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to want to break with a friend over this?

25 replies

missmarplestmarymead · 20/04/2013 10:38

Last summer, a mutual acquaintance (Paula) tried to make a great deal of trouble for me and a close friend (Jean) of mine by trying to come between us, by making up various bits of tittle tattle and carrying it back and forth. When it came to light, there were no fireworks but Jean and I agreed to just quitely drop her, which we did. I wrote to Paula explaining why this was and wishing her all the best: there was no reply. Jean and I agreed that we had a lucky escape.

Last week, Jean and I had a minor falling out and in a series of silly texts about how unreasonable the other was being, she told me that she had had Paula to dinner at her home to meet her new partner but had decided not to tell me. If we had not had this silly misunderstanding, I would have remained in the dark about it. She has offered no explanation.

I feel very betrayed by this, as there is no way that I would have extended a hand again to Paula as she had tried to break up our friendship, a friendship that has been important to me. Jean knows this and knew I would look at in in this way (I thought we were singing from the same hymn sheet) but it seems to me that she has risked our friendship in order to make contact with Paula again: someone with whom neither of us were particularly close to.

I now feel that Paula has judged our friendship to be worth risking. She has responded that she can invite whoever she wants for dinner and of course, she can but I would have thought that a person who meant us harm would not have been an obvious choice. At the moment, there is radio silence between Jean and I and, although the original minor falling out could have been sorted, I really don't feel that this business with Paula can.

Am I being unreasonable to cut all ties?

OP posts:

Jan49 · 20/04/2013 10:48

Sorry, I think UABU. To me it seems an over reaction to want to cut ties. You can be friends with more than one person at once. Jean can be friends with Paula and also friends with you. Perhaps Paula behaved badly out of jealousy. None of us is perfect and none of our friends are perfect. So maybe Jean is happy to be friends with Paula despite knowing she behaved badly at one time. I think you should be more relaxed about it. You don't need to be friends with Paula as you don't want to. But Jean does so she can.


squeakytoy · 20/04/2013 10:49

Jean perhaps feels that as an adult she can make her own choices..


SoupDragon · 20/04/2013 10:51

I have to say that your tale reads like you are all still at school :)

Jean is right - she can be friends with/invite over whoever she wants.

Do you want to keep her as a friend? If so, then it really doesn't matter that she is also friends with Paula so long as she doesn't cause any further trouble.

I've cut all ties with an old friend before so YANBU to do it but make sure you want to do it.


MintyyAeroEgg · 20/04/2013 10:52

It sounds to me like yours and Jean's friendship is a tad volatile (two arguments in less than a year?) and perhaps neither of you are getting that much out of it.

Don't throw teddy out of the pram and cut all ties, but perhaps put a little distance between yourself and this rather strange relationship for a while.


missmarplestmarymead · 20/04/2013 10:53

yes, of course she can be friends with others: we are not mutually exclusive friends! In this particular case, it is because Paula tried to make a great deal of trouble for us and I would not want to welcome anyone to my home who had done that.

OP posts:

SoupDragon · 20/04/2013 10:55

You don't have to welcome someone like that into your home.


Shellywelly1973 · 20/04/2013 10:56

Maybe slightly...

But i would have been more annoyed that she only told you about friend coming to dinner because you fell out- more then the fact of actually having the friend come for dinner, iyswim?

Why can't you all be straight with each other, rather than playing childish little battle games?

Maybe in the long run, it would be better that you dont continue to be friends, it all sounds like hard work&rather silly for grown ups!!


HollyBerryBush · 20/04/2013 11:00

People who habitually fall out with others, should perhaps look to themselves to see why that is?


lauriedriver · 20/04/2013 11:04

Well said holly. I had a friend like that. Alarm bells should have rung when she used to talk about ex friends, seemed wierd at the time why she kept becoming friends then ending friendships with such awful people. It was only later I realised that she was the awful one


missmarplestmarymead · 20/04/2013 11:08

It didn't seem childish to keep away from Paula, who had caused this trouble in the first place: if anything it seemed like a sensible move.

