How do I keep a friend like this?

@maezee (19616)
United States
April 27, 2010 11:29pm CST
I'm all emotional about this one friend of mine..And I'd like some advice or whatever you've got for me, really! I've known this guy since elementary school (we're both 19/20 now), we've had weird romantic flings on and off, and I genuinely care about him in a way that I don't care about most of my friends in. Just over the course of this weekend, he got arrested TWICE (yes, not ONCE but TWICE!), owes all of this money to the county now, and is trying to scrape money up for rent (due in 5 days..) and he seems to pull these kinds of crazy stunts often. And now he's considering dealing (drugs! yes!) to try to make some quick money to pay off these bills. It's just getting worse and worse. I love him to death, but how can I keep a friend like this? Who just can't grow up, and who's totally a huge risk - not only to himself but to my emotions as well? I can't even begin to explain the heartstrings it pulls in me every time I hear about a new part of the Saga that is his very dramatic and scary life, especially since it's all totally out of my control. I just don't know if I have enough energy to care, and constantly worry about someone who's out to get himself? To be "emotionally" involved, even though we're totally just friends? The thing is he's a great guy. He knows all of my opinions on these situations that happen to him (or because of him, whatever the case is) and nothing changes. But the problem is that we CLICK so much; get along GREAT and he's been there for me during personal problems I've had with various things. But these situations stress me out so much; I seriously end up crying and fighting with him and trying to yell sense into him (it never works). I just don't know what to do! Have you ever had a friend who is just.. emotionally exhausting to be with? What did you do about it? And P.S.) Sorry if you can't understand my incoherent babbling! I'm in a certain state right now..Not a good one! Any help or insight would be AMAZING
1 person likes this
7 responses
@EvrWonder (3579)
• Canada
28 Apr 10
Wow, this is huge, for you. I have been involved with people like this. Try a sibling so what is worse? Sometimes maezee, you just have to let go and hope for the best. I know that sounds like the hardest thing ever but for your own sake, health and well being. No matter how much to wind yourself up, how much you yell and cry, he is going to do what he is going to do regardless. There isn't a thing that you can say or do to change that. It is he who has to one, want to change and two, do better, for himself! Not for a friend, a lover or otherwise. Even if he made what would be a lame attempt, for the sake of a friend etc, it wouldn't last. He needs to work through his own cr*p, on his own time. I understand that you have known him since the earliest of years but perhaps it is time to look him in the eye and say hey, you know what, I can't be a part of this caos anymore and remain sane. tell him that he must go his own way as you are going yours. Be sure to let him know that if and when he ever cleans up his act, figure out what is compelling him to make the crazy decisions that he has been, deal with it and get on track, that you will be there for him, as a friend, that for now, he is in too deep for your likely and that you do not want to be a part of it. Good bye. Go your own way. Be strong and don't look back. If in five years or more he wanders back, has a good job, is paying for his place and doing good, without messing on the bad side of the law and in good health, welcome him with open arms. Problem is is that he is an adult, he is going and getting arrested (for who knows what) and so he now has a criminal record to boot. Great. That is going to make his life much harder to handle. Convictions do not work in anyone's favor when it comes to working and such. I totally understand where you are coming from. I have completely understood your post. That is what I would do. When my one sibling is in a fase where they are carrying on less responsibly than what I would like, I avoid them like the plague because the stress it causes me, the worry and concern just isn't good for me or my heart, my health and for those around me. I can not take one the baggage, the problems and all that goes along with living that lifestyle. I let go and hope for the best. I let go because I can;t handle it and remain in tack to look after myself and those who depend on me. Mainly myself! So that is what I would do and is only my opinion.
@maezee (19616)
• United States
28 Apr 10
Oh my gosh. Thank you so much for your answer. It means the world to me! I almost started crying right there. I think you articulated perfectly what I am too afraid to admit that I have to do. It just feels like dangerous territory to me. I don't want to abandon him in his bout of self-destruction (where he might need support), but at the same time..The stress is doing nothing for me whatsoever - it makes me physically and emotionally unstable and unhealthy. Is it selfish to leave a friend behind for the sake of our own sanity? These are just some of the questions I've been asking myself for the past few days. But I really really really (times 100) appreciate the time you took to respond to my discussion. I really need(ed?) to hear this; because you're absolutely right.
@EvrWonder (3579)
• Canada
28 Apr 10
I know it feels scary so you are reluctant and have questions going on inside. I understand that. Surely this guy has other friends and possibly even family. You are not the one and only. Since he was arrested, owes money, then he must of been charged. Does he not have resources within the legal system when he could turn for (educated) support? Yelling and crying is not support. If that is your picture in your profile, then you do not look to me like the type to hang with less desirable s. Not to be mean to your friend but take a closer look, at the immediate picture. Is that how you want to spend your life? Know that you cry (because you are hurt and upset) because you have expectations for him that he is not meeting and probably never will. Hopefully it is just a phase that he id going through but one has to wonder since he is an adult and carrying on the way he is. Too bad he couldn't of pulled this stuff off years earlier when he was still a juvenile. You are right that it is doing you absolutely no good but taking years off your life due to the stress and all as a result of his behavior. Let go girl. You will be better off for it. Is it not selfish? Hm, is his behavior not selfish? Do you think that when he was doing waht he was, not once but twice, to get himself arrested, that he was thinking about you and your feelings? Not! We all do what we do. If you want to hang with him and let him continue to use you as his door mat, basically, then so be it but know your true value and be true to yourself. Is is selfish to leave a friend for the sake of our own sanity? Definitely not! It obviously hasn't got that bad yet that you can not eat and if you do you wil throw up, you can not sleep, your friends are dropping like flies because they can;t stand to be around you because you are so irritable. You know, stress. When it starts effecting your physical and mental health, it is not selfish, at all. I feel that his behavior is rather immature and at least selfish. He has a great girl that adores him and is his friend and he still goes and chooses to do what he does. I think it boils down to self respect. How much do you have? You have to look after you. No one else will. You're welcome and take good care of you, first and foremost and at whatever cost. It doesn't have to be forever but let him go. Give him space and time and heal yourself.
