Young Widow Forum

Socializing => Social Encounters => Topic started by: MissingSquish on May 21, 2016, 04:24:52 PM

Title: Best friend is drifting...advice from wids with kids?
Post by: MissingSquish on May 21, 2016, 04:24:52 PM
My best friend and I have been drifting apart from each other for a while now (even before I was widowed).  A few things have contributed to this change aside from becoming widowed; she has gotten married, still speaks to her toxic family, her in laws live overseas and now has a 1 year old.  We used to see each other every few months and spoke on the phone twice a month.

I think I saw her twice during her pregnancy, and once was at her baby shower and the other was my birthday.  I speak to her maybe once a month, and the last time I saw her was Christmas. I haven't spent any one-on-one time with her (wouldn't care if her kid tagged along, that would still count) in probably 2 years.  Everytime I've seen her, it's always been in the company of our other friends. I've mentioned to her that I miss her and have offered to help her around the house just so I can see her and have some quality time. She'll agree, but then she brushes me off and I don't see her.

Yesterday was the 4 year sadiversary. She called, we talked and it was nice to hear from her. Tomorrow, I'm planning on doing a charity walk for a rescue group, and told her the date months ago.  It's only 2 hours total tomorrow in the afternoon, and it's my Squish's birthday.  And it's literally the only thing I've asked her to do since my birthday last year.

Her in laws just came to town from overseas a few days ago, and I know she's busy with them. She said she'd do her best to come to the walk over the past few times I've talked to her. Last night, she says that she may meet me at the end because her kid hasn't been feeling well lately and she thinks it would be too much for him.

I check Facebook today and she's checked into the city zoo (further from where the walk is) with her kid and husband. That is a heck of a lot more walking and outside time than this charity walk would be tomorrow.  I'm really hurt.  She knows how much this walk means to me.

Am I overreacting? Wids with kids what do you think?
Title: Re: Best friend is drifting...advice from wids with kids?
Post by: Mrskro on May 21, 2016, 05:59:47 PM
MissingSquish;

I have no advice, but I can relate and in my opinion its really shitty.   

My bestfriend lives 6 hours away and has drifted away as well.   I'm not sure why people can't just be honest about what they are thinking or feeling.

Hugs to you.
Title: Re: Best friend is drifting...advice from wids with kids?
Post by: MissingSquish on May 21, 2016, 06:03:12 PM
Thanks for the hugs and support. Shortly after I posted, I sent her a message saying I was disappointed and wished she was honest with me about the walk. Haven't heard back from her yet.

Sigh.
Title: Re: Best friend is drifting...advice from wids with kids?
Post by: Trying on May 21, 2016, 07:57:43 PM
I don't have any advice but this is exactly why I don't ask people to do things that are important to me, I don't handle the disappointment well.  My approach is not what I would recommend because I have very few friends left as a result.  I think it's good that you let her know you are disappointed, it may not change anything but friends should know that their actions have an impact.  I hope this is a turning point in your friendship and she starts to come around.
Title: Re: Best friend is drifting...advice from wids with kids?
Post by: MissingSquish on May 21, 2016, 08:24:33 PM
I got a message back from her, and it left me still a bit unsettled. She was upset that I insinuated that her kid wasn't really sick (not what I said). I said I wished she was honest with me about her reluctance to come instead of telling me her kid wasn't feeling well. She said she wanted to do a few things with her in laws and husband despite the fact that her kid wasn't feeling well.

She also said since she doesn't have a car it's much harder for her etc and it's longer than 2 hours round trip, yet they had to drive today to get to the zoo (the alternate is likely 2+ hours of public transit there).  I offered to pick her and her kid up tomorrow for the walk (her neighborhood is on the way and I'm driving there, and so is another person she knows), but she has yet to respond.

She said she has been dealing with a lot lately and apologized for being out of touch.  She doesn't want to burden me with the stuff she's going through. I said that I may not completely understand what she's going through but I can be there for her in whatever way possible.

She says she's going to try to still meet me at the end of the walk, but she wants updates as we're walking etc so she can time it and everything. I have no clue when it is actually going to end, so I can't give her much to plan on tomorrow.

Honestly, I don't want to be tethered to my phone and not actually experiencing everything going on around me tomorrow. It's going to be an emotional day as it is, and I don't want to deal with trying to find her amongst everyone there and coordinating.
Title: Re: Best friend is drifting...advice from wids with kids?
Post by: Portside on May 21, 2016, 09:17:22 PM
Am I overreacting? Wids with kids what do you think?

