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Friendship battles

(3 Posts)
HopelessFriend Mon 12-Sep-11 11:12:40

Bit of a long one this but hoping that sharing will help smile

When DS2 started Primary school,we arranged a few 'Mums Nights Out' and over time, , a group of 7 Mums got to know each other fairly well. Some had dd's, some Ds's but of the total group of new group of parents, we seemed to get along really well.

The 7 of us started to take it in turns hosting meals at ours and general get togethers which have taken place over the last 4 years and in that time, some sub-groups arranged stuff because the boys did things together and likewise the girls. All fine.

As a result, I got to know a couple of the DS's Mums pretty well, one in particular was always arranging for us all to go to their house, for evenings, lunches, cups of tea etc. to the point that it was apparent that we were spending a lot of our time there, during the week and weekends. Indeed, it was fairly quickly followed by suggestions of holidaying together. Unfortunately, if an invite clashed with prior engagements on either my or my friends part, it was often met with moodiness or upset.

This became the norm - everything was fine when we were doing what was requested but the slightest issue caused upset and anger. It reached the point that on the walk up to school to collect the children, I really didn't know who I was going to meet - the happy, relaxed, easy - going Mum or the annoyed, disgruntled Mum who couldn't speak or look at you.

I found this hard and tried to speak to her but as time went on, she found reasons to dislike a great many of the group that had so far been her/our friends. If anyone genuinely didn't happen to see her, stop and say 'Hello' she would take offence and if people were in a hurry to get to work or whatever and didn't wait for her to walk back to the cars, there could be days of unpleasantness.

It became very hard to maintain this friendship because it seemed to be so one-way. To be friends you had to commit everything or be subjected to rudeness and unpleasant behaviour.

For both my friend and I, our weekends and evenings are precious, we both have split families where Sons / Step Sons are not with us 100% of the time - occasional even regular get-togethers with others are lovely but when the expectation is every week it is not sustainable.

I put a lot in to being friends with the few that I have and the ongoing roller-coaster of behaviour, continued to upset me. I was getting so worked up and would come home and speak to DH for hours trying to understand why she could be so mean and how I felt in a really awkward position watching her being nice to people, just the night before she had hideously insulted behind their backs.

This went on for months and given the impact it was having on my home life as well, I tried steering clear of her for a while - to give some space and try and reduce the upset. This actually caused more issues and certainly more anger resulting in her DH texting us repeatedly one night to find out what our problem was. I had a long conversation and tried to explain how much it hurt me that when I thought I had been a good friend and spent lots of time with her when she was going through very bad patches but was treated like a pariah whenever the mood changed. The heated chat seemed to clear the air but what has followed has been 'polite' hellos in front of others but mainly having little to do with one another.

This has been ok and whilst I still feel uncomfortable seeing her, has probably been the best solution because I am not as upset as I was for all that time.

I have witnessed similar behaviour from her towards others, many of my friends, but the original group, over time, have included her in more of the evenings out etc. because they were able to write it off as 'just X being X' and were never aware of the extent of her opinions towards them.

I was worried that I would lose the group because I didn't want to spend nights out with someone who upset me so badly. However, I have just been invited to one of the Mums houses this Friday and there is every possibility that X will be there.

I would like to think I have put enough time between us that I can enjoy a night with them and try to ignore her but should I stay away completely? I am a grown up (apparently) and want to be able to be friends with whoever I want but I know I get incredibly stressed at the thought of her being there and I am not sure it is worth it.

It shouldn't be this hard to have grown up relationships with people should it?

clam Mon 12-Sep-11 11:18:03

No, it shouldn't. But you know that it's her problem not yours. You've done well to distance yourself from her, so now put it to the test, go along on Friday, be polite and friendly and carry on as normal.

Her loss, by the sounds of it.

There are some very funny people out there, you know. smile

HopelessFriend Mon 12-Sep-11 11:29:51

Thanks Clam, nice to know I am on the right track smile

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