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Is this a temporary ebb in friendship ?

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  • #434264
    Carol
    Participant

    I understand that there are some changes to be expected once a close friend enters a relationship as they have to devote a part of their free time to their partner.

    So how has your friendship changed over the time, as one of you paired up, and were you able to maintain some closeness ? 🙂

    Would what I am going through considered a normal “ebb” in friendship ?

    One of my best friend of 15 years insists that she is still “there if I need anything”, but ever since she met her partner a year ago, many things changed :

    • she takes a dozen of days, if not more, to reply to my texts and often apologizes because she “forgot” to reply. Whereas she responds to his texts immediately. She used to be more consistent, when she wasn’t going through a hard time obviously
    • she does not includes me in the new relationship she’s building : I haven’t met her partner but she mentions that she hangs out with his friends often
    • I am the one who have to initiate almost all of our texts convos
    • she not sends me texts to let me know what is going on in her life and does not asks me how everything is going for me, or if she does, it’s really rare. That’s the thing that hurts me the most. We used to share a lot but I guess now, she does that with her partner.
    • she is less thoughtful in general, right now, I am going through a decisive time in my career. She hasn’t contacted me to see how it’s going.
    • in January, I was really down and I had let her know that I was struggling mentally. She was obsessed with her relationship so she didn’t pay attention I guess. I got tired and stopped texting her first after that. I received a text from her 6 weeks later, asking how I was …

    So, is this a normal ebb ?

    Personally, I don’t feel as close to her anymore and if they ever break up (I really hope they don’t) I am not sure we can be close again.

    I stopped putting efforts months ago and only checks in now and then, but I am focusing on others friendships.

    Thanks for reading

    #434266
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Carol:

    Reads to me like the friendship is gone and all that’s left is an acquaintance. I am sorry that you are hurting for having lost a person who was important in your life, having lost her as a friend.

    anita

    #434267
    anita
    Participant

    I want to add, Carol, that you are welcome to share more about your thoughts,  feelings, about this loss and hurt that you’ve been experiencing for some time now. I would like to read more from you and communicate with you, if you would like that.

    anita

    #434268
    Carol
    Participant

    That’s painful to read, but I appreciate your honesty Anita.

    So thank you very much

    Is there a specific part of my post that makes you think we are no longer “friends” but more acquaintances ?

    Also, I don’t really know if I should talk to her about this or just let it go ?

    Sometimes, I think it’s a bad idea but other times, I feel like I would at least like to clear the air just in case there has been a misunderstanding ?

    Maybe I could to share my feelings with her, in a non accusatory way, and to give her the benefit of the doubt and let her space to express hers ?

    I want to write her something like this : (English is not my first language, so I apologize for my grammar)

    “Hey, I wouldn’t be being true to myself and how I’ve been feeling if I didn’t mention something to you. I feel like things changed between us and I would like to talk about it because I value our friendship.

    I know you have a boyfriend and I am very happy for you !

    Not to sound insecure, but I noticed you pulled back this year.

    As a result, I also started to focus on other friendships. I notice you don’t necessarily keep me informed on what is going on into your life, so I started to do the same.

    And also, you seem to compartmentalize things since I have never met your boyfriend nor his friends, and I understand, it is your prerogative !

    But I would like to know what you expect from me and this friendship ? I am a bit lost. ”

     

    I certainly don’t want her to feel “coerced” or “forced” to meet my needs, so I am not sure if it’s a good idea to write her this …

     

     

     

    #434269
    Carol
    Participant

    Maybe I could share my feelings with her, in a non accusatory way, and give her the benefit of the doubt and let her space to express hers”*

    #434271
    Helcat
    Participant

    Hi Carol

    I’m sorry to hear that you have lost touch with your best friend of 15 years after she got a partner.

    Change is difficult and people get lost in their own lives. A lot of people choose to build their whole life around their partner with little room for others. It sounds like this is what has happened. It must be a jarring experience being so close to your friend and now, not so close.

    I’m sorry to hear that she wasn’t there for you when you were struggling. You mentioned that it sounds like she has been struggling with her own things too.

    I wouldn’t necessarily call you both acquaintances because of the very long and close friendship.

    There are times in life when very close friends are not as close sadly. Life can get in the way and there is only room for so many people. It is a shame that in this relationship she neglected you, her best friend. One day she might realize her mistake.

    I think that your message is perfect. Good luck!

    Love and best wishes! ❤️🙏

    #434272
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Carol:

    You are welcome, and thank you for being kind even though my answer was painful to read. I am afraid parts of this post too will be painful to read, I am sorry.

    Is there a specific part of my post that makes you think we are no longer friends but more acquaintances?“-

    – yes, the following things which I boldfaced: “she takes a dozen of days, if not more, to reply to my textsI haven’t met her partner… (she) does not ask me how everything is going for me, or if she does, it’s really rare…I am going through a decisive time in my career. She hasn’t contacted me to see how it’s going… in January, I was really down and I had let her know that I was struggling mentally… I received a text from her 6 weeks later, asking how I was“.

