Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Could use your advice

I'm experiencing a bit of an off topic dilemma and have so many emotions swirling I thought I'd share it and see what your objective opinion might be. Any advice much appreciated.

Once upon a time Jack and I had a couple friend we were very close to. We knew the hubby, A, for years before he married Z, and he would come over our house for dinner all the time and we adored him. Then he married Z and she was just as awesome as A, and the four of us hung out all the time. We had other friends in common but the common denominator was the four of us. Z became my closest girlfriend. Closer still, because the four of us connected so well, they felt like family away from family. My parents knew them, asked after them. I knew her folks and when they were visiting we'd often go over because it was like seeing relatives. Z and I went shopping together, had lunch together regularly, talked on the phone almost every night and we hung out every weekend whether just the four of us or with larger groups of people. We referred to each other as sisters. I could confide anything in her and I knew that no matter what happened she would always be there for me.

Except she wasn't. One day, three years ago, out of nowhere, after I threw her a surprise birthday party, she stopped speaking to me. She stopped returning my calls. She blocked me on facebook. When I saw her she would turn around and walk away. I was shocked. I tried approaching her when I saw her to ask her what happened but she said she didn't want to talk to me. I later learned from friends that she had ripped up photos of us and one was stuck on her fridge torn in half. I had no idea what I did. I grieved that friendship like someone might grieve losing a long-time boyfriend for no reason. I was devastated. Jack and I were both shocked and stunned.

I was the quieter more introverted of the two of us so she took over all my prior friendships. I no longer felt welcome to attend events of mutual friends. In the three years since I had to rebuild almost my entire social circle. I now have other friends and they're very nice but I never had the type of friendship I had with Z ever again. Despite what she did I missed having that sisterhood feeling with someone. Knowing that I could call someone at 3am and they would be there for me. I really really missed it despite not wanting to.

In the years that passed she got pregnant and had a baby girl who is a few months old now. July 2009, when she was pregnant she e-mailed me after two years of silence to wish me a happy anniversary. I was confused and simply responded with a terse thanks.

Her husband and Jack still play on the same flag football team and a few weeks ago he asked Jack to have lunch with him. He told Jack that he misses our friendship a lot and that he never found friends like us again. After all this time he finally told us why Z ended the friendship: She thought we were too close and it was impinging on her ability to expand her social circle. That was why she ended our friendship. She certainly did expand her social circle. There's hardly a person I meet who doesn't know Z (she's very loud and funny). I still don't know why she had to end our friendship to get this- but that was her choice. Her husband told Jack she regrets what she did and they miss us. Jack shrugged his shoulders, what is there to say really?

Today, 2.5 years after she ended our friendship, I got an e-mail from her. She apologized profusely for what she did and that she thinks of me every day. She said she thought of me as a sister and she lives with regret for having treated me as she did. She hurts knowing I'm having a baby and that we can't raise them together like we would have. She said I was her first true friend so she didn't appreciate its value and now over the years she's learned that friends like me are hard to find and she fucked up a really good thing. She said she knew we can't fix the friendship we had and she has no expectations of a response from me but she hopes I can empathize with her.

I'm so confused. I will be seeing her at a wedding in two weeks. This thought was already filling me with dread because I hate having to see her but now she's reached out and I dont know what to do. I bawled my eyes out reading it because despite all these years I never made another friend like that again. Though I know I'm not missing who she is, to this day I miss the friendship that was.

Jack got angry reading the e-mail. He said she wants to unburden herself because she feels guilty for what she did. He told me not to respond and just to accept this apology as closure to a very painful part of my life. I mean, this may sound really dramatic, but she broke my heart and he had to see me lose all my friends because of her actions.

Do you have any advice about what you would do if you were in my shoes? Part of me wants to ingore her reaching out. Part of me wants to write back and say thanks, keep it short and sweet. Part of me wants to approach her at the wedding in two weeks to talk (except I did that in the past and she snubbed me so I feel uncomfortable with that), and part of me wants to get coffee with her and talk and at least become cordial again... and then, I admit there's a part of me that wishes so so badly that we could erase the years and I could have the friend I had, the friend I never found again.


