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Fed Up

Facing our challenges head-on!
Challenges Women Face

July 28, 2017

Dear Julie:

I have a “friend” down the street. She watched as I lost over 100 pounds. She is somewhat heavy herself and appears to be trying to sabotage me where food is concerned. It is like she wants me to feel as bad about myself as she does about herself. I gained back about 30 pounds by hanging out with her last year, and I am simply not willing to gain another pound that way. When I allow myself a treat (which is seldom), she hijacks my order. I tell her what I want (since she is in the driver’s seat and nearest the microphone) and she changes the order, thinking I am not ordering enough to feed a bird. Rather than fight with her, I just take it and seethe inside. I would eat only what I wanted of it though. Now I simply refuse to go through the drive-thru with her.

I often drop whatever I’m doing to help her, yet when it is something for me, it can wait until she feels like it. Clearly, I have “sucker” stamped on my forehead and she sees me coming! She says for me to call her when I need a ride somewhere, and chastises me when she sees me walking because I didn’t call her. However, the few times I was about to ask her for a ride because of bad weather, it is as if she senses I am about to ask, and heads it off at the pass, saying she is not going anywhere before I even ask anything.

I am feeling really fed up. Fed up with her trying to sabotage my weight loss goals, and fed up with a lot of stuff. It is always about her. She is generally a nice enough person, and can be fun to hang with, at times. Mostly though, all she wants to do is watch TV and eat. We are both Christians, though I actually attempt to do what I believe God wants for me, and strive to fulfill His goals for me and live the way He wants me to. In the entire time I have hung out with this person, she has NEVER done anything I want to do to. Not once. I have told her how I feel but nothing ever changes.

Last summer I wanted to do a road trip to Reno to visit a loved one who was dying, and I was going to pay for all the gas and food. I waited on her all summer, only to find out she wasn’t going to help me at all, even though I’d be paying most of her trip. As a result, I wasn’t able to reconnect with that loved one (and other family members) before she died. It was heart-breaking.

A lot of built up feelings, and resentment have accumulated. Then stuff festers in me. All I know is, I am fed up. When it is something she wants from me, she tries to guilt me into whatever it is, and she controls it all the way to the precise moment she wants it. Like, if I am busy and I don’t answer when she calls, she will drive down here to find out why I am not answering, sometimes. Or keep calling me for trivial things. I have had to set some limits, but apparently, I have not done well with that. She has very few responsiibilities, and I have a lot of them, and she knows it. I think we are just not very compatible in terms of how we approach life.

What do you think God would tell me in this situation? End it because there is no peace in it for me, or still try to be a friend but more on my terms? Or some other way? Thanks for listening!—Fed Up

*****

Dear Fed Up:

This seems to be a clear case of control and manipulation. No friend would sabotage you where food is concerned, especially knowing how hard you worked to take off that weight. She clearly resents your success. Watching TV hour upon hour and eating fast foods is a sure prescription to an early grave, not to mention additional weight gain.

No friend would use her car to manipulate you to get what she wants. She clearly resents your devotion and friendship with others. What she did in the situation of your dying loved one was unthinkable–leading you along until it was too late for you to reconnect before the loved one died.

Of course, you feel resentful. The question is what are you going to do about it? Let it continue? There are positive actions you can take to get back control of your life. I would encourage you to read (again, if you’ve already read it) “Boundaries” by Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend. In the 90’s I worked at a pregnancy center with scores of mercy-filled volunteer peer counselors, some of whom were in similar situations to yours. This book changed their lives TOTALLY. They no longer allowed themselves to be manipulated by others.

Christian women need to learn that assertiveness does not equal cruelty. We need to learn to speak the truth in love, to tell those who are emotionally and physically abusive that, while we still care about them, they will no longer be allowed to continue that abuse. If she orders something you do not want, do not pay for it—or throw it in the garbage. Some people are bad for you, PERIOD. When you discern that is the case, discontinue that relationship and do it before you have allowed a root of bitterness to corrupt your heart. I’m sure you’ve heard that saying, “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.” Take it to heart.

God bless,
Julie

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Remember, friends, as challenges come our way, we can face them head-on through Christ who strengthens us!

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