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AIBU to feel upset, frustrated and irritated by my best mate's behaviour lately?

(20 Posts)
Irishchic Sun 25-Sep-11 21:23:05

I have this friend, let's call her Jane. We have been really good friends now for around 6 years, and have been through a lot of ups and downs together with our marriages. We have been very supportive of each other, and she is a good person.

Lately though, she has become really friendly with another lady, we'll call her Mary. I dont dislike Mary, but I dont see us ever really being good friends as her husband made allegations about my dh some years ago (they are both medical professionals) which led to a lengthy and very stressful investigation into my dh, and in the end my dh was cleared of all wrongdoing. Jane knows all about this, but stresses that Mary is really a lovely person, and must not be aware of what her dh did. This may or may not be true. I do not hold any grudge against Mary, but out of loyalty to my dh, would not choose to befriend Mary, although am always careful to be friendly towards her as do not want to make it awkward for Jane.

The problem is that lately Jane seems to have very little time for me, but endless amounts of time to spend with Mary, drinking wine, going out on impromptu nights out etc, and cancelling arrangements with me because of reasons that are always to do with Mary. Jane has just started a business and is under a lot of pressure keeping up with orders, supplies, etc and i am very conscious of this, so I dont want to add to her pressure. But i always try to accomodate her and arrange things with notice to suit her, yet she cancels at a moments notice pleading busyness. Then will go to Mary's house and drink wine into the small hours.

I know this all sounds ridiculous and playground-like., but i feel very frustrated by her behaviour. If i pull back and see her less, which I am inclined to do, she will pick up that something is wrong and will ask me, and i do not know if I should be honest or just brush it off. Jane is very sensitive and hates to fall out with people, so it would really stress her out if I tell her i am a bit pissed off and frustrated at being cancelled on, and I am feeling as if i am surplus to requirements these days.

Would appreciate any advice, sorry this is so long, I feel faintly ridiculous writing it but hope that someone out there can offer some advice or insight because i miss my friend...

Summerblaze Sun 25-Sep-11 21:33:51

This would annoy me too, so no YANBU.

If you don't want to confront her with this, I would pull back and wait until she asks you what is wrong. She may not know what she is doing, apologise and make more of an effort with you or she will be annoyed with you, in which case, she isn't a very good friend in the first place.

Irishchic Sun 25-Sep-11 21:37:15

Thanks Summerblaze, it is reassuring to hear that I am not being all petty and unreasonable.

I dont want to confront her really because I know that she is under a lot of pressure business-wise, plus her marriage is under strain, and I suspect that she is drinking a little more than is healthy, so she doesnt need me to pile a guilt trip on her.

But if she asks, I think I will tell her, and after that, its up to her, I guess.

Pawsnclaws Sun 25-Sep-11 21:37:45

If this happened to me, I would definitely pull back - and if she asks I'd say I had the feeling that she needed a bit of space and you were trying to be supportive. You've done nothing wrong in this situation at all that I can see.

eslteacher Sun 25-Sep-11 21:38:20

YANBU. Can I ask how long you and Jane have been friends for, compared to how long Jane has been friendly with Mary? Because it could just be "new best friend" syndrome on Jane's part...and potentially "burn out" after a little while.

Irishchic Sun 25-Sep-11 21:41:39

Thanks Pawsnclaws - that is a good idea, I could say that and it is not confrontational and accusatory.

Riverboat - Have been close friends with Jane for 6 years. She has become very close to mary in the last 18months or so, so its not that "new" really.

purplepidjinawoollytangle Sun 25-Sep-11 21:46:34

Jane has befriended someone that you have a fairly good reason to avoid

Jane cancels you at short notice pleading work

Jane is then proved to be having a wonderful time (I assume this involves facebook photos) having told you she would be working

And you're worried about being rude????

bluelaguna Sun 25-Sep-11 21:47:23


In your position, I would not issue further invitations to Jane. I would accept invitations she issues. So essentially, pulling back your active involvement, but remaining involved if she initiates. I would not want to be friends with someone who did not want to be friends with me, so I would just wait and see what happens but not cause a scene for now. I'd start initiating things again if the friendship picked up.

Irishchic Sun 25-Sep-11 21:54:36

Purple - She has been honest whenever she cancelled things because of mary, for eg. last sunday she invited me for coffee at 4pm, then texted to say she had dropped in to mary's to pick up something, then mary opened a bottle of wine, and she didnt think she could make it, but said i was very welcome to join them, (she must know that I would be uncomfortable with this!)

I arranged, with prior consultation with Jane, a night out with her and another girl for friday night just past. Jane then cancelled this at 5pm as she had orders to prepare for delivery on saturday, but the reason she had to do it all by friday was because she was going to Mary's holiday home on the coast on the saturday night and therefore wanted to get it all done on saturday so that she could have monday free.

It not like she is lieing to me or anything, she is being quite honest, but just doesnt seem to realise how let down i feel.

But i am definitely going to pull back and not try and arrange anything else for the moment.

Pawsnclaws Sun 25-Sep-11 22:11:50

I'd feel hurt too, it's never nice to feel that you're lower down in the friendship pecking order than someone else, especially as you were very close before. But you're right to be non-confrontational about it, I think that with a bit of space either Jane will realise she's treating you unfairly, or she won't and you'll gradually get a bit of distance (may be for the best if she really thinks this is an ok way to treat a good friend).

Irishchic Sun 25-Sep-11 22:31:22

Thanks Paws, that's exactly it. It's been really helpful to get some objective advice on this.

I tried to chat to my dh about this but he wasnt very helpful. I dont think that men really understand female friendships. His attitude was, well if she doesnt want to spend time with you, then just move on, find another friend who does.

It doesnt help that Jane is friendly with mary, who of course my dh dislike because she is married to the guy who caused him so much grief, she is guilty by association, which is an irrational view, but understandable too.

DH has always thought that Jane is being disloyal to me by the very fact she has befriended mary, but I tend to think that Mary must be ok if Jane has so much time for her, and anyway, we are all grown ups, we cant go around dictating to each other who they can be friendly with!

omaoma Sun 25-Sep-11 22:42:30

I think you might need to consider moving on to a new bf yourself, I'm afraid. I totally understand the loyalty issues around becoming closer to Mary, but clearly Jane is having a great time with her and not particularly worried about the loyalty issue herself. Which is surprising considering the difficulty you and your DH had because of Mary's husband... (personally i WOULD have thought that my best friend would have understood the delicacies of that particular situation, but i'm quite sensitive about things like that.) Unfortunately people tend to go with the 'funnest' opportunity, ime, (espec when they are under strain as you say Jane is) and through no fault of your own you are wearing the 'party pooper' hat because of this issue. If you pull back, try and focus on other friends, hopefully Jane will eventually remember what your friendship meant.... but at least you won't be feeling so lonely in the meantime.

You can't argue somebody into staying your friend unfortunately. Unless you are willing/able to let the conneciton-via-husband thing pass and join the party you probably are going to have to let this friendly loosen a bit, at least for a while. Sorry.

Irishchic Sun 25-Sep-11 22:50:58

Omaoma - I know. As i said, i am totally civil and friendly to mary and her dh in public when the situation reqires, (we all live in a small town and mary's dh doesnt know that my dh knows he made the allegations) but i would feel hypocritical to pretend we were all great pals because we are not, clearly.

And yes, Mary probably represents fun and diversion for Jane in a way that i do not, so no point in beating myself up about that. Luckily i have some other great friends too, so not all alone at all. Hopefully, if i back away, things may go back to the way they were, some time down the line.

purplepidjinawoollytangle Mon 26-Sep-11 07:18:20

See, to me this:

"she invited me for coffee at 4pm, then texted to say she had dropped in to mary's to pick up something, then mary opened a bottle of wine"

Is a situation where Jane should have said "No thanks, I'm meeting Irishchic" Instead, she thought "Irishchic doesn't matter, I'll do as I please"

Which is downright rude!

ShoutyHamster Mon 26-Sep-11 09:16:56

Well, I think that Jane is totally taking the piss, to be honest, and I wouldn't be too bothered by now about upsetting her, really.

It's not at all unreasonable to be pissed off about someone blowing you out for someone else, repeadtedly. I would be. Where you are going wrong is that although it's clearly fine for her to do this to you, you in return are still treating her feelings (or what you perceive to be her feelings) with the utmost care. So you feel resentful - naturally.

'Jane is very sensitive and hates to fall out with people, so it would really stress her out if I tell her i am a bit pissed off and frustrated at being cancelled on'

Who cares? She's treating you with very little respect, so she can expect to get negativity in return, really! She doesn't sound very 'sensitive' at all.

Pull back and spend time with friends who respect you as one. If she comments, point out that she now repeatedly cancels on you, so you don't want to make arrangements only to be let down. And say that although you have no problem with Mary, you are uncomfy spending leisure time with her, for OBVIOUS reasons. Be laid back and unjudgemental about it all - she's free to spend her time as she chooses, but she can't expect to let you down more than a few times and expect best friend treatment in return.

sloggies Mon 26-Sep-11 11:27:59

Many good points made already. Shouty makes good sense. Nowt wrong with raising the Cancelling Issue. And WRT the 'sensitive' thing, this appears to be more about things done To Her, rather than things She Does....

mairyhinge Mon 26-Sep-11 12:19:23

Fairly similar thing is happening to me right now! My freind, Kay,is someone who i have been freinds with for 16/17 years, but we became "closer" when her best freind had a child and decided to stop partying etc.
We have children the same age, and have gone on holidays together as hubbys get along too.
She has a new freind, Sam,who she met at the gym, and she seems infatuated with her!
Kay and I were out saturday night, and she kept texting Sam to see if she was out and where. When Sam eventually turned up to where we were, KAy threw her arms round her, like she'd nnot seen her for weeks, and promptly ignored me!
I was obviously surplus to requirements the, so left and came home.
I am going through a rough time right now,and could have done with support,but just got ignored.

How will I deal with it?? I'm backing off,until she, possibly, realises.
They have alot in common, BUT surely 17 years of freindship trumps that??
Maybe not,but because of where i am emotionally right now I don't care!

Irishchic Mon 26-Sep-11 12:48:27

Thanks Purple, shouty and sloggies, you are right, and if someone else was in this same situation I would give the same advice as you.

Mairy - That must be upsetting for you. Any point in talking to your friend about it?

mairyhinge Mon 26-Sep-11 13:08:57

Thanks Irish...not much point really, as she will see me then as "needy". God forbid I should NEED my freind!
She won't conciously realise she's doing it either, so I will come across as the bad one.

Pawsnclaws Mon 26-Sep-11 13:50:46

I think you two have unfortunately been taken for granted, and Irish your description of Jane as sensitive actually really means sensitive only to her own needs and feelings - which is another word for selfish. mairy your friend is indeed infatuated, as displayed by the fact that she could easily have included you more when the three of you were together - but she didn't.

IME there is a fine line between being a good and loyal friend, and being a mug. I hold my hand up to getting it wrong a lot of the time - I'm very loyal to good friends, but have sadly learnt through experience that some people are not the good friends I thought they were.

I can see why some people would tackle this sort of situation head-on, but it's just not "me". I tend to retreat a bit and leave the situation to settle.

Female friendships, eh?

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