We met on the first day of first grade. The friendship was instant. When the morning started we were seated beside each other, by day’s end the teacher had moved us to opposite sides of the room. We just couldn’t stop talking.
Our friendship continued through high school graduation and through the trials and tribulations of dating in our 20s. She was kind of like the sister I never had and me the sibling she didn’t have. We saw each other off into our relationships that we each have until this day. We have remained friends through the years and stay in touch several times each year.
The glitch is this, my life has been financially successful and hers not so much. Unfortunately managing money was never her strong suit. Years ago when there was an issue and I sent out a thousand bucks as a loan. The loan was never repaid. Then there was a little loan of a couple hundred here and a hundred there, you get the picture. There was never any attempt to repay. I knew she really didn’t have it to repay me with anyway.
Then about 6 years ago with a disabled husband and two kids in school, she called me as the house was being foreclosed on. I faced a dilemma. I had started to resent the outstanding loans and now I was being asked for five thousand to save the house before they were homeless. Since she has no siblings and her parents were gone (both died in debt), I decided I could not loan her the money as I would never see it repaid but I could gift her the money expecting nothing in return. I gifted the money and the house was saved.
She has managed to get the kids through school as one is in college and the other is a high school senior. She has managed to get the husband through a near death illness a couple years back and kept up with the house payments.
She kept up the house payments until now. I got the call last Friday. She’s back in foreclosure. She asked for a loan. I didn’t give her an answer even though my gut said no. She asked me to think about it. I said I would. I just called her and told her no, no I cannot help.
I have the money. I have the means not because I make a good living. I have the means because I am responsible with my money. In order for me to continue to be friends with her I cannot become resentful. I would most definitely become resentful that I am saving a house that I saved before.
I have done what I can do. I have helped in the past. I’m still here for her as a friend. I still love her because I made the choice to protect my end of the friendship. I maintain my end of the friendship by not putting resentment over further financial assistance in the way.