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How do you 'divorce' an old friend?

(13 Posts)
Jemima73 Wed 21-Aug-13 18:04:21

I am really tired of the way an old friend treats me. Throughout our long friendship I've been the one who you'd call 'reliable' and made the effort, and she's been the one to keep me waiting when she promises to return my calls etc, and way down her list of priorities. I've now decided enough is enough. I don't want to end the friendship in a dramatic way, but I do want to adjust how I see her- and that's going to be a not-so-close friend any more. I'll keep in touch but I won't think of her in the same way.

She's pretty forthright and it's not unlikely she will challenge me if she perceives I've taken a step back. Would you be honest- or just go down the 'oh I'm busy' line?

She's not very self aware in terms of her own behaviour (it's always everyone else fault and never hers, IYSWIM) so I suspect she doesn't recognise what I see as constant off hand behaviour.

How would you handle this?

whitesugar Wed 21-Aug-13 18:13:01

Don't ring her and if she rings you just breezily say 'can't talk in the car .. or whatever'. Same with texts. Confronting someone who is always right will just stress you more. Friendships end and its generally for the best. It will die away naturally if you don't engage.

Jemima73 Wed 21-Aug-13 18:18:29

You're right.
One very recent example was my leaving 2 messages on her phone ( landline) in return to her one call to my answerphone. I called her back the same day and the following day even though I was ill, and wasn't up to much of a chat, and told her that in the message. That was 2 days ago and she hasn't returned the calls even to ask how I am. I think it's just shitty behaviour and it's been like this for years.

Bowlersarm Wed 21-Aug-13 18:19:51

I wouldn't be honest. Even forthright people have feelings.

Just loosen the tie, and go down the busy route. Although a bit more subtlety.

runningonwillpower Wed 21-Aug-13 18:21:01

It doesn't sound as if you will have to do much since most of the effort comes from you anyway.

Just slowly back off.

Feelslikea1sttimer Wed 21-Aug-13 18:28:05

I did this to a friend, our friendship developed into something of a bitchfest every time we met up and I decided that I didn't like who I became when we got together, we ended up where we were slagging off mutual friends which I would never normally do but I was easily sucked in... So I told her this and said I became a different person when I was around her and I didn't like it and I didn't want to partake in bitching about people and in actually fact she recognised her own behaviour and we are still very good friends but we have a totally different friendship, it might be worth sending a letter or email explaining how you feel and try and change your friendship rather than end it...

CharityFunDay Wed 21-Aug-13 22:06:38

I have only 'divorced' a friend once. We met while sharing a house at uni in the 1990s. It took a long while to get there, but over the years he:

a) Promised me that we could find a houseshare in London after we graduated (we were studying in Leicester). Then moved out and phoned up to tell me that he'd changed his mind and moved in with some other friends instead.

b) During the same conversation told me I could 'whistle' for the share of the final gasbill that he owed (which was in my name, more fool me). At the time I was on JSA and I had to make an agreement with the Gas Board to pay it off at a fiver a fortnight for however many months.

c) Tried it on with a new partner of mine, while I slept obliviously in the next room, saying: "Fuck CharityFunDay, I want you all to myself".

d) Came to visit me in my hometown and called my grandmother a 'boring old bag'.

Those are just the ones that stick in my memory.

The final staw was when I invited him to a work party. He was extraordinarily late, so much so that he was holding things up. I rang to find out where he was and got an earful of abuse for my pains. I hung up. He eventually rolled up without a word of apology and makes himself at home. He starts slagging me off to another friend in attendance, saying: "CharityFunDay could do so much better than this job". Then he got pissed and picked an argument with me. At this point, I had had enough, notwithstanding the fact that as an employee I had to be on my best behaviour. I took him firmly by the elbow, marched him to a waiting limo, shoved him in it, looked him in the eye and said "Goodbye" and meant it. Then I slammed the door shut and off he went. Haven't seen him since.

I sometimes wonder if he ever thinks about me, but I'll never know and I don't really care.

So that is my solution for dealing with selfish cunts. Cut them dead. Don't apologise, don't explain: It's not worth it.

Space2000 Wed 21-Aug-13 22:47:39

CharityFunDay sounds like a friend I divorced. He was an absolute rotter! I think he may have been a narc. Life's too short to have bad friends

springytoofs Thu 22-Aug-13 10:32:42

2 days ?? two weeks, maybe, but two days? Not so bad imo. Plus you're counting out the number of calls you make to one another? I'd be frightened if you were my friend tbh - high expectations, I'd be bound to fail.

hudyerwheesht Thu 22-Aug-13 14:00:05

That IS shitty behaviour springy and you sound like the kind of "friend" the OP is trying to get away from. She wasn't "counting the number of calls" she was giving an example of how the so-called friend was being selfish, what's so frightening about that?
I dont think its "high expectations" - just common decency in those circumstances.
OP - as someone said, you are making all the effort so stop making it and let the friendship die off a bit. Good luck.

jemima75 Thu 22-Aug-13 14:44:46

Thanks hudyer.

It's now 4 days ( and still counting grin )
The point was ,springy, that although I wasn't well at all, I made 2 calls in close succession to try to speak to her before she left for a holiday- and told her that I wasn't well and couldn't manage a really long chat but wanted to catch up with her and find out how blah blah ( certain major event) was progressing in her life before she went ( so all about her!)

I thought she may have at least called to see how I was. This is a friend I used to talk to on an almost daily or at least 2 x a week basis for 30 years.

My problem is that if I detach and distance myself, she will blame me for the dwindling friendship because she thinks she is the most caring and wonderful friend ( she's said that about herself.)

KeepCoolCalmAndCollected Thu 22-Aug-13 17:22:22

"My problem is that if I detach and distance myself, she will blame me for the dwindling friendship because she thinks she is the most caring and wonderful friend ( she's said that about herself.)"

Why worry about what she thinks? She doesn't seem to worry about respecting your feelings very much.

To a degree, I believe in treating like with like - in other words what's wrong with giving her a taste of her own medicine?

So stop worrying so much - because she clearly isn't, and you might find your actions balance things out. Nothing wrong in that, only fair and square.

discolatte Mon 26-Aug-13 18:54:21

I wonder why you have accepted the role of being so attentive and reliable all these years when actually it sounds like you have been annoyed with her for a very long time. What have you been getting out of it? I've seen this dynamic where one person tends to (subconsciously) choose friends who don't behave as well as they do. There is usually a payoff for both parties - she gets to bel cared for, listened to etc, you get to be a good and patient person, perhaps even morally superior. But underneath it, you feel angry and and she senses your anger, so there is an inherent dishonesty in the transaction. Sorry if it's a harsh interpretation, I may be cynical from having seen this with other friends.

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