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friends fallen out I've taken both sides, now in trouble

(42 Posts)
Cardigan4eva Fri 20-May-16 16:06:23

Two friends of mine A and B who used to be close have fallen out over money. A large amount. This has now turned into an emotional fall out too as both sides have taken offence and declared they will never speak to each other again. A is one of my oldest friends (30 yrs) who has always been there for me, and B is someone A introduced me to about 10 years ago.

Both have been instrumental in my life and have gone above and beyond to help me. A has always emotionally supported me, and B leant me a large sum of money 5 years ago when I needed to get out of a huge hole. I paid it back, but have always been astounded at how generous she was at the time and how she has continued to be a great friend.

The details of their financial disagreement will out me, but I honestly sympathise with B more in this situation, and I have told her so. A has acted quite cruelly to B which is very out of character. I have also attempted to tell A this but A has become very upset when I have even ventured on to the subject so I've had to stop. B is very hurt and has sought some solace in confiding to me about it over the last two years, and I have crossed a line in agreeing with B about A behind A's back which I feel very guilty about, even though I feel terribly sorry for B and have wanted to make her feel better. During all the conversations with B I have made it very clear that I love A and am still good friends with her but on this particular issue I can sympathise more with B's side of things.

I have honestly been very torn. I don't think either is a bad person. But the particular issue they have fallen out over is an incompatibility at the highest level of character and I don't think they're going to come back from this.

I've tried to deal with this by telling A how I feel about how she's behaved towards B, but A breaks down in tears and acts the victim if I even appear to be fairly presenting B's side of things or sympathising at all with B.

A is now getting married and I am her maid of honour. B has found out and has called me up in a barely concealed rage that I could agree with her that A is in the wrong over this issue yet also be A's maid of honour. I genuinely thought that B understood the situation i was in, but that was obviously naive of me.

Now B is refusing to speak to me and is threatening to tell A that I have agreed with her all along over the fall out. She has some email evidence so that's pretty condemning. Not email evidence of me being nasty about A, just me agreeing with B and saying "Yes A is a bit like this and a bit like that. I have experienced it through this other situation etc..."

I know I have been a coward for maintaining both sides but I don't feel like either has given me much choice.

What would you do now? Confess all to A? Wait and see if B tells A?

hellsbellsmelons Fri 20-May-16 16:15:47

Wow - To me, B sounds like a total blackmailing bitch.
Ditch her and do it quick.
Threatening you is not OK.
You've done your best to keep the peace.
It hasn't worked.
You are allowed to have friends that aren't friends with each other.
It's not the law.
B is spiteful for sure.

Is the money bit resolved now?

hellsbellsmelons Fri 20-May-16 16:16:41

I'd tackle B and tell her that threats and blackmail do not make her any kind of friend.
And if she wants to be so spiteful then she's clearly not the person you thought she was.
Let her stew on that for a bit.

thecatfromjapan Fri 20-May-16 16:26:00

You haven't done anything wrong. You told A her behaviour was not on and you told B you sympathised. You acted morally in that you didn't collude with A's behaviour but you maintained your friendship.

If A gets narked, be firm: she was out of order, you told her so, she can't bully you into pretending it was fine. Use the voice you use to be firm with your children. It will work.

Likewise B. You sympathised. You were honest with her. She is hurt to see A apparently 'getting away with it'. What she has failed to realise is thatshe is now punishing you for A's behaviour and throwing away a relationship you worked hard to maintain in difficult circumstances.

That is foolish of her.

Don't feel guilty. You did your best.

It sounds horrendous. Let some time pass.

Cardigan4eva Fri 20-May-16 16:26:02

Wow I really thought I was going to get laid into. I don't know who I am more surprised at the behaviour of. B's threat or A's original behaviour to cause the whole thing.

I wish I had never got involved, but as it was such a big issue and they were close friends of mine, it was all B wanted to talk about for such a long time.

