• Resolving Problems
  • Handling Breakups

Should I Go To My Friend’s Kids’ Birthday Party?

Published: October 23, 2012 | Last Updated: February 28, 2022 By | 9 Replies Continue Reading
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Whether to go to her kids’ birthday party depends on why you’re going.

QUESTION

Hi,

I’m having a really hard time deciding if I should attend a friend’s party for her children. We have unresolved issues and I don’t feel that she has been that great of a friend to me. On the other hand I still love her for the friend she used to be and I miss being in her children’s lives.

I have three children and she has twins. My children call her auntie and we live in the same neighborhood. This year I approached her with some concerns that I had about our friendship and after that, things have not been the same. She only talks to me through text and only if I initiate the conversation. I decided to not contact her to see if she would contact me and it’s been over 30 days.

She sent me an invite to the birthday party. I feel it was just to save face. She never misses my children’s birthdays and this year my son turned one and the other turned five, and she did not acknowledge them:(.

I don’t want to be spiteful, but I’m not sure I should attend. A lot has gone on with our friendship and we have a few mutual friends (that I introduced her to) whom I feel she has tried to turn against me. I don’t know if it’s time to end the relationship and cut all ties or be the bigger person and just go to the party.

Signed, Laura

ANSWER

Hi Laura,

It might be nice to go for the sake of your children if they are friends with the other kids and consider your friend an auntie.

Although you seem to be less friendly with this woman, you still live in the same neighborhood, have mutual friends, and don’t want the relationship to feel any more awkward than it does now. I understand how hurt you must have felt when she suddenly stopped acknowledging your children’s birthdays.

A week or two after the party, depending on how things go and how she treats you there, you could ask to meet for coffee to talk about what went wrong with your friendship one more time. If she doesn’t want to get together or you still can’t resolve the issues between you, you can just let go at that point and remain neighbors rather than friends.

If she sent you the invitation to “save face,” that’s not all bad. Like your friend, you don’t want to involve any more people in your breakup either. Hope this helps in a disappointing and awkward situation.

My best, Irene


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Category: Relationships with ex-friends, RESOLVING PROBLEMS

Comments (9)

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  1. connie says:

    I realize that this response is way too late. I’m in a similar situation, except that I am the other party (your friend). My good friend started to become overbearing to the point that I couldn’t breath! My DH & I do not have kids by choice & there are times when I just don’t feel like seeing her because I don’t want to spend my day with kids. No offense, but it is what it is. She wanted to be with me every weekend and I loved being with her, it’s just that I have other friends, too and I really don’t like spending all my free days going to the playground with her, etc. I just want to dine out or chat in a coffee house or shop or get a massage with friends who’d want to do the same on my weekends. This friend has a hard time accepting no and even if I had just literally told her that weekends are important to my DH & I because we are both working on a board exam and we literally only have the weekends to study for it, she asks “are you free tomorrow”? As if she has not heard me utter what I just did.Because she does not accept no for an answer, I started calling her less & she responded by calling and calling and calling nonstop until I pick up the phone. She even developed a habit of dropping by my house unannounced! I sent her feelers that I’m getting choked by her, but one day she had the guts to talk to me about feeling bad that I’m not reciprocating her efforts, that sometimes she wonders if I’d call her if she didn’t initiate. Talking to her is useless because it will hurt her, it will make her go dramatic and the last thing I need is someone to guilt trip me over me wanting to redeem my time, which rightfully belongs to me. So maybe your friend has issues with you that she’s been trying to understand, but is getting to be to stressful for her? The fact that she still invited you means that she wants you in her life, but she probably is afraid that you’ll take over hers that’s why if you can’t back off a bit, she is the one doing the backing off?

  2. Aa says:

    Dear Irene,
    Go to the party, your friend has taken time to think about you regardless of the problem you have that are not yet resolved between the two of you. This might be the her best time to open up to you because she might never find the courage to apologize to that effect. But who knows, maybe it will all start at the party! she might be waiting for this moment for her to open up….or she might even be encouraged to tell you why she did what she did?

    Give it a chance after all, she invited you. Unless you are really determined to lose her completely otherwise, if not just go.

  3. Tracy Hansen says:

    This is a tough one. My first reaction was to not go. But then the old “rise above” tapped me on the shoulder. I agree with Irene however : there needs to be a discussion at some point after the party ; if not you will feel even more confused and resentment set in.

