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Advice please

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
I have a huge problem with two of my very good friends, that I'd love some help on handling if anyone has anything to offer.

My best friend "Lisa" and her boyfriend "Joe" came over last night because he was upset that she had just told him she was leaving him. I am very good friends with Joe as well. They've been together for 2 1/2 years, and the relationship has been very rocky from the get-go. Joe has anger issues, and takes a lot of it out on her via insults etc. She got to the point a few months ago where she told me she was tired of being treated the way she was and was ready to leave him. I told her to talk to him about it- she did, he changed for a little while, and then it was back to square one.

So in the past two weeks Lisa has become interested in another friend of mine "David"- they had been friends for a few years, but a closeness started to develop. She tells me shes not leaving Joe for David, but just because shes miserable in the relationship. It doesn't help that before a few days ago Joe and David were good friends.

Joe called me today because he saw her car at Davids and wanted to know if anything was going on. I told him I didn't want to be put in the middle and that it was between he and Lisa.

Now I'm scared because I have the two of them pulling me in opposite directions and both wanting my loyalty. Both say they don't want to make me the 'middle man' but thats exactly what they are doing.

To make matters more complicated, Lisa has no place to stay, and is going to be staying here for a while. How am I going to maintain a friendship with both of them in this odd, and difficult situation?
post #2 of 10
You need to be very specific with each of them in not wanting to be the "middle man". As in, tell them what you will or will not say to the other person. For example, if Joe calls with questions about what Lisa is doing, you will not answer.

You also need to tell each of them that you will not lie for them. And if you have Lisa staying at your place, that neutral friend of both position will be very difficult to maintain, I would think.

And really, if she and David are "getting close", that whole thing will probably blow up in their faces. Because it looks a lot like rebound, and that does not bode well for a longer term friendship. I really think that she needs to get her head together ending the whole thing with Joe first, before she even thinks of getting into something else. Especially if he was emotionally abusive.
post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 
Thats exactly what I told her last night when we talked- not to jump into anything, because it wouldn't work out with her present 'emotional baggage'.

I can't tell her she can't stay here- she literally has no place to go. I think he would understand that, but it makes it so that he won't feel comfortable calling me or my hubby (who is a close friend of his) if hes feeling down , or needs a shoulder.

I feel like I'm going to lose a friend out of this if I'm not careful. I was put in this position before when a couple I was friends with split up. I ended up losing one of them as a friend even though I tried so hard to be diplomatic and objective. I was accused of 'choosing one over the other', which was not my intent at all.

I'm just so saddened by all of this. I hate seeing two people I care about in such a mess, and in such pain
post #4 of 10
I know you're in a difficult situation. But you kind of put yourself in the middle by allowing the girl friend to stay with you. At least that is how they are going to feel and especially the man. I know that isn't your intention but unfortunately that's what it will look like to him. All you can do is tell each one of them that they will have to take their relationship issues somewhere else because you need to remain neutral. Sorry you're in this situation.

To be honest, I'm glad she left him. It sounds like he has serious anger issues that he needs to deal with. And anger issues are dangerous. Name calling and belittling turns into violence. If he loves her and wants to help himself, maybe you could suggest a counselor and anger management classes?

Good luck!
post #5 of 10
I agree with Tammie. If he has anger issues and is belittling her, that is abuse and she needs out of the situation. She definately, does not need to rebound with someone else. She has to look at herself to see why she allowed this abuse to continue for 2+ years.
post #6 of 10
Thread Starter 
I talked to Joe on the phone this morning and I pointed him in the direction of a good councellor who can help him with his abuse issues.

He's so upset- he keeps saying to me that he didn't know what he was going to lose before, but now that shes gone he sees it and its too late. Sadly, hes right. She doesn't love him any more and won't ever go back to him. He grasping at straws and wants someone to tell him something that will make him feel better, and I can't do that. I'm not going to tell him that she's through with him for good either, though, because thats not my job. Its between the two of them to work out the finalities, and I've been telling them both that. I hope they respect me enough to leave me out of it for the most part.

This is so upsetting and difficult for everyone involved
post #7 of 10
I've never been in this situation so I really don't have any good advice, but I hope things will get better soon for you and for them! *HUGS*
post #8 of 10
Well you already told them you don't want to be the middle man. Joe might not like you because she will be staying with you. But this is something pre-arranged, and if he doesn't want to see it that way, screw him. She is in the right for leaving him too. It already sounds like he may be a bit of an ass, and if he can't handle this, then he probably is one.

Glad to hear your friend is getting out of the abusive relationship.
post #9 of 10
I can understand what you're going through to a certain degree. I at one time was your gal friend & I put my friends in your situation. I ended up losing some friends over the deal (but I realized that they really were not friends to begin with), but I did value my closest friends very much. I put Amy (my best friend) in a bad situation because she was such dear friends to me & my ex. She stood her ground & said that she was not going to pick sides. What ever the problem was between my ex & I was our own business and WE were going to have to deal with being her friend. She blunt about it, but I realized that it was crappy for her to have to pick between us. My ex & I are friends and we get along ok for the most part. It was almost like having children in a broken marriage only with friends. We both realized that we didn't want to lose our closest friends over the fact that we couldn't get along with each other. It was damn hard at first because I couldn't be nice to him. I singled myself out completely & didn't have anything to do with my friends at all. Once I regrouped my thoughts & realized how badly I was hurting my friends, I started hanging out with them all again. Eventually my ex did the same & with in a couple months, the whole gang was back together like nothing happened. There were times when Amy would try to plug me for info & convince me to go back to him, but I told her that my decision is MY decision...and she's never asked or proded again.

So, my whole point is that it's possible to stay friends with both but it takes alot of work from all parties involved. They may choose that they can't handle that pressure & hopefully they'll realize the situation they are putting you in.
Hang in there Hon!
post #10 of 10
Thread Starter 
Thanks so much for all of your advice. I value it, and will be putting it to good use.

I think things will start to move forward in a positive light once she firmly puts her foot down and tells him shes not going to change her mind. Right now hes clinging to some small hope and she doesn't want to hurt his feelings so shes 'wishy washy' with him.

She has decided that shes not going to move in here, which is good in that I can be more neutral. However, she IS moving in with David- whihc is so beyond a horrible idea I don't even know what to say about it. She hasn't just stabbed Joe in the heart, shes twisted the knife a little deeper with this latest development. *sigh* But what can I do? I can only offer her advice , not force her to take it.

I feel like her relationship with David will never have a fighting chance if she does this, and that makes me sad.

I guess all I can do is offer up my ears, lend my shoulder and be the best friend I can to both Lisa and Joe.
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