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I'm Not Sure Why It Bothers Me So Much.

I know a handful of people who will always come to me for advice if they're in a tough situation. I try and give them my frankest advice after racking my brains, I don't always tell them what they want to hear - but I pride myself on being honest with them.
For instance I have a friend who is 20, and she is currently in a relationship with a guy who is 36 and going through a divorce as her first serious relationship. I told her that I thought he was going to mess her around, and to be careful and be sure about what she is getting herself into - and then she took off with him for a couple of days out of the city - I actually worried that I wasn't going to see her again.
We're only young at the end of the day, and I just can't understand why she's gotten herself into a relationship with so much baggage when she is the most naive person I know.
I know I can't control her life, and that her mistakes are hers to make, and that I'm only a sounding board at the end of the day - but just really annoyed me that I poured my heart out to her, she agreed - and then completely ignored me...I just feel so used.
And it also bothers me because she's got it so romanticised in her head, but at the same time knows that it's not going to end well - and that all I can do is stand back, watch it happen, and then try to comfort her when it all goes wrong... 
ClosedBook ClosedBook 18-21, F 75 Responses Jun 6, 2010

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Advice isn't worth much.



The mark of a good friend is whether he/she'll be there if the person made a mistake and needs help.

let her learn, she gotta learn her mistake when it come to it. if you keep catching her before she fall, then she will never learn how to pick herslf up.

Well you did what you could. I can relate to the girl you're talking about. The guy I'm seeing is older than me, going through a divorce, and has a LOT of issues. Normally, I'm good at using my head and staying out of situations that will most likely end up stressing me out or hurting me in the end. But when emotions get involved, the heart wants what the heart wants. I'll probably end up getting hurt in this relationship, but for now I'm very happy. (And hey, take in the good, get over the bad...) "You can't fall in love if you're afraid to get hurt."

And seeing as this is your friends first serious relationship, her emotions are probably playing a great deal in her clouded vision of this guy she's interested in. Unfortunately all you can do is be a shoulder of comfort in this situation.

Sometimes you've got to learn the hard way. So let her learn, and NEVER say "I told you so" in the end.

Her relationship isn't really your business. I think you're flattering your elf with the "I'm a good honest pers, I care too much" stuff - trying to justify your behavior. Stop trying to control others and start managing your own life and your owm relationships.

maybe they will live a long and fruitful life.happy together.forever. you think of that?

This may be hard to understand but i will say it anyway she may just be in it for the $ex and quite enjoying all the attention.

I find life to be interesting this way. I was born into a family where my first years consisted of silence. We weren't allowed to speak unless spoken to. Observing people and hypocrisy created a new pattern for me, and once I got moving on (running away) I created my life based on as much honesty as I could muster. It's tough both hearing and saying, but in the end of the day, it helps to keep on track of who one is and where one wants to go. One can be honest in different ways and it can be said with different vibrations and intentions. Make sure you know you say what you want to say and you mean what you say.

I believe (as someone also wrote) there is nothing beyond honesty. To be honest is the best gift you can give anyone. Your BEING is based on honesty and from that all that you are, want, need and create it emanates in its purest sense.

LOVE is only love with honest intentions as well..



Anyway, Once on my own, my life became honest to others AND myself. Thats the toughest road, but the straightest path in life *I* found. You have given from yourself what you can.



Now.. You're still young, remember.. Once being honest, you need to learn to let go of the feeling of control. I know you know you can't choose for her nor control her life. But many times we know this intellectually, yet emotionally we put ourselves up for disappointment because we still expect people to follow the advice.

She has her own path to walk. Own choices to make. Without falling, she wont KNOW. She wont choose better for herself. This is her life to learn and live.

As you with yours.



Her decision MAY seem stupid, not thought through or whatever else, yet maybe her choice is absolutely and definitely RIGHT for the life she's creating and living. Don't rob her of the lessons. Just find your own place in it all.

Should you stop her? Can you? Would you? - Why?

Should you wait? Can you? Would you? - Why?

Should you help? Can you? Will you? - Why?



The best step in a situation like this *I* found, was to allow people to choose for themselves and then make sure I am where I want to be. Am I a friend wholeheartedly, then I'll be there when the person needs me. Because she wont know she needs you before she needs you. [smiles]



Breathe.



