to think this friendship is pretty much on it's last legs?(15 Posts)
I have a small group of friends I've known for over 25 years (since school).
We've kept in regular contact over the years, although in the last few years cracks have started to show.
They were pretty useless when I split up with my Ex (one helped me move, the others were busy). All minimised his DV and EA, and for a while kept in touch with him (and it's only in the last couple of years they've stopped saying what a shame it was we split up).
More recently, one got married last year, and although in the build up to the big day we were still seeing her regularly, post wedding we've seen her twice (in nearly 15 months). Other meetings have been suggested but she's always too busy. Her husband is extremely introverted, doesn't like socialising, or having people to the house (hence in the 2 years they've lived together none of us has ever been invited to visit).
Another of the group has moved away, not that far per se, but a long public transport journey (me and another friend in the group dont drive) so that adds a further difficulty to meeting up.
We used to meet once every month or two at least, always get together on birthdays, Xmas etc. However this has dropped off dramatically; I've seen one of them only once this year (in Feb, when we belatedly exchanged Xmas presents), and the others not for several months.
We're getting together at the weekend but it all feels pretty token and pointless. I tried to make more of an event of it, suggesting we all bring partners (as my bf was going to give me a lift, as I'm taking all their Xmas presents and it seemed nicer than treating him as a taxi...plus as the married friend always has to rush home to her DH, I thought it might free her up to stay longer) but they were all really negative about it. I suggested meeting at midday, drinks then lunch etc, but one can't make it til 2.30, and another has to leave at 4.
I really feel quite like not bothering - I doubt we'll meet up again after this (one friend has already said let's let this be the last Xmas/ birthday exchange we do). It really feels like it's run it's course and no- one can be bothered anymore....would you think the same?
Oh, just to add, I'm the only one with DC (and given we're now almost mid 40s, it's unlikely the others will be starting families).
one friend has already said let's let this be the last Xmas/ birthday exchange we do in terms of exhangin gifts or not meeting up altogether- if its the latter why?
Its all organised now so go and see how it is but really think about whether they are they really the kind of friends you want if they minimised the abuse you recieved?
It's sad, but it happens. Is there one particular friendship you can salvage from the group?
I think friend meant lets not buy gifts for each other/ my DC any more, which is fine. It's less for me to do, and my DC are teens now so don't expect to still get presents from my friends.
I probably will be able to salvage one friendship however she's the fellow non driver so we will be limited to where we meet!
Partly I've stated in touch with them because they're the only friends who knew my parents (who died when I was early 20s).
People change as they get older. they meet new people, their lives go in different directions. It is probably time to let go.
<sits down with OP>
Well, i can offer my sympathy, as it feels as if you are mourning the death of this friendship already.
I've had a similar experience with a friend i've known since primary school. (i'm in my 40s) and although this friendship has had it's ups and downs before, this most recent 'down' feels permanent. Particularly hurtful as the down has been going on across a time when i could have done with her support and she's turned away. Have we grown apart? I don't know, surely we'd have grown apart before now if it was going to happen? Who knows.
No real advice. I dither about starting a thread about it myself. Must we try to salvage friendships at all costs i wonder? Is it even possible; when that spark has gone out?
Friendships can evolve. How are things when you are together? One of my friends moved away and I don't see her very often. But when we do see each other we click like we haven't been apart.
I think the question here is whether you still enjoy the time you DO spend with these girls? I have good uni friends who I have known over 20 years now - but we probably only meet up once or twice a year. Everyone is busy, none of us lives really locally to each other, our lives are at very different stages (one has no kids, one older and then a very new baby, one mid age kids). I don;t think of the friendship as over - when I see them, they are people I am totally at ease with/there's loads of banter and love in the room. But they are no longer the first people I'd call in an emergancy. No drama, just friendships change. I think whether or not meeting up is still enjoyable or worthwhile is the question - if not, then gently keep letting things slide.
(NB I would rather see them without partners, as I don't know their partners as well & it would totally change the dynamic, so I can understand why you got that response...)
