Author Topic: Apologies ignored and friendship not what I thought?? Update #285  (Read 58907 times)

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Samgirl2

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Hi guys, I need some help on how best to deal with a person I though was a good friend suddenyl behaving coldly and out of character and ignoring my attempts to mend things. Sorry it's long...

My best friend (spoke daily by email, met up regularly, confided in me, told me I was really special to her, she didn't know what she would do without me) seems to have completely changed personality since she got pregnant.

She and hubby kept it secret for 5 months by missing social events, not coming to church, missing a friend's birthday, blowing me off when I suggested coffee to catch up etc. We still chatted over email but she would never meet up and I noticed that I was making more of the effort in email too when it used to be 50/50. Friends asked after them and I checked quite a few times that they were ok or had anyone had offended them etc cos usually they are at everything. She said they were just really busy and doing renovations on their new house. I offered to help if they needed it, she said no, they were ok, they had family helping. Then it came out at a church social they finally came to, because she wasn't drinking and someone asked if she was pregnant, she said yes, 5 months along.

Everyone was stunned because they were never baby people and also they'd kept it secret for so long, but we guessed they just wanted to be sure it was ok. A few people, including me, said we couldn't believe they hadn't told us, but in a 'wow' way, not a mean way. Everyone congratulated them, hugged her, asked when it was due, all that kind of thing. We all thought that now the secret was out they would be back associating with us again, although obviously not as much as before now there was a baby on the way. However since then it's like she's pushed me out completely, Remember before this we talked everyday. I emailed the next day to say how pleased I was, it was so exciting, offered to go shopping with her, asked about her scan that morning, asked if they needed anything and also said I had vacation owing if she needed me to be around at all once the baby was born and her hubby went back to work. She said family would be helping, she hoped I was pleased for them and then changed the subject and asked how work was going.

I tried again the next day, suggesting we meet for a catch up, as it had been so long and now the secret was out she wouldn't have to hide it and I wouldn't put my foot in it by asking awkward questions, but she never replied and didn't contact me which is really out of character but I left it alone. The next two times I see her at church related stuff she said a vague 'hi' and ignored me pretty much. Because this is totally unlike her I sent her an email saying it seemed like something was wrong between us and apologising if I had done anything to hurt her, that I would never do that on purpose, was really sorry if I had and that I really valued our friendship, she meant a lot to me and if there was anything I could do to let me know. She replied 'thanks for your email' and then said she had not been replying to emails because she thought it was too much at work and she should have said something but she hoped I would notice, that she was really glad she had pregnant work friends and her sister to talk to and she wasn't talking to me about it because I didn't seem interested and this was a new exciting phase in their lives and to take care and maybe we could go for coffee in a few weeks. I was really hurt.

I didn't try to contact her for the next week or so because I thought she wanted some space for whatever reason but after running into her again and she seemed to blank me but still be talking a bit to other people I asked her husband (who I also count as a friend and was being the same as ever with me) if I had done something and what I should do because it seemed like she wasn't talking to me. He brushed me off and then told her that I had spoken to him.

She then sent me a very cold accusatory email saying they knew I obviously wasn't happy for them and it was time they both confronted me on this, that she had never given me the cold shoulder and doesn't know why I would think that, that they were both incredibly upset at people's reaction to their happy news (everyone congratuated them so I don't understand, although I know a lot of people have not really talked to them about it since because they have been acting like we should back off and they kept it for 5 months already, people think they don't want them involved to much). She said that they are hurt we have labelled them old and boring (no one has) and that in a time when they are busy & needed support they can't believe people are not at least asking if they need any help! (I tried but she ignored me, plus I have since found out that at least two other couple offered renovation help and were turned down!). She also said that I seemed to think she lied to me or denied being pregnant but she never did, and I had no right to know before anyone else (even though they'd said they told families and work colleagues at 3 months).