Love



Skye

You are not a mental health professional or you would offer advice from outside the forest, objective, non judgmental and with no baggage or agenda you bring to the table. That is why I never, ever see people I have even a fleeting link to. I am not chastising you for this error, only helping you understand why you are torn and you have so many emotions in play. I avoid stereotypes and anecdotal evidence and rely on good peer reviewed knowledge and statistical analysis. I could not give proper advice to a person who I have even the slightest connection to. Friends give good support if it hits the fan but should leave the rest to professionals. Every meeting has to at a minimum establish the role of all the players

i think we all have tried to help friends with honest advice when the truth hurts some times they get mad. i have learned to try keep my thoughts to myself. tho i not very good at it if they ask my opinion. the truth can hurt! people in love are the last to see what every one else see s

It sounds like you are in love with this friend.

I know how you feel.... I can understand to a certain extent. Right now all that you can do is watch things as it unfolds. Incase it goes wrong, you give her a hug and let her cry on your shoulder.... That is the best you can do right now...

That's what friends r 4 ??!!

To be frank, I try to make a note of when other people's problems are starting to seem like my own. I love my friends dearly, but sometimes we can get a bit too wrapped up in their lives. We can only do so much to "save" them and half the time we can't even do that.



I love Shaylon's comment:



"It is her life! Let her live it! Right or Wrong it does not belong to you."



That's a hard pill to swallow, but I have learned this is the truth, plain and simple. We can't "save" anyone that doesn't want to be "saved".



All we can do is be there to listen and perhaps pick up the pieces if things do not go well.

Some people/ friends just don't listen. You can express what you feel or think but it is not going to change her mind at that age. She will have to as someone said .. fall on her face.

Yeah, I have noidea idea how you just feel. I have this virtually identical situation, and never do I feel like "oh geezeus here we goes again". I offer and probably will always continue to safe harbor such battered hearts. I can't open port for the broken and weary only to criticize them. I can offer opinions where applicable, and I am totally ok whether my soap box dimebag confessional is taken. If they just listen, that's enough for me to know, I did my job. A warm place that's safe and knowing I helped keep them safe from themselves for a day or so, is my compensation. Your friend sounds young and really needs to make their own choices and learn from their mistakes. They're only twenty years old. There is alot of growing to be pained through for them. Stand back and allow them to run their lives. If unmanageability becomes apparent, lend a hand and help.

very simple equation that I have learned through many years of friends, and enemies...



There is a time for two things with the dead honest approach with no sugar coating and its usually more effective in the Ying..



the Yang of the Ying: Watching them make the mistake, with the best of luck (aka advice, given only once! this is key).



The Ying to the Yang: Your consoling thoughts are needed and NOW your advice is needed and will be heard better once the cloud has been cleared..

honey i have given advice to one particular friend and she constantly does the opposite of what i advice her. Most people that seek advice just want reassurance that what they're doing is right anything else and they dismiss it. At the end when they see that what you said rang true they'll probably come back to you when its too late telling you how right you were. Just be there for her whether or not this thing of hers blossoms or just goes down the gutter remind her that she will not be alone.

I have been in both positions. The young naive girl who got involved with a 40 year old man, and now the woman who gives the advice. The only thing I can say is that maybe there is more going on than meets the eye. I got involved with the man because it offered a way out of my home situation. My mother and I could not get along. She was mentally unstable, and constantly at my throat. I needed someone who was older and (I thought) wiser, who had a steady income and stability. I knew I could never afford rent on my own, and none of my friends had the ability to move in with me or help me out in any way. He was the only one who could help. We moved in together and he divorced his wife. We got married a year later. I knew it wouldnt last, but I made the best of it. He was an alcoholic and had several kids by 2 previous marriages. We divorced 6 years later.



What I didn't know at the time was my mother had borderline personality disorder. Unknowingly I chose a mate who brought similar patterns of behavior to my life. Unpredictability, fighting, chaos. We are doomed to repeat the childhood experiences we grew up with in order to try and 'set things right'. Unconsciously we choose partners who in some way mimic what we learned in childhood. If a parent was abusive, we will choose someone who will bring out those coping skills we learned as a child. If we have a childhood that is filled with chaos and disorder, the best thing we can do is get help to sort things out before getting involved with someone. Otherwise we may make a choice that is less than ideal.



Fast forward 20 years later. I have a friend who is in an abusive marriage. She won't get out. I have another friend who can't stand his wife, yet is staying "for the kids." Every day I hear the trials and tribulations of their lives, and I tell them patiently to make a plan, and save up some money, get their things in order, and get out. Every day I hear one excuse after another as to why this cant work or that won't work, and it drives me crazy to see one friend say on facebook how she adores her husband, and it's all a lie!! Their marriage is a farce! He is the biggest a$$ on the face of the planet. And she complains about him all the time. He has thrown things across the room at her before.



