aibu to think my friend has not got hints about my feelings?

(69 Posts)
japonicabumsplatt Wed 06-Mar-13 16:34:26

This may well turn into a forest fire but I am going to try anyway to navigate this without alienating too many people.
A woman I have known for about 5 years now who has a DS1 the same age as my DD2. She also has a 2 year old. She is a few years older than me and no2 is likely her last.
I had a hysterectomy when DD2 was 3. Though the far side of 30 , I knew no more pregnancies were viable. Got on with things, though internally I can feel bereft from time to time. The what ifs of it but don't really bring to conversations, it is what it is. Nothing can be changed but I am experiencing a sadness in a way.
Woman is very involved in breast feeding stuff. Recently it has gotten all consuming for her. She shows me photos of her and friends breast feeding or she is feeding DD2 in the middle of the playground, walking down the road. It seems an endless activity as well as constantly discussing how much he loves it, how much they love falling asleep with him feeding. It is begining to feel painful in a clumsy way. I have been on the point of telling her but feel that it would sound like bitterness and I am sure there are those here who will say the same. Despite showing no interest whatsoever when she starts on the subject, she doesn't seem to be getting my silence or blank face. There is nothing we have in common anymore and it feels so one sided.
Do I tell her? Am I simply jealous? Do I remain shutted up?

2cats2many Wed 06-Mar-13 16:46:51

Just tell her. If she isn't immediately mortified and doesn't promise to stop talking about it all the time, then avoid her.

She should respect your feelings, but she won't know what they are Unless you tell her. Not everyone is good at picking up non verbal cues.

INeverSaidThat Wed 06-Mar-13 16:53:54

I would just tell her how you feel. There is no need for it to be a big issue. She sounds a bit boring TBH. confused

HecateWhoopass Wed 06-Mar-13 16:54:45

People aren't mind readers. If you want them to have information, you have to give it to them.

How does she know the reason for your blank face or silence? Why is she to assume that it is because she talks about breast feeding?

Don't make the mistake of thinking that because you know how you feel, others should know how you feel.

Tell her.

I don't think you come across as spectacularly lemon faced or anything grin you feel how you feel, and understandably so, this is a really sad thing for you.

But you need to speak your feelings, not hope that someone will guess them.

japonicabumsplatt Wed 06-Mar-13 16:58:21

i almost don't want to admit it...there I said it....

RubyrooUK Wed 06-Mar-13 17:04:26

Japonica,

Are you finding it hard to hear her talk about breastfeeding because it upsets you in a way related to you not having more babies (after the hysterectomy)? Which is totally fair enough.

Or is it that she is boring you senseless with her breastfeeding activism and you just don't have anything in common? Also fair enough.

I wasn't quite sure which you meant from reading your post so maybe you aren't being clear to your friend either.....

FanjoForTheMammaries Wed 06-Mar-13 17:06:16

Just mention you would have loved another baby but had to have a hysterectomy, if you can.

Then, if she is sensitive in any way, she will tone it down a LOT.

thezebrawearspurple Wed 06-Mar-13 17:07:05

Change to a more interesting subject, she's probably just yakking on because she hasn't got much to talk about and you're not giving her anything else to work with.

japonicabumsplatt Wed 06-Mar-13 17:10:35

I am finding it hard, upon reflection, because of coming to terms with not having any more babies.
zebra I do try to get on to other things, but she keeps swinging back to it.
"OOOhhhh DS, he needs boob allll the time".
"We were having such a lovely feed then had to come out"
I go stoney inside and sort of float off but she catches up with me

ENormaSnob Wed 06-Mar-13 17:20:41

Oh god I've got a friend like this.

She bores the shit out of me tbh.

Yanbu at all.

RubyrooUK Wed 06-Mar-13 17:24:36

Ah, I see. Does your friend know about the hysterectomy? Does she know that babies might be a sensitive subject? Have you ever been explicit about this subject?

(Sorry for questions - just trying to work out the best way to tackle it.)

JamieandtheMagicTorch Wed 06-Mar-13 17:27:42

She does sound a bit boring, but then she's obviously all moony and hormoney.

