I recently lost my job and am struggling terribly financially. I am a single mother to two young children and have virtually no savings. Meanwhile, my best friend for many years got married not long ago to a very wealthy man. While I can barely pay rent, they are jet setting around the world and she is constantly telling me of all her new gifts and purchases. She has always been so helpful and generous but now that she is married she isn't doing anything to help me. I feel like I can't keep talking to her and pretending like nothing is wrong. What should I do?
There is nothing more uncomfortable or trickier in a relationship then when money comes into the picture. And this situation is all the more complicated because it sounds like the new found money is not your friend's as much as it is her new husband's. So you are really dealing with a few different situations here. Firstly, your best friend is recently married which is automatically going to change the dynamics of your friendship somewhat. Secondly, you recently lost your job which changes your situation and needs. Thirdly, your friend is now living a different lifestyle because of her new financial status, which coincides with the very same time you are in need of financial help.
She is excited and wants to share with you- not necessarily show offBefore we actually even discuss your need for money, let's talk about your friend and her marriage. Think about things from her point of view. She just got married. This is a huge transition for her. In addition, she is living a lifestyle much more extravagant than she has ever lived before. You are her best friend. She is excited and wants to share with you- not necessarily show off. And so she is speaking to you.
I imagine if your situation was different right now you would be thrilled to be speaking with her and would be upset if she didn't share every detail with you. And so, as her best friend, you should try to be happy for her good fortune and her happiness and marriage, even though you are going through a tough time. I know it is difficult, but see if you can focus on being her friend and giving her what she needs right now- which is your support, friendship, love and even an ear.
At the same time, she is your best friend. Which means you should be able to speak with her openly and honestly as well. If you cannot afford your food bills and she is traipsing around the world, she needs to be sensitive to your needs and your situation. But one thing should be made clear: the fact that she married someone wealthy should not in any way mean that her new husband should feel obligated to help you financially. That is something that could come across as very awkward and could put strain into their marriage, which is completely unfair. If he were to offer on his own, that would be one thing, but it is not something you should expect or feel upset if it is never offered.
Tell her about what you are going throughYou say that your friend has always been helpful and generous. So now you need her help. Tell her about what you are going through and ask her for suggestions and support. Maybe she can help babysit your kids or help you look for a job or lend you some of her great outfits for an interview. There are many things she can do to help you out that do not require her giving you a penny. But you need to confide in her and seek her guidance and support. Perhaps she is not at all aware of just how bad things really are for you. Maybe it is because you haven't really told her. Or maybe it is because she has been too busy with her new husband and her trips to notice, but as her best friend, you should set aside some quality time and have a real heart to heart.
Right now you are struggling with not having the money that you need. What a shame if her having money comes between you. Focus on your friendship and the person you know she is. Talk to her of your struggles as you would about any other situation. And be there for her in her new marriage as she needs you as well. I have no doubt that if she is the friend you say she is she will help you out however she can.
And use this opportunity to recognize not only your needs but the needs of others who are struggling. You can still help, even if not financially. Donate the clothes your children have outgrown, volunteer, give away the cans of food that you are not using, etc. And pray that others who are in need of money be blessed with financial stability and success.
Torah teaches us that when we pray for another who has similar needs, G‑d – so touched that we are praying about others, though we have the same needs – responds to our own needs first. So be happy for your friend and pray for her wellbeing. And she should pray for yours. And both of your prayers should be answered!