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The Painful Slow-Death of a Friendship

 

 

The Painful Slow- Death Of A Friendship

It felt innocent enough. After all, it was a busy summer for everyone.

 

Late September…

I called her to meet for lunch.

Her~ “I’m pretty busy with my new art classes” Hmm, was I imagining something off

Me~ “Have I done something to upset you?”.

Her~ “Of course not, I’m just busy!”.

 

Early October…

I called to meet for coffee.

Her~ “I’ve got book club and I’m meeting my new girlfriends from art class”.

 

Mid October…

I sent an email…chit chatting and asking to meet for coffee. No response.
I called and left a voice mail…No response.
I texted to follow up.

Me~ “Is everything OK with you? How are things in your life?”.

Her~ “We’re leaving town for Thanksgiving, in 3 weeks.”

This was the end of October!  What’s up with that? Everyone’s busy, but a quick coffee is too hard to schedule within a three week period?

image

I followed up with a voicemail.

Me~ “Have a safe trip and Happy Thanksgiving! We’re taking off for a 3 week Motorhome adventure. I’ll call you when I get home”…No response.

 

Late November…

I send an email.

Me~ “How was your Thanksgiving, yada, yada, yada. Have you got time to meet for a quick coffee?”…No response.

Since she doesn’t answer (my) calls anymore I send a text.

Me~”Can you meet for coffee?”

Her~”Dinner party tonight! We’re leaving for Kansas in 4 weeks.”  Seriously?

Me~”Have fun at the party, what’s in Kansas?”

Her~”Friends”

 

This is a woman I felt very close to. We’d shared many laughs, confidences and seemed to be on many of the same wavelengths. We’ve only been friends for a few years, but we’d been close.

The sting got more painful the longer this went on so yesterday afternoon I phoned.
No answer…no surprise.

The Painful Slow-Death Of A Friendship

And it all just flowed out…

Me~ “Hi …, it’s Jennifer. I’m calling to find out if you’ve decided you don’t want to be my friend anymore. Maybe you’ve forgotten to tell me you’re through with me. I hate to think I’m imagining this. If I’m not, please put me out of my misery. I really hope you’re doing well. Take care. Bye.”
*I knew she was out & about, doing very well. I’d heard all about her busy party season.

 

I felt a huge weight lift. My chest didn’t feel tight anymore. I didn’t feel teary and puzzled. It felt like I’d ripped a bandaid off. Quick and clean. I’m usually a direct person, but this was the first time I’d put it all out there so openly. I’m sure my bravery was in no small part,  enhanced by the voice mail. No matter. I’m over it.

Her silence throughout the evening and this morning is confirmation that I really didn’t need. I knew it was over. I forced it to be over by opening a window to shed light on what now seems so obvious. She’s just not that into to me…anymore.

I won’t say being dumped by a girlfriend isn’t painful, because it is. This same thing happened to me about 20 years ago. Back then, the pain and wondering went on for months.
This time, I’m fine. What I tolerated at 38 is no longer acceptable at 58!
It doesn’t matter why she decided what she did. I won’t allow someone’s neglect or rejection of me affect how I feel about myself.

When you just know in your gut that it’s over, but you keep trying.

Can you save a friendship with persistence?

How long can or should you persevere trying to fix it?

 

~~

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92 Comments

  1. Marguerite
    December 7, 2014 / 10:43 am

    omg, Jennifer, this sounds just like what I went through a couple of years ago. A friend I had known years, had raised kids with, helped support when her daughter had severe depressive episode, shared an exercise trainer with suddenly quit being friendly. I kept suggesting, inviting, calling with no reciprocation. I poured out my angst to my poor sweet husband on a regular basis. As you said, wtf? We ended up moving to a different city and have gotten a couple of Christmas cards from former friend, but nothing more. After asking around some mutual friends, I learned her husband has an immune illness and she is working in his business.part time. Still wouldn’t this be when you would need a friend? I’ll never understand it, but I’ve moved on.

    • Jennifer
      December 7, 2014 / 7:52 pm

      Thank you for sharing Marguerite. My husband has been hearing this from me for days! I had no intention of writing about it, but this morning I just HAD to. Writing about it has been very therapeutic. I’m sorry to hear you had the same thing happen, but we must move on.

      • Marguerite
        December 7, 2014 / 10:29 pm

        Thanks, Jennifer. I guess we are still learning about life at 50 plus! P.s. You can eat lunch with me, too!

