Mother says no to friendship
I come from a wealthy family. My father is a successful businessman and my mother is an engineer. I have two sisters and a brother. I am the eldest. I am still studying in a college and my grades are quite impressive. English is my second language.
I have a friend, K. We have been friends for 8 months. She is my classmate. K is actually a tomboy. Her mother is skeptical about our friendship. She's been checking K's e-mail and found out how close we are, which is pretty close. She's been asking K about me and now she wants us to not to be friends anymore. This upset me greatly, since she's my only best friend. K has tried to convince her mother that there is nothing intimate going on between us but she just wouldn't listen. What should I do to keep this friendship? What is the best way to convince K's mother that we are the best of friends?
What does K say about her mother's reaction to your friendship? You're in a tough situation because there isn't much that you can do to determine what will happen from this point forward, other than to talk to K and express to her clearly how much the friendship means to you and your hope that she will remain your friend. It is K who will decide what the future of your friendship will be.
The issues that really need to be addressed here are not between you and K but rather between K and her mother. Why is her mother so mistrustful and intrusive? At K's age, it is appropriate for her to establish some independence from her mother and make decisions regarding her friendships without her mother's input. K will have to decide how to handle her mother - to allow her to continue to violate her privacy and have influence on her private life or to begin to establish some clear boundaries with her mother. If K wants to talk to her mother and try to convince her that the two of you are the best of friends and nothing more, then she can certainly do so, though it sounds like her mother may not be willing to see anything other than what she believes she sees between the two of you.
The lesson that both you and K will need to keep in mind is that no one can change anyone else. K will need to realize that she may not be able to change her mother's belief about your friendship, and she'll have to decide whether she is ready to stand up to her mother by continuing the friendship with you against her mother's wishes. You will need to respect K's choice, even if she chooses to distance herself from you, which would be very upsetting to you. Ideally, K's mother will also learn that she can choose her own friends but cannot choose K's for her (although this depends on how firm K decides to be with her mom).
You said that you have no other best friend . . . but do you have other friends? I hope so, because it's difficult if you have only one person on whom you can depend, and it can place more pressure on the relationship with that person if you have no one else to turn to when times are tough.
Best of luck to you, Anna, and I hope that things between you and K (and her mother) are resolved quickly in a way that is right for everyone.
Susan Maroto, LCSW
This question has been answered by Susan Maroto. She is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker working out of Mount Laurel, New Jersey. She uses an eclectic approach to holistic healing, mind-body relationships, life transitions, depression, and anxiety.For more information visit: http://www.therapywithsusan.com/