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If a friend became rich would it affect your friendship? Mine has.

(82 Posts)
pooroldme Mon 08-Apr-13 10:31:23

Opinions and experiences please......

a good friend and I are drifting apart for various reasons- we don't live close by which doesn't help- but she has become seriously rich over recent years.

She doesn't flaunt her wealth but her perspective has changed hugely. eg she buys Armani jeans at £150+ and says they are good value as they last ( so do Uniqlo @ £20!). Recently she bought 3 designer hand bags totalling around £3K. I ummed and aaaaahd for ages over £150 for a bag I liked.

When we first met my DH and hers earned almost the same- now her DH earns goodness knows what- about £400K I think- and they are millionaires if you add up all the property they own. She doesn't work, whereas I have 2 p/t jobs. We aren't badly off compared to others but compared to her we are.

I know this comes over as a green eyed monster- it's not that- I just feel the money has driven a wedge between us and she has lost track of how most people live.

She refers to friends she has who are 'so kind' and 'so generous' but they are in the same boat financially as she is and think nothing of spending a huge amount on a gift for her etc.

Can money change things?

Personally I think its peoples reactions to money that can change things, rather than money itself.

It sounds like shes moving in different circles now an designer things and lavish gifts have become the norm. Theres nothing wrong with that if one doesnt lose sight of the bigger picture, but it sounds like she has.

HotDAMNlifeisgood Mon 08-Apr-13 10:41:33

All I see in your post is that she is buying things she can afford.

So are you.

Apart from her spending within her income bracket, are there any behaviours of hers towards people that are giving you pause?

venusandmars Mon 08-Apr-13 10:45:14

If you are / were / want to be close, then is it something you could talk about?

Different example, but when I had dc a friend of mine couldn't have children. It could have easily affected our friendship if I had felt I couldn't mention my dc, or if I went on and on about them insensitively, or if my friend had been resentful of our differences. Luckily we were close enough that we could speak about it, which meant that I could be honest when dc were driving me nuts, and she could be honest when there was too much 'baby-talk'.

I don't think that all your friends have to be in the same situation as you with respect to money / children / having a partner / health / employment etc, but any one of those could subtly change the values of each of you so that you no longer want to be really good friends.

woopsidaisy Mon 08-Apr-13 10:51:24

I Know lots of very wealthy people. They are nice. We are friends. Unless she thinks people with less money are lesser beings then I don't see the problem.
Before kids I had been drooling overa Celine bag. Went in one day and it was on sale for £350! Bargain, bought it-and another sale one for £350! Did that mean I was no longer a nice person?
The next day I was back at work cleaning poop off bottoms-I was a nurse.
It is how you are in life not what you have that matters.
You sound a wee bit jealous tbh.

Lulututu Mon 08-Apr-13 11:14:01

One of my bff's and her dh are very wealthy now (assuming millionaires) compared to me and my dh who just have our head above water.

I have known her sinse primary school and I'd hate to think our friendship changed because of money.

She never flaunts though or talks about money and she is still very in touch with how her friends live and that we don't have as much money. But she will buy designer clothes and new cars and go on flash holidays....but so would I if I had her money.

But if we meet up on a girly night it would always be a regular restraunt and it wouldn't be expected that we can also afford anything lavish.

I think her modesty and the fact she doesn't flaunt anything and is still very down to earth helps though

pooroldme Mon 08-Apr-13 11:15:54

I am jealous and not jealous if that makes sense- I'd be lying if I said it would be great to spend £3k on bags without an after thought- if it was small change,- I have money in the bank- plenty of money and could easily buy those bags, but our wealth is measured in tens of thousands, not multi millions- so it's all relative. But I am not really jealous if that makes sense, because i could buy that stuff- I just choose not to.

it's the way she tries to validate up her spending that annoys me- almost apologising for the fact she only buys designer clothes ( think 3 jumpers @ £200 each) because she has big shoulders and M&S rarely fit ( which is rubbish TBH)

Or how she will say something is good value- when clearly it's not.

Or on the other hand she will say the trousers she bought were 'only' £200 and that's such good value as they last for a whole 2 years.

I think of my mum who saves to buy a £50 pair and thinks that's a lot- and just think friend has lost perspective.

MintyyAeroEgg Mon 08-Apr-13 11:20:06

I think you are being a bit nit-picky?

