fbpx
Menu

Is this a temporary ebb in friendship ?

HomeForumsRelationshipsIs this a temporary ebb in friendship ?

New Reply
Viewing 15 posts - 16 through 30 (of 34 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • #434381
    Carol
    Participant

    Dear Anita,

    Thank you again for your help !

    My trip went well, thank you.

    Yes, focusing on the positive helps greatly. Also, I notice that when I am too busy hanging out with my new friends and meeting new people, I am less bothered by the fact that our friendship is less strong.

    “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?”

    Indeed, I wonder if I am not partly responsable :

    Even if it sounds strange, I sometimes gaslight myself into thinking that maybe this kind of ebb is normal, expected and I should just accept the changes, maybe I am the one who’s too “high maintenance” :

    I am perfectly able to understand that a romantic relationship is very important, and I am okay with spending less time with her ! But I never thought the change would be so drastic. I was hoping we would remain close even if she found a boyfriend.

    A part of me wonders if my expectations were unrealistic, hence the “too high maintenance”.

    At the same time, yes, I wonder if I haven’t moved away from her too soon. I sometimes think that she did nothing wrong, maybe those changes we are facing are normal etc …

    Then, the logical part of my brain intervenes and I am reminded of how many times she “forgot” to answer my texts, the fact that I have never been introduced to her boyfriend etc …

    I guess I still feel guilty from time to time. For instance, last year, she was among the first person I informed whenever something important happened in my life (a promotion etc …). She did the same.

    Now, I don’t share these informations about her anymore and neither does she.

    The conversation we had yesterday was dull.

    We briefly talked, she finally inquired about my career, I asked about hers as well and she informed me that she was accepted to the course she applied to. She got the news 3 weeks ago.

    Last year, she would have informed me right away !  And we would have hung out to celebrate !

     

    Thank you so much for your help !

     

     

    #434382
    Carol
    Participant

    Dear Helcat,

    Thank you so much !

    Yes, it could be the result of her being in an unhealthy relationship. But she has another close friend who lives 5 hours away. She had to visit our city a few times since January and I know they saw each other. I am not certain this friend had met her boyfriend, but I have faith that if there was anything fishy going on, this friend would have noticed ! I am saying this because she’s a really intelligent, protective and assertive person and she has a strong personality.

    So it’s as if I am relying on her to keep an eye on my friend. I don’t know if that makes sense ?

    It is true that we never know how things are underneath the surface. I sincerely hope that she is in a happy and fulfilling relationship, I prefer her to be blissfully in love and ignoring me, than knowing she’s stuck in an abusive relationship.

    “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 don’t necessarily think she does not care about me at all.  Just that her relationship took precedence over everything in her life and that she does not view me as important as before.

    When you talk about this fear, are you referring to mine or hers ?

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

    Thank you.

    So would you personally advise me anything to do besides this ?

    Thanks again ! 🙂

     

     

     

    #434393
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Carol:

    You are very welcome! As I see it, there are a couple of issues here: (1) you are hurt because as she entered a relationship, she significantly distanced herself from you, and you are sad over the lost closeness.

    I sometimes gaslight myself into thinking that maybe this kind of ebb is normal.. maybe those changes we are facing are normal etc.“- this is the part of you that’s denying the magnitude of her distancing/ the extent of your felt-loss, so to lessen the hurt and sadness.

    (2) “I wonder if I am not partly responsible… I wonder if I haven’t moved away from her too soon… I still feel guilty from time to time“- as I understand it, she distanced herself from you, not the other way around. She initiated the distancing over and over again, through a long period of time, before you reacted to her initiative by.. not chasing her for closeness.

    Does this make sense to you?

    anita

    #434430
    Helcat
    Participant

    Hi Carol

    You are a very kind soul to wish that your friend is happy and ignorant. 😊

    I see, so she is making an effort to visit with the other close friend but not with you? That must hurt a lot. I’m really sorry to hear that.

    Did you ever send that message that you wrote? If so, how did it go? If not, it might be worth discussing these things so you can get some closure. Knowing that you tried to resolve things and hearing her side of the story might bring you some peace.

