• Handling Breakups

A couple cuts off contact

Published: May 14, 2016 | By | 6 Replies Continue Reading

A woman is left baffled when her fiancé’s friend and his wife cut off contact.



My fiancé’s best friend and his wife have ditched us entirely after a good one and a half years of a couples’ friendship and we are baffled.

The guys were friends for over 20 years and spent the majority of their time together when they were single or even during relationships. In fact, my fiancé and I dated ten years ago and split due to immaturity/jealousy issues but got back three years ago because, immaturity aside, we missed each other. Everything else is solid and I remember hanging with this best friend and his ex at the time and it was great.

After one year of dating my fiancé this time around, the best friend starting dating someone and poof—within one and half years they were married and pregnant. We all hung out during the dating phase, we were even their only friends at their wedding and continued our dinner dates during the pregnancy. After she gave birth, we did not see them for six months so we started to have a clue that weren’t the greatest friends at this point but what happened next was truly unexpected.

They started to have marital issues and one day out of the blue (with no prior intimate conversations) she just started calling me crying her about her husband’s abusive yelling at her. Meanwhile, the best friend was not saying anything to my fiancé.

This continued for months and I started to feel uncomfortable as the best friend was calling my fiancé less and less and seemed less interested in him which I found deplorable considering the good friend my fiancé had always been to him (ex: generous, gave him free stuff, hired him when he needed extra cash and always put the bigger effort).

Finally we actually met their child a few times and then they hit rock bottom in their relationship with an account of domestic violence.  I mostly listened and tried to be as neutral as possible while she said really bad things about her husband. I tried to offer positive encouragement and not get mixed into their stuff. Then, they patched things, apparently, and made a rule that we were not to call them after 7:30 at night during the week because their daughter would be sleeping. I suggested many dinners and stuff like that but she seemed distant and just like that they were gone.

While, in retrospect, it is no big loss to us as we have seen their true selfish colors I can’t help wonder…What happened??

Signed, Aline


Hi Aline,

I wouldn’t take this couple’s rejection personally. It probably has more to do with their own situation than it does with their relationship with you or your fiancé.

You’ve described a very troubled and tumultuous marriage, which may or may not be much better than before. The couple could be embarrassed that the wife discussed their marital problems with you (and suspect that you also told your fiancé.)

In essence, they may feel like you both know too much—and that they just want to start fresh and leave their troubled past behind, including those who played a role (even as listeners). They may also be preoccupied with the added responsibility of a young child.

Since your fiancé has such a long history with this friend, he may want to reach out to him and make sure things are going okay for the couple. If you feel a kinship with the woman, you could do the same. But I wouldn’t put pressure on them to get-together for social outings as couples. They don’t seem interested in socializing right now and that shouldn’t necessarily be construed as being selfish.

Hope this helps.

Best, Irene

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Comments (6)

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  1. Willowless says:

    They had their own problems and that is probably why they withdrew. We can take things personally when people stop staying contact with us and assume it’s to do with us when it’s likely to do with them.

    Irene hit the nail. It’s hard to face friends that we show our vulnerability and that could be one or the reason why they have distanced themselves. People can feel inferior even after resolving matters if they have to face people they really don’t feel comfortable showing their weakness to. More so if it’s marital problems. That’s a hard one to face your friends after, friends that have a relationship that to them looks perfect. They fear being judged. It’s awkward and uneasy situation even if their friends would never think that.

  2. DJ says:

    Yes these things can be very helpful. For me as a quasi single woman (partner doesn’t come to things with me) without kids I find my friendship with couples with children don’t last.
    There could also be still domestic violence happening. Maybe it’s a control thing by the guy. I do like the suggestion to check in with the woman individually rather than suggesting couples things. Also worth finding out if thete any domestic violence or relationship counselling services around that you could give her the phone number to and also yourself chat to domestic vionece phone lines.
    Hopefully as a couple you’ve got other friends to hang out with!!

  3. Chris says:

    Years ago, I weathered breakups, on separate occasions but within a couple of years, with two close girlfriends. In each case, the girlfriend had committed adultery.

    This is one of the downsides of over-sharing. I did not particularly want to know about these incidents, but when one of these friends went on to have a baby and play happy families soon after an affair, I think my having been a witness to her indiscretion had something to do with her having to disappear me from her life.

    The other friend went on to her second divorce, and ghosted most of the friends who’d been rooting for her second, last chance for a baby marriage to work out.

    Now I am better with boundaries.

  4. Lovey says:

    Hi Aline, I think Irene has this situation pegged perfectly. They are troubled by the fact that you know their whole drama and maybe seeing you is a reminder, or even worse, as a threat. The wife may simply be afraid you (or your fiance) might repeat something she told you to her husband one day, and that is a risk she is not willing to take.

    I have gone through this same scenario with my cousin’s wife. We had been good friends and I was her support, her confidant, her shoulder to cry on during her marital problems. When she decided not to divorce my cousin and try to make a go of it, I was cut off for many years. I’m sure she was afraid of her crazy and domineering mother-in-law finding out. It was hurtful to lose her friendship, but I understood her position too. All I could do was be pleasant to everyone at family gatherings, and move on.

    Being a supportive friend and a good listener is always the right thing to do, but sadly it does not guarantee being appreciated.

  5. Jared says:

    Wow, I agree with Irene’s advice. Sometimes we pull away from people because we’re ashamed/embarrassed and feel that they know too much. I’ve done it over little things, but the major issues described here make my examples seem too trivial to mention.

    All I can offer is this: I’ve had to come to peace with the notion that if I call someone, and they don’t return my messages, they aren’t as interested in the friendship as I am. I sometimes struggle to accept that, but it’s basically life giving you a clue that this relationship isn’t worth the energy–at least not at this point in time.

    I suspect that once their marriage settles down, they may contact you gain, but not for several years. Of course, I’ve found that once friends have children, they often start to ignore me with no explanation other than “I’m too busy.”

    Good luck, but I think it is best for you and your husband to move on. It sounds like you were great friends who put up with a lot–too much.

  6. Amy F says:

    Marital/family problems or stressors can be all encompassing and sometimes the individuals are too wrapped up in their issues to have for outside relationships. Even good stressors like having a baby can make people reprioritize. I think the rule not to call after 7:30 might be a healthy one and would have assumed it was so the couple could have time together after their daughter went to bed, because in order for relationships to thrive, they need nurturing, particularly ones that have had problems.
    If you want to check in with the couple, do so with out putting demands, “thinking about you and wanted to check in.” If not, try to move on without making them the bad guys and you the good guy since you entered into the relationship later than your future husband’s long history with his friend and he may wish to reconnect at some point.

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