Well, I have been best friends with Susan (not real name) for 35 years and we always remained close. Well, Susan has a daughter (Debbie) who is 18 now and I think the daughter is spoiled but I do not express those thoughts to Susan as in Susan's eyes, her daughter can do no wrong.
Well, Debbie got pregnant at 16 and she is a great mother if I say so myself. She has been with her bf (the father) for about 7 years. There was talk of marriage but their relationship is changing. Debbie had another baby 2 months ago and father did not want her to have this baby but to abort it but Debbie does not believe in that.
Well, Susan (best friend) calls me last night and tells me that her daughter wants to break up with BF and get her own mobile home (they live in a very small town). Debbie naturally doesn't work and her mother Susan (and husband) are older, works, but are having really bad money problems (they always have money problems). Yet when Debbie wants something, Susan does everything she can to get it for her.
I think this is enabling her daughter, please correct me if I am wrong.
My best friend is blaming everything on the BF saying he has an anger problem. I said "Susan, there are always 2 sides of every story"... I met BF several times and he is a nice guy and I never sensed any anger issues. I think he feels pressured because he has 2 children now and Debbie always wants everything her way.
Then I said to her "I see BF giving up so much and being a great father, what is Debbie giving up or compromising?".. BF did not want to have a 2nd baby but Debbie does want she wants anyway. And as far as Debbie wanting a mobile home I asked "who is going to buy it?" and best friend answered something about taking out a personal loan. But best friend and her husband need a new roof on their house and they are facing possible foreclosure. Also, daughter never learned how to drive so my best friend takes the 1-1/2 year old to day care before she goes to work.
Why not teach daughter how to drive and become independent? Maybe my best friend doesn't want her daughter to become too independent? I don't know.
The bottom line is I don't know what to say to my best friend and I don't want her to get angry at me (she might be already). We have the type of relationship where we are blunt and honest with each other but I do have to remember that when it comes to her daughter, I have to be careful.
Any thoughts on how I should handle this or should I mind my own business?
In my case, I would have to replace the "friend" with my parents, and replace the daughter with my own 50 year old sister.
When those close to us, make big decisions without including our opinions, they are choosing to take the consequences without our help too. My parents have taken care of every little thing for my 50 year old sister, to the exclusion of themselves. She has walked all over them a million times, and they continue to give her whatever she wants.
I had to make the difficult choice to gently inform my elderly parents, that any further issues with "Judy" (my sister), would be made without my input, therefore I would NOT be able to get involved in any repercussions. I would not be there to discuss, debate, or offer any more advice on the subject.
Make your dear friend understand that you support her, but not the actions of her daughter, particularly when it comes to loosing her own home, in order to provide her daughter with a mobile home, because she wants one!
Your friends daughter is a grown woman with two children to think of. It will do her no good to continue this enabling, for anyones sake. Time to wake up and smell the coffee...and I wish you the best.
In a nutshell: don't criticize anyone directly, but if they ask you a question or for advice then say your true opinion in a gentle way. If it is a negative opinion, try to add something positive at the end.
Yikes I hate to say this....
Your best friends daughter IS spoiled, & there is not a single thing you can do to turn this kind of parenting around. I have zero idea why parents (more so these days than ever) raise their children like this.
I had a friend whose family was a hot mess like this. He was one of a set of siblings with either no high school diplomas or ged's, and there were numerous out of wedlock babies, so when someone needed a sitter, they would call the grandparents, which was often. Always borrowing $$$ from the parents as none of them could make the cc payments on all the electronics they owned. just totally chaotic.
the wierd thing is i got the sneaking suspicion the parents didn't care about the massively backwards way the kids were living, b/c they secretly loved how dependent their grown children were on them. Creepy.
Yeah it's easy for your friend to blame her daughter's bf, but really, she had a looooong time to bring up her little girl right. She should have taught her to postpone sex or use protection. The daughter's spoiled, the mom is in denial, so talking to her truthfully is pointless.
There are reasons for all relationships/all friendships and once the reason for being friends is gone so is the relationship but as long as the reason for having the friendship remains in tact so does the relationship. I had a friend for 25 years I was always married and she went through a few husbands and then I divorced after 20 years it was then I no longer had the patience for her. She could suck the life out of a person and when I became single with 4 kids I no longer had the energy it took to maintain our relationship so it ended. I guess you too will have to cross that bridge. I'm not sure how you can maintain a relationship if as you say... is based in blunt honesty ...yet you can't be blunt about her daughter. When you find yourself having to keep your mouth shut for fear of losing her as a friend then you will find this will be too much of a stressful friendship and it will probably end. Good luck...loosing a long time friend is never easy but keeping them sometimes just isn't worth it either.