I'm not certain but I think you may be. Her life is more important to her than your's. Your life is more important to you than it is to her. These are the facts. It's generally true for all of us. But isn't that the way is should be?

Each of us, with our own specific life demands, cannot always help our buddies to the extent that they would wish we could.

I wish it was different but that's just the way it is.

Best wishes - Mike
Title: Re: Best friend is drifting...advice from wids with kids?
Post by: MissingSquish on May 21, 2016, 09:56:51 PM
Am I overreacting? Wids with kids what do you think?

I'm not certain but I think you may be. Her life is more important to her than your's. Your life is more important to you than it is to her. These are the facts. It's generally true for all of us. But isn't that the way is should be?

Each of us, with our own specific life demands, cannot always help our buddies to the extent that they would wish we could.

I wish it was different but that's just the way it is.

Best wishes - Mike

All relationships have some sort of expectation on each side. If either party is being unreasonable in their expectations of the other and is disappointed, then I think that would fall within the realm of overreacting. Maybe asking her to come to something when her in laws are in town was being unreasonable, however, it is not unreasonable to want honestly from the other person.

Her life is very different from my life now. Holidays are a time of rest and reflection for me, as I am not in contact with my family. For her, they are a time of obligation and stress. She works from home, but has some more free time during the day. My work schedule leaves no free time, and I'm usually only able to speak after work.
Title: Re: Best friend is drifting...advice from wids with kids?
Post by: serpico on May 21, 2016, 10:47:05 PM
Am I overreacting? Wids with kids what do you think?

I think it is perfectly acceptable to be upset with her, but when you accused her of being dishonest I believe that was an overreaction.  She's got a lot going on and from what you told us she didn't commit to doing the entire walk. She may have a million reasons for this, and I dont think she should have to give you one that is ironclad and unimpeachable.
Title: Re: Best friend is drifting...advice from wids with kids?
Post by: Bunny on May 21, 2016, 11:14:30 PM
I don't have children, but I can tell you about my experience of about 30 years of friends having kids. Luckily, I like 'em so that's made things easier in that I have no problem hanging out with kid(s) in tow. But I gotta say- after a while, when someone announced their pregnancy/pending adoption I'd give a happy and sincere congratulations, but in my heart I'd be thinking wistfully- see you in 2 or 3 years...because babies- especially that first one- are just so all consuming, both emotionally and physically. There's simply not a whole lot of time for friends, no matter how much they may miss you. Eventually, they came back to me on a more consistent basis once the kids reached toddlerhood. In fact, they craved that adult time. (Well, a few did lose interest in me because I chose not to have children. But that was rare).

Yes, I've been disappointed by my friends with kids. Yes, I sometimes got tired of having to always be the one making all the concessions. But I love them, I value what they bring to my life, so I did. I still do it. Mother/fatherhood, just like widowhood, can test a relationship. Not all of them have been able to survive, but I'm okay with that.
Title: Re: Best friend is drifting...advice from wids with kids?
Post by: MissingSquish on May 22, 2016, 06:15:27 AM
I told her not to come. I apologized for being unreasonable to ask her to do something when she already had other plans. I also apologized for insinuating that her kid wasn't sick; I didn't realize she already had other plans.

I don't think there's enough left for a friendship with her to be sustained at this point. Maybe things will change in the future.
Title: Re: Best friend is drifting...advice from wids with kids?
Post by: Captains wife on May 22, 2016, 06:18:44 AM
There are some great responses on here. I have a young child so know how much time and energy it takes and parenting does consume a lot of time and focus. However, saying that....it just seems like your friend is wrapped up in her own world and probably doesn't fully understand how important this walk is to you. And probably won't. It's fine to say something although not sure why she isn't being 100 percent honest why she can't go - maybe she feels bad? But it was a positive sign that she called on your 4yr sadiversary- at least she understood that and thought about you. I honestly find these days that my married friends with kids make limited time for me- even though I have kids my life is seperate from theirs, and different. I have just accepted it and keep in touch with those I want to and accept the limitations. When I was married I spent and made time for my single friends and as a single parent I make time for my single friends...but that's me.
Title: Re: Best friend is drifting...advice from wids with kids?
Post by: Bunny on May 22, 2016, 10:37:52 AM
I don't think there's enough left for a friendship with her to be sustained at this point. Maybe things will change in the future.

