sam needs to know that my personal decisions and intimate life are off limits.
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (39 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
he said that he didn't want anything to do with me or my baby. He said it within a very unusual matter-of-fact context that initially threw me off because nothing about my pregnancy or personal life includes him at all.

If he wants nothing to do with you, then don't be friends with him. Friends are part of your personal life. Ditch him.
posted by jacalata at 6:09 PM on December 3, 2011 [44 favorites]

Your pregnancy and new city are way more important than this friendship. Who needs him?
posted by k8t at 6:13 PM on December 3, 2011

I believe he said those things because throughout our two years I'd never established that he can't talk to me without boundaries. I've usually just accepted any conversation we had to just run its course no matter how overbearing it became.

This is one of those examples of teaching people how to treat you. You've let him say whatever he wanted to you for years, but now you've decided it's no longer ok. He may be confused by this.

So it's his fault for being a jerk, true, but it's also your fault for not checking him earlier.

It's awesome that you realize this kind of behavior is unacceptable, but it may be too late to salvage this "friendship" in any way. If I were you I'd go No Contact, and if you somehow run into him anyway, just say you took him at his word when he told you he wanted nothing to do with your pregnancy or child.

Just a handy FYI: I'd carefully watch out for this kind of stuff in the future as it sets the tone for passive-aggressive exchanges.
posted by devymetal at 6:13 PM on December 3, 2011 [1 favorite]

Having had some friends who were less than thrilled about my pregnancy, it will be in the back of your mind for a long, long time. Even if you forgive him, you won't be able to forget.

He also said that he wants nothing to do with you. That's a really fucked up thing to say to anyone, friend or no. I don't see how it's a boundary issue as much as it is a "don't be cruel to your friends" issue.
posted by the young rope-rider at 6:16 PM on December 3, 2011 [8 favorites]

There are 2 possibilities that I can see.

1. Sam has a crush on you, or has had feelings for you, or thinks you at one time could have ended up together. This pregnancy solidifies in his mind that won't be happening. This makes him angry/sad/jealous.

2. Sam is the type of person to say offensive things, and you thought it was funny before, but now with the pregnancy hormones and the fact he's saying these things to you, you're more sensitive to it.
posted by katypickle at 6:17 PM on December 3, 2011 [27 favorites]

Yeah, you need to walk away from this relationship - unless he has a huge life-changing experience (and that could very well be the result of you cutting off contact with him so that's incentive enough) I don't think he will understand enough to be a good enough friend for you.
posted by mleigh at 6:18 PM on December 3, 2011 [2 favorites]

I doubt he even realizes how obnoxious he's being. Three simple words: "that's really rude." If those three don't get through, you may need to move to "go F yourself."
posted by Gilbert at 6:19 PM on December 3, 2011 [3 favorites]

He's stated he doesn't want anything to do with you, your pregnancy and your baby and you made lunch plans with him? This is not a boundary issue you need to draw with him; it's one you need to draw with yourself. We are not friends with people like this.
posted by DarlingBri at 6:20 PM on December 3, 2011 [75 favorites]

It is completely unfair, but I think that being "with child" tends to make other people think that they can express all sorts of judgments about your life.

If you are a single parent....well, maybe multiply that times 1000.

And given that Sam in particular has a history of not respecting boundaries...well, even more so.

For your sake and the sake of the family you are about become, you need to draw the line and cut him loose. Don't worry about "letting him know" anything; he doesn't sound like he's going to get it. Pull up the anchor and get out of there.

Take care of yourself.
posted by pantarei70 at 6:36 PM on December 3, 2011 [2 favorites]

I know why you're so mad at yourself!

The minute he said (in flat-ish tone) that he didn't not agree with your decision and wanted nothing to do with you or your baby or your partner - it just didn't quite register - and you failed to get up politely and walk out.

Really. That was the only move there.

