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Issue with old friend

(6 Posts)
Mumbrane Thu 21-Jul-11 19:50:05

I'll try to keep it brief.

I've been best friends with this woman since we were at school (around 20 years now) and we've been through all sorts of ups and downs together and have, in the past, had an almost sisterly relationship. She is godmother to my first child and was very supportive to me after she was born.

However, over the past few years, we have slightly drifted apart. I had a second child (am currently expecting my third) and have been juggling full-time work and family commitments, while she is single and has pursued her career, travelled, had various relationships etc. I guess we just don't have so much in common anymore, although hasn't affected my other friendships as much as this one. We have still seen each other fairly regularly over the last few years, but I have often felt that the friendship is a bit forced. I know at times she has felt really pissed off with me and felt that I don't make time for her, never answer my phone, don't see her enough and that she has to 'make an appointment months in advance' to see me. On the other hand, I have felt at times that she is too needy and that when we do meet she is really critical and makes me feel under scrutiny for every life choice I make. I also hate her inability to plan a date ahead and her 'go with the flow' attitude as it just doesnt work for my life and family commitments. This has been brewing for a few years and there have been a few minor fall outs and some bitching from both of us to a mutual friend (who, in fairness, mostly sides with me).

Late last year my friend emigrated to another country. We have kept in touch with a few emails and phonecalls, but I dread these to be honest. She seems to zap my energy when we speak and to be brutally honest, I am glad she is no longer in my day-to-day life. She has recently been back in the UK visiting for a few weeks and it has really hit home how negative this friendship has become. She came to see me for dinner one evening last week and I realised I just don't like being in her company anymore. She seems unable to just relax nd have fun and has to always be criticising, searching for deeper meaning, analysing etc - it is exhausting. I feel awful for saying it - it is hard to admit to myself let alone to others that I no longer like my best friend of 20 years sad. However, she is a family friend now (my kids love her, she knows my siblings and parents etc) so I thought I would make the effort while she is here and invite her to a few things. She hasn't been able to make any of the dates I've invited her to, as she has been busy fitting in seeing lots of friends and relatives, however, she just called me and asked if I was free this weekend (I'm not) and when I said I wasn't got really passive aggressive and horrible. She has this way of bringing me down and making me feel everything is my fault, and I just don't knowif I can have her in my life any more.

This must sound so petty, but it all just really upsets me.

AIBU? WWYD? Have you ever cut off an old friend? How? Why? I feel terrible about this.

AgentZigzag Thu 21-Jul-11 19:59:48

It doesn't sound petty, it's upsetting because it's the end of an era.

If she's making you feel like shite every time you have an contact and you're dreading it that must mean you're making the right decision.

Are you going to let it tail off or tell her?

StayingNearlyHeadlessNicksGirl Thu 21-Jul-11 20:00:19

I think you need to ask yourself what you are getting from this relationship, because it doesn't sound like you are getting anything but hassle and stress. Fwiw, I don't think you should blame yourself for the way the relationship has changed - sometimes life just does that, and it sounds like that's what has happened.

If it were me, I would just let things drift away - don't contact her any more, and don't give too much time or emotional energy to replying if she does contact you - though I suspect (you haven't said) that most of the effort comes from you anyway. Let the relationship slip onto the back burner and leave it there. It may be that things will change again - life will make more changes and she might realise how difficult she's been (maybe she will get married/have children), and you might find the friendship starting to grow again.

I guess what I am saying is don't do anything drastic, just let it drift - that way there is a way back if things do change.

But don't beat yourself up over this. <<stern look>>

LunaticFringe Thu 21-Jul-11 20:08:36

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Finallyspring Thu 21-Jul-11 20:15:31

I fear you will get lots of responses on here which say variations on 'dump her'

Friendships of 20 years are very special. There is a modern tendency to constantly weigh up what you are 'getting out of it' as if friendship were a business which needs to constantly make profit.

So, I understand your reluctance to let this friend go. I would do what snhng says above. Let it drift rather than end it. Her life might well change and she may gain some new insights into what your life is like. In the meantime step back just a little to give her less opportunity to bother you so much.

I'm not religious but I am a godmother to two children and that is a special relationship too. Think about what she can bring to your DDs life.

It's sad when you have feelings like this about soembody. Maybe it is the end of the line, but let nature take its course rather than force the issue.

LunaticFringe Thu 21-Jul-11 20:32:23

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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