To let this friendship go? Or offer one last olive branch?(37 Posts)
NC as if she's on here she'll recognise this. I'll try to be brief!
I have a friend, we've been friends for around 10 years. She is Godmother to one of my DC. She struggled with infertility and eventually managed to have one DC when I had my 3rd DC - they are 4 months apart so we shared the pregnancy and it was really great, plenty of meet ups etc. She went back to work while i am a SAHM but we still saw plenty of each other.
4 years later i go on to have DC4. I knew she had been trying for another since her DC1 was born but it hadn't happened and she'd had a few miscarriages in this time so i knew this would be hard for her. I told her that we were going to start ttc to give her some time to get her head around it.
I fell pg very quickly and when i saw her when i was about 6 weeks she asked me outright if i was pg yet so I told her yes, but early days and not to tell anyone else (we dont share our news with anyone pre-12 weeks normally and i made the exception for her). Obviously it was hard, we still met up through my pregnancy and i made sure not to talk about it, if she asked i kept it short 'all ticking along fine thanks, now tell me about XYZ' etc. I had a horrific pregnancy, in and out of hospital, in agony and i never uttered a word to her as i knew she would do anything to have another.
DC4 is born, again i made an exception for her and told her what week it would be (planned c/s) so she had time to deal with it. and then I dont hear from her for weeks. I understood, i know it must be so hard for her. She comes to see us when DC4 is around 4 months old. She seemed ok but distant.
DC4 is now 18months and i havent seen her again.
In fairness she has also taken on a massive promotion at work, is very involved with lots of charity/church things and has moved house so now about an hour away so i could be reading far to much into this but i really feel that DC4 has killed our friendship and i feel so sad!
Her FB is full of the things she does, all very happy, lots of friends visiting her new place, great stuff going on for her at work and i'm dying to hear all about it and see her but the texts i've sent over the last year have been brushed off/ignored.
I feel so sad that i've lost a good friend, and sad for my DC that has lost their godmother from their life. and basically i really miss my friend!
Of course it could be nothing to do with the above and maybe she just is really busy but its a heck of a co-incidence that it started after DC4 was born. She is now highly unlikely to be able to have another DC of her own.
So should i just accept that she doesn't want to or cant be friends with me anymore? or do i send one more text asking how things are going and seeing if she'd like to meet up?
Sorry its long!!
That’s very sad OP. People do pull in different directions though, and people change and move on. Infertility must be horrific to go through too; she may be distancing herself to save her sanity.
I’d send her one last text along the lines of ‘be lovely to meet up, let me know any dates you can do’ or similar and then leave it there. I’ve had very similar with the godmother of my DC... we just live very different lives. I enjoyed the friendship whilst it lasted.
she just made me a stronger person, taught me to have confidence in myself, she genuinely did make my life better for knowing her and she was so happy to be GM.
I guess i can understand why it would be hard to be friends with someone who didnt struggle to have children but i miss her.
It's so sad OP but your lives have taken different paths & she has moved away. It's horrible being the one left behind.
Why don't you write her a short letter (actual old fashioned in the post letter, or card), just saying what you've said in your second message. As long as you aren't applying any pressure/guilt for her to get in touch if it genuinely is too tricky for her, but nearly everyone would appreciate a note from an old friend saying how much they mean to the sender.
Perhaps message her with some of the sentiments you have written here? How you valued her friendship and would love to hear about her achievements at work, that you miss her?
Almost a year has passed now, so her feelings or resentment over your pregnancy may not be so raw now. Sometimes one of you has to be proactive in a friendship. She might even feel embarrassed about how she reacted and hesitant to contact you?
At least then you have tried. Don't be upset if you can't revive the friendship or take it personally though. It sounds as though she is throwing herself into her career, you have less in common and the distance will make it more difficult to meet up.
You sound like a kind friend and haven't done anything wrong.
I like the idea of a handwritten letter! Very old school There's less pressure and it seems more personal and thoughtful.
This is so sad.
