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Feel stuck in the middle of friends- WWYD

(86 Posts)
jacks11 Tue 18-Aug-15 15:29:04

There are 4 of us in a close circle of friends (since uni), although we aren't all living that close to each other anymore we do talk reasonably often and try to see each other every few months or so when possible. Lets call the other friends A, B and C.

Friend A has been trying to conceive for a while and is now being assessed for fertility treatment. She has found the whole thing very tough and is desperate to be a mum. We all know this.

I have a DD and Friend B has 2 DCs (1.5 and 4). Friend C has recently announced she is pregnant, having told friend A separately before she told the rest of us. This was 8 weeks ago.

The problem is friend A has been extremely unkind to friend C. She was furious that C hadn't told her she was TTC, but when she explained that it was an unplanned pregnancy this seemed to make things worse. C said A had told her unplanned pregnancies were "irresponsible", for example. She doesn't seem to be able to be happy for C, nor does she want B or I to be happy for her.

She has asked friend B and I not to invite friend C to a get together we were arranging as "it's just too hard to see her". B and I said that we weren't happy to exlude C from our plans, but would understand if A didn't want to come at the moment. Both B and I have said we are happy to meet up with A individually, or to talk on the phone etc but are just not happy to leave C out of our usual plans.

Friend A has told us that she expected more support and feels "betrayed" by us all. Her husband spoke to me to say she has been inconsolable and he was surprised we hadn't been understanding. I've tried just listening, or trying to give her space and waiting for her to contact me but then was accused of sidelining her.

At the same time, C is also really upset by the situation.

I get that A is feeling really awful right now- it must feel like everyone else has what she desperately wants and without any difficulties. It is unfair and I do feel for her, but I also feel she is being unkind- this is a time that C should be able to be happy about without being made to feel guilty. I also feel that I should be able to be happy for my friend without being made to feel like I'm doing something to deliberately upset A. I don't want to leave C out of things, although understand why A might want to be absent herself from things for a while and would be happy to arrange things with A separately (i.e. not excluding C from things).

I don't really know what to say to friend A- I'd like to be supportive but also don't want to be guilted into being unfair to friend C. I feel she is being unreasonable (but understand why) and don't know how to tackle it without making things worse. wwyd?

laffymeal Tue 18-Aug-15 15:33:40

This is A's problem. Although she may be hurting badly at finding it difficult to conceive, that is absolutely no-one's fault and to give a good friend a hard time for having the temerity to fall pregnant without her permission is just ludicrous.

She will have to get her head round the fact that the world will continue to turn, despite the difficulties she is going through.

Be as kind and supportive as you can but don't let C down because of A's selfish carry on.

Tiggeryoubastard Tue 18-Aug-15 15:37:46

Feeling awful or not (and yes, I suspect she is) its no reason to be a complete bitch. In that position I would put it plainly (but nicely) to her that we love her but her behaviour is unacceptable. And why. Then leave the ball on her court. If she gets her husband to to her dirty work again then tell him exactly the same.

Psycobabble Tue 18-Aug-15 15:39:14

I have seen this happen with some friends I know . It's sad for people struggling to conceive and I myself had a miscarriage at a time other friends were having babies . I was sad it wasn't me but still genuinely pleased for them . Your friend can't behave like that the world does not revolve around her !

what it all boils down to is can you expect people to Not have babies of their own because you are struggling to conceive ?

The answer of course is absolutely no!!! And that's about the end of it id say !

EatSleepWorkRepeat Tue 18-Aug-15 15:40:23

I do feel hugely sorry for A - from the sound of it she probably expected c to be someone she was "safe" from getting baby-bombed by, and so it must have come as a shock. And for people to get accidentally pregnant when your trying so hard and it's not working out does feel worse than when you know someone has been trying too. It sounds like this might have tipped her over the edge and she just isn't able to see it rationally at the moment.

However, all of her feelings are her problem, at the end of the day, and you can't be expected to ostracize a friend for being pregnant! Carry on seeing C as you would, let A know that you understand that she's in pain and that you want to keep your relationship with her too, and hopefully she will be able to get over this without ruining any friendships.

PanGalaticGargleBlaster Tue 18-Aug-15 15:40:29

You can be sensitive to A's situation up to a point but she honestly can't expect the world revolve around her fertility issues, you will be on a hiding to nothing if you start to entertain this attitude. The moment 'A' starts to dictate who you can invite to social events she has pretty much started the process of resigning her status as 'friend'. C has done nothing wrong and should not be punished because A is having a tough time. Continue to arrange your social plans as you see fit and do not allow yourself to be bullied by either A or her husband.

Vatersay Tue 18-Aug-15 15:44:38

A is being completely unreasonable, selfish and actually cruel to C. Totally, totally out of order.

I've been where A is. Never, never, never would I have spoiled anyone's joy in their pregnancy let alone bully her and try to make everyone else join in.

You plaster a smile on your face and show up at hospitals, Christenings, first birthday parties etc with presents in hand and say all the right things. Then you cry at home in private. What she's doing us inexcusable.

AuntyMag10 Tue 18-Aug-15 15:56:48

Friend A is being a complete bitch. If she wants support she needs to act like a friend rather than throwing around horrible comments. It must be a difficult time for her but that is no excuse whatsoever for her behaviour.
I think you all should not pander to her and make C feel bad about having a baby. The two are not related and A has no right to know when anyone is ttc. She's awful.

AuntyMag10 Tue 18-Aug-15 15:58:41

Friend A is being a complete bitch. If she wants support she needs to act like a friend rather than throwing around horrible comments. It must be a difficult time for her but that is no excuse whatsoever for her behaviour.
I think you all should not pander to her and make C feel bad about having a baby. The two are not related and A has no right to know when anyone is ttc. She's awful.

