• Handling Breakups

Dumped without explanation: Is there anything to do?

July 17, 2015 | By | 24 Replies Continue Reading
A woman feels dumped without explanation by a close friend and wonders how to move on.

QUESTION

Hi Friendship Doctor,

Like many who write you, I was also dumped by a friend. Maybe it was a gradual fading of a close friendship, but it felt like she was the one to pull away over time until I could no longer get her to agree to hanging out–always one excuse after the other.

We used to text and chat and spend time at one another’s house while our kids played together…multiple times a week. From one year to the next, our interactions decreased dramatically, and now it’s been another year since things felt even remotely “normal” between us. I’ve asked her to hang out maybe three times since I realized our relationship was burning out and have consistently been turned down. I even got the courage to ask if I had done anything to upset her and was reassured she was just busy.

She confided a lot in me, prior to the decline, about being unfaithful in her marriage. I think I’m the only person to know (other than the other man). Could she be associating me with that negative time in her life?

How do I get over this feeling? We’re still polite and friendly when our paths cross in social situations. We have many mutual friends, and thanks to Facebook I see when *they* spend time together. I don’t think I could ever want our close friendship rekindled after feeling this hurt, but I don’t know *how* to move on.

Thank you for your advice,

Amy

ANSWER

Hi Amy,

It’s always hard to get over feeling dumped by a friend to whom you felt so close, especially since your kids were involved with her family and you have mutual friends, too.

You suggest that this breakup wasn’t sudden, that your friend was gradually pulling away. I think you’ve done all the right things that you can do. You’ve asked her if something was wrong, you’ve extended invitations and indicated your interest in getting together, and you’ve stepped back to a more cordial (and distant friendship) after her non-response.

When you’re dumped without explanation, there isn’t much else to do. When friendships are as close and intense as was yours, they are difficult to get over because you had so many ties between you. All you can do is give yourself time, reach out to other friends, and don’t blame yourself for the breakup. As you suggest, your friend may be struggling with other issues in her life that you’re only involved in peripherally. If you can avoid tracking on Facebook, do that.

There is a pervasive myth that all friendships last forever but not all of them do—even very good ones.

Hope this helps.

My best, Irene

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Category: HANDLING BREAKUPS

Comments (24)

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  1. Maddie says:

    Your friend’s core personality is deceit. She admits to you she was cheating on her husband. Big red flag. She wants nothing to do with you and is probably afraid you may out her. You must accept it and move on and stop monitoring her facebook activities.

    When people tell you who they are, which she did with the admissions, believe them.

  2. DJ says:

    Hi Amy I too can feel your pain. You’ve done all the right things by asking her if you’d done something to upset her. And issued a couple of invitations to see if you can keep the friendship going and test if things had changed. And you’ve managed to walk that line between trying to repair the friendship but not being too pushy.
    Sadly it sounds like you’ve done what you can and thus look at strategies to deal with your hurt feelings and move on. Continuing to try to repair the friendship can create bad feelings whilst leaving it as it is now does leave the door open to you picking up on the friendship again in the future if the other person is willing. Friendships do wax and wane.
    Others have advised to instead put your energy into deepening other friendships and making new ones.
    Facebook can be very upsetting in relation to past friends as you see what they’ve been up to and that they’ve been seeing mutual friends making you feel even more left out. I’m sure there’s a setting on Facebook that allows you to not see her posts. You can actually unfollow someone but remain friends.
    Good luck and take care DJ

  3. Lisa says:

    Hi Amy,

    first I want to say I am sorry you are going through this.. I want you to know there are people out there that are just hurtful and ugly. you did everything right, and i would be proud to have you as a friend. I would just forget about trying to rekindle a friendship that is one sided. You deserve better. you are what I call a true friend and not many know how to be this kind of friend. We are a disposable society and people do not view relationships as sacred any more. It is sad but it is a reality that once learned and accepted will allow you to move away from these kinds of people. Be happy, move forward and love those, who show you love. I know exactly where you are coming from, and it is not a good feeling, but, trust me it does get better. Here if you need someone to just listen. Best to you.

    Lisa

  4. Laura says:

    It sounds like the friendship ran it’s course. My 1st thought was the that joining point was the kids playing together. Now, the kids are older and maybe those play dates aren’t so crucial. Her confiding about her extramarital activity may or may not have played a role.

    Rather than making yourself crazy, I would focus your energy on other friends who are receptive to spending time with you. Since she isn’t forthcoming with an explanation, there’s not much else you can do.

    Social media makes these situations much more painful. I would try to keep busy so you’re not stalking her.

