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WWYD - friendship thing

(71 Posts)
Morecheesegrommet Thu 07-Jan-16 15:23:05

Alison and Barbara meet at a business event a long way from Barbara’s home town. Turns out Alison is moving to Barbara’s home town, so Barbara meets Alison for coffee, introduces Alison to her friends, invites on her on girls’ weekends away, etc. Barbara also helps Alison make business connections as they both work in the same field. Claire – a close friend of Barbara’s – makes friends with Alison through Barbara and the 3 couples meet regularly as the DHs also get on well.
A few years down the line, Alison starts to be cold towards Barbara who picks up on it. Eventually Barbara sends Alison an email saying she had noticed there was something wrong and asking if they could sort it out. Alison responds with a long email accusing Barbara of various (untrue) stuff and ends the friendship.
Claire decides not to get involved because she feels it is nothing to do with her. She continues her close friendship with Alison. Barbara is hurt by this – she thinks friends should stick up for each other when it gets tough – so she decides to minimise contact with Claire so she can move on and forget the whole thing. Claire wants to be friends with both Alison and Barbara because she didn’t cause or contribute to the argument - so she thinks Barbara is being unreasonable to back away from their friendship.
So who is BU – Barbara or Claire? What would you want your friends to do in this situation?

lexlees Thu 07-Jan-16 15:50:10

Barbara is clearly being unreasonable. She has no right to dictate on Claire's relationships/friendships. Claire is the innocent in all of this.

If Barbara wants to cut her nose off and lose two friends instead of one... then let her be more the fool for it.

Clearly it shows that Claire did not agree with Alison otherwise Claire would minimise contact. And she shows maturity by not taking sides and staying out of it. That is what a mature friend does.

If Alison is the weirdo type who cuts friends off for trivialities (or because they have outgrown their usefulness) then in time she will do the same to Claire.

If Barbara can so coolly 'move on' from Claire.. then perhaps they weren't true friends. Perhaps Barbara needs to learn how to be a better friend rather than self-interested. It may turn out that perhaps Alison had some valid reason for not wanting to be friends that are 'true' reasons rather than all 'untrue'.

Ladyface Thu 07-Jan-16 16:06:02

Barbara is being unreasonable. She shouldn't expect Claire to take sides or get involved in her falling out with Alison. Has Alison ever given a reason for her sudden coolness towards Barbara? If I were Claire, I'd be a bit wary of Alison unless there is a good reason for this. Some people are happy to just drop friends when they are no longer useful <bitter experience>

Morecheesegrommet Thu 07-Jan-16 16:16:24

I can see both sides of this.
But Devil's advocate here - by standing back, Claire is saying that it is OK for Alison to treat Barbara like crap. It doesn't affect her - so why get involved? But surely friendship means having somebody's back? Sticking up for them when bad stuff happens? Claire is protecting her own interests by not getting involved. She is telling Barbara that she doesn't care enough about their friendship to stand up for her.

nocabbageinmyeye Thu 07-Jan-16 16:24:42

Barbara is being unreasonable, I can see why she is hurt but she is cutting her nose off to spite her face

Morecheesegrommet Thu 07-Jan-16 16:25:56

I know that the things in Alison's email were untrue because Barbara showed it to me. And Barbara did not try to dictate to Claire who she should see, she just withdrew because she was so hurt by the whole thing.
My question is should your friends stick up for you when crap happens, or should they stay out of it because that is what is best for them?
It is a genuine question - happy to be persuaded either way.
When we are kids we stuck up for each other in the playground. But as adults is that no longer relevant - is it every man for himself?
Barbara's perspective is one friend dumped on her, and the other stood by, watched and did nothing.

PuppyMonkey Thu 07-Jan-16 16:30:26

I'm not sure but I think you're Barbara op.grin

Figwin Thu 07-Jan-16 16:33:41

Babs is taking things to far, it's ok to be pissed off but to cut off contact is petty when Claire has just lived her life. Also, has Alison spread her opinion? Told other people when they have asked about it? If not, then what's it got to do with Claire if she only has Babara's account of the situation.

dumdidumdum Thu 07-Jan-16 16:34:10

Claire should make her own judgement about Alison. If Claire's judgement about Alison makes Claire a person that Barbara doesn't want to be friends with then Barbara can step away from their friendship. However, Barbara shouldn't tell Claire what to think about Alison and Claire shouldn't tell Barbara that she is being unreasonable. All 3 are adults and capable of making their own decisions based on their interpretation of the situation.

catfordbetty Thu 07-Jan-16 16:35:01

I think in Barbara's place I would be affected by Claire's neutrality - it's not possible to be all things to all women. However, life is too short for this to end a friendship ... but it might change it a bit.

