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to speak up or shut up?

80s Forum: to speak up or shut up?
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  1. #1
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    to speak up or shut up?

    My friend's life was going rather good 10 days ago. Then everything around her fell in... problems at work (which she owns), her sister in the hospital, and most significantly to my question is her daughter and 4 month old son moved back home with her because her (daughter's) boyfriend is acting weird.

    Out of the blue the boyfriend decided he doesn't have time for her and their baby because he has to work on getting his race car fixed so he can earn some extra money. Come to find out this "race car" is not used at the legal drag racing strip around here...he's doing the midnight street drag racing, the kind where 8 people got killed not too far from here a few weeks back. Anyway, that's his priority is his car and he can't be bothered with taking care of the baby because he has to work on his car. Also, he quit his good job with a construction company to take a job fixing cars for some guy who's just starting up a company where he'll be paid under the table and thus giving up his health insurance. He says he still loves the baby & his girlfriend, but hasn't come to see them in over a week now. My friend is taking care of the baby 75% of the time while her daughter pines for this doofus.

    My husband & I have talked about all the symptoms and actions and based on our former friends and experiences, we really suspect that he's gotten into some illegal substances because of the sudden bizzareness of his behavior. Question I guess is, should we mention our suspicions just to have it out there? If we're wrong, then great. But if we're right and didn't say something would it be like why didn't anyone tell me? She's one of my best friends, like my sister, and with everything going on I don't know if it'd just add to her stress and give her yet another thing to worry about, or if it's good to just have it out there. Any ideas of how to gently bring it up if you think I should say something?

    I hate to see the baby suffering from his lack of daddy. But if he's so uninterested in his own son, maybe it's not such a bad thing he's not around.
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  2. #2
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    Re: to speak up or shut up?

    Personally I would talk to the friend, let them know your feelings on the matter. That's about all I can suggest.

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  3. #3
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    Re: to speak up or shut up?

    I don't like to GIVE advice, so when I'm put in that position, I try to get the person to ask themselves the questions to help them draw their own conclusions. In this case, ask her things like ...
    Do you think there's anything else going on to take him away from his family?
    Are there any new influences in his life that seem questionable?
    Just when & how did he start acting strange?
    Has he ever shown similar behavior before? When?

    Think of questions to make them step back and take a different look at the situation. Tough questions that they may have been afraid to ask themselves. Sometimes that's all that is needed ... some tough answers to some tough questions one might be afraid to ask.

    Sometimes the toughest questions are the ones with the toughest answers that bring the truth to light!!

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  4. #4
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    Re: to speak up or shut up?

    Thats a good way to do it TxSweet!
    They'll get the point and even if they dont tell you directly, the question of substance abuse will certainly be going thru their minds if it isnt already.
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  5. #5
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    Re: to speak up or shut up?

    I wouldn't say anything, your dealing with another family , and family members have a certain bond. In addition, regardless of if your right or not about the drugs, and the couple reconciles later , they may never forgive you


    here's a little story that I don't know if it fits in, but when I was in grade 1-2, A couple of brothers (I don't mean black but actual brothers) would beat me (and every other kid up). My mother tried to go tell their mother and my father stopped her by saying " Don't go up there, in an hours the kids will be friends again, but if you go up to complain, you will be enemies with their mother forever
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  6. #6
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    Re: to speak up or shut up?

    Got to agree with Cal. ( scary thought, i know ) TX gave good advice. You are putting the questions that need asked out there but letting your friend process it one her own.

    The best thing you can do for your friend is be there for her. Her daughter..well you can do the same but remember, she will most likely take this loser man back.

    Sometimes kids are better without a "sometimes there" dad then with one. They need stability. The dad is very selfish and obviously has not grown up.


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    Re: to speak up or shut up?

    If you want to find out if he is doing drugs, the best source would be to ask him directly or ask him in front of your friend. If you don't want to do that, then don't say anything. Don't offer anything but an ear or shoulder to her. If she asks for your thoughts on the subject, then proceed. Don't get caught in the middle of anything that really isn't your business. If you're not part of the problem or the solution then stay out of it. I mean that with all due respect.

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  8. #8
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    Re: to speak up or shut up?

    Thanks everyone. I know it's not really my business, but I am indirectly involved because I'm so close to my friend & her daughter. And I spend more time with the baby than his dad.

    You're right that she's probably going to end up back with this loser. I wouldn't ever say anything to the daughter. My friend is a lot better at letting her daughter screw up her own life without butting in than I think I would be if it were my kid. But she's still incredibly supportive, and wants them to work out since she sees how miserable her daughter is.

    I'm the one my friend confides in about everything since I'm there. I'm not really in the middle of anything, I'm just the listening ear and want to be comforting to my friend, while helping her see all the possibilities. I'm sure whether or not she wants to believe it, all kinds of things have gone through her mind. I don't bring anything up until she starts filling me in and I have tried to be a good listener. I like TX's questions.

    Thanks everyone!
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  9. #9
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    Re: to speak up or shut up?

    It's painful when you are standing outside a situation and it is clear as daylight what is going on. I know when I was really young and married to my first husband, it took me a while to see that what was happening to me was really, really wrong and that I didn't deserve it. Until the young lady gets some sort of wakeup call from someone or something, there is nothing you will be able to say to her that will make a difference. She lacks self-esteem, and at the moment, still believes in the child's best interest being with the father. I don't think that's so, but she has got to see it for herself.


    There are some people who are still astoundingly naive to fact that illegal things are going on around them because they have little to no contact with that behavior in their lives. You can drop hints in your conversations with your friend when the situation comes up. You can say things like "I hope it's not true that so many young people lose their lives in races like that." Bring up examples of what you have seen in the news. If you have seen behavior in him that relates well to drug activity, you need to bring that up in conjunction with a news story you saw, or relate it to the story of someone you know without mentioning names.