Erm, i don't really know what to say. I would advise you to tell her, in passing how berfet you feel sometimes. As others have said, her reaction will tell you what you need to know.

JamieandtheMagicTorch Wed 06-Mar-13 17:27:59

Bereft, not berfet

japonicabumsplatt Wed 06-Mar-13 17:32:52

Yes, well aware of hysterectomy. I don't feel that I should have to point it out to her. Kind of disappointed that she is a bit oblivious. I don't think she has given it a passing thought that it might be sensitive for me. To me, I thought it might have been something to consider and I am angry at her for not realising. indeed though she is not psychic, but if she had a clue

DukeSilver Wed 06-Mar-13 17:35:28

YANBU. It is incredibly boring and self obsessed when someone talks about it so much.

I fed my dd till she was nearly 3, so I am in no way against breast feeding. I just don't see why it has to be such a big deal and worn as a badge on honor.

japonicabumsplatt Wed 06-Mar-13 17:39:39

I have felt a bit embarrased for her as she goes on about it with all and sundry or wandering about with her breast hanging out. just looks quite frankly "Out of it". in a daze and then this sort of weird look comes over her and off she goes and will not stop on the subject. she tried to convicne me that if my daughter got pregnant I would be able to breast feed the baby.....WTF?
My eldest is 19. so she could have a baby soonish (hope she doesn't) so we could all "bond" bf'ing her child.....

ENormaSnob Wed 06-Mar-13 17:43:48

Your friend sounds annoying, embarassing and slightly unhinged imo.

Shall we pair her up with my irritating friend?

NotTreadingGrapes Wed 06-Mar-13 17:49:37

I think you need to separate your feelings about your hysterectomy, and your --bonkers- friend's evangelical breast-worship stuff.

You obviously are feeling sensitive about the former, and while her walking round with her mammaries a-kimbo for everyone to see is bonkers irritating, it's not really connected to your feelings about yourself IYSWIM?

Try to see it like that, maybe, though I know it must be hard. Try to focus on what an eejit she makes herself sound.

RubyrooUK Wed 06-Mar-13 17:52:14

Alright, in that case, Japonica, either:

A) She thinks that because you have two kids already, you won't be sensitive about babies/breastfeeding in the way that someone who had a hysterectomy with no children might. She thinks that because you have already been through this stage, you will be ok with it.

B) She knows you feel upset about having no more babies but because you also have two kids, doesn't think you will be sensitive about her talking about breastfeeding her second.

C) She knows you are upset but simply doesn't connect her breastfeeding with your feelings of loss.

D) She gets that you are upset about more kids but is incredibly thoughtless.

I offered the first views because I think that sometimes when you have kids already, people don't consider that issues of infertility could ever hurt you.

For example, my friend knows that I've had miscarriages but because I eventually got pregnant and had DS1, always goes on and on about how she and her DH only have to look at each other to conceive! I mean on and on...and I often say "well you are lucky" and then she says "oh well you got there in the end too". She genuinely doesn't mean to upset me, just doesn't see it as at all sensitive for me.

(She does sound sodding boring though, whatever.)

japonicabumsplatt Wed 06-Mar-13 18:01:06

ernoma that is a deal. send yours over and see if it is any easier.

Ruby, agree totally that she might think that because I have had kids, then I am all over the rest of it.

HOwever, she seems totally removed from the non-breastfeeding world and that there are other things going on for other people.

I want the person back that was once engaged in something other than boob time and other peoples boobs and being an expert on all things tit related, historically, socially and culturally. I do not either appreciate it when she is in my kitchen, in front of my DH. He is aware that boobs do many jobs, but he is not sure what to do with a woman he is not overly familiar with getting out her boobs to feed a child. It is not a case that "my baby needs a feed now", it just seems to be an almost unconcious reflex with her and an endless activity.

RubyrooUK Wed 06-Mar-13 18:10:46

I think maybe the breastfeeding thing and her insensitivity about your feelings are separate to be honest.

The bits about you feeding a potential grandchild, for instance, are lunacy. grin

I have not had a hysterectomy and I breastfed till DS was a toddler. But I would find the conversations you describe boring and frankly a bit mad. I'd probably cut down on contact a bit with the hope that she got less nuts in a few months.