  2. December 7, 2014 / 11:29 am

    As I learned over the years, Jennifer, life is a series of cycles. People come in and go out depending on circumstances, be it geography or something else. Cycles are normal. It’s abnormal for us to lose girlfriends and I understand how you feel. Years ago one of my best friends (?) stabbed me in the back to make herself look good. I was wounded, almost fatally wounded. Later on, with much help from a shrink I saw a couple of times a week, my husband and other friends who knew both of us, I realized the narcissistic person she was. Something I had never seen before. All she cared about was what people thought of her. I couldn’t go to a swanky dinner party she was having & because she believed I had somehow turned my back on her, let her down because she NEEDED me to be there. My husband had obtained tickets to see Mama Mia the Christmas after 911, we had the plane tickets, the theater tickets, and had told his daughter, who lives in NYC that we would be visiting her for 5 days, we COULD NOT CANCEL. It doesn’t matter what she said, what she did, how she acted, I couldn’t change what was already planned as she wished. Sadly, she passed away the following August. I still mourn her loss, but now I remember the wonderful times we had, I have her photo in my bedroom, and I remember her frailties. You will move on, live your life and just know that your friend has her art class, her book club, her travels, her “new” friends; that her life has changed. One day Karma will take care of it all. Smile if you see her, then move right out of her sight.
    You have a wonderful life (maybe she’s jealous?), enjoy every moment !! The Lord wants all of us to be happy with each day, no matter what happens. Sending love to one girlfriend from another.

    • Jennifer
      December 7, 2014 / 7:59 pm

      Dear Marsha,
      You are a kind, strong woman to remember the good times with your friend.
      I’m a firm believer in the law of Karma, so wonder if this is Karma visiting me!
      I’m moving on and each comment I read, makes me realize how common this situation is between women. Sending love right back at you girlfriend! xoxo

  3. Elizabeth Tierney
    December 7, 2014 / 11:39 am

    1) Like we used to say about deadbeat boys in high school, forget her. She isn’t worth it. If she isn’t answering email/vmail/texts, she’s not the same person you chose for a friend.

    2) You can eat lunch with me.

    • Jennifer
      Author
      December 7, 2014 / 8:00 pm

      Thank you Elizabeth. I’m in the market for new friends!! Women with backbone, manners and kindness in their hearts.

  4. Bluebooby
    December 7, 2014 / 11:59 am

    The hardest part has always been if I’m going to offend you I want to make sure I did it on purpose. I’m glad you called her on it. Fuck her.

    • Jennifer
      December 7, 2014 / 8:01 pm

      Yup! I couldn’t just leave it to fester and fade away. I had to be sure she knew how I felt.
      Love ya Doll!! xoxo

  5. Laura Helbig
    December 7, 2014 / 12:16 pm

    Friendships are seasonal. The friends of childhood fade from our lives and new ones take their place At 62, however, I had thought the friends I’d made in my later years would stick, but recently I decided, pastor to pastor, it was time to talk to a friend about an issue I felt she needed professional to get beyond. I thought I was very gentle, but she took offense. She did not need help. What I did not anticipate was how she would present my good intentions to others. I lost her friendship as well as that of two other women. I am at peace, but I am still sad that my effort to be loving wasn’t accepted as such.

    • Jennifer
      Author
      December 7, 2014 / 8:06 pm

      Oh no!! That’s awful. It sounds like you struck a cord with her and her defensiveness showed in her reaction. No good deed will go unpunished. One day, I hope the other women will come around. It’s just a shame, but I’m glad you’re at peace.

  6. -Shawn
    December 7, 2014 / 12:22 pm

    Very interestingly, I was having this very discussion with a dear friend moments before I opened your post from today. There are friends and family in my life that no longer put out the effort to maintain the relationship, and at 58, I need to be discerning where I put my energy. I still love these people but it’s time for me to let go of what is no longer working in my life.I find there is a grief that goes along with this and I will let that grief run its course.

    • Jennifer
      Author
      December 7, 2014 / 8:09 pm

      Very wise Shawn. I’ve flushed relationships that were draining or negative. But I did it openly, and kindly. Her way was painful and her lack of backbone showed me her true character. Painful yes, but I’m moving on. Thanks for sharing.

  7. December 7, 2014 / 12:55 pm

    Jennifer, I just ended a friendship, though, I didn’t skirt the issue like your friend did. For myself, I found it necessary to release myself from this person because I was beginning a new, more positive direction in my life. My ex – friend was spiritually draining. I don’t feel sad about my decision. I feel like we were in each others lives for a season. Seasons change.

    • Jennifer
      December 7, 2014 / 8:12 pm

      You did it the right way Glenda!
      Perhaps this women felt I was draining her! I’ve no idea because she wasn’t honest. No matter, she did it unkindly, and I can’t tolerate that treatment. Time for a new season:) thank you for sharing.

