My childhood best friend (we’re now in our early 30s) sent me an angry text. We haven’t been close for many years.
She recently had a baby and was upset that I wasn’t “there” for her. We lived thousands of miles apart at the time and texted updates (now we’re living again in the same city). I asked about her pregnancy (maybe not often enough). After she gave birth, I waited to hear from her. Then I messaged, saying that I wanted updates but there’s no pressure to reply. She said it was a bit overwhelming, so I messaged less frequently.
I tried to arrange a get-together. Prior to our date, she expressed disappointment that I didn’t know her baby’s name, and she now didn’t want to get together.
Then we had a heated two-hour discussion. I expressed my own upset and hurt. She seemed surprised.
She doesn’t acknowledge the support and concessions I made for her wedding. She also didn’t consider my own tough times (living far away with a difficult partner).
I apologized, then got defensive. She hung up.
Sadly, her mother died some years ago. I cannot imagine how hard it’d be to go through pregnancy and birth without her mom’s presence.
I feel she’s misplaced some expectation on me, without saying she’d like more support and communication. Maybe she didn’t realize she wanted it until she wasn’t getting it… she only said I’m a failed friend.
I apologized for not making more postpregnancy contact. I didn’t realize she was struggling so much.
But I don’t trust her. She’s “too busy” to mend and heal our friendship, which I suggested we discuss in person.
We made a plan and got together. Neither of us raised the issue. We were pleasant, chatty, kept the conversation light. We haven’t seen each other since.
I’ve now been home for a year. We send chatty updates and proposed plans, then one of us cancels. Yet, I’m sad to let the friendship die.
Should I email/call her and explain my hurt? Or arrange to hang out again and see if we find more pleasantries before diving into the hard stuff?
Can This Friendship Be Saved?
You’ve both dived into “the hard stuff” of hurt feelings, disappointments and blaming, long enough. You each experienced difficult situations, while separated from close family and emotional supports.
Like many first-time mothers, your friend expected enthusiasm and empathy, but the distance apart led to hurt and resentment instead. She was overwhelmed and sensitive. You felt misjudged and annoyed.
Put your mutual “hurts” in the past. Close friendship since early childhood deserves a better chance.
Reader’s Commentary Regarding the letter-writer whose relationship concerns set off “alarm bells” for this reader (June 9):
“The young woman whose older boyfriend is asking her to live with him ‘to see if it works’ is naturally feeling uncomfortable. He sounds controlling and possibly narcissistic. He may’ve been ‘grooming’ her through their five-month courtship. She senses that he has an agenda and is worried about ‘not meeting his private goals for us and about me.’
“She’s uncomfortable showing her ‘crabby’ side and being real with him, but enjoyed the fantasy-like courtship. She may ‘love’ his charming, caring, and attractive persona, but there’s likely no chance of a healthy, mutual love.
“I know a version of this fantasy too well. I’m coming to my senses after decades of abuse and self-doubt. Worse has been recognizing the damage done to my beloved children.
“I’m finally becoming whole myself and helping my children towards healing.”
FEEDBACK Regarding the grandparents dividing their forthcoming will between their two adult sons, while only one son has children and the other has none (June 10):
Reader – “Adult children prefer equal treatment. Do this for both sons, under the same terms of the will.
“Meanwhile, consider setting up a Registered Educational Savings Plan (RESP) or some similar plan. Start contributing ‘education funds’ now, treating each grandchild equally.”
Reader #2 – “Seek a lawyer’s advice and explore your options. Then, discuss with both sons and grandchildren (requiring age-appropriate information). State your desires and intentions clearly. Then, a second visit to your lawyer to generate the will.
“As long as the grandparent circumstances for either children or any grandchildren change over time, the ratios can always be adjusted.
“If everyone is fair and reasonable, I suggest a third of the total amount for each son, and a third to be shared amongst the grandchildren.”
Tip of the day:
When friendship falters, both sides must yield or acknowledge failure.