One of my oldest closest friends lives mere minutes away from me, out in the suburbs with his wife and three kids. We can go months without speaking or texting, years without seeing each other, but when we do it's like there has been no time at all. Actually, I have several friends like that now that I think about it...

The two girlfriends I saw on a regular basis both recently moved out of state so that's been an adjustment. And honestly, since I've been widowed, I've been less accommodating when it comes to seeing friends- they have had to adjust to putting in more effort, or seeing me less- or not at all.

My point- I know you're hurt, but give it time. Lowered expectations are not always a bad thing, as long as they are done with love and mindfulness.

And Captain'sWife- boy do I understand the being treated differently. It made my husband and I sad when friends started families and stopped inviting us to their social gatherings. I had someone tell me it was because he assumed, since we were childless, we'd be bored. Ah, well. I guess for some it is harder to socialize with families that don't look like them- childless or spouseless can look like not-a-family to some, ya know?
Title: Re: Best friend is drifting...advice from wids with kids?
Post by: Needytoo on May 22, 2016, 01:00:47 PM
I am proud of you for at least communicating to her about what you feel. Something that I really have a hard time doing, but I am working at it.  I really in a situation like this is always try to remain positive. For example I might have said "hey I saw on Facebook you made it to the zoo, that is great how was it?  Hope you are still able to come out to the race." 

I think there is more going on here.  When your friend said she had so much going on and you told her you are willing to help and I got the feeling she wasn't able to ask you for help pulled a bit at my heart strings.  I am getting the same feeling from a few of my friends and it hurts.   

I really have no clear answer on this, I am going to wait and see how things develop and try to keep a clear mind.
Title: Re: Best friend is drifting...advice from wids with kids?
Post by: trying2breathe on May 22, 2016, 03:43:08 PM
Some great thoughts here - I'd consider keeping the door open with this friend.  Friendships ebb and flow, the essence of a relationship changes as life happens and family dynamics come into play.  Sometimes things are great and you can relate to each other on a personal level, at other times there's a distance there and the reason why is not apparent.  You may never know exactly why there's not a better connection between the two of you right now, but if the friendship is close and real you will find each other again.  As I get older my experience is that I connect in a different way with friends that I've had for awhile.  I guess the question to ask is if you're willing to continue this friendship that is changing and may not be same as it was before.   


Like Bunny mentioned, I say give it some time.   
Title: Re: Best friend is drifting...advice from wids with kids?
Post by: MissingSquish on May 23, 2016, 01:43:34 PM
Thanks everyone for the advice. We've texted back and forth a bit over the past few days, but it's been all surface stuff. Nothing deep.

I offered to drive her to a wedding she needs to attend near me next weekend, and she hasn't responded to my offer directly. I doubt she is going to take me up on it.

This is the last offer of help I'm going to extend to her. I'm distancing myself from the situation and from her from now on.
Title: Re: Best friend is drifting...advice from wids with kids?
Post by: MrsDan on May 23, 2016, 03:02:30 PM



Each of us, with our own specific life demands, cannot always help our buddies to the extent that they would wish we could.



Translation: People care more about their own day to day superficial shit than they do the heavy, next level traumas that others, even those they call friends, are dealing with. I'm sorry, she doesn't sound like a good friend and I think it's in your best interest to cultivate friendships where the support is more equitable.

Also from my own perspective as a parent. I only had 84 days with a co-parent. But in my opinion, in a lot of two parent families, people use their kids as a cop out when it comes to other relationships in their lives. I can't devote as much time to other relationships simply because it's just me. Going out with a friend requires a sitter, for example. But in cases where there is another parent to shoulder the load, I'm sorry but, weak.  I get that there are activities and things, but I think it models good behavior for kids to know other people's needs matter as much and sometimes more than theirs.
Title: Re: Best friend is drifting...advice from wids with kids?
Post by: serpico on May 23, 2016, 03:48:25 PM
Translation: People care more about their own day to day superficial shit than they do the heavy, next level traumas that others, even those they call friends, are dealing with. I'm sorry, she doesn't sound like a good friend and I think it's in your best interest to cultivate friendships where the support is more equitable.