    Little, nagging hints like that stick with people without being accusatory or confrontational, and let those people know that you are aware that they are with a sympathetic person. Just don't go so far as to sound like a gossip or a snoop, just here and there, a news article or a general observation that is truthful.
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  10. #10
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    Re: to speak up or shut up?

    I’m gonna play Devil’s advocate here so don’t shoot me. It’s possible that this guy just isn’t ready or doesn’t want a family. I think you might be seeing drugs where there is just fear of commitment and responsibility. As hard as it may be to believe, some men (and women) just aren’t cut out to be parents because they lack the natural loving instincts of a good parent. For example - We have this guy in our FoosBall club, “Buffy”, who is a great guy and has been my good friend for low these many years. However, the idea of having children or even of getting married is enough to turn his blood to ice water. He just has no interest in having children.

    Maybe this guy just doesn’t want to be tied down to a family? There was a time when I never thought I needed children to make my life complete. Now, I couldn’t imagine my life without them. Some people just aren’t built for it. Personally, I think this guy is turning his back on the best thing that will ever happen to him but it’s possible he just doesn’t care. Drugs may have nothing to do with it. If you want my advice... stay out of it. You might be sorry later if they get back together.
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  11. #11
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    Re: to speak up or shut up?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tempest Frost View Post
    Iím gonna play Devilís advocate here so donít shoot me. Itís possible that this guy just isnít ready or doesnít want a family. I think you might be seeing drugs where there is just fear of commitment and responsibility. As hard as it may be to believe, some men (and women) just arenít cut out to be parents because they lack the natural loving instincts of a good parent. For example - We have this guy in our FoosBall club, ďBuffyĒ, who is a great guy and has been my good friend for low these many years. However, the idea of having children or even of getting married is enough to turn his blood to ice water. He just has no interest in having children.
    Maybe this guy just doesnít want to be tied down to a family? There was a time when I never thought I needed children to make my life complete. Now, I couldnít imagine my life without them. Some people just arenít built for it. Personally, I think this guy is turning his back on the best thing that will ever happen to him but itís possible he just doesnít care. Drugs may have nothing to do with it. If you want my advice... stay out of it. You might be sorry later if they get back together.
    The problem with this is, he has already become a dad so it's time to man up and take care of his kid. If you don't want to be tied down to a family, don't make one.

    There are lots of reasons people don't want kids, BTW. I decided not to have them, and it's not because I am not nurturing.

    Drugs may have nothing to do with it, true. It could be simple outright selfishness and irresponsibility, not as much toward the woman as toward the child.

    I think you have a point about being careful should they get back together, that's for dang sure. It's a hard place to be in when you see people you care about suffer.

    I just don't see anyone winning in this one anytime soon.
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    SIT DOWN, BUCKLE IN, HANG ON, SHUT UP
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  12. #12
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    Re: to speak up or shut up?

    I do think he wasn't ready to be a dad. They dated for about a month before getting pregnant and had fun playing house for a while, but I think he wasn't ready for the responsibility once there were three of them.

    My friend found out from his mom that he did this once a few years ago...had a house, great job, was going to college. Then the stress of it all suddenly hit and he quit school, stopped going to work regularly thus got fired, and lost his house. His mom sees it happening again, just with more people involved this time, including the one little boy who should be the most important person in his life. I've seen this before in my friends and 75% of the time there was substance abuse involved in the suddeness of it. That's why I'm so concerned, plus the fact that he's hurting my friends.

    Fortunately my friend's daughter today declared that she's not going to sit around and wait for him to decide what her life's going to be, so that's great that she's coming out of her funk. I know she'd go running back to him in a second if he told her to, but maybe this time apart will help her see him in a new light.
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  13. #13
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    Re: to speak up or shut up?

    Quote Originally Posted by abcmcd View Post
    I do think he wasn't ready to be a dad. They dated for about a month before getting pregnant and had fun playing house for a while, but I think he wasn't ready for the responsibility once there were three of them. .

    I can't understand why young people don't use protection!!! Then they don't step up and take care of their responsibilities. Which leaves us all taking care of their kids.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tempest
    It’s possible that this guy just isn’t ready or doesn’t want a family.
    It takes two to make a baby. He needs to put his own wants aside for his child. So fluckin what he is not ready for a family! He should have thought of that before.

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  14. #14
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    Re: to speak up or shut up?

    I think we all would agree that dads need to step up to the plate once a baby has arrived. But I can see what Tempest is saying. Why beat a dead horse. Yes, he SHOULD be a responsible daddy but if it isnt gonna happen it isnt gonna happen. Move on and hope he sees the light someday. Otherwise, kids are better off without numbskulls like this in their lives.
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  15. #15
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    Re: to speak up or shut up?

    I'd stay the heck out of it. It's like the friend who you tell their husband is cheating on them and the yend up blaming you for ruining their marriage.

    As for the baby's daddy, I agree that men should be responsible for the kids they bring into this world, even if they don't want to be the Cleavers.

    However, I also agree that some kids are much better off without their natural fathers. My wife had my oldest son before we met. The natural father wanted nothing to do with being a dad, he was a spoiled rich kid who surfed, did drugs and goofed off. Him being a worthless jerk was the best thing he could do for my son (who I adopted) and for me as well. My son & I are reaping the benefits of that guy's stupidity.
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  16. #16
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    Re: to speak up or shut up?

    Quote Originally Posted by nolanbuc View Post
    Him being a worthless jerk was the best thing he could do for my son (who I adopted) and for me as well. My son & I are reaping the benefits of that guy's stupidity.
    Isn't it amazing how some of the blessings in our life come about? Very neat story Nolan.
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