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I ghosted my friend and now I want to speak to her.(48 Posts)
Nearly four years ago my friend did something/a succession of small things that eventually made me so upset I cut off contact with her without notice, explanation or civility. I was so consumed with hurt and anger that I couldn't face having that conversation with her. She had become my closest friend, ever. She felt like a sister to me and we shared so much in common in relation to aspects of our lives that her and her family became part our family. We spent special events with each other, went on holiday together and supported each other through some very difficult family situations. So, when these series of events happened I was devastated. I am not going to detail them because it may out me but suffice to say, within normal realms of perspective, she had not done anything that warranted such nasty behaviour from me. I've been in counselling for 4 months now for other issues and now I realise I still love and miss my friend very much.
Here is my dilemma: Should I apologise, regardless of whether she forgives me or not, or should I just leave it now. It was a very cowardly thing to do in the beginning but I was so overwhelmed with emotion and shock, I felt totally betrayed. There were also other huge things going on in my life at the time which were clouding my judgement, things which have taken the last, nearly four years, to resolve. If the shoe was on the other foot I really don't know how I would react in her position but I would hope that I could forgive...
Is it a good idea to apologise and try to move on or is it best to leave it and walk away? I'm not looking for criticism over the original situation, I've already dealt with that in my life, but a genuine idea of whether it can be repaired/closed properly or not. Is there a time limit on these things or should I continue on my way and accept that we will never speak again? Do friendships ever regrow after something like that?
I would write to her.
We all do crazy things but they are in the past.
You may not regain the friendship you could give her an explanation and make you both feel better.
Are you sure they really were such small things that she did? Maybe you were right to cut contact. Is it just the passage of time that has diminished what she did?
Write to her, explain and apoligise and say you're thinking of herand would love to see her if she was willing.
Then leave the ball in her court.
It depends entirely on your friend. Maybe friendships can regrow after that for some people, although I can't see how it could ever be quite the same even if she was really positive.
It's worth a try, at least. She may be open to it and you love/miss her. Just be prepared for her not to be interested - it's been 4 years.
I don't think you'll ever get the friendship back, but if you write a letter and take responsibility for your actions, she may forgive you. At the very least, she may understand why you did what you did, which will ease any pain she has.
I think it will make you feel better too - just don't expect anything 'back' from it.
I did something similar once. Inthe midst of an exceptionally difficult time my close friend got it wrong with me a few times. Looking back I can see that I was being overly sensitive, fair enough given my circumstances, and that in hindsight I wish I'd tried to fix the situaiton there and then at least before walking away. This was over 10 years ago. I won't get in touch now but I do think of her often. I hope your story ends well.
I agree, write to her & apologise. Try to explain why you reacted the way you did and say that you would like her forgiveness and the chance to be in her life again.
She can then make her decision based on what you've told her.
You do have to be prepared for rejection though, or even never hearing from her. It may be too late but you'll never know unless you try.
Good luck Sparkle
I think I would leave it. But I'm not 100% sure.
I would usually say to get in touch and try to make amends wherever possible but my worry would be that contacting her opens up all her hurt at being ghosted and you just upset her.
Thank you for the suggestions to contact her. ButEmilylovedhim The biggest thing she did wrong was not to consider how that particular series of events would impact me. We can all be thoughtless from time to time but I'm sure it's not enough to cut contact for. Or is it?
In your first paragraph you explain your situation and your wishes very well. You do so without hysteria and you take responsibility for what you did. It reads kindly.
I agree with the others that writing a short letter very much along those lines could be a good idea. She may not respond, but she may get comfort from understanding that you now know you didn't react rationally and that you wish her only well.
As someone who has been in this situation but from the other side (i.e I was the friend who got ghosted) and around a similar length of time ago, I would rather NOT recieve a letter / apology/ explanation. For me it seems as though it would be making you feel better, not her.
I took a long time to come to that conclusion as my ex-friends deliberate shunning of me was so hurtful (it was as painful to me as a relationship breakdown) and affected me so much that for years I desparately clung to the hope I would hear from her. You can't understand how nasty it is to be ghosted, and I'm not saying that to be spiteful as you say in your post you have attoned for it. I moved on with my life bit by bit and now am in a much stronger position that I was even when we were friends. And I feel better.
In my opinion, in this case if you're really thinking about her feelings and not yours, I'd consider leaving it and letting bygones be bygones.
Good luck either way OP (having read this thread I'm imagining that this is my ex-friend writing which is helping me to grieve for our friendship).
iMatter that has occurred to me too, I know how it feels to be ghosted and it's truly awful and the last thing I want to do is upset her again.
In agreement with most of you saying not to expect anything back, it has to be a stand alone apology.
InThisTogether thank you for your response. I understand the perspective of "making you feel better" but I genuinely believe she should receive an apology for her. I've been ghosted too and I know how awful it is but for some time I had a little hope that she would contact me and ASK why I had gone quiet but that day never came either. In my mind that lack of contact morphed into 'she knew what she did to upset me and doesn't care" so two upset people, neither communicating, neither knowing how the other one really feels. Thanks for your reply though, I will certainly give it some more thought...
