Good friend beginning to take the Michael!

Hi there

I have a very good friend - well, okay, I'll amend that - we used to be very good friends, we don't seem so close now. When my life went base over apex 6 years ago, she was fabulous - I'm honestly not sure I'd still be here if it hadn't been for her! :(

But - just lately, I'm beginning to feel - hmmm.... patronised? Taken for granted? Compartmentalised? All of the above?

For instance - I'm a fair bit older than she, and she's great about asking if i need any shopping if the weather is bad - which I usually don't, the shop's just over the road. But she and her other half never offer to take me to the supermarket so I can buy what i want, rather than what they think I want :( She always comes down to me - just for a coffee and a chat; I'm never invited to hers; we very occasionally meet in town for coffee/lunch (she always used to treat me, I don't allow that now cos my finances are a bit better) and she did treat me to a hair-do. But I'm NOT included in HER life. For instance, she came down over the Jubilee weekend, and just happened to mention that she and hubby had "had some friends round for a BBQ" the day before. Now, she's always told me I'm her "best mate" :-O How can you be "best mates" with someone you hardly ever see/socialise with?

The worst was a month or two ago, when I was woken by a text on a Saturday morning (okay, late morning, but i don't sleep well) saying "I'll be down in 40 minutes- do you need anything?" Excuse???? :-O I wouldn't DREAM of doing that to anyone - i think it's rude, inconsiderate, and, frankly, bl**dy arrogant!

I've just found an email from her - she can only email from work cos she's technophobe - saying she was "thinking" of coming down this weekend but is going to visit her in-laws - but will "pop down one evening next week - or Monday afternoon - I'll let you know."

Now, I cannot claim a frantic social life, and I'm not going to get into the lying game of saying I'm out that day, so don't have a lot of "excuses" to offer. I have emailed her back saying Monday afternoon is out, as my support worker is visiting (true) - apart from that, she can basically turn up when SHE wants and I don't really know what to say/do.

I really don't want to fall out with her - she's been a fabulous friend, although less so over the last few years - she's remarried, got two families and, frankly, don't think she "needs" me in the same way. But - I'm beginning to feel like the aged nanny being graciously visited by the lady of the manor ;) - yeah, bit of an exaggeration, but not much!

Any ideas as to how I a) stay friends with her whilst b) explaining that I don't think her current behaviour is appropriate or, frankly, respectful?

Thanks for reading





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9 Replies

  • Rose I've got a feeling her husband doesn't have time for you. I might be off but you can't expect everyone to understand the anxiety. Her life's clearly changed since your initial friendship, I think you need to try and expand your social circle a little more so you aren't so reliant on her. Then you can dictate the terms if you can't be bothered with her.


  • Actually, Warren, I suspect (have suspected) that you're right - although, to be fair, when I needed picking up from hospital after an op (and my "family" were otherwise engaged!) - her husband did pick me up, in the middle of his working day, and was very kind. But my friend says herself he doesn't understand MH issues - she's had her own, and I've supported her in the past!

    However, whilst that might explain my not being included in her life - actually,looking back, I wasn't included that much when she was married to her first husband! - it does not explain why she thinks she has the right to invite herself down, when/if she feels like it, without having the common courtesy of asking if it's convenient - which, to be fair, she always used to! Frankly,I'm beginning to feel more like a "charitable cause" than a friend - and I ain't having that! I'd rather be lonely on my own!!!

    Thanks for replying, hope you're okay and, yes, I think you're partly right.




  • I must be missing the point because she sounds like a good friend. I would seriously consider what life would be without your friend before making any decision....

  • Hi Hollow

    Thanks for your reply. What life would be without her? Frankly, not much different nowadays. That wasn't always the case, there was a time i would have missed her desperately, but not now, not any more, I don't think.


  • Hi Rose, maybe you've both outgrown the relationship, it happens as you know, or maybe it's simply developed into a different relationship. Your friend sounds like she still wants to be there in some part but and forgive me if I'm wrong you appear offended by this. Why? (That's more of a rhetorical question.) Could it not be that your friend thinks she is doing you a favour by not putting you in an awkward anxiety provoking position such as asking you to go the supermarket or to a social occasion? Just a thought.

  • Hi. Rose. Relationships can be hell!! They are one of the most difficult things to deal with in life as you well know! There is no doubt in my mind that this has to be a 'face to face' job. I feel you have to explain how you feel and if she is a real friend she will understand. This is very definitely not easy. I think Warren218 may be right. We do drift apart as our circumstances change and sometimes to the point where we have nothing in common any more. The friends I had before my GAD are not the friends I have now. But the new friends understand me better than the old. I have changed so have attracted different people. She s certainly irritating you that's for sure. If you can bring yourself to do it try a chat about it in the nicest possible way. I feel you may not want to lose her as she does seem to care, but is getting on your 'wick' a bit. Love. Look after yourself. jonathan.

  • Aww, thanks, Jonathan - you always "get the point"! :) And - it hasn't always been a one-way street - years ago SHE gave ME a suicide note, which i had to cope with :( When I joined a Reading Group, she invited herself along - I had a car then, picked her up and dropped her off, and if she came down to me, I drove her home (she doesn't drive). But - I don't think a friendship can be maintained via the odd evening over a cup of coffee. I've emailed her, saying - I was planning to go to the cinema, did she want to come - excuse; i would be in town, could we meet up for a coffee - excuse. It all seems to be on HER terms at the moment, and I do not find that acceptable. Others might; I don't.

    You're right, I do need to talk to her about it - oh hell :( I hate confrontations!

    Thanks for the support, Jonathan and, as always, for understanding.




  • Hi. Rose. I am not going to 'teach my grandmother to suck eggs' but you know how it is. People are afraid of those with any sort of mental health problem. Even good old fashioned anxiety. At times I wonder if they think it is contagious!!! If she has' been there' herself then maybe she should be more understanding. Ah well. "Nowt so funny as folk" as they say up North. Love . jonathan.

  • Hi Rose, This is a situation I find myself in too sometimes. All my friends have husbands and partners. It's a difficult can make us feel second best sometimes and rightly so in some cases., wrongly in others. I feel lucky today to have any friends at all. They have put up with a lot from me, as I have from them. It has to be give and take. How about asking her to share a meal out one evening. Her husband can eat with his parents. You could chat about how you value her friendship and look forward to spending time with her., change of scenery etc.... You don't want to lose her Rose, we can never have enough friends.......and just think! no washing up!

    Lots of Love xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

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