SandyY2K Fri 20-May-16 16:26:37

Because you agree with B, doesn't make A any less of your friend.

If I were you I'd tell A that you are her friend and love her dearly, but on the issue of the fallout you see Bs side and tend to agree with her.

Be very careful what you put in writing. In fact with the blackmail from B, I'd tell her uou need to end the friendship, as you dont appreciate her blackmail or attempt to control you.

Then simply block all contact with her.

simonettavespucci Fri 20-May-16 16:28:39

Horrible situation. Both of them seem very caught up in their own emotions, perhaps understandably, but the only thing I can think of is to emphasise to both A and B that you don't like being caught between them and are having to make decisions that are hard for you too. Also, perhaps to try and back off from the whole situation - they are clearly long term friends, so maybe you can put them on the back burner for a couple of years and hope things calm down a bit. It's not your job to fix the problem.

Cardigan4eva Fri 20-May-16 16:29:25

thecatfromjapan I didn't completely get round to telling A I thought she was unreasonable. I started down the road of correcting her perceptions:

A: "B is an angry bitter old woman"
Me: "That's not fair, she has done a lot for you."
A: "So you agree with B?"
Me: "I think your characters have really clashed on this issue, but it would help if you could see it from this angle, especially if you'd like to make up"
A: "I can't believe you are saying this to me or even thinking we could make up. After everything B has put me through." cue crying crying crying.

Cue me backtracking : "Hey, I'm not taking sides, I just want everybody to be friends again and I think it always helps to see it from all sides."

thecatfromjapan Fri 20-May-16 16:29:35

Yes. Controlling friends aren't good. With luck, B will grow out of that. But she might not.
And A sounds a bit dishonest.
It's awful when people we care for act badly.
A and B sound quite flawed, in their own ways. I hear what you say about their good qualities but ... They both sound like quite hard work, OP.

simonettavespucci Fri 20-May-16 16:31:03

On the blackmail front: did B actually say 'if you go ahead with being maid of honour, I will show A your emails'?

thecatfromjapan Fri 20-May-16 16:31:42

Oh well. I guess you may be propelled into being a little more frank.

Firm voice! Decide in advance that you are not going to be bullied, visualise how you want the conversation to go, and 10:1 it will go that way.

Cardigan4eva Fri 20-May-16 16:36:02

simonettavespucci

B was first of all offended that I had not told her that I was A's maid of honour, but that soon turned into her laughing at the preposterousness of A "having someone as her maid of honour who thinks she has X and Y character flaws. A "Judas" amongst her disciples" Then a few remarks about how if only A knew she would hit the roof and we'd all go up in flames.

ThatStewie Fri 20-May-16 16:40:06

I can understand why b is upset. Threatening the release of emails is not on. But a has clearly done something unforgivable to b and you've chosen not to take sides which is effectively taking the side of a - you've let her get away with something clearly wrong. There is no neutral position with these things. Allowing a to be emotionally manipulative in refusing responsibility for her behaviour is a choice you've made but you can't be upset with b for feeling betrayed. Just with the threat.

I'm not sure anything positive will come from this. I expect your friendship with b is over. It's awful but sometimes this happens.

OurBlanche Fri 20-May-16 16:41:52

Tel B that you are not in the habit of keeping secrtes form your friends and that you and A have discussed this, so A is aware that you have spoken to B about it.

Tell her that whilst you felt sympathy for her situation her current emotional blackmail has completely overcome it.

But forst and foremost talk to A again. Tell her that she MUST listen, that you and B have obviously discussed the sitauaton and that you have tried to discuss it with her. Tell her honestly that B is now trying to break your friendship as some kind of revenge.

Tell both, in a joint email, that you think they have both acted badly and that you do not appreciate being used as an emotioal shuttlecock by either of them!