You are comfortably off ... be thankful for that and try not to be jealous. Its not nice.

givemeaclue Mon 08-Apr-13 11:27:41

It sounds like its not her wealth that Is the issue but the fact she is constantly tellingxyou how much she has spent and what things cost. Why is she doing that? Why does she feel the need to tell you what she spent on handbags/jeans/jumpers etc, its unnecessary and inappropriate. Its showing off! Presumably you aren't asking her what she has been buying so why is she telling you? What circumstances does she do this i?

Crocodilio Mon 08-Apr-13 11:29:00

It sounds like she's being apologetic re her wealth, and feels she has to justify her spending to you. Why are you even talking about the price of her clothes? I have very wealthy friends, and very poor friends, and it never seems to be a problem. I also have very rich friends that choose to live in a cabin in woodland and drive an old landrover. No-one in our friendship group feels the need to make others feel strange about their choices.

Heinz55 Mon 08-Apr-13 11:30:43

We are at risk of losing our house and business. My BF is a multi-millionaire. Sometimes I feel the imbalance but I would not ever swap my life for hers (just my bank balance grin) she is so, so, so much more than a bank balance though and has been a rock of support through the past very difficult 5 years. The only time it is tricky is when I want to have a whinge about how bad things are and she feels obliged to offer money or sometimes offers not-very-practical advice because she hasn't been in our situation. Mostly though the disparity between our lifestyles just seems kind of comical. OP: no matter how much I ummed and aaahed I could not afford a bag for £150 so you are better off than a lot of people wink!

Lueji Mon 08-Apr-13 11:35:22

Why, indeed, does she have to justify what she spends her money on?
If she wants to spend £150 on jeans, fine.
(this reminds me of a scene of Desperate Housewives, when Linette was shown what 500$ jeans felt like)

Are you going shopping together?

Maybe you should start going elsewhere, then. smile

DontmindifIdo Mon 08-Apr-13 11:39:42

does she talk abotu the things she's bought or do you ask her and make her feel she has to justify it? Do you act like it's wrong to spend money like that, you come across as thinking it's morally unacceptable to be honest. That she should be banking her money but still wearing cheaper items.

I have friends who are vastly more wealthy than I am, I might ask where something is from, but then once it's clear it's from somewhere designery/expensive, I'll never ask again how much it costs or question why they chose that. I'd not give any impression I thought they were wasting their money.

Even if you aren't directly asking, the fact she always feels she has to justify her spending to you suggests your looks/attitude gives the impression she has too.

BTW - if she looks better in £200 jumpers than M&S ones and can easily afford to spend it, why not? If they both costs the same, or only a couple of quid more and she said that these jumpers fitted her better than the ones from M&S would you think it was "rubbish" that she said that? For someone with her disposible income, the price might well be irrelivant, a £100 difference to a £2 difference doesn't matter, so what does matter is which does she prefer and which does she look better in. It's hard to get your head round that to some people, money really doesn't matter.

My dad's like you - everything has to be the cheapest possible option, the idea of spending a bit more if you can afford it to get something that's better quality/cut/fit/just a bit nicer is seen as morally wrong, it's draining to constantly know you're being judged. They were poor when DB and I were small children, but DH and I, while not earning anywhere near your friends, are comfortable.

pooroldme Mon 08-Apr-13 11:39:55

I am not jealous. It's more a case of her change of perspective and how she lives- she has become a lady who lunches whereas when we met we were two working girls working in the same office in a big city. if you keep insisting I am jealous then there is nothing I can say to prove I am not. I could buy what she does- I prefer to save it for a rainy day or help my kids buy their first home.

I don't know why she tells me how much things cost-she seems to think they are 'bargains' and that leaves me speechless at how she has lost the plot.

pooroldme Mon 08-Apr-13 11:41:20

okay- forget it . Not getting much empathy here- you all seem to be having a go.

I asked if anyone had had the same experiences. If you haven't fine, but I won't hang around to be told it's all my fault I feel this way about it.

DoingItForMyself Mon 08-Apr-13 11:41:21

As GiveMeAClue & Crocadillo say, it sounds to me like she is a bit embarrassed about spending so much and wants to make you feel better about it. Are you mentioning her new clothes first, pointing out that they are new or particularly nice?

If I were you, next time she says anything about why she shops in certain places I would say to her "don't feel that you have to justify spending a certain amount on clothes/bags etc. You are in the fortunate position of being able to buy things you like. I can also buy clothes from my chosen stores and I consider them to be good value too - how much they cost really doesn't matter" and change the subject.

