How to respond to this!?(235 Posts)
Really good friend, one of my best friends sent me this this evening.
Back story is I have an 18 monrh DS, DSS and a partner who works away a lot. We have DSS every other weekend and up until recently I've been working 26 hours a week. Life is crazy, and I'm barely seeing friends who live down the road. This friend lives down south, with partner, no kids, both high flying jobs, family up this way but they moved further afield about a year ago. Friend comes up regularly but is quite often busy with family stuff and fairy inflexible in times she can meet. Not a problem, if we can't meet we can't meet. Life's crazy for everyone.
My problem is I want to see this friend so badly, but it's always massively inconvenient but a few times I've said yes, then had to pull out when I've realised just how much it's going to take to get there. This friend doesn't drive so I'm having to pick her up from places and drop her back sometimes up to half an hour away. Her parents place is an hour away. I work every afternoon from 12pm.
So this weekend we arranged to meet and I've had to pull out. DP has come back from a works trip that happens every year and involves early starts and stupidly late starts. I explained I was concerned it wasn't going to work but after her ignoring my messages I said I'd have to bring DS along (she doesn't seem to like me bringing DS when we meet, which is understandable). Well, I've never seen him so tired. He's been looking after drunks the last few nights and he's come in and collapsed on the sofa. We also have DSS this weekend who is 2 hours away. We leave at 7:30 to pick him up. We're concerned DSS isn't having as much fun with us recently due to being so tired and finances being tight as well as illness, timings and an array of other stuff. We're trying to pull our fingers our our arses and get back to doing what we used to so we said this weekend we'd have lots of fun.
DP is so tired I've said I'll take DS over to pick up DSS so he can have a lie in and we can get back and both be ready to have a fun filled weekend all together. I've explained this to my friend and this is the response I got.
Last time she refers to she said she told me she was there for two weeks but I honestly don't remember because when it was mentioned in passing later I was genuinely gutted. I've also offered to meet for a few drinks tomorrow night once the boys are in bed as a compromise.
I get it's frustrating and I do feel bad. But this is my best friend of 11 years. We talk regularly via SM. She's helped me through some tough times and I've listened and offered advice through hers. I love this person to bits. When I read her message I burst into tears and now I'm feeling angry.
I get it's shitty, but it came down to family or friend and family always comes first. Surely they should? I feel caught between a rock and a hard place. I feel stretched so thin and someone who's supposed to understand has dropped me, just like that. 3 months before the wedding, after discussing colours of dresses only a few days or so ago, despite her saying she's been feeling this way for a few weeks. I had other friends I wanted to ask but decided to just keep it to my absolute closest friends. Invites went out yesterday. I could have invited another close friend to the ceremony, but I can't now.
What's the point in trying to explain how I constantly feel like I'm drowning. I feel like I don't do well at work, the house is a mess, I don't see my friends, or give them enough attention when messaging and trying to stop my toddler from killing himself for the 199th time this morning. She won't understand, and it's futile trying to get her to.
So here's the message.
Hi lass, To be honest, this whole pattern of friendship isn't doing me any favours, this is the third time I've made plans to see you this year and you have bailed. I always have to have a back up plan and somewhere to stay that doesn't rely on you. I understand that you are busy with your family, but I also have a new family and my parents and in laws and friends that I have to divide my time between and I've been trying to make room for you but this doesn't feel like it's being reciprocated. I was at my parents place for 2 weeks and you didn't make time to see me then, when you could have had your pick of time. Few several weeks now I've been feeling uneasy about being your bridesmaid as although we have been good friends in the past, I do feel that that time has gone and I don't want you to feel resentment that I am in your wedding photos or part of your day when I'm no longer a part of your life. All things come to an end and I think we've reached ours. I wish you all the happiness in the world and that you have the happiest of weddings
If you got this far, thanks. So I guess AIBU, and how on earth should I reply?! Getting past this isn't going to happen is it?
To be honest I think she’s right, it’s run it’s course. If it’s genuinely the third time you’ve cancelled on her then surely you can see why she’s pissed off?
I have/had a similar issue as you with my best friend but sort of in reverse. I have three young DC and a DH who works away, she has a partner, no DC, both high incomes etc and she kept cancelling on me because she was so exhausted from all her nights out/weekends away with her friends that when it came to spending time with me, I was the easy option to cancel. It’s hurtful when you’re constantly looking forward to something and you get cancelled on again.
Agreed. You are not a good friend to her.
That must have been so upsetting, but really I don’t think there’s much you can say in response to that. It sounds like life is crazy busy and you just don’t have the time your friend wanted you to dedicate to the friendship. I see from her point of view that she keeps making plans that you cancel last minute, it’s not nice for that to keep happening. It sounds like the time has come to an end with this friendship, maybe in the future she’ll be in a similar position with kids and work and wedding planning, and then understand the pressures you are under.
Best of luck with your upcoming wedding. Try and focus on that and all the friends you will have there.
