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Are my friend expectations too high?

(114 Posts)
expatmatt78 Sun 25-Feb-18 06:12:08

Happy to be told I ABU and hold people to too high a std
I consider myself a good friend and am often the one counselling friends through hard times or if I know they're having a hard time will make sure I check in with them at least.
Is it unfair to expect the same in return ? Perhaps it is.
In short as I've posted elsewhere I've lost (step) FIL and this is now my 2nd weekend alone with DC while DH is overseas sorting things out. Many friends have been great but this one particular who always tells me I'm her only friend I feel so let down by. Had plans with her this weekend and had to cancel as this has happened - offered to get together anyway in a diff way to planned and said I'd love the company. Didn't hear back for 5 days. Made other plans anyway. Haven't had any kind of condolence message. Maybe they don't realize I'm having a hard time as it's not direct family member but anyone with empathy would check in wouldn't they? Knowing I've been alone for a while etc? So do I let it go and lower future expectations of this person or do I tell her I feel let down?

ElenaBothari Sun 25-Feb-18 06:55:43

Tbh....I think I’m a good friend and it wouldn’t really occur to me that you might be upset by your step FILs death. Without knowing the familybreally well that sounds like a distant relationship to me. I might ask how your DH is doing (when I saw you) but I’m not sure I’d check in otherwise.

Or do you mean she should check you are ok alone with your children ? Is there some reason that’s particularly difficult for you? I’m alone with the DCs very often while DH travels and don’t expect anybody to check in then.

emmyrose2000 Sun 25-Feb-18 07:07:03

Exactly what ElenaBothari said.

I'd offer my condolences when you initially told me about the death, but unless Step FIL lived with you or something, that would be about it.

I'd think it was weird if one of my friends checked in on me during one of the many times DH has been away whilst I've been home with the DC (and vice versa).

Chienrouge Sun 25-Feb-18 07:08:10

As above really. If a friend’s step FIL died I would ask how her DH was doing/bearing up. I don’t think it would really occur to me that the friend might need checking up on in those circumstances.
If you mean because you’re on your own with your children then no, again that isn’t something that would prompt be to check up on a friend. Isn’t looking after your children just fairly normal life? In my group of close friends there is often a partner away with work/social events etc (and of course we go away too). I’d be a bit bemused if someone was checking to see if I was ok because I was home alone with my children. DH would be equally as bemused if someone checked up on him when he had a weekend alone with the children.
Unless there’s more to it I think YABU.

SundaySalon Sun 25-Feb-18 07:08:36

I agree with PP... especially if your step FIL lived abroad I wouldn’t think to offer condolences to you at all really. I don’t think I am a bad friend, her not replying, I suppose is annyoying but I have left a message sitting unanswered for a couple of days too, not intentional just always slipping my mind. In a nutshell yes I think you’re expecting to much, cut her some slack she might have a lot going on too.

Historicallyinaccurate Sun 25-Feb-18 07:12:20

I don't think ppl consider you being alone once their own dp/DC are home and they're getting on with their own lives. My dh works away for months on end. When I mention he'll be away there are lots of offers of company and days out with friends and their DC so we have some company. It very rarely materializes, and ppl are then surprised when I mention he's coming back.

steff13 Sun 25-Feb-18 07:14:41

I would have said I was sorry to hear that he'd passed away, and asked if there was anything I could do.

expatmatt78 Sun 25-Feb-18 07:21:36

Thanks all- well some of all that really - she didn't offer any condolences at all - didn't even reply to me - so I know IABU that she should know how I'm feeling but I don't think IABU to expect to hear from her in some way?
For clarity - she is also an expat - has struggled to settle and has often told me I'm her only friend. I work with her DH who therefore has seen me in person and how I am getting on (been a bit all over the place this week).
You're right I have no reason for her to know that this is a big deal.
I guess I'm being unreasonable- would it be ok to say to her that I'm kind of upset then so she knows ?

expatmatt78 Sun 25-Feb-18 07:26:17

Oh and also if it counts - she is also friends with my DH (the 4 of us have spent a lot of time together and gone on vacation together etc). I suppose I just found it odd for her to to reply at all when I messaged to cancel and said why- wouldn't you at least say "oh shit sorry let's reschedule "?
But with regard to being alone you guys are prob right it's not that big a deal and no reason for anyone to assume I'm not ok it's hardly a rare occurrence but I guess it's because this is an unusual occurrence if that makes sense ?

