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11/04/2011 10:45 PM

Friendship and Money

tonyaraz
tonyaraz  
Posts: 738
Member

This has nothing to do with RA, just had to get this off my chest. Today my husband complained that I was spending too much money on my best-friends baby shower. I know I have spent alot of money, but I love her and want the best for her. But, I have to think about our money situation. My husband and I never fight about money. My husband works offshore, he is salaried, but where the money really comes from is when he actually goes offshore. which he hasn't been offshore for a few months, so money is tight. We are a single income family and we are both going to school. I budget everything. He brought this up too- Why does everyone just expect us to pay for everything? It seems that most of our family and friends expect us to just fork over money for anything and everything. We would be well off money wise had we not been stupid and bought everything we wanted when we first bought our house 5 years ago. We racked up some crazy debt and we are paying for it now. While he makes good money everything is going to pay for our stupidity, we no longer spend like crazy. I am supposed to be planning this shower with her mother and all I asked her to pay for was the stamps and the cake (@ $40 for all). Yesterday She asked me to pay for the cake and to buy flowers for the shower. I have already spent over $300 for this shower not including the time and energy I have put into. I feel that if she wants flowers she should pay for them, and she should pay for the damned cake which is what we agreed on a month ago. I spent so much on her back in March for her wedding and bachelorette parties. Then my husband I were both in the wedding, and they did not pick cheap tuxes or bridesmaides dresses. I love her but it seems they just expect us to spend our money on them- this year alone we spent over 2k on all of this stuff. I don't even think she considers me to be her best-friend, because she asked someone else to be the maid of honor. So why isn't this other chick paying for her showers? Heck she doesn't even call me anymore. My husband asked if I did have a kid who would throw me a shower, and I knew the answer without even thinking about it- NO ONE. I am sick of being used. And I know I do it to myself because I have such a generous personality when it comes to my friends. I told her I would see if a mutual friend would buy her a gift as well since he just got back from working in Iraq, her eyes light-up and she asked me to ask him to buy this $500 crib that she registered for. UM no, he worked for his money, though he does spend like crazy for himself, he does not need to spend that much money on a present for her. She used to be stingy with her money and didn't expect much, but since she married that idiot of a husband who thinks he should get name brand everything, she has lost her marbles with money and wanting expensive things. He bought a $2000 stroller and a $1500 baby monitor system. And they are struggling with money. But I guess it is not my place to say anything about how they spend. But they shouldn't expect people to spend that much money on them.

Our other friends also expect us to pay for everything, like dinner if we go out. We host card games occasionally and pay for everything, including the alcohol. And no-one asks if they should bring anything or bother to show up early to help with any of the cooking or set up. Nor do they help with clean up afterwards.

We did Thanksgiving last year for family and loads of friends. I cooked everything with no help from anyone. And no-one bothered to help with the cleanup. Am I wrong to be frustrated and upset that it just feels like everyone is using us?

And I know Christmas is supposed to be about the spirit, but I am sick of getting crap, we always get everyone good presents. My husbands step-mother buys me makeup every year (going on for 12 years now) for Christmas and other crap that I don't use. Last year she bought me Purple wine glasses and bowls and makeup. I don't drink- I am allergic to alcohol, and Purple is no where in my house. I don't wear alot of makeup. One year she told me I needed to dress and act more like a lady. I am a tomboy and you will never change that no matter how much makeup you buy me. Why not just spend that money on a gift card for me?

I am so feed up that I have decided to cancel all future events, including Thanksgiving and Christmas. I am not buying presents for anyone. By this time normally I would have already had all presents bought, but I just can't get myself in the spirit. I am feeling bah-hum-buggish. I just want to spend Thanksgiving and Christmas with just my husband, but I know that won't happen.

Ok, sorry this was so long but I am feed up

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11/05/2011 01:05 AM
bits
bits  
Posts: 10865
VIP Member

Here is what you do...announce to everybody you and hubby want gift cars for Christmas only. You buy them a gift card in a much lower amount than you have previously spent on them.

If you have Christams dinner at your house, tell them what to bring. Make no explanations just tell them. Then when you are finished eating ask for help.

When you go out to eat ask for separate checks without apologizing.

When you host a party at your house tell them to bring the liquor and sancks. Then ask for help for clean-up.

Do not buy the cake or flowers. Suggest to the mother to ask the maid of honor to buy these things. Whatever she says...you don't buy anything else.

If anyone asks for loans or money simply say you do not have it.

If these folks are your friends or loving family members they will remain so without you being a cash register.

Chuck and I pay for eating out with family and friends but they return the favor. We never loan money unless we can afford to lose it. Our family and friends always ask what they can bring if we have a party. And always, always clean up the mess without me helping because they don't want me worn out.

Chuck and I use to be a cash register (for many years) and when we closed the register we lost a few friends and family members. It broke my heart. But my heart did mend.

However, we kept more people than we lost.

Enough is enough.

