Am I overreacting here? (friend drama)

Last March or so, a friend of my partner’s invited us to move into her house because her work was requiring her to do a lot of travel. Friend–let’s call her Jane—announced her intent to move out and get an apartment close to the airport; we would have the house to ourselves and pay rent. Lease was drafted, approved by lawyers, and we moved in August (earliest we could get out of our apartment lease).

Jane, however, didn’t move out. During August, September and October, she was traveling a lot for work and waffling between taking a job across the country (with her existing employer) versus staying in the area. During this time, she had two quasi-breakdowns, planned and cancelled multiple going-away parties, and generally brought a large amount of stressful personal drama into our lives.

She took the job across the country, hated it and bitched and moaned to us about it, and finally saw a shrink who prescribed her stuff for manic-depressive disorder. She moved back to the area about a month ago, though not into the house, thank God. She’s agreed to extend our lease a while past its original termination date so that we will have truly had the house to ourselves for a year.

Now, however, Jane frequently wants to get together for social stuff. I understand that I didn’t have much of a chance to get to know her outside of the time we were leaving together (when she was having serious issues), but I am honestly not that interested in hanging out with her. I am fine with my partner hanging out with Jane on her own; it’s just that I don’t care to join them.

Thoughts on this? I understand we have to maintain a good relationship with Jane while she’s our landlord, but frankly, I’m not interested in inviting further drama and disruption into my life.

I don’t think you’re in the wrong at all. It’s understandable to be wary of someone when all you’ve seen of them is The Crazy.

I do want to suggest that you give her one try to show you she’s normal. Be with your partner at the same time so in case Jane still has The Crazy, you’ll at least be able to enjoy your partner’s company.

If Jane’s still unpleasant to be around, don’t be around her anymore.

Telling your partner this straight up probably will be for the best as well.

This, in my humble opinion, is why one should not do business with friends. If it were me, I’d feel obligated to socialize with her on occasion so as not to get into a tussle with her as my landlord, because that could cause a whole hell of drama and problems.

I’d let my partner do most of the socializing, as Jane was her friend to begin with, and join in only often enough to not cause hurt feelings on Jane’s part. How often and under which circumstances is something you and your partner would have to gauge, knowing Jane a lot better than we do. If she doesn’t actually consider you to be a friend, you can probably get away with not seeing her hardly at all.

It really, to me, depends on what Jane considers your relationship with her to be, and on what kind of socializing you’ve done with her to date (meaning, what she now expects of you and would naturally feel hurt if you suddenly stopped doing with no plausible benign explanation). Basically, be subtle, apologetic and gracious in distancing yourself from her.

I don’t think you should be socializing with her. You guys have a business relationship and there’s no reason to muddy the waters. Let your partner go spend time with her since they were friends before. I would also suggest looking for another place to live once your lease is up.

Mental illness is illness. There is a difference between being mentally ill and being a drama magnet for attention’s sake. I’ve known people with manic-depression who, when treating their condition, were not unusual at all. I say try not to hold against her the fact that she was dealing with a difficult, undiagnosed illness that affected her behavior when you first met her. Give her a chance in her new, medicated state.

Well, the good news is that my partner already knows how I feel.

Jane will surely get offended if I refuse to socialize with her at all…I suppose I just have to keep it to a minimum.

I do understand the diff between drama and mental illness, but also know how long it can take to get the right dosage/appropriate medication to treat manic depression, so am wary of too much socializing.

If you don’t want to be friends, why not follow your instincts? You can be pleasant if you happen to run into her, but you don’t have to be friends with anyone.

I agree, you don’t have to hang out with her, but it might be nice to throw your partner a bone once in a while and do it out of consideration of his/her feelings. As long as it’s not unbearable, why not tough it out once in a blue moon?