  1. Take your husband's advice. She will bend over backwards to get your friendship back to where it had been and just when you are trusting her heart and soul she'll turn on you again.

  2. Yikes, this is tough. I know what you mean - I had a friendship end similarly and I was CRUSHED. I loved this woman like she was my sister and she really gave no good reason for why she started to behave the way she did...unfortunately, like anonymous above warned, I gave her a few more chances...and she has disappointed every time. If she contacts me now - I am civil - but I do not go out of my way to speak with her or to be around her.

    I always ask myself - what would I tell one of my sisters to do in a situation? Also - I try not to have any regrets.

    This is a tough situation - and I hope you get through it in a way that is acceptable to you...but my assvice is - based on my experience - is to RUN, not walk away from that friendship...

  3. i don't mean to be judgemental in any way...but for her to treat you like that simply for the reason of wanting to expand her social network speaks volumes about her ability to be close to others, her personality structure, etc. i'm sure she sincerely regrets her actions and likely doesn't even understand herself why she would have acted so harshly to you for such a weak reason....but unless you want to go through it all over again in a couple of years, i say steer clear. accept her apologies, be cordial, whatever feels comfortable, but i wouldn't risk going through another bout of this with her...and who knows, she may be currently ousting someone else, which gave her the opening in her social network to reconnect with you.
    as maya angelou says...when someone tells you who they are, believe them--the first time.
    i know this is easier said than done, especially when you felt a sisterhood...and it's just my opinion for whatever it's worth.

  4. This is really hard. I want to punch her in the face for hurting you like that. Ending a friendship is one thing... freezing you out and ripping up your pictures is cruel. It strikes me as very middle school.

    I think you can acknowledge the email with a brief reply, but I do NOT think you should chat her up at the wedding or go to coffee. I know you miss the friendship, and I completely understand why you have the urge to reach back. But you deserve someone with more character than that. Leave the friendship in the past, and leave yourself open to all the mommy friendships you'll make after sunflower comes. There is another BFF out there who is worthy of your loyalty, someone who respects you and who you know you can trust.

    To sum up: She went way too far to deserve your friendship. Forgive and move on without her.

  5. that is an absolutely ridiculous reason to end a friendship, and not only end it, but do so in such a strange way with no explanation. that being said, people make mistakes, if it was a friendship that you cherished i would consider giving her another chance, friendships like that don't come along too often. if she hadn't acknowledged what she did and apologized i would tell you to write her off, but she did, so clearly she knows what she did was wrong. i'll be the first to admit i have given some people who didn't deserve it a second chance but it was worth it to keep the ones who did deserve it in my life. just my personal opinion.

  6. What kind of person would end a friendship so suddenly for that reason? I have my doubts about her sincerity and would protect myself if I were in your shoes. Good luck.

  7. That is the most immature and bizarre story I have ever heard of....because she wanted to expand her social circle? WTF??

    Are you sure she wasn't jealous or something?

    I would be VERY leary of giving her a second chance....almost scared to. She doesn't sound stable, sorry.

  8. wow. i am in awe of her reasoning. its almost as though she doesn't understand the damage she did to you. not only to your direct friendship with her, but also all of your other friendships at the time. so devastating. there would be no second chances for me on this one. i wouldn't respond to the email and, quite frankly, i may say a courteous hello at the wedding, but only if our paths crossed.

    i can imagine how emotional all of this is for you but if she was capable of treating you so poorly for no reason once, she'll surely do it again.

  9. Wow, what a difficult situation you are put in. If you don't welcome her back with open arms, does that make you a b*tch?