I have a similar situation but in my case it's my child potentially being autistic that seems to have driven a wedge between m6 friend and i. She doesn't seem to know how to handle the situation so stays away from us all entirely. It hurts OP.
Prob a combo. Her child woukd be school age so she's gone past baby stage and out it behind her, she's moved house and has a busy job. I'd say it's not dc4 it's just life has taken u different ways
'It's so sad OP but your lives have taken different paths & she has moved away. It's horrible being the one left behind.'
Yes, it is sad and whatever caused you to drift you need to just accept it.
In my experience, once a friendship drifts like that it can be very hard to get it back. I'm sorry this has happened for you both, it sounds like you once had a great friendship.
I think you could get in touch but as someone else said she's probably moved on as well with her promotion and being busy with other stuff so while it might have been you having more children and her not being able to initially it could be that she now wonders what you've got in common, what you'd be able to talk about apart from kids. You could be a reminder of a bad time even if she's in a good place now.
It might also be she wasn't that upset with it all but you made it more of a focus by thinking you were being sensitive when perhaps she didn't need or want that - so it might have been less of an issue than you believed it to be and you annoyed her by tiptoeing around stuff when perhaps she didn't need that - e.g. telling her you were ttc (to get her head around it - which sounds a bit patronising tbh to me), deliberately not talking about it (making it an issue or the elephant in the room in a way), changing the subject etc.
I know you did all those things to be sensitive but perhaps it wasn't as much of an issue to her as you thought but by doing this it became an issue so perhaps she then avoided you thinking you felt sorry for her - and no one wants that - and were perhaps being a bit smug in your sensitivity, even if you didn't mean that. She could hardly say 'I'm fine, just act normal around me' as that would then have been perceived as I'm protesting too much. Perhaps she just got fed up of it all.
Having 4 kids you are very much child focused and while it would have hurt her it is possible she drew a line under it and with the promotion and other stuff is fine, but might not want to be involved with someone that is so child focused.
It’s very sad, OP, I’ve been through infertility and it was very hard to be around friends who got pregnant easily. But it will hopefully be less raw for her now so it would definitely be worth writing her a letter just asking how she’s doing and saying how much you appreciated her friendship. Tell her the things that you’ve posted on this thread.
You could wait for Christmas, that will make it seem less like being pushy, as it’s perfectly appropriate to send Christmas cards to friends.
Well, it may be retrievable yet. If you just tell her what you said in your post of 10:22 first paragraph (minus the godmother bit at the end) and say thank you for giving you those things, then maybe she'll remember why you two were friends in the first place, before your relationship was subsumed in babies, children and infertility. So don't mention any of that! Just a small message, no embellishment, no second guessing of why your lives have parted ways or anything.
annie i really really hope that isn't what she felt i was doing! i really thought i was acting for the best. it was based off conversations we've had earlier in our friendship, i genuinely thought i was doing the best i could. but i can see why it may have appeared differently to her.
i think i may have accepted a drifting friendship easier if it wasnt for her being GM to one of my DC. I have 3 GCs of my own and anything that is important in my own DCs lives is important to me in my GCs life. i feel sad for my DC that she no longer shows an interest in them. i would feel genuinely sad if i was no longer a part of my GCs lives, its a role i take seriously and as she is also religious i assumed she woul;d too.
i will think about the idea of a letter, its a nice idea especially with christmas coming.
feeling very down
If she's not responding to your approaches, then sadly I think she's moved on. It is awful being the one left behind, but I'd accept that your friendship is no longer what it was. I wouldn't attempt more contact, I'd sit back and wait for it to come from her in future, if it ever does.
I think you did what you did with the best of intentions but knowing myself I'd have felt possibly a bit patronised with you treading on eggshells so much, which is why I wondered about it. Very hard to have got it right though as she wouldn't have wanted to talk about it.
Get in touch for Xmas. Could you say you're going to be in her home town and you'd love to see her (perhaps without the kids). Be honest though about you missing her as the dynamic now in her head could be you're 'lady bountiful' with your sensitivity and you view her as the 'poor relation' to be pitied - even if you don't she could feel you do. I could be wrong. I can only speak for myself and it's possible she's the same - I'd have hated you tiptoeing round me, making it perhaps more of an issue especially for longer than it might have been. Yet it would have been hard for me to say anything as whatever I said could be seen as sour grapes. Awkward situation.