I very calmly wrote back and the main stuff i said was: that I was glad she was honest with me and that I was truly very happy for them and was really sorry if I hadn't made that clear and had hurt them. I said the reason I had felt she was being distant with me was because she hadn't spoken to me as much as usual and had ignored my offer of help (reminded her of what I had offered) and that's why I had spoken to her husband but if I had misinterpreted her then I was really sorry to have hurt her by doing that and should not have spoken to him behind her back. I reiterated that everyone was really pleased for them. I said that I was so sorry that they were feeling like this at what should be the happiest time and that I could only apologise and hope they would still want to be friends because they were very important to me and I hoped they would let me be there for them when they were ready..

She replied simply "thank you for your email, I think it's time to draw a line under this, I will arrange to meet you for coffee sometime, have a nice weekend'".

I don't understand the way she is behaving and I feel she hasn't really acknowledged my apology, just acted like I am a bad person. She has at no point called me a friend or said she wants to be friends where as I have made sure to say that I value our friendship and want to be a friend to both of them etc. I feel like I don't even know her anymore. She has never been like this, she is usually so warm and friendly.

Today I saw her coming towards me up the street and she actually turned and went the other way. I'm not sure if she knows I saw her or not. It's so bizarre.

I feel like I want to leave her well alone, but I am worried if I stay away completely she will think her accusations were correct. Also, our paths will cross at church stuff so I cannot keep away totally.

I am so confused as to what to do for the best and whether I am in the wrong or not. ???
« Last Edit: June 14, 2014, 04:59:11 PM by Samgirl2 »

gramma dishes

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Re: Apologies ignored and friendship not what I thought??
« Reply #1 on: February 20, 2011, 08:10:58 PM »
Is there any possibility, even hideously remotely, that someone else has told her you said or did things you never actually said or did?  Given what you've told us, it doesn't make sense that she'd think you think they're "old" , that you're not genuinely happy for them, that you didn't offer any help -- enthusiastically I might add!  Something's way off here and I can't figure out what.

VorFemme

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Re: Apologies ignored and friendship not what I thought??
« Reply #2 on: February 20, 2011, 08:12:36 PM »
((((hugs))))

It's not you, it's them.

At least from what you've posted.
Let sleeping dragons be.......morning breath......need I say more?

Pinky830

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Re: Apologies ignored and friendship not what I thought??
« Reply #3 on: February 20, 2011, 08:24:51 PM »
I wonder if something is terribly wrong that she hasn't told anyone.

P-p-p-penguin

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Re: Apologies ignored and friendship not what I thought??
« Reply #4 on: February 20, 2011, 08:39:50 PM »
^ That's what I'm wondering because this whole situation sounds really weird.  It kind of sounds like either she or her husband aren't actually happy about this pregnancy and are projecting their feelings onto other people.

In her email to you (the one described as cold and accusatory) it sounds as though she is putting blame on you for the actions of other people.  Talking about how people haven't offered help and have called them "old and boring" - unless she is saying that she believes that you, OP, have done either of these things, then why bother mentioning them as though they are your fault?

I think you're completely right that they have been giving off a "steer clear" vibe.  They are completely within their rights to choose not to announce the pregnancy until 5 months, but they can't then really be surprised that some people interpret that as them wanting some privacy about the whole situation.

LifeOnPluto

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Re: Apologies ignored and friendship not what I thought??
« Reply #5 on: February 20, 2011, 09:01:38 PM »
^ That's what I'm wondering because this whole situation sounds really weird.  It kind of sounds like either she or her husband aren't actually happy about this pregnancy and are projecting their feelings onto other people.



That was my first thought. Maybe your friend doesn't want kids, and now she's saddled with one, whether she likes it or not. I'm wondering whether the pregnancy was unplanned.

Perhaps she (and her husband) see your life as happy and carefree, and are envious that their own freedom is coming to an end, and soon they'll be stuck at home changing dirty nappies and wiping up vomit?

Another thought occurred to me - is it possible that your friend's hormones have simply gone completely screwy? Perhaps once the baby arrives and her body settles down, she'll look back at the way she behaved during her pregnancy and be ashamed and horrified?