That's not a very good translation.  How does anyone know what is 'superficial shit' versus 'next level trauma' without walking in that person's shoes?
Title: Re: Best friend is drifting...advice from wids with kids?
Post by: Portside on May 23, 2016, 07:57:19 PM



Each of us, with our own specific life demands, cannot always help our buddies to the extent that they would wish we could.



Translation: People care more about their own day to day superficial shit than they do the heavy, next level traumas that others, even those they call friends, are dealing with. I'm sorry, she doesn't sound like a good friend and I think it's in your best interest to cultivate friendships where the support is more equitable.


“Always remember that it is impossible to speak in such a way that you cannot be misunderstood: there will always be some who misunderstand you.”
―Karl Popper
 

So it goes. :)

Best wishes - Mike
Title: Re: Best friend is drifting...advice from wids with kids?
Post by: MissingSquish on May 24, 2016, 11:45:14 AM
She called me late last night to talk, but I didn't feel like picking up the phone at 10 PM. The conversation would have likely left me angry and frustrated, and would have worsened my already crappy sleep lately. 

She's always been a help-rejecting complainer, and it's been even worse now that she has a kid. Anytime she complains about her kid being sick, not sleeping etc, I make informed and helpful suggestions to help and she shoots them down every time.

It's insulting, and that, along with her preference to spend time with our other friends that are married and have kids just reminds me of my asshole BIL. He was so ridiculously defensive and wouldn't ever let me or my husband babysit his kids, because we didn't have any kids and we couldn't possibly know how to take care of them for even a few hours.
Title: Re: Best friend is drifting...advice from wids with kids?
Post by: MissingSquish on June 28, 2016, 05:30:05 PM
Thought I'd give a quick update. I saw her around the beginning of June, twice, but haven't really spoken to her since.

When I saw her, she talked, I listened. She said she's having a hard time recently.  She said she is very overwhelmed at the moment.  I get the impression (though she didn't directly say it) that her husband doesn't help much with childcare when he's home. It may be because she doesn't want to burden him with it and/or wants to have control, or that he can't handle/doesn't want to take care of their son from time to time.

She said that she appreciated the offers of help from me in the past, but can't quantify what her needs actually are.

The bottom line is that she needs to a) get a babysitter for a few hours each week, b) she needs to see a therapist one on one more regularly and c) needs to go back on her depression/anti-anxiety medication again.  We came to these solutions together, and I wasn't harsh or judge mental about the trouble she is having.

I've known her for 20 years, and I can say with confidence that these are the things that she needs to get herself out of the hole she is in right now. 

As long as she actually follows through with these things at some point, the friendship can be saved.  It will take some time to mend what was broken, but we've been through more difficult things together previously. If she doesn't do any of the above, then the friendship will be essentially over.
Title: Re: Best friend is drifting...advice from wids with kids?
Post by: MissingSquish on December 14, 2016, 08:08:03 PM
Some of the wids that saw me at the Bago this weekend know the news. The relationship with my best friend is essentially over.  She's been in sporadic contact with me, and I was continuing to try to reach out to her and be a listening ear. I can't make the effort anymore.

She texted me tonight after not speaking since Halloween.  She asked what my plans were for Christmas and New Years. She invited me to Christmas dinner with her toxic mom. I appreciate the gesture behind the invite, but if I'm avoiding my own toxic family for the holidays, I certainly don't want to spend time around hers. I expressed this to her in the past, and she knows that I will always refuse the invitation.

I did say my New Years was open, and she said she wasn't sure of her plans, but that she would let me know. Later on, in that same conversation, she admitted that she was invited (and planning on going) to another friends house (one who is married with kids and that I no longer speak to) for NYE and seeing her mom on NYD. She said that again, her son was sick with a stomach bug and wasn't sure if those plans would happen. If she's home sick with the kid, I am sure that her plans would not change to include me.

I don't get why she couldn't just say that she had plans already for New Years? 

I've been crying over this lost friendship for months. I feel like even more of my connection with Squish is dying, and that I feel more alone in this world than ever.
Title: Re: Best friend is drifting...advice from wids with kids?
Post by: Eddienhp on December 15, 2016, 08:34:14 AM
Missing Squish,

Maybe a break from the relationship is what you need for now. I have been disappointed by people who say they are not available only to find them posting on Facebook they were out having fun during the time we were supposed to meet. I try not to let it offend me but it does anyway. Take a break and let the dust settle. Keep yourself busy with other people or activities.

