• Resolving Problems

Friends who live high on the hog

Published: September 29, 2010 | Last Updated: April 6, 2016 By | 2 Replies Continue Reading
A woman expresses hurt over friends who live high on the hog.


Dear Irene,

I’ve had a long-time male friend since I was five years old, so about 48 years. We have stayed in touch even though he’s been married and divorced 3 times and moved numerous times. He’s also a best friend with my husband of 33 years.

He and his current wife have been married for five years and they are our best couple friends. I have learned to love her even though she is 15 years younger than the rest of us. She has always been very caring and we have a good relationship.

My mom passed away a few months ago and they didn’t even go to the funeral. I really needed them to be there for me. She said it was because she could not stand to see me upset and that she would be there for me when I needed them. I did need them! He said that his family did not have funerals and that he just didn’t want to go.

It has been a few months and I’m still just as upset with them. We have not gotten together for dinner or anything since then because they must feel guilty. We email and they seem okay but it’s so odd.

They have always lived high on the hog, which is completely her. She has to have a big fancy house and cars; he never cared about any of that. She is changing him. My husband and I only buy what we can pay cash for as we are working toward retirement. We have nice things, just not brand new. Now they have filed for bankruptcy and are trying to beat the system and not pay for their home and things. They have lost all of their new cars, trucks, motor home, and second home.

Should I just try to get over my hurt and anger or move on to other friends? My husband especially likes him and they do have a lot in common. We can both take or leave her. What do you think? Do you think I am overreacting because of my grieving? Thanks

Signed, Abby


Dear Abby:

I am sorry about your loss. The death of a parent is always very difficult and it can be even harder if friends aren’t there for us in the ways we want them to be. I applaud you for letting your friends know how disappointed you feel. It’s unfortunate that they weren’t more supportive, but people have different reactions to death.

Your friends have a lot of turmoil going on in their life. That and perhaps, as you suggest, their guilt may have created a wedge between you. Yet, from your note, it sounds like you have an underlying ambivalence about these friends and their lifestyle, especially the wife. This may have been the proverbial last straw. You aren’t comfortable with this couple’s values and blame her for leading them down a path of financial irresponsibility.

Being friends with another couple entails the meshing of four different personalities. It’s even harder than making a best friend! And with three divorces, you’ve had to adjust to a series of women in your friend’s life. Just because he’s been attracted to each of them, doesn’t mean that they are necessarily a good “fit” as friends for you and your husband.

Given your feelings about your friend’s current wife, do you want to maintain a close relationship with them as a couple or do you want to back away and maintain the distance that’s there now? Try to separate your recent hurt over the funeral from your feelings about these friends, in general.

If you want to stay connected and feel you can overcome your hurt and anger, email them and invite them to dinner at your home. (If, in fact, they are having financial troubles, they may not feel comfortable going out to dinner). If they accept, try and have a normal time together. If they decline or say they’ll get back to you, let them go for now. You will know that you have done everything you can to maintain the friendship. In time, they may contact you. At that point you can revisit how you feel about spending time with them.

Finally, perhaps your husband can contact his best friend, the male, and ask if he wants to do something one on one. Perhaps, that branch of the friendship can more easily be mended.

Best,  Irene


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Comments (2)

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  1. Lovette says:

    When peoples become Distance shouldn’t you just leave it at that, maybe the Friendship have came to a end. me myself personally I don’t believe that everybody knows how to be a Friend. i’ve experienced the wrong peoples in my life, I was the good friend but nobody was a good friend to me. so I distanced myself from them ‘N it felt good. ‘N I don’t ever mourn the wrong peoples they was never worth being in my persence. I always choose the best not the worst.

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