Friend Or Foe – Letter From Lisa

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Here’s an “other woman” scenario that I know so many of us have been through:

“I am having an issue with my fiance regarding his friends. They are a couple but I don’t have the warmest relationship with the female friend of the couple, although I get along quite well with the rest of his friends and family. I tried discussing this with my fiance.

I don’t sense any attraction between him and his female friend, only a possessiveness on her part of his time and some disrespect for me from her. I think she grew used to being his confidant and now that I am his confidant it has led to some strange behavior on her part.

I’ve tried to talk to him about this but a wall goes up and I can never really get him to engage in a conversation about it. He is tremendously respectful of me in all other areas except this. He asked me one night if I wanted to include them in an outing and I said no and gave him my reasons. He went ahead and completely disregarded what I said and invited them anyway. I’m not sure what to do, only I do not want to be a door mat about this.

My answer, depending on this info – will likely be – you have no choice here – you’re going to have to be serene and dignified about this, and tell the truth to him and to her – depending on what happens..

This woman, Carrie (I’ll use a different name) he has known for many years and she was a little sister to his college fraternity. I could be wrong, I don’t think there are any romantic feelings between them, only she seems like perhaps a very possessive sister maybe would be the best way to describe her. She has a very tight circle of family and friends and outwardly seems like a very giving type, which my fiance (who I will call Kirk) notices and remarks about all of the time.

I’ve seen a very different side of her ….she seems giving, but I think it has much to do with the ego boost it gives her. She can be very cold to those she does not consider part of her family. One of my friends used to date my fiance and shared a very cold experience with me that she experienced with Carrie.

Oh I forgot to mention Carrie has spent a great deal of time trying to set up Kirk (before me of course) with one of her relatives and with her friends. In fact when Kirk and I got together I had him keep it just to ourselves until we saw how things were going. Carrie most likely felt hurt and surprised that she didn’t know as much about Kirk as she used to know.

So here goes with my “Carrie” experiences:

She at one point tried to set up a relative of hers with Kirk. About a month after Kirk and I moved in I came home from work that night to find Carrie parading this relative around our house giving her a tour. Now we all knew that Carrie had tried to set Kirk and her relative up so it was very uncomfortable and weird. I tried to be gracious but I have to say that event really left me put off.

Shortly after that Carrie had all of us and some of her friends over to a backyard BBQ. She barely talked to me at all and spent most of the night whispering to her friend. I tried to politely join their conversation but they ended up making fun of something I had asked them about, so I basically just walked away and found someone else to talk to.

My brother passed away last fall. That of course is never pleasant but he died from alcoholism and making the funeral arrangements etc. was even more very draining due to how sad we were about how he spent his life. When we got back home from the funeral Carrie wanted to stop by with her kids.

I was so tried and drained that I wasn’t up for it and even Kirk admitted that he wasn’t up for it either. Yet when he tried to politely decline having Carrie come by on that particular day, she made a federal case out of it and acted very injured which put a strain on the relationship for a few months.

Around Xmas we hosted two parties that we invited Kirk’s frat brothers to. While the events were nice Carrie did her best to either forcibly butt into conversations that I was having with others (oh look at me aren’t I the social butterfly) but would really ignore any attempts at conversation I would make.

At our Superbowl party this year (again with the old frat brothers! Who I like but I see them more than I do my own friends) Carrie just burst into the room and suddenly announced that we were all going on a camping trip over Labor Day. I tried to discreetly comment to Kirk that we would likely have plans that weekend as it was also his b-day etc, etc and because he had a few drinks brushed me off.

This was also a banner night for Carrie because I was trying to explain something to Kirk and she jumped in and talked right over me and Kirk paid attention to her and ignored what I was trying to tell him. Also she played the sneaky girl game of inviting one of the women I was talking to out to the movies. Of course an invitiation was not extended to me until Kirk was standing by me, then it was offered halfheartedly. When Kirk walked away she started her little game of ignoring me and talking again and continuing to make plans with only that woman….great I will see YOU on Tuesday where I will swing by and pick YOU up…not even looking my way.

One last thing about Carrie…she and her husband go to great lengths to talk about how busy they are and how devoted they are to their kids and how their schedule is planned months in advance. So they think it is appropriate to call Kirk at the last minute if they suddenly free up because he does not have kids and should still be as free as he was as a bachelor.

Well now as a couple we do get busy but Kirk still jumps through hoops if they call to do something with them. That resulted in an embarrassing situation with some other friends we were out to dinner with. Carrie’s husband just called and the next thing you know we were finishing dinner and rushing off to be with them. I was sooo embarrassed as it seemed so rude. Yet if I had pointed that out to Kirk he would have gotten defensive.

One last note Rori. Kirk is usually a very respectful thoughtful man, but when he gets around this old “friend” it is like her reverts into someone I don’t like very much. I have tried to talk to him about this but in his mind Carrie is a saint who is so generous and giving that he couldn’t possible conceive of her doing any wrong. Occasionally they get into political arguments but if she stays away from the politics he treats her like she walks on water. I don’t want to fight with him.

