To be upset that my best friend won't go out in the evenings or at weekends(140 Posts)
I have been divorced for nearly three years now. My kids spend alternate weekends with their dad and some holidays. There have been some tough and lonely times since the separation.
My friend says she is too tired to go out in the evenings and she is busy with her family at weekends. I am hurt that she isn't willing to spend the occasional evening with me. I do have other friends and I do go out alone but there have been many lonely evenings/weekends/holidays and it would be really nice if she would make the effort for my sake.
I am self-employed which means my work is flexible, but I need to work as much as possible Monday to Friday to build my business. I usually meet up with my friend on a weekday but much less than we used to as I can't spare the time when I need to work. The pattern was established when my kids were younger and we were both SAHMs, although our friendship is older than that. I have come to resent the fact that I have to make time on a weekday as it stresses me out. It ends up being a large chunk of the day as there is travel involved. I wonder what would happen if I had a job with standard hours, would she make the effort then or would I just never see her?
Am I being unreasonable to think that she should be willing to meet up occasionally in the evening (never once in all this time). It isn't a childcare issue as she has a perfectly competent and available husband.
Does she know that you are finding it inconvenient and feeling resentful? It may be that she just hasn't picked up on it.
Or her priorities might be that she will see you when it's convenient for her, and won't see you if it's not convenient for her.
You could try telling her that you're not available during weekdays, and see if she does then make the effort to see you on an evening or weekend, but if you do this you'll have to be mentally prepared for the possibility that she may not care enough about seeing you to make that effort.
Yanbu, its hurtful that a best friend can't even give you one evening or one weekend, I get she's tired but who isn't these days! However her behaviour is quite common, she has clearly prioritised her family over you. It may not be conscious thing and she may not even be aware of it, she probably feels that without her, things wouldn't get done or her DH would forget certain things hence going out is not worth the 'trouble'. I'm afraid you can't force her or guilt her into changing her behaviour. I have a friend who is similar although her hang up is work. She has failed to show at her own birthday dinner yet cried when people let her down for similar reasons!!
My advice would be to find other interests and opportunities to meet new people or learn new skills - book groups, film clubs and the like. stay friends but expect a lot less from her and return the favour.
Her family are always going to matter more to you than you will.
She's telling you quite clearly that she isn't willing to sacrifice time with her family to see you.
Perhaps she values your friendship less than you do, which is fair enough. You can't force these things.
I've learned lately that sometimes the issue is that we expect our best friends to react in the same way as we would.
My grandfather was rushed into hospital three weeks ago. As I was sat in the hospital I texted my best friend to let her know what was going on. I saw my best friend on Sunday (three days later) and she asked how he was and I had a chat with her and made it pretty clear that it was pretty unlikely he'd be coming out. Severe chest infection, breathing difficulties, cellulitis in his legs, heart failing.
I heard nothing from her again until Friday evening as she was going on holiday with two mutual friends for a week. "Hope your grandad feeling better x see you when I get back x"
I was a bit peeved off with that. You don't generally feel better when you're dying, but there we are. I didn't expect to hear from her while she was away of course, but thought when she got back I might hear from her. She got back on a Saturday. I spent that Saturday and Sunday by my grandad's bedside as it was clearly near the end (he died Monday morning).
I head nothing from my best friend until Wednesday morning when she had heard from someone else that he had died (I had decided that as she hadn't been bothered to even send a text since she got back from holiday to find out how he was - or even if he was still here - she could wait to hear the news).
Her text said "I'm so sorry. How are you doing? If you need anything please let me know x" I'm afraid I ignored it, I was not in a good place. I've not heard from her since. I saw her Thursday night at something I had to go to. She did not come and speak to me. I could, have course, have gone to speak to her, but I wasn't really wanting to speak to anyone and more or less sat in a corner out of the way.
I saw her again yesterday. She didn't speak to me. Again, I didn't speak to her.
Now, I think she's being a shit friend. She probably thinks I want to be left alone and if I need anything, I'll say. So, maybe my expectations are wrong and we're different types of people.
Still think it's shit, personally....
I think you have different friends for different things - perhaps the mistake is expecting one person to be everything to you, outside of a relationship?
Maybe your friend doesn't like going out in the evenings, doesn't like pubs/bars - a few people have all sorts of weird issues with the dark, too. That doesn't necessarily mean she's a bad friend during the daytime, or that she's not prioritising you. Provided that there are some times when there is a bit of reciprocal give and take in the relationship and other qualities that make her a nice person to be around, I think this is OK.
Equally, you can have friends you see in the evenings but are less close to for anything personal!
shatners - I have a friend like that. She's still a mate, but she's just not capable of empathy, her life is very "me, me, me". We still hang out, but I don't expect anything in the way of emotional support from her, and we're not as close as we would be if she were a more sympathetic person.
Shatners sorry for your loss. She hasn't been a good friend to you and you are right, we do want people to react the way we think we would ourselves. The fact that she didn't speak when she saw you means that she knows there is a problem. She should be the one to fix it but it may have to be you that makes the move(if you value the friendship).
Thanks everyone for the sympathetic responses.