I think breastfeeding in front of someone else's husband is pretty ok really - it's just feeding a baby - but the rest of the conversations suggest she has probably over-invested in breastfeeding. Possibly because this will be her last baby and she is a bit intense about it.

Maybe avoid for a while?

<realises this is very rubbish advice>

japonicabumsplatt Wed 06-Mar-13 18:13:52

I have been avoiding and she is a bit oblivious. You know what, if it was anyone else breastfeeding in front of my husband, I don;t think it would be a problem. I am hoping the nutty carry on passes over. it just seems to have intensified in the last few months to the point I feel overwhelmed by it.
This is all good advice, thank you all.
She is off the deep end though, isn't she? Not just me thinking it is all a bit over the top?!

DoJo Wed 06-Mar-13 18:17:21

TBH, I am still breastfeeding and would find this boring and unwelcome. As much as I am a believer that breastfeeding should be encouraged, I've never quite 'got' the whole thing about it being a magical thing that people want to talk about all the time. I don't think you sound bitter, just bored that she's such a one-trick pony conversationally.

japonicabumsplatt Wed 06-Mar-13 18:29:02

whatever the subject. when you got tumble weeds, wouldn't you stop or wonder if you were in a dodgy area, or simply fucking think for a minute?

Branleuse Wed 06-Mar-13 18:35:05

she sounds like a nutcase.
she needs to be told and then avoided.

RubyrooUK Wed 06-Mar-13 18:43:05

I suspect that she gets tumbleweed everywhere she goes with this very intense conversation, Japonica. So she probably doesn't notice it as anything odd.

I don't know if you can actually tell someone in the grips of a passion like this to cool it. I'd take the coward's way out and avoid her for a while. When she moves past the breastfeeding stage, she may be able to leave her evangelism behind.

God breastfeeding bores need to get over themselves , don't get me wrong I Breastfed my daughter but why would I think other people wanted to hear me prattle on about it,
One of my friends always goes on about it like she invented it and it pisses me off.

CloudsAndTrees Wed 06-Mar-13 19:55:21

I wouldn't waste energy on telling her how dull she is. She is probably so self absorbed that he will decide you must be jealous, a people tend to o when they are looking for an easy explanation of why someone doesn't particularly like them.

She sounds incredibly boring if she is defining herself on her ability to put her boob into her child's mouth.

atthewelles Thu 07-Mar-13 10:38:38

She really does sound very dull, boring and deeply annoying and I suspect she is irritating a lot of people with her ridiculous carry on.
I had a hysterectomy last year and would find her hard work. But I think I would have felt like that anyway, pre-hysterectomy. Self obsessed people are a PITA.

babanouche Thu 07-Mar-13 10:52:54

Whoever said she's hormonal and mooney hit the nail on the head, imo.

OP if she's annoying you then you are being complicit in it by not telling her. Regardless of whether you feel you should have to or not, that's not really the point. You say you want your old friend back but you're not prepared to tell her how you feel or do anything about it.

Her bf career won't last forever but if she's a good friend good friendships have weathered worse than this.

BabyMakesTheBellyGoRound Thu 07-Mar-13 11:53:10

You could ask if she is OK as she seems very obsessed by breastfeeding. It may be that there is nothing else in her life to focus on.
Very annoying and slap-makey.

Ionasky Thu 07-Mar-13 12:05:38

if she's a good/longstanding friend, i'd ask her directly too as babymakesthebellygoround says. I wonder if it's about her realising she can't have any more, is a bit down about it and trying to drag it all out for as long as possible, either that or she's getting too much self-worth out of it. But she's not doing you the favour of thinking about how you might be perceiving it. She does sound a bit unhinged as others have said, I'd bet that she just hasn't gotten that you'd rather not hear it.

japonicabumsplatt Thu 07-Mar-13 12:21:51

I think all her self worth is invested in bf.
As to being prepared to tell someone about ones own pain/sadness; I see it as wondering if she would even value what I told her. I worry that she would be not in the least sensitive to how I feel. She is so wrapped up in boobs that literally everything else is of no importance. Do you impart sensitive information to someone who does not value it? Perhaps time to put the friend on the shelf. Ionasky not a long standing friend, but we enjoyed each others company and felt there was common ground. That seems to have completely disappeared.

