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Let down by friend - Not sure what to do(18 Posts)
I'll try to be short. I have a friend from uni, who lives in my home country, and whom I used to keep in touch mainly my e-mail. However, it seems as if we communicate in the following way: me sending an e-mail, her not replying for months, then her sending an e-mail and me replying straight away, and never hearing again from her for months. I got really tired of this, and decided she was not a real friend.
I'm an only child and cherish friends deeply. As I don't have any brothers and sisters, they've always been very important to me. The problem is, sometimes I feel they're more important to me than I am to them, and that hurts me.
This particular friend didn't reply to an important e-mail I sent her when I moved houses last year. It was a very important event for me, as we had terrible problems selling our flat, and spent two years living in a one bedroom flat with two children! I told her how happy we were to have finally moved to a house and I received no reply for nine months, until recently, when she e-mailed me for my birthday.
The problem is it is not the first time she does that. She had not replied to many e-mails that I thought were important and was expecting a reply from her.
She was on Facebook for years and never ever wrote a single message/comment to me on it, but she would write to other people who are not as close to her as I thought I was. She then deleted her FB account, and I deleted mine a few months afterwards, and I had hundreds of people there who would not write one single line to me. I didn't see the point in exposing my life to such phonies!
She wrote me a message for my birthday telling me she's back on FB and wanting to have me as a friend there. I was thinking, why on earth does she want me there if when I was there she didn't even write once in five years!
She hasn't got children and told me in her recent e-mail she had a miscarriage last year. I do feel for her and a part of me would like to reply and show that I still care but another part of me had already made up my mind that I didn't want friends like this.
I don't know what to do. Shall I give this friend a chance and reply to her like I'd have done years ago, or shall I stop contact altogether as she had never been there for me in any way before?
I have this problem with a lot of my friends. Now I don't bother ringing them as much as don't see the point. I always valued friendships when younger but have been let down too many times its all come to a head and I prefer to just get on with my life and focus on my family. I am much happier sometimes you just have to cut ties
When she starts to feel better again you won't hear from her. I'm not just being mean as I've had two miscarriages. It's her nature
I think that there can be a difference between friends that are rubbish at communicating through media and friends that are rubbish.
I spent three years living abroad in africa and i totally shocked that those i thought i were closest to were the worst at keeping in touch.
i guess what im suggesting is that you mange your expectations for her and perhaps that would mean that you werent dissapointed or hurt.
its sad as we get older that many friendships change and I did find it hard that sometimes friends dissapeared out of your life as their lives changed...
just dont hurt yourself in the process of deciding what to do. we all need to have good support around us but perhaps she is just no longer the person that is able to give you that, but maybe you need to talk with her first...
Thank you for your replies so far. Very much appreciated.
Kutee, I feel like that about a few friends lately, especially the ones far away. They're becoming a source of dissatisfaction and anxiety rather than joy lately and sometimes I feel happier when I think of not being in touch with them at all.
Hazey, thanks for your post and I can see your point too but you'd think e-mail and social media are there to bring people closer not to make them feel they're non existant. Maybe I belong to a different era - I'm 40!! - and think that if a friend writes to you, the least you can do is reply sooner rather than later... But as you said, some people are really crap at writing and communicating online.
Nero I am really terrible at keeping in touch with people.
But it doesn't mean I don't care deeply and would be there to be suppose if they let me know anything major was happening.
If you feel this person doesn't do that for you, then perhaps it is time to let it go.
Thanks, Rhonda, that's what I think too. I wouldn't worry if they don't reply to a silly e-mail but if you're telling them something important in your life, to get no reply really hurts.
I wonder why you class this woman as a friend, really. She might have been once, but she doesn't display any of the usual traits that you'd want in a friend.
I just wouldn't reply to her at all, or if I did, I'd wait the same length of time that you'd had to wait for a reply.
That's a bit spiteful waiting for the same length of time. Even though I have been pissed off with a lot of my now acquaintances I still would be respectful and polite. I just wouldn't let them in my life or pay as much attention as before. I've actually learnt to be happy as a loner and although I would eventually like to have close friends again I'm just not open to it now. Your friend wants your attention now but she will disappear again in the future.
I think you need to let it go. For whatever reason she doesn't value the friendship in the same way. You're only upsetting yourself. FB is 'real' friendship it's just a way of
being nosey sharing stuff.
Probably best to concentrate on your real friendships ie people you actually see.
Hiding all FB posts from certain friends can be a good move (i do it!). Upsets no one as they don't know as not unfriended but you don't get the tedious me-me-me/hurtful updates unless you want them.
It's sounds like you've drifted apart. If you're not happy with the superficial contact she's offering I'd phase her out.
Yes phase her out. Do tell her you're sorry to hear about her miscarriage - which is true - but don't expect anything back. She doesn't want to have a close friendship with you. HOld her lightly.
I have friends like this who, after a long time of hurt and confusion on my part, I let drift. They drift in and out, and I have no doubt they do care about me (and have proved it when the chips have been seriously down in my life) but don't want to be in a close relationship with me. Or close contact, at least.
Perhaps being slightly unavailable may be the way to go. I don't know what it is about human psychology, but people tend to not value what they can get easily.
I don't think it is spiteful to let her wait a similar length of time for a reply. It's the only way she'll learn that it's painful to do that.
Some people are chaotic/badly organised/poor communicators or whatever & are not good at responding to emails. She could be someone who gets 100s of emails a day so yours drop off the bottom of the page & she loses them. I don't think you have to cut her loose necessarily, but maybe mentally re-classify her as a not very close friend.
I think this person has been 'washing their hair' for a long, long time now and you are now just Christmas Card Friends, if that. Make new friends, keep in touch with the old one, but don't expect so much from them. T
Thank you everybone for your replies.
I think I'll contact this friend again at some point but I don't really know when as I'm not in the mood right now to be all nice and cheerful when in reality I feel forgotten and taken for granted.
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