I can see her point. Let the dust settle for a wee while and then phone her to see if she still feels the same. She sounds hurt and it must have taken some guts to send that message. However hectic your life is, I think you have to understand how the repeated cancelling makes her feel.
Wow, I really am a shit bag. I mean I know it's horrid, but I haven't done it because I can't be arsed getting out of bed. Quite the opposite. I get it's shitty and I've apologised profusely, but there's not much more I can do. But really, ending a friendship.
Thank you @Wannabecleaner15. We're obviously at very different stages in life, I just thought our friendship would last through that.
I think you've been taking her friendship for granted and she's done with it. I also think you need to accept that she wants to end friendship.
I do think your reasons for cancelling were a bit poor. He could have had a power nap and a meal and just gone out to get his DSS. Cancelling three times is too much. All you can really do is let it go, not much point in arguing the toss when she doesn't think you're worth the fight (and clearly feels you don't think she's worth being a priority).
I agree with her. You haven't made time for her, she's tried to see you three times and you've dropped her at the last minute every time. She's right to have called time on this and not to put herself through this constant pattern of rejection again. In response I think I'd just apologise, say you are sad to lose such a nice friend but you understand.
When I read that you had to pull out of seeing her because you ‘realised just how much it's going to take to get there’, I was a bit dubious because I think before you agree plans you should know whether the journey is possible for you.
However then I read that ’this friend doesn't drive so I'm having to pick her up from places and drop her back sometimes up to half an hour away.’
Sounds like she has got very used to you chauffeuring her around. Does she never make the effort to come to you by train/bus or to meet you halfway?
So what if she’s at her parents for two weeks?! She can make the effort to meet you or come to you for once!
One thing is for sure, I wouldn’t be running after her and I think the best response to that text is silence.
I agree with her. You be not been a good friend or given a shit so why would she want to take time out of her life to be your bridesmaid?!
You thought the friendship would last. But she's the one making the effort to keep it going.
I’m sorry but I think your friend is right and good on her for being honest with you .
How is she making the effort @Justmuddlingalong when it’s up to OP to drive an hour to her house?
I'm really sorry but I think I'd have done the same thing as her and quite admire her honesty. You don't have room for her in your life and it's really horrible to be the one that's always bailed on and treated like an afterthought. Maybe it's the best thing for both of you long term? Be grateful for the memories but accept you can't be the friend she needs?
I can see her point to be fair. What is she supposed to think? From her perspective you keep making plans with her and you keep blowing her out. And even if you explain about family and blah blah blah, it’s just going to sound like an excuse to her. Sometimes you just have to put the effort in if the friendship’s worth it. Maybe on some level you don’t want to make the effort that’s required otherwise surely you would have done so by now. It doesn’t sound like she’s a high maintenance friend. Just someone who’s sick of being jerked around by you.
After cancelling 3 times in a row, I think this is best for everyone. You can both focus on other things now and it really doesn't sound like she wishes you any ill at all
Honestly, if someone had cancelled on me three times, possibly in a row (?) then I would be feeling the same. I understand how busy you are, but you are both in different places in your life now and it isn't working for either of you anymore.
Wow, in fairness it's not as easy as just making the time. From where? I've offered an alternative, I always do, but it's never convenient. I've always gone out of my way to pick her up, have her over when I'm so tired I can barely think straight. I always reply to messages, we have phonecalls. The friendships done, I've accepted that now. But I don't feel I've been wholly unreasonable.
OP, I think part of the reason you are finding it so difficult to get to her is because there is rightfully some resentment that it’s you having to drive an hour to get to her every time and then drive her around. Is that correct?
I understand you must feel shit now
But reading that, I tip my hat to her, there's a friend in my life that I wish I could be that frank with, but the circumstances are more complex; it's a mature and impressive message.
No, nor so much resentment, just maybe frustration that she doesn't understand how difficult it is to make it happen. And she's not going to, she doesn't have kids. And that's fine, I don't begrudge her that, it's just frustrating. I have friends I see maybe once a year, because everyone's just so busy. But other friends understand that, or will make the effort to get to me.
You've bailed on her again, because (it sounds like) your partner has been out on the piss with work a few nights, he's a bit tired (boo hoo) and he's fallen asleep on the sofa.
Surely he knew you had plans. You knew you had plans. He should have got an early night tonight and he'd have been fine tomorrow.
Anyway, from her POV, the friendship is done.
FWIW I think you should send her an apology and leave it at that.
Like pp, I quite admire her honesty, and the guts it took to send that message. It's sad for both of you.
One thing struck me though - you don't seem to have an especially ott life for you to be so repeatedly flakey. Part time job, 2 kids, 1 of who is not with you half the time. Unless there's a massive drip feed, why is your life so monumentally difficult when all over MN are similar parents managing family and friends just fine?
Join the discussion
Registering is free, quick, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Get started »
Please login first.