Caught in a War that I never Ask For --Advice ? : LUSENET : Freedom! self reliance : One Thread

I have this friend and we are very close. Actually he is more like a brother and it is quite possible that I am much to close to his problems to help him so I need a few outside opinions to stimulate my reasoning.

This is a turf war and I mean it all started of a lawn mower. My friend has struggled for 3 years with mowing 5 acreas with an old banged up MTD mower. It often took up his whole weekend to mow his grass. He bought a new mower and the war has begun between him and his wife. Here am I, stuck smack dab in the middle of a spousal fued and I never said a word.

He did not buy your average mower. He bought an EX mark. 50 inch cut, hydraulic drive, Cadillac of mower which he had to finance. $5300.00 mower ! Meanwhile back at the ranch; his spouse was busy cleaning out the savings account to show her frustration.

Today has just been hell with both of them. First one than the other, pleading their cases to me and I'm too scared to say a word. Whatever I say will be held against me by one or the other. How do you tell the truth ?

IMHO, both of them were dead wrong ! Yes, he needed a mower but he didn't need that $$$$much of a mower. No, she had no right to pull the savings to show her anger. They, neither one of them, had the right to spend that much capital without a mutual decision.

Somehow my wife and I became the war zone because we have this mutual respect and discuss in detail our finances together. I tried to say that a hundred times today but it is falling on deaf ears. What can I say that will be heard ? How do you get out of the middle when you never ask to be there ?

I feel they both have come to have me be the Judge and it just is not my place. I tried calling our mutual pastor to have him fix the problem and they both slammed that back in my face. I guess it is me that will have to fix it but I don't want to. These are my friends and I wish to keep them both ! ANY IDEAS ??? Anything Please ?

-- Joel Rosen (, April 27, 2002



Just tell them that all of you have wedding bands and yours only matches the one worn by your wife. They need to talk to each other.Explain to them they can use you for a sounding board but the only advice you can offer them is for them to talk their problems to each other and reach a mutual agreement they are both happy with.

-- Jay Blair in N. AL (, April 28, 2002.

Ouch! Joel, If they were my friends I'd tell them both the truth at the same time. Some times honesty in it's raw form is the only thing you can offer. No criticism, just plain fact truth as you posted: (1) He needed mower but IYHO not a $$$$$$$ one. (2) She should not have IYHO retorted by pulling out savings. If you have any suggestions as a way to resolve their dilema. Insert it now.

My opinion.

-- Kenneth in N.C. (, April 28, 2002.

I'v been reading for awhile know but never had the curage to answer any questions, but i have to speek up on this one. your friends shouldn't put you in a such a bad position that compromises eather friendship. So since they asked you for your opinion, give it to them then tell them that they souldn't get you involved in their material disputes. missy in mo

-- Melissa Ann Mitchell (, April 28, 2002.

This is a hard one Joel, two of my neighbours had a feud over parking on our shared road. One left his car parked on a neighbours frontage and came back to find a concrete wall built around it! That was interesting to watch, from a distance.

One came to me apparently looking for an ally, I told him he was a clever chap I have a lot of respect for and that I was confident he would be able to work out the appropriate thing to do and then everything would be ok. It seemed to work, anyway the dispute is gone and all neighbours are friends again.

My suggestion is to point out in the most diplomatic way you can that it is their problem and that they are the ones to solve it. Don't forget to include that you are confident that he/she/they have got what it takes to solve things.

(Boy, would I love a mower like that)

-- john hill (, April 28, 2002.

What fun!not. I like John Hill's approach to this. Let them know they have what it takes to work this out and you have no need to point out the wrongheaded actions of either of them. I think it's called cutting off your nose to spite your face.

I'd suggest you talk to Becky and invite both of them over for a visit or go over there- the two of you. They need to realize they are on the same team and they both can lose or both can win depending on how they respect eachother. People make mistakes.

I also envy the moweer....but mine is a joy too!!! 42" cut, no cup holder, 6 speed....yeah! Much better than a pushmower!

-- Doreen (, April 28, 2002.

Since I believe the sound of a lawn mowing buzzing all weekend is a horrible invasion of my ear canals as it enters my brain, if he were my neighbor, I'd say " great move" in buying his new mower, as now I'd only be forced to bear with the sound just a few hours instead of the whole weekend.. He might have came out better if he bought some T- post, a few rolls of barb wire and a couple of young cows.

-- SM Steve (, April 28, 2002.

Forgot to mention, make sure he gets the Sulky with it, it's hard to keep up with this machine when using it as a walk behind.If you get to borrow it, you'll appreciate that he did.

-- SM Steve (, April 28, 2002.


If they asked for your opinion give it to them. Be perfectly honest. Tell them what YOU think, not what they may want to hear. And when you are done make sure they understand that you do not want to be put in that position EVER again.

-- Bob in WI (, April 28, 2002.

You mentioned that you have a mutual pastor. Seems like the Christian couple has problems that go way beyond the current one. I'd go to God with it. Invite them both to be with you while you pray for guidance for them. Then read I Corinthians chapter 13 to them. Then ask them to pray to God to deal with them and this.

If they are Christians and will open their hearts to God they will be able to get through this.

-- charles (, April 28, 2002.

John Hill sounds a bit like my mother in law. A very wise lady. Lots of old friends who go many years back.

-- Terri (, April 28, 2002.

During the first three days, they could have rescinded the the contract, and talked it over.

Finances combined should be managed by all parties contributing. They should agree on all spending decisions, with the exception of there budgeted discretionary spending.

I can't blame the wife for wanting some spending done towards her wants and desires, but two wrongs don't make a right.

If she was protecting the money from being inappropriately spent, she would have had justification.

-- Rick in Southwest WV (, April 28, 2002.

my granny always told me that if you don't want to be in the middle, don't be in the middle. :>)

-- diane (, April 28, 2002.

A Friend in need is a friend, indeed..friends are those folks who tell you the way it IS, not only what you want to hear. If it were me, (and I am sure glad it is not), I would immediately ask both of them over and say to them how much I value their much so, that I am up the proverbial tree here, not wanting to hurt feelings, but needing to say what is on my heart BECAUSE I am their friend. It is so hard to see two folks warring with one another, and even harder when each one wants me to chose a side and wear their colors..cannot be done..will not be done..BUT...I will be happy when they are ready to sit down and talk, to play the part of peace maker/negotiator/mediator,IF THEY FEEL THE NEED FOR ONE.......

-- lesley (, April 28, 2002.

Thank You !! I guess things are calmer today and we stole a little from diane and a lot from John. I almost went out and built a wall around the mower-ha ha :).

I just told them had confidence in them over supper and they had been through worse. I agreed to help him build a small pole barn so that she wouldn't pay a fortune for one of those junk pre-built buildings and the smiles all returned. than there were hugs and I made a bee line for the door. DOUBLE TIME. Thanks Again--there will be peace in the valley tonight

-- Joel Rosen (, April 28, 2002.

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