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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:
Oliversmumsarmy · 23/11/2019 08:23

If you had really wanted to see her you would have done.

I have dumped friends for less.

Do you not think your friend could have refused other plans because she was seeing you only for you to cancel.

Did she make the journey expecting that you were putting her up for the night only for you to pull the rug.

It is all about priorities and atm she isn’t a priority

Tink88 · 23/11/2019 08:38

You work 26 hours, 1 child family friends etc it's not that much on to be honest. I don't blame her at all she's been very honest with you and not at all nasty.

Crystal87 · 23/11/2019 08:42

You both just don't have the time for each other so the friendship has come to a natural end. What she said sounds harsh but it's better than being ghosted. Although she's busy with work, people without kids will never realise exactly what it's like, children can take every last piece of you, especially when you have a few.

Of course there's ways of managing time and yes, somewhere you should have fit her in if she's that good a friend, but you prioritise your family which is a perfectly normal thing to do.
I've got four young kids, one partially deaf with behavioural problems and 2 likely autistic and my friendships have slided because I can't drop my kids to meet with friends who don't understand or have any desire to be around my children.

jamjarred · 23/11/2019 09:05

Stop the glorification of busy. You have lost a really good friend from being all things to all people in your family, whereas in reality you are one of two adults in a three person full time family with a dss and a part time job I'd give my right arm for that set up.
Bringing your child to your rare meet ups was not on either.How could you both speak comfortably as adults?just desserts here sadly.

chamenanged · 23/11/2019 09:22

people without kids will never realise exactly what it's like, children can take every last piece of you

People without kids aren't stupid or without empathy, and kids aren't the only demanding time commitment - you could just as easily say someone who doesn't work full time doesn't understand what it's like. And the vast majority of people with children will be able to sustain friendships, which, coupled with the fact that OP had actually made the plans, meant it was a reasonable assumption that she would be able to fulfil them.

especially when you have a few.

Which she doesn't.

DontMakeMeShushYou · 23/11/2019 09:38

For jamjarred and others, I'm just going to drop this in here again:

(For every poster who has questioned why she feels her life is so hectic when you don't think it sounds like it should be, take note: People who aren't coping with their normal everyday life often sound like this. Criticising them for not being able to cope isn't helpful.)

This is often what stress/depression/anxiety sound like. It is saying I'm not coping with my life at the moment. How do you imagine it makes that person feel when you respond by pointing out how much better you cope with your life? It's not helpful and it's not kind.

ImFreeToDoWhatIWant · 23/11/2019 09:45

You seriously said you'd be happy to reconnect 'should she wish to reconsider'?! 🤣🤣🤣 You just nailed that coffin lid shut OP. The lack of self awareness is astonishing. You do realise she's now thinking what an arrogant cow you are and just how right she was to sever the friendship? She's never contacting you again, I can promise you that.

LannisterLion1 · 23/11/2019 09:59

She sounds pretty open and honest. That message is better then being ghosted, certainly. I wonder if her inflexibility is just her being honest about her capabilities so she doesn't appear flakey and cancel. Perhaps she presumed you were equally open and would say you couldn't meet up or would only do what suited you?

Then when you cancel on her it's a double frustration as either she's bottom of the pile and you can't be arsed or you aren't being so open and honest?

Give it some time then write an honest email. Not blaming or excusing but explaining.

Sandals19 · 23/11/2019 10:11

You've had some nasty and pretty stupid replies here, along with a few decent ones.

Please don't let this all get to you (you came on here for help and a fair hearing ...).

I totally get everything you've said. And personally I think her behaviour is disappointing. I think she's let you down hugely. And her message was really quite mean. Actually a bit astonishing. And it breaks my heart to hear you listening to people on here and then saying OMG yes you've been unforgivably awful and deserved to lose such a good friend.