You say your best friend had another woman be her maid of honor. That is somewhat strange. As far as her/hubby's taste being expensive, well...so be it. But you do not have to spend a bunch of money because of their expensive taste. Spend what is within your budget and to heck with what they expect.

Perhaps, you could give them a gift card (within your budget) to a place they like and they could make up the difference with their own money to buy what they want. Might be better to do this because if you buy something they consider not worthy they will just dump it and your money was wasted.

Honey, I have been throught the gaunet of being used because of my generous heart and it took me a looong time to see this.

Praying for you.

Big hugs to a big heart


11/05/2011 08:28 AM
kvnj
kvnj  
Posts: 3906
Group Leader

Tonya , I totally agree with Bits. I know it will be difficult to do because I am a generous person too, but you truly need to put your foot down and set limits with these people. They are clearly taking advantage of you.

The mother should AT LEAST be paying for the cake, if not many other things! Tell her if she doesn't buy it, there will be no cake. Heck...maybe there won't be a shower! Contact the "other chick" (lol) and tell her that since she is apparently your friends "BFF" that she needs to step in. That it is not your responsibility to pay for everything, nor will you.

If they become angry, then they aren't true friends, are they. True friends don't take advantage of each other.

Yes Tonya, it's time to be the Warrior that you are, and wage battle against your "enemies." Make them know you're mad as He** and you're not going to take it anymore! Devil Tongue If they walk away, they weren't true friends to begin with...

Good luck... hugs


11/05/2011 09:15 AM
JACKIEH
JACKIEH  
Posts: 440
Member

100% agreement with karen and bits, true friends are those who are there for you as well, take you as a person into account and not just what you can do for them. Set your new rules and anyone who has a problem with that is not a true friend, so dont waste time, find out who is really there for you and take care of those friends as they will take care of you, let the weight of so called friends slip away from your shoulders and feel free.

11/06/2011 01:29 AM
tonyaraz
tonyaraz  
Posts: 738
Member

Thank you ladies for the support and advice. She did pay for the cake, but did nothing else. The only person that stayed to help clean-up was my adoptive mother, which surprised me because she is not a cleaner, but I was so grateful for her help. The shower was fantastic right up to the end when my best friends mom (the one that I was supposed to be hosting it with) started to get ticked off that the shower took so long- it was 3 hours and she expected to get done in one hour. We had 20 people show up, so there was no rushing. My best friend wanted to catch up with everyone. The mother started ordering everyone to help her load the presents because they had to go.

As I was taking down the decorations I thought I would keep them for the next time. But as soon as I thought that, I thought there will not be a next time. I know none of my so called friends would do anything for me, so I am just going to stop helping them. I am not trying to be mean, but I know that I don't really have any friends. The ones I call friends are just called that because we used to be really close, but time and life style changes has changed our friendship. Even my best-friend can't really be called that anymore since the only time we talk is to see if they can stay with me while they are in town, since my house is clean and chaos free.

Anyway I truly appreciate you all so much. This site has helped me more than you can know.


11/06/2011 01:48 AM
PauleR
PauleR  
Posts: 1815
Group Leader

Dear Tonya,

I'm happy that the shower is all done and over. It is appalling how some people just don't think about anyone but themselves or their children. I'm happy for you that your step-mother helped you. That is one positive from that day.

I don't think you are being mean, but you are setting healthy boundaries. That is a big step in your struggle to be healthy and happy.

Unfortunately, those who we think should be our support just can't do it. Is it complacency, is it that they are so self-involved or narcissistic? I don't have an answer, but I do know from personal experience, you realize after awhile that they just can't or won't be what you need, so you limit your involvement.

Take care.

Post edited by: PauleR, at: 11/06/2011 01:49 AM


11/07/2011 12:17 PM
JACKIEH
JACKIEH  
Posts: 440
Member

Good for you in making the decision, not to be used by ppl who are not supporting to you, it is amazing how quick you can seperate the true friends and get some nice suprise as well, like your adoptive mother who despite not being a cleaner helped you and i would like to say shame on all the others who didnt help. I hope your life becomes so much more stress free as these losers drop away, you are special and you deserve special friends, hugs

11/07/2011 03:26 PM
claphappy
claphappy  
Posts: 4019
Group Leader

Tonya this will grind the caff from the wheat. Is a saying I have heard often. You will know who your friends are that's for sure. Blessings CLAP

11/07/2011 04:40 PM
kvnj
kvnj  
Posts: 3906
Group Leader

Tonya you made a healthy decision that you will be thankful for in the long run. It will cause you much less stress and anxiety.... and money! Wink

Breathe a sigh of relief, get on with your life, and be happy! Smile


11/07/2011 06:56 PM
tonyaraz
tonyaraz  
Posts: 738
Member

Thank you all for your replies and encouragement. It makes me feel better knowing there are people that understand. You are all so fantastic.

We can pick our friends, and unfortunately I seem to find the ones that take advantage of my kindness. But my kindness has run out, they can call me dirty words or whatever but I am okay with that because I have decided to drop the dead weight.

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