Whatshallidonowpeople Sun 25-Feb-18 07:26:19

Step father in Law? Why do you need to be checked on? You are, I'm guessing, a grown adult, look after yourself

Brokenbiscuit Sun 25-Feb-18 07:26:43

I'd have offered my condolences initially and asked how your dh was coping, but that's about it. Unless you had talked about him a lot, I would not expect that a step-FIL living overseas would be someone you were particularly close to.

Unless you have a newborn, or a disabled child who needs a lot of extra care, it wouldn't occur to me to ask if you were ok with the kids for a couple of weeks on your own. My DH travels a lot, and will be away for the next six weeks or so. I am absolutely fine with that and would find it odd if my friends thought I couldn't cope.

cansu Sun 25-Feb-18 07:26:58

Rather than make it about her not offering sympathy, just call her and say I am a bit down and fed up why dont you come over for meal or chat or whatever. Surely you would just tell a friend if you were upset. For all you know she could have stuff going on too.

SundaySalon Sun 25-Feb-18 07:28:34

Upset about what? That she hasn’t offered condolences for you step FIL death? Also working with her DH doesn’t mean anything, he might not of told her you seem ‘all over the place’

Palegreenstars Sun 25-Feb-18 07:30:48

If being alone with the kids for that long a period isn’t a usual occurrence for you then I would have made an effort to check in with my only friend - and of course she should respond to the msg.

But I’d its just the one msg she’s not replied to and you have enough support else where then either leave it or call her to find out what’s going on

Roseandmabelshouse Sun 25-Feb-18 07:32:10

I would check in. But my experience of loosing a parent is that most people don't seem to see it as a big deal.

So sorry op. Sending love to your family. It's really tough, especially with the distance. Lean on those who offer you support x

expatmatt78 Sun 25-Feb-18 07:34:12

whatshalli pretty harsh !
This couple are friends. My DH her DH and me work together. They've met all our distant family members and know we're a close unit. My DH has been gone 2 weeks now so it should be obvious to friends and work colleagues that it is a difficult time for him at least - he who they are also friends with and haven't shown concern
You're all absolutely right there is no reason at all for them to assume I'm upset by this random persons death but having had to cancel plans and suggested alternate whilst saying I could do with the company I'd assume an empathy button may have been pressed to at least say "sorry hope you and DH are ok sorry for your loss"
It's good to know that is BU and I shouldn't give any more than I give in similar situations

expatmatt78 Sun 25-Feb-18 07:37:15

Thanks rose I guess I'm just feeling sensitive being far away and need people to lean on but I guess you have to ask for help when you need it and not expect it to be given

Bluntness100 Sun 25-Feb-18 07:37:44

Yeah, I'm sorry, I also wouldn't have assumed you were having a hard time from his death. I'd have assumed right now she's tied up in her own shit and it's not occurred to her you're emotionally struggling due to his death.

I'd probably cut her some slack on this one.

expatmatt78 Sun 25-Feb-18 07:41:20

Thanks blunt I'm sure I'm guilty of expecting people to just "know". But I HAD said it was a bad time and I HAD sad I could do with the company and I HAD said that DH was having a hard time but was overseas- I guess I just felt surprised that she wouldn't even reply to that to say "sorry for that hope DH is ok" at the very least.

FrancisCrawford Sun 25-Feb-18 07:41:44

As you are all friends, I would express my sympathies to your DH for his loss, not you. Or if my DH had done contacted your DH and expressed his sympathies, it would be from both of us.

There could be lots of reasons she hasn’t texted you back.

Brokenbiscuit Sun 25-Feb-18 07:42:45

I guess I just felt surprised that she wouldn't even reply to that to say "sorry for that hope DH is ok" at the very least.

Yeah, I don't think that's unreasonable.

FrancisCrawford Sun 25-Feb-18 07:43:28

I HAD said it was a bad time

I would have thought you were talking about the impact on your DH if you texted me that.

Bluntness100 Sun 25-Feb-18 07:44:16

Then if you told her you're struggling, yes I'd have expected her to help if she's a friend. So it's weird she's not. Could she also be struggling with something. Sometimes folks have their own shit going on that you're unaware of?

mixture Sun 25-Feb-18 07:44:52

What does she say when you bring it up with her in person? Or have you just vented it here, on internet? I think you should bring it up with her.

extinctspecies Sun 25-Feb-18 07:45:42

So she hasn't responded to one message?

Not a big deal I'm afraid, could be any number of reasons that you aren't aware of.

You need to develop a bit more resilience & make it not all about you.

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