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.
Lost friendships that were never there in the first place!!(17 Posts)
I feel so pathetically stupid writing this. I'm a 37 year old grown woman with a mortgage, job and a child FFS but I can't help feeling so upset.
I feel like I have no real friends, I have colleagues that I see out of work occasionally but wouldn't really say they were friends, I couldn't open up to them and tell them how I'm feeling tonight - in fact the only person I have told is DH but he went to sleep shortly asking me if I wanted to talk about it!! So here I sit, phone in hand, babbling, trying to explain why I feel like I do.
I think tonight's thing has made me realise that, actually I don't have any close friendships.
I don't know where to start.
I've known this woman - she's older than me, about 53 - for about 15 years. We met through work and got on instantly, in those years I have supported her 3 times when she split from her DH (same one) the first time he arrived home pissed and punched her in the face, I helped her move her and her 13 year old DS stuff out of their house into her new rented property which was a shit hole. I helped her clean it and decorate it, and gave her advice when she asked when they eventually got back together, broke up etc etc. Then when she was having an affair with a guy I worked with I was her shoulder to cry on when he promised countless times to leave his wife, then let her down at the last minute. I've lost count of the amount of times I've not got home til the wee small hours because we've been sat talking and putting the world to rights. Then when I found out I was pregnant I was the one supporting her again when another relationship went sour. Since my DS was born, our late night chats etc have dwindled and she is now settled with a new partner who is better for her and I am genuinely happy to see her settled and physically & emotionally more healthy that she had been for years. We keep in touch over Facebook mostly, and the odd chat when smoking at coffee time at work. To this day even though our contact is no where near the level it has been, I still counted her as a great friend.
I moved jobs in July, and now am lucky enough to be in a great team with very flexible management, and about 6 weeks ago this lady contacted me asking if there were any vacancies in my team as she was having a bad time. We chatted via text and I suggested we meet the following week for a proper catch up (I was away with DH & DS so couldn't meet that week) and said I would text her to arrange. So the following week I kept to my word and messaged her asking if she was free and what day did she want to meet. She asked for a rain check, as she was applying for a job with the closing date looming. Fine, I said, I'll text you next week. So dutifully the next week I tried again but still she was busy. So I left it with her. Today is a mutual friends birthday, the woman's left a Facebook post for the MF saying happy birthday and they have arranged to meet one day next week, on Facebook, just like that. You see, that's why I feel pathetic - they're friends, they're allowed to meet. Of course they are. But then again, that's why I feel so hurt I have been there for this woman over and over and after attempting to arrange a meeting I'm met with a brick wall and it hurts because I'm obviously not as important to her as I thought I was, or as she is to me.
I feel so pathetic and childish but I'm hurting.
I'm sorry you're hurting
It's difficult to feel lonely when you are a Responsible Adult and feel like you should have all aspects of your life in order isn't it.
The facebook thing - probably all for show in public, she'll blow the pal out the day before.
And more importantly, your 'friend' sounds like she's treated you badly for a long time to be honest.
You have given a lot of your time, both physically and emotionally.
She sounds like a taker not a giver. A true friendship should ebb and flow with both.
I have been stung repeatedly in the past by blurring work colleague/friend lines. It's hurtful and not good for the soul.
You are a young successful woman, you have plenty of time to make some nice friends.
Do you have any hobbies or activities? Careful about expecting yourself to make mum mates with people too.
I think there is a tendency to think we should be friends with people just because we're both at baby yoga or soft play groups.
It's like saying you should be friends with someone you meet in the queue at Tesco because they are buying the same loaf as you
OP, whilst reading through your plight I too came to same conclusion. She's a taker. Take. Take. Take.
Allow yourself the luxury to absorb this fact. Truly, it's not you. It's her. Don't resist how you're feeling. Acknowledging it is healthier. You're only human.
Time to cull the herd! Cut her out of your life. Detach, block, delete. Make this your mantra. Life's too short ffs!
The woman is a taker and a user by the sounds of it.
