Aibu to break contact with friend of 20 years?

(20 Posts)
Workrelatedquestion Sun 24-Aug-14 14:16:21

I sort of know the answer.
I'm loathe to go into too much identifying detail so it may be that people can't answer but if I give too much detail we could be identified.

Went to school with pal and have been good friends for over 20 years, with plenty of ups and downs in that time.

She's a good person at heart but lately I honestly don't think I know anyone as negative, sour or bitter. It's unrelenting. She's has a few knocks in the last few years but many have been of her own making.

But bottom line is she behaves in a way that makes me think she really doesn't like me at all. No interest in my kids, which is perfectly fine but they're a big part of my life. No interest in my work, big part of life too. And generally not very nice for want of a better way of putting it.

So nothing to think about you'd say but for the fact that she's bitching of mutual friends that I don't ring her and don't meet up with her. I'm happy that we're not seeing each other lately. I can't deal with her and it's just this bitching to others that bothers me. And I also feel a bit bad when I consider how hard things have been for her.

So do I just do as I'm doing and not make contact?

sillystring Sun 24-Aug-14 14:21:39

You could always talk to her and tell her that her negativity and apparent lack of interest in your life is causing you distress and making you not want to spend as much time with her. You never know, it might be what she needs to fight for the friendship and make her more positive in her general outlook. Just withdrawing is a bit shit. I can understand she's making you miserable as well and nobody needs that, but you might feel that a 20 year friendship is owed a little more consideration before you ditch it completely. I'm not having a go at you, just offering an alternative take on it.

Workrelatedquestion Sun 24-Aug-14 14:27:37

I completely see why you suggest that. But she would baulk if I even tried. She's extraordinarily defensive and if I were to even go there I can only imagine what she'd say.
That's sort of at the heart of it. She doesn't have anything positive to say about anything including me.

SaucyJack Sun 24-Aug-14 14:29:31

YANBU. The fact that she'd presumably rather ring other people and bitch about you not ringing her than simply ring you if she wants contact speaks volumes really.

She is not a friend and she does not contribute anything positive to your life. You don't owe her happiness. Just let her drift off.

FunkyBoldRibena Sun 24-Aug-14 14:32:15

Really - does it matter. If she is bitching then that gives you good reason not to contact, doesn't it? Just let her get on with it. It sounds like she is no loss.

Workrelatedquestion Sun 24-Aug-14 14:54:59

Saucyjack - It does speak volumes. It's all cloak and dagger bullshit "she said I said". And I don't owe her happiness. Even if I did I couldnt give it. I'm here wondering about all this because in many ways her life is hard right now but I can't fix it.

Thanks. I needed that.

Workrelatedquestion Sun 24-Aug-14 14:55:34

And thanks silly string and funky too.

eddielizzard Sun 24-Aug-14 14:58:36

i'd not contact her again. she doesn't sound like she's got anything positive to add to your life.

Mrsgrumble Sun 24-Aug-14 15:08:17

I distanced myself from a long term negative friend, I will say, it came to blows when she contacted my mother (who loves criticising me) to give out about me when I asked her to wait a while after emcs as she wanted to cm into the hospital, then the next time she wanted to arrive at 9pm when I would be cluster feeding newborn and I asked her to come in the day.

All I will say I tht I have pangs of guilt. I stopped answering the phone, couldn't listen to her moaning and negativity and stupid advise (I was spoiling the baby by holding it when he was two weeks old)

I know she is not a bad person, just very selfish and unhappy. But it's not my problem.

Workrelatedquestion Sun 24-Aug-14 15:36:38

You know it's probably more complicated than I'm saying but then it's also really simple.

She's a good person, we've history for 20 years, loyalty should be worth something. But when it becomes an unrelenting grind when all you're reminded of is just how much she actually doesn't like me then I'm justified in getting out out out.
That's what I'm thinking anyway.
If she precipitates a heart to heart then fine but I'm not looking for one.

redexpat Sun 24-Aug-14 16:06:28

Well i get what you say about loyalty. Would you consider just taking a break from her for a while? Meeting less often might be more enjoyable, she might be in a better place in 6 months or so.

tittifilarious Sun 24-Aug-14 16:20:21

I've been in the exact same situation - 20 year friendship, she'd had some hard times but was negative, bitchy and bitter about everything and everyone. It sapped my energy and I dreaded spending time with her. But like your friend, she is a good person at heart, just frustrated with her own life.

Time and time again I'd tell myself to cut her some slack and that she was a good person. Time and time again she'd make a bitchy comment - and I KNEW they were only to make her feel better but I couldn't shake that real friends don't do that. They're support and non-judgemental.

I withdrew from her. I knew "clearing the air" would get nowhere as she is incapable of seeing fault in anything she does. However a mutual friend did lose her temper at a social occasion (straw that broke camel's back) and said how hard work she was, how self-centred she was - they haven't spoken since.

Writing that down, I can see me and the mutual friend look like bitches - we're really not. It's hard to keep up a friendship that's draining, where you're always on edge waiting for the insult or double edged compliment.

Workrelatedquestion Sun 24-Aug-14 16:28:27

Tittifilarious - it's the exact same. I'm fuvking exhausted by her. It's almost classic frenemy territory.
The more things go well for me, and that could turn on a dime, the more she seems to resent me too.
Since you've withdrawn what's happened?

tittifilarious Sun 24-Aug-14 16:37:58

Well not much to be honest. I stopped offering to meet up and cowardly deflected any suggestions from her. We live about 10 miles from each other so not far, but too far for drop ins (esp as she doesn't drive) so unless we actively made arrangements to meet, we didn't IYSWIM?

She's friends with some of my family members on FB and I know she put up a veiled comment recently about friends who stick by each other but in fairness that's fairly typical for her and might not have been about me.

I do sometimes feel like an utter cow. But I also feel relieved. And when I feel particularly guilty, I always remember there's nothing to stop me getting in the car and driving round - then I feel "the dread" and know I've done the right thing!

Workrelatedquestion Sun 24-Aug-14 16:50:17

Tittifilarious - before I started this thread I was thinking I should try arrange to meet up and the dread set in.
Says it all

needanew Sun 24-Aug-14 17:35:57

i had a `friend` for 20 odd years , one day she said our lives were never crap at the same time so she was glad when mine was so hers wasnt , all she wanted to know were the bad bits of my life , the `friendship`dragged on about another year after , then i stopped bothering .

Aeroflotgirl Sun 24-Aug-14 18:07:03

Life is too short, distance yourself. Sounds like you drifted apart already.

eddielizzard Sun 24-Aug-14 20:46:04

you don't have to make the case for stopping being friends. you don't have to justify yourself. you get to choose your friends.

your reaction when you thought about meeting up tells you everything you need to know. you don't want to be friends. so don't.

no-one is going to judge you (except her). your real friends know you and won't be swayed by anything she says. she'll just come across bitter and resentful, and really, no-one wants that in their lives.

don't worry about it. give yourself permission.

Workrelatedquestion Sun 24-Aug-14 20:50:01

Thank you eddielizard.

It helps in some small way to know that I'm not awful.

mimishimmi Sun 24-Aug-14 21:02:12

Had similar. Last time i saw her she was bitching to the waitress (whom we both knew) of the cafe we were at about me . I could see them occasionally turning their heads and smirking at me through the glass from outside. We'd arranged to meet up (at her request) and she spent more than half that time inside with the waitress. Then she convwniently forgot her wallet and asked me to pay her share . Never bothered again after that. shd had many good qualities (she was very intelligent) and excelled academically) but her 2-faced personality flaws eventually outweighed those for me.

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