  5. Ben says:

    The good thing about this original post is that it shows that we all go through the same things in life. I heard this and believe in this very much, “The best revenge is living a good life.” Having been both on the giving and receiving end of revenge I know that anything I put out there comes back on me. I choose to try and put good things out there so good things come back. I also have to unlearn the practice of judgment. It seems as though this is a lifelong process. I catch myself all the time placing big and small judgment statements on things that I encounter. Judgment does not endear me to others. When I can steer away from it I have more enriching and satisfying relationships. “Not every thought that crosses my mind has to cross my tongue.” Restraint sometimes is the best course. As a wise old man once told me over and over again…. “I have to use sweet soft words so they won’t hurt so bad if later I have to eat them.”

    Another thought… As a guy who grew up in the 60’s and 70’s, what a shame it was to not be taught about relationships and relationship dynamics. I assume girls get more of this type of instruction than boys do. I wonder if we as a society learned how to change gender norms to find ways to increase the level of success in well-being and learn how the opposite sex ticks there might be less turmoil, divorce, etc….. Maybe not but it sure would be nice…. 🙂

  6. Mary says:

    From the way i read it, her friend never left her husband- just was having an affair behind his back.

  7. Mary says:

    Reply to Amy F
    I work in missing people homicide and have extensive experience with colleagues who have been set up to stop them telling the truth at royal commissions by phycs – so i have very little respect for that industry for good reason.At the moment i am looking at a fire bombing- cold case where 15 people were killed. @ guess what Amy F — it ALL began with an affair. A very similar story to the writer.
    So dont tell me about where this sort of deceit can lead to.

    I also note Sandra and Jacqueline were able to give advise with the writer without taking personal swipes at my advise, even if they did not agree.I happen to believe telling the truth is important. It always comes out in the end. The writer, more than likely knows this women’s husband too. If shes a decent person that would play on her mind both back then and now. Anybody with the slightest moral standard would feel darn awful.Now it doesn’t mean the writer has to tell the truth. Thats up to her , but telling the truth isn’t a crime Amy F and sometimes it makes the victim feel a load off.
    She owes her nothing- but imop she owes him the truth .

    If nothing else comes of it- it will teach her x friend not to go round using and hurting nice people, because she sounds like a nice lady whos been a good friend placed in a awful position.
    Its called principle . Not sure if that word mean anything to you Amy F.

    • Susan Mann says:

      Mary,

      Can please let me know if my comments about this post appear on your computer screen?

      Thank you!

      Susan

      • Mary says:

        To Susan Mann

        Yes your comments appeared on the scene and may i say though different to mine were good ones too.

        • Susan Mann says:

          Thanks. Nothing I ever post here comes to my regular email as a “new post”, but I get everyone else s. Was just double checking.

  8. Susan Mann says:

    It is entirely possible that you had more emotionally invested in your friendship than this person did. If this was the case (or not!) you were her sounding board and she trusted you not to spill the proverbial beans! It could be that she regrets that time in her marriage (or not!), and/yet wants to leave behind all the reminders. Who knows how, or if it ended with the other man. She could be feeling humiliated. It sounds as if you tried to be a better friend to her, than she was to you. any of the latter is a possibility. Find a way to move on. If and when she reaches out to you again (other than surface, polite gestures) see how you are feeling then. Also, consider whether or not you were feeling used during your friendship with her. why or why not? Are you angry about that now?

  9. Amy F says:

    Sometimes, when people open up about very personal things, like having an affair, they regret sharing the info and pull back from the person with whom they’ve shared that secret. Emotional intimacy is a tricky thing and not everyone has the same level of comfort with such closeness.
    My guess after reading your letter is that your friend wishes she hadn’t told you, not because of anything you did or said, but because she let you (or any person she would have told) in too close.
    Not everyone has the same capacity for emotional intimacy, the ability to communicate, or equal comfort levels with closeness.
    Friendships ebb and flow in intensity, especially long term ones. Focus on the ones what are most enriching, and spend less energy on those which aren’t.

  10. Mary says:

    As soon as i started reading – i got the strong feeling she was seeing having ab affair and there it was.

    Perhaps Is she seeing the other man again – maybe met somebody else – so perhaps shes not in need of your close company anymore. My money is on that. I have seen this happen a lot.

    Shes treated you badly– used your time and energy when she needed a shoulder then dumped you.

    Ok your no longer friends- and i would be making sure her husband knew the truth – save another person wasting their time and their life.

    It might be a good lesson for her .

    • Someone says:

      That is your wounded ego talking, Mary. Nothing good ever comes of vengeance or desperation and this last sentence you wrote is riddled with it. Anger and resentments will slowly poison you while the rest of the world moves on. Take a cue from the world and move on yourself and heal your anger.

      • Amy F says:

        I agree Someone. Vengeance is ugly, unfulfilling and unproductive. Acting in vengeance diminishes the individual, even if that person lacks the insight to see the behavior is spiteful rather than productive.

      • Mary says:

        To someone and Amy
        So you think lying is ok to some poor nice bloke sheesh
        This was supposed to be about helping the writer feel better – not a personal attack on another poster . Right Irene?

