to not know how to deal with this

(26 Posts)
Coldlightofday Sun 12-Jun-16 19:16:18

I have (or had, I guess) a very close friend. We've known each other for the best part of 20 years.

Over the past few years I have gone through some stuff - breakdown of relationship, redundancy and subsequent new job, ill health. As has she - a terrible bereavement, some children difficulties, complex family situations.

I thought we had a mutually supportive relationship. We saw each other weekly, had fun, I thought. She went away with her family last summer, on a trip around America - brilliant extended break.

Since then, her communication changed. Was colder....we didn't manage to meet up until February...it seemed fine when we did meet - we had a laugh, I caught up about her trip etc

Then communication became even colder. I asked if things were ok, several times, and she said yes, but life was a struggle. This went on and went on....
About three weeks ago I sent her a message (having tried to call...) asking her to just be honest about whatever the issue was, as clearly there was one - told her I loved and missed her.

I got a message back that said this:

Our friendship had become one sided and you were being superior to me in a number of ways.

I responded by saying I was sorry I had done something to make her feel that way, but that I didn't know what I had done, could we talk it through.

Since then, nothing.

I feel so very sad about it.

But I literally don't know what to do - do I leave her to it? Or keep trying to communicate?

holeinmyheart Sun 12-Jun-16 19:54:37

Gosh this is mean. BUT She may be going through a crisis, that may not be a great deal about you.
Hard and horrible as it is, I would do nothing. You have been decent, you have offered to talk things over and have more than bent over backwards to try and get some answers.
Sometimes people change. I think if you persue it and keep contacting her it won't do much good.
So sorry, as when this sort of things happen in a friendship it is very painful and a bit humiliating. However, it happens to a lot of us and you need to give up with some dignity. Hugs, find others !
Perhaps in a few years she will be back and have a different perspective on your friendship. By then of course you will have moved on.

nam207 Sun 12-Jun-16 19:57:48

Sorry op. That's a hard thing to go through.
I think if it was me I might just try one more time, probably by writing a letter, and then leave it to her.

JuxtapositionRecords Sun 12-Jun-16 19:58:27

Well there are two sides to every story, and without knowing what you have done to make her feel like this it's difficult to give advice. I would perhaps send another message in a couple of weeks asking to talk, but you can't force her to be friends with you - not sure what else you can do if she doesn't want to be I'm afraid.

Coldlightofday Sun 12-Jun-16 20:04:57

I think I would be able to 'let it go' more easily if I had an idea about what I had done - I too would love to know her side Jux!

Trying again in a couple of weeks sounds sensible.

CaptainCrunch Sun 12-Jun-16 20:06:18

Can you think of anything you've said or done to make her perceive your behaviour as "superior".
I've had a lifelong friendship go cold recently. My friend got a promotion and her attitude towards me became very pompous and arrogant. I wasn't the only one who noticed, my family and friends commented on it. We've distanced ourselves from each other, it's disappointing but I can't stand being patronised by someone I've known my entire life.

Donatellalymanmoss Sun 12-Jun-16 20:12:46

sometimes accusations of others being superior are born out of someone feeling inferior. If that is the case here there isn't much you can do to make her feelings change. Perhaps just send a message to say you're sorry she feels that way and that if she ever wants to get in touch she knows how to reach you.

Coldlightofday Sun 12-Jun-16 20:12:50

I really, really can't Captain - I have trawled through my memory (and our until the summer frequent message interaction) and have nothing. 'Superior' is never a thing I felt, even fleetingly. She is one of my best friends - I love her and am extremely grateful for her support - I think that's why I feel so shit about it, I had NO idea she felt like that.

That alone probably makes me a pretty shit friend.

CaptainCrunch Sun 12-Jun-16 20:16:28

You don't sound like a shit friend at all. I think you've done nothing wrong, she's clearly got something going on, blaming you isn't fair.

inlovewithhubby Sun 12-Jun-16 20:18:22

Oh op, I feel your pain. It's awful when friendships go this way. Sounds like you've both had tough times which can sometimes make people behave oddly to those closest to them. You don't know what she has going on which may be skewing the way she hears and sees things. It's amazing how things can be misconstrued when you are sad, lonely, depressed or bereaved.

I had this situation in reverse with my best and longest friend. Things were tricky as I and all our other friends had got married and had babies and she felt very left out and longed for a partner and babies. I totally got that and thought I was quite sensitive but she didn't think so and who knows who, if anyone, was right? She thought I/we were boring and wrapped up in babies and I felt she didn't give a shit about me now I couldn't be party girl. Things we said got skewed both sides. Unfortunately she said some truly dreadful things which kind of prevented us being able to get our friendship back on track once the dust has settled. But looking back, I'm pretty sure she thought she had good reason to be fucked off with me and she may have had a point on some issues. Doesn't make either of us in the wrong but it did break that hugely important bond between us.

Someone said before that things and people change and that's what I put the loss of my best friend down to. It will always sadden me but I have loads of new friends to fill the void. Life moves on.

I'd second the letter. It's personal and you can say all you want to without interruption. Just be prepared that she may not listen and may not be (in your eyes) reasonable. Be prepared for an unhappy ending in the knowledge that you can create happier endings elsewhere.

