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what would you do? I am contemplating finishing a friendship over one issue but feel a bit sad about it

(46 Posts)
pagwatch Thu 18-Sep-08 11:06:52

I have posted about this before but it has I think come to a head.

Have been friends for two years with mum whose DD went to nursery with my DD. She is fab - funny and nice. We laugh most of the time and 90% of things we agree on.
Last year the girls started school. DD went to local girls independent school. Her DD went to her local infants.

She has a thing about private schools which we have discussed and i respect her wishes but choices are made. I am happy with mine. She seems happy with her. But she asks ENDLESSLY about DDs school and then sneers or criticises. It has been getting me down. I have asked her to just agree to disagree but she brings it up all the time.

A week ago she asked about DS2's school and whilst answering I mention that DD now starts earlier.
" how bloody stupid" was her reply.
Tis the last straw for me i think. I had to end converstaion but she knew she had offended me. I told her I would give her a call but don't think I will.

Should I try one last time or is a year long enough to realise that she won't let it go.

Just wondering what you would do. Guess I am feeling odd because to me this is a minor issue and shouldn't end a friendship. So am I being shallow or is she being unreasonable?

Sorry this is long

RubySlippers Thu 18-Sep-08 11:09:16

well i think it speaks volumes

why is she so sneery - she knows your views yet continues to provoke or simply hold her tongue?

good friends support each other - your DD has gone to a private school - she isn't clubbing baby seals over the head

i think she is jealous and won't admit it

pagwatch Thu 18-Sep-08 11:12:14

thanks Ruby.
I think I have tried not to be provoked which probably hasn't helped . But I wonder how she would react if I were rude about her choice for her DD?

They don't do seal clubbing until year three.

DiscoDizzy Thu 18-Sep-08 11:12:31

I think she's jealous too but I also think you need to jovially mention that it annoys you when she comments like she does and then move on to something else. I imagine that she'll either stop doing it, distance herself from you herself (in which case she isn't a real friend) or she'll continue, in which case you can quite happily distance yourself

Flossish Thu 18-Sep-08 11:17:58

I probably would find it difficult tbh if one of my friends sent their children to private schools cause it goes completely against my belief system. I would struggle with it I think. Mostly because I'd like to think my friends wouldn't agree with private eductation either. also though because I would be paranoid about what your dd was getting that was better than my dd - so probably jealousy mainly but also a questioning of whether we have enough in common.

If I were her I'd probably be feeling much the same way you do about the friendship - and hating herself for making the snide remarks but feeling unable to stop herself. Both of you probably need to have it out and see how things are after - if its a friendship worth having it will survive.

Blu Thu 18-Sep-08 11:19:22

That would have made me snap right sounds as if you either need a good row in which you tell her how bloody nasty she's being, which may pull her up short - or else do as you suggest and just peel off.

It does sound as if she has issues of some sort - not necessarily jealousy, she may mistakenly believe that you look down on her decision or school, or something - there are, after all, complex issues of values, politics, income, own experience, anxiety about performance of child etc etc all tied up in variances between education.

But it sounds really tiresome and there is no fault in you if you simply can't be bothered with it.

Marina Thu 18-Sep-08 11:26:58

Tbh I'd bail pagwatch.
You've already asked if you can keep schooling choices out the discussion when you meet and she can't, or won't.
I think it is often seemingly "little" issues like this which make or break friendships.
The dcs are in independent education and many of our friends have chosen state. IME it is completely possible for adults and children to stay friends and enjoy each other's company without schools becoming an issue either way. All it takes is common courtesy, being secure in your own choices and respecting other people's.

ajandjjmum Thu 18-Sep-08 11:27:51

Don't you think though Flossish that we make 'friends' with people who are outside our normal sphere of existence as parents, and is there really any harm in keeping things smooth, even if you don't see eye to eye on everything?

It's really about a lack of respect for the views of others.

Shame if you get on in other ways.

TotalChaos Thu 18-Sep-08 11:31:44

agree with Marina and Blu. If you could be arsed to, it might be worth having a --slanging match-- air clearing session.

btw I have a friend whose DD goes to private school. I couldn't give a flying feck - it's a complete non-issue.

FioFio Thu 18-Sep-08 11:34:03

Message withdrawn

pagwatch Thu 18-Sep-08 11:38:40

Thanks all

I think you are all right and I need to have the full on arguement or bail. Perhaps if she contacts me I will try one last " can we just let this go because I can't do it anymore"

What Flossish said makes sense in that I think on some level how I school my kids seems more importanat to her than everything else we have been through /done for each other.

Cappuccino Thu 18-Sep-08 11:39:47

"she may mistakenly believe that you look down on her decision or school"

I think the obvious conclusion is jealousy but this might not be the case at all

she may feel that you look down on her dd's school. Do you take any interest in her dd's school at all? by saying 'we just agree to disagree' - which is a bit passive-aggressive sometimes, depending on how it is said - are you giving her the impression that you don't think her dd's school is good enough for your child?

if you are just not talking at all about your children and how they are doing at school, and you are ending every conversation about it because she is desperately trying to claw back some high ground from you, then that could easily make her feel that you don't rate the school, since you are paying to send your child somewhere else instead.

pagwatch Thu 18-Sep-08 11:46:31

Interesting. I think I can be passive aggressive tbh ( blush but I do ask loads about her school because her daughter is a sweetie and the school sounds really nice. Her school is also far from me but next to her IYSWIM. My DDs school is literally in the next road.I only say 'can we just disagree and let it go' when she starts attacking.

She also knows that there are many reasons why DD goes to that school which make perfect sense to her. DS2 has profound SN and DDs schooling provides things that help me hugely - not least its proximity.

hippipotami Thu 18-Sep-08 11:48:43

I think it stems from deep insecurity on your friend's part. She needs her choices validated by others - to prove to her she made the right choice. You chose to not send your dd to the local state school. Now she is worried she is not doing the best for her dd and as a result has gone onto the defensive. Big time, along with snidy comments, which probably make her feel crap, but like a wounded animal she keeps lashing out.
None of this is your fault though. You need to have a heart to heart, where you tell her you think her dd's school is fab but you just felt your dd was better suited to the independent.
If this does not work, I would slowly let the friendship go, as this cannot be healthy for either of you.

hippipotami Thu 18-Sep-08 11:50:21

crossposted sorry. I would tell her again what you said in your post below. Lay it on thick, ask her to stop her comments, tell her your friendship is not going to make it.

She may realise what she is doing then.

Cappuccino Thu 18-Sep-08 11:58:35

yes but if she is really having trouble with this, and you say "we cannot be friends because of this schooling issue" you are just going to double whatever bad feeling she has re the schooling by making it the reason for the end of your friendship

if she thinks you are looking down she will certainly think that after you tell her that it has Ended the Friendship

slope off by all means, but if you handle it wrongly she will be telling the story of her friend who got too big for her boots when her children went to private school for the rest of her life

pagwatch Thu 18-Sep-08 12:16:06

I get your point capp but what would you do?

btw i'm hardly sloping off when I have been doing this with her for a year. I have honestly been trying to let this go and just be mates for a year.

How exactly do I stop her thinking I am not looking down when err I am not actaully looking down? I haven't just said I think her DDs school sounds fab - it does sound fab. And her DD seems to love it ( well as much as you get declaritive statements from 5 year olds grin)

Cappuccino Thu 18-Sep-08 12:21:50

I'd second Blu's row

I wouldn't sit down to have a heart to heart with it

I'd wait till she started sneering and say why do you keep wanting to have a go at my dd's school?

and then row if you like

but don't bring it up first

Blu Thu 18-Sep-08 12:48:30

I think Capp is right - that by saying 'let's not talk about it' she might imagine that there are things that you don't want to say about her choice.

But she is being very unreasonable and quite nasty if you take into account that "She also knows that there are many reasons why DD goes to that school which make perfect sense to her. DS2 has profound SN and DDs schooling provides things that help me hugely - not least its proximity. ".

Do you think she is aware of how horrible she is being? If you don't react much she might not actually realise how often she dos this.

IF other areas of the friendship are fine I would see her, but be prepared and next time she lets something slip say 'yes, it's just TERRIFIC for you, isn't it, having such a fab school free on your doorstep? It's a school you're happy with and your dd is doing well at, so why are you on about my situation? I'm getting totally sick of you slagging off the fact that DD's school is private - just tell me, once and for all, what your problem is with it! And while you're at it, tell me how to deal with the timing and transport issues of travelling to your school!"

pooka Thu 18-Sep-08 12:57:06

I think that disagreeing with private education is fine and doesn't necessarily demonstrate insecurity or jealousy.

However, I would never ever make snide comments about someone else's school, private or state (however much I might internally compare and contrast, favourably or unfavourably). Because I know how hurt I have felt when people have inadvertently suggested dd's school is not especially great. It's fine for me to criticise her school, but not other people.

It sounds to me like she is guilty mostly of speaking without thinking. Which can be hurtful. But if in all other areas she is a good friend and you get on well, and you are confident in your choice of school, I don't think that this should be a deal breaker.

Saying that, it must be very annoying. Tricky one really....

Marina Thu 18-Sep-08 12:59:29

Good strategy devised there by capp and blu - withdrawing might be easier for you Pagwatch but waiting until she does it again and then responding with how it really makes you feel might be for the best

ImnotMamaGbutsheLovesMe Thu 18-Sep-08 13:00:27

I am in two minds as I have recently lost some friends and it isn't nice.

I would have no problem with being friends with someone who chose a different schooling path for my children. What a strange thing to not be friends with someone over.

I would be tempted to ask her what her problem is as she is negative every time you talk about schools together. Ask her straight if she has such a problem with it would she prefer that you weren't friends. Take your response from hers.

Overmydeadbody Thu 18-Sep-08 13:03:28

I think a true friend would keep her thought to herself on issues like this out of respect and kindness.

I have a very good friend, who is Christian, whenever she start tsalking about some aspect of her belief as if it is fact, I think to myself "how bloody stupid" but I would never say this to her as I respect her right to believe whatever she wants without being ridiculed or put down for it.

ActingNormal Thu 18-Sep-08 13:05:22

I have quite strong views on private schools and I have a good friend who sends her DS to one. She knows that I would not send my children to one because I have views on it but I only felt the need to say it once, maybe twice. I respect that she is doing what she thinks is best for her DS and I don't see any point in us upsetting each other by going on about the differences. Like one of you said, neither of us are "batting baby seals to death" She doesn't show off about her son's school being 'better' and I don't try to make my DD's school out to be better.

Could you say to your friend "from the things you say it is fairly noticeable that you have strong views on private schools vs state schools and that is fine but when you make your little comments I feel upset and I feel it damages our friendship. You have done what you think is best for your child and I have done what I think is best for mine. Can we just respect each other's decisions and not go on about it?" I know this would be quite hard to say if you are as inhibited as me but it would be the ideal thing to say I think.

zwiggy Thu 18-Sep-08 13:08:52

I am feeling a similar thing (tho different scenario) with one of my friends.

The fact is if the friendship leaves you feeling negative or pissed off then forget it. You can't have friendships like this cos it degenerates you (thats what it says in the Bhagavad gita anyhow)

Its better to be a wandering hermit IMO

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