    I guess fears either way. It has been a long friendship and endings can be painful. Does it feel like the relationship is slowly ending?

    Love and best wishes! ❤️🙏

    #434532
    Carol
    Participant

    [quote quote=434393] as I understand it, she distanced herself from you, not the other way around. She initiated the distancing over and over again, through a long period of time, before you reacted to her initiative by.. not chasing her for closeness. Does this make sense to you? anita[/quote]

    Hi Anita,

    Yes, I am definitely sad about the lost closeness.

    I feel like what we have know is

    [quote quote=434393] as I understand it, she distanced herself from you, not the other way around. She initiated the distancing over and over again, through a long period of time, before you reacted to her initiative by.. not chasing her for closeness. Does this make sense to you? anita[/quote]

    This is more realistic and also supported by the facts, as some of my texts never got any reply and she started to take more time to reply.

    Thank you for the reminder ! 🙂

    Indeed, I probably tend to gaslight myself in order to alleviate the pain.

     

    #434534
    Carol
    Participant

    Sorry, I realize I didn’t complete a sentence.

    I wanted to say : “I feel like what we have now is a shell of what it used to be

    #434549
    Carol
    Participant

    [quote quote=434430]Hi Carol You are a very kind soul to wish that your friend is happy and ignorant. I see, so she is making an effort to visit with the other close friend but not with you? That must hurt a lot. I’m really sorry to hear that. Did you ever send that message that you wrote? If so, how did it go? If not, it might be worth discussing these things so you can get some closure. Knowing that you tried to resolve things and hearing her side of the story might bring you some peace. I guess fears either way. It has been a long friendship and endings can be painful. Does it feel like the relationship is slowly ending? Love and best wishes![/quote]

     

    Hi,

     

    I have replied earlier but it seems that my post is still awaiting moderation (probably because of the use of emojis?) so I am going to write it again below :

     

    Deep down I just want her to be happy in her relationship. Sure, it would be better if it were not at my expense, but it is what I is.

    Don’t worry that does not hurt that much knowing that this friend visited our city because of medical reasons. She unfortunately does not have much money, so she stayed at my friend’s place.

    I haven’t sent my message yet but I am considering doing it in the following days. Sorry Anita, I know you advised against it !

    I don’t know if our friendship is slowly ending or if it’s just an “ebb” from her point of view.

    What I know is that I am not interested in the kind of friendship we have now, which is more casual. I am not okay with our friendship being downgraded every time she enters a relationship.

    I have made some modifications and would like to send something like this :

    “Hi,

    There’s something I would like to talk to you about as I think it’s pretty important.

    I don’t want 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.

    I totally understand that now that you’re in a relationship, the dynamic is different!

    But I thought we would remain close.

    I would like to know about your perspective ?

    Also, what do you expect from me in this friendship ? ”

     

    I don’t want to guilt-trip her not to make unnecessary accusations.

    I am open to suggestions 🙂

    #434551
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Carol:

    You are welcome! “I haven’t sent my message yet but I am considering doing it in the following days. Sorry Anita, I know you advised against it!“-

    You brought up the idea of talking to her in your June 26 post: “I don’t really know if I should talk to her about this or just let it go?… Maybe I could to share my feelings with her, and I replied: “I wish you could let it go, but can you?” So, you see, I didn’t advise you against talking to her/ sharing your feelings with her. I expressed a wish that you were emotionally okay with letting it go because actions speak louder than words. and her actions in the last year include repeatedly  taking 12 days or more to reply to your texts.

    “I have made some modifications and would like to send something like this: ‘Hi, There’s something I would like to talk to you about as I think it’s pretty important… I totally understand that now that you’re in a relationship, the dynamic is different! But I thought we would remain close. I would like to know about your perspective ? Also, what do you expect from me in this friendship?‘ I don’t want to guilt-trip her not to make unnecessary accusations. I am open to suggestions”-

    -I think that it’s an excellent message: it’s empathetic, understanding, considerate, fair and kind.