ThinkPinkStink Sun 12-Jun-16 20:21:59

I had a very similar experience with my best friend six or so years ago. We'd been close since the first year of university, we lived together in our 20s, saw each other weekly, and spent high days and holiday together. It sounds bit dramatic but I considered her to be my longest running and most consistent adult 'relationship' and thought it was impossible that we'd ever not be friends.

Then we drifted apart a little for a few months, saw each other less, both felt a bit frustrated with each other (we had a few little bickering arguments but nothing I thought was insurmountable) - and then nothing. She completely stopped taking to me... I have never really understood what happened, I know that in the course of a relationship that lasts from late teens to 30s people change - but I sincerely thought we were more family than friends.

I phoned and texted, sent emails and letters and...nothing. After a while I had to stop and just give up.

It still hurts and I still wonder what I did wrong. Sometimes I dream of seeing her and trying to ask her what happened and wake up feeling empty.

I know it's too late to fix now, we've both moved on, got married, had kids (or got pregnant), life has pushed us in our own directions.

I know this isn't necessarily what you want to hear, and I'm sorry if you're going through the same - but do know that although I miss my best friend (and may never have a friend that I'm that close to again) that the periods of missing her and self doubt get fewer and further between and I recognise and appreciate my good friendships more for losing her.
Xx

Coldlightofday Sun 12-Jun-16 20:22:42

The idea that a 20 year friendship can be over like that is ....I don't know...sad, I guess.

I'm not a big faller outer, so I don't feel very resilient about this at all - my ex is incredibly angry and vitriolic at times, so this feels in some way to confirm that I am what he says I am - if my ex AND my best friend both think I'm shit! I know logically those things are not connected, but in the deeo dark night....

CaptainCrunch Sun 12-Jun-16 20:25:25

I thought that about my friendship...50 plus years but there you go confused

Coldlightofday Sun 12-Jun-16 20:30:54

Thank you, for telling me it's not just me!

Toughen up, move on, I guess?

sad

ThinkPinkStink Sun 12-Jun-16 20:37:25

Oh coldlight - I could have written that, I'm not a big faller outter either, I'm pretty easy going and supportive and, I don't know, reasonable ... But realising I'd "driven my best friend and my ex away" was shattering!

Unless you've secretly been an asshat, you can rest assured that it isn't you, it's just life and sometimes it's really unfair - xx

Coldlightofday Sun 12-Jun-16 20:40:55

Shattering is exactly right Think. I can't quite process how big an impact it's having - I feel as though as a grown up, I really should be able to shake it off!

I don't think I've been an asshat.

RaeSkywalker Sun 12-Jun-16 20:44:13

I'd maybe leave it for a few weeks and then send one last message saying you've been thinking of her and are available to talk things through if and when she feels able to. Then just accept that the friendship is over- anything else is a bonus!

I do wonder if she's having some kind of crisis and lasting out at you. That's why I'd leave lines of communication open if I were in your position.

I'm sorry flowers

Coldlightofday Sun 12-Jun-16 20:56:19

I hope she isn't having a crisis.

That would be shit.

Yeah, I think keeping the door ajar is right.

CarpoolKaraoke Sun 12-Jun-16 20:59:26

I aso could have written this and started a thread very recently about the same issue.

I know she is in the process of dumping me as a friend though she hasn't quite yet. I have long term health issues and attribute it to the way people sometimes can't be arsed if someone has a lot going on.

It's really unfair on the dumpee and I don't like this new culture of dumping someone not because they are an arsehole or have done something horrible but because they aren't "simple/easy" due to circumstances beyond their control

ThinkPinkStink Sun 12-Jun-16 21:00:26

I've re-read your first post - and I've realised I might be projecting my situation on you, and entirely plausible that this isn't permanent and, like pp have said, that she is having a crisis which is causing her to shut you out... Is it plausible that there's something going on that she feels she can't talk to you about? (Rekindling a relationship with someone she thinks you'll disapprove of, for instance)...?

Coldlightofday Sun 12-Jun-16 21:04:24

I don't think so Think - she is happily (as far as I know) married and has a relatively stable life - as far as any of us do!

But I don't know what she has going on, as she's been distancing herself for a while. I'd like to think there was nothing we couldn't talk about - we've shared many, many confidences.

fassone Sun 12-Jun-16 21:05:32

It's hard. I'm kind of in the same place, a long friendship appears to be dying a death. The one person I could trust with my life for years doesn't bother replying to messages and hasn't instigated contact for about a year and I wish I knew why.

I'm a reasonable, drama free person. If I have said something that offended her I wish she'd come out and say it.

Coldlightofday Sun 12-Jun-16 21:11:54

The not knowing is a killer, fassone, isn't it?

fassone Sun 12-Jun-16 21:24:08

Yes! If I'm honest I have seen this friend (former friend?) hold grudges and drop other friends over the years over a comment they made about something or other. Never thought I'd be one to be cut off though. sad

SelinaMeyerVP Sun 12-Jun-16 21:32:44

I think when someone perceives you as being better than them it could be as simple as having a better job, earn more money, got a promotion , kids are doing better at school .... just everyday things to one person, but to another 'you have it all'

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