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How to respond to this!?

234 replies

InnisandGunn · 22/11/2019 21:56

Really good friend, one of my best friends sent me this this evening.

Back story is I have an 18 monrh DS, DSS and a partner who works away a lot. We have DSS every other weekend and up until recently I've been working 26 hours a week. Life is crazy, and I'm barely seeing friends who live down the road. This friend lives down south, with partner, no kids, both high flying jobs, family up this way but they moved further afield about a year ago. Friend comes up regularly but is quite often busy with family stuff and fairy inflexible in times she can meet. Not a problem, if we can't meet we can't meet. Life's crazy for everyone.

My problem is I want to see this friend so badly, but it's always massively inconvenient but a few times I've said yes, then had to pull out when I've realised just how much it's going to take to get there. This friend doesn't drive so I'm having to pick her up from places and drop her back sometimes up to half an hour away. Her parents place is an hour away. I work every afternoon from 12pm.

So this weekend we arranged to meet and I've had to pull out. DP has come back from a works trip that happens every year and involves early starts and stupidly late starts. I explained I was concerned it wasn't going to work but after her ignoring my messages I said I'd have to bring DS along (she doesn't seem to like me bringing DS when we meet, which is understandable). Well, I've never seen him so tired. He's been looking after drunks the last few nights and he's come in and collapsed on the sofa. We also have DSS this weekend who is 2 hours away. We leave at 7:30 to pick him up. We're concerned DSS isn't having as much fun with us recently due to being so tired and finances being tight as well as illness, timings and an array of other stuff. We're trying to pull our fingers our our arses and get back to doing what we used to so we said this weekend we'd have lots of fun.

DP is so tired I've said I'll take DS over to pick up DSS so he can have a lie in and we can get back and both be ready to have a fun filled weekend all together. I've explained this to my friend and this is the response I got.

Last time she refers to she said she told me she was there for two weeks but I honestly don't remember because when it was mentioned in passing later I was genuinely gutted. I've also offered to meet for a few drinks tomorrow night once the boys are in bed as a compromise.

I get it's frustrating and I do feel bad. But this is my best friend of 11 years. We talk regularly via SM. She's helped me through some tough times and I've listened and offered advice through hers. I love this person to bits. When I read her message I burst into tears and now I'm feeling angry.

I get it's shitty, but it came down to family or friend and family always comes first. Surely they should? I feel caught between a rock and a hard place. I feel stretched so thin and someone who's supposed to understand has dropped me, just like that. 3 months before the wedding, after discussing colours of dresses only a few days or so ago, despite her saying she's been feeling this way for a few weeks. I had other friends I wanted to ask but decided to just keep it to my absolute closest friends. Invites went out yesterday. I could have invited another close friend to the ceremony, but I can't now.

What's the point in trying to explain how I constantly feel like I'm drowning. I feel like I don't do well at work, the house is a mess, I don't see my friends, or give them enough attention when messaging and trying to stop my toddler from killing himself for the 199th time this morning. She won't understand, and it's futile trying to get her to.

So here's the message.

Hi lass, To be honest, this whole pattern of friendship isn't doing me any favours, this is the third time I've made plans to see you this year and you have bailed. I always have to have a back up plan and somewhere to stay that doesn't rely on you. I understand that you are busy with your family, but I also have a new family and my parents and in laws and friends that I have to divide my time between and I've been trying to make room for you but this doesn't feel like it's being reciprocated. I was at my parents place for 2 weeks and you didn't make time to see me then, when you could have had your pick of time. Few several weeks now I've been feeling uneasy about being your bridesmaid as although we have been good friends in the past, I do feel that that time has gone and I don't want you to feel resentment that I am in your wedding photos or part of your day when I'm no longer a part of your life. All things come to an end and I think we've reached ours. I wish you all the happiness in the world and that you have the happiest of weddings :)

If you got this far, thanks. So I guess AIBU, and how on earth should I reply?! Getting past this isn't going to happen is it?

OP posts:
WorraLiberty · 22/11/2019 22:40

But the 10 year old could've had a fun filled weekend with is dad and his 18 month old sibling.

