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How do I end this friendship in a nice way

(22 Posts)
Wills Fri 02-Nov-12 14:21:03

I have/had a friend who was always a little possessive. She's a lovely lady with whom I formed initially a lovely friendship. My eldest daughter and her second daughter are best friends and my husband gets on well with her husband. But right from the start I knew things weren't right. She would never mix with any of my other friends and would look for ways to put them down to me. She started copying all my tastes, from my favourite wine to the Bras I wear to dressing her youngest in designer clothes she thought I might approve of. Feeling that this was all because she was insecure I went out of my way to reassure her etc, but it was at this point that I realised that she'd put me on a pedastal from which I could only fall! She bullied her way into spending 2 weeks on holiday with us camping and to cut a long story short that's when I fell off the pedestal. 2 weeks ago she really went for me. Said lots of really horrible things to me. I didn't argue I just cried and said I was sorry that she felt that way and walked away. It was the night before she was due to have a major operation and as much as I don't want to continue the friendship I didn't want her to go to the operation in distress! So I wrote her a very loving text, appologising for not being the friend she wanted me to be. I still care for her and her family but I barely have the time for my four young children and husband let alone being the very very attentive friend she wishes me to be. Then yesterday she sent me a text basically saying that she accepts my appology and wishes to see me after half term and could we go on holiday together at Easter! Now what do I do? My text to her hadn't suggested that we remain friends, though I hadn't explicitly said we couldn't either. I really don't want to accept her back in my life. She demands an enormous amount from me and can't bear for me to have other friends. Equally how the hell do I end it in such a way that can enable my oldest daughter to still be friends with her second. What the heck should I say.

pictish Fri 02-Nov-12 14:23:35

Text back 'Not sure what my plans are yet, but it's idea' then spend the next wee while becoming busy and evasive.

What did she have a go at you for?

pictish Fri 02-Nov-12 14:25:06

By the way - there's no easy way of ditching a friend and having her still like you, but from a polite distance.
You should not have made so much effort to make things up and smooth things over - it was the perfect opportunity to get rid.

Ragwort Fri 02-Nov-12 14:27:11

For a start, don't do this sort of thing via text, it is open to all sorts of misunderstandings.

Meet up (briefly) for a coffee, make sure you have another (fictious if necessary) appointment to go to, try to say something like ' it's great that A and B are such good friends, but I found holidaying together as two families really stressful and we won't be doing it again. Then leave grin; you could soften it if necessary by arranging something for the two girls alone.

Good luck, I know its a lot easier to write all this down that actually do it !

LaCiccolina Fri 02-Nov-12 14:28:42

Some people are more emotional leeches than they are actual friends. To a certain degree her behaviour sounds bullying. Certainly domineering if u don't like the other term, but perhaps it's time a spade was called a spade?

If u saw this happening to one of ur friends would u really recommend it? I guess not so what would u say to them and apply it to urself. Say terribly sorry but that date for coffee doesn't work for u and don't suggest another. Equally ur already booked to go away and unlikely at this stage to add more. It's withdrawing carefully if ur daughters are remaining friends, but b warned that's likely unfeasible. It sounds very possible that in a fit of pique she will ban ur child from hers. So if u decide to meet up and bite the bullet watch out for fall out.

I wish u lots of luck here, I think it will rumble on a little while yet so will watch incase.... Update? X

troubador Fri 02-Nov-12 14:35:06

You still have an opportunity here to get rid - it's right in front of you now in the form of your response to her text.

I would seize the moment and either text or phone her just saying that you don't think that's a good idea. In fact, I probably wouldn't even give her the decency of a phone call if she'd treated me as badly as she treated you. I'd just text back "I don't think that's a good idea, hope the girls can still be friends though".

troubador Fri 02-Nov-12 14:36:15

Oh, and I don't think there is a 'nice way' to end a friendship, unfortunately. You kind of end up having to be a bit of a cow to get the message across

Wills Fri 02-Nov-12 14:39:23

My husband and I had been having a tough patch and in the end I put us down for Relate. A slot came up for which I had no babysitting, she offered to cover it for me. I accepted, but everytime she came round instead of just sitting and watching a film etc she would clean my house. I was mortified so would endeavour to clean the house before she came but she'd find other things to do, like scrub my fridge, do my ironing. Whilst many would say wow I tried to stop her. With 4 kids and no family around I couldn't see how I could repay her. I kept telling her not to do it. In the end I became really uncomfortable. She started commenting how dreadful I left my fridge, or that my kids clothes were getting too old etc. So I did what I should have done at the beginning - I found a professional paid for babysitter. She accused me of using her as an employee until I could find someone better!

pictish Fri 02-Nov-12 14:46:44

Yes...I'd be wanting to slacken the noose of that friendship as well.
On the surface, it seems like she was doing a nice thing, but you were uncomfortable with it, and yet she persisted...even escalating her behaviour. It's almost like she's trying to stake a claim on you with that conduct.
You never asked for her to do it, but she acts up all offended that you're not full of gratitude, so she accuses you of using her.
Very intense.

I'd say your biggest mistake was in sending the supportive, loving text after she shouted at you. She treated you badly in doing so...and you could be forgiven for cooling things off as a consequence.

You'll just have to do the whole polite avoidance technique until she clicks.
Horrible I know, but necessary.

troubador Fri 02-Nov-12 14:48:38

Urgh, that sounds horrendous.

