The male best friend ends an 8-year friendship under pressure from his girlfriend.
There are many elements to my dilemma, but I’ll try to keep it as clear and concise as possible. One of my best friends lives 1,000 miles away. We see each other once a year and communicate almost every day via text. This has been the case for over eight years, until recently. His girlfriend didn’t like that he was talking to me so often and told him to stop. Not wanting to lose her, he did stop, however we still shared our annual visit (which includes other friends besides the two of us.)
He told me how important our friendship is but that his relationship is just as important. I told him that unlike his girlfriend, I would never make him choose between us and I respect that they need space. I do not agree with this, but I felt I had no other option. I haven’t heard much from him since that discussion five months ago.
Since then, I have gotten engaged. After not receiving any kind of congratulations or “happy birthday” (it happened on my birthday), I texted him and told him how much it would mean to me if he were to come to my wedding. His reply was, “Maybe. Is the invite extended to Laurie too?” I said I’d give him a plus 1, which got no response.
A couple of months after that I wished him a happy birthday again – no reply. I love him dearly, but I am furious with him. Today, our brief text conversation was as follows:
Me: Hey, what’s your address?
Me: wedding invite.
Him: (sends me his address)
Me: Thanks – and that was that.
I’ve had a very tough year and my engagement has been the only upside. My friend knows this but doesn’t seem to care. Should I let him and our 8+-year friendship go? I don’t want to, and he says he doesn’t either, but I don’t know what else I could say or do. We have never had a romance between us, however many of our friends and relatives say that he has always had a thing for me, despite him almost always having a girlfriend. I don’t know how to factor in that possible feeling of his, but I thought it was worth mentioning.
To communicate almost daily with someone for eight years suggests an emotionally intense and intimate connection. I’m sure you can see how this might feel threatening to a new girlfriend. Whether it was her idea, his or both, your guy friend resolved the dilemma by cutting off his long-distance friendship.
People have different feelings about their partners having intense relationships outside the marriage, especially if someone suspects that their partner “has a thing” for that friend. You might feel the same way she does if your fiancé had a close emotional connection with someone else. People often have to make choices and compromises to preserve primary romantic relationships.
Since your efforts to engage him have met with five months of silence, you need to back off and allow him the space he’s asked for. With time, I hope your anger is tempered by understanding his commitment to his girlfriend. You may find that this decision turns out positively for you, too, by drawing you closer to your fiancé.
Hope this helps.
Previously on The Friendship Blog: