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How can I make amends with my friend about the money?

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Question - (14 September 2023) 5 Answers - (Newest, 23 September 2023)
A female United Kingdom age 30-35, anonymous writes:

I’m currently feeling very guilty for accidentally misleading a friend regarding helping her out financially…..

18 months ago my friend was facing a potential situation where by she would need a solicitor and she was struggling to cover the cost by herself. She was short £1000, so I offered to lend her the money if it came to it. She was extremely grateful and agreed she would pay it back.

I told her the money was hers if she needed it.

Fortunately the situation resolved itself and she had no need for it.

A couple of months ago she found herself in some debt and was on the phone to me almost everyday in tears not knowing what to do- I felt so bad for her so was trying to find solutions. Eventually after about 2 weeks of her contacting me she just came straight out and asked me for the £1000.

Unfortunately I was now no longer in the position to help her as my husband and I had some unexpected financial issues of our own (she wasn’t aware), so I explained all of this to her and apologized.

She felt awkward too as she apologized as well but did say “when you told me 18 months ago the money was mine if I needed it I just assumed it was still the case”

After this conversation she stopped calling me and I feel she has distanced herself.

I’m not completely blameless as I did offer her the money but 18 months ago - I thought she’d be a little understanding but she wasn’t.

How can I try to make amends? My husband thinks it’s her fault and not mine, for assuming incorrectly the money was still available.

What’s the best way to resolve this misunderstanding?

View related questions: debt, money

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A female reader, Youcannotbeserious United Kingdom + , writes (23 September 2023):

Youcannotbeserious agony auntTake a step back and analyse this friendship. She sounds to lead a chaotic life. When you made the offer to lend her money 18 months ago, she assumed you and your husband had it to spare so, when she needed money again, she assumed this was still the case. Unfortunately for her, things had happened in the meantime which meant you were no longer in a position to lend her the money. Instead of being understanding, she took umbrage and has now distanced herself from you.

It is not your responsibility to bail her out of ANY situation. You were a good friend to offer the money in the first place. Unfortunately, this has backfired on you because she now thinks she can borrow money whenever she needs it.

If I were you, I would leave her to her chaos and move on with your life. Your husband is right. This is not your fault.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (17 September 2023):

This woman was never a real friend. A real friend wants to be in your life no matter what, and cares about you no matter what. Friendship is not about people coming to you when they want something and not wanting you otherwise. It should be give and take. Eighteen months is a long time. It's ridiculous to assume you would still have that thousand pounds to spare. It's also ridiculous to assume that you would lend it to her for anything and everything. For all you know she had no debts at all, she simply over spent or was trying to get hold of that thousand pound to spend it. If you keep giving money to people who are crap at managing their money you encourage them and enable them to get worse and worse with it - it is not responsible or helpful to bail them out. It makes it worse and worse. It is like giving a heavy drinker a pint of beer.

You come across as someone who is rather clueless about people. You are naive about this woman and too trusting. You sound as if you would forgive anyone anything, which is really silly. You should weigh people up and not be so friendly with people when it is all one sided. Or if they always take and never give or offer. The whole idea of a friend is to enhance your life. Not just you always enhancing theirs.

Why do you think so little of yourself that you would pay people money so they carry on speaking to you and pretend to like you? This is the real question and problem. Your opinion of yourself is very low if you think this other woman was a friend and you think her behaviour acceptable.

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A female reader, Honeypie United States + , writes (17 September 2023):

Honeypie agony auntYep, I'm with Ciar and your husband!

"My husband thinks it’s her fault and not mine, for assuming incorrectly the money was still available."

What kind of AMENDs should you try and do? I mean you OFFERED the 1,000 for a SPECIFIC reason. That got resolved. So, the OFFER was off the table.

YOU are not her bank. You DO NOT OWE her to be her bank or ATM or bail her out when she gets HERSELF in hot water financially.

The ONLY person you "OWE" financial support is your husband!

She sees you as someone she can take advantage of.

Why is HER poor budgeting and planning YOUR problem or responsibility?

While I get that many people keep some savings for emergencies (as did you) - you HAD an emergency AFTER her initial problem was sorted out. Should you have left that 1,000 for HER when you and your husband had an emergency?

Good riddance to her!!

And what Ciar said 100%

"Let her go. If she contacts you again you can be friendly but a bit formal. Don't contact her."


She isn't a friend.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (17 September 2023):

Wow! Your friend has some nerve. Does it not tell you all you need to know that she stopped calling once the money wasn't available? I'd drop this 'friend' like a hot potato and move on, guilt-free!

In 18 months she could have gotten off her leaching backside and found a way to source the £1000 herself like an adult, you know, have some back up funds and be a bit more self reliant instead of taking liberties with others!

What is her lifestyle like? Does she party/take holidays/spend frivolously? There's no way you'd have seen that £1000 again that's for sure because she saw you as her little bank to get her out of trouble. You need to wise up and take notice of what your husband is saying.

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A female reader, Ciar Canada + , writes (16 September 2023):

Ciar agony auntYour husband is right. This is her fault.

As your friend is more than old enough to know a lot can happen in 18 months. You and your husband could have lost your jobs, been injured in an accident, been diagnosed with a terminal illness. Did your 'friend' think that money would be available from now until the end of time?

What would her response have been had you suffered some major setback yourself?

If I were in her position, I wouldn't want you to think I only valued you for your money. Does she seem at all concerned with not leaving you with that impression? Is that how you would behave if you were the one who needed the loan? I don't think so.

STOP trying to make amends, and get over feeling guilty. It sends a message that it's ok to take liberties with you. You were a good friend to have offered the money, but you dodged a bullet when she declined that offer the first time. You would likely not have seen that loan repaid.

Let her go. If she contacts you again you can be friendly but a bit formal. Don't contact her.

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