Please resist the need to rehash your feeling with this person and drop him like a hot potato. From your descriptions, my guess is he is a passive aggressive jerk with a lot of (perhaps unacknowledged to himself) pain in his life and he enjoys being subtley mean to people he feels he has influence over and getting away with it. Talking to him about how he upset you will give him secret glee - don't do it.

Put another way...

Happy People Don't Do Bad Things.

You're happy, he's not. Don't bother with this a second more.


I just had my first child 8 months ago. You're going to LOVE being pregnant and becoming parents. CONGRATULATIONS!
posted by jbenben at 6:51 PM on December 3, 2011 [6 favorites]

I don't get it, why did the conversation even continue after he had said he'd want nothing to do with you and your child? Sounds to me like he is already friend dumping you. Or at least attempting to hurt you enough so that you friend dump him.

Why he's doing so? No idea. Maybe he felt hurt that you moved away and wants to hurt you back. Maybe he had a crush on you and he's pissed that you kept another man's baby.

Regardless, he's not the friend you thought he was. Just because you haven't put up boundaries before, does NOT give him the right to blow right pass those boundaries. His sense of human dignity and respect for you (or any other single mother let alone his friend!) should have kept his mouth shut, no matter what his opinion is.

FTR, I get really mad at myself too when I only get mad after the fact and therefore lose the perfect opportunity to respond.
posted by Neekee at 6:54 PM on December 3, 2011 [1 favorite]

I don't get it, why did the conversation even continue after he had said he'd want nothing to do with you and your child? Sounds to me like he is already friend dumping you.

Yeah, I don't understand how you made lunch plans after he said he wanted nothing to do with you. Why did he want to have lunch if he doesn't want anything to do with you?

I just had my first child 8 months ago. You're going to LOVE being pregnant and becoming parents. CONGRATULATIONS!

Also, this. This is what you should focus on -- you're going to be a parent! Congrats and leave this guy behind.
posted by sweetkid at 6:58 PM on December 3, 2011 [1 favorite]

I've never had to 'set' boundaries with friends. I'm usually friends with people decent enough, with enough manners, to know how to behave. That isn't to say people never say anything annoying or thoughtless, we all misspeak, but the spirit is never one of meanness or outright rudeness.

Your friend sounds like he was being deliberately rude about your life choices. I would probably stop being his friend and I would tell him why. Pregnancy is a highly personal issue and unless you've been raised by wolves, most people take their cue from the mother, i.e. if she's happy, then you be happy for her, if she isn't, then you commiserate. End of story.

You've moved on and away and he's not really a factor in your life anymore but I would still let him know what I thought of his comments and extreme lack of manners. Write an email and wait a day or two before sending it. Keep looking forward to the birth of your baby and concentrate on your upcoming bundle of joy and don't let an asshole's thoughtless comments get to you. Send the email, get it off your chest, then forget about it. You have other and better things to focus on.
posted by shoesietart at 7:06 PM on December 3, 2011 [1 favorite]

You're never going to make this person a nice guy. You're probably never going to be able to convince him he did something wrong, or make him care about having hurt your feelings or being rude. And that's okay, because it's not your job.

It might make you feel better to write down, in excruciating detail, all the ways in which what he did was lame. Sometimes that helps me - to just pour everything out onto paper and get it out of my head. What you do with the paper after that's done (burn it, mail it to him, whatever) isn't the point - the point is the exercise itself. I can just about guarantee you won't feel significantly better sending it to him than not.

And congratulations! New life! Yay!
posted by SMPA at 7:20 PM on December 3, 2011 [1 favorite]

Really what you need to consider is whether, even if you "get over" these hurt and angry feelings you have towards him, you want this friend to be around your child EVER? Do you want to be friends with someone who won't respect you as you take on a new, exciting, important role in your life? I'm not saying friend-dump him now, persay, just let him know firmly and clearly that his opinions are not only personally harmful to you and your decisions, they also basically will close off any possibility of friendship in the future if he doesn't recognize that YOUR decisions are your own to make.