Best wishes to you,
Eileen
Title: Re: Best friend is drifting...advice from wids with kids?
Post by: momtokam on December 15, 2016, 08:53:58 AM
I'm sorry MS. I know it hurts and I don't know why some people are like that.

They really are not worth you effort or time or energy.
Try and concentrate on other things and other people.

If someone wants to be in your life, they will make the effort. If no  effort is there, move on. This is my new mantra in life!
Title: Re: Best friend is drifting...advice from wids with kids?
Post by: Captains wife on December 15, 2016, 01:15:36 PM
MS - I have come to realize that people come in and out of our lives unexpectedly....sometimes multiple times and for many different reasons - and it can hurt. I am sorry she isn't being more sympathetic and she seems focused on her own life. That often happens too. Maybe you two just need a temporary break from each other and, although painful, it doesn't mean that the relationship is gone forever. Maybe you two are just in different places right now or maybe your lives just demand different attention now ? I have come to realize that when people are upsetting me or draining my energy, I don't need this in my life now especially as I am trying to rebuild my low post-widowdom. I would give her some room for now, maybe give this relationship some time and focus on your other friendships, interests, people or others in your life. I understand she has children and thus a lot on her plate but its important to keep in touch and not have you make all the effort. I have children AND a full time job and although I don't see certain people or am in touch all the time, I try and make some effort to keep connected as best I can - more so if the person is a close friend. Sorry MS...this cant be great to deal with : (
Title: Re: Best friend is drifting...advice from wids with kids?
Post by: MissingSquish on December 15, 2016, 02:39:40 PM
I think what bothers me most is that she can't be honest about her plans/commitments in general. All of the other stuff is upsetting, but doesn't impact me as much as the dishonesty does.


I've always prided myself on keeping only honest people close in my life. I have many acquaintances but few friends.
Title: Re: Best friend is drifting...advice from wids with kids?
Post by: MissingSquish on July 15, 2017, 07:26:53 PM
I finally ended the friendship Thursday evening.  There were a few other things that have happened in the past year that have made maintaining this friendship impossible.

 I sent her a quick text, saying that I cherished our friendship, but that we had grown apart. I also said that the decision was difficult. I feel sad, but relieved.
Title: Re: Best friend is drifting...advice from wids with kids?
Post by: Needytoo on July 16, 2017, 09:08:06 AM
I am so sorry MissingSquish it is such a hard thing to do isn't it?  When I finally got to the breaking point with my friend I too also felt relieved to let the friendship go. 
Title: Re: Best friend is drifting...advice from wids with kids?
Post by: Monique on July 16, 2017, 01:58:46 PM
It sounds to me as if she isn't that invested in the friendship anymore, but doesn't want to hurt you or completely end the friendship by actually telling you that she feels that way. As another person said earlier, give her some time. It's likely she's just caught up in her family obligations and new baby, and once her own life settles down a bit, she may become more interested in spending time with you again. It sucks that she didn't make time for this walk when it's important to you, but unfortunately we can't really depend on anyone to always be there when we need them. I hope that you have lots of other friends there to support you, and that it goes well!
Title: Re: Best friend is drifting...advice from wids with kids?
Post by: MissingSquish on July 16, 2017, 03:24:26 PM
Thanks all. It was really sad. I have been feeling like a second class citizen with her for a while, and the walk wasn't even the breaking point for me to end the friendship.  Me not having kids is apparently very inconvenient for her. I've been excluded from quite a few events with our other "friends" from high school, because I'm the only one left without spawn.

I am lucky that I have a few other good friends that are there for me.
Title: Re: Best friend is drifting...advice from wids with kids?
Post by: Monique on July 16, 2017, 04:51:09 PM
Just realized I didn't see the second page before replying. My apologies for the rather out-of-context comment. I'm sorry you ultimately had to let go of this friendship, but it sounds like it was the right decision for you. Hugs...
Title: Re: Best friend is drifting...advice from wids with kids?
Post by: MissingSquish on July 17, 2017, 04:55:58 PM
Just realized I didn't see the second page before replying. My apologies for the rather out-of-context comment. I'm sorry you ultimately had to let go of this friendship, but it sounds like it was the right decision for you. Hugs...

No worries! ❤️