I Told My Friend She Married a Useless Man, and Now She Hates Me

We all have to navigate our own life and be responsible for our choices, right? Yet, as human beings, we naturally feel the urge to lend a hand to friends who are truly in need. But what do you do when a friend, the one you constantly support, begins to unload all their problems on you, time and time again, with no end in sight? That’s precisely the dilemma faced by this Reddit user. She turned to the vast online community for guidance, wondering if she’s handling the situation with her friend the right way.

This is her story and the situation she’s facing:
I (32F) am a single mother of two kids (6M and 5F). I am a single mother by choice (my kids are donor conceived).

I am lucky enough to have a good job as a French teacher in a private school, and a paid-off house from my parents’ life insurance and inheritance.

Before I had either of my kids, I made sure to save a year’s worth of living expenses. Then, I took a sabbatical to recover from childbirth and bond with my kids. While on sabbatical, I still tutored some children for extra income.

My friend (34F) just had a baby two months ago. She is the breadwinner in her household, and her husband has been unemployed since he was laid off 4 years ago.

It was great to be pregnant at the same time and have a friend with a newborn, but things have turned sour. She has been expressing jealousy over my ability to take a year off work, not worrying about losing my home, and having substantial savings. She, on the other hand, doesn’t even have a couple hundred dollars in her savings account, let alone a year’s worth of living expenses.

I usually ignore her comments or brush them off because I understand the stress she is under.
About ten days ago, she started hinting that she couldn’t afford daycare, and any mention of her husband taking care of their child was dismissed. Then, she remarked on how much free time I must have, which I truthfully deflected by saying that being a single mom to a baby and a small child left me with no free time.

Last night, she asked if I could “do her a favor” and watch her child while she’s at work. I was firm but polite when I said I couldn’t, explaining that I am not capable of watching two kids under six months old.

She started almost begging, saying she couldn’t afford daycare, and if she doesn’t go back to work, she will lose her job and they will end up homeless. I again brought up her husband, and she said he was not good with kids and couldn’t take care of their child.

I kept saying no, and she kept pushing until it escalated to her calling me heartless and me telling her it’s not my problem that she chose to have a child with a useless man.

Now she has blocked me, and I am feeling very guilty about what I said and feeling like a bad person.

Many people understand her situation and are on her side.
I think there were no mean persons here up until she pressed you to do this favor, which she shouldn’t have asked for in the first place. You’re exactly right that it’s not your problem that she is in this situation. While a heavy dose of empathy is important to your friendship, her having a husband who isn’t employed and cannot contribute to the childcare she needs is a problem she needs to solve.
It is annoying and impractical for her to think the answer here is for you to provide childcare. It is dismissive of the fact that you are already busy and only have about seven months remaining of the time you’ve allowed yourself to be on hiatus, so it’s a short-term solution. It’s too bad that she’s letting her situation cloud her judgment. You are not heartless, and that was an unfair response from her and inappropriate behavior throughout this interaction. owls_and_cardinals / Reddit
Unless the husband is bedridden or otherwise physically incapable of working or providing childcare, he needs to take responsibility and step up to parent his own child. If she isn’t going to make him, she needs to leave him and file for child support. While this might not provide much if he’s unwilling to find a job, it will at least mean one less mouth to feed. crazycatchemist1 / Reddit
We have all been unemployed at some point or struggled for money, I get that. What I don’t get is how her husband has been unemployed for almost four years. Even if it’s burger flipping or Doordashing until something better comes along, he could have figured something out. And on top of that, he’s “not good with kids”? She had a baby with someone who isn’t good with kids?
Maybe it was a little harsh to call her husband useless, but he is, in fact, useless if he isn’t capable of taking care of his own baby while his wife works. He needs to pick a struggle.
She’s mad you’re not helping her, and I’m willing to bet she’s mad because you made her realize that having a baby with this useless man was a mistake on her part. Atlas-Rising-Up / Reddit
You may have expressed it in a slightly harsh way, but you’re not wrong. Her husband hasn’t worked for several years. They had a baby together, and yet he can’t actually do anything useful to help care for the baby. She has, indeed, married a completely useless man.
The norm should be that if one parent works, the other parent takes primary care of the kids. If both parents work, hopefully they make enough to afford daycare. Her crappy husband is not your problem. _mmiggs_ / Reddit
What do you think you would do if you were in the user’s situation? Would you be on the user’s side, or do you have another perspective?

Friendships are the threads that weave the fabric of our lives. They bring joy, support, and companionship, but they can also present challenges. Another story came from Sarah which illustrates a common dilemma: the clash between staying true to oneself or maintaining harmony within relationships. Read her story here.

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