That being said, anyone who tells you that he doesn't "want anything to do with me or my baby" should be taken at their word, since that is a horrifically hurtful thing to say to someone, especially an expectant mother. Agreed that he probably crushed on you and is hurt that your SO and child will somehow ruin his wishful plans, but lashing out at you is childish and frankly unforgivable in so many cases.
posted by zinful at 7:22 PM on December 3, 2011 [2 favorites]

Is Sam well-off financially or someone who'd consider himself so? YMMV but a lot of "self-made men" types are convinced that a)everyone is after their money & b)the only way to hang onto $$$ is to loudly announce at every opportunity that no one is getting their sweet sweet cash. If so, maybe Sam's thoughts went like "Anon is pregnant = since I'm such an awesome person, she'll definitely want me to be involved with the baby's life, probably making me godfather or something, so my awesome will rub off = as a proper godfather-type, society will of course expect me to pay for the kid's fancy preschool-college = that's probably Anon's secret PLAN to fund her bastard, that sneaky rat!"

All total speculation, since you said nothing about money, but your situation smells familiar.
posted by nicebookrack at 7:25 PM on December 3, 2011 [6 favorites]

The revealed wisdom that Ms. Manners imparts to us, her Gentle readers, is that there could only ever be one appropriate response to hearing of the pregnancy of someone else, regardless of any conceivable context ever:


Your friend is so way out of line, this thread is right to suggest that he might not be a friend after all.
posted by Blasdelb at 7:43 PM on December 3, 2011 [5 favorites]

I don't think this is about boundaries within a friendship or communication issues. The problem is not that you failed to be straight with Sam and let him know that it would hurt your feelings if he insulted you.

Healthy adults don't act like Sam. Healthy adults don't need to be warned, "I'll be offended if you say something offensive."

If you want to try to salvage this relationship, despite his disrespectful behavior and apparent hostility toward you, I think you need to be very direct: "Sam, you said some awful, disrespectful things about me, about my decisions, and about my baby. I'm angry at you for treating me that way. If we're going to remain friends, that needs to never happen again." If his answer is anything but, "Oh god. I'm so sorry. I thought I was being funny," walk away.
posted by Meg_Murry at 7:55 PM on December 3, 2011 [5 favorites]

he said that he didn't want anything to do with me or my baby (...) Within that one comment I felt as if Sam insinuated himself in my pregnancy, relationship, and lifestyle in an outrageously inappropriate way.
He didn't insinuate himself into it. He, uh, outsinuated himself out of it. He said he wants nothing to do with you.

If he wants nothing to do with you, why are you making lunch plans with him and such? Take him at his (absurdly jerky and way over the line) word - he wants nothing to do with you. Goodbye, Sam.
posted by Flunkie at 8:36 PM on December 3, 2011 [3 favorites]

nicebookrack brings up so many relevant points with that one comment, I'm sorry I didn't include those nuances in my answer....

OP, your life is about to change in so many weird and wonderful ways. And this includes MANY of your current associations and relationships. Some for better, some will fall away for better.

You'll have friends that don't have kids and they'll fall out of your life. I had some older couples I used to really like, but we dropped them because they were too judgey while I was pregnant and I didn't want an iota of negativity around us at that time. Some people will be too helpful, some of those helpful people are folks you aren't totally keen on having around quite so much.

It's all about you and your child now. I'm at the 8th month mark post labor and things are FINALLY settling in, relationship-wise. I'm guessing I'm older than you (early 40's) so I've seen the gamut already with other pregnant friends and was easily able to navigate when all the crazy changes happened to me. That's what this question originally brought up for me but I didn't say in my first answer - OP, you will be surprised who stays, who goes, who wants to be around, and who does not. Everything you thought you knew about 99% of the people in your life before you got pregnant goes entirely out the window.

