• Handling Breakups

Left Out Of A Friend Group Without Explanation

Published: December 3, 2022 | Last Updated: December 3, 2022 By | 1 Reply Continue Reading
Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

A family is excluded and  left out of a friend group without any explanation. It’s been a source of pain for the entire family.

QUESTION

Hi Dr. Irene,

My husband and I have been going through a really difficult time. We’ve been left out of a friend group that was initially formed by my husband’s co workers. We all had families and meshed together really well. We saw each other often and our kids were best friends. We even all moved to the same city at the same time for a job transfer. 

However, when we moved, a new family became part of the group and we as a family began being left out. My husband would often find out because he works with many of them and they would talk about it in front of him without even putting two and two together that we were left out. 

Eventually, this came to a head when we were going through a difficult time – a miscarriage- and this group deliberately left me out of a girls’ trip that was my idea. They decided to plan it and go anyway even though they knew I was miscarrying during that short period of time. I said something to my closest friend in the group and she scoffed and sarcastically said it was nothing.

After that, a separate incident occurred where the men set my husband up to meet them at a restaurant and then deliberately ditched him before he got there. It was so childish, I still can’t even believe people in their 30s would do that. 

Now, they no longer invite us to anything. We have no idea why or what we could have done. We have done so much for these people and everything was fine before the new family was integrated into the group. 

Our children are constantly begging to see theirs and we don’t know how to explain it. Additionally, my husband works with them and it’s eating him alive. He refuses to transfer departments out of principle (he loves his job) but we don’t know how to handle it.

I’d like to move on (and have for the most part) but he doesn’t know how to handle the dynamic at work and having the situation in his face constantly. We clearly don’t mesh as friends anymore, but how do we move on eloquently and with dignity? It has all stung so bad, and it’s hurting our kids too.

Signed, Annette

ANSWER

Hi Annette,

I’m so very sorry that this happened to you, your husband, and your family. It’s very painful to be left out of a friend group without an explanation.  

This clique has decided to exclude you and not even knowing why adds to the upset. It could be related to you, your husband, or your children—or be unrelated to you, per se. Maybe it has to do with the new family that’s taken your place. 

It might be worthwhile to make one more effort to meet with your close friend, perhaps over coffee, to explain your feelings and solicit her insight about what happened. She can no longer scoff at the idea after all that’s happened.

Although your prior attempt hit a brick wall, some time has elapsed and she may be more pliable. See if she is willing to meet. If not, you can just drop the idea.

In terms of your husband, his only alternative is to remain professional and focused on his work and to treat these people politely as colleagues, not friends. Over time, this difficult situation may feel more bearable. 

In terms of your children, they’ll need your help and support. You need to explain that your family has become less friendly with these work colleagues and you hope to help them make some new friends.

I’m sure you feel wounded and disappointed but you need to begin to grow your social circle. 

  • Can you get involved in a gym, Y, or community group that offers activities for your kids as well as you?
  • Would you be interested in getting involved in the social aspects of a church or synagogue?
  • Can you fill the void for your kids with playdates with cousins or neighbors?

The only other thought that occurs to me is that these people are simply nasty. They showed no sympathy for your miscarriage and ditching your husband was horrible.

You and your family deserve better friends than these. I hope that tincture of time eases some of the pain.

My best, Irene

 


Previously on The Friendship Blog

Tags: , , ,

Category: HANDLING BREAKUPS

Comments (1)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Sanda says:

    So very sorry this happened to you, Annette. I felt hurt for you while reading this, and I can’t imagine why grown adults would be so cruel. I don’t understand how people can “ghost” others without some sort of explanation. But there’s always some underlying reason — and not necessarily your fault.

    Irene already gave you the best solutions. I totally agree that your best recourse is to keep expanding your own social circle and helping your kids do the same. (Living well is the best revenge, as they say.) When you have a lot of other friends to count on, it’s easier to tolerate the hurt when others disappoint you.

    Most of all, I agree with Irene when she said “these people are nasty.” It also occurred to me while reading your description that these people are immature and rude. Nice, mature people don’t treat friends like this, even if there’s something amiss in the relationship. If this is the way these “friends” treat others and conduct their social lives, well, why would you want to associate with them?

    Maybe it’s for the best that you back off from this situation and move on without pursuing an answer. Maybe someday you’ll look back and see that it’s for the best.

    I’m not so sure I’d chase after any one of them for an explanation. Silence speaks louder than words, and I think my first plan of action would be to simply “distance” myself from these people. If they ditched you, stay away, and show them you got the point — and have moved on with dignity. The tough part is talking to your kids about it, but relationships do change and fall apart, and this is a lesson for them.

    This is truly hurtful, and so hard on your whole family. It’s sad to think others could be so unkind. Good luck to you, Annette!

Leave a Reply