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deteriorating relationship with a friend - need to externalise emotions

(8 Posts)
FredaMare Sat 03-Oct-09 12:42:57

can anyone help me get some perspective? With apologies if this gets lengthy. And am also mindful that she might be in here somewhere.

I have (had?) a friend of 18 years standing. We met at work when we were both quite new to the organisation and have remained friends since. We worked in the same office for a while, then each moved off and got other jobs in the same organisation. Last year I pitched up in the same office as her - not through choice, but my job was axed, I had to go somewhere and I work funny hours (childcare issues) which limits my options. Over the 18 years we have both got married, had kids and (in my case) got divorced. I also got a promotion along the way (this is relevant in a bit)

Anyhoo, I'm finding it very difficult to work with her and continue to like her as a friend. She has been temorarily "acting up" at my grade and seems to have sold out and become a corporate drone. She is forever telling me how many management meeting she has to go to, how she barely has a moment to sit still at her desk, she'll be meeting herself coming back, how her team is over-achieving under her direction. What she says is getting to me because my restricted hours mean that, in truth, I don't get the opportunity to be involved in much and feel quite left out. So she is touching a raw nerve here.

On a personal level, I get to hear how fantastic her life is, how happy her marriage and she couldn't bear the thought of having to start again. The line I've taken here is that I'm quite content to be starting again, because my other life was miserable. As an aside, her husband took to ringing me when I first became single. I'm convinced she never knew about the calls. I used to ignore them because I couldn't cope. Looking back, I should have spoken up, but I didn't want to hurt his feelings. Or look a right numpty if I'd read the signals wrong and spoil the friendship anyway. This has made my relationship with him strained, and I suppose he might be saying things at home about me.

Does anyone have any words of wisdom? Or is it me after all and I should just stop over-thinking?

HarlotOTara Sat 03-Oct-09 13:36:54

Sounds like she may well be envious of you - you may find that strange looking at it from your perspective. Maybe a case of she protests to much? Busy, busy busy and a great marriage but her husband was ringing you when you were single and she is acting rather than being in the same position as you? Happily married people don't need to bang on about how great their marriage is and I think the same goes for someone who feels secure in their job. She is using your achilles heel to make herself feel better I reckon - hope that makes sense.

MyCatsAScarierBastardThanYours Sat 03-Oct-09 13:43:23

Sounds to me like the lady doth protest too much, IYKWIM. If she has to constantly tell you now great she is/life is/work is etc etc, it suggests to me that it in fact isn't that marvelous and she is jealous of you.

As Harlot said, she is using you to make herself feel better (not talking to you about how she feels like a really good friend would).

I'd distance myself as much as possible and keep it polite. Try to let it wash over you and get on with your new life (and on a slightly mean note - it'll probably wind her up that your doing that and serve her right too.... I have a slight hangover today so am feeling a bit mean!! grin).

freename Sat 03-Oct-09 13:48:26

My instinct with people who brag so much is usually think the opposite and you are probably nearer the truth.

Limit your time with her at work. Avoid non work conversations. That way she can't get the little jibes in.

Remain aloof and professional. Don't mention the husband at all.

purplepeony Sat 03-Oct-09 14:05:10

If you didn't see her at work, would she still be your sort of friend?
Sometimes friendships just run out of steam. Is it just the work stuff, or does she irritate you full stop?

purplepeony Sat 03-Oct-09 14:12:32

Freda- have answered your query on the Gen. health forum too.

freename Sat 03-Oct-09 14:18:12

18 years is a long time though isn't it?

FredaMare Sun 04-Oct-09 15:08:38

thanks for your responses and sorry for not having been back on since yesterday. Went to school reunion! Very strange experience.

Anyway, it's interesting to think that she might be jealous of me. It will be a shame to distance myself from her after such a long time, but I'm not sure that I have any choice.

To answer purplepeony, no I don't think she'd be my sort of friend if I didn't see her at work. She winds me up too much.

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