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to object to my life being referred to as 'charmed' by my so called best friend?

(26 Posts)
thedollyridesout Thu 05-Nov-09 15:17:09

As far as I can see our lives are very similar but because I haven't suffered as many knocks as her my life and my problems/concerns are somewhat diminished.

We saw each other at the weekend for the first time in almost 2 years although we speak regularly on the phone. It ended badly and I am not sure what to do.

The worse thing I did was to ask her what she thought I got from our friendship? Not cool I know sad. This was after she thanked me for being there for her through her miscarriage and fertility problems (in an attempt to make me feel better after I said I was fed up with her negative take on me/my relationship with DH).

I was there for her while she sniped away at my choices/decisions regarding my family and made judgement after judgement about me. I was prepared to take it as I thought she was in a dark place but when this weekend contained more of the same I couldn't contain myself and lashed out. I said that I thought it was easy to thank a person but that to apologise takes humility and suggested that she might try apologising blush.

I have lost the 'thread' now and I'm not even sure what I'm asking.

<wonders if there will be any replies>

MintyCane Thu 05-Nov-09 15:28:18

Not sure what you are asking either. What judgements was she making ?

MintyCane Thu 05-Nov-09 17:00:02

bump maybe someone else could help ?

girlsyearapart Thu 05-Nov-09 17:04:04

yes not sure either but tell us more and we can try to help!

Do you mean she thinks all your problems are nothing compared to hers?

SerenityNowAKABleh Thu 05-Nov-09 17:06:01

Hm. IMO, people aren't really in a position to comment on weather or not someone's life is "charmed" or not, as there can be other stuff going on that they don't know about. So, YANBU. She is.

stickylittlefingers Thu 05-Nov-09 17:08:08

Is it because you want her to apologise for what she said to you while she was in her "dark place"? If so, I sort of understand, but it might take away from the support you gave before, IYSWIM.

You're sounding hurt and it also sounds like you have been a good friend to her, so I do hope you're OK.

AMumInScotland Thu 05-Nov-09 17:12:13

So, you had a row with her because she judges all your choices, and she thinks the fact that her life has been more difficult gives her the right to be snippy at you? But then you were snippy back?

Do you like her and value her friendship? If so, I'd get in contact, say "Gosh we got into a bit of a barney there, didn't we?" and meet up to talk about why you each said what you did, but value each other anyway.

If not, well, some people do think the fact they've had problems allows them to ignore others problems (which may be small in comaprison, but no doubt still exist). If you find her a pain, and don't like the way she treats you, then you don't have to meet up and let her do it.

pagwatch Thu 05-Nov-09 17:14:55

My sister does this to me all the time. She starts many a conversation with "its alright for you..."
It has nothing at all to do with me. She knows I have difficult circumstances of my own to deal with. It has EVERYTHING to do with her own bitterness at the things that are wrong in her life. She lashes out at me because she can.

You have to decide if you care enough about her to recognise this as a manifestation of her unhappiness or if you just need some time away from her.

For what it is worth after many years of it I haven't spken to my sister for a couple of years. I have had enough of being the cat she kicks when she is down.

There is no right or wrong choice - only the one that makes you happy

TheMightyToosh Thu 05-Nov-09 17:17:17

It's a difficult one. At this stage in our lives, I think a lot of people who were once close end up drifting apart or being driven apart by the differences in the choices we make/luck we have in the family department.

It's happened to me and a couple of people, who were previously very close friends, but because having a family can sometimes really solidify who you are and what you believe, and can advertize that to the world, sometimes that doesn't always fit with the others around you.

I would try to either think it through by ourself clearly, to figure out whether there is any mileage left in the friendship. It might be that you are just too different, or there is irrepressible jealousy there, or that you just don't see eye to eye when you are in the same room anymore.

Unfortunately, when you don't see each other very often, you can end up both creating images and impressions of each other's lives that might not be correct, but end up tainting your friendship. E.g. if she thinks you are swanning along fine when she is struggling, when in fact, you were sat at home worrying about her and your life is no bed of roses either. But if that is what she thinks, you either need to chnage her mind, or if she can't/won't change her view of the situation, you might have to step back from her a bit and let the friendship move to a different place (i.e. still there but not so close).

Either that, or talk it through with her and see if you can clear up all the misconceptions and get back to how you used to be. It could backfire though.