I do understand that her family will be her priority, mine is too. In my heart I know that she could make more time for me without significantly impacting her family. It doesn't seem to register with her that I might feel lonely when my family aren't around. I have come to realise that she is very wrapped up in her own little world.
One thing that I am increasingly aware of is that our children grow up, and sometimes our romantic relationships go awry, and it is worth investing in friendships.
guilty but if I won't meet in the daytime and she won't meet in the evening we will never see each other. I do take your point and I have tried but the "give" seems to nearly always come from me and this is what I have come to resent.
Shat - . I am sorry for your loss.
I have found that people find it very difficult to deal with death and because they don't know how to react they often respond with cliches or silence or distance. Often advice from others would be give her space or time so she may be waiting for you to make the first move. I know you are hurting but try not to judge her too harshly.
I think you are being a bit U. She's not responsible for your happiness. Expecting more of people than they want to give never ends well.
As a long term single parent, I have come to realise that for a lot of people weekends are when they prioritise family over friends. The evening thing is frustrating - is this a new thing or has she always been too tired?
I can only suggest you make effort to do other things/make new friends. You could join MeetUp?
Trying Yes, which is why I said it's as much about our expectations of others. I can understand why people might wait. But a best friend who you have known for over a decade should make a bit more effort.
Pav I've also come to realise that some friends are organisers and some aren't and if you wait for non-organisers to come to you, you'll be waiting a long time. You have to decide if you want friends like that.
In my heart I know that she could make more time for me without significantly impacting her family
but she obviously doesn't want to. I know that is not nice for you, but she doesn't have to see you when she doesn't want to or it doesn't suit her. And neither do you.
pavonia - I see what you mean! Why don't you have a chat with her and say that you're worried you'll never see her, since your business is taking off and you're now working a greater number of hours, which means you're unavailable in the day. Perhaps there's a half-way house, like meeting for a meal at 5pm?
I do understand the evening/weekend loneliness, I really do. I just think one friend is never going to fill that gap - you need several!
Could it be her dh that doesn't want her to be away from the family? My now ex bf wasn't allowed to even answer her phone to me on a week end or after 5pm he was such a control freak.
oh i HATE the people who are freaky weird about weekends
This never happened in our childhoods and I find it a bit facebook
If this is long ignore. Sorry you are feeling hurt op just to give a perspective from someone else's best friends pov (not saying yours is like me but mine wouldn't know because she just hasn't asked and I'm feeling a bit uncared about too). I can't go out evenings because I am tired, not just a bit tired but literally shattered. I have chronic migraines and fibromyalgia and 2 kids one of who/whom(?) is being diagnosed with SEN the other is very much mummy's girl at the moment. I can't drive because of the meds and I generally get to about 7.30 and collapse on the sofa and can't do more. I had depression years ago and I know it's crept back and frankly I'd rather never leave the house again but for the sake of the kids at the weekend I make an effort when the migraines permit ( they are often worse in the late afternoon evenings anyway) and we go out as a family. I work as hard as I can during the week for our farm but do offer to make time but now only ever hear from my friend if there's a problem or a babysitter is needed.
Some people do friendships differently to others and others don't reciprocate that friendship in the same way.
I learnt this on the primary school playground and I am always surprised that others havent.
I have a wide social circle of acquaintances that I can easily spend a pleasant evening with but no close friends who are there as a bulwark against loneliness or a support in tragic circumstances. It may be my fault for not fostering these things but I dont miss them and therefore dont feel let down that someone else doesnt react the way I want them to or the way I would.
You can't really expect someone to give up family time to see you. Did you ever go out on weekends before your divorce?
I’m afraid I’m with your friend a bit. We don’t get any family time Monday to Friday, so weekends are very much our time together. I’m not saying I would never meet up with a friend at the weekend, but I wouldn’t do it on a regular basis (which is presumably what you are asking for?)
I also think your expections are too high and your being unreasonable. My weekends are usually family centred or spending time with my DH. It was totally different prior to having dc I would be out socialising with friends every week but I've got to the stage in my life where by my priorities have changed unfortunately one friend didn't seem to understand, I couldn't be constantly there all the time and it was exhausting ,it ended up with us drifting apart. I have some very close friends from uni and we can go months even a year before we met up as we all lead busy lives but it's like we never been apart. I would suggest expanding your circle and try new hobbies or clubs.
Before you were divorced did you go out evenings and weekends? It seems like now you are single you want to get back out there but friend already does what she does.
Those of you pointing out that it is her choice, I totally take that on board, which is why it is hurtful.
I do have other friends and I do make an effort to meet new people, but I value this friendship and would like to continue in a meaningful way.
Santa it definitely isn't due to her husband.
Millicent very valid point. She does have a track record for this sort of thing dating back to our pre-children days. She would cancel social arrangements because she worked long hours in a stressful job. She has now replaced the job with children. I did adjust my expectations a long time ago and we found a way of doing things that worked, but it's not working for me any more.
I can't see an early evening compromise working for her because that is a busy time with the kids.
im glad none of my friends expect me to go out in the evenings or meet up at weekends. I just cant be doing with all that. Im knackered in the evenings, and weekends are family time
you need to branch out and make some new friends OP
single parent support groups
etc. Don't put all your eggs in one basket, and make a concerted effort to meet some like minded new friends my dear
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