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to let this friendship go?

(35 Posts)
featherbag Fri 08-Jul-11 23:37:49

I've been friends with 'Sally' for half my life - since I was 15. She's 6/7 years older than me, and I met her in a nightclub. We got on brilliantly, and she was my best friend up until she moved abroad when I was 23. We (mis)spent the first 6 or 7 years of our friendship behaving in a generally outrageous fashion - drinking ridiculous amounts and going home with men whose names we couldn't remember, working only so we could afford to play, taking silly drugs (nothing too hardcore), going clubbing on Thursday night and coming home on Tuesday, that sort of thing. Silly, dangerous, unnhealthy behaviour, but thankfully we lived through it.

Then I grew up. I've now got a university education, a professional career, a fantastic (also professional) husband, first baby on the way, still enjoy partying (when not pregnant), but in moderation and all legal. 'Sally' hasn't grown up. Every few years she makes a younger set of friends and recommences the partying. I've been out to dinner with her tonight during one of her rare visits to the city I live in, and have been subjected to several hours of tales of snorting unknown substances to get high, taking ketamine, sambuca for breakfast before work, going home with men who don't even speak the same language then going to work in their clothes while still high, etc. etc. etc. She makes constant snipes about how boring my life is now, how I must wish I could still 'have fun', and so on. Her 'conversation' tonight bored me rigid.

How can I let go of my oldest friendship? I'm not judging her, she's knocking 40 and old enough to make her own decisions, but our lives are so very different now that I really don't know what we have in common. I love my life more than I ever have - I love my work, love my DH, love that we're starting a family, love our home. I don't want to sit and listen to all of that being dismissed as 'boring'. I only see her 2 or 3 times a year, but am finding even that intolerable. AIBU to just quietly let the friendship die? I can't help a sense of guilt, as I have a horrible suspicion that she's going to need her 'boring' old friends when she eventually crashes.......

MoonGirl1981 Fri 08-Jul-11 23:50:19

Ah, we all get this at some point.

I had my son at 21 and after that my friends all seemed 'young'. I did feel boring but realised that I didn't want to go out all the time anymore.

Let the friendship go. Her little 'digs' at you will only get worse and if you walk away now you'll have fond memories of her. If you let it get go any further you may end up hating her!

Women usually only make bitchy comments when they're jealous. She may well envy your quiet, content life and nice husband.

SindyTellsMe Fri 08-Jul-11 23:56:54

Yeah, let it go. Bear in mind though that if these were the things you once had in common, she might have been trying to establish some common ground again.

Did she really call you boring, or was that the sense you had?

AgentZigzag Sat 09-Jul-11 00:02:12

I did similar things when I was younger feather, but I'd choose the 'boring', quiet but stable life I have now over any of that.

Could your friend know she hasn't moved on since then and be trying to make you affirm her life as it is? Wanting you to say things like 'I wish I could still go out and get out of my head' or 'you're so lucky not being tied down'.

People do change over time, but I've found with my oldest friends that that change doesn't matter if you still like the core of the person IYSWIM?

Is there nothing of the person you liked in the past left? I mean do you only talk about surface crap now?

hairfullofsnakes Sat 09-Jul-11 00:04:44

She sounds incredibly boring herself and fucking rude too. Let her go and do something better with your time - or maybe just be honest and tell her she can live her life as he wants but you find it incredibly disrespectful and rud that she pita your life down and that if she wants the relationship to continue she needs to show you some respect! You have known her long enough to be honest I reckon

featherbag Sat 09-Jul-11 00:06:36

Sindy, one of the problems is that the things she's talking about are way beyond what we once had in common - I know all drugs are dangerous, but we really did just dabble in the 'lighter' end of the market, she's telling me about (for example) being sold powder by some dodgy bloke in a club, not knowing what it was but snorting half a gram anyway; taking ketamine like it's sherbert; getting into some seriously dangerous situations with some very unsavoury characters which have ended in sexual assaults on some of her new 'friends' - things that would have shocked and appalled even 17 year old me! She seems to put no value on her life any more. She didn't directly call me boring, but did describe parts of my life (particularly my work, which I absolutely love) as boring in a very pitying way.

Moongirl, I'd hate to end up hating her. By the sounds of it, I'm one of the few actual 'proper' friends she has left - by which I mean one of the people who worry about how she is, would be there for her if she was in trouble, etc. That's what really worries me about cutting off, as I'd hate to think she's in trouble one day, needs help and only has these temporary party buddies around her.