UrethraFranklin1 Tue 18-Aug-15 16:02:45

I've been both A and C, sort of, at different times. A is being a totally unreasonable bitch, and you should tell her that. I think you'd be doing her a favour to do so, since her husband is indulging her unreasonableness and she needs a wake up call.

Yes its hard to be in her situation, and sometimes you need to distance yourself from the fertile and the fecund. But its not a free pass to be a bitch, and you don't get to tell other people who they should see or not.

Hassled Tue 18-Aug-15 16:05:25

Poor you - you're between a rock and a hard place.

I don't think A is being a complete bitch (although obviously her behaviour isn't rational or fair). I'd imagine her fertility problems are just dominating her whole life and the jealousy and resentment of other "lucky" people must be all-consuming. If I hadn't been able to conceive I think that's how I'd have felt. If A's not normally a bitch then you have to cut her a lot of slack.

So don't backtrack re not-excluding C; you're being very fair and balanced. Just keep pushing the meeting A on her own thing and hopefully it will settle down in time.

jacks11 Tue 18-Aug-15 16:05:54

we have no intention of ostracising C- which is why we have said that we will not exclude her from events. I am happy for her and she knows this.

I'm finding it hard to continue being supportive to A because of her behaviour, but also hope that she can come out the other side and we can all be friends. If she doesn't stop being so unkind, I can't see our friendship continuing.

I think you are all right, I'm going to have to have a quiet word with A and explain that I am sorry she is having a hard time and want to be supportive, but that I think she is being unkind to C and this isn't right. I also will say that I will not be made to feel guilty for being happy for C, nor will I be excluding her. Hopefully she will take it on board.

ChanandlerBongsNeighbour Tue 18-Aug-15 16:06:58

I'm sure everyone feels for A, its a horrible situation to be, but, as said up thread, its no excuse to behave in such a manner towards C. Sounds like you are a lovely understanding friend and I'm sure that given time, A, will calm down and see the error of her ways. All you can do is make sure she knows that you will be there waiting for her (as well as C).

Itscurtainsforyou Tue 18-Aug-15 16:12:08

I've been in similar positions to both A and C.

As C, it's horrible to feel excluded and blamed for being able to conceive when others can't. It's very hurtful and isolating (especially when others who also have children are not being blamed/excluded in the same way). OP you are doing absolutely the right thing by refusing to exclude C.

As A, I've had to deal with multiple miscarriages/pregnancy losses and struggling to conceive again when those around me seem to be popping out babies in all directions. It's really hard, the emotions are intense. But I've always seen this as MY problem/battle to come to terms with and I have forced myself to put friendships before my emotions. If at anytime I thought I couldn't cope I've excluded myself, rather than insist that others exclude the pregnant people/those with babies/children.

Again, OP I believe you're doing the right thing in your approach. It may not be a bad idea to meet with her individually as it sounds like she really needs your friendship, but do this as the two of you rather than in a group gathering that excludes C.

Good luck

Vatersay Tue 18-Aug-15 16:12:46

Hassled I think you are being too nice.

Ones true character is shown in times of stress and difficulty. Infertility is devastating, it's not an excuse for being a bully.

Duckdeamon Tue 18-Aug-15 16:13:06

I have been friend C in this kind of situation and after a long period of no contact was reconciled (to some extent) with friend A, but only after her fertility troubles ended happily when she had DC and with intervention from both DHs, eg engineering awkward meet-ups, without which I think the friendship would have been over.

I have also been in friend A's kind of position (miscarriages in my case) and can sympathise with anyone going through fertility problems and the associated stress, fear and uncertainty, but it's not on to berate or want to ostracise people for being pregnant or not sharing private information!

Duckdeamon Tue 18-Aug-15 16:17:13

re the title of your OP you are not really stuck in the middle, though can appreciate it feels like that: friend A is being very unreasonable!

ShipwreckedAndComatose Tue 18-Aug-15 16:17:53

I have been person C in this situation and my person A said some really quite unpleasant things to me throughout my pregnancy. And I took it all, trying to be an understanding friend. The friendship did not survive this as she remained convinced that she was entirely and utterly the wounded party by my insensitive behaviour. Nothing I did, or could have done/not done, was right in her eyes.

Unless you can convince your A that she is at risk of losing a good and loyal friend if she doesn't stop laying blame where it does not belong, I think this friendship may also be doomed.

Maryz Tue 18-Aug-15 16:19:05

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ShipwreckedAndComatose Tue 18-Aug-15 16:26:41

I agree with that maryz, absolutely.

ShipwreckedAndComatose Tue 18-Aug-15 16:29:45

My person A dumped me officially as a friend after she did get pregnant. I think up until then, she felt couldn't but becoming pregnant somehow freed her up more. I don't think she could get past what I reminded her of sad

jay55 Tue 18-Aug-15 16:37:13

Friend C did not get pregnant to spite friend A. That said friend A is clearly having a very hard time.

You've done the right thing not letting A cut C off though.

SuckMySquallop Tue 18-Aug-15 17:08:56

Your "Friend" A is a total cunt.

Who gives a flying fuck if she has fertility issues - what gives her the right to piss on someone else's happiness?

Friend C is not responsible, so why is Friend C being targeted by "Friend" A?

I know what I'd do - I'd tell "Friend" A to grow the fuck up or get the fuck lost. What a total asshole she is.

Maryz Tue 18-Aug-15 17:12:12

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Purplepoodle Tue 18-Aug-15 17:24:48

It tough. I would continue normal arrangements inviting everyone. I would also try and keep lines open with A, keep offering to meet her ect. Hopefully she will realise she has become irrational. I'd say A is breaking as she is now the last to become pregnant. She is probably terrified, confused and completely irrational.

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