Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.
Is it 'right' to email my friend?(27 Posts)
Quick potted history. Long term friend and I had 'words' a few weeks ago on the phone ( we don't live near to each other) around the things going on in her life and how much effort I felt she was putting into our friendship. I ended up hanging up on her because she got very angry- shouting, highly sarcastic etc. I called her back an hour later to say sorry for hanging up and for the row. It was a very brief conversation. She sent me a text the next day saying sorry BUT the text contained another sarcy comment which almost wiped out her 'sorry'', so I just replied briefly saying hoped she was ok.
Since then she has left 1 phone message about an old colleague who was on TV, and I texted to say sorry missed it, but thanks.
We need to clear the air- things were said which need to be discussed and hopefully mended. But I don't want to phone her because she has a habit of getting highly emotional, losing her temper etc ( this is an issue for her in her marriage and with her family) and the odds are she will end up losing it on the phone with me and back to square one.
I'm not sure if it's my 'turn' to try to build bridges based on me being the last one to text, but I'd give it a go- but is email okay in your view? It seems easier than having another emotional conversation with her which really upsets me for days.
If she is putting no effort into the friendship, why are you wanting it to limp on?
I can't give loads of info for fear of outing us, but it's a very long friendship and I'm reluctant to let it go- but we need to clear the air and see what comes out of it all. She thought she was making an effort but apologised for spending more time with other friends who 'needed' her-but that wasn't my issue- she still has time when she could see me. (Just to add we are not teens- we are both almost 60!)
The thing is, I know she doesn't 'like' email- she rarely uses it, but to me it's the equivalent of writing a letter- but I also think it's a bit cowardly ! But as she has such a temper I feel it's a better way for me to address all of this.
Would you be miffed by an email under the circs?
Sounds exhausting. I would do nothing and let it drift
Meeting is hard because we live around 1.5 hrs away from each other and it would need one of us to make the arrangement- which needs a phone call or something to set it all up. There is nowhere in the 'middle' geographically.
Why not write a real letter if she might prefer it? Something handwritten on nice paper does seem more caring than black and white text (and I love email!)
Why don't you write her an old fashioned letter. She might not even see the email if she doesn't check them that often.
I can see why you'd want to sort this out. Some people are too quick to let things go. It might be harder to face it for both of you but ultimately worth it I hope.
Is a visit out of the question?
I think you're a lovely friend and I can see why you'd like to clear the air.
An email may help you get all your points across with out instant reply which sounds like a good idea. My only pointer would be to make sure you get your whole view across and make your feelings clear but then move on, perhaps talk about a seemingly mundane topic or event but as a way of walking over that bridge and closing the gate.
Good luck, she's lucky yo have you!
If you are good friends to each other a simple apology and hug in person should put your friendship back on course. If there are underlying resentments perhaps you are not as good friends as you thought and you need to decide if it is worth the effort.
You might be in your 60's but you do sound more like 16! You are both allowed other friends without jealousy creeping in. A good friendship should be easy, without the pressure of who's turn it is to call, she's spending more time with her other friends than me, etc, etc.
Oh x posts, a 'old fashion letter' is a much better idea
A real letter, explaining why you'd like to meet face-to-face and suggesting a time and place so that you don't have to make the arrangements on the phone beforehand.
There was never an issue of jealousy over other friends for me anyway- that was her comment in her text- I'd never mentioned other friends and really have no problem with that at all! She has friends who live closer who she sees more often- all fine- and friends who live away, so she has to stay over for a week when she sees them- all fine! My real gripe has been that over many years the expectation on her part seems to have been that I travel to see her, or make a point of calling in if and when passing - but she doesn't do likewise for me. She seems oblivious to this and accused me of being jealous of her other friends, which was missing the point.
Ok apologies if I attributed jealousy where there is none on your part. It does sound like hard work though and true friends should not be hard work. It sounds like she is a 'taker' and you have fallen into the role of 'giver'. Time to readdress the balance but you may find your friendship does not remain.
I'd agree with the pp, it seems to me that in most long distance relationships / friendships, there is usually one person who will travel more willingly and more often than the other. It's up to you whether you think the friendship is worth the extra effort you need to put in, as the 'travel-er'. I can't imagine that your friend is going to change the way she does things at this point.
I guess relationships don't get easier as we get older. But I hope I develop more wisdom and strength to do what's right for me. Not referring to you btw op, both DH and I have put a lot more effort into friendships over the years than some friends have. Over time we've let some go - eventually the cost - benefit analysis just didn't balance out!
You are right.
