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How to end a friendship?

27 replies

breeze · 09/04/2003 09:34

Inspired by another thread to ask this question. I feel like I want to end a friendship, but not sure if I am being fair and sure you will be honest with me.

I have been friends with betty since college, kind of took her under my wing because she was getting picked on because she had red cheeks and frizzy uncontrolable hair.

Until the age of 21 she never had a boyfriend, she was/is very introverted and never went out to the pub or anything, she met her dh at aged 21 and got engaged after 18 months, it then came about that her fiancee had cheater on her for the last 12 months. They had a slight row and she forgave him, I was the chief bridesmaid and we feel out for a while because I told her she should get rid, but because she has a low self confidence she stuck with him.

We have been friends for 13 years. We try to meet up once a month for dinner with her dh and mine. These are very hard work and I dread it and have cancelled a few. The last time we got together she got drunk and decided to fillmy DH in on what I was like at 18, "There was me sitting in every weekend while I was out partying with a different boyfriend every month" (exaggerating), she even went into details, I was upstairs at the time reading a story to DS. (luckily DH knows about it), I heard him saying "I do not really want to hear about this", but she was too bladdered to understand.

They have been trying for a child for 4 years and both have fertility problems. When I told her I was pregnant, she burst into tears and told me its not fair. Since that day I can not even mention having a bad day as I am lucky to have one. I do not work so my life is surrounded by my son and feel as though I can not even mention his name.

While I suffered from PND I broke down one day and while I was in the loo I heard her moaning to DH about what have I got to be depressed about, I have the full package.

I no longer feel I get anything from this friendship but because if the way she is, I know she doesn't have any other friend except someone she used to live next door to that moved away.

I have tried to tell her how I feel, but she laughs it off and I do not think it is worth the hassel. Kinder to stop phoning rather than having the "our friendship has run its course" conversation.

OP posts:

mum2toby · 09/04/2003 09:47

Hmmm.... difficult situation Breeze! She sounds very bitter and jealous and she's not a real friend anyway! You're 'friendship' really has run it's course.... I think you were probably just more acquaintances than true friends. I mean, she's not the type of person you would confide in or lean on in times of trouble.

I am tempted to say just stop phoning her or keep cancelling the monthly dinners and she'll soon get the hint, but it's a bit cowardly. How stringly did you tell her how you feel??? Does she realise that you dread seeing her because of her attitude and that you can't even talk about the biggest part of your life (ds)? Maybe if you told her that it would jolt her into action and make her realise that she has to appreciate your problems too. Friendships need to be 2-way.

I have a friend that had a miscarriage whilst I was pregnant and even now I feel like I can't mention happy times I have with ds. I end up telling her about the hellish night we had with him not sleeping, or the terrible tantrums we're having now. We have beed very good friends for years, but it isn't fair to make someone feel guilty for having something you want!!!!!!!

Be straight with her...... there's no point in being friends with someone who is only a 'friend' when their life is going well and is never there when you need them!

Good luck.


mum2toby · 09/04/2003 09:48

ooops.... I meant how strOngly did you tell her....


breeze · 09/04/2003 09:53

I sat her down and told her I feel like I cant mention anything without her storing it up in her memory and using it against me later.

She said she didn't mean to upset me it is just that (and then goes on about how hard it was to grow up watching me have fun while she stayed at home and watching me have a baby when she got married first) I did used to invite her out but got fed up with her making excuses.

Also forgot to mention that when we get together she always has to mention SEX, like "Oh my head hurts, gave the head board a good hammering before you came round", It is like she has to assure me she is actively having sex.

I feel I get nothing from this friendship and that I am continuing because she has no others. Wrong eh

OP posts:

lucy123 · 09/04/2003 09:59

Breeze - I can see how this relationship is upsetting you, but I don't think you're being 100% fair.

First, you cite the drunken evenings with both your dhs. Everyone gets bladdered sometimes and starts blabbing - it is embarrassing, but you should simply tell them they were out of order (although I presume you have) and move on. I have been on the other side of this - I went through a stage just after giving up smoking of getting very very drunk and saying much worse things to / about friends. Luckily for me they have forgiven me.

Secondly all these symptoms point to the fact that she is insanely jealous of you (and was at college). The PND thing was wrong of her, but she said the things she did out of ignorance rather than malice (it sounds like to me).

I would cut out the couple evenings for a while, but I would explain to her exactly how you feel. She obviously has her own problems and may be hard work, but there may be something you can arrange. For one thing it sounds like she needs to get something in her life to take the focus off her fertility problems (a course? a hobby? adoption?) and you could help with that.

But you should say something (even if you do decide to end the friendship). It's never kinder to simply stop phoning.


lucy123 · 09/04/2003 10:03

PS - my post crossed with the others. TBH it sounds like she is depressed - although again I agree it must be hard for you. Has she always been selfish? (if so, why were you firends with her in the first place?)


PandaBear · 09/04/2003 10:10

Breeze - As a parent your evenings out are so few and far between you really want to look forward to them rather than dread them. Perhaps you could explain that you would like to stop meeting on such a regular basis because you would like to spend some evenings with other friends - or just having quality time with your DH?