One last try.
I lost a good friend when I moved 250miles away. We tried to keep in touch. Before she had children she would come and visit, then she had 2 children and only ever came once. I stoped going ‘home’ after my parents died. She wasn’t much of a Facebook chatterer but I was, I kept making efforts but she didn’t and so it sort of drifted away. I haven’t spoken to her now in about 10years. I still think about her frequently. I know I tried to keep the friendship going and that I would instantly answer if she had ever made an effort. But I’m still sad about the whole situation even after all this time.
So, one last effort from you and at least you will have done your best.
Feedback if you get anywhere.
Just building on what Annie has posted, it could be that rather than thinking you were being sensitive she might have thought you were deliberately excluding her. Without an explicit conversation between you about what is ok, crossed wires have led to many a breakdown in relationships unfortunately.
I know it's sad that she is your child's godmother, but in all honesty I haven't seen my own godmother in more than 25 years. I've never felt the lack of relationship a problem for me, she was my mum's friend not mine.
Again, you can't assume what she would take seriously and what she wouldn't unfortunately. It sounds like there were many a conversation that should have been had and weren't.
I'm sorry you feel so down.
Unfollow her on Facebook to start with as daily reminders so so hurtful
You know what - friendships do wane and end and I think it's part of life sadly
You have tried and she has failed to reciprocate so that's a message in itself
It's really sad OP but part of growing up sadly
Also don't torture yourself as to why - as you will never reallly now but assume that the relationship was causing her too much pain
Let's it go - and be at peace
OP can't do right for doing wrong.... she tried to be sensitive and is now being told by PPs that she was actually too sensitive?!!
I honestly don't know how anybody can navigate these situations successfully.
Move on with your life - it's clear she has, for whatever reasons. Stop worrying about whether or not it could have turned out differently if you had done this or that - if a friendship is that fragile, it's never going to last anyway.
You have not done anything wrong, it's just people's lives change.
i didn't 'never' talk about my pregnancy, just kept it upbeat and along the lines of 'yeah, a bit tired/sore/sick as expected', i wouldn't bring it up first but i wouldnt ignore her asking. i read so many threads of 'how do i tell my friend i'm pg when she cant have kids' that all mentioned giving the person time to privately deal with their pain before facing you that i really thought i was doing the right thing.
she was an involved godparent before DC4, probably not as much as i am but she'd ask after them specifically and always bought a small birthday/xmas gift.
interesting that unfollowing on FB has been mentioned, i think she has probably unfollowed me, she never likes or comments on my posts anymore, its only just occurred to me that this is probably why - she's not seeing them. which is probably a good sign its over.
will think over sending one last message and prepare myself for letting it go.
I must say I might well have felt excluded in your friend’s situation, with you not talking about your pregnancy with her, but I think I would have taken it on myself to ask how your pregnancy was going.
Infertile women do adjust to baby news, it’s a part of life, so you don’t need to walk on eggshells really. But you were obviously doing it for the kindest of reasons.
I’m sorry you’re feeling so down. It’s hard when you lose friends, it’s happened to me before.
I usually assume that if someone asks the question then they want to know the answer, so when you didn't properly answer her questions about your pg you could have upset her more. For all you know,she was making her peace with her infertiity and had decided to enjoy your pg instead, but you wouldn't let her in.
Or maybe you didn't conratulate her properly on her promotion?
Enough speculation as to howshe felt! Just do that one last thing, and then leave it. She will contact you in the future if she wants to.
Would you feel ok with having a friends with her that doesn't include the dc? Say meet up for lunch or dinner without anyone else and talk about everything else in life?
I'm guessing she has a mixture of issues, busyness, sadness at her problems with conceiving and probably feeling she has little in common with you now.
I would have one last try and say explicitly that you miss her and would love to see her. If she doesn't respond you will know you did all you could.
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