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Friend or Foe? (sorry so long)

Posted by on Mar. 11, 2013 at 10:05 AM
  • 22 Replies

So - a response I read to another post got me to thinking and therefore now sharing a recent event with a dear old friend of mine.

She and I have known each other since elementary school, but didn't become close friends until high school.

Since graduating high school - 13 years have passed.

BACKSTORY

Summer of 2004 I had a miscarriage (4 months) In 2005 I had my first son (I was only 22 - and he was born 30 weeks old) it was the scariest time of my life. My bf (baby dad) had full custody of his DD - she was diagnosed ADHD and ODD and other forms of mania at that time as well. 2009 we (bf/baby dad) finally got married, and 2012 we had our 2nd son. And just recently we moved states away from all family and friends - for new job/school opportunities.

From 2004 to present for my dear friend - she graduated college, went on to get her masters, has had some really amazing employment opportunities in her field, and teaching at her alma mater. She was a party girl and serial dater - but in 2011 found her prince and got married. She is now planning a move with her husband to FL and does not want children.

Now - about a month ago - I received and email from her - asking for my new address. (Moved about 6 month prior). I respond and ask how she is doing - she responds very abruptly (short one answer response) - so I just write back I miss you - hope you and the fam is well, you must be busy - let me know how u r doing when you have the time -

So - then - I get a weird response saying "well I was going to write you a letter but I guess I can do it like this - I'm sorry for anything I have done to you that has hurt you or affected our friendship, etc. etc"

I am totally taken aback by this and respond - like what ru talking about you are a great friend - blah blah blah. I miss you and maybe we can try to talk more, etc.

Finally she comes back saying - you have never been a good friend, you don't know what it's like to be a friend, I have been a great friend to you with nothing in return. i can't be friends with someone who doesn't know how to be a friend.

I was in total shock! I had no idea where that was coming from - considering the tone of her prior email was apologetic and whatnot.

Needless to say I just responded "Fair enough. Good luck in Florida"

She responds - "I don't know what to do to make you understand what it means to be a friend - guess I need to tell you the definition of friendship"

I don't respond.

I hate confrontations. HATE them. I HATE arguements, and HATE to fight.

I feel like she was just being nasty and I didn't want to go back and forth via email of all places!

I don't know - I am surprised and shocked - I really have no idea why she has blown up at me - except that before we moved I told her about us moving and she kind of flipped out - saying - you only contact me with big things - "im pregnate, im getting married, im moving" I will admit - i am not the best at keeping in constant contact.

I have been apologetic countless times to her over the years, about not calling or being able to hang out or make the 3.5 hr drive to visit her or whatever - I feel like she's pissed about our friendship having changed - but OUR lives have changed. I became a mother and my WORLD changed. I live for them and everything I do is for them - so I'm sorry for not having the time, means or energy to cater to a friend who could not have possibly understood or even currently understand where I am coming from or what I have gone through. BUT NEVER once would I or have I made her feel like she was responsible for that!  I mean - very swiftly after I left school my life changed (miscarriage, new baby, being a live in step mom - all within a year of leaving school) so no - I wasn't going out drinking, searching the bar for a hook up or a boyfriend, or worried about my hair or make up or nails - I was burying a child, visiting a gravesite, having a baby, driving everyday for 6 weeks to the NICU to visit, VISIT! my baby, and dealing with a psycho child at home.

I'm sorry - i know this is a LONG post - but I guess I just want to see what you all think - I feel like maybe her blow up was 7 years in the making. Of course I miss her too - I miss the life I had when SHE  was such a big part of it. When my only concern was shopping and going out. I let her know several times over the years how much I miss her and wish we could get together more and all of that - basically apologizing for how my life has changed our friendship - but now I feel like she's pissed about it and even if she's pissed cuz I'm not the friend to her I once was - why would she feel the need to be so nasty to me about it. I acknowledge a lot of relationships in my life have changed because of my life changing - and just simply - growing up! But I don't hold a grudge or judge or harbor any animosity toward them for it - it's a part of life.(I did try to say some of this to her - but she very quickly said she did not want any 'explainations')

Guess I am just sad that my friend is in that place with me. Don't like feeling like now - if we saw each other in a aisle of a store - she would ignore me - where I would be like "Hi!!! How are you?!" and give her a big hug! I mean to me - I'm the type of person that if we don't talk to each other or don't see eachother for years - and we run into each other - I would still be excited to see you and give you a hug and be genuinely excited to hear how you are doing (especially if at some point in our lives - we were considered friends)

To me - I guess - once friends - always friends. And for others - daily affirmation is needed.