  4. Irene says:

    Go To The Party

    I’d go to the party, unless you want a further chasm in the relationship. I have friends I primarily talk to thru text because we’re both so busy we don’t have time to talk. Texting takes 2 minutes and for me, it’s a great way to stay connected. I like the idea of talking to her a few weeks after the party, on neutral territory, to work on your relationship. Even if the relationship isn’t salvageable, taking the high road is always the best option.

    Posted by Anonymous
    Transferred over to this blog from the old one by Irene

  5. Irene says:

    Friendship

    Friendship isn’t a tit for tat, I do this so you do that in return. I have an ex-friend (her choice, not mine) and we share a birthday. I send her facebook messages on our birthday, because that’s the woman I am, not because I expect anything in return. She always replies in a friendly way. I bumped into her at a party last summer and we spent about an hour talking, both in groups and just the two of us. I asked about her kids, she asked about my cats. I knew this didn’t mean a rekindling of our friendship, and that was okay with me. I took it for what it was, a pleasant interaction. If I had gone gotten into a snit and when she said she wanted distance because my depression was dragging her down, I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to heal. I was, of course, extremely hurt at the time–lots of time on the therapist’s couch with this one. I grew a lot through this experience, and it has helped me with other relationships.

    Posted by Anonymous
    Transferred over to this blog from the old one by Irene

  6. Irene says:

    She is Done Acting Like Family

    Co-sign to this….for me, the fact that she didn’t acknowledge your children’s birthday, despite knowing the dates and sending them presents all the time you were friends means that she doesn’t consider you as close as a friend as before. Today is my former friend’s birthday (we’ve been estranged for a year) and while I was tempted to send him a card I know I can’t. Last year, I sent him one but he didn’t send me one on my birthday, which hurts to this day. To me it spelled ‘I no longer care about you’. Sorry for the ramble but the ‘she is done acting like family’ line really hit home for me. Go to the party if you feel you should but from what I see it doesn’t make sense to go, especially if you two aren’t as close as before.

    Posted by Anonymous
    Transferred over to this blog from the old one by Irene

  7. Irene says:

    I Was In a Very Similar…

    I was in a very similar situation years ago…and I say do not go, first of all your children are not old enough to miss the previous friendship yall`s families shared…But I only say that because she did not acknowledge your children’s birthdays, that says to me that she is done `acting like family`….I apologize if I sound bitter, but it is because I regret involving my children in a friendship where I allowed them to call the friend Aunt.. I regret it because she just decided one day she was done being their aunt…if they had truly been her nieces/nephews, she would not have treated them like that…I feel I let me kids attach to someone who saw it as just `fun` part of our friendship…it seems some ladies treat children special as a way of acknowledging the close friendship between the mothers..i would acknowledge an X friend`s children’s bday with a card & small gift…til enough time has past that the expectation was lessened.

    Posted by Anonymous
    Transferred over to this blog from the old one by Irene

  8. Irene says:

    I Wrote The Comment Below…

    I wrote the comment below “similar situation”…but after reading your comment i think you are right…i guess i had an emotional response after first reading the post…

    Posted by Anonymous
    Transferred over to this blog from the old one by Irene

  9. Irene says:

    My Vote Would Be To Go

    My vote would be to go to the party and be very gracious but reserved. If you have any desire to either let the kids continue to stay friends OR any wish to salvage the friendship in the future OR just wish to downgrade her to a neighborhood acquaintance without awkwardness, you’ll probably be making a good move in going. I like that there will be the distraction of kids there and other mutual friends so you can stay busy with the kids or socializing with others and don’t have to do a ton of face time with her. I think as Irene pointed out this woman will be in the neighborhood with other mutual friends, so if friendly neighborhood socializing is an aspect that is important to you, keeping things light and neutral is a good thing. You don’t have to confide in her or tell her your business or make one on one plans. Also, even if the invite was the save face, on the other hand she didn’t exclude you or your kids, so I would just go with it. Maybe this is one where you dial back big time on the friendship and redefine it and how much time you spend with her, but keep it light and friendly for the kids and general neighborhood socializing.

    Posted by Anonymous
    Transferred over to this blog from the old one by Irene

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