Does your friend complain to you about her daughter taking advantage of her? If not, then totally ignore the situation - One, it doesn't concern you, and, two NOBODY does anything without there being a payoff for them. Your friend is being used, sure, but she is allowing it for reasons of her own, for example, the feeling of being indispensable to her daughter, or basing her life around her daughter's problems. Weird, but she is getting some payoff, and certainly will not appreciate you for playing any part in denying her this. People live their lives in many and various ways, and all you need to ask yourself is "Can I still be friends with this person in spite of our different approaches to life?" Take the right and wrong and the judgements out of the equation - it all boils down to living the way that suits us. Sera.
Hi writeleft - thanks for sharing your experience, yes, it's hard to watch this enabling. My mother enables my older brother so maybe this is why it bothers me so much. In that situation I try not to get involved but it's so hard to watch what's going on.
As far as my best friend, I just can't support her when it comes to how she treats her daughter. My best friend had her daughter late in life and what will happen to the daughter if something happens to my best friend and husband? She has not learned anything about life or about being independent. She depends on her mother for everything.
pendulum - I always had a problem being "gentle" with anyone, I just can't help being a blunt person and yes, it has hurt me and I have tried over and over again to learn how to "sugar-coat" my words but it doesn't always work.
nobodyknows - you are absolutely correct that my best friend is in denial. I remember when her daughter was very young and didn't feel like going to school and my friend let her stay home all the time! I warned my best friend back then but little good came from it. I didn't butt in, my best friend would call me and ask me for advice "oh, my daughter missed too many school days, what should I do?" Duh!!
AnnD - I don't think my friendship with best friend will end as we have too much in common and we are both very sentimental about our friendship. I just have to be careful on how I express my words to her when it comes to her daughter. I really love my friend and her daughter and my friend knows this. I just want the best for everyone involved.
Seraph - Yes, my best friend has complained to me about her daughter. There were times when daughter would call up best friend and ask her to leave work for a stupid reason and then my best friend would call me and ask me what should she do? Then there has been times when best friend became upset as daughter would get angry with her for not doing what she wanted and felt hurt.
You are right about the payoffs. I think my friend doesn't want to recognize that her daughter has grown up and is not her little girl anymore. She is not facing reality but I would never tell her that!
I think in all due time everything will end up falling into place. May not be the best place.. Most of the time I do ignore what I see because I don't want to hurt my friend's feelings. But when my best calls me and asks me what she should do, I feel as her friend I should give her my honest opinion and try to be gentle with it which I'm not too great at doing.
As I said before, my best friend and myself are just too close and truly value our friendship. It just saddens me how her daughter is turning out as far as using my friend but that's not my problem. I have "suggested" ideas to my friend in the past and it's up to her to either take my suggestions or do what she wants.
There's just nothing you can do but sit back and watch in horror! My 56 year old sister and her 26 year old daughter are like this...but take away the babies and add hopelessly addicted to drugs! UGH! All we can do is just sit back and watch...if anyone says anything my sister gets all POed at everyone! It's like talking to a brick wall!
I must admit, I have grown to resent both my parents and my 50 year old sister, because of their co-dependent relationship. My parents (mother, actually) have done everything she can to keep both of us tightly under her wing. I have had to fight my way out of her control, because it is ridiculous to me. I have no desire to be treated like a child, when I have my own grown children! Co-dependency is a complicated web that traps both parties into constant turmoil. It is a horrible thing to watch from the outside.
I can understand your reluctance to speak your mind, because it has been a long time coming, and could hurt. I admire your loyalty to your longtime friend, so your dilemma is understandable. I have been known to be quite blunt myself, particularly when I have had enough.
I have learned that I do not have the qualifications, education, or proper tools to provide help within my own family. My care and concern fall on deaf ears, so I have had to step out. As much as I love and respect my parents, and have dreamed of a close loving bond between us, it hasn't worked that way. I am certainly polite and kind to my folks, but when it comes to "Judy", I have put my foot down.
I certainly hope your friendship survives this test, because you sound like a great friend. Lets keep in touch...