Perhaps weaning her off of the relationship slowly is the fairest way to go. Having said that if you really do not want anything more to do with her ever again - then I would say just tell her, in the long run it's kinder to let her know exactly where she stands.


breeze · 09/04/2003 10:55

I have known her for a long time, and do not believe for one minute that she says anything in malice. The drunken thing happens everytime we get together, I always stay sober in case I have ds or have to drive home.

Things have been rocky for years, she paid over £5000 for driving lessons and after 8 failed attemps at her test she asked me to take it for her, I said 'no'.

I have mentioned to her about adoption, and was just shot down with 'easy for you to suggest as you have your own'. It is not so much what she says its the way she says it.

Do not think I am being hard on her though, she got drunk and told my dh "suprised she is still with you, as she normally gets bored with men", when I get drunk I usually just make a tit out myself by doing silly things not by upsetting people. I have had the same conversation with her time and time again. She just replied "oh sorry its the drink, and you know me".

My DH has arranged something huge for my 30th next year, he has been arranging it/saving for ages already, and I have had little subtle digs about that because her DH only took her out for a meal. It is not my fault my DH has plans for it and wants to make it special.

I can not think of anything we have in common anymore, so probably will just keep my distance for a while. We do have other friends we go out with, we have such a laugh with theses and as pandabear said eveing out are precious and I certainly want to enjoy myself.

OP posts:

grommit · 09/04/2003 11:28

Breeze - I had a similar situation a few years ago. I used to dread having to meet up with my 'friend' and then I eventually asked my self why am I doing this? I thought about what I got from the friendship and concluded that I was constantly the one making the effort. I moved house and did not send her my change of address. To be honest if she had wanted to contact me she could have contacted me at work


grommit · 09/04/2003 11:30

sorry -posted before I had finished - just wanted to add that sometimes we put too much effort into other people who just take, take and rarely give back. I now concentrate on my family and friends who really mean something to me. HTH!


Lindy · 09/04/2003 11:44

Breeze - agree that you sholuldn't be wasting your time seeing this 'friend' - easier said than done, I've got a few people in my life that every time I see them I do end up feeling fed up & depressed & wondering why I bother - and why do some people never get the hint? I wouldn't 'formall' end the friendship (I wouldn't be brave enough!!) but try & let things drift, if you can.


valleygirl · 09/04/2003 12:10

Sounds to me like the subtle aproach hasn't worked with your "friend" - personAlly I would now be tempted just to stop communication for the time being - if she wants your friendship to continue she will probabaly start phone-chasing you - after she's done this a few times, this may be the time to put it to her in stronger terms that the friendship seems very one sided, and that you don't really need a friend who cannot be happy for you, and begrudges you your son. It definitely sounds as if she needs you more than you need her, and that the relationship is a little suffocating for you. I think there's only so long you can try to make things right with a friend who can't/won't accept that they are being hurtful. Like I said -doesn't sound like a good friend to me.
It might be the wake-up call she needs, then again lot of people like that just tun it on the other person and feel even more hard-done by.


monkey · 09/04/2003 13:35

Breeze, I know how you feel to a certain extent. My oldest friend has been childless for a long time - no firm medical explanation, but no baby after 6 yrs or so. They're now going through fostering procedures, with a view to adopting later.

I always find it v. difficult to mention my boys to her. When I told her I was expecting no. 2 she said 'but it's not fair, you've already got a baby'. I didn't feel hurt or cross just bad, and dreaded telling her when I found out I was pg with no. 3. She is no. 2's Godmother & is really lovely with my boys, but I definitely couldn't 'phone her and moan about having a bad day with them.
Otoh, we only see each other occasionally as we live so far apart so it isn't too much of a problem. I just get the hump because she never ever 'phones me, & if I call her & she's not there she'll always return my call at 7.30 when she knows I'm putting the boys into bed. Every single time. She is so tight!!

Anyway, sorry for waffling about my mate. What to do about yours. Well, I don't think you can stay mates with somebody just out of guilt. I'm totally crap at confrontations, but you seem to have suggested you have a conversation about it with her. If you're brave enough I'd say you're not happy with the friendship as it is, then if it doesn't improve just stop seeing her - you'll already have let her know why, and at least it gives her a chance.

tbh, if she was so unsupportive with your pnd, as well as all the time(!), I can't see her changing but at least you've given her the option. No wonder she hasn't got any other mates. You may well be doing her a favour by forcing her to be lkess selfish, and therefore more likely in the long run to make friends.


layla · 09/04/2003 15:02

Breeze,I would find it very wearing and draining being around someone who is jealous and SHOWING it constantly.No bodies life is perfect and having been at the receiving end of a jealous relationship like this I found that the comments etc took away the simple pleaures that enjoyed feeling good about in my life.I don't see any reason to continue this friendship on these terms and don't see you are getting anywhere.I agree with you on the drunken comments as I'm the same and just get silly rather than what she did.I would completely loose my sense of humour with this relationship and I hate it when that happens.As for mentioning it to her I wouldn't unless she asks,just keep giving the brush off until she gets the hint.