We all have to be careful. When faced with situations like these the natural tendency is to become codependant. We so desperately want them to make good choices, that we want to step up and live their lives for them, bail them out of trouble, and pick up the pieces for them. Please don't. I am not trying to be cruel, but from experience I can say that they need to learn life's lessons. They cannot learn anything if we keep loaning them money that will never be repaid, giving them handouts, feeling sorry for them, and whatever else we do to make their existance more tolerable. What we are doing, in fact, is enabling their lives to go on as they are, without any chance of change. The very thing we wish to stop, is going on because of us. And THAT, my friends, is the really unfair part.

Ritual De La Habitual.

Sorry I mean I honestly thing that you shouldn't beat yourself up about it/

I totally understand where you're coming from. I used to be my friends personal 'psychologist.' I'd listen to their problems, give them advice and hope that they had the smarts enough to follow my advice. Sometimes they did and sometimes they didn't. When the friend in question wouldn't follow my advice I used to feel used but then I realized that the choice they ultimately make is up to them and them alone!



My advice, don't beat yourself up for this friends misgivings. If she doesn't want to take your advice then so be it! This friend will just have to lie on the bed that she's made for herself. I honestly wouldn't beat yourself up about it.

It's really hard to watch friends make mistakes, when you can see the writing on the wall but they can't.

Even harder is your children. Sometimes I have to remind myself that we all need to make our own mistakes as that is how we learn , grow and mature. But I'm with you , it sure isn't easy! Sounds like you are a very good friend :)

Ha! In cases such as these,I usually say,'join the club!',so to speak,but this time,there is REALLY one! :D

some people only know abuse. That's what they were taught by their loved ones growing up! They can't be helped! They have been hurt and damaged. Sorry! If you find a way to help them, let me know. I'm gonna publish and make a million bucks!! I'm not trying to be callus, just an observation.

I think, to be a true friend, you just have to ride it out and be there to pick up the pieces when it inevitably goes wrong.



And it will go wrong.

I have read all the comments and must say all very insightful and well meaning but the boyyom line is iy is herlife and as such she will make her own choices right or wrong,, most people ,if yhey are to have a successful relationship have a bad one first,, the others who think they have it all find out later thry are wrong the question yo me is ,, whether it is better to make mistakes early or later in life,, i actually do not know of anyone who at a young age made adecision that they are happy with today,, Perhaps there are people out there but in aqll honesty i have never met one and i am in my 60s

In a way, it sounds like being a parent. As far as I know, and I willbe learning this firsthand in the near(ish) future, a parent can only

1) give the advice

2) let the child absorb the advice

3) watch as the child decided to use or ignore the advice

4) watch them walk to the edge of the cliff (as they make their decision)

5) and let them fall over the edge if/when they go over.

Part of being a friend and parent is to just be there for them (to help get them back up) no matter how you feel about their decision. This is when the phrase "live and learn" comes in. I would cut off a friend if they continued to make the same mistake over and over despite my advice, though. It's true that a person can only take so much...

I'm currently in a relationship with some one who's also a lot older than I am. She brings her past issues with her life, family and even exs into the relationship. I stopped doing many things for her and still continue to change everything about me and she still hasn't lightened up. I understand her part and I do understand yours too. The only people that know this about my relationship is me, my girlfriend and anybody who reads this, but of course none of you know who I am.

I know exactly how you feel, my friends do this sort of thing all the time to me. All you can do is try to let them go through the motions and they will realise at the end "oh you were right" and they will learn from it. Just got to think of every mistake as another learning experience. You just have to be there to catch them when they fall maybe?

What you did was for the best, and was all you could do. Advice is simply that- advising, not making choices for them. If we could make good choices for other people, they would never learn on their own. Possibly the most painful kind of learning, by consequence, if they even get a consequence.



I did something similar to what you did, and told a friend that the guy she was going for was bad news. She kept hanging out with him anyway, and he ended up harassing her in the end, to the point where she tries to avoid him at all costs.



It can be so frustrating when people don't take our good intentions to heart. It's a very personal thing, and it feels good when they agree that Yes, that would be what is right for them. A lot of it seems to be What would be good for them in the long run versus Temporary satisfaction and desires. They do what will make them happy and feel loved, wanted in the short-term, but the long-term happiness- it is ignored. It is hard to get people to make the decisions that will be hard to them now, but will be satisfying years from now. They don't tend to think that way. When I say They I don't have an Us and Them mentality, because everyone including me thinks that way. It's instinct, survival.