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in thinking she shouldn't have come to dd's party?

(66 Posts)
LetThemEatCake Mon 03-Aug-09 20:37:36

DH's good friend from uni has a long-term gf. Over the 10 years I've been with dh, we've been friendly on a 1-to-1 basis as well as with the fellas. But things have been tougher the last few years since I started having children, and she found out that she can't have any.

I've tried to be supportive and have made an effort to spend time with her without the kids, and have not banged on about them. Despite this, we've not really been 'friends' for the last few years. But friendly enough. Fine at parties and stuff.

Since getting pg with dc3, however, she has totally ignored me. I'm nearly 33 weeks and she's left the room at parties when I've walked in, refused to say hello when I've greeted her, walked straight past me without looking in my direction.

DH confronted her about 2 weeks ago after a particularly awkward day at a mutual friend's house. She admitted that it's just too hard for her to be friends with me because she can't have children, so ignoring me is her self-preservation. I feel terrible for her and, although it hurts to be ignored for something that's not really my fault, I can't imagine how hard it must be to not be able to have children.

It was dd's 3rd birthday yesterday and this woman's partner was invited bc he is dd's god father (very nominal thing, never had her christened). We just assumed that he'd come alone, as he has done to everything we've invited them to over the last few months.

BUT not only did she come - she totally ignored me all day. Even tried to leave without saying goodbye but I stepped in her way and pointedly said "bye, see you later" . She refused to look at me, just said "bye"

Am I right in thinking that it is unbelievably rude to come to someone's house - and to a special day, at that - and act this way? It made Dh and I both feel really uncomfortable, when we just wanted to enjoy our little girl enjoying her party. I think it was very brave of her to come, but very rude to not so much as say hello to me. AIBU in thinking that. after months of ignoring me, she should have just stayed away?

cookielove Mon 03-Aug-09 20:41:05

i thought it would have been easier for everyone involved if she had just stayed away, maybe she was trying to make an effort, but realised it was still to hard to face you, however i don't think YABU, if she comes to your house she she acknowledge you, afterall it was her choice to come

deaconblue Mon 03-Aug-09 20:41:39

sounds like the poor woman is really in a bad way. But YANBU to be upset by her behaviour, it is unreasonable and unfair. Perhaps she thought she could cope and then couldn't. Surely they must have lots of friends with children, though, why is it just you she's being funny with?

jellybeans Mon 03-Aug-09 20:44:15

YANBU. However, I feel very sorry for this person who sounds in alot of pain. I had 2 stillbirths and found babies/pg women really painful and sad reminders, I avoided them when possible but when faced with them was always polite and would bawl afterwards to myself.

No way could I have gone and just be rude to someone. I feel alot of sympathy for this woman but you can't take out your own sadnesses on other people or you become very bitter. I hope eventually she can deal better with things. Life is so unfair.

FluffyBunnyGoneBad Mon 03-Aug-09 20:44:56

This is a tough one. I see your point, I really do but to me, it looks like she's tried so hard to make an effort, just turning up would have been so very difficult. I can't pretend to understand what it's like to be unable to have a child, it must be a nightmare for her and from your post you show that you are really caring and sympathetic. I wouldn't have turned up if it were me though, she's probably aware that it made you all feel uncomfortable and that it was not the best plan. I don't think you are being unreasonable, you sound like you are a really thoughtful person and are aware of how painful it was for both her and you.

mrsjammi Mon 03-Aug-09 20:45:40

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thisisyesterday Mon 03-Aug-09 20:45:55

gosh, i wonder if your dh's friend persuaded her to comne along? or whether she felt she ought to after your dh confronted her and then when she got there she just cou.ldn't face it with you being so pregnant?

not unreasonable of you to feel upset, but i am guessing you had plenty to keep you occupied and so one person not talking to you isn't the end of the world

LetThemEatCake Mon 03-Aug-09 20:48:18

Maybe I should mention - 4 years ago we lost our first dc at 20 weeks. It was a terrible time for me and I struggled with not knowing if I would ever have a healthy baby etc. For this reason, when she first realised that she was having trouble conceiving, we 'bonded' over our issues a fair bit.