Clarinet60 · 09/04/2003 16:05

I think this is a very destructive relationship and it needs to end, for both your sakes. As for how to do it, as I said on the other thread, I'm at a loss. If you're lucky, these things fizzle out naturally, but it sounds like she is in too much of a routine with you for that to happen. I'll put on my thinking cap, but don't hold your breath! If she can be as nasty as this when you're 'friends', what's she going to be like if you start to back off? Sorry to have been no help.


jasper · 09/04/2003 23:24

No Advice I am afraid but am intrigued - what is her dh like?
Some of the most AWFUL women I have ever met have the nicest husbands.

Has anyone else found this?


Rhiannon · 10/04/2003 05:04

Perhaps you could suggest she doesn't get drunk when you see her, surely she can have a good evening and stay sober? Give her a warning that you don't enjoy your time with her when she is drunk.

I ended a friendship a few years back, a 35 year old friend of mine's husband died suddenly (he was 53). Only 8 weeks later she was out at bars picking up men.

She even rented a flat a mile from her house so she could meet a man overnight. She got nannies in to look after her children. Her baby was 7 weeks old when her husband died.

To be frank, I was disgusted, she said things like she no longer loved her husband blah blah. But what I was worried about were her children, the son way behind at school, the daughter pulling out clumps of hair...........


breeze · 10/04/2003 10:13

Her DH for want of a better word is a plank. He will tell her he will be back for luch at 12 and then turn up 12 hours later after going on a bender or something.

Also forgot to mention that after she found out her fiancee had cheated on, she wanted me to make a pass at him to see if he would take it, again she sulked when I said no. She didn't see the problem as I was single at the time. Why am I friends with these people.

I have decided to let things fizzle out naturally, because if I tell her how I feel and want to end the friendship she is the sort to turn into a 'bunny boiler' or something.

We were suposed to be going out soon, but ds has chickenpox and that is a good excuse and we will start from there.

OP posts:

mum2toby · 10/04/2003 10:45

Breeze - wise decision!! Sorry to hear about ds's Chicken Pox. Hope he's ok.


Clarinet60 · 11/04/2003 23:26

Good luck Breeze. Let us know how you get on.


breeze · 19/04/2003 08:35

Has got a bit complicated, decided that the best approach was to stop calling as she was never that great in that department, however it was her 30th birthday last week and her DH has decided that he will have a suprise meal for her now, I got a desperate phone call from him saying can we come as he wants to suprise her, I told him I could not ds has chickenpox, he then replied ok the week after then, I ended up agreeing, thing is he has called me to arrange and has mentioned that hardly anyone is coming, so I feel if I drop out it will just be them and their parents. I think I have almost decided to go I mean she probably won't get herself totally out of it if her parents are going anyway. Just not sure if I should make my excuses and explain at a later date.

OP posts:

Clarinet60 · 22/04/2003 22:58

Don't go, breeze. This has got to end somewhere, and you now have the perfect get-out. Make up any old excuse to get out of it, then don't get in touch again. Hopefully, they should both get the hint.
If you keep giving in and going back one last time, you'll never be free and it will take a massive argument to extricate yourself (I speak from experience!). This situation is a gift really.


breeze · 24/04/2003 08:49

Thanks Droile, it was actually quite funny, I got off the phone and told dh where it was and he said "Oh yeah I know that one", then 2 days ago he said "where did you say we were going as its not the one I thought it was" I had forgotten, so I do not know where we are supossed to go anyway.

OP posts:

Meanmum · 24/04/2003 09:24

Blessing in disguise for you. Hope the dh doesn't ring to reconfirm.


Clarinet60 · 24/04/2003 23:03

If he does, get 'flu. Next time, get Dehli-belly. The time after that, if they haven't got the hint, have a phantom surprise weekend in Paris. Say it all with bubbly innocence. (Blimey, I'm getting devious. Wish I could practice what I preach).


Moomin · 24/04/2003 23:24

I had a friend like this. We met at college aged 17 and were very close. When she was 21 she went to live in USA for 2 years. When she came back she was the biggest pain in the butt EVER: arrogant, selfish, you name it. I eventually dreaded going over the see her and decided enough was enough. After a few awkward calls from her trying to rearrange my cancelled meetings, she eventually got the message and stopped calling.

After a year of no contact I got a call from her new fiance who was arranging a surprise party for her. I thought, what the hell and went. She'd changed so much, back to the old person again. We are really good mates now and she and her dh helped me through a terrible time when my 1st marriage broke up. We laughed the other day about what pains in the arses we'd both been for each other at different times.

Sadly, it doesn't sound as if you ever had the same foundation with this girl as I had with my mate. But, I would endorse the advice you've had about toughing it out and not giving in to seeing either her and her h. Ask yourself - what do I get from this relationship and what does SHE actually get? It's not the real you that tolerates these excruciating mettings with her and her husband, so try not to feel too bad.

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