Thanks for any response or feedback you can give me! I’ve learned so much through your materials, that I know an answer is out there. I’ve navigated through other situations beautifully, it is just hard knowing how to handle this other disruptive influence.

Best regards, Lisa”

Okay, Lisa – (and you, too, if you’re in the middle of something like this right now) – what you have to do is this:

1. Learn to communicate on a deeper level with Kirk – and not about CARRIE – but about you, your feelings, having fun….it seems there’s a lot of explaining and talking about – but very little actual NEGOTIATING. I heard that in your “I was trying to talk to him about something…” that Carrie interrupted.

2. He’s got some pull with these two – it might be to him, and not Carrie – and you will NEVER be able to undo that – it’s something psychological, and if I were you, I wouldn’t go into it with Kirk.

3. Just do the best you can with Carrie. She’s obviously and clearly a sad and unfulfilled person who needs to do what she does just to feel okay – and she’s jealous of you…you don’t need to feel competitive – you have nothing to fear from her – this is your OWN stuff getting triggered.

4. If I were you, I’d never say a mean or negative word about Carrie – and I’d find something to do and someone else to talk to when she’s around. Don’t try to make friends – that’s not the way – instead – use Listening at Level 2 from my ebook – in other words – be a GIRL!!! Let her be the giving “man” – you sit back, lean back, and APPRECIATE her. Yes, just listen, appreciate, smile, and radiate your open heart the way you do with everyone.

5. This will speak about your confidence, your security, your love for Kirk – and this is what you focus on – being a GIRL with him. My Modern Siren program, after the book – will help you tremendously here…and I’d also talk to every man at the party, be open, have fun around Kirk. Learning to be in your feminine energy with Kirk is what will make the difference here – Feeling Messages rule – but don’t talk about Carrie…

6. Do not let Carrie get to you – her power is only as much as you give her.

I resonated with Lisa’s predicament, because this is something that I’ve dealt with a lot in my life. With one man, all of his best friends were my friends – they had to be, because we were all in the same theater company – and they were all women, and they’d all had relationships with him.

Yes, I was constantly surrounded with women who’d slept with my man. They were in my living room late at night as we all talked, they were at every party and get-together, they rehearsed together, talked all the time – and we even went on TRIPS together.

And…I seemed to manage just fine with all that. It was when he made a NEW woman friend, who he seemed to put ahead of me in every way and want to have dinner with WITHOUT ME and got her a birthday necklace the like of which I’d never received anything close to from him – I fell apart. I had absolutely no idea how to deal with it.

And so I understand that this kind of situation has two components:

One, the simple irritation of someone else’s needs coming before yours and having to be considered all the time, and

Two – the insecurity, anger, feelings of being second-class, feelings of being uncared for and uncherished (even if it’s a male friend or his family that seems to be getting priority over you) that come up for you and that seem, because this person is a “friend” completely out-of-proportion to the situation in your man’s views.

He simply can’t understand your problem.

What it feels like is: He’s trying to get awway from me. This other person is pulling him away from me – but he WANTS to go…

And this is your cue to LEANBACK.

This is where “strong on the inside, soft on the outside” is crucial.

Normally, when we have feelings that our man would call “outsized for the situation” – like Lisa’s response to Carrie – who seems, outwardly to be a fine person and a good friend and nothing more – we tend to get tense, go cold, and stuff down our anger or let it squeeze out in thinly veiled complaints (like Lisa’s attempt to say they “probably” wouldn’t be available for Carrie’s camping trip…) that only feel icky to a man and drive a bigger wedge between you.

What happens when we do that is – it makes us SMALL. It makes us pinched, and strict – and – believe it or not – it sounds like a MOTHER. We sound like his mother telling him “what’s what” and trying to be sensible.

And then when we get a moment alone with him, we try to explain our jealousy and weird feelings, and it just comes out as ‘dissing” his friend or family and makes everything worse.

That’s why Riffing and Feeling Messages work.

Lisa can say with each INDIVIDUAL situation: “Ohhh, I hate feeling this way, I feel embarrassed. I know Carrie is your friend, and she’s such a good person and she cares about you and you have so much history with her – and I feel bad about this, but I don’t feel good around her, and I don’t want to leave dinner right now to be with her (drop our other plans…do that, go there…). What should we do about this?”

This way – you never get into a discussion about the PERSON. Carrie is never under discussion. It’s hands off – because you don’t want him to have to go defending here – that makes it worse.

And here’s the kicker – why’s Carrie in Lisa’s life at all? How did that happen?

Well – if you’re following this blog you know the answer – she’s a MESSENGER. She’s got some message for Lisa, and nothing will change until Lisa gets that message and works with it to change whatever’s going on inside her that’s about Carrie’s message.

It could be that Carrie has a stronger sense of entitlement and diva-ness that Lisa needs to develop in herself.

