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Pushy Friend

Question:

I will try to make this as short as possible. I have been married for 10 yrs. I have no children. 3 months ago my husband left and I discovered he had moved in with someone (another female) and he has asked for a divorce. I do not want one. Meanwhile, I am working and able to take care of my finances. My problem is this. I have a lot of friends (male & female), but I have one female friend who is 31 and lives at home with her mother. She was friends with both me and my husband. She knows my husband does not live with me anymore and she calls me everyday (sometimes 5 times) a day and asks me to go places with her. I was nice at first and went to the bars with her a few times, but now she expects me to do it every weekend which I can’t afford or want to do. I have tried to tell her that I have other plans, but she gets really offended, or if I say I want to just stay home she makes suggestions like, “I’ll bring over a pizza and movie”. She is a good friend, but I am starting to really get upset about her bothering me all the time. How do I get the message across to her that I don’t want to spend all my free time with her without losing our friendship.

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  • ‘Anne’ is the pseudonym for the individual who writes this relationship advice column.
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Answer:

You need to assert yourself with this well intentioned but self-centered friend. It seems like your friend is taking your newfound singledom as a sign that you are always available for getting together. She has misunderstood the actual case (which seems to be that you would like to see her on a fairly regular basis, but not every weekend, or some variation on that theme). You need to make it clear to her what it is that you really want. At the same time, speak your mind compassionately so as to minimize hurt feelings. If you don’t do this, your anger will probably grow and you’ll end up getting really angry with your friend at some point, or just avoid her completely, or something. Any of these possibilities would be bad for you and bad for her. By asserting yourself before that happens, you have a better chance of keeping a good friendship going strong.

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