• Handling Breakups

Friendship: For the sake of the children?

Published: September 8, 2010 | Last Updated: June 12, 2013 By | 6 Replies Continue Reading
Some moms are so eager to make friends for the sake of the children that they don’t exercise sufficient caution.


Dear Irene,

I have had a good friend for five years—primarily because our kids are the same ages and genders, go to the same school, live close to us, etc. Last April, I offered her some confidential information about our school intended to help her, but she told the principal, and it jeopardized my job at the school, not to mention stressing me out for several weeks. I feel very hurt, betrayed and angry. She acts as if nothing happened. We haven’t talked in person since then, but obviously, I am going to run into her. What to do now?



Dear Lisa,

When you feel close to a friend and have known her well for five years, I can understand how you might pass on sensitive information that you thought would help her. You trusted her. But your note makes me wonder: Did your friend realize the information was confidential? Did she understand that telling the principal could potentially jeopardize your job?

Unfortunately, friends sometimes say or do the wrong thing without thinking. In this case, your friend’s lapse in judgment was a near miss but the consequences could have been pretty devastating. From your note, I also wasn’t sure if you have spoken to her about how betrayed you felt. If you haven’t, you need to let her know.

If, as I suspect, you’ve already told her about your feelings and she’s still acting nonchalantly, either she doesn’t “get it” (a case of impaired judgment) or is too embarrassed to deal with it. In either case, it seems like you need to step back and downgrade your relationship with this friend to a more superficial one unless you can learn to trust her again. If you run into your friend at school or around town, be cordial but somewhat reserved. Nod or say hello, as appropriate. Since you live closeby and travel in the same circles, you don’t want to make it any more uncomfortable for your children or for other people around you.

One related thought: Sometimes moms are so eager to make friends with the parents of their children’s friends that they don’t exercise sufficient caution as they would if they didn’t feel that pressure.

Hope this helps.


Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,


Comments (6)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Irene says:

    Best wishes,


  2. It has been my experience with some friends that sometimes it is us who are not clear about telling people that what we are saying is confidential. I have learned that if I don’t want people to know something I need to keep my mouth shot and if I want to share information or experiences that I don’t want others to know, I need to make clear to my friend that what I am telling her/him is between us. If, in spite of this, a “friend” betrays my confidence, I know she is not a real friend.

    Regardless of the situation or the reason, I believe in letting people know how I feel and clear the air one way or another. I did it with my own sister and although the relationship has not improved, I do feel better.

  3. Irene says:

    Ouch! That sounds awful.

  4. Anonymous says:

    This happened to me although slightly different. I became close friends with my sons best friends mom, we holidayed, shared intimate secrets, did everything with the kids together. Then she made friends with another of her sons friends moms who also both had daughters the same age, suddenly I and my son became surplus to requirements, no requests to lift share, not asked for playdates, not arranging anything as families with us but her new found friends. I felt betrayed to the core, still do. I have to see her and her new friends walking together to school, talking and arranging playdates with their children, all of which they do within my earshot and not a flicker of emotion from my ex friend. How can people be such users. It still hurts.

Leave a Reply