You're in a peculiarly stressful moment in your life. Several very challenging things have come together at once. Even the investigation on its own would be enough. But you also have a toddler. And are working round a potentially unhappy DSS. And your fiancé's hours are often long and unpredictable and his job is draining, and you're responding to and supporting him. Money is tight. Oh and hang on you're also organising your wedding! 😬 You're under immense emotional and practical/time pressure.

Now this friend - she doesn't have any of that going on. None of it. And she has made you feel obliged to drive for hours to collect and drop her off. She sat nearby at her parents' house for two weeks and didn't make the effort to meet up. She won't come out with your other friends to make the most of the chances you have to meet up. And she gets annoyed if you bring your little boy, so you can only see her when cover for him is arranged or it works for your DP yo have him.

She is the selfish one. She is the one not making an effort out of her comfort zone, and not caring about how you're struggling. You do manage to keep up with her on SM and talk there. Which in itself is an achievement, because sometimes it's hard even to do that. Her life is easy and neatly organised. She gets annoyed with you for being unruly and unreliable. She's being mean.


I was amazed to see the majority of replies on this thread.

Sometimes people "disappear" for a bit in friendships; they just have too much on their plate re. Kids (which are a total shit show for 5 years or more), step kids (whoever said op's stepson is (only) her dp's responsibility; seriously, it almost never works like that, what planet are you on?),
work, health, mental health, partner etc etc.

She can't be arsed with your son coming along, can't be arsed with meeting you with your friends, doesn't drive and expects transport ... She sounds quite unreasonable, quite selfish, lacking in empathy etc.

To be very honest, I probably wouldn t have realised/accepted the "disappearance" when in my 20s of 30s but would now so it could be your ages (?) too. I'd she thinks she's being v mature but she's not actually.

Sandals19 · 23/11/2019 10:14

The lack of self awareness is astonishing. You do realise she's now thinking what an arrogant cow you are and just how right she was to sever the friendship? She's never contacting you again, I can promise you that.

It's just a way of saying "if you reconsider ending the friendship" .. it's not arrogant. You're reading that into it. You're v malicious towards someone who's upset by this (and as above I don't think the mate is snow fkg white and unselfish herself)..

Sandals19 · 23/11/2019 10:18

Somehow I don't think a woman who expects to be visited or picked up and dropped off etc by her mate who has a toddler; is going to be running around the countryside, putting herself out when she has kids.

One of ops cancellations was also due to toddler being sick ..would this woman go ahead and meet op with a sick toddler at home? Would this woman meet her without a toddler at all when she's the main carer? Doubt it.

Sandals19 · 23/11/2019 10:21

When people have kids you can expect to meet them with the kid/s - esp the mother because let's face it, we still get the rough end of the stick in parenting... This woman is totally unreasonable/selfish in not wanting to meet op with her child and made it difficult for her to meet her on that basis alone.

Sane with the friends; does she always have to be the star of the show or what?

Sandals19 · 23/11/2019 10:22


scaryteacher · 23/11/2019 10:24

^^^^ as Sandals and a pp said.

Having your dp working away is tough, especially when you are dealing with everything, and your mh isn't brilliant; plus lack of sleep. Those who have been less than kind on here may never have been in that position. I've done it for years, with both sea time and years of weekending, and dh working abroad, so I do understand. The buck stops wholly with you.

I think you need to tell your dp you are struggling, if he hasn't already realised, and see how things can be rejigged to help you. I think you have to write to your friend and set out what you have said here about the pressure you are under, and how you are not coping with life (been there too), and how much her friendship means to you, and then decide whether to send it, or to let the friendship go.

You sound like you need a big hug, a good cry, a night's sleep, and someone to look after you for a change.

Sandals19 · 23/11/2019 10:25

Ops "mate" also knows she has ongoing sexual assault case and suffers depression, and is on medication - that demotivates people ... But again there no consideration.

The mate even days in her letter " I have family etc too but I ... " That's actually arrogant because non-child family isn't in the sane league as dependant children (unless you are a carer for a relative, which doesn't sound like the case) ... So she's arrogant/lacking in empathy and a sense of proportion too.