Be patient. Be discerning. Don't be too surprised or invested in others. Make sure you keep you and your child first.

posted by jbenben at 8:38 PM on December 3, 2011 [2 favorites]

Upon reading Meg_Murry's answer - NO - I hope the OP nor anyone else thought I meant "failed to walk away" as in "you are a failure"!

I meant that deep down, the OP knew (at least in hindsight) the correct response was to ditch that bitch immediately and with as much Southern Charm as could be mustered, but that the delivery of the insult was specifically designed to throw her off her game, and she should not fault herself for missing the cue, given the delivery.
posted by jbenben at 8:49 PM on December 3, 2011 [1 favorite]

If this isn't a bad guy, I'm not sure who is.
posted by Ideefixe at 9:05 PM on December 3, 2011 [4 favorites]

If it were me, I would take him at face value and never have anything to do with him again. He told you how he feels. What is an apology or an agreement to never do it again going to do? He told you he wants nothing to do with you. Fuck him. Don't go to lunch, don't call, don't email, just fade away.

Mazel tov on your pregnancy.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 9:49 PM on December 3, 2011 [2 favorites]

You're starting a new phase of your life. As a single parent you and your child need to be surrounded by people who support you. No-Boundary-Sam was fine when you didn't require much from your friends. Now Sam isn't worthy of a spot.

Cancel lunch. Tell him why if you want, but there's no requirement to do so.
posted by 26.2 at 10:24 PM on December 3, 2011 [2 favorites]

These comments from Sam are so out of line and bizarre that I'm kind of wondering if he's mentally ill. That's not really your business to try to find out, but I would avoid anyone who said that stuff to me. I would cancel the lunch plans and never reach out to him again.
posted by wondermouse at 10:24 PM on December 3, 2011 [5 favorites]

Has he been in love with you and part of the boundary/denial issue is you both have pretended that it didn't exist? Have you been friends with him while he had stronger feelings for you?
posted by Vaike at 10:28 PM on December 3, 2011 [2 favorites]

Has he been in love with you and part of the boundary/denial issue is you both have pretended that it didn't exist? Have you been friends with him while he had stronger feelings for you?

To cover all bases, I repeat these questions modified to "in love with your partner / father of your child."
posted by nicebookrack at 11:42 PM on December 3, 2011

People are cuckoo around pregnant women and any time someone dies. I don't know what it is about those big, life-shifting events that brings out the crazy inappropriate behaviour, but I see it all the time.

When I got pregnant as a single woman almost 10 years ago, I had two weird phone conversations with my adolescent best friend. I don't remember all the details of the first conversation, but it was awkward and uncomfortable, and she wasn't being supportive at all. Then she called me the next morning at 6 a.m. (and she was on the coast, so it was 3 a.m. for her) under the guise of apologizing and, among other things, told me I should abort my very much wanted fetus, because I would never, ever have a boyfriend again if I didn't. Sisterly advice!

The good thing about being pregnant/having a kid, is the seismic shift it creates in your life. A total re-shuffling of priorities. This woman and I had been friends for twenty years, but in that one conversation--kind of like you--I saw really clearly how fucked up the dynamic was and always had been, since we were thirteen years old. I dumped her ass! Never returned another phone call, never answered another email. Done like dinner. And it was one of the best things I've ever done.

(On the other hand, while I was pregnant, my gay best friend was giving me a lift somewhere and I read the thing on the dashboard of his car about airbags and kids, which of course I had never noticed before. So I made some crack about his car killing babies or something, and he snapped, "Oh what do I care, it's not like there's ever going to be a kid in this car." My feelings were so hurt! People just say stupid-ass shit to you when you're knocked up. It took me a little bit to get over it, but it wasn't too long before I realized he was actually very supportive, just still the bitchy queen I loved so well and had not adjusted to my newly tender heart. Do you see how it's different?)