WorraLiberty Thu 07-Mar-13 12:28:55

Surely if she's a friend you can laugh, roll your eyes and say "Jeez will you give it a rest with the BF talk"?

If you had a friend who was this obsessed with make up and shoes or with a celebrity or something, you'd let them know they needed to calm it down?

eavesdropping Thu 07-Mar-13 12:29:03

I'll be a lone voice here then. YABU.

I don't see what connection her BFing has got to do with your hysterectomy, and why she should not talk about it/feed her toddler in case she upsets you. Do you get upset at the sight of people bottle feeding? Or if somebody was talking about nappies or anything else related to babies?

I don't think she's unhinged. She obviously thinks you are pro-BFing and that she can share this stuff with you, that you will "get it". Because BFing isn't the norm it can be tough if you're BFing, especially full-term. People seek out like-minded mums on the internet and in real life for a sense of solidarity.

I bet there's plenty of people that she NEVER talks about BFing to for fear of upsetting. She's misjudged the situation with you and would most likely be mortified if she knew.

babanouche Thu 07-Mar-13 12:35:16

Good point, eavesdropping.

JacqueslePeacock Thu 07-Mar-13 12:44:22

I agree with eavesdropping. What is it about her BFing and talking about it (which does sound a bit irritating, to be fair) that bothers you so much? Because you don't mention being upset by other aspects of her having a small child - and this child is now 2, so not a snuffly newborn baby or anything. You have had 2 years to get used to her having another child.

I don't mean to say your feelings aren't reasonable, by the way - i'm just struggling to see the connection with her evangelical BFing.

Patchouli Thu 07-Mar-13 12:51:58

I agree, it sounds like she just thinks she's chatting with a like-minded mum.

BabyMakesTheBellyGoRound Thu 07-Mar-13 12:56:20

Could you get some leaflets for a local bf group and give them to her and say all the breastfeeding talk is boring the crap out of you instead?

japonicabumsplatt Thu 07-Mar-13 13:07:57

Of course I support BF'ing....but what is it actively to do with my life and children at the moment? How interested am I going to be beyond. Thats nice, yes indeed, healthy thing for all...!?
As to other aspects of having a young child, indeed there are aspects of her having a little one that make me wistful and a bit sad over all, but the BF'ing feels very heavily emphasised though I have been giving her a wide berth, she searches me out.
But, at this point, showing my pics of her and her friends BFing, like why am I going to be interested or care at this point given my lack of a uterus and the ability to procreate? she doesn't ask for any input either...just fucking goes on and on, despite silence from me, endless quotes from WHO statistics and so on. Does that sound like I am critcising her breastfeeding?
What it is is, her loss of herself in the world of bf'ing has dimmed her ability to understand anyone outside of it. To the point that she is not getting the hints I have been trying to throw her way, in as nice a way as possible. She is oblivious

japonicabumsplatt Thu 07-Mar-13 13:08:31

Baby she runs the local bf group?!

AliceWChild Thu 07-Mar-13 13:12:32

I agree with eavesdropping too. And to also add to the mix, I had a pregnancy where my baby was likely to not make it (he's fine) and one of things I hated was when people modified their conversation so they wouldn't talk about pregnancy or babies etc. I hated that they'd think they couldn't share their happiness with me, or leave me out of the planning for the baby conversations. I'm not saying at all you should feel the same, we all deal with things differently, but your friend could have thought this was the situation. My friends were desperate to be supportive but I had to help them with what that would look like.

But tbh I don't think you like your friend very much from what you've said so it depends if you think it's worth it.

ENormaSnob Thu 07-Mar-13 13:12:55

But op is not a like minded mum happy to drone on about bf for hours.

Bf is a huge part of my role at work, I bf all 3 of mine and plan to bf this one.

However, I am just not interested in conversing about it. It bores me rigid.

My friend sounds very similar to ops and honest to god it is supremely irritating.

