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'My BFF announced she's getting married next week. I have reason to believe she's lying.' UPDATED

'My BFF announced she's getting married next week. I have reason to believe she's lying.' UPDATED

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"My [28/F] friend [41/F] announced she is getting married next week. I have reason to believe she is lying."

Wendy and I have been friends for several years. We used to live in the same city and see one another often. I knew she had a history of traumatic relationships and had hence decided not to date, but I also knew she had a pretty intense crush on a friend of a friend I had never met, James.

When I moved to another state, we stayed in touch via phone calls. She told me that her feelings for James were becoming stronger, despite the fact that they had no contact. Soon, she began telling me that they were in love but his ex-girlfriend was preventing them from being together. Because these conversations became so odd, I stopped the calls and stepped away from the friendship.

This week, I visited my former city on an impromptu trip and met up with Wendy. She told me the exciting news that her and James were finally getting married after this ex had kept them apart so long. She showed me photos of a home he bought her, of horses he bought her, and of her in a wedding dress.

She told me the name of the venue and invited me. Then she dropped the bombshell that James is apparently a millionaire. All of this seemed off to me and when I got home, my concerns mounted. Her house was not packed despite the fact she is supposedly moving imminently. Money seems tight for her, she is living in relative squalor, if she has a millionaire fiance, why isn't he helping her?

I did some digging. I found the house she showed me on Zillow, still for sale. I found the horses on a website for a local ranch that does tours. I called the venue and they told me they are unbooked on the supposed wedding date. All the available evidence tells me that she is not getting married. My gut tells me that her and James are not even in a relationship or have any contact.

I don't know what to do next. Do I confront her? Do I warn James? Are these simply lies or are they delusions and the symptom of a serious mental illness? How do I help her?

TLl;DR: My friend claims to be getting married, all evidence points to that being a lie or delusion.

What do you think she should do? Commenters weighed in:

[deleted] said:

My sister tells fantastic lies kind of like this. She's never invented a millionaire fiancé, but she has a whole story about how at age 14 she leapt into a flooded river to try to rescue a drowning kayaker, and another story about how she was doing sound for a famous band and in the middle of the show the lead singer stopped the show to talk about how beautiful she was.

I guess what I'm saying is that, based on my experience with this kind of thing, the person telling the lies is not exactly delusional but more driven by a pathological need to impress other people and to portray their self and their life as better, the best, just so amazing.

I suspect your friend is having a fairly bad time and really, really does not want to admit that she's single and poor. Of course I may be wrong and James may end up locked in her basement.

said:

Please do an update, I’m so intrigued about this. I used to date a guy who literally made up everything about himself, and I found out at the end that he was a wanted felon.

said:

If you've never met him he almost assuredly doesn't exist. Your friend is either having some kind of mental health episode or is a pathological liar. You should probably make a small effort to find out which.

said:

If I had to guess, James will die in a tragic accident shortly before or after the wedding. That's just based on my experience with this sort of person, anyway. If you know any of her family, I would ask them about the wedding and then pass along the knowledge that she is unwell.

I personally wouldn't bother confronting her, though. Pathological liars, which is probably all that's going on here, will just double down or come up with excuses. There's really no getting through to people who are THAT good at lying to themselves. Hopefully ther's not something even crazier than that going on here.

said:

There's honestly not a whole lot you can do, but if you have a method of contacting James, I think you should. For confirmation and possible warning.

Later, OP shared this update on the situation:

So after reading all the responses here, I became increasingly more concerned. A background piece not included in my original post is that all the players in this scenario are connected by a recovery community. Because of this connection, I knew the "ex", Ashley, some years ago and we were still on one another's social media. I decided to reach out and ask about James.

That evening Ashley called me and we then conferenced in James. As it turns out, he is married to another woman and they have a child. He and Ashley never dated and aren't even really friends, they simply used to chat at a large meeting that was also attended by my friend, Wendy.

They believe that she saw them speaking there and created a delusion that they had dated and Ashley was now poisoning James against Wendy, all the while he was married to another woman. Over the course of the last two years, Wendy has approached James at multiple meetings with declarations of love.

He reiterated to her each time that he was married and stopped attending that meeting to avoid her. But oddly, she ended up at his meetings again and again. She approached his sponsor and friends telling them they were in love.

She also approached Ashley threatening her with a restraining order because she believed Ashley was conspiring against James and her, as a couple, because they were "together" now. The second time she approached her, six months ago, Ashley called the police and made a report.

Until our conference call, Ashley and James didn't realize how they were connected and they didn't know the extent of the delusions. When I told them about the marriage date, they were very concerned. James called the police.

I called the emergency mental health line looking for help, but their only suggestion was to call the police and ask for a welfare check on Wendy, which I did. Knowing that she has no connection to James and is living in a complete delusion made me so concerned for her. Once the wedding date came and she didn't get married, what would happen? How would she mentally process that?

I was given a reference number and when I called back, was told they made contact but did not intake her since she didn't appear dangerous. Since the check, she has ignored my calls. The wedding date came and passed and I heard nothing. At this time I feel like I lost a friend, but she was already gone in these delusions and I did what I could to help.

Going forward, I hope to get updates from other people in the community that she is doing better, and hopefully abandons these delusions.

TL;DR: There was no wedding or relationship, James is a real person with no connection to Wendy, she was fully delusional.


Additional comment from OP:

He [James] said he has asked the police about it and they said since they haven't even interacted in six months (last time she showed up at one of his meetings) and she never threatened him, he can't get one.

Final update from OP in a comment four months later:

The update is good and bad. She ended up becoming homeless and losing all of her things. At that rock bottom, her family took her in under the condition she get help. She just started medication and we spoke recently. She's still foggy and not really too in touch with reality but she is sounding much more like her old self. I'm hopeful.

Sources: Reddit
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