DisplayPurposesOnly · 23/11/2019 10:27

I agree @Sandals19 - glad I'm not the only one! Dear best friend wants everything her way.

Since I last posted, OP has said more about her mental health and the horrible situation she's going through. Presumably the 'best' friend knows all this. I think the best friend has been very nasty. I can understand she was annoyed by the cancellation (as I would have been) but her response is OTT.

Sandals19 · 23/11/2019 10:29

Did she make the journey expecting that you were putting her up for the night only for you to pull the rug.

Ops already said she wasn't putting her up and she'd never do something like that.

Ops mate apparently visits (family home?) about half an hour away.

Read the thread.

Bisquick · 23/11/2019 10:31

Oh OP I’ve only read the first 10 or so pages but I just want to give you a hug my dear. Sleep deprivation is so so hard, and on top of everything else you’re dealing with.
Don’t fixate on the friendship - I think it’s probably best to take a breather.
Please consider sleep training - it doesn’t have to be a harsh crying out thing, but even some gentle sleep training and just a bit more sleep did such amazing wonders for my mental health. I really struggled with the lack of sleep and lost one important friendship and bickered so much with DP.. but getting sleep has dramatically improved my life and health.

Sandals19 · 23/11/2019 10:35

I can't get over the irony of rgemate saying she was staying somewhere (half an hour away?) for two weeks and op didn't make the effort to visit her ... Ops got a toddler (probably hanging off her, tantrumming, napping, demanding constant attention etc etc as they do) why the fk didn't she ask someone for a lift or even get a taxi (it's not a regular event) and go and visit her??!! That's what I'd probably do.

Sandals19 · 23/11/2019 10:36

*the mate

Sandals19 · 23/11/2019 10:37

(and when op doesn't have a toddler hanging off her, she's at work and presumably doing the nursery run).

Savingshoes · 23/11/2019 11:04

Your friend's message seems to come from a good place. There's no spite or name calling and she even wishes you all the best in the future. Seems like if you bumped into her in the street in years to come, she would more than say hi.
But she has a right to stand up for herself and her own feelings. I would send her flowers and say thank you for the kind message and apologize for putting her on a back burner for so long.
I read somewhere that you can be a great friend, great parent or great at work but you can't be all three at the same time. You have to choose.
Seems like life has chosen for you.


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sprouts21 · 23/11/2019 11:14

I agree with a pp who said that some people have a mindset of being "very busy" that can develop into a victim mentality.

Op you described your life as crazy and hectic and gave the impression of a frazzled mum trying to juggle a job and a toddler. Some posters are still clearly under this impression.Things like driving are non issues and i think it's fair to say that you have really exaggerated Several aspects of your life.

If you exaggerate in your real life this might have contributed to your friends decision to end the friendship.I am currently trying to distance myself from a friend who exaggerates like this because it's stressful to listen to and actually really manipulative.

LannisterLion1 · 23/11/2019 12:43

The thing is OP could have said no at any point to doing the -'running-- driving and it being on friend's terms. Friend certainly did...she stated what was convenient and didnt budge. She likely expected OP to be of the same thinking and do the same. That's what OP should have done. That's how you roll with people like that.

By making and keep breaking plans, OP looks the one in the wrong. Had she refused to meet up unless convenient and easy for both of them then friend could have no complaint as both should make the effort equally.

The OP has a legitimate point if she feels she does all the chasing but she had ample opportunities to point this out before it hot to this point. If said friend is one who is 'my terms or nothing' that should be the opposite stance too. It is the only way to deal with that thinking, unless you do as friend did and be honest raising the point.

EleanorShellstrop100 · 23/11/2019 12:55

I would be really pissed off if my friend bailed on me yet again simply because her partner was tired. Her message is actually surprisingly nice and she is reasonable and polite when explaining something really difficult. I have two young kids and I don’t think that this can be an excuse for repeatedly bailing on someone.

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