Patchouli Thu 07-Mar-13 13:23:10

I see that ENormSnob, but the friend has just misunderstood.
Quietly stewing won't help her understand.

Dannilion Thu 07-Mar-13 13:36:03

I think your friend needs a hobby, or something to do other than put her boob in her child's mouth, talk about putting a boob in her child's mouth, take pictures of her boob in her child's mouth or research on the benefit of putting her boob in her child's mouth.

It seems like she may have detached from the rest of her personality, and is entirely focused on this one great thing that she is doing. It's quite saddening really. Could you maybe suggest a night/day out or something without the DC? Maybe just to remind her that she is more than a boob. If she challenges it, you can then say that all she ever talks about is BF and you want to regain some common ground.

japonicabumsplatt Thu 07-Mar-13 13:50:55

To say she has misunderstood Patchouli indicates that she has actually thought about anything other than her own piece of the world. I am not quietly stewing, I have given her perhaps too subtle hints but am ready to do a bit of a flounce. i don't want to, but feel exasperated. seh simply isn't tuned in

Dannilion I know she will not do anything without kids so in that respect I haven't mentioned it. Any time I have, she cuddles one of them and tells me I am horrible to ask her to leave them, in a little girl voice. Can you guess her husband is an utter bastard?

enorma, is yours really as fucking irritating as this? She didn't used to be!

Hopasholic Thu 07-Mar-13 13:55:13

She shows you photos of her & her friends breastfeedingshock ?
Make her a badge that says 'worlds best breastfeeder' on it. Tell her, now she has the award will she please shut the f*%k up about it.

eavesdropping Thu 07-Mar-13 13:59:38

Of course I support BF'ing....but what is it actively to do with my life and children at the moment? How interested am I going to be beyond. Thats nice, yes indeed, healthy thing for all...!?

So are you only interested in conversations with friends that actively have something to do with your life and children's stage of life?
If a friend wanted to talk about say, their divorce - but you were happily married - would you automatically feel disinterested?

PopeBenedictsP45 Thu 07-Mar-13 14:05:08

She wants you to bf your (non existent) grandchild?!

She is bonkers. I would have to say something but from what you've said I think she is so far invested in bfing that she will think you're being hostile or simply ignore you.

japonicabumsplatt Thu 07-Mar-13 14:06:22

eaves, she talks about nothing else. I chat with many other women on the topic. they also bring other things to the conversation apart from bfing.
Which is I think obviously different from a friend experiencing the end of their marriage. the two subjects are very very different.
divorce is distressing and painful
bf'ing isn't
a friends distress is a priority and would be a priority for me
bf'ing doesn't really make it up there on the chart.
your point falls a little flat.

japonicabumsplatt Thu 07-Mar-13 14:08:43

When i asked if that were possible for a woman post menopause or without uterus and all the rest, to breast feed or produce mikl she went a bit sort of off subject. never did get a full answer to that one

scarletforya Thu 07-Mar-13 14:10:36

Oh God. YANBU

Can you not just blank her?

I know two people like this, breastfeeding as a sport. I just avoid.

Feminine Thu 07-Mar-13 14:13:14

Oh how these threads change.

I was glad to read that most responses were that YANBU. In my opinion you are not either.

Breastfeeding, even if (like me) you have done 6 yrs of it, becomes rather uninteresting after one stops. Your friend is a bore, I think remembering that while she preaches will help you stay calm.

I'd also (by now) be tempted to tell her its boring.

Its bound to be another stab at your heart when she goes on, she should give it a rest.

japonicabumsplatt Thu 07-Mar-13 14:13:49

extreme breast feeding. scarlet I am wondering when she will want it in the olympics.

japonicabumsplatt Thu 07-Mar-13 14:16:11

Breastfeeding is an important thing that we should all value. but for the love of god, please, try to imagine there are others in the world for whom the subject is tiresome. it might also make you sound like you have gone gently round the bend.
it will be bring a mirror to look at your fanny party next.

babanouche Thu 07-Mar-13 14:18:47

japonica, what is it you want here then? Either you speak to your friend about how much she's annoying you or you cut her out of your life. You don't seem bothered about saving the friendship tbh.