Once you have the baby, there will be more shifting and rearranging in your life, not just with the infant, but with your friends, your work, your partner, etc. Some of it really sucks! You might end up losing friends you really love and want in your life. But on the other hand, it's also an opportunity to pull away from relationships that aren't working any more. Only you know whether this guy is the former or the latter. Personally, I'd dump him.
posted by looli at 11:57 PM on December 3, 2011 [1 favorite]

If he wants nothing to do with you, then don't be friends with him. Friends are part of your personal life. Ditch him.

For real. You do not want his toxicity around you AND the baby.
posted by hal_c_on at 2:05 AM on December 4, 2011

I know why you still made lunch plans. You just couldn't believe he had said such an unthinkable mean thing. It's just now sinking in.

You don't need to tell him he hurt you, he knows he did, that was the idea. You don't need to tell him how much he hurt you, he'd probably enjoy it.

I'd cancel the lunch at the last minute with a minimal excuse and never contact him again. Since that's what he says he wants.

I agree, this is the kind of strange meanness that suggests an unrequited crush... but so what. If he actually loved you he wouldn't be mean to you.
posted by tel3path at 2:53 AM on December 4, 2011 [6 favorites]

Sometimes I feel that this framing of everything in terms of "boundaries" and "teaching people how you want to be treated" does no one any favors. This is not a complicated situation and you are not at fault in any way. This guy behaved horribly, you are very understandably hurt, don't have anything more to do with him. You don't need friends like this.
posted by peacheater at 6:04 AM on December 4, 2011 [4 favorites]

Hmm, why would you want to continue that friendship, at all? There is nobody in my circle of friends who would possibly say anything like that to me. It's just not acceptable, ever. And he does not deserve the benefit of your company going forward.
posted by koahiatamadl at 6:56 AM on December 4, 2011

Without your giving us more information about why Sam said he did not want anything to do with the baby, I'm not sure whether he's a huge, weird asshole or just insensitive but otherwise reasonable. I can't pinpoint exactly why -- and this may be entirely off-base for that reason -- but this question reminds me of an ex-friend of mine who managed to alienate a bunch of her friends by getting back together with a guy who raped one her friends. She plans to have kids with him. If I were still her friend, at that point I would have to tell her I'm sorry, but I don't want anything to do with him and her decision to go that far with someone who deeply hurt our friend and should be in jail would be enough to make me not feel very guilty about it. When I found out she had gotten back with him, I rehearsed that conversation a lot in my mind as a future possibility before later concluding she was too much drama to be friends with at all. In that case, I could not tolerate having to interact with that guy in even the smallest capacity, and no one had liked him even before we knew he was a rapist.

I doubt the father of your baby has done anything that bad, but if your friend doesn't want anything to do with the baby, and it's not a religious thing, I'm left to conclude it's because of the father. I think that lack of information is what makes me less quick to demonize Sam, because it's important what his reasons were. The woman this question brought to mind is completely delusional about her boyfriend so there would be no way to tell if the father was deserving of the ire based on an AskMeFi question. What I'm trying to say is depending on the situation, Sam could be trying to be a good friend or at least reasonably asserting his desire not to have people like the baby's father anywhere in his life. It is also possible he's being awful just for the sake of being awful, but that seems unlikely to me, which is why I get that "something doesn't fit" feeling from the question. If he's not jealous, and he stated reasons for disliking the baby's father, and ESPECIALLY if other friends do not like the baby's father, I would encourage you to take their concerns seriously -- not terminate the pregnancy (unless you want to) but reconsider not having the guy in your life. If none of that applies, and he was really acting as randomly and oddly as it sounds, then feel free to ignore this. I just wanted to put this out there because one of the sadder things about the woman I was reminded of is that she pushed away all the decent people in her life in order to hold on to the worst, and if there's any chance you could be doing the same thing, it's worth thinking about. I've seen similar scenarios where friends could not abide how the bf treated the woman, or the bf was possessive and hated the friends, or started fights with the male friends, etc. Sam's reasons make all the difference, imo.
posted by Nattie at 11:50 AM on December 4, 2011 [3 favorites]

I'm really confused about what's going on here. He doesn't want anything to do with you and your child, but you have plans for lunch in a few days? You would both consider yourselves to be close friends but he isn't included in your personal life? He routinely says things that you consider to be rude or unwarranted and you routinely fail to assert yourself? Ai yi yi.

