I have been struggling over this issue for so long and do not know what to do. I am 37 years old and have had a close friendship with a girl since second grade. Since then, we have been BFFs. After 7th grade I moved away, but we stayed connected and visited each other. I moved back about ten years ago, and ended up marrying her husband’s best friend. We both have young children.
Everything was as always until she made a rude and angry comment about a school decision I had made for my youngest child. I stood up for myself and snapped back at the reasons I had chosen this particular school. Maybe it was the fact that I actually stood up for myself and to her (which I never had before) but I didn’t hear from her for the entire summer.
I was devastated. I ended up calling and calling and finally apologizing. She thanked me, and things were okay sometimes, but for the past three years she has never been the same with me. I am always asking her, as friends should, how she is, how her family is, telling her she looks great, etc. but I get nothing in return. It seems one sided, and it is so hard to take because we were so close for all those years. I am broken hearted.
My question is, should I bring up, again how I feel—I have brought it up a few times, and she says she is still uncomfortable around me, and feels I have changed and we have a long talk about that silly argument before—or should I just let it go and stop trying to be her friend, and let the friendship end (which could be difficult as my husband and hers are friends)? Any advice would be much appreciated!
When two friends have such a long shared history and their friendship extends to their families, a breech like the one you have experienced can be very disappointing and upsetting. It sounds like you HAVE changed over time; you’ve matured into someone who is more self-confident and assertive, especially when it comes to knowing what’s best for your own family.
It is somewhat unforgivable that your friend wouldn’t speak to you for an entire summer because you were following your own best instincts about what was best for your child. Perhaps, she was looking for an excuse to step away from the friendship.
It sounds like you given her every opportunity to make amends and for whatever reason—it may be something that has nothing to do with you—she doesn’t feel as comfortable in the relationship as she once did. That has to feel awkward given the ties between your husbands, your kids, and any mutual friends.
At this point, your best option would be to downgrade the friendship to a more casual one. Be friendly, act cordially, but don’t consider her your close friend or have high expectations of intimacy or reciprocity.
Over time, your friend may change her feelings. In the meantime, spend time with other women and try to heal from this hurt. From what you’ve told me, you haven’t done or said anything that you need to feel guilty about. You are lucky to have a friendship that lasted as long as it did but you aren’t alone. Friendships are dynamic and it is not uncommon for many of them to change or drift apart over time.