Dunno. Sorry again for the long post.

by on Mar. 11, 2013 at 10:05 AM
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Replies (1-10):
JoGibson
by on Mar. 11, 2013 at 11:18 AM
1 mom liked this

Women love to pick on guys about being poor communicators, but really we are just as bad.

For good communication 4 things muust happen:

1) the sender of the message must send a comunication with clear meaning

2) the receiver of the message must interpret the message correctly

3) the receiver has to send back a clear response to the sender's communication

4) the sender has to receive that response and properly interpret it


Here there is a total breakdown.  What she is really saying to you is "I am having a hard time right now and need attention".  She doesn't know how to say that so she is starting drama to get your attention.


You didn't receiver her real message so you got frustrated and did not respond to her real message, you responded to the drama.


She got frustrated because the response did not meey her real need.


Ask her about her life and say NOTHING about yourself.  Right now she is asking you to help her with her needs and the focus needs to be on only her.  Something big is happening and I bet if you put her at the spotlight you will find out what it is quickly.

Pukalani79
by Kris on Mar. 11, 2013 at 12:07 PM

 We get caught up in our lives and in our own drama, and we do let friendships slide - unless there's a need for them.  It's sad but it happens, and sounds like you've done that, whether you realize it or not.  If you want to salvage this friendship, apologize, let her know that life's been crazy and that you realize you've let your friendship take a back seat.  Don't know what will happen but it's worth a try.

breebree04
by on Mar. 11, 2013 at 1:30 PM

Its sad when that happens but it happens to alot of friends. She obviously needs more from you than you can give right now so I would just let things be, unless you are willing to take time out of your day (probably every day) to call and talk to her and then try to make plans to meet up with her.

gibro19
by on Mar. 11, 2013 at 2:55 PM

Thanks ladies! I agree with you all. I will say that I did apologize for not being there all the time - but she was basically - "i'll believe it when I see it" which I am fine with.

I guess as much as I miss her and consider her a friend - I don't have the energy to cater to her the way she wants me to.

JoGibson - reading your post just reminded me of how much I always let her be the "center" of attention. Even in high school - we catered to her - always worried about her and if she was having fun or if she liked what we were doing - I remember describing her to my now husband - she is the "needy" friend - everything always has to be about her. When we talk via email or phone or even when we get together - it's always about her - what's wrong, what's going on, her stories, her dramas. And I always let it be that way.

Guess I don't feel like catering to her this time. Tired of apologizing for nothing all the time.



Jinxed8
by Gold Member on Mar. 11, 2013 at 2:59 PM
1 mom liked this

Friends are complicated !!!  My friends used to mean the world to me but not anymore.  I had a friend turn on me like yours did ...  I remember 2 years ago getting an e-mail from her that made my jaw hit the floor.  (I had just gotten engaged and things were going great for me)  She used to be SO involved in my life, sometimes almost obsessive, and all of a sudden, She told me she couldn't stand to see me like this, that I had changed too much, I had become mean and dishonest, and my relationship with my fiance was nothing more than an emotional crutch and she no longer wanted to be a part of it.  

Just like you, I said good luck and good bye, flushed her from my MSN, e-mail and FB contacts and that's all she wrote.  Shortly after she wrote back saying I could keep her in the loop regarding DD (I never replied)  for the past 6 months on FB she "likes" all my comments I leave on common friends' walls but she can go F herself.  You don't have to take crap from anyone. Friends are suppose to accept you no matter what.