Also, if she's supposed to be your bridesmaid in 3 months time, she's done the right thing telling you this now before you start forking out money for her dress etc.

ChunkyKnit · 22/11/2019 22:40

I feel like applauding her. What a well-written email.

I’m another who is struggling to see how you’re so worn out all the time. You’re working part-time and have one child, and a stepson who stays twice a month. Unless there’s some major back story or a health condition, I think you’re taking the piss.

InnisandGunn · 22/11/2019 22:40

@Namechangeforthiscancershit apologies for the childish response and @TuttiCutie, I'm very emotional and angry, at myself as much as anyone else. For those wondering why my life seems much more hectic than it is. My DS up until a week ago has been waking up to four times a night, I've been dealing with a ridiculous police investigation regarding sexual assault that messes with my head an awful lot alongside mental health that's on shaky ground and trying to keep my head above water. Throw in a few family issues too and quite honestly I do feel absolutely exhausted most of the time.

OP posts:
QueenOfOversharing · 22/11/2019 22:42

OP @TuttiCutie go suck a dick

Reported that - don't post on AIBU if all you want is ppl blowing smoke up your arse. And don't reply to ppl giving you their opinion, which you solicited, like that.

Grow up. You haven't got enough friends as it is.

FizzyGreenWater · 22/11/2019 22:43

I'm sure she's nice and the message is well thought out, so why is my instinctive reaction to reply with 'Maybe try learning to drive?'

TuttiCutie · 22/11/2019 22:43

go suck a dick
Well aren't you just charming, perhaps that's what you should reply to your friend, just so she can be doubly sure she made the right decision.

chamenanged · 22/11/2019 22:44

The OP isn't exactly selling herself as worth learning to drive to hang out with!

woogal · 22/11/2019 22:44

@InnisandGunn have you told your friend what's been going on?

Bluntness100 · 22/11/2019 22:44

I'm sure she's nice and the message is well thought out, so why is my instinctive reaction to reply with 'Maybe try learning to drive?'

I doubt you wish anyone to answer that.

InnisandGunn · 22/11/2019 22:46

@woogal yes she knows all this. She knows everything. Really not a good idea to post here when you just can't get everything across. Feeling like a horrible person and a horrible friend and like I'm an absolute wet blanket for not being able to cope with everything.

OP posts:
Havaina · 22/11/2019 22:47


I'm sure she's nice and the message is well thought out, so why is my instinctive reaction to reply with 'Maybe try learning to drive?'

I totally agree! I’m surprised how many people think it’s fine to be designated driver all the time!

Aquamarine1029 · 22/11/2019 22:47

go suck a dick

And the mask has slipped....

Havaina · 22/11/2019 22:48

I think @TuttiCutie was a bit goady tbh

SlightlyBonkersQFA · 22/11/2019 22:48

I think she's been honest as well. You kept cancelling her! She was nice about it.

I'm a single parent and I arranged babysitters to go out. I didn't want to have to (as it's an expense) but it used to frustrate me that married friends would never do this for the wife (iyswim) to meet me! Only for them to go out as a couple. I have kids myself and I know how frustrating it is to be cancelled. I'd have been so embarrassed to have done it to the same person three times in a row!

1Morewineplease · 22/11/2019 22:48

I’m sorry, but I think that your friend has tried enough but your life is too busy to accommodate her. It’s hard when someone moves on and has a family life, a long way away, but that’s not your friend’s fault. Maybe you could have reorganised childcare?
You’re clear too busy to meet her.

InnisandGunn · 22/11/2019 22:49

In fairness I don't take kindly to people trying to villify DP for working his arse off trying to put a roof over our heads. I have a apologised for being so rude, and apologise again for being so childish. Fwiw no this is not how I speak to my friend.

OP posts:
BritInUS1 · 22/11/2019 22:50

Cancelling on her 3 times in a year sucks, I'm not surprised she sent you that. Also, she is the one making all the effort and you are bailing for not very good reasons, in all honesty. You clearly didn't value her friendship and took it for granted

I think it is a nice text, says what it needs to say and tells you how it is.

woogal · 22/11/2019 22:51

@InnisandGunn I understand you have a toddler who's really demanding but I can see your friends point of view here.