I've often wondered if she feels somehow betrayed by me because I then went on to fall pregnant 3 more times in a short space of time (my eldest turned 3 yesterday and dc 3 is due in 7 weeks) while she went on to find out that she would never have children other than via surrogacy. BC as shoppingbags mentions, it is just me she is funny with, no one else with children.

slowreadingprogress Mon 03-Aug-09 20:50:34

While I accept that she has a huge issue in her life that must be agonising for her to come to terms with, she shouldn't have come if she couldn't keep to the basics of polite interaction with another adult. YANBU.

mrsjammi Mon 03-Aug-09 20:50:51

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FluffyBunnyGoneBad Mon 03-Aug-09 20:52:59

sad What a horrible time.
It does sound like you had a 'bond', especially if you both leaned on each other. Life is unfair sometimes, there's nothing anyone can do about this, it sounds like you have the family she despiratly(sp?) wanted, you both started off having a terrible time and yours changed in a positive way whereas he life hasn't. She must have been close to you so feels the envy and the upset even more then she does with anyone else.

QOD Mon 03-Aug-09 20:57:22

well you know, I was infertile for 10 yrs (well still am but have dd thru surrogacy) and she is being VERY unreasonable.
I don't think she is a very nice person - end of.
Maybe you shuld confront her in a nice way? write a letter? email? I think it's better than verbal because you can go over nad over it
Sad for you - I never EVER blamed people for their fertility and I did see a psychiatrist for depression etc - i was in a bad place for a while, yet never would have OPENLY acted like that (I admit to have pretty black thoughts about a few people!)

HumphreyCobbler Mon 03-Aug-09 21:02:23

Well I agree that she should not have come.

You sound very understanding and non judgemental over her difficulty being friends with you.

I do think that it is a bit much ignoring someone in their own home, whatever their (understandable) feelings are.

I am sure the OP will not be steaming in there criticising this poor woman, but she does have the right to think that she should not have come to the party.

roneef Mon 03-Aug-09 21:28:32

YANBU - She definately shouldn't have come.

Who's benefit was it for?? She didn't speak to the hosts, probably blanked the children.

Very cheeky of her and bad judgement from her partner. If she can't bear to be in the same room as a pregnant woman then don't take the piss out of her hospitality.

LetThemEatCake Mon 03-Aug-09 21:32:09

I know it's pathetic but I ended up in tears yesterday - just for 10 mins or so - just because it felt so horrible, and because I knew she was feeling horrible and all of that shite. I was up in my room saying "i'm not a bad person!! I don't deserve this!" which is a really lame thing to say. And then I looked out of my window and saw the party (which, in true Bree van der Kamp style, I have been planning and working for for a week - fab cake, bouncy castle, face painting, tents and picnic rugs all through the garden and, hallelujah, sunny day, everyone having a great time, especially my 2 dc) and I just felt so angry that she was there, it felt really intrusive to have all that negativity on this lovely, happy day.

I know it all sounds really self-indulgent (and no doubt the party sounds OTT as well - don't get me wrong, we are not rich, just have a big back garden and I am the queen of doing big parties on a budget)

slowreadingprogress Mon 03-Aug-09 21:39:17

It doesn't sound self indulgent at all. She sounds a jarring note in what anyone would be reasonable to expect would be a happy day!

And it sounds a really lovely party.

TBH I think let the men carry on their friendship if they want to meet up without the family/partner in tow. It's clear your friendship with this woman such as it was is completely over.

FluffyBunnyGoneBad Mon 03-Aug-09 21:40:45

I think you are entitled to be pissed off. You worked hard, you wanted to relax and enjoy your child's party. She should have not turned up or left as soon as she started feeling uneasy. There's no excuses for the way she behaved, problems in her life or not. You have understanding and you are showing her so much compassion, it's a credit to you and you should be proud of this.

mrsjammi Mon 03-Aug-09 21:46:56

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lilacpink Mon 03-Aug-09 21:51:11

Not pathetic at all, you knew "she was feeling horrible" and you were crying. Sounds like you both could do with the friendship, but it just won't work at the moment. Unfortunately infertility can alter someone's personality, it's hard to think straight when everyone else appears to be able to have, and in some cases take for granted, the thing that you want (I'm not suggesting the latter for you here). I lost my second preg and had to wait 6mth to try again, I found the waiting agony and cannot imagine what complete infertility feel like.

Party still sounds great - I bet your DCs did have fun and weren't even aware of any tension?

skybright Mon 03-Aug-09 21:56:47

YANBU.

I do feel sorry for this lady but you should not have to feel guilty for having children especially after your own loss.

I'm sure she is aware that she is not being fair on you and should not act the way she does in principle but when she see's you your kids and your bump behaves completly irrationally.

