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She's not as good a friend as I thought, is she? :(

(19 Posts)
madscimum Mon 01-Oct-12 10:27:57

So I'm feeling a bit hurt, and trying to find reasons not to be, and hoping I still am friends with this woman... Sorry if this turns out to be long.

I just found out that someone I thought I was quite good friends with is getting married next weekend! I'm pretty shy, so don't make friends easily, but I thought she was one of the very few (perhaps best) friends I'd made since I moved to the UK. She was one of the first people I told when I found out I was pregnant; she (I thought happily) agreed to be my emergency birth partner in case of early arrival when DH was out of town 3 weeks before my due date; I've shared things with her that I consider quite personal; she appeared to reciprocate.

She is very busy, and has always been a bit hard to get ahold of, but when we did manage to have lunch or coffee everything seemed fine. Since DD made her appearance this spring, we've chatted in person only twice -- she came to visit when DD was two weeks old and we arranged a meet-up in town when DD was 4 months. I had been starting to feel a little like the relationship was unbalanced, in that we kept talking about me and DD, but she kept asking questions, and as a new Mum I was obviously happy to answer! I also know she is very interested in having children. And there just hadn't been much time, either. But because of this, and when we hadn't spoken for about a month, I sent her an email suggesting we meet up again and telling her I needed to find out about her life, as I hadn't had an update on her BF in a while. She wrote back and we commenced trying to find a time we could meet up. We work at the same place, so were trying to find time during the working day, when we were both available, but it was hard.

This was about a month ago. A few days later I saw via a conversation between mutual friends on Facebook that she was getting married (she's not on Facebook). I decided to not say anything and let her tell me herself. I was, after all, planning to quiz her about BF! Weeks go by. I am then told in person by a mutual acquaintance about the marriage (but with no dates). I figure I now ought to let her know I know, so I email all excited about the news and that we absolutely must get together and have her tell me the details! We try to arrange a few things in the coming weeks, but she keeps being too busy. We eventually leave that she'll phone me on the weekend, and in trying to arrange that, she mentions how crazy things are with the wedding next weekend.

So I'm feeling hurt. If I hadn't said anything, was she just not going to tell me? I wonder if concentration on DD in our few chats offended her? But she has always seemed open, happy, etc. in tone in the emails. I do believe she was honestly busy. She has always been like this, and now that I know she was arranging a wedding, too, she has tons to do.

Then she didn't call on the weekend. And DH has just gone into hospital with an emergency and before this whole wedding thing she would have been one of the people I'd reach out to for support (really, the only one nearby). But I really don't want to have another conversation about me with her, as I want to concentrate on her news! I'm trying to reserve judgement - I don't know anything about when they got engaged, etc., and it could be very fast, and it could be a small family wedding.

And now I'm home alone with DD, worried about DH, and not quite sure what to do. Email again and try to get a call? Mention DH or not? Phone her in the office? I don't want to seem desperate, but now that I know it's next weekend, doesn't it seem reasonable that I'd want to share her excitement before the event? Act happy and excited, or let her know I'm hurt, or tease lightheartedly?

Sorry, I know this has gone on a long time and now I'm getting all teary with fear about DH and sadness for the friendship. I really thought we were close.

TootsieFrootsie Mon 01-Oct-12 10:44:12

Didn't want to leave you hanging. I am upset on your behalf. Even without the worries you have going on right now I think you are right to feel upset.
I think you know the answer to your question: She's not a good friend.

Personally I would make all the people you love as comfortable as they can be in the present crisis. Including yourself.brew And never contact this person again.

You have got too much on your plate! Don't give this person another thought.

fluffyraggies Mon 01-Oct-12 10:57:05

Aw madscimum i'm sorry to hear you're husband is ill and you feel you can't turn to this friend.

It's a horrid feeling when you realise a friendship is out of balance, with you setting more importance on it than them. But it sounds to me like that is what is happening here.

A good friend wouldn't have a problem with you being excited about being a new mum. This woman has shown you her true colours i feel sad I would leave the next contact to her.

(hug) and i hope your DH is better very soon.