I think the only thing you can do is apologise and ask her to reconsider what she's said to you. If she says no, then you know where you stand.

I struggle to find the time to see my friends but I find it. I get it's hard to juggle everything but it's important to make time (with or without dc) to see your friends.

Rockchick1984 · 22/11/2019 22:51

Truthfully OP I think it's the cancelling last minute that will have upset her the most - if your life is so hectic then you shouldn't be making the plans that you can't keep. If you hadn't made the arrangements to meet in the first place then this probably wouldn't have happened.

I've had flakey friends in the past, I don't bother with them any more, whereas I also have friends with busy lives who I can see once or twice a year but that isn't a problem at all, it's all about managing expectations.

InnisandGunn · 22/11/2019 22:51

@sillybonkersqfa we don't have a childminder, and limited family help. Finances are too tight for one.

OP posts:
emilybrontescorsett · 22/11/2019 22:51

I also think she's been very honest.

wineisnecessary · 22/11/2019 22:52

Wow I wish I had the guts to send a message like that .
I agree though you made plans and you cancelled time and time again . I've had a friend like that and it's shit ,I get that you are busy but don't agree plans cancel and be surprised that your friend is unhappy.
We are all busy but be honest or make the time .


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Bluntness100 · 22/11/2019 22:53

Op, you shouldn't have agreed to see her if you couldn't mentally do it.

Your last excuse, which was your third time cancelling on her was a poor one, your husband was tired so you decided to get the step kid and stay in in stead of seeing her. If this had been the first cancellation fair enough, but it was the third in a row.

You must know it wasn't a good excuse. You should have said to your husband you needed to go as you keep cancelling on her, told him to have a strong coffee and a sandwich and met your commitment to her.

LittlePaintBox · 22/11/2019 22:53

This repeatedly happened to me with a friend I've known for years, we'd make an arrangement and then she'd cancel at very short notice because 'something has cropped up'. The thing that had cropped up was usually that she'd had what she thought was a better offer. Eventually I decided I just couldn't cope with being made to feel like poo every few months, so I stopped arranging get-togethers.

I had to have a really good think about what was going on, and I realised that she had a number of friends that she was seeing in rotation, because it was very important to her to feel that she was popular and had a wide circle of friends. I rather childishly had clung onto the idea that we were 'best friends'. So I had to realise that I was now just one among many, and enjoy the times we did see each other, but not to expect her to keep the commitment.

I just wonder if you need to be a bit more realistic about what you can manage, and only make a commitment to see her if you're determined to keep to it.

IncrediblySadToo · 22/11/2019 22:57

I get it's shitty, but it came down to family or friend and family always comes first. Surely they should? I feel caught between a rock and a hard place. I feel stretched so thin and someone who's supposed to understand has dropped me

I think this comment goes to show that you don’t prioritise your friendship at all

She’s supposed to be your best friend if 11 years, that’s more like ‘family’.

You give her NO priority in your life, but you expect her to ‘understand’ that.

You chose to go and get your DSS because your DP was tired, not because he was in hospital or forced to work- just tired.

Your DP being tired was more important to you than your friend - she’s telling you that’s not good enough - she’s had enough of never being important enough & that she doesn’t want to be at your wedding feeling like a fraud.

However, you still think you’re in the right so there’s not really anything to be done. You’ll always put your little family first, even when that simply means doing something unnecessary for them (an hours kip DP could go for his own DS & look after your joint DS. He’s not unique in being tired & having children to look after) & cancelling on a friend.

I get that you’re feeling pulled in many
Directions & are tired too, but that’s life as an adult with kids, especially if you choose to plan a wedding as well.

Just because your friend isn’t planning a wedding & doesn’t have kids, it doesn’t mean you can just keep dropping her at the last minute, especially not to just make DO’s life a bit easier.

I’m genuinely sorry you’re upset, but I think you need to look at how you’ve been behaving towards her before declaring that she’s at fault here for ‘not understanding’

There’s plenty of time to ask someone else to be your bridesmaid.

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