I would contact her - it would provide her with an explanation of why she was dropped. I would say that if you do want to regain some sort of friendship (which would take time as she will be wary) do not do a 'sorry, but it was because you did x,y,z' Be careful how you phrase it.
Thanks FeckTheMagicDragon I should have been more mature, less irrational and a better friend at the time and approached her about my concerns instead of dropping her the way I did so will definitely not use the XYZ avenue.
Good luck Sparkle I didn't mean to sound harsh, and perhaps if a 'no-strings-attached' letter landed on my doorstep I'd feel fifferently. It's hard to know. For me I think it would just rake up a load of horrible feelings that I've spent a long time learning to deal with.
There were days (well, months!) where I'd wail at our poor mutual friends "but what have I DONE?" and the truth is now there is nothing she could say that would make me feel like I deserved to feel that way. To find out it was over something / a series of things that were petty or uniportant would (for me) just make me feel angry.
I remember saying to one mutual friend that if I ever found out what it was, nothing short of a serious crime could warrant the way she behaved - but then it was particularly vicious. we had a very silly drunken arguement, for whichI phojned and apologised the next day (it really was 6 of one and half a dozenof the other). Within 2 days she'd removed me from all socila media (including convincing 8 other friends to do the same), begun blanking me in the street, publishing stories online and physically cutting me out of the photos, spreading downright lies to her friends. A lot of people (including her then-husband who is still friends with my DH) were very concerned at the level of vitriol that she was aiming against me - she seemed to spend so much time trying to 'get' me without ever acknowledging I existed - a very strange turn of events. But your story sounds 'easier' as it was just between you two.
As you can see, it still is very raw for me, years on, and in hindsight maybe that's because there is no closure. Perhaps an apology (as you say, stand-alone and with no expectation) might help her to understand.
Phew! Breathe InThis. Maybe i needed this thread today!
I would write her a brief explanation with apology, accepting your responsibility for what happened, but not try to re-kindle the relationship. The trust has gone.
My best friend of twenty years and me fell out for six years. We were like sisters.
But, circumstances in both our lives were such back then that we began to not consider one another's feelings, took each other for granted and generally behaved selfishly. I was v v hurt and she was also hurt by my behaviour.
Seven years on from when we stopped talking we couldn't be tighter. We are even closer than before. She reached out to me. We both felt immense relief to be back together again and agreed that being apart was more painful than any break up we'd experienced ! I was bereft without her in my life.
Make your apology as heartfelt as you possible can, and you never know, she may welcome you back with open arms.
As someone who has suffered this from the other side
I was ghosted for something I actually had no involvement in. We were 15, I'd known her literally all my life (her mum and mine were friends) and she just walked away from me without asking for explanation. It hurt that she took the word of someone else as truth.
9 years later, she walked back into my life, quite by accident. We had a good talk, she explained that she knew fairly quickly that it wasn't me but that embarrassment held back her from apologising.
We're now as close as we ever were. I know she went through a tough time and I've forgiven her.
I know your situation may be different, but do at least give her the opportunity to explain why she did what ever it was that hurt you. Explain why it hurt you and let her make the decision
InThisTogether that sounds truly horrific and I would never stand by and watch one of my friends to that to another, that's almost stalking! I'm really sorry that happened to you and I'm not surprised you don't want to hear from her.
HotNatured that's so heart-warming to hear. I'm so pleased for you that you have your friend back in your life and things are better than ever. Life is better with love!
Ok, so the general consensus is to contact with an apology. I'm really grateful to you all for your thoughts, now I will probably spend 6 months trying to word it!
This happened to me (I was ghosted).
Very close uni friend, attended her wedding, bought gifts when her children were born, supported her when she was struggling with her DC1 by sending flowers and driving 200 miles to see her whenever I could.
Then suddenly, a couple of years ago, she went quiet. I genuinely have no idea what I did- presumably I did something. I have obsessed over it and have now finally let it go.
If she contacted me now? I probably wouldn't respond. I feel that after years of friendship I at least deserved a chance to fix things. In also feel like we just couldn't build a friendship again- my life has changed a lot in the last 2 years- I've got married, moved house, started a new career, and am currently pregnant with DC1. She hasn't been here for any of it, so we've lost a lot of our 'common ground'. I'm sure her life has changed too.
I would probably also question her motives, and assume she wanted something from me.
Your situation sounds very different. I would write the letter, and hope for the best. I wouldn't go into it with any execrations though. I really hope it works out for you.
I think if you feel genuinely contrite about something you have done, then (with very few- but serious - exceptions) apologising is the right thing to do. But you can only control your own side of that apology, and you really have to have no particular attachment to the outcome of the apology. You have to accept that it may be a stand-alone act, and that you may never have any sort of air-clearing closure.
I've been giving this some more thought.
A couple of questions:
1. Can you honestly, hand on heart say you are not doing it just to ease your own conscience/make yourself feel better? This isn't meant to be a criticism, it's a genuine question.
2. How will you feel if she replies and says that by getting in touch you have opened up old wounds and caused her huge upset?
If you can resolve those issues in your mind it might help you decide.
I hope you manage to resolve it and you can move on.
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