EverythingChangesButChocolate Thu 07-Jan-16 16:36:49

I don't blame Barbara for stepping away from Claire. It sounds as though Alison has set out to cause trouble and to take over Barbara's friends!

Morecheesegrommet Thu 07-Jan-16 16:37:40

I'm not Barbara but a friend of both Barbara and Claire. And I can see both sides.
I understand that Claire doesn't want to be involved or fall out with anyone. She did absolutely nothing wrong and has been caught up in the middle.
I also know Barbara has been treated very unfairly. She bent over backwards to be kind to Alison but has been completely shafted. And I understand why she has walked away from the whole thing, including Claire.

theycallmemellojello Thu 07-Jan-16 16:41:06

Well, I don't think C is being U, but she might be being unrealistic if she expects her friendship with B to continue just the same. But if B values C's friendship she should try to rise above it. And can B/C put A right if it really is just that she thinks something that isn't true?

nilbyname Thu 07-Jan-16 16:41:22

Well maybe Claire is I. The background quietly chipping away at babs.

Babs has told Allison to do one, so that's finished now. At least Allison has Claire as a mate?

Morecheesegrommet Thu 07-Jan-16 16:41:47

I guess the question that is haunting me is do we have a right to expect our friends to stick up for us? Or not?

nilbyname Thu 07-Jan-16 16:46:45

Yes you do when it's a clear case and you're witness to it. You've got a icky situation where babs is saying one thing and Alison's another. You can't be sure who is telling the truth!

Best to remain Swiss.

MairzyDoats Thu 07-Jan-16 16:51:26

If I was Claire I think (hope) I'd have intervened with Allison on Barbara's behalf... Which makes me wonder if Claire thinks there's some truth in Allison's accusations? Feel rather sorry for Barbara!

Headmelt Thu 07-Jan-16 16:53:52

Barbara is bu. It's not Claire's fault her two friends fell out.
I know of three women (My Friend's sister who would argue with herself if she was alone in a room & her friends) who had a similar senario. "Claire" didn't "pick a side" and stayed friends with both women. When they reconciled, they dropped "Claire" because she hadn't stood up for either of them against the other.hmm

Morecheesegrommet Thu 07-Jan-16 16:56:51

Headmelt - that made me laugh out loud!

Raasay Thu 07-Jan-16 16:58:39

I think that in Barbara's place I too would feel a bit hurt that Claire hadn't at least reassessed her opinion of Alison (given the lies) but I wouldn't say much about it to Ckaire though -she's an adult after all.

It would make me feel a little differently about Claire although I'd maintain the friendship and see how it went.

dumdidumdum Thu 07-Jan-16 17:01:42

I was Barbara in a similar situation and decided not to involve Claire at all as i didn't feel it was fair to make her take sides. The fact that Claire stayed friends with Alison did affect my friendship with Claire as i stopped trusting her in case things i said were then passed on to Alison and overtime we became more and more distant until the friendship fizzled out. But i still don't think it was my place to make Clare choose Alison or me. And i sort of feel sorry for Claire because she's stuck with that bitch Alison as a friend!

Morecheesegrommet Thu 07-Jan-16 17:11:22

I've been Babs too in the past - it's horrid. Maybe that's why I sound more sympathetic to her than Claire. I felt at the time that nobody (not even my own mum) stood up for me and told Alison to do one.

Figwin Thu 07-Jan-16 17:12:31

If Alison bitched directly to Claire about Barbara then she should stick up for her. But she can't really just say "Babs showed me that email" because it's not high school. All Claire can really give you, I mean Babs, is her assurance that she will keep an eye out for Alison's bs and call her out on it if she hears it

Morecheesegrommet Thu 07-Jan-16 17:16:24

I'm not Babs - honest! gringrin

Witchend Thu 07-Jan-16 17:17:38

I've been on slightly similar place as Claire. Thing was I knew that actually although the initial situation didn't paint either in a good light, actually the story "Barbara" was telling was only half the story... The half that made her out to be the reasonable half.
Plus Alison had tried to apologise (with chocolates) for her half, and had been told to get lost and never darken their doors again.

In my case, the fact that Barbara doesn't wish to continue the friendship as it was is no loss. I too see her in a different light due to her actions.

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