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My friend has let me down

Posted by Patricia_Marie
Patricia_Marie
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on Thursday, 21 August 2014
Dear Patricia Marie,

I've had this friend for years - since we were at college together. And I always thought we'd be there for each other through thick and thin. Three years ago, she went through a messy divorce and I supported her. Then, last year I found out my husband had been cheating on me, and after trying to work through it naturally, I went to my friend for sympathy. But she turned on me, telling me I was dragging her down and asking too much of her. We're still friends, but the closeness has completely gone. Was I wrong to have expected more from her?

Patricia Marie says...

No, you weren't wrong to expect more from your friend at all, but you may have to accept that she wasn't rejecting you when she let you down. Sometimes people can't be how we would like them to be, or act in the way we'd prefer them to. It hurts because it feels personal, almost as if she's decided you don't deserve her help. But in reality, her behaviour is about her, not you.

It sounds like your unhappiness, in a situation so like her own, dramatically brought back her grief and pain.

When we want to offload, we have to take some responsibility. Just because we want to get angry and upset, it doesn't mean our friends are able to deal with us being this way, especially if they have issues they are trying to deal with, which we may be ignoring because we are too focused with what's bothering us. While friends can, and should, be there for us when we need their support, often a professional can give us the care we really need to move on. Perhaps if your friend had gone for counselling as well as asking for your help, she might have been able to put her sadness aside and be there for you - and now not feel so guilty about failing you, which I suspect is what the distance is about.

I believe you may benefit from some counselling yourself to help you move forward with this situation. Hopefully, once you start to feel better you'll be able to forgive her and that closeness will return.

The British association of Counselling and Psychotherapy have a directory where you can find a qualified therapist in your area. www.bacp.co.uk



Have a dilemma? Please email Patricia.Marie@lady.co.uk  Please note, while Patricia cannot respond to all emails, she does read them all.


In need of further support? Patricia Marie offers a counselling service in Harley Street, contact details as follows

My Daughter Is Causing Me Worry

Posted by Patricia_Marie
Patricia_Marie
Guest has not set their biography yet
User is currently offline
on Friday, 28 March 2014
Dear Patricia Marie,

My 17 year old daughter and I have always been close. Recently, her father offered to pay for her gym membership so she could lose weight - and I agreed it was a good idea. Now she's so upset she wants nothing to do with us. She has changed so much in the last few months since her close friend died in a car accident, which she refuses to talk about, has stopped socialising, and spends most of the time in her bedroom eating sweets.

She seems to gain pleasure from giving me as much stress as possible and is causing such an atmosphere in what has always a happy household. The main issue is, that five years ago, I put £10,000 in premium bonds in her name, which will become hers when she's 18. Not only is she being difficult, but I think she'd spend the money, instead of using it for university as I intended. I'm happy to give it to her when she's older and wiser, but am I breaking both a legal and emotional law by withholding it from her?

Patricia Marie says,

If the bonds are in her name, you would be acting illegally if you spent the money yourself and you are being unethical if you promised them to her when she turned 18. I feel the more important issue here is the problem between you, your husband and your daughter. If you love someone, you do so unconditionally, not only if they are slim or fit or otherwise.

It sounds as if she found her father's offer a sign of criticism and rejection, especially at a time when she is grieving for the loss of her friend. Your daughter is clearly overwhelmed with emotion, hence the comfort eating, and in much need of some tender loving care. What you should have done is asked her if she had any concerns about herself and if there was anything you could do to help.

You need to separate the issue of the money from the issue of her hurt and embarrassment. Tell her that, as promised, on her 18th birthday she will get the money, however, remind her it was intended as a support for university and that you would be happy if it was used in that way. Also, tell her your sorry if you said the wrong thing and that your wanting to get your relationship back on track.


Got a dilemma, please email Patricia.Marie@lady.co.uk 
Please note, while Patricia cannot respond to all emails, she does read them all.

In need of further support? Patricia Marie offers a counselling service in Harley Street, contact details as follows


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