Thanks, you two! You've already helped me a lot in finding out what exactly my point is.
GS, there isn't really an outside crisis. My friend is in a crisis, but her relationship to our boyfriend is at the center of that crisis. There are more complicated and deeper mechanisms also in play, and it's hard to see whether the relationship problems are a symptom or a cause.
I'm in a crisis because of many changes in my life that have washed some buried issues to the surface. Nothing I can't deal with over time, but it's much more difficult to deal with relationship problems in this state of mind than it would usually be.
Lemondrop, you're absolutely right, and I thank you for telling me this so clearly. I know that I have to step back and let her make her own choices. It's a trap I keep stumbling into. I just want to DO something, and I'm completely powerless.
Iíve extrapolated two questions/ problems that are important for me right now.
1) A huge problem at the moment is that I can't seem to find a balance between clinging to my friend, trying to make her choices for her and on the other side keeping a distance that makes it impossible for us to communicate.
It's been much easier for me to keep a distance over the last two weeks, less emotionally challenging. She dumped me after all, and I still need to deal with that on top of everything else.
But I think I can't keep this distance for long, as it means that we don't talk about what's going on and how we feel... and our boyfriend becomes the one in the middle, the only one who has the information and has to deal with all the emotional baggage we dump on him. And he relays important information - that's not okay. He shouldn't have to do that.
I don't want to leave all responsibility for our relationship on his shoulders.
So for all our sakes I need to talk to her again.
2) Let's get to the bottom of this:
I don't trust her to solve her own problems. Thatís probably just my own issue that doesnít have much to do with reality, but itís there and I canít get myself to trust her.
Thereís a lot of help she could get. Other people have experienced similar situations. There are books on the topic. All I want from her is one thing: I want her to actively work on finding out what SHE wants.
At the moment every step the boyfriend and I make is wrong. Everything hurts her. And she doesnít tell us what we can do so weíll hurt her less. From what I know she thinks we canít do anything. But what kind of relationship is that, where we canít do anything to help and everything we do is wrong, but she still doesnít want us to stop?
Doesnít that sound pretty messed up?
Maybe all we need is time and therapy.
But maybe thatís not all we need.
If I could bring myself to trust her, I could say, ok, she needs time. Sheíll sort it out. Sheíll talk to us if we can do anything.
But she has promised before that she would tell me when something I was doing wasnít okay. And she didnít tell me!
I know Iím much too involved in this, emotionally. I must take a step back and breathe.
I must concentrate on my own life, do something for me. I canít solve anything for her.
Well, obviously, as you can see, Iím very bad at separating at the moment, everything gets conflated, feelings, thoughts, fears, past, present...
Iím just looking for a reasonable way to act here.
Would it be reasonable to mostly stay away from her?
Should I refrain from taking on responsibility for the relationship?
Keep talking to me? I'd be very grateful.