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Friendship traumas!

(52 Posts)
Dotty342kids Wed 19-Nov-14 14:16:22

So, basic info is that I've been friends with a group of women since our children were toddlers (they're now all yr 6/7), so quite a while!
There are five of us and, as you do when the kids are small, we used to meet up quite often and socialise as a group with our DH's when possible too.
There's always been tension between one member of the group and I, which I never found the reason for or understood, so it always made for an odd dynamic and so meet ups would sometimes happen where one or other of us wasn't there, to try and avoid awkwardness. As she has a less full on job, and a DH who's always around, whereas my career is quite full on and my DH is away a lot, that tended to mean I was the one left out, more than her. A bit hurtful but nothing I could do about it.
Time seems to have resolved whatever the issue was, to some extent, and when we're together in the group now it's perfectly fine and she's very friendly (but never outside of the group).
In the last year or two there have been a small number of weekends away, with DH's. We were invited to the first one, but I had to say no as we had no childcare and what childcare we do have (my mum) I try not to "overuse" as we use that when we want to do stuff as a couple or family. Family and couple time is really precious to us due to DH being away a lot.
Anyway, to get to the point smile I've just been told by one of the group, that she's going away, with all the other women, on a girls' weekend the weekend after next, and there's another planned for January. I've not been asked on this, or told about it. She wanted to tell me as didn't feel it was right that I know nothing about it as that'd really be hurtful to me.
Apparently everyone else in the group says I won't mind at all as I "like to do things with my other friends"! I can't see how that's relevant at all as the only reason I've said no before, was due to childcare issues, which wouldn't be the case with a "girls" weekend, and besides, they all have other friends and it doesn't seem to be stopping them from going on this weekend.
I can't deny that I'm really bloody hurt by this. What makes it worse is that we were all together for what I thought was, a really nice evening only last Saturday. And we've got a Christmas outing planned for December (couples). Yet in between that, there's this girls' weekend that no-one even thought to invite me to.
Even if they thought I'd say no, surely it would have been nice to mention it or see if I was able to go?
I feel really angry and hurt by this but am not sure what to do. Do I smile nicely and go to the Christmas outing, knowing that they've left me out of one weekend and are busy planning the next? Or do I speak to them and let them know how hurt I am? Frankly, even if I did that, and they then invited me, I'm not sure I'd feel able to do and spend a weekend with them after this.

Any advice please MN'ers smile

Quitelikely Wed 19-Nov-14 14:20:30

Is it her who is excluding you though? I mean how do you know it's her? Is she the organiser? If not just announce that you will be coming along.

Do not let her oust you!

Dotty342kids Wed 19-Nov-14 14:32:35

Quitelikely, no, no indication that the decision not to invite me has come from her. (Although she does have a history of managing to ostracise me from other friendships but I'm trying to put that behind me!).
The organiser for this weekend is the main social butterfly of the group and probably the person I see most of, after the one who told me about it. She's the only person I would have had the "no, we can't go because childcare's hard to find" conversation with, so this assumption that I can't go on any other weekends and won't mind if they do, can only really have come from her...

20twinningmum Wed 19-Nov-14 15:00:57

I used to have a social group in school like this, one of them didn't like me and thus I was excluded a lot. It hurts so much, it makes you feel like less of a friend, like the addition to the group that isn't needed. That isn't friendship? I would bring it up to them after the first weekend away, you won't want to go to that because I would feel like I'd had to ask to go and imposed where I'm not wanted even if they did want me to go. That way it gives them chance to invite you to the second and if they don't, fuck em. Honestly they can't pick and choose when you're their friend if you are their friend! I don't even see the problem when you get along in a group??

Dotty342kids Wed 19-Nov-14 15:16:18

Thanks for responding 20. You do feel like you're being paranoid / overreacting though don't you?
I'd almost find it easier if I gave up on them as a group of friends entirely, at least that way I'd know where I stood. It's the "you're our friend, but no, we're not inviting you to, or mentioning, some of the things we do together" aspect that is so hurtful. Even if they thought I wouldn't be able to or choose to go to things, it'd be nice to at least be invited!

claraschu Wed 19-Nov-14 15:22:59

That sounds horrible. Can you talk to the friend who told you about the trip, or to another one of the group who you feel comfortable with, and tell her how you feel? It is possible that everyone would be glad for you to come. Who knows? It might be worth being open about your feelings.

