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TherapistJen, LCSW, CPC
Category: Etiquette
Satisfied Customers: 2746
Experience:  Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Certified Professional Coach
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I have known a woman in California than 20 years. She is

Customer Question

I have known a woman in California for more than 20 years. She is English and seems to be a bit more proper than we are in the States and has definite opinions about the way Americans act, eat, talk, etc. She is especially vulnerable now, in her late 70's, since she has Macular Degeneration, a slight hearing loss, and her husband died last year. She is really not grieving him since he was very passive-aggressive, broke her jaw years ago, and more recently damaged her knees. Now she can't drive, and sometimes has a problem walking. She decided not to prosecute and stayed married to him for about 25 years. Over the past few years she has objected strenuously to some of the things I have done, but she saves her objections for months and even years sometimes, and then calls me and explodes. With some of those phone calls, I can tell that she's been drinking. For the past couple of years, especially when she had a complaint against me, she has called my husband "to chat" (and he doesn't like to chat) and of course she tells him what a terrible person I am, and how I have offended her. A few days ago she told him she is thinking of ending the friendship. I don't want to wait for her next phone call, because I don't want to listen to another tirade, so I'm thinking I should take the bull by the horns and end it myself. To avoid another phone call, would it be proper for me to send her a short note in the mail, not with details, saying that I think we should call it quits?
Submitted: 5 months ago.
Category: Etiquette
Expert:  TherapistJen replied 5 months ago.
Thanks for your openness about this painful situation. She sounds hurtful and destructive despite being the victim of attacks by her late husband. While you don't owe her call or note to end the friendship, something tells me that you will rest easier letting her know of your decision to move on and so a note seems quite proper. The phone call could bring up more verbal attacks and pain. I think you have been a wonderful friend for many years and have tolerated enough and now you are "allowed" to focus on what works for you so if ending it by a short and to the point note, then I believe that is quite proper and still very giving on your part. Others might just go silent and never accept calls again so figure out what feels best for you but in terms of it being seems so to me.
Expert:  TherapistJen replied 5 months ago.
Let me know if I can support you further.

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