When I was younger I was a lodger and the landlady was really over friendly and had very little going on in the way of boundaries. She used to come in my room and do my washing, or do things like make me dinner (not part of the arrangement) and I'd come home and find a cold plate of dinner staring at me accusingly as I'd been out for the evening. 'Nice' stuff that was actually very controlling. I told her to stop going into my room, making me dinner etc.

She had a cleaner a few times a week and I used to tidy up after myself but didn't go mad on cleaning (there was nothing to do!)

I used to walk her dogs for her every day though (she had a disability which made that hard for her).

Finally, one day she exploded at me saying that she expected me to help her more round the house. I explained that it was hard to do stuff round the house as the cleaner was always there anyway, and that I wasn't about to start cooking her dinner or doing her washing and didn't want her doing mine either. When I pointed out I walked her dogs for her every day she said she thought that was 'extra' ?! To this day I don't know what she meant by that!

Anyway, I digress...some people carry out these passive-aggressive unwanted acts of 'kindness' as an attempt to control others. It obviously worked for her because it left you on the back foot looking for way to control her.

Look, you don't like this woman - she's a bully, she's controlling. Yes it will be awkward and uncomfortable and you WILL feel like the bad person. BUT you do need to get rid of her, as assertively as you can because she is not enriching your life, she is making it harder. And with four children and a relationship with your DH that needs work (hope relate has been helpful, btw) you do not need to be wasting energy on an emotional vampire like her.

troubador Fri 02-Nov-12 14:49:59

sorry "looking for way to control her" should have said "looking for ways to repay her"

troubador you didn't live in Wiltshire did you? Sounds remarkably like an old landlady I had years ago!

It's an awful situation op, but I would get back in touch and say that for Easter you already have family plans, that you hope she is ok after the op but things are so busy with the family and children that you really need to commit yourself to home.

She can't really argue with that, if she is sniping about the cleanliness of your home can she?

Mintyy Fri 02-Nov-12 14:55:45

"I just didn't want you to think that I didn't care about your operation and for our friendship to end on a sour note. I think it has had its day but if your dd and my dd can still be friends then fantastic!"

Perhaps something along those lines, or even better in a card or email?

troubador Fri 02-Nov-12 15:05:03

binfull, no not wiltshire, there must be more than one of them about!

A scary thought.

It was the walking the dogs info that did it for me.

These people seem to set themselves up for a fall.

There is a difference between doing people a favour and expecting some sort of recompense - be it emotional, time etc.

I have learnt in life to only give and do things where I expect nothing in return.

Then if people start to constantly take through blind selfishness, you have to start breaking contact and distancing the friendship.

troubador Fri 02-Nov-12 15:20:24

I'm wondering if she's moved to Wiltshire now binsfull!

Sugarice Fri 02-Nov-12 15:27:44

Are you up for a face to face meeting or will she go into full queeny fit mode and have a massive strop?

If she's the diva kind texting or an email will work best for you,state that after some reflection your friendship isn't what it was and that going on holiday together wouldn't feel comfortable, take care in the future blah blah.

Keep it formal and short, she can like it or lump it.

Viviennemary Fri 02-Nov-12 15:34:45

Don't go on holiday with her. There is no obligation for you to do this. However, ending a friendship isn't easy and nearly always causes bad feeling.

ChasedByBees Fri 02-Nov-12 15:35:30

I would say something along the lines that Mintyy has said. I'd probably say:
'I think you're a lovely person but I'm not able to be the friend you want me to be so I think it's best if we don't meet up'.

BethFairbright Fri 02-Nov-12 15:35:35

I don't want to be alarmist, but is there any chance this woman's got any connection to your marriage problems?

Because this sounds more than just a stalker friend- more chilling than that.
As if she is trying to step into your shoes and take over your life.

sassyandsixty Fri 02-Nov-12 15:42:09

This has happened to me and it got crazy when the thorny issue of secondary schools came up - looking back, she used me and my knowledge for her own purposes, joined in all my activities and got her kids into all my kids' activities, which I'd spent years building up, then badmouthed my friends. Yes, and we even went on ghastly family holidays together. I guess I was flattered by the attention, but it turned out badly. She ended up acting like a class bitch and snubbing me when my purpose in her life was fulfilled. My advice: get rid of her before she gets rid of you. Be evasive if you can't be blunt - she'll get the message eventually. Choose friends wisely (believe me, I always go after the wrong type of friends and am frequently 'leeched') - so I never learn. Good luck!

EldritchCleavage Fri 02-Nov-12 16:29:13

When I was very ill with depression I met a woman with borderline personality disorder through a therapy group and she latched onto me. She was very nice, but there was a weirdness to it from the outset. My therapist, when told of some incident concerning her, immediately said 'You do realise, EC, that she will persecute you?' And so it proved.

Some people have this pattern: instant attachment, over-attachment, stalkeryness, other person pulls away or 'disappoints' in some way, persecution.

It's not you, it's her. It can't be mended or smoothed over, in all likelihood. Look back on what you've written and see how much of it is her not even listening to you or taking your wishes and needs into account. You seem to be an object of friendship rather than an actual friend. Obviously I don't know her, and I may be projecting from my own experience, but I would say avoid her, even if that means your children no longer see each other.

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