I guess all you can do is discuss it with her at some point if you want to,like PP said perhaps a letter would be good.

allaboutme Mon 03-Aug-09 22:10:48

I cant imagine why she would have turned up, unless her DH pressured her into making an effort or something, especially if he knows that last time your DH called her on her behaviour.
Sounds very hurtful for you, but she must be hurting a hell of a lot more.

ConnieComplaint Mon 03-Aug-09 22:24:55

Email her. My SIL has fertility problems, she has several factors stopping her from falling pregnant naturally & they have a failed cycle of IVF.

I have 2 healthy happy children... we had bad feeling since my 1st pg with dd & we never really got over that... despite us being best friends for over 5 years before I had dd

Anyway, it got to the stage where I wrote her a really long email... I literally poured my heart out to her.. told her how I felt bad for having children when she couldn't & that I felt guilty, though I totally understood why she never visited anymore etc....

She emailed back, thanking me for making contact.. she really opened up to me, we spoke like we used to.

She also sent me this video which really made me see exactly what they were going through... nothing could have explained it better for me than this.

pombear Mon 03-Aug-09 22:34:55

there are two options faced with other people's negativity - face it head on, smile and feel sad for them that stuff is affecting them, or absorb it yourself and make it part of your world.

I completely understand why you probably did absorb it a little, but I wonder whether there's something here about your unease about having those three children since your bonding together, and why you can't relate or help her any more.

Like many have said on here, we don't know why she was there, and you can imagine the conversation at home "but they're my god-child, we have to go, and it will look strange if it's just me, you have to come".

To have to do that, when you are still going through infertility grief, to be surrounded by many, many children, and parents, doing face painting, bouncy castle, etc etc, is extremely dificult.

I think the problem here is that you two bonded as friends when you were in the same 'boat' - your 'boat' sailed to a happy place, her's is still in dry dock. Normally, the friendship would have drifted apart. But the godfather in the middle means she still has to face situations which are extremely painful, even if she knows she can't deal with it, and doesn't know what to do.

And, speaking from experience, even though those whose boat sailed may be lovely, understanding, and expecting the other person to be 'dealing with it', the person who's boat has not has many, many more issues to deal with than you may ever understand.

(Apols for continuing analogy!) Your party sounds fab, by the way!

gingerbunny Mon 03-Aug-09 22:45:53

it really must be hard for her, but this sounds like attention seeking behaviour.
i went through this with a group of my friends, one of us knew that she couldn't have children and as soon as the first one of us became pregnant she refused to have anything to do with her.
She did this to all of us, until there is only one member of the group left that she talks to (who also doesn't have children).
She moved away and has recently returned home after having the baby that she never thought she could have, she then expected all of us to welcome her back with open arms. She is having difficultly realising that it is not that easy for us to do that after how she treated us.
I guess what i'm trying to say is, that this is her problem not yours, she is going to have a very unhappy and lonely life if she continues to cut people out of her life that have children.
Ask your dh to have a word with his friend and ask him to talk to his partner about how upset you all were by her behaviour and say that if she can't even have a civil conversation then maybe she shouldn't come round again.

pombear Mon 03-Aug-09 23:02:21

OK, going to post a little bit tetchy post - but am speaking from pov of secondary infertility so no getting away from birthday parties, etc etc. As the beautiful video-link expresses, often withdrawal isn't attention seeking, but self-preservation.

When you are going through infertility, it is not a 'state' that you have to come to terms with, it is a monthly grief, because with every month, whether you are trying 'naturally' or having treatments, there is always the possibility, however small, that things could turn out OK. So you live your life in a monthly cycle of hope, then grief, unless you give up all hope. (Oh, and you are aware that it gets boring for other people not going through what you are).

Therefore, things are very often raw - it's not like a different grief where you go through various stages and then come out the end going 'OK, I'm infertile, I'll deal with all situations from that perspective now'. End of.

I had friends going through same problems as I was...when they got pregnant, invariably, conversations stopped about infertility (they may have felt awkward, so may I, but they stopped, whatever).

I would hope that I would welcome anyone back into a friendship group once they felt able to relate to me again, with the knowledge that my status as mother may have made them feel awkward beforehand. I would feel no guilt about being a mother, but would empathise with them at how difficult it is to be around others who have managed something so unattainable for them for so long.

One person not speaking to you much at your child's birthday is not particularly harsh, if you are focused on your child's birthday.

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