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Friends and Family Everyone has disagreements, even best friends and family. If you need advice about a relationship, ask us here.

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kortig Offline
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Question How long until she breaks? - April 24th 2010, 02:46 AM

My friend Abigail's parents recently got divorced; her dad had cheated on her mom and has had multiple adulterous relationships.

Her mom takes out her anger towards the dad on Abigail, and yells at her, and she constantly tells her she is rude and ungrateful and horrible things like that.
A week ago Abigail called me when I was out of town and she was in tears, sitting in a parking lot unable to stop crying. It was so hard, being hours away, to be so helpless and unable to comfort her. It was the hardest and saddest thing to hear my best friend sobbing, saying she didn't know where to go, and had no where to turn because nobody in her family takes her side over her mom's.
Abigail is under so much stress because her mother puts pressure on her to get straight A's, she was forced into doing a sport she doesn't like, and she dreads going home every night to face her mother. Not to mention, she told me she thinks her mom is becoming anorexic.

Abigail's dad, on the other hand, constantly texts her and asks if she wants to go to lunch or something. He is trying to reestablish a relationship between them. Abigail said that she would trade her new 2010 car, her huge house, and all of that just to be closer to her Dad. But for some reason, she dreads his texts and always refuses to take him up on his offers to reconnect.

I'm afraid all of this has taken its tole on her. She always says she knows she 'can never trust men' and she thinks 'true love is fake, and divorce is probable'. I don't want to her to think all men will hurt her like her dad did.
She told me one night that she has pulled away from everyone she started to get close to, because she's afraid they will leave her. I convinced her with everything I had that I would never leave her, but I don't know how useful my support is.

What can I say to her? When she calls me and talks to me, I try to comfort her, but my parents are in a good relationship and they love each other, so I can't relate.

I need to help her. I can't stand to see her like this. Please help!
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Re: How long until she breaks? - April 24th 2010, 03:05 AM

Wow. I'm sorry you're friend is going through this. It's always hard when parents take out their anger at each other on the kid.

Unfortunately, there's not much you can do. Keep supporting her and trying to cheer her up, she definitely needs the optimism. Remind her that it won't be too long before she can leave all of their problems behind. Sometimes helping someone see the light at the end of the tunnel can help them a lot.

Basically, just be there for her. Maybe have sleepovers so she can get away from them for a while. Let her rant and vent and just listen, ask her if there's anything you can do and then help her however you feel comfortable. Let her know that you're trying to help her, even though you're not sure how.

If you think she's really getting depressed, you might recommend that she talks to someone, like a counselor at school about how she's feeling and keep her from doing something she'll regret.

I hope things work out.
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Re: How long until she breaks? - April 24th 2010, 04:00 AM

Your friend's life is far from normal at the moment... so the best thing you can do for her is to try and establish some sense of normalcy and consistency with your friendship. I like Bethany's idea of having sleepovers at your house... maybe you could have them every Friday or Saturday night? It would give your friend something to look forward to at the end of every stressful school week.

Because nothing feels normal right now, it's understandable that your friend would say things like "love isn't real" or "you can't trust men". Let your friend rant and vent to her heart's content (for some people, that's the best way to de-stress). When the time is right, you can try pointing out that her father's cheating/her parents' divorcing, while devastating, doesn't have to change her outlook on life. Some relationships don't work out... but others do. The world is the same now as it was before all of this happened, and there's no reason why she can't still find happiness in spite of the cheating/divorce.

I think your friend could really benefit from seeing a therapist of some sort. Perhaps you could offer to walk with her to the guidance counselor's office during lunch one of these days? It's not so scary, when you go with a friend who already knows what's going on. =)

You don't have to experience her pain first-hand in order to be a loving, supportive friend. <3 Keep doing what you're doing... I'm sure she appreciates it.

Last edited by PSY; April 24th 2010 at 07:49 AM.
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Re: How long until she breaks? - April 24th 2010, 05:35 AM

Thanks so much to both of you; i appreciate it, and I you're right! C:
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