So, I have just come home from the coffee meeting with pregnant friend. I feel like it was a waste of time, nothing is resolved and I cannot be the same as I used to be with her. I still care, I will remain a polite acquaintance and if she ever explains I will listen but it's the end of my hoping or trying.
Bear in mind we were very close friends and she has been distant for several months - avoiding seeing anyone, or coming to church or usual stuff they always are at - but was still chatting to me by email, until the announcement 6 weeks ago, when she has been really cold and has not contacted me at all apart from when I emailed to see what was wrong and try to sort things out and she accused me of not being happy, not offering to help and said she had other pregnant friends she was talking to and I should no longer email her at work. Neither have she or her husband spoken to anyone else from our group of friends. She also a few days ago sent round an email to us all in the church home group they lead (but have barely attended for a long time now) saying due to other commitments they would not be around for the next several weeks at church, at home group, or anything else. She then asked me to meet her for coffee today.
I got there dead on time, waited a few minutes but no sign of her so I joined the queue at the counter and paid for my drink. Pregnant friend came in just as I was looking for a table. I had assumed she would come by herself, as would be usual for when we used to meet, but she'd brought her husband. I said hi and that I was just finding a table and they smiled and said ok. Then joined the queue. I thought she might come over and leave her husband to get the coffees, but instead I was left sitting and wondering by myself, feeling completely on edge and nervous that they were about to tell me something I didn't want to hear, otherwise why would both of them come? I felt like it was either going to be an apology, an explanation or more accusations that I wasn't happy for them.
So after quite a long time waiting for their drinks they finally came over and sat down. I smiled, said 'hi, how are you' and kind of waited for them to say whatever they were going to say. Instead, they acted like everything was completely normal. Said they'd been really busy renovating their bathroom and told me all about that, how she had been to visit family for a few days and how her sister's bump is much bigger than hers. How she and her mum had gone pram shopping etc etc. I listened but I was, I am certain, noticeably cool throughout.
Then she asked 'so, how've you been'. I said fine thanks and waited. Nothing. Her husband asked how work was so I told him my dept didn't get renewed funding so my contract is up in 6 months but there were a few options in the organisation for me which I was waiting for news on so I was nervous but not panicking yet. He looked really sympathetic and concerned and pregnant friend asked about the options and what I wanted to do etc so we discussed that for a little while but then I steered it back to them and said what were they up to for the next little while as her email had said they wouldn't be around.
She said they had her brother and his wife staying next weekend and then in May her parents were visiting for a weekend and they wanted to sort out the garden too. Oh and they were booked in for birthing classes soon. Now it may be me, but these don't seem valid reasons to duck out of everyone's lives completely? Then she asked what I was doing for the rest of the weekend. I said I was meeting 3 mutual friends for coffee later this afternoon and singing at church tomorrow. (Her husband was supposed to be leading the band tomorrow as there is a rota of leaders, but has passed it to someone else for the 2nd time running).
Again, I sat and waited. I would have loved to have asked her straight out what was going on, and said the stuff I wrote in my previous post, but with her husband there it seemed impossible. It was like a unit facing me across the table.
She then asked how all our friends were. I told her - one friend is waiting for the results of some serious medical tests, another has applied for a new job and we are all helping with the planning for a third friends upcoming wedding (pregnant friend is invited to the wedding but turned down the invitation to meet to discuss plans etc, even though it is a close friend who has no family nearby). I told her there have been a few meetings and we all have little assigned tasks like helping decorate the venue, writing place settings, one older lady is making the cake and another doing the flowers etc, we are all looking forward to it. Told them everyone else was fine. These are all things she would know and be interested in under normal circumstances but she didn't want to know much more than that it seemed.
I asked what they were doing for the rest of the weekend (thinking it must be something big, given that her husband had said he couldn't be at church and lead band tomorrow when he has told me in the past how much he loves doing it) and they said they were off next, should probably go now in fact, to look for window blinds for the bathroom in a shop down the street and then needed to clean the house. Then they started to get up and leave. We walked out the shop and I smiled and said have a nice weekend and she smiled and said enjoy coffee this afternoon, and that was it.
I am conflicted about why she asked to meet. On one hand I think it was because she had mentioned it some time ago (when I had tried to sort out the distance etc by emailing her and asking what was wrong, she had just said thanks for your email, we'll meet for coffee sometime) that she felt she ought to to keep up appearances. If she had wanted to really chat to me she wouldn't have brought her husband and would have stayed longer too.
On the other hand, maybe she just really doesn't realise how much damage they have done and how much they have distanced themselves from everyone and so just wanted to catch up and as they both needed to go to a nearby shop, her husband came too. But if that is the case she must be really in her own little world.
Either way, it should have been easy for her to see I was not being my usual self and I feel like a real friend would have asked about that, or was everything ok? Or would have acknowledged that we haven't seen each other in ages and at least made mention of it, even if they didn't want to explain the reasons why. In the past, if we went 2 weeks without meeting in person she would be like 'it's been ages, I've missed you'. When I came back from holiday last summer she came rushing up to me and gave me a huge hug saying it wasn't the same without me and wanting to know all about my trip. So it's not like these expectations are unprecedented or something.
I feel like I have no idea what she wants or what she is thinking and that she has not really understood anything she has done over the last few months. In her two emails to me after she announced the pregnancy she seemed convinced I was finding her news hard to deal with, that it was a new stage in their lives and that I was not happy that they were moving on. This is so untrue it's ridiculous and I explained that in my reply at the time, but what if she really still thinks that. I hate the thought that she does and that she may be telling other people such things about me.
At this point, whether it's what she intended to convey or not, it seems to me we are not close friends, we do not tell each other what is going on in our lives and it doesn't matter whether we speak often at all. She is someone I care about but not someone I feel close to or feel an obligation towards anymore. If they continue to come to church after the baby is born then I will of course run into them so they are not out of my life, and I will say hello and tell them the baby is lovely, but until she changes her behaviour I really can't do more than that, as much as i may want to.
Does anyone have any insight or opinions or suggestions?!