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To be upset by this email from friend?

(210 Posts)

MNHQ have commented on this thread.

mscongeniality Thu 25-Aug-16 12:44:08

First time poster...a bit of a long one so please bear with me.

I have a good friend who I've known since primary school (we're both in our early 30's now). She lives in the US. We have a very good open friendship, able to talk about pretty much anything. She's always been very level headed and non judgemental.

I have a 16 month old DS. We were very lucky to have gotten pregnant very quickly when we started trying. She was the second person I told after I found out. She was a newly wed at the time and naturally very happy for me. A year and a bit ago she started trying for a baby...months passed and she didn't get that BFP. I would try and message her now and then to see how she was doing, and try to support her and try and say the right things. One of my very good friends here has also struggled with infertility for the past few years so sadly I do know a lot about what the struggle is like, but of course its hard to really know until you're in the situation and I totally get that. So once I realised she was struggling, I stopped bringing up my son and anything parenting related with her just in case that would upset her. I don't send her any pics or updates about him, although once in a while I post a photo on Facebook for all friends and family to see.

Last night I got a long email from her completely out of the blue. The opening line was "you asked if there's anything you can do......and there is one thing you could do, actually: Recognising that infertile people exist, and being sensitive to that."

And then she goes on to tell me "As someone who would do anything to be a mother, it is so painful to see jokey posts on facebook about "things that only moms understand" .... and then basically a rant about how its not her fault she's infertile and how she's very healthy and so on and on. It was so random and I wasn't expecting it at all, and it honestly really really upset me. I had no idea what post she was talking about so I actually had to go into my Facebook and scroll through to see. The last 'mom joke' thing I had posted was a month ago, and it was about something that I identified with a lot otherwise I never post things like that. I clarified with her if thats the post she was talking about and she said yes it was. In my eyes it was harmless and I shared it without thinking so may be that was my bad.

Anyways I'm more upset about the way she went about it, if she had just sent me a message saying 'Hi --- , there's something on my mind and I was wondering if I could talk to you about it'...would have gone down a lot better? She also admitted that she knows I didn't do it intentionally. And it was a whole month ago!

I honestly don't know if I have the right to be upset or is she allowed to vent her frustrations out on me and I have to accept it? Incidentally I showed her email to my other friend whose about to start IVF, in case I was over reacting, and she said she was very upset for me on my behalf.

Thanks for reading.

tofutti Thu 25-Aug-16 12:48:34

I think YANBU. You sound sympathetic and she may be taking out her unhappiness on you.

Can you share what the meme was about? I don't think we will be able to provide a clear answer without knowing what it was.

LumpyMcBentface Thu 25-Aug-16 12:48:41

She's a dick. You've done nothing wrong. Unfortunately it sounds like she's so wrapped up in her own troubles she has no headspace for other people's feelings.

You shouldn't have to censor your FB to pander to her.

Did you know you can limit who sees your posts? Put her on restricted view.

acasualobserver Thu 25-Aug-16 12:50:24

You have tried to edit your life somewhat in order to be sensitive to your friend but it sounds as if she would like you to go even further. Be careful you don't disappear altogether.

HughLauriesStubble Thu 25-Aug-16 12:51:16

Omg YADNBU it sounds like she's having a shit time but taking it out on you is not fair. If I were you and I really hadn't been overdoing it with mummy martyr facebook posts, I would call her out on it and ask her to point out exactly what posts she was upset about.

And this is coming from someone who has had fertility issues in the past. Your friend is bang out of order.

shockthemonkey Thu 25-Aug-16 12:51:18

You've been sensitive and tactful, and your friend has been U.

In your position I would send an apology (making it clear that you have tried to be mindful of her position), and then go low contact.

Leave it to her to come back to you, if she feels like it at some point down the line.

That kind of thing can be terribly upsetting and your conduct has been blameless here. The apology suggestion is just for form's sake...

mscongeniality Thu 25-Aug-16 12:52:06

This is the meme I shared.

I explained to her in my reply that the reason this stood out to me is because if I don't get some 'me time' now and then I start to feel really down and my husband makes it a point to make sure I get out without our son.

user1470835720 Thu 25-Aug-16 12:52:14

Please try not to be upset, she is obviously hurting and took it out on you and that was wrong. I tried for two years for my lg I'm pregnant with now and it is heartbreaking and those mum joke posts do hurt. There was no need for her to do that though and one day when she has her miracle she will see that. Just please try and be there for her, I,lost so many friends who couldn't understand my struggle even if I didn't lash out, they couldn't understand my feelings and hurt about it all.

Dontyouopenthattrapdoor Thu 25-Aug-16 12:53:18

YANBU to feel hurt, no. You're not a dick, but neither's she. Pain makes people see things were otherwise they wouldn't.

I would, for the sake of your friendship and in acknowledgement of her pain, be the bigger person. Send a nice email saying you do really try- and maybe outline some of the things you've said about that you DO do, but that you accept seeing that post hurt her and you'd never intentionally do that and so are sorry.

And then, like someone else says, add her to acquaintances or restricted view, and, on the odd occasion where you post something she might find difficult, adjust your privacy settings accordingly.

scarednoob Thu 25-Aug-16 12:53:56

I think this is more about her heartbreak at her situation than it is about you - you sound very thoughtful and it's not your fault she is struggling.