    I have a friend who also froze me out. We weren't as close as you two are, but it still hurt. There has never been an explanation. I see her at parties, and am polite, but I'll never invite her to my home or go out of my way to see her. I'm never rude to her. I smile, say hello, ask her how she is, engage her superficially in conversation. I won't really trust her again, tho, and she wasn't half as hurtful as your former BFF.

    I agree with E, I think your friend was jealous and was trying to take over YOUR social circle.

    I vote for forgiving her, but being very wary. Polite but not BFFs.

    I'm sure you'll do the right thing for YOU and your DH.

  10. Hurt me once, shame on you. Hurt me twice, shame on me. I'd try not to hold a grudge, but I'd not forget the hurt that I'd already endured. Cordial is good. Friendly is good. Sucked into a close friendship again could end badly.

  11. It sounds like Z suffered from a serious immaturity just a few years ago and while she finally realizes what she effed up, I question whether she's really grown enough for you to trust her again.

    That said, what really impressed me about this story is how very very important that friendship was to both of you (even if she didn't realize it until later). It IS hard to find friends like that. Soulmates. I mean we search and search for that perfect marriage partner and that's a once in a lifetime experience. I don't believe it's all that different with girlfriends. There aren't that many with whom we just "fit." Also, my policy is to give second chances, but not thirds or fourths.

    What I would probably do is let her in, little by little. If she's serious, she'll approach you at the wedding - you should not have to put yourself in an awkward situation of wondering how she'll react if you approach her. I would be done with that. It's her turn. I wouldn't be any more friendly with her than if I had just met her (I'd probably be considerably less so, given the past) - let her work to deserve that spot in your heart again. You know what she's capable of so you'll have your guard sufficiently up. She should have to work for your trust. It's her turn to be confused and walk on eggshells and wonder what's going to happen and have insecurities about whether she's good enough for your attention. I would NOT give her the security of saying "Sure Z, no problem, let's be friends again, like old times." I would be open, but I wouldn't give more away than the possibility that if she plays her cards right, might someday let her back into your life.

    I imagine after a few times seeing each other you will be talking and hanging out on a level like you used to. And during those times, don't be afraid to raise the issue of her totally inappropriate and hurt ful behavior and the hiatus - it will be an elephant in the room but you should not be afraid to bring it right up. Just mentioning how you didn't know what happened and how you felt about it and how upset you were with her. As long as you're giving her a second chance, you deserve to have your thoughts heard. Don't be afraid to do that because you shouldn't go back into this friendship feeling supressed by her again. Things are going to be different this time around.

  12. Wow. I'm sorry, but this woman sounds absolutely bizarre. Even though I don't know much about her, I'm wondering if she suffers from either Borderline Personality Disorder, or Narcissistic Personality Disorder. And if not that......she's got a mental imbalance of SOME sort.

    I agree 300% with TheHuntForMyFertility. I cosign all of it. =)

    You're in such a vulnerable state right now, both physically and emotionally. I would hate to have her wig out on you again, leaving you to suffer the consequences. Maybe after Sunflower's here, you two could have coffee and a chat, if that's the closure you need.

    Regardless of what you decide, Good Luck at the wedding!

    p.s. You're way too awesome for this woman. =) *hugs*

  13. Forgiveness is something that you have to do, but putting yourself back in a position to get hurt is not.

  14. Hmmm...ya know, if you had just grown apart, I would have said go for it. And even given the circumstances, I'd like to think people can change, everyone deserves a 2nd chance, but ya know...most people don't change. If you do decide to re-engage with her, I would do so cautiously, and be prepared to be disappointed. Personally, I would have a hard time trusting someone who could so easily throw away a bestfriend for such a shallow reason. In a nutshell, I agree with Michele. Everyone deserves forgiveness, but that doesn't equate to being friends again. It would be a very hard call for me. Are you willing to take the risk of going through what you did the first time around?

  15. Aw, honey, I'm sorry. It hurts my heart to read this because I can tell how deeply you were hurt. No real assvice here . . . I used to be the most stubborn person in the world! And still am to some extent. . . But I've also realized that friendships like the one you describe, especially as adults, are beyond rare.