        Pls dont assume to know anything about me – Only address your comments to writer. My post was to advise but its her call.

        -I have “”many years”” experience as a PI. Being honest with the spouse is very healing. This is more common that people think. There are *two victims here, not only the writer but the husband. The sooner she tells him, the sooner she will have some peace.

        I am only telling her what *many x clients have done in similar positions – . They come, many of them in a awful state of mind , but tell me revenge is sweet.

        I have seen it many times – the injured party is then able to get on happily with life. You appear have a problem with people telling the truth.

        Tell him Amy – the poor bugger deserves to know the truth . Not on Facebook though in person.
        Telling the truth isn’t a crime and who knows you might even find a new friend in him- after all you have a lot in common. Just do what makes you feel better – dont worry about anything else.

        • Amy F says:

          You never know what goes on inside a marriage unless you’re in it. Even if you’re the couple’s marriage counselor, you only know what they tell you and what you observe one hour a week. You certainly don’t know fourth hand from the LW. There are always at least three sides, partner 1, partner 2 and the objective.

        • Someone says:

          The very fact that you phrased your advice “i would be making sure her husband knew the truth – save another person wasting their time and their life… It might be a good lesson for her.” implies many things.

          One, you commented one something YOU would do “I would be making sure…” so you open yourself up for commentary on your advice. I said it was poor advice, that’s my opinion and you don’t have to agree, that’s fine.

          Secondly, “It might be a good lesson for her” denotes that you feel it’s your place/her place to “teach people lessons.” This is a troubling perspective for many reasons, but at the very least because it also denotes a feeling of vengeance (“You hurt me, so I’ll ‘Tell the Truth’ and out you now”) and a feeling that you are so powerful and in control that you can punish others into being taught “lessons”.

          If you are of the thought that you actually can have enough power and control over people to “teach them lessons”, then you are living in a fool’s paradise. Control/power in this situation is a delusion/illusion. No one can be forced to realize anything that they are not willing to realize is what I am saying. You have no control over anyone but yourself at the end of the day.

          You feel attacked by my post; that was not my intention. I was just cautioning the original poster to reconsider your “advice”. Trust me, Mary, I was not trying “to teach you a lesson”. 😉

          Have a good one.

          • Mary says:

            To Someone
            You had a personal go at me because you didnt agree with my advise. I responded to your attack at me personally which i note Irene ignored. Rules must apply to everybody fairly -or should .
            I stand by my advise i gave the writer and that goes for you too Irene.
            You have the right to disagree with it sure- but not right to threaten to delete my comments simply because you or anybody else disagrees.

            I still think Irene the writer would feel a lot better if she was honest.

            That is my opinion pls respect it as you ask everyone to respect yours.

            There is no right or wrong ways – just different ways of handling these types of situations.

            • Laura says:

              it’s Irene site and she can do as she sees fit. It’s not appropriate for you to challenge her authority. You’re also creating a lot of extra work for her, upsetting the posters on this site. I wonder why you’re even here, Mary?

    • Irene says:

      Hi Mary,

      The Friendship Blog is visited by more than 7000 readers/posters each day with very little need for moderation. People are usually kind and supportive to one another, and respect the spirit and intent of this forum.

      If you want to continue to post here, I hope you can tone down your language, which seems to come across as heavy-handed and upsetting to others.

      This isn’t the first occurrence and in the past, you’ve also directed hostile comments at me.

      Before you post, think about whether your comments will be helpful to the original poster, or may be viewed as disparaging to them and others in similar circumstances. Also consider your tone. Much of what you post is unnecessarily provocative. When people are seeking help, words matter.

      I rarely have to intercede like this and hope I can count on your cooperation or I will simply have to delete all future comments you make.

      Thanks.
      Irene

  11. Sandra says:

    Amy, I was involved in a very similar situation many years ago, when my child was in grade school. I became friends with another mom whose child played with mine. Her husband left her for another woman, and my friend confided the whole story to me. During that time, my friend leaned on me heavily to watch her child when she had to return to work, and during the summer when school was out.

    Our kids played well together, but there were many times I felt used. Either way, I did feel sorry for her situation, and admired her for doing her best to care for her child as a single mom.

    Years later, her husband came back and my friend moved her child to another school. She would send a Christmas card, and one time later we got together for lunch. She acted as though the past had never happened — and completely clammed up when I tactfully asked how she and her husband got back together. We never got together again after that. I was stunned. She had dumped all of her problems on me years earlier — and expected so much help from me. And then, she went dark. I believe Jacqueline, in the previous note, is right about why your friend shut down.

  12. jacqueline says:

    Amy, did she get back together with her husband?

    She could definitely regret confiding in you about her infidelity. She probably feels guilty and ashamed, and when she talks to you or is around you, these feelings resurface.

    I would delete her from Facebook so you will not see what is going on with her.

    With time, you will heal and the hurt will be less and less painful

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