Without context I can't say whether this is really a boundary issue or what, or who is being unreasonable. What I can say is that you can express to Sam that you have made your decisions and if he doesn't agree with or support them he is free to not be a part of your life.
posted by sm1tten at 12:12 PM on December 4, 2011 [2 favorites]

That comment by Sam is so out of line, and, more importantly, so bizarre, that I read your question three times to be sure I didn't miss anything. Like, I kept thinking, "wait, is there some reason why Sam might think that he's the father?" Because otherwise, it's just an insane think for him to say, and its insanity far outweighs its rudeness (which, let's be clear, is pretty extreme).

I totally get why you didn't leave the room, and why you have lunch plans. It's just like Arthur's biscuit story from The Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy. His behavior here is so outside the realm of acceptable that it's short-circuiting your ability to respond. But, now that you're outside the moment, the thing to do is take him up on his offer not to have anything to do with you. He's the worst.
posted by Ragged Richard at 2:14 PM on December 4, 2011 [3 favorites]

You're thinking a lot of things about this matter. Try to stop wondering why he said what he said, and why he has so little empathy. Also, put aside the fact that he's often been blunt about things that are none of his business. In my experience, it's better to just deal with one recent instance, instead of addressing someone's pattern of bad behavior.

You may want to cease contact with Sam, but it could still benefit you to tell him your feelings. "I felt hurt when you said....; I was confused/surprised because....; I'm angry that..." Don't say things like You're wrong to (blah blah), It's none of your business that (blah blah), You're not acting like a friend. Just talk (or write) about your basic feelings, or just one or two of them.

This is more about your saying what matters to you. It has nothing to do with trying to make him change his ways or make him feel like a heel . It's a way for you to speak some truth about how he, supposedly a friend, affected you.

If you do decide to yell at him or send him an angry email, let it be about this one occasion. It won't do you any good to bring up all the other times he was out of line.

I really wish you well. If I'd been in your shoes, I'd have been really upset and shocked, and completely at a loss for words.
posted by wryly at 4:09 PM on December 4, 2011

I have a feeling (ha!) that Sam had feelings for you, but that is neither here nor there. Sam has made it clear he is no friend to you. Cancel your lunch plans with him and move on.

Congratulations on becoming a mum!
posted by deborah at 8:28 PM on December 4, 2011

I read this initially thinking Sam was the father, then that he may be unhappy that you are a single parent (which may be culturally/religiously unusual where you are from) but no, you are having a child with a partner and happen to be unwed. Unless, like Nattie says, there is more to this story (he disapproves of this relationship; because it's not with him or because it's with this particular partner?) I can't for the life of me see why any of this is his business.
posted by mippy at 4:43 AM on December 5, 2011

Something in this story doesn't jive. Like other posters, I've read it three or four times, and am convinced that the poster left out important information.

What I hear you, the poster, saying between the lines is "How can I make Sam act happy about this?" The short answer is that you can't. You can tell him it's your decision, you thought carefully about it, and for you the pros outweigh the cons. You can also tell him that you won't ask him for support, whether that's babysitting, finances, or whatever. "Sam, I've heard you say that you don't want anything to do with me. Why did you say that. What exactly did you mean? Okay, I hear that you are saying blah. I take that to mean blah. I understand your position, and now that I've told you mine, hopefully we can respect each other's opinions and not bring it up again." This is what you say if you want to stay friends with Sam.

If you'd rather not stay friends with Sam after this, if you're too hurt, just let the friendship go. No need for a big flare-out. You live in different cities, after all.
posted by thelastcamel at 3:28 PM on December 5, 2011 [2 favorites]

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