As for what you can do, I'm afraid there's not much. Perhaps you could write her one final, brief letter reiterating that you love her, you don't know what's going on, but you'll always be there for her if she wants to re-open the friendship.

shhh its me

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Re: Apologies ignored and friendship not what I thought??
« Reply #6 on: February 20, 2011, 09:08:13 PM »
   My interruption only...... something is really wrong. Up until OP got to the part about "no is supporting me" I thought something was either wrong with the baby , they were considering erm their options because they wanted to be childfree or that the pregnancy was the result of rape. I was leaning strongest towards the third. I'd also consider she is having medical issue which are causing personality issues.  At this point because she is behaving so odd , I would try keep an open mind and just tell her you don't understand. Hopefully she tell you something helps you make a decision as to how to proceed.

gramma dishes

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Re: Apologies ignored and friendship not what I thought??
« Reply #7 on: February 20, 2011, 09:12:27 PM »
Samgirl2 ~~  To the best of your knowledge is she treating other friends this way too, or is it just you?

Samgirl2

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Re: Apologies ignored and friendship not what I thought??
« Reply #8 on: February 20, 2011, 09:17:48 PM »
She has been cool towards other friends but they have not really seen much of her and her hubby and don't normally outside of church or a few get to togethers anyway. Although they have asked after her to me and did I know how she was doing etc.

I think it is most obvious towards me because she and I spoke everyday up until now and everyone recognised we had a closer relationship.

Oxymoroness

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Re: Apologies ignored and friendship not what I thought??
« Reply #9 on: February 20, 2011, 09:25:04 PM »
I had a former friend who was like this.... Every major life change she'd go from super friendly to super cold. Then after a few years, she'd get back in touch and be upper friendly again.

Stupid me, I fell for it several times over the course of 10 years.

I finally realized what was going on the last time. When she went cold she embarrassed me horribly in front of some other friends that I was introducing to her. When I tried to contact her to see what was up, even what I had possibly done, she gave me the silent treatment for 2 years. I severed the last tie that I had with her (I was hosting her website for free at the time) and sadly let the friendship go.

2 years later she contacts me to tell me that she was ready to forgive me. AND to ask me to partner with her on a project for her business.

My offense? Apparently I was using her, and I was all take and no give. Oh, and I was ditching her for no good reason and I offered no support to her when her father had cancer.

I was stunned. For the following reasons:

1. For the "all take" - I always payed my own way, and I hosted her business's website, for free, for 5 years. She never offered me anything, except invitations to free events.

2. As for ditching her, yes I usually had to say no because the free concerts she invited me to were always at the last minute, at least an hour's drive away... And I can't go to most concerts because they gave me migraines (she knows this). But the real kicker is was that what offended her the most were the the things I couldn't attend during the time that my FIL was sick with cancer. For 2.5 years I practically lived in the car and was on a first name basis with the doctors and nurses in the ICU. Keep in mind, when we discovered the severity of the situation, we actually took my friend and her husband out to lunch and explained the situation to them, because we didn't want them to think that we didn't value their friendship. (The husband got it, he never had a problem with us.)

3. She never told me her father had cancer, because she was giving me the silent treatment at the time.

I had an epiphany of sorts. I explained the above to her and told her that I would not be apologizing because I had done nothing wrong. If she wanted to apologize to me, that would be fine, I'd be happy to accept it. But I would not be doing any business with her until our personal relationship was repaired. Which meant, that if I called her, I would not call again until she called me back. If she had a problem with me, then she had to call me to talk it over, and I would do the same if I had a problem with her.

She seemed to take it well. We even exchanged a couple of phone calls. And we even went out to lunch once when we met by accident one day.

But I haven't heard from her since, which isn't terribly surprising, another major life change happened. But this time I'm not hurt. I see the pattern, and I just don't count on her. Yea, it's sad to loose a friendship, but I even question how much of a friendship it ever was in the first place.

Don't chase her. If a friendship is rekindled, great, but now that you see how she's treating you, take it slow. It may be the pregnancy, or it could be that she just runs hot and cold. Either way, it's probably not you.

gramma dishes

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Re: Apologies ignored and friendship not what I thought??
« Reply #10 on: February 20, 2011, 09:28:08 PM »
Then I agree with Merry Mrs Martin, LifeonPluto and P-p-p-penguin.