Gumby Mon 01-Oct-12 11:02:16

She's given you the brush off IMO
I wouldn't contact her again because it'll come across as desperate
Hope your dh is ok xxx

piratecat Mon 01-Oct-12 11:04:06

no she isn't.

it's very hard to find out things aren't what they were. Don't beat yourself up for having your newborn and thinking you were too concentrated on your own 'stuff', it sounds as though you were really aware of wanting to know about her life, and tried really hard to reconnect.

She will be up to her eyes in wedding stuff, perhaps wait to see if she replies, but don't pursue it too much for both your sakes. hth? x

ByTheWay1 Mon 01-Oct-12 11:11:24

Send a lovely wedding card, saying keep in touch, let me know when you want to meet up when all the excitement has died down, I'd love to see the photos.

- and leave it at that - if she gets in touch, good, if not, hey-ho, lives drift apart - but they can drift back together - given time.

shinyblackgrape Mon 01-Oct-12 11:33:00

Oh that's not nice. Don't phone her at the office though. Could you get support from your parents/PILs for the time being re DH?

It sounds like you are a very good friend. I'm not sure if/when she has got married but i think, to be kind to her, if this the week of the wedding/her honeymoon, I really wouldn't chase her re DH. Also, do not tease her or act "hurt" re the wedding. It is entirely her choice who/what/when she tells about this. You have to respect her choices re that. I got married last year and am having a baby in November. I've been very circumspect re talking about the baby and announcing pregnancy etc - even to some of my good friends who don't live near me. I just felt that I wanted to know that everything was as ok as it could have been. I needed to have two 20 week scans so didn't really say anything until I was about 25 weeks pregnant which I know that some friends probably found a bit strange but were too polite to say. I know a wedding is slightly different but she could be having a very small do and just want to keep it low key.

Give it a few weeks to allow her to go on her honeymoon and then get in touch. It is hard hen people you think you are close to clearly don't feel the same closeness. You can't force that, so I woukd concentrate on widening your circle of friends too.

spondulix Mon 01-Oct-12 16:19:31

I think ByTheWay's approach is best - gracious and dignified.

Sorry, OP, I would feel hurt in your situation too.

Helltotheno Mon 01-Oct-12 16:36:15

OP you don't occupy the same space in her life/thoughts that she does in yours, that's it really. Personally, I would not advise you to do anything at all, just let it lapse. She may contact you or she may not, but it's clear she's not bothered about contact with you right now.
What about other friends?

fyefoot Mon 01-Oct-12 16:51:47

DD would love the Horse and Foal one. Love it. Me. Not so much.

fyefoot Mon 01-Oct-12 16:52:12

Errrrrr, sorry wrong thread!

madscimum Mon 01-Oct-12 18:58:49

Thanks everyone! Was away dealing with DH, but good news is that I got to take him home! smile He's curled up not feeling well, but they don't think he's in any danger now.

In the meantime, she emailed me apologising for not calling on the weekend, and that she was busy the whole time. She'll try to call me this week, but if not, she'd like to get together after the wedding. So, yeah, I guess as helltotheno says, we just occupy different spaces in our respective lives. I thought of her as a share-life-events and call-in-emergency friend; maybe I'm just cheerful-work-acquaintance to her. I do think she's very sweet and not trying to be hurtful, and maybe doesn't realise I don't have many other friends?

I guess as she grew up here and I moved in from another country it does set up an imbalance -- she probably has lifelong friends right around here. It's just sad to realise your best friend nearby doesn't really think of you as particularly close sad

She really was someone I connected with best. But I suppose I had really better cultivate other friendships. There are some more people at work with whom I'm reasonably friendly. And hopefully a new baby with help, with Mums groups and stuff (although I'm moving closer to work in a few months, so I'll have to start all over in a new village). But I'm terribly shy, so it's not easy! And if I remain friends with her we might grow closer as the years go by.

I guess I'll reply cheerfully, and let her know of our weekend adventure especially as it now has a good ending.

And, fyefoot, no idea what that is but I like horses and foals and that was a nice random message and made me smile smile So thanks!

FloraFox Mon 01-Oct-12 19:29:39

My first instinct was to say drop her but if you can come to terms with the fact that you're not as close as you thought you were, maybe you could keep her as a friend but develop some other friendships. Maybe she's been more distant recently because she feels awkward about not inviting you to the wedding. You'll find having a DC will give you opportunities to meet people and will be an ice-breaker.