It could be that Carrie feels so insecure in herself and has had a major crush on Kirk for all these years and is just plain jealous of Lisa’s claim on Kirk (I’ve seen this over and over in client stories, and personally with female friends of my boyfriends – even an older married couple that a boyfriend and I once went on a trip with.

The woman had a huge crush on my boyfriend, and she never missed a moment to try to cut me off at the knees. It was so blatant and obvious to everyone that her husband thought it was funny and my boyfriend enjoyed the ego boost! But she couldn’t see it in herself. It would have been “ridiculous” for me to feel insecure in that situation – and yet I got triggered constantly.)

The way out here, as always, is to focus on yourself. The only thing you care about here is staying CONNECTED to your man, and not letting something or someone like Carrie push you apart. You have to learn to USE the situation to get CLOSER.

It’s a matter of not letting anyone “throw you off your game.”

Love, Rori

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  1.  #1Linmayu on April 8, 2009 at 10:06 pm

    First post! (Shame on you AG, this post has been up for a couple hours now!)

    This is a situation I’ve come across. Husband had a woman friend, and she was bitchy to me. I let her throw me off my game and make me insecure. Not pretty. Never again.

  2.  #2Katja on April 9, 2009 at 2:35 am

    Wow another post that relates so much to my current situation…and reading this and seeing the other woman as a messenger helps me so much. Thank you Rori. Again I feel like you can read my mind as lately your eletters and post relate so much to my situation… 🙂

  3.  #3heartbeat on April 9, 2009 at 3:42 am

    Right on the nail, Rori – thank you! Your advice feels so true for me too. I feel relieved.

  4.  #4Linmayu on April 9, 2009 at 7:24 am

    I feel sad and ashamed of myself and I miss Alias Girl. I won’t even try to get first post anymore.

  5.  #5Daria on April 9, 2009 at 9:24 am

    Aww man. I feel Angry!!! Hugs Linmayu.

    It would feel great if Alias Girl came back. I feel Angry.

  6.  #6Deena on April 9, 2009 at 2:10 pm

    I’ve been in this situation a couple of times.

    The first time I turned the other cheek. It didn’t solve the problem.

    The 2nd time I told him to lose the “friend”. He ignored the request. I came up with an obnoxious opposite sex friend of my own that became a third wheel.

    He DEMANDED I lose the friend. 🙂

    I said sure when you lose the female friend. He did and things were much better between us.

    Third wheels drag energy from a relationship.

    It may not be the case every time, but I find they respond to actions more than any words.

  7.  #7Daria on April 9, 2009 at 3:48 pm

    I am freakin in love with this Danger girl from the Ray J show. her website is

    you can see from the video how much she loves herself.

    I want to have fun and love life every minute! Even when I’m by myself right now… I feel inspired…

    When did I lose this feeling? Did I ever have it? Can I get it? I want to feel like Im living life 100% right right now…

    so Im going to take some webcam fotos of me…

  8.  #8cookie on April 9, 2009 at 8:54 pm

    Daria, I so agree with you on the Danger from Ray J love. I think she is the most real and true to herself one on the show. She admits her past and did not lie about it even when she had the chance to. She doesn’t even cover up her tattoo which could easily be done with makeup, so that she appears more presentable. She is who she is. I love her too.

  9.  #9cookie on April 9, 2009 at 8:58 pm

    I had this weird thing with my guy’s “godsister” in the past. I don’t know if I handled it right but I remember her being a total bitch to me and pretending to befriend me by telling me bad things about him. All the while she was saying awful things to him about me and finding every opportunity she could to sneak behind my back and do things with and for him. I believed he enjoyed that attention so I just left the whole thing alone. I don’t ask about her and since I don’t see her, it’s hasn’t been a problem since. I wonder in retrospect what her message was.

  10.  #10Daria on April 9, 2009 at 11:15 pm

    Oh dang Cookie. I hope I wasn’t that Godsister! Although that doesn’t quite sound like me because I don’t pretend to befriend the girlfriends of my Godbrothers when I don’t like them. (Well I try mostly to be civil but I did kinda act kind of mean to one of them in particular… I guess I felt kinda good that I felt closer to him than she seemed to… I don’t feel guilty about it though (I feel kinda surprised that I don’t!), I didn’t really like her.

    I did do stuff with and for my Godbrothers that may get their girlfriends jealous of their time.

    Sometimes since we were not blood related I would kinda feel like they had a crush on me, and maybe I didn’t want to lose the attention to the girlfriend.

    In fact I kinda feel a little awkward because I remember being civil to my ex’s girlfriend although I was still totally into him. I would just act like she wasn’t there besides saying hi. I was feeling really uncomfortable.

  11.  #11Ann on April 10, 2009 at 1:16 am

    I feel sad. I miss AG hope she’s just needs a break. I like this post NO COMPETITION just connect with her man.

  12.  #12Flipper on April 10, 2009 at 5:53 am

    Ditto, Ann. Yae! (sp courtesy AG) to seeing Cookie and Cassandra back, and everyone else however frequently they post. Love and support to all. <3