    If her relationship was one month old, and she is a busy working woman, or a busy student, I’d understand if she was 3 days late texting you back, or a whole week if she was overwhelmed with work/ studies and a new romantic relationship, and I’d understand her not introducing her partner to you yet.

    But she met her partner a whole year ago. Unless she and her partner are long-distance (and only meet once a month, let’s say), and/ or she lives very far from you, how can a best friend not meet the other best friend’s partner for a whole year?

    That you told her that you were struggling mentally and she did not inquire about your mental health for 6 weeks demotes her (in my opinion) not only from the title best friend, but from the title friend.

    Unless the word friend means not an enemy, or if it means acts friendly sometimes– in that case, I suppose she is a friend.

    Like you, English is not my first language and sometimes I am not aware of the connotations of words, but from having looked up friend and acquaintance online just now, the difference between the two is that friends share an a bond of mutual affection, and acquaintances don’t necessarily.

    Seems like her affection for and her attention to you as her friend has been redirected elsewhere, not only to her partner but to her partner’s friends (“she hangs out with his friends often“). You wrote that she’s obsessed with her relationship: maybe she hangs out with her partner’s friends so to solidify her relationship with him, to be more of a part of his world, as in, getting his friends to think well of her and encourage him to stay with her.

    And since you, Carol, are not a part of her partner’s world and have no power to influence her partner on her behalf of her, you are of no use for her when  it comes to her #1 priority by far (her partner). What do you think?

    Also, I don’t really know if I should talk to her about this or just let it go ? Sometimes, I think it’s a bad idea but other times, I feel like I would at least like to clear the air just in case there has been a misunderstanding? Maybe I could to share my feelings with her, in a non accusatory way, and to give her the benefit of the doubt and let her space to express hers?– I wish you could let it go, but can you?

    The reason I wish you could let it go instead of sharing how you feel with her, is that from what you wrote in your original post, she has not shown interest in how you feel for a long time, and because although she ” insists that she is still ‘there if I need anything‘, in practice, she has not been there for you: not when you had let her know that you were struggling mentally, and not during the decisive time you are going through career-wise.

    In the message you think of sending her, you wrote: “I feel like things changed between us and I would like to talk about it because I value our friendship“- you mean that you used to value the friendship you had with her in the past, not  that you value the friendship (or “friendship”) that you have with her now, correct?

    anita

    #434274
    anita
    Participant

    Oh, as far as the question in the title of your thread: “Is this a temporary ebb in friendship?“- I think that ebb is an understatement. I think that this loss of friendship is likely temporary if her relationship ends and therefore, her focus is no longer on him, on his friends, on his world.

    anita

    #434305
    Carol
    Participant

    Thank you so much for your reply 🙂

     

    I will come back and elaborate further

    Just to give you an update : my friend has texted me this morning asking how I was !

    And also, I would like to add a nuance here : even though everything I wrote Is true and my bond with this friend has greatly suffered this past year, a few times (2 to 3, I think), I went to her for advice and she did try to help me.

    One time, it was about my sister who was sexually assaulted (yes, that’s awful) and I know she’s more knowledgeable in this department, so I asked her about the procedure and she replied fast.

    2 other times, I was confiding in her by texts in February and she replied to some of my texts (not all) 2 to 3 weeks after.

     

    So even though she’s been way less supportive, at some point, she did reply to my texts.

     

    Sorry, I have to travel by bus but I will get back to you as soon as I can and I will give you a proper answer 🙂

    Thanks again to both of you !!

    #434308
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Carol:

    You are welcome! I can see how happy you were when your friend texted you this morning, and I understand that you appreciate the 2-3 times that she helped you with advice in the past year, once replying to you very quickly. (I am sorry to read that your sister was sexually assaulted).

    I hope that your bus ride was smooth, and I am looking forward to your next post.

    anita

    #434349
    Helcat
    Participant

    Hi Carol

    It’s good to hear that your friend texted you. 😊

    And good to hear that she did provide some support, even though in some cases it was delayed.

    I’m sorry to hear about your sister. That is really tough. I’m glad that your friend replied immediately to you when it was a crisis.

    I hope that you have a lovely day!

    Love and best wishes! ❤️🙏

    #434357
    Carol
    Participant

    Sorry, my schedule is a bit hectic at the moment but I really want to thank you again for your reply and I reiterate that I really appreciate your kindness and empathy ! 🌷

    I am going to try to write as much as I can now, I apologize if I have to get back to you later !

    Carol,

    Yes, my friend did offer me some support at some time but it’s inconsistent and less frequent than before.