    Here are a few possibilities as to when/ how she replies to your message, and perhaps you can prepare yourself to these possibilities: (1) she may take 12 days or more to reply; she may reply on the same day, or anywhere in between,

    (2) she may reply saying something like this: oh, I am so sorry, I was so wrapped up in my relationship that I neglected our friendship and keeping it separate from my relationship. I am  inviting you to meet my boyfriends and his/ our friends for a cookout on (date). Would you like that?

    (3) she may get defensive, saying something like: well, I’ve been very busy, I can’t be everything for everyone!

    (4) she may reply but ignore the content of your message.

    What do you think/ feel about these possibilities?

    anita

     

    #434610
    Carol
    Participant

    Dear Anita,

    “So, you see, I didn’t advise you against talking to her/ sharing your feelings with her. I expressed a wish that you were emotionally okay with letting it go because actions speak louder than words. and her actions in the last year include repeatedly  taking 12 days or more to reply to your texts.”

    Sorry, I misinterpreted your reply. I understand better now 🙂

    Here are a few possibilities as to when/ how she replies to your message, and perhaps you can prepare yourself to these possibilities: (1) she may take 12 days or more to reply; she may reply on the same day, or anywhere in between,”

    Thank you for your thoughtfulness, I am aware of these possibilities : if she takes days to reply, I guess I will have my answer.

    she may reply saying something like this: oh, I am so sorry, I was so wrapped up in my relationship that I neglected our friendship and keeping it separate from my relationship. I am  inviting you to meet my boyfriends and his/ our friends for a cookout on (date). Would you like that?

    It would seem quite sudden, especially as we haven’t really been emotionally close in a long time. I think I would need some time one on one to rebuilt the friendship. Does that make sense ?

    she may get defensive, saying something like: well, I’ve been very busy, I can’t be everything for everyone!”

    “she may reply but ignore the content of your message.”

    In both cases, I will give up on the friendship.

    Sometimes, I think the last one is the most likely to happen.

    But I will find some peace in the fact that I have tried the best I could to salvage our friendship.

     

    #434611
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Carol:

    You are welcome! “if she takes days to reply, I guess I will have my answer… In both cases, I will give up on the friendship“- so, you are prepared for 3 out of 4 of the possibilities and give up the friendship as a result.

    In regard to the 2nd possibility out of the four: “It would seem quite sudden, especially as we haven’t really been emotionally close in a long time. I think I would need some time one on one to rebuilt the friendship. Does that make sense?“- yes, it makes sense that you’ll need 1-on-1 time with her before meeting her boyfriend and his friends.

    Sometimes, I think the last one is the most likely to happen“- it will be interesting how she will respond, if it’d be one of the possibilities I mentioned or something that didn’t occur to me (or to you?)

    But I will find some peace in the fact that I have tried the best I could to salvage our friendship.“- peace of mind is so very important. More important than any friendship.

    anita

    #434679
    Helcat
    Participant

    Hi Carol

    It is very kind of you to rewrite a message because it was in moderation. Thank you for your efforts! 🙏

    Ah so there was a reason for the visit with your friend so it doesn’t hurt as much.

    I would agree that her relationship shouldn’t come at the expense of yours. It is a painful way to think of things.

    I can tell how painful this drastic change to the relationship has been for you. It makes sense that you are considering ending the friendship because of how difficult and painful this has been for you.

    I don’t really like changes in friendship either.

    I had a friend go through some difficulties at the same time I was going through difficulties. I supported them and they didn’t even bother to ask how I was. Before all of this we would talk about lot and it was more even. But it became very uneven. It was upsetting. It is a shame but we no longer talk anymore. I am glad that I did eventually discuss it with them and get closure.

    Do you feel nervous about sending the message because it might end the relationship? Quite a high chance in the scenarios mentioned by Anita.

    I know that you were happy for a time to even receive a late message.

    These things can be hard and scary. But you do deserve to have your feelings heard.

    If you are looking for a potentially more positive outcome vulnerability can be good as people respond to it positively. It might look something like.

    I really value our friendship over the years. I have been finding it hard and missing you since we haven’t been spending as much time on each other now that you’re in a relationship. How have you been feeling about this?

    It is really up to you though. If you think potentially the relationship is worth being emotionally vulnerable, or if you would prefer to voice your feelings freely yet politely and respectfully.