If she stops feeling that you are judging her she will stop having to justify herself.

pooroldme Mon 08-Apr-13 11:43:20

Don'tmind I don't know how you equate me with your Dad- you don't know me and I certainly don't behave like him, why would I buy a bag for £150 when I could get one for £25?

DoingItForMyself Mon 08-Apr-13 11:43:22

I suppose its like someone finding a bargain in a charity shop and saying "I can't believe I got this M&S jumper for £3"

Its all in the context and for her, getting Armani gear at knock down prices sits more comfortably than paying full price, or the justification that it will last a long time makes the full price worthwhile, in the same way my ex would buy a £30 t-shirt and I would buy a £3 one! Its all in the perception of value.

givemeaclue Mon 08-Apr-13 11:44:48

Pooroldme, did you read my post?

Don't understand why she keeps telling you what things cost. Let the power of mn help you come up with an appropriate
Response of.u time she feels the need to tell you! She sounds dreadful I have to say!

DontmindifIdo Mon 08-Apr-13 11:46:30

BTW - being rich doesn't mean you've lost perspective. Your mum might have to save for a £50 pair of trousers, but pehaps you have lost perspective that for a large percentage of the population, they don't. That spending a lot of money when you ahve a lot of money is not a big deal, you are just seeing her spending through your budget and what a 'waste' it is, without thinking that while you would have to save or go without something else to have X, Y, or Z, she can have X, Y & Z - and still afford all the things you'd have to cut out.

Her comment about the M&S jumpers not fitting her might be in a clunky way, trying to be nice abotu the fact she's well aware you can't afford anything like that. She's insulted her own figure and basically said she has to buy the designer stuff, whereas you look good in the highstreet version. (And it's interesting to say M&S, be honest, did you make a comment that she could get something just like that for a fraction of the price in M&S? Leading to her having to give a reason beyond "yes but I can afford better")

DontmindifIdo Mon 08-Apr-13 11:47:54

pooroldme - because you are illicting a response from someone to justify their behaviour - you must be making her feel bad about her spending.

Halfling Mon 08-Apr-13 12:04:15

This happened to me. Two of my friends got richer by virtue of their DHs landing lucrative IT contracting jobs £1000 per day or so.

Unfortunately they did not have the grace to go with this change in wealth - thoughtless comments like anyone driving a Ford is a chav (we have a Ford), why would you put the Olay crap on your face when you can buy Clarins type comments that really had me fuming.

Also, I was not able to afford £500 fine dinners and £4000 weekend breaks. I would be lying though, if I said I wasn't jealous at times.

The two of them got along better than the rest of us. We drifted apart.

MTSgroupie Mon 08-Apr-13 12:11:53

How often has someone went on about a top that they got from the market for only £10 for example. Or how they got x for a bargain price of £y on eBay? Women regularly talk about how much x is. But when the subject is expensive stuff it's - Jeeze. People who talk about prices are so annoying.

BackforGood Mon 08-Apr-13 12:17:06

I think sometimes you have to accept that people move on in life - move along different pathways. Doesn't mean you can't be friends / keep in touch, but it's natural that two people who now live in different areas and have different lifestyles (in terms of her not working and you working 2 jobs) are going to have less in common than they did when they were colleagues in the same office.
It changes you, and your friendship in the same way that the first person in a friendship group to start a family changes the dynamics. I've had several friendships over the years that came about because of cicumstances - such as working together - that, when whatever it was that brought us together in the first place was no longer there, faded away. No fall outs or arguements, just a natural drifting away, opportunity to spend more time with new friends who you have more in common with now.

Mumsyblouse Mon 08-Apr-13 12:26:56

The problem in this friendship is that you talk too much about clothes and how much things cost! I do have one friend who has become exceptionally wealthy, but she would have the tact not to tell me how much she pays for new shoes or clothes, and she is also very down-to-earth and still loves a bargain, children in state school, so the gulf between our worlds is smaller despite the money if you see what I mean. I am not sure why your friend is always telling you how much things cost, but this is not healthy and I would change the topic, or at least don't ask her. It does sound like she is having to justify herself to you, whether that is because she feels bad or you perhaps make her a little self-conscious it is hard to tell. But, go back to the girly gossip, talking about the world, your families etc and give talking about the price of clothes a miss, it is bound to cause trouble.

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