“Seriously Brady. My best friend in this whole world is pregnant, after lying to me that she wasn’t. That’s not what’s bothering me though; she is pushing all of her friends away and her boyfriend is approaching all of her friends and family warning us all not to upset her. I’m afraid to confront her about her lies, her controlling boyfriend, and other actions, which there is a laundry list, and that she’s alienating those that really do love her for the sake of having a calm pregnancy and, ‘not wanting to hurt the baby.’ What am I going to do?”
Thank you for asking me this question. It definitely sounds you are struggling with a situation that you would like to confront, and without having more details, I’ll try to do my best to address what seems to the main issue: being hesitant to confront her at this time and her using her pregnancy as a defensive tactic to avoid confrontation.
There can be some legitimate reasons why persons would want to distance themselves from others: others can be abusive, there can be threats of violence, a person can put boundaries on a toxic relationship, or many other scenarios. There can also be some illegitimate reasons why persons would want to distance themselves from others, notably if a person’s partner is influencing that person to distance themselves from others. I would call this an illegitimate reason because the reason itself, from what you have written, doesn’t seem to originate from their own person, but from someone else. In this instance, I am not entirely clear on what happened for her to push others away, but that may be exactly what you would like to confront.
Using a pregnancy as a way to avoid conflict, confrontation, or addressing issues in a relationship is a tactical maneuver, because most people wouldn’t want to upset a pregnant mother for fear of upsetting the pregnancy. In actuality, that mother, whether pregnant or not, might be easily angered or use any circumstance as a prop, a tool, or more simply: an easy excuse. Confronting a woman that is pregnant, while many people would say is inconsiderate, or not in the best interests of the baby, is actually considerate of the woman and the kind of mother that she will become, and the kind of person that she will raise.
A woman that can handle difficult conversations before she is mother will be better able to have difficult conversations when she is a mother.
On the whole, it is important that when loved ones notice a person’s behavior that is detrimental, such as withdrawal, that the loved one speaks up. Whether pregnant or not, you love your friend, clearly, and how to love your friend seems to be problematic at this time. However, you are not without options or an ability to stand up for your friend and your relationship to her. You can talk to her, and address those issues, without worry about upsetting her pregnancy.
If a person is naturally inclined to be angry, volatile, or readily upset, then whatever stressful situation they are going through may be yet another excuse to be entitled to their anger and volatility. For a person with that temperament, there will continuously be something happening that will make it a hard time to confront them; the ideal time to confront a person will be when you are ready to confront them, not when you think they are ready.
(Originally written February 24, 2013)