SindyTellsMe Sat 09-Jul-11 00:08:34

Unless you care about her enough to help her out (which absolutely isn't your responsibility unless you make it so), then yes, let it go.

lookingfoxy Sat 09-Jul-11 00:10:15

Seriously how does she find the energy to still carry on like that, oh yes the drugs!!
Some people just never grow up or change, I would hate to think of the state of her in another 10 years.
I have a 'friend' like this, she has no teeth left (speed) and is currently in a terrible way physically after years of drug/drink abuse, she was once an attractive woman, did I mention she's only mid forties just now.
Just don't get back to her next time she contacts you.

featherbag Sat 09-Jul-11 00:10:41

ZigZag, I'm sure she's still in there somewhere, but it's like she's trying to project this image of being the young, outrageous party girl, and all she really has to talk about is various escapades that I'm sure were hilarious at the time but just sound stupid and dangerous when recounted. I've tried changing the conversation to 'old times' but she seems to have rewritten her memories of those days.

Well don't cut her off and don't do any kind of formal declaration to the effect that you no longer approve of her and she's a Bad Friend. As you say yourself, she's an adult and entitled to make her own choices, even if those choices are putting her at risk. Have you tried telling her that you're worried about her, and is that what led to the accusations that you are 'boring'?

MilyP Sat 09-Jul-11 00:13:43

If you aren't able to get together with someone and enjoy their company and what they have to say then it seems reasonable to let that friendship go. From the sound of it neither of you enjoys hearing about the others life. And you don't want to have to listen to her dismiss your life as boring. Although I agree with Moongirl that there is probably a bit of jealousy there. I am sure there are times that she wishes she has some of the things you do.

Tchootnika Sat 09-Jul-11 00:15:21

If she really finds you so dull, then surely the last thing she'll want is for you to try and maintain much of a relationship - i.e. surely the ball's in her court/onus on her to make any more effort, if she's deliberately giving you the impression that she doesn't value your company...?
It goes without saying (surely?) that this woman is massively insecure, but it sounds as if you should take her at face value, and let her make the effort when there's a sufficiently dull moment in her fabulously adventurous existence - and when she can pull her addled brain together well enough to broaden her horizons a bit?

featherbag Sat 09-Jul-11 00:18:06

Tried telling her once Springchicken, won't be trying that again.

I would always be there for her if she needed help, but if I let the friendship drift away she may not come to me for help when she needs it. I guess we've just grown into different people - approving/not approving of her doesn't really come into it, I find her company tedious and depressing recently, especially as I know the way she talks isn't the 'real' her IYKWIM.

I guess midnight with major baby brain and rampaging hormones is probably not the best time to puzzle this one out, so I'm going to head for bed and think again when my head's a bit clearer. Thanks for the advice everyone.

MoonGirl1981 Sat 09-Jul-11 00:20:43

To be honest; once you've got your lovely baby/child you won't have the time or energy to help a chronic drug addict sort herself out.

Your lives are different now!

I recently ended a friendship with an alcoholic. Had been friends 12 years and since his alcoholism got worse I'd been his emotional punchbag. I couldn't do it, I had too much other stuff going on (work, child, degree, dying grandmother, illness).

It is sad to end friendships but sometimes you need to put yourself first.

AgentZigzag Sat 09-Jul-11 00:21:42

What happened when you told her you were worried feather, before you go to bed (lightweight grin)

featherbag Sat 09-Jul-11 00:22:53

Tchootnika - she doesn't live in the same area as me any more, but always makes a big effort to see me when she visits family. Recently I've felt she feels she's doing me a huge favour by spending precious time out of her busy schedule with me, and that she thinks it's a treat for me to hear her fabulous tales of adventure! I couldn't make an effort to see her if I wanted to, as I never know where she is (even which country) at any given moment. So to avoid spending time with her, I'll have to make excuses every time she visits home. Which I feel terrible about. But I'm not sure how much longer I'd be able to bit my tongue, and saying out loud some of the things I've said to her in my head tonight would end the friendship abruptly and permanently, which I don't want.

featherbag Sat 09-Jul-11 00:27:57

ZigZag - got a drunk lecture on how I shouldn't be so bloody self-righteous, that she remembered all the times she'd held my hair when I was being sick from drinking too much, when she'd lied to my latest fella at our door because I had another one upstairs, when I'd done this, that and the other embarrassing thing and she'd gotten me out of it, didn't mention I was a teenager at the time!!! Got told I was obviously jealous of her life, the way she had no ties to any person or place and could just go where she liked, sleep with who she liked and do what she liked, and was generally free.

Had to walk away from that one before I exploded.

