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DrFee, Psychologist
Category: Relationship
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Experience:  20+ years of counseling experience, Wife & Mother
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Good evening: Over the past few years, my friends of many

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Good evening: Over the past few years, my friends of many years, having been dropping by the wayside like flies hitting a windshield and I don't understand. Although you aren't privy to all their family background dynamics, I am wondering if I am one of the few people who seems to be experiencing the "strangeness" of people's actions lately....... I'll give you examples: 1. My friend of almost 30 years stopped speaking with me when I mentioned that her relationship with a married man (going on 25+ years) was dysfunctional and that I was worried about her well being if he ever decided to discontinue the relationship. (This is a young woman who would spend weekends at my house and just hang out because she had no other friends. This is someone who my husband and I would invite to all family events and occasions when she had no other place to go.) Bam! I was dropped like a hot potato. I'm having a tough time rationalizing that she would drop our friendship for some married man who, by the way, had a two year hiatus of being single when he was seeing her, had the opportunity to marry her, and married someone else. 2. About 8 years ago, I was making a visit to another state where a friend of mine lived (I've known her for about 38 years) and I told her my husband and I would be in her state during Thanksgiving and that I would like to see. She was very excited, as was I. No specific place or time was agreed upon, only that I told her I would be more specific as the time got closer. As it turned out, my husband got very sick during our trip, which was punctuated, and come home. I immediately called my friend when I got home and explained to her what had happened; The previous year my husband was hospitalized with a serious staph infection, and when he got ill on the trip, I was very very worried and decided we should come home and see his physician. The only thing she could muster was that she was very "pissed" (her words) at me because she sat in her apartment the entire Thanksgiving Day and waited for me to visit her. She never expressed any concern. Bam! I was dropped like a hot potato despite numerous attempts to get back in touch with her. She was diagnosed with breast cancer many many years before, and I was always available to listen to her and console her, but she seemed to be completely devoid of any benevolence where my husband was concerned. She has never been married and has been,at times, monetarily subsidized by her parents when her career as a concert pianist has not been lucrative. I am having a hard time accepting the fact that friendship, obviously is a throw-away to these people. I was brought up that friendships were something that had ups and downs and that you worked at it, as you would any relationship that is meaningful. I guess, from their vantage point, my friendship was not meaningful. This is just two instances. I could give you three more. I realize people flow in and out of one's life,but to have such abrupt endings of supposed long-time relationships with people who have expressed, in the past, how much they enjoy being your friend, is something I find disheartening. My mother and I joke that it is something in the *air* that makes people so weird and ambivalent! Any insight would be appreciated. Thanks.

Hello! Please remember that my responses are informational only, we are not establishing a therapeutic relationship.


It's always painful to be dropped from what seems like a meaningful friendship.


With regards XXXXX XXXXX #1: My first thought was that in order for someone to stay in a relationship with a married man for 25 years, she would have to be in great denial as to how destructive that type of relationship is. By you commenting on your concerns, it momentarily snapped her out of her denial, and she had to face the truth, even though it was momentary. The solution to going back into her denial is to get rid of the "mirror," (you) that showed her a different reality.


Friend #2 --I can understand that you probably got really, really scared when your husband got sick while you were on a trip (especially given the history of stap) --that makes a lot of sense! However, would it have been possible to call her sooner? It does sound like she was waiting to hear from you about solidifying plans.


So --I understand her being angry in this situation, however, I don't understand her not being able to forgive you for not calling in a more timely manner, and for not being a little more understanding of how scared you might have been about your husband. I wonder if it was too threatening to her to work out the conflict between you.


So --those are my thoughts --some people throw away relationships when their beliefs about their behavior are threatened (#1), some people will throw away relationships when they just can't face up to dealing with conflict and unpleasant emotions (#2)..



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Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Thank you for answering. And not to belabor #2 but my mother, a very wise person, always said that with this particular friend she always noticed that it was "her way or the highway" and your response reminded me of that; I had forgotten all about that! So, thanks again. I appreciate your insight with such little information given to you. I think I need to cultivate a different group of friends who are more mature. Have a lovely evening.

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