If it were me, I would reply to say that I had tried my best to be understanding and supportive but as I had clearly upset her unintentionally I would now say nothing further until she feels like getting in touch again.

If you did something like that, I suspect she would be in touch to make it up.

Iggi999 Thu 25-Aug-16 12:54:36

Your OP says you post the odd photo of your child on fb, but you've also shared something saying "things only a mom understands", so you're maybe not being quite as sensitive as you are kindly trying to be. You do know you don't have to share things with everyone on your friends list, you could post a zillion photos then and choose who can see them.

Jackie0 Thu 25-Aug-16 12:55:35

Well she is being unreasonable but I remember being in the midst of it all and being an absolute crazy person, I didn't recognise myself. So in this instance I'd let it go. She may well look back and think " what on earth was I thinking ?".
Don't censor yourself though , you've done nothing wrong.

mscongeniality Thu 25-Aug-16 12:56:09

I just want to add that I have no intention of ending our friendship at all, but I also don't know how to proceed from now on. I did tell her that now I feel like I need to walk on egg shells around her, and she said that's what she wanted? hmm

YelloDraw Thu 25-Aug-16 12:56:09

Hi Friend.
I'm sorry you're upset, I can't begin to imagine how tough things are for you ATM.
However I don't think that it is right that you expect and want me to change the way I post about my life on FB - I use it to connect with people and to post about how I am feeling.Maybe if it is too hard for you at the moment, you could un follow my posts?
Hope we can catch up in person soon.
Love x

OurLass Thu 25-Aug-16 12:56:13

Sometime pain makes us lash out at the people we love.

HarryElephante Thu 25-Aug-16 12:57:15

Having watched at close quarters the strain that people are under when unsuccessfully trying to conceive, I would try and show a little tolerance and understanding. It's obviously not her finest moment but there is a whole grieving process she is going through and that puts people under enormous pressure.

headinhands Thu 25-Aug-16 12:57:40

Ack op how difficult. On one hand you clearly feel empathy for her but on the other she's made you feel guilty for something you shouldn't feel guilty about. She's hurting, she's lashed out, maybe having a bad day, and she's hurt you. When these sorts of things happen I always remember the phrase 'hurt people hurt people'. Leave it be for now. I'm guessing she will fairly quickly realise her error and come back again.

Totally agree with the meme. My idea of fun is going to a new supermarket without the kids. grin

mscongeniality Thu 25-Aug-16 12:58:28

I've told her that I will be more careful about what I post on my Facebook because I don't know what else I can do to help her...

I honestly don't share posts like that, like hardly ever. I had to go through months back and I couldn't see anything else except that one.

Chikara Thu 25-Aug-16 12:58:42

Those sort of posts are, in my view, smug and unpleasant. I have always hated that type of thing. However - if you like them fair enough - plenty do.

She expressed a view, privately, and asked you to be a bit more sensitive. The response to a friend is to reply that you are sorry - you didn't mean it, it must be rough for her and why don't the two of you go out and have a drink/meal/some fun. Talk it over - or not - but have a good time with her remembering why you were friends.

I wouldn't write about her on MN or take umbrage. You are lucky - she hasn't been.

Aeroflotgirl Thu 25-Aug-16 12:59:51

Oh no, she sounds like she is really down and taking it out on the world, including you. I would message her, and apologise for it, let her know your there for her, just leave it at that. Step back and let her come to you. When you share photos and stuff on FAcebook that is child related, you can edit who sees it, to exclude her. There is not a lot else you can do.

PurpleDaisies Thu 25-Aug-16 13:00:33

It sounds like something else has happened (maybe a failed round of IVF or bad news) and she's just lashed out at you. It doesn't sound like you've done anything to deserve it at all.

I'd reply saying you're completely confused and you can't work out where this has come from. If you want to continue the friendship I'd apologise for anything you've unintentionally done to hurt her, but you hope she knows that you've really tried your best to be sevstice and supportive. You could finish by asking how you both get part this, since you're upset she thinks your treat her this way?

Aeroflotgirl Thu 25-Aug-16 13:00:59

Erm Chikara she lives in the US, so very difficult for the op to meet.

tofutti Thu 25-Aug-16 13:01:17


Your OP says you post the odd photo of your child on fb, but you've also shared something saying "things only a mom understands", so you're maybe not being quite as sensitive as you are kindly trying to be.

Actually, if you read the OP, it is the friend who talks about posts about 'things that only moms understand'.

OP having seen the meme, I say YADNBU. You appear to be her chosen whipping boy.

HughLauriesStubble Thu 25-Aug-16 13:01:39

In fairness, if the post was months ago and the friend has only emailed now, it sounds like she has gone out of her way to look for an argument with OP and make her feel like shit.

mouldycheesefan Thu 25-Aug-16 13:01:48

Hi op, as someone who has been through the horrendous infertility years, it literally does your head in it is an absolute head wreck plus all the fertility drugs etc. I would have found your cartoon difficult to deal with. She has got the guts to tell you it upset her, respect that and move on with your friendship. If she ends up having kids she will be posting similar and it will be back to the way it was when you could share such jokes. But right now she is hurting too much.
Neither of you is unreasonable.

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