Good luck - been there so know how frustrating/sad it can be.

thedollyridesout Thu 05-Nov-09 18:40:02

Thank you so much for all the replies smile.

Here is some more information about the weekend for those who are interested:

We had a huge discussion/debate with our DHs that centered around religion and whilst the debate was fairly measured there were times when I felt personally attacked by her. I let that slide on the evening in question. She kept trying to lure my DH into the debate by putting direct questions to him. He was mostly evasive as he is a non-confrontational kind of guy.

The next day she mentioned over and over to me how worried she was that he was unable to voice his opinion and how I should be worried. That in every DW/DH relationship there is a dominant partner and that in ours it is me. It felt to me that she was rubbishing my relationship. I told her that this was how I felt and it all 'kicked off'. She went all pious with a low tone and the moral high ground to boot. Meanwhile I was doing all I could to disguise my trembling hands - every nerve in my body was jangling and I was getting louder and more high pitched blush.

On another note she was never supportive of me privately educating my children, accusing me of doing it for some sort of kudos. She then insisted on coming with me to the DC's private school (now that we have decided to move them to our local state school) and practically salivated over the grounds etc (sorry for the use of language but I am getting sad and angry) asking me how I could move them and if I was sure I was doing the right thing. She also said she would work nights etc to continue to afford it, having said the night before how lucky I was to have DH bankrolling my SAHM existence and satisfying my every whim wrt the DC's education sad. She is not sending her son to a private school until he is 11.

We have known each other since age 11 and she thinks I'm the same over-confident teenager that I was then. Somehow it has become her mission to 'bring me down a peg or two'. I love her dearly as she is connected to my past but I don't know how to move forward.

teabreakgirl Thu 05-Nov-09 18:56:39

I had a friend like that until very recently and I really understand where you are coming from and i agree with the poster who said it was a manifestation of her unhappiness.
I met my friend 7 years ago before i had children, we met at work. I was part time and she was full time, I was promoted above her within 3 weeks. Years later I had two boys after the second I had severe post natal depession (as some posters might recognise the name!) Its taken me two years. I thought she was a friend but she threw it back in my face and said I wanted to 'forget where I came from' I didnt want 'a poor friend'. My problems werent 'anywhere as serious' hers. My partner and i have done quite well and she is struggling which I tried to support her, advise her etc. I think it was difficult for her. Sorry, Im going on.
We all change as adults esp after having children, you dont have to be friends with her. She sounds mean.

Vinomum Thu 05-Nov-09 19:02:10

It sounds to me like your friend is jealous of you. If she was comfortable with the choices she had made in her life wrt her husband and her childrens' education, she wouldn't need to question yours.

Is she an insecure person?

pointydogg Thu 05-Nov-09 19:16:15

It sounds to me that you should let it drift if your main feeling when meeting her is annoyance.

thedollyridesout Thu 05-Nov-09 20:12:59

Thank you again for taking the time to reply - I know it is a long and complicated saga. Here is the next installment:

She has nothing to be jealous of. Our lives really are very similar. She is also very happy with her life and has a good circle of friends where she lives. When she was here at the w/e she lavished lots of attention on DD at halloween, dressing up etc and it was lovely to see.

The way we left it was that I told her that I would not be ringing her - that it would be up to her to ring me. This may sound harsh but after she had her last miscarriage (she was very unfortunate to have had 2 miscarriages whilst on fertility treatment) she could not bring herself to speak to me. I was so worried about her but was unable to contact her for weeks (btw I had a very traumatic miscarriage myself 2 years previous at the time that she was pregnant with her son.) She told me afterwards that she could not bear to face my perfect life and my perfect children and I understood those emotions at the time.

Anyway, my point is that she didn't contact me for ages and in a way I'm playing tit for tat by telling her that I will remain silent and that it is up to her to contact me. Is that incredibly childish of me and should I renege or should I just hold my ground ?

pagwatch Thu 05-Nov-09 20:22:27

I don't know if it is incredibly childish or not. Probably it is.
But really. If you have to contemplate the relative meanness with which you engage each other I am not sure why you are continuing.

When I think of my friends I want to call them and see how they are. When they call me I am happy to hear from them.
Of course we do not agree on everything and annoy each other at times.
But if I had to assess and analyse a relationship, and explain so much resentment and point scoring , I hope I would have long ago done the sensible thing and let it go.