Dotty342kids Wed 19-Nov-14 15:34:27

I had a very honest conversation with the friend who told me about the trip. She's been great and just wanted to be up front with me about it. I told her I was very hurt, (but not by her, more the situation!) but there's nothing she can really do and I don't want her to end up feeling awkward and stuck in the middle of it all.
Think I may have to phone / pop around to talk to the organiser of these things (aka Social Butterfly smile ) and tell her. I'm not very good at these things though, all I actually want to do is have a good cry, withdraw from the group and not go to the Christmas party!

SeasonsEatings Wed 19-Nov-14 16:01:28

Talk to the organizer and ask why you have been excluded, now you know I don't think that you have anything to lose by being brutally honest about how its made you revalulate the group friendship and also asking what the issue is with woman and why, by her actions they are siding with her.

I would think about staying friends with the one that told you!

Dotty342kids Wed 19-Nov-14 16:08:27

Oh gosh yes, friend who told me I definitely see as a good friend. Bless her, I know she's feeling bad for being the one who told me about all of this.
I don't want to drag others into whatever the issue was between me and this one particular person as I know it makes them feel torn between us and it's really not their problem.
But yes, I think talking to the organising person is the way to go. Thinking about it......... there was quite a lot of discussing of the Christmas party (dates and possible venues) before I was involved. It was only the friend above who told me about that, I then suggested an idea and that got taken up. There have been a couple of other instances too, now that I think about it, where the organiser has had chances to include me in things and hasn't.
Think I may have to and see her tomorrow and get this all out in the open. Tbh, it all makes me feel rather sick with anxiety sad

claraschu Wed 19-Nov-14 16:41:51

I think you are doing the right thing getting it out in the open. I hate all the talking behind people's backs that goes on when groups like this get a little sour. I'm sorry you are having to deal with this; I would be really upset too.

Quitelikely Wed 19-Nov-14 17:01:10

Say something along the lines of 'I heard there was going to be a trip to xx in jan and xx in feb. Is there any reason I wasn't included in these trips or am I just overthinking it'

Then let her fill in the gaps.

Are you sure she isn't the one who is excluding you rather than the other friend?

Quitelikely Wed 19-Nov-14 17:02:06

And don't be too upset. Jealousy can take many forms and this could be hers rearing it's head

Quitelikely Wed 19-Nov-14 17:03:44

Also surely the friend who told you about the trip knows the real reason why you've not been asked?

Dotty342kids Wed 19-Nov-14 17:08:31

think the friend who told me is trying not to get too involved / dragged in by asking reasons for anything, can't say as I blame her! But she's been told it's because I do weekends away etc with other friends and don't mind not being told / asked!
I'm going to phone the organiser tonight, I know I just won't sleep if I let it drag into tomorrow.
Thank you so much for all your support so far, it really helps to have an objective point of view smile.
Growing up, I had a tendency to get possessive over friends and struggle with friendships a bit, so want to make sure it's not that rearing its head again.

WhereTheWildlingsAre Wed 19-Nov-14 17:23:34

Yes, I would agree with phoning her and I would also agree with pruning your friendship tree! Life is too short to waste on people who just make you feel worse.

Optimist1 Wed 19-Nov-14 17:26:35

Sorry to say, but I have my doubts about the intentions of your friend who told you about the trip, Dotty. If she's such a good pal, why didn't she insist on you being included when they were discussing the details of the trip? If the others said they definitely didn't want to include you, then why is she stirring things by telling you about it on the quiet?

Either way, it's not a comfortable situation for you to be in, and I see exactly why you're feeling anxious.

theHowlatWooooooCorner Wed 19-Nov-14 17:54:26

I'd feel hurt too. I agree that a face to face with the organizer is the best way, but be prepared to come away feeling further excluded from the group.