    Love and best wishes! ❤️🙏

    #434680
    Helcat
    Participant

    It is possible that your friend misinterpreted you copying their level of interest as you being uninterested in the relationship.

    #434735
    Carol
    Participant

    Hello,

    I am very sorry for the late reply, I have had of work lately.

    Thanks to both of you for your replies !!

    Anita,

    “- yes, it makes sense that you’ll need 1-on-1 time with her before meeting her boyfriend and his friends.”

    Thank you, it feels validating to read this.

    “it will be interesting how she will respond, if it’d be one of the possibilities I mentioned or something that didn’t occur to me (or to you?)”

    Yes, definitely. I admit I haven’t sent the text yet because it makes me nervous and I want to wait for the right time, meaning a time where I can allow myself to be sad/disappointed.

    There’s something that I haven’t mentioned to both of you but that I think is very important : in February, when I saw her after 6 weeks, I told her that I was scared that everyone would stop prioritizing our friendship once they entered in a relationship, and that I was worried to end up alone as all my friend would pair up (that’s an issue I no longer have, because I have worked on it but it’s another topic 🙂 ).

    It was one of the last time that I was emotionally vulnerable with her.

    At the time, she assured me that she highly valued friendship and that platonic relationships were equally as important as romantic ones to her.

    Needless to say, her actions clearly didn’t match her words and our friendship never improved after that.

    It makes me wonder if that should make me reconsider sending her a text, as I somehow expressed how I felt in February, even if it was in a subtle hint ?

    “- peace of mind is so very important. More important than any friendship.”

    Truly !

     

    #434737
    Carol
    Participant

    Dear Helcat,

    “It is very kind of you to rewrite a message because it was in moderation. Thank you for your efforts! “

    Thank you for reading and helping me.

    “Ah so there was a reason for the visit with your friend so it doesn’t hurt as much.”

    Exactly !

    Thank you for your compassion.

    Yes, it has been hard but I feel like I am handling things better now because I don’t hurt as much as in the beginning.

    The pain often fluctuates and is intertwined with genuine happiness when I interact with my new friends and throw myself into new hobbies !

    I am so sorry that your friendship had to end, it’s very painful when things become one-sided ! I am happy that you had some closure and I hope you this friendship breakup does not affect you in a negative way anymore !

    “Do you feel nervous about sending the message because it might end the relationship? Quite a high chance in the scenarios mentioned by Anita.”

    Yes, I feel very anxious and I am reminded of the fact that I somewhat shared my feelings with her in February, even though it was in an indirect way.

    Plus, I am currently in a good mood because I am going to a few events in the following days with my new friends. So in a way, I am scared that sending this text will send me back in a dark place.

    But don’t worry, I know it’s unhealthy to think like this because even though I feel good at the moment, the problem remains unsolved and my feelings haven’t been heard, at least not like the message I wrote here.

    “If you are looking for a potentially more positive outcome vulnerability can be good as people respond to it positively. It might look something like.”

    Thank you so much, it’s an amazing suggestion !

    I will think about it !

    #434742
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Carol:

    You are very welcome!

    (I am adding the boldface and italic features): “In February, when I saw her after 6 weeks, I told her that I was scared that everyone would stop prioritizing our friendship once they entered in a relationship… At the time, she assured me that she highly valued friendship and that platonic relationships were equally as important as romantic ones to her... It makes me wonder if that should make me reconsider sending her a text, as I somehow expressed how I felt in February, even if it was in a subtle hint?.. I feel very anxious and I am reminded of the fact that I somewhat shared my feelings with her in February, even though it was in an indirect way“-

    – her reaction back in Feb was not subtle or indirect. It was obvious and direct. She told you in no uncertain terms what proved to be untrue since Feb. Her reaction tells me that although you feel that you were subtle and indirect, she clearly understood what you were saying back then.

    I am currently in a good mood because I am going to a few events in the following days with my new friends. So in a way, I am scared that sending this text will send me back in a dark place“- new events with new friends is the way to go, seems to me, leaving the past in the past.

    anita

Viewing 15 posts - 16 through 30 (of 34 total)

You must be logged in to reply to this topic. Please log in OR register.