Holiday dilemma

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Sep 2, 2018
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Hi, I need to vent and also get some opinions on this as I know my judgement can be skewed at times.
Long story short, I came into some money earlier in the Year, a couple of Thousand pounds. At the time a friend was hanging around and persuaded me to book a holiday with my family and hers. My gut feeling was it would be a bad idea as ive holidayed before with friends and its been too stressful for me. I prefer it just me and the kids. Im happy in my own company unlike her. I also like to spend quality time with my kids without having to consider anyone else we do most things alone due to my mental health, so i can manage my stress levels. But, Being impulsive and a single Mum , as much as i love my alone time, admittedly it gets lonely at times, I thought I'd give it a go as it would be nice for the kids to hang out together.
We booked and paid deposit she wanted to share a room between us but i said definitely not we must have seperate . I ended up as the lead passenger and My friend was pushing me to set up direct debits monthly from my account. I refused to do this in case I got short changed. Yes I have trust issues. We paid bits and pieces off the holiday as and when. Mines almost fully paid up but my friend stopped paying her part off in July and owes quite a bit. That's not so much the issue. The thing is I realised she has made up with an old friend and is not really wanting to hang out with me anymore and I feel used. I also notice a pattern that she seems to use and abuse friends and men for what she can get and sucks them dry for money , favours for repairs. She used to come over regularly and expect me to cook a meal while they sit there on their phones the whole time which i found rude and stressful as cooking is extremely challenging for me as it is let alone for others. She admitted that she liked to be out of her house because it keeps her out of her own keeping it spotlessly clean. Since ive wised up to it and stopped having her its turned frosty between us. I've noticed that despite getting a huge maintenance payment from the ex she refuses to put the heating on and instead spends it on going out and 70 pounds a week on cigarettes and fancy meals out all the time. My teenage son does not want to go away with them. He wants it just us. I don't want to either now. I've made a costly mistake. When I look back, she was aware of my mental health and I think that she thought I was in a state of mind where I would end up paying for the holiday myself because I had money. That was never going to happen im stupid but not completely stupid. Now I want to cancel i can still get a refund for the holiday but will loose deposit and will have to pay friend back what she's paid in. It is what it is, if I loose money so be it but obviously its a crappy situation right now in the UK finance wise and 700 odd pounds is a lot to loose. Should I just cancel now or wait to see if she pays off anymore money or brings up cancelling herself . We are in stale mate situation she's not talking to me now because I didn't attend a night out because babysitting fell through. Now I know why I stay away from most people it always seems to end up this way, valuable lesson learned I guess.
This person doesn't really sound like a friend at all, and I think you know exactly who she is. She's a sponge, one of those spontaneous care-free all-you-can-get types without much regard for the people she's with as long as she has a good time.

It's better to cut your loss than to keep people like this around. From the sounds of it you seem more content when its just you and your kinds, anyway. So it's not exactly a loss. I know it can sound difficult but you have to stand firm with people like this, listen to your gut more and don't let them push you around or try and manipulate you into making a decision, they'd quite happily play on your heart strings to get what they want to don't feel disappointing that you said no.
Why not take the holiday? You and your kids. If the money is already committed and you'd like the time with your kids take the holiday over and go by yourself. If she has money in to it then agree to reimburse her, but do it at the same rate that she had payed in to it.

If she hasn't paid her share then you really aren't taking anything from her. In the least, are you obligated to her for some reason? I predict if she shunned you for bailing on a night out then leaving her out of the holiday will likely destroy the friendship, but it would be her to do so, so how much of a friend is that anyway?

Friends and money is a horrible mix.
I agree with what's already been said. This "friend" just seems to be a leech, jumping from one person to the other to see what she can drain out of them. Should you go on holiday with her, chances are she'll try to tap you up for as much holiday expenses as she can get away with.

Best to take the hit and bail out now if you can rather than allowing this siuation to worsen. Money is one thing but so is your health and I just get a feeling that with her being in a picture, there's going to be tension to say the least.

As already mentioned by JesseC, there's no harm in making enquiries to see if you could switch to just taking the holiday for just you and your kids. No point in you totally loosing out if you can avoid it.
Thanks for all your input, very helpful & certainly lots to think about. I will look into taking the holiday alone with my kids, if I have to take the hit I will do. I will reimburse her for the money shes paid in and be done with it. If it kills off the relationship for good but then maybe that's not such a bad thing. Will try and ring holiday company when feeling up to it and Will update you on the situation.
Doesn't feel like you will lose a lot of friendship.
I'm sure the sponge will find her way to new people to take advantage of.
It's obvious you are better off without her.
Thanks for all your input, very helpful & certainly lots to think about. I will look into taking the holiday alone with my kids, if I have to take the hit I will do. I will reimburse her for the money shes paid in and be done with it. If it kills off the relationship for good but then maybe that's not such a bad thing. Will try and ring holiday company when feeling up to it and Will update you on the situation.
Maybe you can tell your soon to be ex-friend that you in fact want to go alone with just your kids. Let her decide if she wants to go or not. You don't have to hang out together. Maybe she'll still go, although I doubt it. Maybe she can get a partial refund? But, your aren't responsible for her. You aren't married. She's a grown up. I wouldn't refund her anything. But, I would let her know as soon as possible that I wanted to only spend time with my kids.
I'd cut my losses and save the money for a rainy day / buy gold with it or something. If the amount of money you are spending on this vacation isn't something you'd equally be willing to lose at the Casino, and still be okay financially, then I'd say it isn't worth it.

Sounds like you feel it's an unequal exchange between you and her, most of the time. So, realistically, you need to set hard limits (on yourself), so you don't feel that way; and if she's not cool with that, then that's unfortunate, but oh well. I don't think this means she is ultimately a, 'bad/selfish/******* person,' (could be, but..) but it's very likely you presented yourself to her, as some one who you'd rather not be to her, and she may not be able to accept you as anyone different. It sucks how things work like that; but, if we present ourselves as a doormat to some one, they'll have a hard time thinking of us as a doorbell, later on, if we decide we don't want people wiping their feet on us all the time. Doormats attract dirty feet :-/

When I'm low in life, I often present myself as, 'the schmuck.' I overly self-deprecate and make myself out to be something low-status. So, that gives people the idea that I'm a, 'push-over,' 'agreeable,' type of person. So it's a vicious circle, and once you've got that ball rolling that way, it's tough to just, 'stop it,' immediately, it has inertia...

However if I'm not mistaken, it's not so much that there is a world of selfish people out there ready to take advantage of you, so much as it is, most of us, on the day-to-day ARE selfish and self-absorbed, and quite ready to accept a free lunch if the opportunity presents itself.

I like to give out a free lunch now and then; but, you can't run a business that way, so to speak. Gotta just leave the free-lunch days for Monday, while everyone who has a job is at work, so you don't break the proverbial bank. 😛

A lot of us become emotionally bankrupt, and then we blame the external world, without taking into consideration how we contributed to the problem. Sometimes it truly is an external blame, but oftentimes, there is usually something we could have done different too, that is ultimately on us.
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Yeah I know 😞
Maybe you are a bit like me, that you find it hard to show people where the limits are of what you find acceptable, and then people take advantage of it.
You may be worried of losing her 'friendship', and she knows this, so she pretends to offer you friendship, puts in some sweet talking to create the illusion for you, whereas in reality she is just a sponge who takes advantage of you.
It is hard to be realistic when you do not have that many friends, and you might think you will miss something, but in the end you are better off without this kind of person.

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