Dotty342kids Wed 19-Nov-14 20:29:39

Hi everyone, thought I'd come back and update you. Phoned organiser of the two upcoming trips for a frank discussion and started off, as suggesting, by saying that I'd heard about the upcoming trips and was wondering why I wasn't being invited.
Apparently when I was on the last girls' weekend with them all, 3 summers ago, they had felt that I wasn't really enjoying it and that it was all rather uncomfortable. Somehow this is down to me and nothing to do with the fact that I'd said I'd be ok with "the one who's never liked me" smile joining us. I thought I'd really tried to make it ok and that we had a nice weekend. Apparently not. Then last year, when it was my 40th and my DH organised and paid for a spa weekend for us and my four closest friends (who I've known since we were teenagers and who are like my family) they felt left out shock because I hadn't invited them!
And finally, they felt that things have just changed and drifted over the last couple of years. That part is fair enough though can't say as I'd noticed particularly, it's just that for me, life has got increasingly busy. They all work in local, part time jobs and have husbands who are mostly around so they can easily meet up for coffee or meals whereas I just can't do those things. It feels like I'm being penalised for things I can't help or simply didn't know about.
I explained that I felt things were ok and that I really enjoyed a night together with them last weekend and had really been looking forward to the Christmas party, but that I can't be half a friend. Either I'm their friend and I get included in plans and outings (even if I have to say no because I just can't make them) or I'm not. I can't be a good friend, but then find they're doing things and haven't even told me about them.
I don't think we'll be going to the Christmas party sad

Friend who told me, really did it for the best of reasons. She's just moved back from abroad and just didn't want to feel like she was doing things I didn't know about, and keeping them from me. No issues there at all and I'm sure we'll be ok.

Feel sort of numb. I really had no idea this was coming.

WhereTheWildlingsAre Wed 19-Nov-14 20:33:27

How awful!! sad I guess at least you know where you stand.

I would be concentrating on having lovely nights out with real friends if I were you. Life is too short for this kind of crap.

CrispyFern Wed 19-Nov-14 20:36:21

I am dreadful with friend advice so I can't offer any, but you must be very surprised and hurt by that phone call and I wanted to send a virtual hug. X

lunar1 Wed 19-Nov-14 20:45:09

That's horrible, I'd be upset too op. I also don't think I'd go to the Christmas party either.

IrenetheQuaint Wed 19-Nov-14 20:49:38

Sounds difficult and upsetting.

But - and I know I'm a dissenting voice here - I don't think they've necessarily done anything wrong. Clearly your lives have drifted apart a bit, and they're under no obligation to invite you on girly weekends if they feel the dynamic doesn't quite work. I have lots of friends who I really enjoy seeing for an evening out, but wouldn't invite on a weekend away... don't we all?

SASASI Wed 19-Nov-14 22:52:16

Im not going into detail but as someone who has been ousted, I basically did what you have done without the conversation ( trust me I know it wouldn't have achieved anything & I would have come off looking a mental case) & withdrew completely - I can't stand people who take their notions & like you can't be half a friend when it suits. I know some of the girls felt / feel like piggy in the middle but all it would have taken is for them to say they didn't feel right leaving me out & that would have changed the dynamic but they didn't so what kind of friends were they???

While I have other friends, I don't have anyone for a drunken night out other than DH (not that Im looking for one anytime soon as DS is 13 wks & I'm breastfeeding but I'm sure sometime I will fancy one!). I don't know if I've shot myself in the foot & should have just smiled & gone along with things? But I know it would have ate away at me.

I really thought when I was 'grown up' ie married with children I wouldn't have this kind of shit!!

AtrociousCircumstance Wed 19-Nov-14 23:24:07

That's really horrible for you sad

They sound like arses. Sometimes it takes years to really get to know what people are all about.

Sorry you have to deal with this. Focus on your good friends and know that if you clear space in your life, eventually new friendships will have a chance to develop.

KatOD Wed 19-Nov-14 23:33:39

Fuck 'em. They're not proper friends, aside from the one who told you. Hold your head up high and make more time for your real friends.

So sorry you've been on the sharp end of this, even if you're in the right it doesn't make it any easier to deal with. Have a cry and a glass of vino and organise a fab night out with some other nice people.

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