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Dr.G.
Dr.G., Psychologist
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 1467
Experience:  Licensed Psychologist in the state of Minnesota
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my wife had a married woman friend who has told my wife (on

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my wife had a married woman friend who has told my wife (on many occasions) that she no longer wants my wife as a friend. The former friend says that she feels my wife 'pursues' her and has become a bit obsessed with her. The former friend feels as if she is being 'stalked'. My wife's reaction is to blame the former friend's husband, a doctor, and blame him for interfering with the former friendship. Nothing can change my wife's fixed view of this situation. I think my wife's blaming of the husband is a way my wife uses to protect herself from having to face the painful fact that her former friend has rejected her. My wife gets upset with me because I don't share her view. I have read a bit about obsessions and we talked with a psychiatrist, who rejected the psychiatrist's advice just to back off. Any ideas of what I should do would be great. I love my wife dearly and it pains me to see what is happening.
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Relationship
Expert:  Dr.G. replied 5 years ago.
I might be able to help but Ihave a few questions. How often is this a topic of conversation? What is your wife's reaction to you and what do you tell her? Is that relationship repairable?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
This is a topic of conversation between my wife (C) and myself about once or twice a week.
C says to me that C feels she is being 'bullied' by B (the husband of the former friend). C says that C had a good friendship with M (C's former friend) but that when B retired, B became possessive and made M sever the relationship with C. C says she wants to sit down with M and a counsellor to resolve the issues. M absolutely refuses - I think because M believes C won't be satisfied unless C gets an outcome she wants, that is, a resumption of the former friendship.
What I say to C is that M has told me she made M's own decision to end the former friendship. I also say that even if I am wrong about that, it makes no difference - M for whatever reason is telling C she wants C to leave her alone. Over the past 7 or so years, M has made numerous requests to C, for C to leave her alone, including a letter from M this year threatening to seek a court order requiring C to leave M alone (apprehended violence order). I have spoken myself with the other couple who say they will be friendly when they meet C or me, but they want C to stop this pursuit. M says she is disturbed and upset about C's continuous 'pursuit' of M.
C's reaction is that M is 'ambivalent'. C treats any greeting or courtesy from M as a sign that really M likes C and but for B's 'bullying', the former friendship will would resume.
I keep further discussions with C on this subject to a minimum as we are at an impasse. C considers that I am failing to give her support in her quest to deal with B's bullying and resolution of the issue with M.
About 30 years ago, C had a similar obsession with another woman friend. It ended with the relationship between us and that other couple being severed by them with acrimony.
By the way, this is a lot to ask of you for $30 so if you can help solve this problem, I am happy to pay a fee that properly reflects what is required of you. Kind regards.
Expert:  Dr.G. replied 5 years ago.
Wow this is an intriguing dilemma. First thing comes to mind is the history of obsessing about friends (since this is not the first time). I can't help but wonder if your wife goes overboard and puts more energy into these relationships then the people give her. It sounds like it could be a one-way relationship where your wife wants more out of it than they are willing to give. I think if it is coming to the point where court might get involved then she definitely needs to back off. I don't know what her friends' motives are and I really don't care becasue they have made it clear they no longer want contact with her. For you, I would definitely no tbring up the subject unless your wife does. Then, if she does, all you should do is empathize with her (i.e. I know it hurts honey, or I know you must be upset). Basically you will reflect the feelings she has and nothing more. You cannot fix this situation but your wife wants you to understand her point and so you can tell her you do understand. I would not be the go-between with your wife and those people. Stay out of it as best as you can. For your wife, she needs to abide by these people's wishes becasue she cannot force a relationship if they do not want it. Now, it will definitely not be repairable if htey are threatening restraining orders. Your wife may want to seek counseling to understand why this pattern keeps happening where she loses friendships. You should not tell her why because then you are the bad guy. Remember to only empathize with her. The only way this problem can be solved is if the both of you distance yourselves from these people and live a normal life doing other things that you enjoy. It cannot consume the both of you so don't let it. Things can get better if you move forward and possibly learn from incident. I hope this is helpful. Let me know if there is anything else I can do.
Dr.G., Psychologist
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 1467
Experience: Licensed Psychologist in the state of Minnesota
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Dr.G.
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Licensed Psychologist in the state of Minnesota