  8. Anna
    December 7, 2014 / 1:01 pm

    Now I might be a little young to be reading this blog but your advice is wonderful. I have had this happen to me many times over. Sometimes it was them and sometimes it was both of us, but fear not. People come and go. If it always stayed the same then nothing would ever change and life and you would never progress. It was hard on me at first but now whenever a friend pulls this on me its like a weight is taken off my shoulders once I let go. Not having to deal with those that cause more trouble than good is a wonderful thing and helped me grow up and begin to think in a positive, self-improving, self-loving (in a good way) manner.

    • Jennifer
      December 7, 2014 / 8:21 pm

      Thanks for sharing Anna. You’re way ahead of the pack and wise for your age.
      Sometimes it IS both people, and I asked myself for weeks, what I could have done wrong. Finally it was not something. I would allow to hurt me…and had to let it go. It was the kindest thing I could do for me.

  9. December 7, 2014 / 1:14 pm

    This happened to me too a few years ago. Jan and I had been friends for years We had so much in common and were as thick as thieves. Her marriage went through a difficult time and I supported her whilst not interfering or taking sides. Then out of the blue the big chill happened. I confronted her on this and her attitude towards me,which I thought was hurtful and mean. She responded almost immediately…. She told me that were a few friends that helped her through her marital troubles, and now every time she sees or hears from us, it’s just a painful reminder of what she went through. I accepted her explanation.. but thought to myself.. wow.. . okay.

    • Jennifer
      Author
      December 7, 2014 / 8:28 pm

      Wow B! That’s what we were, thick as thieves! And then the big chill.
      Your friend’s explanation sounds like a cop out…but accepting it and moving on is all you could do. And you’re better off! Thanks so much for sharing.

  10. December 7, 2014 / 2:34 pm

    Hard to know about people sometimes, especially if they won’t be honest with you – or at least have the courtesy to let you know. You gave it your best effort and patience – at which point, yes, we’re empowered being over 50. We move on and it doesn’t change how we feel about ourselves, except, redundantly here – being glad to be over 50.

    • Jennifer
      Author
      December 7, 2014 / 8:30 pm

      I’m comfortable with how I handled it. I did give my best effort. In the end, her lack of honesty and courtesy is what tore it for me.

  11. December 7, 2014 / 2:35 pm

    YOU gave HER TOO many chances………………
    Hope SHE IS READING THIS!
    MOVE ON………don’t dwell…….and as YOU know I too have been through THE SAME!
    Seems we all HAVE!!!!!!
    MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    XO

    • Jennifer
      Author
      December 7, 2014 / 8:31 pm

      I’m realizing how many of us have been through this!!
      Merry Christmas my friend. How about lunch? :))
      xoxo

  12. Anna tvshopaholic
    December 7, 2014 / 2:55 pm

    Hi thank you for sharing. I was dumped by a friend years ago. She did it to my face, well on the phone. I was going through a divorce at the time and rang her to meet up and she just told me she didn’t want to see me again.

    I was hurt but eventually rationalised that i could do without that person in my life and she couldn’t really have been a friend.

    I do also find myself now that I’m older addressing issues that I would have ignored when I was younger.

    • Jennifer
      Author
      December 7, 2014 / 8:34 pm

      OMG! How shocking to be told she didn’t want to see you again!! That must have stung…but you are waaay better off without her! She was not a friend. She was a frenemy.
      The perspective of age is wonderful. It almost makes up for the aches and pains in my joints.

  13. December 7, 2014 / 3:05 pm

    Now that she is out of your life, don’t be surprised how long it takes to quit thinking about her, she’s part of your psyche. But eventually it will pass and you are better off without her. Your blog is wonderful.

    • Jennifer
      December 7, 2014 / 8:36 pm

      Thank you Meridith! I hadn’t planned to write this post…it just poured out this morning. I’m glad it did!!

  14. Jen
    December 7, 2014 / 5:30 pm

    I’m sorry this happened to you. Good for you for being direct.

    • Jennifer
      Author
      December 7, 2014 / 8:38 pm

      Crap happens but I’m not usually this direct. I pride myself on my tact…but this just had to be said. Of course, as I said, there’s great bravery in voicemail.