I feel that Jean has welcomed back someone who tried to harm our friendship. If Paula had phyiscally hurt us, then it would be a no brainer-we must stay away. However, her words were spiteful, untrue and designed to harm and, to my mind, just as damaging as a phyiscal slap, so it does seem disloyal of Jean to have her around.

Nonetheless, I asked for opinions and if i was totally sure of my reaction then I wouldn't have needed to do that, so I do welcome them.

OP posts:

pictish · 20/04/2013 11:12

Mmm....I can see how this is a blow, but unfortunately you don't get to do anything about feeling put out. It's Jean's life. She may not have placed as much gravity to the 'pact' as you did.
Maybe she's a better-to-get-along-than-not person like me?

The whole troublemaking business has not left its mark on Jean as it has you. Perhaps you were the more injured party?

Your feeling is understandable...but it's not in your jurisdiction. Not among adults. You may feel offended, but you can't really expect to create about it. Sorry. I do sympathise though.


HDEE · 20/04/2013 11:16

Bloody hell, are you 12? You wrote Paula a letter to tell her you didn't want to be her friend any more? You have text arguments with Jean? Grow up.


missmarplestmarymead · 20/04/2013 11:19

Thanks, Pictish for that very measured response which is helpful and probably the best way for me to think about it.

OP posts:

ImTooHecsyForYourParty · 20/04/2013 11:24

sounds to me like it is likely that she never actually broke contact with her in the first place. It is more odd to suddenly invite someone round to meet a new partner after not talking to them for ages, don't you think? I think they've either never stopped being in contact, or they sorted it out a long time ago.

If she feels that she wants to be friends with a shit stirrer - that's her choice. You can only decide who you want in your life.

If you don't want to be friends with Jean because she decided to remain friends with someone who is a two faced bitch, that's up to you.


torcat · 20/04/2013 11:28

I think it's not unreasonable to feel hurt, BUT you have to decide whether your friendship means more than this, is it really worth ending a friendship over? If you really value Jean, then just put it behind you and pick up the phone. As others have said, maybe she didn't perceive Paula's behaviour in quite the same way as you. Texting is a really bad way to communicate about such a thing and rather immature. Don't cut off your nose to spite your face on this one.


missmarplestmarymead · 20/04/2013 11:32

Yes, that probably is the case, which actually makes it seem worse but as as been said, maybe Paula's behaviour shook me more than Jean. However, I do think Jean should have made that clear at the time and yes, I do think she has made an error of judgement in opening her home to someone who is a stirrer. It may seem immature (probably is) to now break with Jean but I really don't like what she has done.

Anyway, thank you all for your replies which, for the most part, have been helpful.

OP posts:

WishIdbeenatigermum · 20/04/2013 11:35

I am 44 and haven't fallen out with a friend for 30 years.
Just saying.


AlbertaCampion · 20/04/2013 11:41

Actually OP, despite all the schoolyardy letters, texts and so on, I think you're getting a rough ride here. Jean is free to be friends with whomever she chooses, as you acknowledge, but in your situation I would feel betrayed too.

It's so liberating to be able to close the door on a nasty piece of work like Paula, who only means you ill, and get on with your life. And a nasty gnawing feeling when that door is opened again, even if you weren't the one who opened it.


pictish · 20/04/2013 11:41

OP - I once had a situation a bit like this, whereby a dear friend (and by coincidence also my flatmate) supported me through some truly shoddy treatment from another mutual friend. The mutual friend's conduct created substantial problems for me, and really had an adverse affect on my life, both socially and emotionally at that time.

Anyway, after I rallied round a bit, my friend moved out of our flat, and promptly moved in with the mutual friend. The person I felt justified in cutting out of my life for good owing to her disgraceful nasty behaviour. Certainly NOT someone whose house I was about to hang out in, exchanging pleasantries.

I was gutted. I was. I was jealous, and hurt, and felt mortified and worthless. It was a real low point for me.

However, not once did I let on just how hurt I was. I realised I held more stock by the friendship than she did, and that sje was free to do as she liked. I had to suck it up.

During the time she lived with mutual friend (about 2 years) I simply didn't visit her at home. She came to mine or we went out. She didn't expect me to put myself through that. In all other aspects she remained much the same.
Eventually that flat dispersed and she moved in with someone else, and I resumed visiting again.