  16. Hey honey

    (Sorry bout being MIA re blog comments btw!)


    Forgive, forget and move on.

    Anyone who treated you with such little regard purely because she "wanted to grow her social circle" well is really no kind of friend at all.

    Accept her apology, tell her you forgive her and that you want to put it in the past but that includes her friendship as well, that what she did really hurt you and you can't risk that happening again. IF she really did/does think of you as a sister, then she will completely understand where you're coming from.

    You deserve a better friend than her honey and I'm so sorry that she treated you so apallingly.


  17. I've actually been in a very similar situation before. My best friend in college, and roommate at the time. We did EVERYTHING together...then she started pulling away. It wasn't as abrupt as your friend, but it felt that way to me. We eventually stopped talking all together, which is difficult when you live with someone! I eventually found out it was because she thought we were too close and I was taking up all her time and she wanted to make other friends. It seemed ridiculous to me then, and still does now, that she felt we couldn't be friends while she was hanging out with other people, but that's not the point.

    The point is, we ended up not talking, hanging out or anything for pretty much the rest of our college career. Senior year we started trying to mend things up a bit. We are still in touch and have visited each other a few times (we live about 10 hrs apart now). She was the personal assistant at her wedding and I read at her wedding, in place of one of her best friends who couldn't be there. We are not as close as we used to be at all, but I would still count her one of my good friends.

    I guess what I'm saying is, if you are willing, give it a chance. Take it slow and see how it goes (sounds like talking with an ex after a bad breakup! But it kind of is...). Maybe email her back and say you'll see her at the wedding and take it from there. If she snubs you again, I guess you have your answer. If she's civil and seems genuinely interested in trying to mend the friendship, you can go from there.

    You may not be as close as you once were if it works out, but I think it's still worth a try since she was such a close friend and a big part of your life at one point.

  18. I'd have mixed feelings about this too. Personally the temptation to ignore her or send a cruel reply would be massive but there is also the fact that at last you have an explanation for her behaviour and an apology.

    None of us are perfect and people do deserve the benefit of a second chance as a rule. I had a similar situation with a very close friend who dropped off the radar for a few years and kept cancelling visits. She ignored me at her wedding almost completly and by the time I got married we'd grown such a distance between us I didn;t even invite her to my wedding.

    When i finally confronted her and told her how I felt she admitted to a drug problem she and her hubby had been battling and not being interested in anything but that and those people for a long time but that she had come out of it and wanted to ressurrect our friendship, but didn't know how to approach me.

    Contacting her with my emaail explaining how I felt was the best email I ever sent. It worked for us and we got back on track. We live 300 miles apart but we seen each other several times a year now and chat on the phone and facebook all the time. She is going to be Godmother to my son. I'm glad we got a second chance.

    So from my own experience I'd say reply. Tell her very honestly how very much she hurt you and that you find it hard to let that go, but that you have missed her too, and that not knowing what you did has affected you deeply.

    Meet her at the wedding. have a chat. Let her know the strength of your feelings and if she can take it perhaps the two of you can gradually get to know each other again. You might never get that closeness or level of friendship back, or then again, you might enjoy having her back in your life.

    If you've really missed her, life is too short to be bitter and hold a grudge. If you find after a couple of lunch get togethers you can't relate to her anymore or find you are too wary of her to trust again, at least you tried and you know you havenm't denied yourself a good thing out of pride.

    Good luck x

  19. Wow. This is a very tough decision. I agree with a few of the other posters to open up, be honest and let her know just how much her actions hurt you. Then gradually see if she is truly sorry by her actions. Be cautious, remember that you and the sunflower child and your DH are the most important people and she shouldn't do anything to upset you further.

    Hopefully this was a grievous error on her part, she can make it up to you and eventually you'll have a good friend with whom you can laugh about this incident and get all of the details wrong when you are both 80 years old.