BabyMakesTheBellyGoRound Thu 07-Mar-13 14:53:24

Why not start telling her about the history of toilet roll every time you see her. Every time she stirs the conversation away from toilet roll,quickly divert it back.

JamieandtheMagicTorch Thu 07-Mar-13 17:52:40

I agree with babanouche.

When people suggest talking to her you have said "yes, but...."

If you talk to her and she is still oblivious, 6then^ I'd back away, but she isn't a mind-reader.

Either that or you decide she's so irritating nit is not even worth it.

Out of interest, why did you think you'd alienate people, as you say in your OP?

JamieandtheMagicTorch Thu 07-Mar-13 17:53:06

she's not even worth it

Jengnr Fri 08-Mar-13 05:21:09

Flame her!

Tell her if you had another you would ff because (make some shit up) and waych her go off like a rocket.

NoTimeForS Fri 08-Mar-13 05:51:23

If she is leading the local breastfeeding group, then at the moment it is a big part of her life and she probably wants to talk about it.
Fair enough -you find it boring. But I think you have to accept that not everyone would be sensitive to the fact that this may also be a difficult subject for you, in addition to a tedious one.
If you value the friendship, spell it out to her. Give her the chance to adapt.

MrsLouisTheroux Fri 08-Mar-13 08:26:27

TBH I would feel the same and I haven't had a hysterectomy.
She sounds boring and irritating and I would find it difficult to be around her.
I actually wouldn't say anything unless you want her to gush a load of 'oh poor you, blah blah' at you.
Keep up changing the subject!

MrsLouisTheroux Fri 08-Mar-13 08:28:17

extreme BF grin

japonicabumsplatt Fri 08-Mar-13 09:08:00

jaime i jusst think the topic of bf'ing can be explosive. i didn't want anyone to think that I was being provocative. it was more about feeling a bit down about no more kids, and this person and her endless banging on. i was just a bit worried that it would be misinterpreted. thankfully, people have understood what I was trying to get my head roud

LemonPeculiarJones Fri 08-Mar-13 11:32:38

Tell her. Say, "I have a lot of sadness around not being able to have another child. I'd be really grateful if we could talk about subjects other than breast feeding. *It hurts my feelings*" - really spell it out.

If you don't feel you should have to do this, avoid her and let the friendship slide. If you do say something but she doesn't honour your request, do the same.

This isn't really about bfing. It's about one friend being totally oblivious of another's feelings.

japonicabumsplatt Fri 08-Mar-13 11:49:16

Lemon thats it in a nutshell. Thank you. I think what you have said covers it for me. Disappointed that she hadn't worked it out in a way, I had credited her with a bit more empathy than she possibly has. But I was afraid of being too harsh but then I must be more honest about how I feel. My feelings do matter and I should feel confident enough to voice them.

LemonPeculiarJones Fri 08-Mar-13 11:55:17

Japonica smile Glad to have helped a little bit.

Yes, your feelings matter and you have every right to voice them. Your friend sounds a bit inaccessible, in her bfing bubble. I hope she can hear you when you do let her know.

quesadilla Fri 08-Mar-13 12:10:41

To be honest reading between the lines from what you say, she sounds very self-centred and my guess is if it wasn't breast feeding it would be something else. Maybe you are getting tired of her for reasons unrelated to your sensitivities on this subject. Someone who only talks about breast feeding sounds dull beyond belief tbh and I think you would be quite reasonable to dump anyone that dull based on that alone, regardless of your own perfectly valid sensitivities. The fact that she thinks it appropriate to bang on about something like this without it crossing her mind that it might be tactless suggests she is not only dull but very selfish. I think you need to ask yourself some fairly searching questions about why she is a friend at all.

japonicabumsplatt Fri 08-Mar-13 13:16:28

She is a very needy person, if that makes sense. she needs to be needed but does not give much in any real sense. i think i am sick of giving and not receiving when circumstances demand it. if anything is about her, then it is to the exclusion of everything else. not sure what will happen to her when the bf comes to its natural end, though sure she will have something else to do.
she is doing counselling at themoment....it did make me roll my eyes a bit. she is not a listener

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