SarahSuzyQ
by Member on Mar. 11, 2013 at 4:25 PM
1 mom liked this

I had a similar incident with a friend a couple of years ago, although at least it was f2f... It's very hard. My friend confronted me about not being a good friend to her or making the effort to spend time with her, and about choosing to spend more time with another mutual friend over spending time with her. I was totally shocked and had no good way to respond, and honestly, that conversation handled that way had a much more negative impact on our relationship than anything that had happened to date. I now walk on eggshells around her and don't go out of my way to reach out anymore.

It sounds similar to your situation, in that I felt like the drift was mutual and just one of those things that happens in life. As you said, life changes and it affects our priorities/relationships. Just because someone was once one of your closest friends does not mean that it will always be that way. I don't think close friendships should be thrown away lightly, but I think sometimes as you have less in common friendships can change or even drift apart.

If it were me, I might send back one last email that says you would be willing to talk with your friend either f2f or on the phone for some resolution... If you are willing. Hearing her out might be helpful, both to let her feel valued in the relationship and so you can more clearly share your own perspective. Otherwise, I would just let it go. You can't change her feelings/perceptions/experiences, you can only be honest with people.

Jinxed8
by Gold Member on Mar. 12, 2013 at 10:10 AM
1 mom liked this

 I used to be all about my friends, girls night out, blah blah blah - Then my husband moved to my neck of the woods and he met friends of mine, he made me realise how needy and drama my friends were !  Sometimes you are blind until someone makes you see.  How much I bent over backwards for my friends, sometimes even faking it - But in the end ... they are not the ones I live with or will spend the rest of my life with.  So now I focus on me and my husband and my daughter.  I still keep in touch, sure but I keep it toned down.


Quoting gibro19:

Thanks ladies! I agree with you all. I will say that I did apologize for not being there all the time - but she was basically - "i'll believe it when I see it" which I am fine with.

I guess as much as I miss her and consider her a friend - I don't have the energy to cater to her the way she wants me to.

JoGibson - reading your post just reminded me of how much I always let her be the "center" of attention. Even in high school - we catered to her - always worried about her and if she was having fun or if she liked what we were doing - I remember describing her to my now husband - she is the "needy" friend - everything always has to be about her. When we talk via email or phone or even when we get together - it's always about her - what's wrong, what's going on, her stories, her dramas. And I always let it be that way.

Guess I don't feel like catering to her this time. Tired of apologizing for nothing all the time.

 

 


 

hollywood74
by on Mar. 12, 2013 at 10:46 AM

it sounds like misery loves company. you have alot going on in your life and as mothers and wives we dont always have alot of time for friends. keep taking care of your family and dont worry about her. some ppl arent ment to be in our lives.

Marimaru
by on Mar. 12, 2013 at 1:03 PM

I think I would say something like "If your expectations haven't been met, please tell me what they are."  If she comes back with anything that doesn't work, you'll just have to say "Our lives went in different directions, and with me having kids, your expectations aren't realistic."  And then tell her what you can commit to, if you even care to, at this point.

gibro19
by on Mar. 12, 2013 at 7:15 PM

Yea I am not sure really how I feel about it all now.

I mean almost a month has past since her nasty response saying - she doesn't know what to do other than to explain what the definition of friendship is - or whatever.

I had a passing thought about it today - if it comes down to missing your friend, why be mad at them for how things turned out - why can't you just be like, "hey, I miss that person and what they used to be in my life" and leave it at that - and just be happy for them and where they are now. she made it seem like she was just accepting what our friendship is now - and when I basically was like I'm sorry that it has indeed changed - she got uber pissed. guess I shouldn't have responded at all - I should have just gave her my address and let her send the letter.

When I talked about it with my husband - I was really upset - I cried and was sad about it for a full day. but then when she was nasty and condesending to me - I was like - it feels like this is what she wanted all along. she wanted an out. she contacted me for my address - she wanted to send me a letter - she didn't want to talk it out - she didn't want resolution- in her email she said "i don't want any explanations from you - I just want to clean up my side of the street" like she just wanted to be able to say her piece and put me in a box and wipe her hands and say - I did all could - and she did nothing.

So in away - I feel like I am giving her that - it's just sad that I know she harbors ill feelings toward me - instead of just missing what was.

eh - done with this one. feel like i am now beating a dead horse. lol moving on!simple smile

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