    I did the mistake of reading our old texts again and I find that there’s a stark difference in our bond before and after she entered in a relationship. From December, she started to “forgot “to reply to my texts repeatedly, even those where I wished her a merry Christmas. And from January, I started to text less because I remember I felt like a burden.

    She does not confide in me anymore, I knew almost “everything” about her old crushes but now she’s really private in her relationship.

    Sometimes, I wonder if she notices how far we drifted ? I suppose it’s probably not the case as her focus is on her relationship right now. Anyway, it is what it is !

    These past few days, I have been trying to see the bright side of things : at least now, she shows me that I won’t hold an important place in her life during the times where she’s in a healthy  and fulfilling relationship (it’s the first time this happens).

    I admit that I am disappointed, but I am now free to redirect all my energy and focus to people who actually prioritize me and who won’t downgrade our friendship when they meet someone ?

    I feel better seing it that way 🙂​

     

    #434358
    Carol
    Participant

    Anita,

    Thank you for your reply, it was painful to read but necessary and eye-opening.

    It’s true that since she spends all of her free time with him and his friends, I don’t feel like I am a part of her world anymore !

    When I saw her, I remember she mentioned that she went out of her way so that her boyfriend’s friends would appreciate her : one of his friends didn’t like her, so she bought him his favorite snack etc …

    So yes, I think you are very right !

    I remember that when she mentioned this, I felt like you said, that she did that to solidify his relationship with him. She was more caring towards his friends than me lol.

    Anyway, to reply to your last sentence : I value the friendship we used to have. We talk too sporadically now, I think, to be considered close friends ?

    Also, she rarely confides in me now. Just last may, we used to text at least twice a week, sharing our deepest thoughts or random things that happened in our day to day lives. We hung out as well and we always had a great time.

    Now, we are less close. I don’t even know how I can be here for her because she does not seem to confide in me. The conversation is more shallow, I don’t know much about her relationship, she does not give me any updates about her life (meeting her in laws, traveling with him etc …).

    I always learn this when we catch up 6 weeks after the fact.

    Sorry, I am digressing.

    What I am trying to say is : I feel like she has put less efforts in this friendship, as a result, I (rightfully) did the same, and now things are different.

    Would the informations I added invalidate how I am feeling ?

    Sometimes, I am still doubting and thinking that I am the one who’s too high maintenance ?

     

    Sorry, there is a lot of self-doubt in this process, especially on the rare occasions where she texts me.

    #434366
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Carol:

    You are very welcome and thank you for expressing your appreciation!

    I admit that I am disappointed, but I am now free to redirect all my energy and focus to people who actually prioritize me and who won’t downgrade our friendship when they meet someone ? I feel better seeing it that way.“-  that you are disappointed, it’s understandable. Focusing on the positive (having the freedom to redirect your energy to people who prioritize you, etc.) is a healthy and courageous attitude.

    It seems like your friend is indeed no longer a best friend or a close friend, and that she indeed shifted her priorities away from you: “to solidify his relationship with him. She was more caring towards his friends than me“, like you said.

    I feel like she has put less efforts in this friendship, as a result, I (rightfully) did the same, and now things are different. Would the information I added invalidate how I am feeling ? Sometimes, I am still doubting and thinking that I am the one who’s too high maintenance? Sorry, there is a lot of self-doubt in this process, especially on the rare occasions where she texts me.“- it seems like you feel somewhat responsible for your friend shifting priorities away from you, as if you are guilty for the weakening of the friendship. The self-doubt is something like this: did she move away from me because of her new relationship or because I was too much (high maintenance), or because I moved away from her first/ too soon?

    Is this the question on your mind? If not, can you edit what I typed above, so to make it exact?

    Also, in what ways do you think that you were high maintenance with her?

    (I understand that you are busy, so please take your time to answer my questions (if you choose to answer them, of course).

    anita

     

    #434368
    Helcat
    Participant

    Hi Carol

    Please don’t worry about writing when you’re busy. 😊

    I don’t know if this is the result of her being in a healthy relationship. It could easily be the result of her being in an unhealthy relationship. Especially since you mention that she has a pattern of being in unhealthy relationships.

    In healthy relationships time would be made for both partners friends. Sucking up to his friend that didn’t like her, it sounds like she’s afraid of being rejected by her partner. If his friends don’t like her, he may leave her. That type of thing.

    You never know how relationships actually are underneath the surface. Sometimes people pretend that things are okay when they’re not. Just have to see how things work out.

    After 15 years of close friendship, I bet she misses you and is aware of the drifting. For whatever reason, she is holding back. I will add that people who aren’t cared about aren’t texted at all. Perhaps there is a fear that the relationship will drift even more in the future?

    I do understand how painful it is not to have a good level of communication with someone you care about deeply. It is a deeply disappointing and hurtful thing.

    It is healthy to invest your time and energies in people who invest in you. I’m glad that focusing on that is helping.

    Love and best wishes! ❤️🙏

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