HiHowAreYou Mon 01-Oct-12 19:45:49

I think you are probably right in that she has a large group of friends she's known a long time nearby, but you are relying on a few people you've met since moving. That must be what's made it feel unbalanced.
Plus, some friendships do wane when one party has a new baby and the other is at a different stage of life, it just happens.

It is sooo hard to start again when you move, especially when you are shy. But you are right, a new baby will help for sure. You sound like you have a sensible head on your shoulders and you sound like a good friend. I'm sure you'll be ok! smile

Glad to hear your DH is well too.

tiredofwaitingforitalltochange Mon 01-Oct-12 20:40:02

Oh poor you. You are right that she has more significance in your life than you do in hers. I would find this realisation hard, too. But don't see it as a reflection on yourself. She is established and has other more established friends and networks, so she doesn't need you to fill a space in her life as she does in yours. It's just the circumstances, not you.

We moved out of somewhere where we had all our friends to somewhere we knew no-one. It was really hard and took a long time to find kindred spirits, and years to establish the firm friendships I have now.

Throw yourself into mum and baby groups and don't stay home on your own. You will meet a lot of boring women at these groups, I promise, but you will also meet some nice ones who end up being friends. As others have said, there is nothing like having a new baby to get to meet people, it instantly gives you something in common with other new mums. With some of them it will be all you have in common, but with others you will find other common ground, shared values, shared interests, similar sense of humour etc.

Being light, friendly and gracious with this friend will make you feel better about all of it. But definitely stop 'putting all your eggs in one basket' with her, and spread your wings. Too many mixed metaphors there, but I'm sure you will know what I mean. smile

Helltotheno Mon 01-Oct-12 20:59:27

and maybe doesn't realise I don't have many other friends?

OP the thing is she probably does realise you don't have many other friends and deep down does not want to get sucked into being your 'one and only'. I know you'd probably be hurt by that but don't think too badly of her... I take the view that every friend I have in my life offers different aspects of friendship. I don't want to rely solely on any one of them, but rely on them all at different levels. I hope they feel the same.

Things will change when you have a baby. Just the act of having that in common with lots of other new mums will help you make friends, and maybe even change the place you occupy in her life smile

BerylStreep Mon 01-Oct-12 22:02:33

I'm glad your DH is ok. I agree with Bytheway's advice.

If it is any comfort, I am shockingly bad at keeping in touch with people. There's no malice involved though. Perhaps your friend is like that?

izzyizin Mon 01-Oct-12 22:29:42

When replying I suggest you make it all about her and don't refer to the 'emergency that wasn't' as it doesn't fit easily into a congratulatory wishing you a wonderful day. looking forward to seeing photos etc email.

madscimum Tue 02-Oct-12 11:12:49

Thanks again, everyone. Good things to think about.

I didn't mention DH's adventure -- I realised if she doesn't see us as share-tons-of-stuff friends it could only make her feel bad for not getting in touch while I was home alone on the weekend, as opposed to just being kept updated on our lives. I told her to call if she needs a break, but not to make it something else to stress about and we'll see each other after the wedding. Hopefully I'll get to share that I'm moving house before we actually do, as I had spoken to her when we first found the place on the market.

I'm happy to remain friends; I'll have to re-think some things to avoid making different assumptions, like above. I know she develops relationships slowly -- the fellow she's marrying had to court her for two years before they even went on a date! And I'm happy that she's getting married, as had been feeling a little bad as she followed me through pregnancy and baby while I knew she desperately wanted kids, but wouldn't do so out of marriage. So we might connect through that in the future (I hope this doesn't sound stalkerish; it's just I think she's very sweet and would be happy to count her among good friends if that comes about).

And this has given me the impetus to reach out to another work friend who actually suggested coffee a few weeks ago, but then I was ill and didn't get back to her. And I'll try to pass by some other offices on my way in on Friday, and there's another colleague whose wife just had a baby (in fact, there are three male colleagues with either new babies or pregnant wives, two of them new to the area, so it is probably quite worthwhile to reach out to them -- it is a bit hard with the new people, though, as I'd been out on mat leave so don't really know them very well, and now don't come in very much). And I'll keep going to the local Mums group, and hope that there is another one in our new village once we move.

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