Tuesday, March 9

My best friend stopped talking to me when my parents died. Will I ever get over it? | Friendship


Some years ago, my father died suddenly and unexpectedly. At the same time, my mother was very ill. I called my best friend of two decades and she was so lovely, listened while I cried and promised to attend the funeral. She sent flowers the next day, but then He was silent.

Three months later, mHis mother died. I called my friend, but she was short with me and obviously wanted me off the phone; it was disturbing. I haven’t heard from her since, although I called and sent cards.

My friend had an on-off relationship with a man, X, since they were teenagers. She married someone else, had children, got divorced, got engaged, broke up. Then she got pregnant by X, but They separated; she I had the baby alone but continued watching him occasionally. Throughout this, she would call and tell me everything. I hope to be a loyal friend, helping her to overcome ups and downs.

I got married, I had my wonderful children and quite a normal life. But when my parents died my world disintegrated. My husband was indifferent and we divorced. After a few bumpy years, I am happy again..

I i saw recently on facebook that my friend is about to celebrate her 10th wedding anniversary with X. I had no idea. The wedding date coincides with the week after my mother’s death. My friend obviously didn’t want me to know they were getting married, and I was excluded of their life.

How can I get over the feeling? angry and betrayed for someone I thought he was my best friend, but who Did you let me down at my most vulnerable moment?

I’m very sorry to hear about your parents. Losing them in quick succession must have been extremely difficult.

As for your friends, some people can’t handle other people’s pain. I lost some friends after my father died; one wrote to tell him that he couldn’t deal with it, as it reminded him of his own mortality. At least she was honest; we haven’t seen each other since.

In your situation, I suspect that some things were happening. In your longest letter you said that your friend told you about X’s ups and downs. I wonder if, having decided to marry him, she wanted to start over, perhaps with a narrative that did not include what you knew about him. Maybe she didn’t want to risk being questioned too much about her actions. Traditionally, what was your response to X? Was he neutral or critical?

Sometimes we associate people so strongly with an event or moment in our lives that when we want to move on, we have to get rid of that friend. This happened to me: a friend told me something seismic about her and then removed me from her life for no obvious reason. I suspect I reminded him of something he wanted to forget, and perhaps he was afraid that he would say something.

What happened to you was not fair, but your friend may not even have understood her own reasons and will surely have her version of events. Friendships rarely end over a single incident; rather, that incident is a sufficient catalyst to link all past slights, imagined or real, which are then used to justify the severance of ties. It can be confusing for the person left behind.

I wonder if your friend is linked to your pain and that is why you are still thinking about her. According to his letter, the injuries appear so recent, not something that happened a decade ago. Remember it cruse.org.uk He is always there for the afflicted, no matter how long it has been.

What is your ultimate goal? If it’s for her to acknowledge how much she hurt or betrayed you, she may never do so; especially since she may not see it that way. If this is your motivation, let it sit.

However, if underneath your pain and anger you miss her and want to rekindle the friendship, you could try contacting her one last time and ask her to start over. If that doesn’t work, then I think this friendship is probably over. With the friends I lost, I spent time hypothesizing the why’s and why’s, but then I put them to bed and got on with my life. We like wordy endings, but we often have to live with unfinished ones.

• Each week, Annalisa Barbieri addresses a problem related to the family submitted by a reader. For advice from Annalisa on a family matter, send your issue to [email protected]. Annalisa regrets that she cannot establish personal correspondence. Shipments are subject to our terms and conditions: see gu.com/letters-terms.

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