What positives are either of you getting out of contact with each other. Why on earth are you persisting with this - either of you?

You do realise it is entirely possible that you just don't like each other very much however nice your earlier years may have been.

Actually now I am wondering why I am bothering to answer grin

Just let it go. For gods sake

pointydogg Thu 05-Nov-09 20:29:55

yeah, you need to leave it.

If you hadn't seen each other in 2 years and you still had a big ding dong, it's just not working.

thedollyridesout Thu 05-Nov-09 20:52:16

I really do appreciate all the replies, they are helping me to sort my head out. Some of them have been very long and I feel that I should reply to them personally so here goes:

AMumInScotland - I love your summary of the situation. Yes, it is as simple and as complex as that. Do I like her and value her friendship? I like the fact that she knew me when I was growing up. That she knew my parents and brother who are both dead now and can share memories of them with me. She is a good person who would not turn me away if I needed help but I would not turn to her unless I was desperate. I know that sounds really mean but when I have showed my weaker side to her in the past it has come back to bite me.

pagwatch - I am sorry to hear that you and your sister don't get along. Some times it is easy to take our frustrations in life out on those we love the most because we know that they will forgive us.

My friend has admitted to having vented to me in a way that she would never to anyone else. Part of me thinks that my friend thinks she is doing me a favour by treating me this way -sort of helping me to keep my feet on the ground.

Do you think there will come a time when you will want your sister to be part of your life again?

teabreakgirl Your situation sounds very similar to mine in that your friend began to judge you about the same kinds of issues. And like your friend, mine too has had her difficult times. Perhaps I wasn't sympathetic enough during those times. I don't think I do sympathy very well - I'm more of a 'buck yourself up' kind of girl and 'don't let this define who you are.'

TheMightyToosh - It is interesting to hear your story and your ideas/reasons behind why some friendships take a turn for the worst. You are right about the misconceptions but it is even more complicated than that. She 'rewrites' history this friend of mine. She looks back at the past through bitter/painful tainted glasses and rubbishes things that were wonderful at the time. I have pointed this out to her on occasion btw.

Arrghh, the more I think about it the more it is driving me insane. I may print this thread out and show it to her.

lizmcfizz Thu 05-Nov-09 21:43:48

I had a friendship like this and I had to tell her that I found it all too hard. She made me feel bad about myself and I realised that I didn't look forward to seeing her at all. We haven't spoken in 5 years now. I feel bad about that as she was a close friend and we went through a lot together but I know that it is healthier for me that she is no longer in my life.

thedollyridesout Thu 05-Nov-09 22:10:55

x posts pagwatch smile - I love your shrewd analysis of my relationship.

I have just had a big chat with DH and he agrees with the MN consensus. I need to let it go. The thing is, it just means more loss in a year that has not been great for me on that front. Still, such is life and all that.

thedollyridesout Fri 06-Nov-09 00:10:44

Oh, I forgot to say - thanks for the bump MintyCane smile.

Ispy Fri 06-Nov-09 04:08:50

I had a friend like this. Indeed she was an old childhood friend who 'knew' me. It took me a few years to realise that she had major issues and I have cut contact with her. Get rid. No reason to have this kind of drain in your life. You mention it being a loss in your life - I think you will feel differently once you've cut the friendship loose.

Jamieandhismagictorch Fri 06-Nov-09 05:49:17

I agree that at the very least this friendship needs to be downgraded. The sort of sniping you describe I can accept in a friend who I perhaps don't see very often or relate to in any depth, because I could just shrug it off as "her issues", but in this case I think you should be able to trust her not to undermine you in the way she has.

Jamieandhismagictorch Fri 06-Nov-09 05:51:16

For me the telling thing is the way she seemed to want to do a character assassination on your DH. That. to me, is a no no, unless you have asked for advice, or she has serious concerns about him abusing you.

thedollyridesout Fri 06-Nov-09 13:04:55

Thanks Jamie and Ispy

It remains to be seen whether she contacts me or not. The deed may already have been done inadvertently by the issuing of my childish ultimatum.

posieparker Fri 06-Nov-09 13:08:50

Sounds to me like she's jealous and there's really nothing you can do, perhaps you have been 'charmed' never really encountering obstacles you couldn't overcome. But this is not your doing.

I think it's time to move on, she's never going to catch you up and if she did I have a feeling she'd be worse carrying a huge sack of baggage about all the years you've had a better life.

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