It might be easier to explain this by saying she lives in a large city and I live in the sticks. The expectation over the years has been that I'd travel to see her or call in if I was there anyway. I've recently has a re-think over this and just taken stock of how much effort she has made - and apart from phone calls, not a lot.Often when I have invited her to me , she's come but then has to dash off to something else ( all pleasure- nothing she couldn't re-arrange) so I've been left feeling it's been a 'duty visit'. I've started putting in the same amount of effort- she noticed, said we had to talk, and all hell broke loose- on her part, saying I had resentment.
My experience is that friendships are seldom strictly 50/50 when it comes to efforts made, but the very definition of friendship means that no-one's counting. If we all cut ties with those who invested less than us, and were cut off by those who invested more it'd be a pretty lonely place.
Is it really necessary to dissect everything that's been said, OP? Could you not just accept her as she is and take up the threads of the friendship again without bearing a grudge? If not, then cut ties.
Just to add- she has never ever volunteered visiting me! I always have to ask has made me feel she doesn't want to- especially when she always seems to find it hard to find a day when she can! Then when she has come she's often rushed off , whereas when I see her, I clear my diary, & stay until late evening. bear in mind that I work ( self employed /freelance- so can be very busy or dead as a dodo) but lately I've been very busy- literally too busy to make a trip to her over the week- so sat back to see if she made the effort. I started drawing back- and instead of speaking by phone once or even twice a week, I'd leave it and wait for her to call. She eventually 'twigged' and wanted to 'talk'- the rest is history!
I do want her back in many ways but feel it's a bit like a marriage that's got neglected and needs to be re-assessed and put back on track.
Sorry if that seems a bit garbled.
If she has reacted with such hostility to your gentle attempt to shift the balance of 'effort made' a little, there's not a lot you can do I'm afraid - a reasonable person would have listened, reflected and seen your point.
I suspect you'll find that the friendship, despite its length, was predicated on you being the 'giver/wanter', with her seeing herself as the leader behind whom you should fall.
If you chase her, you are agreeing to the previous Ts&Cs continuing. If you wait for her to contact you, and seek more balance in the friendship, it may be the end of it. I'd be surprised if there was a middle way.
Optimist- you are right to an extent with what you say.
But the situation arose because my friend brought it all to a head- she phoned and left me a message that we 'had to talk' and would I call her so we could.
I was happy to let it all drift , accept that I would not see her unless I made all the effort, and just see how it all panned out.
She was the one to ask 'why' and when I've said my bit she didn't like it or seem to think it was justified.
so in my shoes- would you contact her or would you not?
she clearly thinks she has done nothing wrong.
I'd be very sad to let it go - we have so much history- but she has become totally self-absorbed over the years and I think she is unable to see how her behaviour impacts on me.
I wouldn't contact her to try to 'build bridges' - this will just feed her self-absorbed tendency. I think the friendship as it was will no longer work, as you will be (quite rightly) increasingly unkeen to clear space in your diary for her, when she doesn't reciprocate, so I would wait for her to contact you and request a meet up - which you agree to as long as she visits you.
If you are passing her house you could contact her to see if you can call in for coffee; if not, then it's 'Christmas and birthday card time'. You're keeping the door open, but no longer lying down in front of it to be walked on (as it were).
Thanks Walk- that seems like a good plan.
Funky- not sure about that- she was the one to demand a chat to assess the state of the friendship when I drew back. I think she is into me - but on her own terms- which are no longer quite so acceptable to me now as they were in the past
All you have to do OP is read this as though it was written by a stranger
she has never ever volunteered visiting me! I always have to ask has made me feel she doesn't want to- especially when she always seems to find it hard to find a day when she can! Then when she has come she's often rushed off , whereas when I see her, I clear my diary, & stay until late evening. bear in mind that I work ( self employed /freelance- so can be very busy or dead as a dodo) but lately I've been very busy- literally too busy to make a trip to her over the week- so sat back to see if she made the effort. I started drawing back- and instead of speaking by phone once or even twice a week, I'd leave it and wait for her to call
which tells you exactly what's what.
It sounds to me that simply because of the duration of this friendship you're wanting to fix things so it'll be the pleasant kind of friendship that you want, rather than the actual type of friendship that it is.
I would definitely leave the contact ball in her court and see her if it suits you, if you are busy and can't get to her then just pleasantly say that you would have time for coffee or lunch at yours, but are unlikely to be able to get to town until whenever. If she's a bit off about that gently point out that you've given her a choice. If she's unreasonable stay quiet but firm and refuse to be drawn in.
There do seem to be a few threads at the moment about grown women who kick off about things that really could be quite simply managed. To be honest, unless you thrive on drama, you could do without it.
Join the discussion
Please login first.