She's still my friend today.

So to summarise - don't take it personally. Your friend still likes you. Smile


pictish · 20/04/2013 11:53

effect not affect...I hate that I did that...when I see others doing it I have a little grrr of annoyance...


missmarplestmarymead · 20/04/2013 12:04

Thanks, Pictish: your situation sounded truly horrible but, even though mine is not as bad, I still feel as you have described.

I do understand that to other posters my OP may sound childish but, to my mind, it does seem like a betrayal, a sort of making up with someone who has caused you or someone you care about harm.

I am not in the habit of falling out with friends and I guess if I was, this wouldn't weigh on my mind so much and I would just take it in my stride.

Howeverm once again to all those who have taken the time to give a view: thank you all.

OP posts:

OrWellyAnn · 20/04/2013 12:12

Pictish, I think you handled that very would have been very easy to feel that the dear friend was choosing the stirrer over you and personally I would struggle hugely with that. Did it effect your closeness and ability to share with her?
OP. I think it's really hard, I know I personally have a a tendency to feel jealous and betrayed if a close friend chooses to be friends with someone that to me is clearly bad news. This happened to me a few years ago and every time the 'bad news' woman and my friend were together I felt awful....I just couldn't understand why my DF couldn't see this woman was a stirrer and trying to come between us. What I realised is no-one can MAKE your friends choose someone else over you...that person has to be willing to go, and actually what I was reacting to was my friend choosing someone else's company over mine. She preferred the stirrer, who she must have clicked with more than she and I did, and yes, that hurt.
I think for many women a close friendship can feel a little like the relationship you have with a DH. Obviously there is no sex, but you share your life, dreams, hopes, fears and views with someone who you feel is on the same wavelength as you, you admit that person to the more private and vulnerable parts of your when they choose to go off with someone you dislike you feel confused and hurt that in fact you DON'T both see the world in the same way as you thought. Them choosing the person you don't like over you can feel like your Dh cheating in a weird way.
Other women never really get that close to anyone. They may like your company and have a great laugh, they may even share quite a bit of who they are and you FEEL you are very close, but from their point of view they need you and your friendship a lot less than you think because they just never get that lose to any friend. THis was my friend to a tee. She wasn't mean, or nasty, or uncaring....she just wasn't as into me and friendship at an intense level in general as I was.
I think you have a choice. walk away and find someone who wants the same intensity of friendship and kinship you feel and would like, who you can feel close to and happy with, or accept that she is not the same as you, take a step back, and enjoy her friendship on a more casual level.


pigletmania · 20/04/2013 19:56

Yanbu at all. Why would a good friend want to be ftienmds with someone who ids a shit stirrer and tried to csusr trouble. It does dounf likr a flimsy and volatile friendship which mabey you should gradually withdraw from


Stinkypoos · 22/04/2013 12:09

I've been in a friendship dynamic in a group of 5.
Basically one 'friend' went through our group and destroyed friendships. I think it was a combination of low self-esteem, jealously, selfishness and nastiness.

I was gutted that she came between one particular friend that I worked next to and was closest to. She was poisonous. But my friend obviously chose to ignore what evil friend was up to. I thought we would be friends forever but this evil person came between us - my friend let her. She'd done this before with our other friends in the group but the new exclusive friendships she formed very quickly dissolved.

Evil friend was quite glamorous and well off, appeared full of confidence but with eating disorders. I guess she had something that my friend preferred over me.

All the less desirable cast-offs and me (she never wanted an exclusive friendship with me) reformed our friendship group and we tolerated evil friend and evil friends new side kick mostly due to side kick and my past closeness/working relationship.

I stopped working with her and the friendship died. It still hurts but I realised evil friend was not 100% responsible as my friend let it happen and didn't value our friendship enough. I could not understand what I did wrong to make my friend treat me so badly and I hung around hoping to get my friend back.

I think it's very similar to when a man has an affair and changes personality completed towards his wife - you tend to blame the woman but it is the man at fault.


Stinkypoos · 22/04/2013 12:25

Sorry, just repeated pretty much what someones already said.

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