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Losing friends when life changes for the better!

(187 Posts)
oxosmoothie Sat 07-Jan-17 10:29:40

I come from very humble beginnings and found I made friends with people of similar backgrounds growing up. We had similar troubles: problematic parents, difficult relationships, lack of money etc etc.

I'm now in my 30s and am still friends with some of the people I became friends with in my late teens/early20s, when I was facing a lot of these struggles still.

Ive worked hard to alter my mental health for the better, been well educated, got myself a decent job, made a decent living and changed my life around for the better. I've married a good man, with a good job and we have enough money to live on the lower end of comfortably.

We have recently moved to a bigger house, a detached house, in a nice area with a nice garden, nothing huge, but nice and comfortable. I recently invited a small group of these friends to the new house and was so excited to show them around. However the reaction I got felt a little flat they almost seemed annoyed and not happy for me at all, i sensed a bit of eye rolling actually. So I just made sure I told them how hard we've had to work for all we have. I've not been boastful I don't feel and I still go out with them and organise social events for us all.

However since inviting the 3 friends to my new house, I haven't heard from 2 of them, despite contacting them. There was also a recent night out which I wasnt invited to, I always include them all when I arrange anything. I feel a bit upset really. I'm still the same person, just worked hard and done ok for myself, but I can't help but sense their annoyance or jealously I guess. Which I do understand, I know a couple of them really struggle to get by. I just thought they may be happy for me? Is that too much to ask though? How can I change the way I relate to them so that they can continue to like me and we can continue to be friends, despite us having a different quality of life?

Shockers Sat 07-Jan-17 10:32:32

They might be uncomfortable with their emotions if they're feeling resentful, or jealous. Give them time and keep up a dialogue. I'm glad things are going well for you!

Shockers Sat 07-Jan-17 10:34:21

Perhaps you labouring the point that you've achieved it through hard work came across as a criticism though.

QuiteLikely5 Sat 07-Jan-17 10:34:35

I think that the eye rolling you saw may be a clue.

You may have sounded boastful and I don't understand why you pointed out how hard you work and how you deserve your house? That may have put their back up

if these people take you on again - don't mention your luxuries - yes they should be happy but most people feel jealous etc and I'm thinking you'd rather keep them on side

KatieScarlett Sat 07-Jan-17 10:41:52

Boasting is an unattractive quality.
People tend not to like it.

Lucy7400 Sat 07-Jan-17 10:44:39

Perhaps its the way you have posted but the reference to how hard you have worked comes across as a bit condescending. Its often not as simple as working hard. Its more to do with a bit of luck, being in an industry that rewards you and how much you earn as a couple as well as how good you are with money. That aside, I can see why you are hurt. It could be jealousy in which case you either try and sort it out seeing as they are such long standing friends or you move on. Friends are not often for life.

AhYerWill Sat 07-Jan-17 10:47:40

I'm sorry this has happened, but it seems to be one of those things. (Some) people don't like to see people 'like them' doing well as it throws into stark reality the fact that they too could have done well, if only they'd tried. They'd rather not take responsibility for their choices, and project those uncomfortable feelings onto you. By cutting you out, they can go back into denial and pretend that their circumstances are all out of their control.

It's sad to let go of long friendships, but honestly the ones worth keeping are the ones that are there in both the bad and good times.

pieceofpurplesky Sat 07-Jan-17 10:52:56

They probably all work hard too but not everyone has the good fortune to end up in your position. I work bloody hard as a single mum and it would really piss me off if I went to visit you in your lovely new home and you kept saying it was because you worked hard.
The reality is yes, you worked hard but you also had some lucky breaks and married a man with a good job and a bit of money ... not that you worked harder than them

TwoCirclesthatdontoverlap Sat 07-Jan-17 10:53:44

It could be jealousy but at the same time your post reads like you have defined success. Like you have judged yourself successful and your friends unsuccessful. I have a friend from school (I love her energy and humour) but she constantly wonders why I don't harder, study at night, do a masters, aim for x, y or z, apply to be a .......... omg, it makes me tired. The fire in my belly is to value my own time.

oxosmoothie Sat 07-Jan-17 10:55:25

Thanks all. I think my comment about us working hard came as a product of one of my friends saying "well you've done well for yourself haven't you" along those lines and me responding that it's come with a lot of hard work. My intention really was to prevent myself from seeming entitled as DH comes from a more affluent background than myself. But maybe thats me projecting my own insecurities.

LiviaDrusillaAugusta Sat 07-Jan-17 10:56:20

Actually PP may be right - your OP sounds quite smug and there's a good chance that you come across like that in RL.

You 'were so excited and showed them around' the house - are you sure you weren't showing off? It sounds likely

TwoCirclesthatdontoverlap Sat 07-Jan-17 10:56:38

True pieceofpurplesky that is luck. The family unit is more successful economically. Some married women might use me to feel better about themselves (not even consciously necessarily) but I 100% own my achievements even if my achievements are 50% of what they could be.