There is definitely something very wrong.

I don't know what it is, but I'm pretty sure that it isn't anything you are doing, or did.  You honestly are left with very little choice.  You can't keep trying to contact her when she has made it clear that she doesn't want that.  Yet, because she's your friend, you also can't help but worry about her.  

It's too bad she wasn't a little more forthcoming to you.  Maybe not in this case, but sometimes when that abrupt change in a relationship happens it's because there's something going on that the other person is a little embarrassed about or ashamed of and doesn't want to reveal that so just avoids contact with the person she doesn't want to know about "the problem".

It's a shame she's 'rejecting' you now, because I have a feeling that now is when she needs you more than she has ever needed your friendship before in her whole life.

P-p-p-penguin

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Re: Apologies ignored and friendship not what I thought??
« Reply #11 on: February 20, 2011, 09:32:59 PM »
If our suspicion that the couple aren't happy about the pregnancy is correct, then it could be that she's pushing you away because, as a close friend, that would be the kind of thing she would tell you and she's not willing/ready to admit it.  Sometimes you can think something but saying it out loud makes it 'real' and so you choose to keep it inside because you don't want it to be real.

I agree that it's not you; it's them.  They are looking for a lack of support from their friends when it doesn't exist.

gramma dishes

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Re: Apologies ignored and friendship not what I thought??
« Reply #12 on: February 20, 2011, 09:39:25 PM »
This is a sad situation, and it doesn't appear from what you've written that you've done anything wrong.  But if someone doesn't want to be friends with you, they don't want to be friends with you, fair or not.  I think she's been pretty clear that she doesn't want you to contact her any more, at least not about this issue.  I'd wait for her to contact you next time, assuming you want to stay friends.

Sadly I agree with this wholeheartedly.  The ball is in her court now and she may or may not throw it back over the net. 

It's not fair, but you have to accept that this very well may prove to be the case and you can't "chase" the friendship.  Can you be prepared to let it go if that's her choice?  >:(

SingMeAway

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Re: Apologies ignored and friendship not what I thought??
« Reply #13 on: February 20, 2011, 09:54:21 PM »
Honestly, I'd avoid her like the plague. That probably sounds really mean of me, but her treatment of you as described is horrible. If you were some casual acquaintance, the behaviour would be just plain rude, but you were close friends; to me that makes it much worse.

I'm with the others who suspect maybe they're not quite as happy about the pregnancy as they've claimed. Or maybe they/she are happy about it, but having lots of insecurities and self-image issues. They're not happy about the pregnancy, so you can't possibly be. Maybe they think that being parents will make them old and boring...so now "everyone" is saying that about them. Maybe they are worried people won't want to hang around them with a kid in tow... so now "no one" is being supportive and helping out. Maybe the family they say is helping out isn't really and they don't want to admit that and ask others for help. This just seems like a whole load of projection.

After what they've said/done, I really don't know what you could possibly do but give them loads of space and if a good friend spoke to me so coldly and accused me of what you've been accused of, I would be a) really hurt and b) really, really, angry. Sorry you're having to deal with this :(.

Oh, and this is just me and I hope this never happens (and you know better, maybe it never possibly could), but I believe in covering my backside and I would be worried that if she's said all this stuff to your face, is she accusing you of these things to other people. If anyone asks again about her and how she's doing, I would be inclined to explain in very general terms (not mud-slinging or meanly or anything like that) what happened and that you're concerned about her, but you're hurt and not in contact.

blarg314

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Re: Apologies ignored and friendship not what I thought??
« Reply #14 on: February 20, 2011, 10:03:32 PM »

I agree that something is really wrong here. My guess, as for others, would be that this pregnancy was unwanted, and they're not happy about it.

However, I'm not sure you can do anything more than what you've done.  She obviously doesn't want anything to do with you, and is blaming you (and lots of other people) for things you haven't done, said or meant.

What I might do is write her one more time. Tell her that you didn't mean to do anything to hurt her, and wish her only happiness, but have been really worried about her. Then tell her that you accept that she no longer wants a friendship with you and will no longer bother her, but will be there if she changes her mind.