Nah I'd bin them off, sounds like too much effort.
Having said that I am a lazy friend.
I have one friend whom I've known since school, we talk on the phone every 3 months (ish) message every now and again, and probably see each other once a year?
Everyone else I know are girlfriends of DPs friends and the gang from the pub/or local footie club where I volunteer. I like it like that. No pressure, no gift giving, no overwhelming need to keep everyone happy.
Don't get me wrong, I have a good social life but I'm definitely a 'flitter'
Tis always a shame though when something you value seems to drift away like that, however unfortunately I agree OP that this seems the beginning of the end.
I wouldn't want partners invited either.
I would go get dressed up, have fun and if it never happens again then don't regret it.
I think there are two things here, really.
One is that, as pp have said, sometimes the dynamics of friendships change, particularly when there's been a 'group' of you. Sounds like you're all a bit out of synch with each other at the moment - you're divorced with kids, one has had a bit of a lifestyle change following marriage, the others are childless, etc. That might change again for the positive when the married one isn't feeling quite so 'newlywed', when your kids are older, if someone else gets divorced, etc. As someone said upthread, the point is whether you still enjoy the time you spend with them when you do get together. If not, then changing circs might signal the beginning of the end.
But it sounds to me as though the way they treated you when your marriage broke down is still very much unfinished business for you, and not unreasonably so - it sounds like they were crap friends to you, both during and after. Staying in touch with your violent ex seems pretty shoddy, if I'm honest, though I appreciate I don't know the whole story. For me, all this would be more of a problem than the fact that you've grown apart a bit. Groups of friends who hang out and rub along together can be deceptive in terms of the actual closeness that exists, and crunch times such as you've been through tend to show up the cracks, in my experience. If the way they treated you then still upsets and angers you, then a general parting of the ways may be a good thing really. There will always be sentiment attached to old friendships, particularly considering what you said about your parents, for instance, but perhaps it's time to leave these friends firmly in the past and find some better ones.
I think mrslupo you've hit the nail on the head, in that we were never actually that close. In proximity, in terms of how regularly we saw each other, then we always WERE (not now) but longevity of a friendship doesn't necessarily equal depth.
I feel like I've put myself out a lot for them, in years when I had v young children it was me making a lot of effort. And it doesn't feel like it was always reciprocated or indeed even appreciated.
Their lives have changed very little in many years, same jobs, living in same area. 2 of them have been in relationships for over 15 years...my life is quite different to theirs, I went away to uni, I'm lucky to have a professional qualification and a good career, not things that any of them were interested in (fair enough, but it does mean they either have no financial independence or no disposable income of their own).
We don't tend to have girls only discussions; at our last meet up the atmosphere was pretty strained, I thought having partners there might make it easier. And remove married friends need to leave early. But apparently not. And it wasn't them disagreeing, one said it 'wasn't his kind of thing' (it's a meal!) the other she had 'no intention' of bringing her DH, which felt rather curt.
I honestly get the feeling I shouldn't have even bothered arranging anything!
If I were you OP, I'd cancel whatever you were doing and let them all know it's off due to the lack of interest shown. If you think there is one person who would like to maintain a friendship with you, pursue that separately from the group. It's pointless trying to keep the friendships going if the others aren't interested. It frees you to make new friends.
When you put it like that, they just sound plain rude!
It's hard walking away from a longstanding friendship group but can be a very healthy move. I did it with a bunch of friends from schooldays after my DC1 was born and I had PND. They were all absolutely useless - beyond unsupportive, in fact one was actually angry with me for not having the emotional energy to be focused on her and her
trivial needs! After I'd recovered, I woke up to the fact that actually they'd always been rather self-absorbed people and that I'd unquestioningly made all the effort in the friendship. The minute I was inconsiderately unable to do that, with a newborn and a mental illness, they showed their true colours.
There were people in my life at the time who warned me about the dire consequences of binning longstanding friendships, but I can honestly say I haven't missed any of them one bit.
Here's to the lovely new friends you haven't yet met.
Join the discussion
Please login first.