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I wanted to ask your opinion on a situation I've been experiencing lately and was hoping for some wise advice from you ladies.

So here's a little background... My parents have family friends with whom they were once close to, in the sense that they would visit each other a few times a year and catch up on things. My parents have kept in touch with phone calls but after going through our own family issues, it's been harder for them to keep up with actually visiting these friends in person and the relationship has become more of an acquaintance than close friends at this point. They also live further away, which makes it even more difficult.

As time went by, whenever they would call us, it was only to inform us of something negative that was going on in their lives and how badly they were suffering. During these past holidays, I happened to answer the phone and was yelled at by the wife who told me that I should reprimand/scold my parents for not visiting them during times of crisis. She didn't say "Merry Christmas" or ask how the family was beforehand. This was on Christmas Day. Usually, when you call someone, you ask how they're doing first, but their first words are about how crappy their lives are at the moment and how my parents are crappy friends. Needless to say, it left a bad taste in our mouth that day. My parents had visited them during the first few years of their troubles but as time went on, my family also suffered and has had it's own share of trials and tribulations. We've understood that in their condition, we had no right to expect a visit from them, so we never held it against them if they didn't visit us. They always seem shocked when we tell them our problems but disregard them quickly and continue to underline how severe theirs are. They blame my parents for not supporting them in times of need and use excuses like, "you're younger" or "you're in better shape than us", to make them feel guilty. My parents have paid their visits, but can't do it every month, unfortunately.

This is a concept they don't seem to understand. At this point, they are making us feel like their problems are much more relevant than our own, but more importantly, like we are their keepers and are the ones responsible for taking care of them along the way. They also call us to complain how their kids just dump the children off and are stuck taking care of them even though they have health issues and expect my parents to visit them for this reason too, so that they can give them something else to think about. They've actually made my mom feel so guilty over all of this, that her blood pressure reached dangerous levels after a particular phone conversation with her.

My mom is also busy at work and my dad is getting older with health issues of his own. In fact, a while ago, my dad had an accident and the week he was recovering, this couple showed up unannounced at our doorstep (after so many phone calls telling us how they can't travel) to reprimand my parents. I answered the door since my dad was unable to walk, and after they finished scolding me, I told them my dad couldn't come to the door mainly because I didn't want him upset or hurting himself further. At that point, my dad, after hearing the commotion, got up with his cane and showed himself. They were surprised to see him in that condition, but they spent literally 2 seconds asking how he was and went on and on about how they've been abandoned. My dad was really upset over this after they left and couldn't comprehend how in his condition, they expected him to pay them a visit.

Two days ago, we get another phone call from them, informing us about the death of one of their family members, who lives in another country. There won't be a funeral or memorial service here. My parents offer the wife their condolences over the phone but the husband isn't home for them to speak to, so my mom tells her to pass along our sympathies. The wife gets upset and insists that my parents call again at a specific time in order to "do their part" and pay their respects. Well, at that specific time, my parents had to deal with their own issues at home and when they realized they had forgotton to call, it was already close to midnight. They call back the following day and get reprimanded again for not respecting the time they were told to call back. Then they go on and on again about how their problems are accumulating and how much worse they have it than us.

I understand completely that they are looking for a shoulder to cry on and I know how difficult it can be to be overwhelmed with problems. We've given them that shoulder on numerous occasions, sometimes even more than their own family has. However, they fail to understand or acknowledge that we, too, have gone through some serious problems and have dealt with it in ways different to theirs and that the circumstances in our lives are not as they once were. I know mental illness is also involved in all of this, so it's difficult to know how to address this issue without causing even more distress in their lives.

My question is, how do we help them understand? We're constantly being made to ask ourselves if we're being selfish, which I don't think is right. I believe everyone deals with problems their own way and they need to respect that, but at the same time, I understand that they are dealing with serious stuff, but we may not be the ones to offer the help they're looking for anymore. My parents are scheduling time to visit them soon because at this point, they want to avoid any other confrontation. It's sad that this is the reason they are visiting them at this point, but after being harassed, it's all they feel they can do. I'm not sure they're doing the right thing though and will only be giving them more power in the end to continue expecting something my parents can't always give.