I feel similar to you and have come to the conclusion that friendship in adulthood has a different purpose. From childhood to early adulthood, you have intense friendships. You spend loads of time together and rely on them for approval, entertainment, sharing, fun , the list is endless. As you move into adulthood and start your own family then alot of those roles are fulfilled by your partner. You may expect your friends to still be as deep and meaningful as they once were but generally speaking I dont think they are. Friends come and go and often its little more then a tad more than an aquaintance. I put alot of it down to not spending so much time with people as you would have when you were young.
Thinking this was makes me feel more open to friendships and less analytical by the lack of what I think of as friends.
As fo FB. Its all nonsense. Step away if you are feeling a bit vulnerable.
You're ok my dear. This too shall pass. I agree, she is a taker, so don't let her take anymore of you now, she's not here, let her go. You need to move on. There are plenty of us here who don't have BFFs, and we still get on with our lives and do ok. Invest time and energy in YOU and the things you like to do, and invest less time and energy in people who are not interested in you or who want to play games with you. I spent a lot of time on someone and looking back I realise I had our 'friendship' all wrong. Good luck, look after yourself and be kind to you. This lady isn't.
I don't think she is necessarily a taker she is just someone you know from work. She never really was a friend. She was a person in trouble who needed help, which you gave, and now that she is moving into a happier period she is not wanting to be reminded of the past which you may in part remind her of.
The difficulty that I can see is whatever is going on (something or nothing on the basis of what you have said) you massively over invested your time and emotions into her and you are smarting that it isn't reciprocated.
It's unpleasant, but the only way to avoid it is to either be aware that the things you do for other people are based on their need and not their friendship and never give more than you can afford emotionally, or just not help people who aren't established friends with a known give/take pattern.
She sounds like a total nightmare tbh - don't feel bad, that friendship sounds exhausting xxx
Agree you need to move on.
She sounds hard work, needy with a life full of drama.
Look after yourself, I don't think this woman was ever a real friend.
A surprise that you didn't mention DH in your opening paragraph. And I'm sorry to say that when you did mention him, it was only in a rather self-pitying way. I think a DH (or DW) is a huge plus in a life
Regarding your friend, I think you let it go. She may reappear in your life - which would be great. But don't actively pursue this
As FeralBeryl mentioned, you should instead look at hobbies and interests, possibly join a club. Find something which families or couples do together. In our 50s, we took up dancing, and that has brought us lots of friends - but you need to find your own thing
And I had one piece of luck - probably my current best friend (who I didn't know before) just happened to move in next door. You just never know what can happen by chance
Thanks for your comments everyone. Don't get me wrong DH amazing and DS and I are very lucky to have him but I really needed to talk/vent and was a bit miffed that he nodded off, even though he knew how upset I was.
I saw the mutual friend yesterday and she told me about their plans to meet up and I mentioned that I had been trying to organise a catch up without success and I wouldn't be surprised if what I'd said gets fed back!! I'm trying to let it go, but its hard when you realise that a friendship meant much more to you than it did to the other person.
Even amazing DHs have been known to nod off ...
You are right to feel hurt. She is one of life's takers. It sucks. You sound like a lovely friend to have.
I agree you sound lovely but you need to move on from this and find "your people".
I'm going through this at the moment. Some people are in our lives for a specific reason (either ours or theirs) some wax and wane, others are more constant. I think it's like this for everyone. Good luck!
I feel exactly the same, I've only ever been used by "friends", and either omitted from plans, or told at last minute. I've really gone beyond the call for a few, and was treated badly. Even acquaintances if I text to catch up, I more often than not get no answer. I'm with you I'm at a loss to know what it is that distances them from me, except for the fact that I am straight with people and say what's on my mind. Maybe that's not appreciated. Maybe people want fake friends. Either way it hurts, but nothing much you can do about it. I don't find meeting friends easy either.
I'm very much more cautious nowadays in the way I cultivate friendships. If I find a friend I get along with, I tend to hold back from getting too involved, too intensely, but still give positive friendly vibes in terms of meet ups and sharing confidences. It means neither person feels drowned out or claustrophobic and it gives you both room to breathe in the rest of your lives.
Your friendship seemed very dependent and it burnt itself out quickly rather than a steady slow glow that lasts a long time.
I think as life goes by, it's good to use the experience of these dynamics to forge more meaningful and balanced friendships, and also don't over invest and risk being hurt.
Join the discussion
Please login first.