@EvrWonder (3579)
• Canada
28 Apr 10
Thinking as to your initial question, RE: How do I keep a Friend Like this? Another option could be to say hey look, this isn't working for me. Explain how badly it upsets you and then reverberates into your daily life. Set some boundaries, stick to them and Live by them. It may be something like when he is in trouble to not come to you. Btwn us, you & your fellow Mylotters, we have learned through your discussion, the negative effects that the behavior (and disrespect towards the friendship btwn you and him) has on you. The boundaries you set, for yourself, is to keep you from having to experience the turmoil. Let him know that if he is in the free and clear, without the baggage that he is currently in the middle of packing for himself, that you would be glad to get together, for a lunch, a coffee or even a movie. Otherwise, ask him to please leave you out of it. Tel him that it is just too much for you, that it hurts you and that you do not want any part of "that stuff". If he is truly your friend that he cares about equally as you care for him, he will respect your boundaries. So, think about it and set some, that you can be firm about and live with. Do not waver once set. Look after you first and foremost. Best of luck to you!
@Theresaaiza (9597)
• Australia
29 Apr 10
Hi maezee, you have been an amazing person and a friend to him. But putting that burden on your shoulders is also keeping you from opening yourself to other people who could equally care for you and be responsible for his own self at the same. It seems like your whole life revolves around him but in the long run you are only hurting yourself.
• India
29 Apr 10
everybody have their strengths and weaknesses.his not growing up is not a reason you should leave him.at least he does understand you and your situations.people like him are hard to understand.you consider him a good friend and should keep considering him a good friend whole your life until and unless something bad happens that affects you personally.right now he needs you.don't leave him.already he is in jail and i don't know how bad he is feeling.he'll be more hurt if you leave him when he needs you the most.i have never had a friend like this so maybe my advice maybe senseless but i have gone through a situation where i have thought the same way you are thinking now.i even ended up leaving that person and that was the biggest mistake of my life and i don't want to remember all that again.i would simply say that its better to prevent the breaking of relationship rather than regretting it later.if he continues to keep going to jail you in a way don't have anything to lose but if you consider leaving hi then you will lose a great friend.he needs you now and as a friend you have a responsibility to help him out.rest is your choice.hope you have understood what rubbish i have written.take care.god bless you both.
@gabs8513 (48821)
• United Kingdom
28 Apr 10
You are in a dilemma there but you need to either get through to him or tell him the consequences if he does not stop getting himself into trouble and worrying you so much You have to think of yourself to and this will make you sick in the end, also the other thing that could happen further down the road, is that you will start to resent him because of what he is doing to you and himself I hope that you can work this out I really do
@katsmeow1213 (25798)
• United States
28 Apr 10
I think we've all known someone at one point or another that we knew was bad for us but we couldn't help ourselves. With me it was a boyfriend. He hurt me badly, time and time again, but I just wouldn't let him go. Personally I think you're too emotionally invested in this guy. You understand that people change, and this guy has changed in a bad way. Just like people change, friendships do as well. If he is just a friend, then it's time to take a few steps back. Let him live his life, but stay out of it. You can't allow him to pull you into it. But remain available to be there for him when he gets his sh*t together so to speak. But to me it sounds like it's more than a friendship, which makes it worse. If you're actually in love with the guy, then you need to sever all ties completely and get away from it! It will be hard for awhile, but as time goes on it will get easier and you'll meet someone better for you.
• Philippines
28 Apr 10
i have a cousin who is also attracted to those kinds of guys, guys with problem, sometimes people want to be with other people who has a bigger problem than us to make our problem look small. And having a friend like that and attracted to is not good. But everybody needs a friend right? including him, but sometimes it doesn't have to be you.
@zralte (4186)
• India
28 Apr 10
I don't think it is selfish to leave your friend. It is healthier for you to move on to better things. Life is to short to waste it on someone who is determined to wreck their own life. I agree with the previous post. If he comes back after 5 years totally reformed, welcome him with open arms. If not, forget about him. It seems like you have done everything you could for him. I do understand that it is very difficult to leave someone you love very much. But life has to go on. You can't let yourself down because of him. Do the right thing and live your life and if he does change, may be you can have a better relationship. And sometimes people change because of the unexpected. You leaving him might make him see things a little clearer, in a way that you are not going to stand by and watch him destroy himself. Be firm, and let him know that eventhough you love him very much, you can't suffer anymore by watching him do the wrong things.