I am a total lightweight these days, I admit it!!! Maybe I should get hold of some drugs....... wink

OK, just be 'busy' when she calls. There isn't anything you can do to help her, because there isn't anything anyone else can do to stop someone who is determined to keep on using drink/drugs, until that person decides to ask for help and stop using.
There is no point in upsetting yourself over it TBH. You are happy with your life, she may well be happy enough with hers. Even if she's not happy, it's up to her to sort that out and NOT your responsibility to put up with her being rude to you just because she's unhappy.
My oinly point is: don't have a show down with her and tell her what you think of her. It will do no good, and if you are generally inclined towards feeling that you would like to help her if she wants help, diplomatic avoidance while still conveying the message that you are her friend is the best way to go.

LolaRennt Sat 09-Jul-11 01:59:55

I think it odd that a 22 year old was friends with a 15 year old in the first place. She must be very immature. Especially encouraging someone so young to act that way. She should be dropped, sorry to say

charliecheesestring Sat 09-Jul-11 02:01:11

I can't help a sense of guilt, as I have a horrible suspicion that she's going to need her 'boring' old friends when she eventually crashes...

It's not your responsibility, she's a grown women and so are you. You have your own life and you get to a point when you realise as an adult there are some friendships you just have to let go, so let it go. You have to man up as they say and tell her you dont want any contact with her

LolaRennt Sat 09-Jul-11 02:05:10

Actually how boring would that be going out doing the same thing with ever skankier people night after night. Pretty sad exisistance.

wherestheparty Sat 09-Jul-11 02:24:16

Feather, if it bugs you so much even if you see your friend only 2 or 3 times a year maybe you should let the friendship go. She, perhaps, thinks the same i.e. that you are so different that she might consider dropping you. I would tend to think it is good to catch up with long-known friends. If you like your life, why is her attitude such an issue? If she wants to see you she can't consider you so boring (or maybe she's using you just to occupy an evening when she's in town). I am in my late 50s, have a good job and will see my youngest child leave home shortly. I would love a partying, men with no names and a few drugs lifestyle, can afford it and have loads of energy but no-one of my age is interested - they are into a more sedate lifestyle. Heigh ho, maybe there's novel in there somewhere. Sits back and laughs at all the young things disgusted that anyone over 25 should even contemplate having sex or taking drugs or be into rock and roll

Pancakeflipper Sat 09-Jul-11 02:59:57

Some people stay in the past because they are scared of the future. To those stood around surveying - well they look tragic and immature. It's actually very sad but you cannot alter this.

You can alter your involvement with them. You recognise your youth for what it was, your youth. End of, moved along. She's not moved and you don't want to return backwards.

You don't see her often. That's a plus. I think 'drifting' may occur here. When baby arrives you will be busy, gradually develop new friendships. She will either become someone who pops into your life whom you cherish or she'll irritate you so much you'll be too busy to see her.

And yes domestic bliss must seem boring to those who get highs from chemicals and not from coming home knackered to find OH has put the laundry away and has sorted the evening meal.

But she is envious. And that makes her attack your lifestyle ( not you - I bet she loves you to pieces and misses you greatly). Tell her you are so happy to have known her in those heady days but you love boring old domestic life.

I have a Uni mate. I loved and love them. They have a hedonistic lifestyle. I feel drudgy in comparison. They live thousands of miles from me. We email and it's taken us several yrs for me to say "I know I am a bore in your eyes but I am happy. " And they can tell me about their lifestyle with me not feeling envious or feeling dull and they also acknowledge and respect my lifestyle. Been hard though to get there, had some long times of non-contact.

BagofHolly Sat 09-Jul-11 04:24:19

I agree with pancakeflipper. People's lives go in different directions and perhaps you could just drop the friendship down a gear instead of letting her go totally? I have a friend like this, our lives have headed off in different directions, im at home with three v young children, she's still travelling the world seeking hedonism. But its still great to see her, annually now, share war stories from the past, and very occasionally, let our hair down together as we did recently, and had a fantastic time! Hope you get something sorted. The best friendships will withstand change.

iscream Sat 09-Jul-11 05:34:16

We have a few "friends" like that. They are like Peter Pan, and never grow up. We see them if they happen to be where we are, but don't keep up the friendships any more.
You and your friend from your youth are traveling different roads.
You have successfully gone to university and got a degree, have a happy marriage, and are expecting a child. Your friend has not done so well in her personal life, seems to be an addict, she has immature, reckless and dysfunctional behavior for an adult of almost 40 years old.

I wouldn't cut her off or anything drastic, but make polite excuses when she calls to arrange a get together. Sometimes you have to close a door to the past, and keep a friendship a pleasant memory.

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