LiviaDrusillaAugusta Sat 07-Jan-17 10:57:49

And yes the eye rolling was a clue - you have been the subject of many a conversation along the lines of 'oxo had been boasting again' etc, I would put money on it.

oxosmoothie Sat 07-Jan-17 10:59:57

Got me completely wrong Twocircles. I "worked" hard until I had children. I now "work" hard in an average paid job, part-time so that I can also take care of my two children and "work" and work looking after them on my days off. I define that as success... being able to spend time with them and work. I did expect some hasty judgement before putting this on here, but I think you concluding my definition of success is thoughtless. You don't know me, I've only given you a snippet into one aspect of my life, you have no idea how I value success.

oxosmoothie Sat 07-Jan-17 11:03:35

Piece of Purple: I am certainly not indicating that you don't work hard. You work much much harder than me as a single mum! I have the utmost respect for you, it was just a way of me explaning to my friends that I hadn't just landed with what I have and that we had worked hard for it. Perhaps I just got it completely wrong.

bakingaddict Sat 07-Jan-17 11:06:30

I think it just happens friendships work best when you have similar situations. I had a friend for about 20 years but we drifted as my circumstances changed for the better too. Conversely my MIL is friends with a lovely couple who are multi-millionaires, when I visited their house I felt as poor as a church mouse. There was a whole walk in closet devoted to designer handbags and shoes. Everything was there, Prada, Mulberry, Chanel must of been about 100 pairs of shoes and numerous bags.I knew I couldn't spend time around these people without constantly comparing how little I had in comparison and I have a comfortable life myself going on 3-4 foreign holidays a year. It's just human nature I'm afraid

KatieScarlett Sat 07-Jan-17 11:09:16

How much of your lifestyle could you afford if you did not have your DH?
My DH earns 3 x my salary.
I have 2 DC and work full time in an extremely stressful job, which is paid above average.
I would never be as crass as to show off to my friends who have much less, or presume to tell them I am doing so well because I work so hard. Because that would be a big fat lie. I live like I do because of DH.

BackToBasics2 Sat 07-Jan-17 11:09:34

Sounds a bit simple but I think it's just part of life. Friendships fade/move on/ we out grow.

As sad as it is, it sounds as though these friends are a from a part of your life which you have outgrown and moved on from. It happens to us all. The situations/way life which fitted you all together when you were very young in late teens/early 20s are no longer there. Now you're in your 30s your life is different and that's good so don't let anyone make you feel bad for naturally moving on and growing in life.

Don't fall out with these people, leave them a message saying you would love to see them/meet up, then leave it in their court. If they do contact you, great, but if they don't - do not feel bad about it. You have done all you can by making it clear you would love to see them.

Part of me thinks they will sit round saying "she's off now in her fancy house/life" and we aren't good enough. But that is their problem and their attitudes stemmed from failings/not wanting to take the risks or not achieving what they want in their own lives so they resent yours. And that is not an excuse to not be happy for their friend.

You don't want"friends" who aren't happy for you. It will make you miserable. Like I said, make it clear there is no problem with them and you would love to see them but leave the ball in their court. Then you'll know the answer.

oxosmoothie Sat 07-Jan-17 11:09:45

Putting it like that, it makes sense Baking addict. You sound much better off than me affording all of those holidays each year! Our circumstances are really quite average, I guess it's because I came from a lower than average background that my friends probably feel discomfort. I value them as people so it would be a shame for us to drift apart, but I do see where you're coming from.

oxosmoothie Sat 07-Jan-17 11:10:48

KatieScarlett: Is it really showing off to invite my friends to my new home and show them around? Isn't this quite normal?

AnitaPallenbergsKnees Sat 07-Jan-17 11:14:51

Maybe jealousy and felt like they were being shown how well you have done?
I had a friend who I haven't really seen since we moved to a nice area, didn't stay in the box she had put us in you see?
Some people are strange.

SheldonCRules Sat 07-Jan-17 11:15:05

The eye rolling was a huge clue that you were coming across as smug and a show off.

I suspect most of your "good luck" is down to the fact you found a man willing to pay for the lifestyle you wanted and showing off was always going to alienate people as it's an awful trait.

KatieScarlett Sat 07-Jan-17 11:15:25

No, it is absolutely normal to invite your friends round. But the sanctimonious lecture on how hard you have worked to get your new house would get anyone's back up. Especially since you know your friends are currently less fortunate.
Lots of people work hard. Lots of people who work hard are just managing to survive.
You have been lucky.
Like me.

TwoCirclesthatdontoverlap Sat 07-Jan-17 11:16:45

No Oxo brew you got me all wrong, but it's ok. I wasn't making any judgement on how hard you'd worked. And another comment I made was in conversation / reaction to something another poster said and wasn't a comment aimed at you! I was just suggesting that maybe with out realising it, you'd defined success as being your personal interpretation of success.
It was merely a suggestion that was all. I don't think you should have been put in the position of having to justify your good fortune.

LiviaDrusillaAugusta Sat 07-Jan-17 11:18:55

Depends how you do it. You may think you were just showing them on a factual way but they may have perceived it as rubbing their noses in it. Unfortunately some people can unwittingly come across like that Harry Enfield character who said 'I'm considerably richer than yow'

If several of them aren't wanting to meet up now, I think you have to conclude it's not them, it's you. One person might be jealous and bitter but it sounds like you have managed to annoy the whole group.

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