What do you think? If need be, how do they end the relationship? Is it selfish to want to end it?

Jan 28, 2016 @ 01:31 pm

10 Replies



Sorry for the length of this post, but I really needed to vent...
Jan 28, 2016 @ 01:32 pm


Absolutely not selfish to want to end the relationship. Some people are just toxic like this, honestly, my sister is the same way.

They make out that they're own problems are soooo much worse and never have empathy for anyone else. There's a difference between telling your friend you're lonely and feel the lack of their support and being a sniping, unfair, toxic ass.

With these people the only way to get rid of them usually is just to let loose on them. They have no qualms telling you exactly what they think of your parents, so tell them exactly what you think of them and I'd advise your parents to do the same if that doesn't work.

Either they realise how terrible they've been or they get offended and disappear.

Hope it all works out, sorry you've had to deal with this!
Jan 28, 2016 @ 01:55 pm


Omg,your parents friends are not being good friends at all real friends support each other and it seems your parents are more supportive and go beyond to be there for those people, those people seem toxic,that must be so stressful on you and your family ,they sound so much like my younger sister, sometimes you have to distant yourself from negative people to be happy
Jan 28, 2016 @ 02:05 pm


That's exactly what it's becoming - a toxic relationship and I feel like we have the right to distance ourselves since we now feel like it's causing us mental stress. It's like we're expected to save them from their misery, but we just can't do that. The only thing I notice after they call to complain, are my parents becoming upset which then affects the rest of us. I really hope for this couple's sake that their family takes responsibility and helps them. I think that's the main problem. They don't have anyone they can count on in the immediate family, so they expect it from us. It's sad...

Jan 28, 2016 @ 05:49 pm


I always say that a good friend shares both the good and bad with you, but in this case it's always the bad, so I don't think it's a healthy friendship anymore. Support should go both ways as well. Thanks for your advice!
Jan 28, 2016 @ 05:51 pm


This is soooo easy . Just avail yourself from them. Hang up the phone (or tell them you're done with them), don't answer the door, don't feel guilty. Life is too short to have to see or hear people that you don't want in it. I myself, simply Do not and WILL not deal with anyone that gives me any aggravation in any form. I don't have to; and neither do you and yours.
Jan 28, 2016 @ 05:59 pm

If it was me

I would let them go. I cannot deal with people that make it all about themselves and on top of that scold others. They sound miserable and are not happy with their life whatsoever. I would suggest telling them the problem and if this persist the "friendship" has to end. I think I would have changed my phone number to be honest. A friendship has to have support and understanding and yes there are times when one gets into a feud with one another but to this extent is really not right. As I said before they are unhappy and all that fustration is building up and they let it out on the wrong person. If they are from another country they also could be accustomed to certain culture dos that they don't get in Canada. Sorry to say people here are busy and have their household to take care of first. Wow, sending positive vibes your way. I hope things get better for you and your family.
Jan 30, 2016 @ 12:10 am


If it were up to me, I would just stop answering the phone and let them get the gist that way. Unfortunately, they like to surprise you unannounced which is what caught us off guard and since she's dealing with severe depression, we never know if we might make her go over the edge by telling her how we feel. I wish it were that easy... Thanks for the advice.

Jan 30, 2016 @ 01:51 am


Thank you! I hope so too... I agree, they are very miserable, but that doesn't mean that our lives have to be the same way. We were always offering our support, but it seems like they're also trying to rub off their negativity on us so that they're not the only ones who feel like they're suffering. We have our own issues to deal with first and don't need other problems piled on. We always try to speak to her in a positive way to try to get her to cheer up and change the subject.
Jan 30, 2016 @ 01:56 am
Sandra Ribeiro


I second what everyone said. I would end the relationship myself. Feel free too vent. We're here to help pretty rainbow
Jan 30, 2016 @ 10:25 am

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