  15. Lee
    December 7, 2014 / 7:10 pm

    This, for me, applies to friends AND family. I know joy comes from giving. I live my life that way. BUT…when you give give give (of yourself and your heart…not things) and get ignored or manipulated or used, you find yourself exhausted in making efforts to make things different. When it’s one sided, it’s difficult to make the decision that enough is enough. Rejection in any form is hurtful; even more so when you feel you’ve gone above and beyond to repair or renew the relationship. But, when you reconcile the end of any relationship, it feels GOOD…eventually…finally… I am a big believer in figuring out the lessons people come into our lives to teach us. So, in your quiet moments, figure out what this ex-friend taught you at the beginning, middle or end. And thank them (silently) for that lesson, in an enlightened, chin-up, moving on kind of way : ) Oh, and you can have lunch with me too!!

    • Jennifer
      December 7, 2014 / 8:52 pm

      Thanks Lee!!
      I will look for the lessons. I’m sure there are many. I’ve already learned that being direct makes me feel instantly better. It’s a feeling of power rather than victimization.
      Lunch sounds perfect:)

  16. Leslie H
    December 7, 2014 / 8:17 pm

    This sadly happened to me as well. What I am realizing is that I don’t miss her, my relationship is better because i don’t speak or hear negative thoughts daily. I actually ( at age 72) like my own company. I appreciate the little things in life and am thankful for clarity in the way my life is progressing. I give myself permission to embrace passions that might be silly to others but are important to me.

    • Jennifer
      December 7, 2014 / 8:58 pm

      I’m glad you’ve moved on. Negative friends, are not friends, they’re toxic. We deserve to enjoy our passions,without critiques. Thank you for sharing Leslie.

  17. December 7, 2014 / 11:25 pm

    Jennifer great post. I’m so had the same experiences and even recently. Hard part is as you get older it’s harder to find time for friends and when you do it’s extremely disappointed to find out that somebody wasn’t who you thought they were. It’s crushing and makes you not want to put yourself out there. Forget about her. Anyone who doesn’t love you as you are is not your friend! Do not second guess yourself. Life’s too short to be friends with these kinds of women!! xo kim

  18. Donna
    December 7, 2014 / 11:45 pm

    Jennifer, I agree with what another reader wrote-life’s a cycle and friendships have cycles too. It doesn’t make them any less real when they tend to grow apart. Times, circumstances and feelings change, with us and with our friends. I’ve learned that you can walk away, yet should never burn a bridge. You and she will always have that friendship foundation and you may need one another down the road for inevitable hardships. Great blog post my friend. Thanks for your sweet candor….we’ve all been there. Donna

    • Jennifer
      December 8, 2014 / 8:40 am

      It does seem we’ve all been there! I hesitated to hit the post button, but now I’m so glad I did.
      You’re so right about not burning bridges. Life’s too short and we did share a very real connection, at one time. I certainly can’t predict the future, so try to leave myself open. Thanks Donna!

  19. December 8, 2014 / 12:16 am

    Jen…

    She has lost a good friend…or maybe not. Perhaps life will allow you to reconnect one day. In the mean time, it sounds like your energy has recharged and you have moved on.

    It’s good that you wrote about it.

    As always, you provoke thought…

    My blog friendships are much like my friendships with those nearby. I am the friend that lives in the wings. I’m the Carol King definition of friend. Winter, Spring, Summer or Fall…(not the one you always hang with)…the one you call. A girl that will show up at 10am on a Saturday after a bad week and say…”Let’s crack a cold one”… because it makes us laugh to be having a “beer” before noon.

    At 10:30pm, I went down to the fridge in the family room and cracked open a Cranberry Ginger Shandy, and toasted you…the good friend that you are. ( I don’t think that I have ever sipped a brew after 10 on a Sunday.)
    …and look how many lovelies answered this call.
    I see that you called back each and every one of them!
    …so deserving of a friendship toast!

    Welcome home from your fun and beautiful road trip!
    ~Lynne
    w/L.

    • Jennifer
      Author
      December 8, 2014 / 9:07 am

      You’re a dear friend Leslie! Thank you so much.
      I treasure my blog friendships, some of which have turned into “real-time” time ones. Regardless, the ones that remain through the written word are heartwarming, supporting and loving. What more could one ask for? Nothing!!
      Thanks so much for being my Carol King (love that) friend! I toast you and treasure you!
      xoxo~ J

  20. Wendy
    December 8, 2014 / 2:56 am

    This happened to me about 4 years ago when a couple we were really close to broke up. She dumped all their mutual friends, including me, who was her best friend. I made some effort to get to the bottom and then realized it wasn’t worth the effort. The hardest part was thinking that maybe she hadn’t been a true friend at all. Eventually, I worked through that yes, she had been, our friendship had been real, but that for whatever reason, she had changed and needed to move on. It is sad when these things happen, isn’t it? Sadder still that these are grown ups who don’t even have the guts to speak their truth, whatever that is. You are so wonderful and have such a positive attitude! Her loss!

    • