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Complex situation with two friends

(18 Posts)
cupofteaplease Fri 17-Jul-09 18:36:55

This is quite a childish problem, I appreciate, but it's one that's beginning to get me down.

I met a friend at university when we studied abroad together for a year. During this year we shared a lot, and my friend, let's call her Sarah told me all about her friend, who I'll call Emily. Randomly, we discovered that Emily was good friends with one of my friends from college, Lucinda.

After our year abroad I had the chance to meet Emily and she was absolutely lovely. The four of us, Lucinda, Sarah, Emily and I would socialise occassionaly, or at least as much as our final year of studies would allow.

After uni, Sarah moved back home, which happened to be very close to where I lived, and we continued to be firm friends. I fell pregnant with dd1 very soon after graduating, and as a soon-to-be single parent, Sarah was a huge support and even more so after dd1 was born. Lucinda came to visit and meet dd1 and brought Emily with her, and after this, I felt closer to Emily too. In the following 2 years, I met up with Emily a few times, always with Lucinda or Sarah. I eventually met dh, had dd2, Lucinda emigrated, and Emily and I both started post graduate studies.

We found each other to be a great support as we were both going through the same stresses! Although Sarah remained my best friend and supportive of myself and dds, it was often easier to talk to Emily about my studies (I should stress here that Emily and I live 2 hours drive away, so support was always by email or phone).

Sarah got married this year and her mind was obviously on other things, so Emily and I became even closer. Sarah didn't seem to mind, until after the wedding was over. Now, all of a sudden, she seems to be almost jealous of the friendship Emily and I have built. I understand this totally, as she introduced us, but I find it hard. Emily has suggested that the 3 of us go away in October, to the place where Sarah and I spent our year abroad, but Sarah will not discuss it at all. I get the impression she wants to socialise with me, and Emily, but not all 3 of us together.

As I said, it's a tricky situation and I do feel very childish worrying about it, (as dh reminds me regularly!) but I don't really know where to go from here. Should I cut contact with Emily, or agree not to see her without Sarah? I would hate to lose Emily as a friend, but my loyalties will always lie with Sarah who I love as a sister. I don't know what to do sad

Any advice for an immature mnetter?! hmm

MrsMcCluskey Fri 17-Jul-09 18:40:01

sorry you lost me at the 2nd paragraph

cupofteaplease Fri 17-Jul-09 18:42:53

Thanks for taking the time to try and read it MrsMcCluskey. I guess it is a rather long and complex post.

BecauseImWorthIt Fri 17-Jul-09 18:43:18

How old are you all?!

It's not your problem, it's Sarah's problem. If she wasn't around for you when Emily was, then she can hardly complain that you're closer to Emily now.

But has she actually said anything to you or are you worrying unnecessarily?

AuntieMaggie Fri 17-Jul-09 18:45:28

Tell sarah you love her like a sister, but that you are also friends with emily.

If sarah cares about you then she will understand that you need other friends.

If she doesn't understand then she's the one who is childish.

mrsboogie Fri 17-Jul-09 18:46:04

It is Sarah's problem, so long as neither of you have gone out of your way to exclude her.

There is a weird thing that seems to happen when you get three girls together - its a dynamic that is fraught with jealousies and insecurity in my opinion.

cupofteaplease Fri 17-Jul-09 18:48:49

BIWI blush I told you it was childish!

I think that's why I feel bad, Sarah was there for me as a friend, but Emily was more of a sounding board when I was struggling with my studies. So it's not as if Sarah's done anything wrong.

When it was Sarah's hen do, I was having a MC and I didn't want to tell her and ruin her weekend, so it was Emily I confided in. Again, I felt guilty about this, as if I was betraying Sarah's friendship somehow.

No, she hasn't come out and said anything directly, but will change the subject if Emily's name comes up and like I say, she will not commit to us spending any time together, the 3 of us.

I feel stupid for posting now sad

cupofteaplease Fri 17-Jul-09 18:50:16

Sorry, I posted before reading the advice form mrsboogie and AuntyMaggie- thanks for your comments. Yes, I think 3 is definitely a crowd!

BecauseImWorthIt Fri 17-Jul-09 18:52:01

No - don't feel stupid! I think you need to talk to Sarah, though - clear the air a bit.

warthog Fri 17-Jul-09 18:54:22

continue to be friends with the two of them separately. don't push anything.

in 6 months broach the subject again.

just casually drop into conversation with sarah how much you value her friendship, that she's like a sister to you. eventually she'll get over it.

don't end any friendship over this! it's ultimately sarah's problem.

sweetfall Fri 17-Jul-09 18:57:03

Sarah just needs to be told that you love her and will always be her friend.

emily is fine it seems.

So just bolster Sarah's ego a bit. Ignore the childishness. Wait till she gets through it and continue to speak to your friends as you wish too.

If Sarah won't discuss a weekend away with 2 of her friends then just continue to arrange it as though of course she's going until she realises that it's going ahead anyway.

If she says something then you'll have something to react to but at the moment you're reacting to your perception of what she's feeling and not what she actually feels which is dangerous ground.


cupofteaplease Fri 17-Jul-09 19:02:39

Thanks again for the advice- basically be a good friend to Sarah so she knows I'm still there for her, but continue to be in contact with Emily.

"If she says something then you'll have something to react to but at the moment you're reacting to your perception of what she's feeling and not what she actually feels which is dangerous ground." That is really insightful sweetfall, tbh, I think I do that quite a lot, try to second guess how other people are feeling, which of course, you can never do. Perhaps I need to chill out a bit over this smile

CarGirl Fri 17-Jul-09 19:10:51

Agree with warthog.

I am part of a successful friendship of 3 (actually I used to be the common link) we don't have any jealousies between us, we see each other altogether or in pairs or whatever. One I see more often as we live much closer, the other is more of a kindred spirit - I'd walk over hot coals for either of them.

TBH Sarah needs grow up!!!

cupofteaplease Fri 17-Jul-09 19:13:35

That's lovely to hear CarGirl- I'm glad it can work out, that's what I need to hear at the moment smile

yama Fri 17-Jul-09 19:16:06

I've been in Sarah's position. I didn't deal with it the way she has though (I'm a middle child and know how to deal with being unimportant grin).

It hurts but ultimiately it is she and not you that needs to learn how to deal with it.

Encourage situations where all three of you need to spend time together.

As an aside - you are very lucky to have such good friends.

FabBakerGirlIsBack Fri 17-Jul-09 19:17:04

Sometimes you are lucky enough to have more than one friend.

Each friend has different qualities and therefore reasons why you like them.

Each person has different things to offer and Sarah will always be the first person you think of to discuss baggy knickers with whereas Emily is who you will call when you need help with a broken nail.

Get my point? grin

Tell Sarah that there is no reason why the three of you can't go away together but life is too short and no one can ever have enough friends to make it justified in dropping one for someone else.

<Disclaimer - I don't feel I have any friends sometimes.>

cupofteaplease Fri 17-Jul-09 19:18:21

Oh yama- that's just it, Sarah is soooo not unimportant! She's such a huge part of mine, and my children's lives- I really hope she knows that.

Yes, I am very very lucky to have wonderful friends. I don't have any 'mum' friends, so these two are my lifelines tbh.

yama Fri 17-Jul-09 19:51:04

Cupofteaplease - you sound like a lovely person. I think if you are thinking about how this is all effecting 'Sarah' then she will know that you are a good friend.

Friendships evolve over time. Just make sure 'Sarah' knows how highly you value her friendship, although I'm guessing she already does.

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