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Letting go of a friendship? Any advice?

(13 Posts)
WhyIsItRaining Thu 10-Jul-08 10:37:48

Bear with me; I've only ever replied to threads on mumsnet before...

I'm after some advice as to how to handle a friendship which has gone stale. I used to be very good friends with a girl in my circle of friends. She moved to Germany a couple of years ago but we have still stayed in touch. Then last year, I had a really rough year; my mum was diagnosed with a terminal illness and died six months later, I had IVF treatment (eventually successful but fairly emotional at the time) and my partner also got a serious illness. In this time, my friend didn't once get in contact to offer support - she knew my mum well and it really upset me that she never even asked about her. In fact the only time she ever contacted me, her letters were full of the joys of her pregnancy (also pretty hard for me to deal with whilst going through IVF). I really needed a friend during that period and she wasn't there for me. I decided to let the friendship fade away and stopped returning her messages and made excuses when she was in town.

But it doesn't seem to have worked; she has just tried to fix a time to meet up again. I don't want to; she feels like a fairweather friend and I feel very bitter about the whole thing. I don't want to have this out with her because we have many friends in common and I don't want to make them feel awkward.

So what do I do? Keep on making excuses? Suck it up and see her? Something else?

Any thoughts?

hertsnessex Thu 10-Jul-08 10:40:21

either see her and let her know how you were feeling and see if you can move past it - or ignore her - be polite but don;t meet up on your own.

sorry to hear about your mum, have you had your baby? hope your dh has recovered


notnowbernard Thu 10-Jul-08 10:42:15

She obviously can't see that her behaviour has been insensitive and very one-sided. She's either a bit of a cow or in a lot of denial about her actions, and seemingly quite insightless

It's up to you... you can keep on blanking her attempts to contact you or be up front and honest with her

If it were a friend of mine whom I had been close to in the past, I think I'd need to be honest. She might be absolutely mortified and very apologetic. People can be a bit funny about bereavement, can't they? Would rather avoid it than have to talk about it, for all sorts of reasons sad

reethi96 Thu 10-Jul-08 10:48:18

I had a similar situation with a friend and I posted on here about it at the time. The consensus was that she was a fairweather friend and not the true friend that I thought she was. I decided that I would keep her as a "fairweather" friend as we have a good time when we do get together but I accept that is all she will ever be and we rarely contact each other and probably only get together about once a year now.

I think your friend has shown her true colours, if you still want to have contact with her then do so but just accept that she is not a "true" friend.

bossykate Thu 10-Jul-08 11:20:53

do you know for sure how things were going for her during the same period?

in the normal course of events how often would you have expected her to be in touch?

is it possible she somehow felt she was being as supportive as her own situation and the geographical distance would permit?

i mention the above because i have a situation at the moment and i have to say i don't feel particularly well supported by friends. however, when i try to put myself in their shoes, i can see that from their perspective they probably think they are being supportive - IYSWIM. in my more rational moments i can see they are doing their best!

whatever happened during your terrible year, it's clear your friend still wants to be in touch with you now. i merely wanted to highlight the possibility that you and she may see what happened entirely differently.

anyway, i'm sorry you had such a bad time.

wheredohairbandsgo Thu 10-Jul-08 11:22:50

I agree with reethi96. I also had a friend who always wanted me there when SHE was having a bad time, but as soon as I called her for support she made excuses.

If you can accept she is not a true friend ( might be worth doing to stop it from impeding on circle of friends ) and take her for what is she- then do so. if not then simply avoid her for as long as it takes for the penny to drop.

With my 'friend' I now only see her with groups of others and keep her in the 'acquaintance' friendship box. I know now she will only let me down.

WhyIsItRaining Thu 10-Jul-08 11:27:27

Thanks for the replies. What I want is to not have to see her again but to manage this without having to have it out with her. But she has resisted all my avoid/ignore/evade techniques so far... I really don't want to talk to her about it because I know she'll somehow manage to come out of it the wounded party (she's already indicated as much to mutual friends who I am keen not to involve).

Hertsnessex - yes I had or baby recently grin and dh is on the mend - thanks for asking.

bossykate Thu 10-Jul-08 11:29:21

well i am all for not having it out with people if you want to drop them!

madamez said something brilliant on this, i'll try and find it.

bossykate Thu 10-Jul-08 11:35:07

this is an excerpt from the quote:
"Stay polite but stop bothering. It's never worth having a big 'honest' scene with people: the one on the receiving end feels backed into a corner and may well say hurtful things that he/she doesn't mean, and there's no real going back, whereas if you just leave it then you may well be able to pick up the friendship again later..."

thread here for the context - the situation was less emotionally fraught than yours with your friend, but i still think what madamez said makes sense.

good luck with it.

glad to hear you are in a happier place now smile

WhyIsItRaining Thu 10-Jul-08 11:35:52

Cross posted with the later replies.

Bossykate - I see what you are saying but a simple email saying that she was thinking of me would have been enough. She managed to send enough emails about her bundle of joy... (although, if I am being fair I should also say I was pretty crap about her pregnancy because I felt so let down).

Gah - it feels like being back in the school playground and I wish it would all just go away.

WhyIsItRaining Thu 10-Jul-08 11:37:04

Great quote bossykate. A lot of sense in that...

bossykate Thu 10-Jul-08 11:37:19

clearly you were/are very hurt sad

bossykate Thu 10-Jul-08 11:38:15

madamez gets the credit! i agree it is excellent sense - have never seen the point of having it out with people, eastenders style <<shudder>>

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