The sit back and see who really is your friend! Though, to be hnest, I would doubt weither of them are much cop!

thecatfromjapan Fri 20-May-16 16:44:56

OurBlanche has a very good solution.

Pp (sorry, forgotten name) who pointed out A has acted extremely badly is correct. However, you are human and I can see why you don't want to dismiss years of friendship.

YoureSoSlyButSoAmI Fri 20-May-16 16:45:57

They both sound awful and you sound lovely.

TerriblePlanning Fri 20-May-16 17:04:09

Don't know, they both sound a bit manipulative (A with her crying and B with her emotional blackmail) and, sorry to say, you sound a bit weak. Sometimes, it's important to let friends know when they are being dickheads (A over the money).

OurBlanche Fri 20-May-16 17:08:39

Ah! If only I had not been on an iPad... I may have been able to spell more words correctly smile

MinnieF1 Fri 20-May-16 20:25:04

B is being unreasonable if she has threatened you with those emails. If however she has just expressed her disappointment/anger and you have misinterpreted it, then she's not being unreasonable.

Having been in a similar situation as B, I think YABU to remain neutral when A has behaved so appallingly (you mention a large sum of money. I am assuming A owes B this money which may not be the case, of course).

I think if you remain neutral when there's a clear act of wrong doing, then you inadvertently take the side of the person in the wrong. But that's my perspective from being B in a similar situation.

Fwiw I haven't made up with the third party (you in this situation) as I felt so betrayed.

whimsical1975 Fri 20-May-16 21:27:05

This is not your battle!!! Just because you agree with B does not mean you are choosing to fight her battle alongside her!!! That's just ridiculous!!!!! It has absolutely nothing to do with you and B is way out of line expecting you to involve yourself. I think her behavior is appalling. I would explain to A that although you don't agree with her actions in this situation, it bears no reflection on how you view her as a person and friend... then tell B to bugger off!

lougle Fri 20-May-16 22:12:56

I think that by getting involved you gave up your neutrality. You are hurting B's feelings by being A's MoH despite the way she had treated her. But that doesn't necessarily mean you're wrong to be her MoH. Your biggest mistake is that you're trying to keep everyone happy. You need to accept that you can't.

simonettavespucci Sat 21-May-16 11:06:55

Okay, that sounds to me more like B was expressing her frustration at the situation, rather than actually threatening anything.

And if, as it seems from your post, A owes B money - potentially £1000s of money - then to be honest I can see B's point: you are publicly supporting someone who treated her badly.

However that doesn't necessarily over-ride 30 years of friendship - I'm guessing A is actually your closer friend, as you feel guilty about sympathising with B about her, whereas you seem to feel more awkwardness than guilt about being maid of honour.

Basically you're screwed. Whatever you do, you're likely to lose at least one friend, due to a situation entirely not of your making. I think all you can do is keep your story entirely straight: tell B you think A behaved badly but that you will still be her M of H due to 30 years of friendship, and tell A you will be her M of H but you still think she behaved badly, even if she becomes upset.

And then focus on your own concerns and leave them to it; this is one of those situations where nothing you can do is right.

whoopthereitis Sat 21-May-16 11:17:48

Send an email to A, copying B into it, outlining the way they have both conducted themselves & how you have felt PITM...and tell them both, that while you want to keep their friendships, it's not condusive to be involved in something when they refuse to talk to each other about it.

The messenger always gets shot. Hope it works out but, if it were me, their fallout would be a conversation I would not be willing to engage in anymore.

Isetan Sat 21-May-16 15:23:09

Both women sound very manipulative and to be pefectly honest I would find it very hard to be friends with them both. Call B's bluff and tell A that screwing someone over isn't a personality trait you admire.

TendonQueen Sat 21-May-16 15:38:01

Good posts from ThatStewie and OurBlanche. I can see why you've tried to first back up B and then sit on the fence a bit more, but now this has come to a head that won't wash. I think the joint email is a good plan. And seek out some less demanding friends.

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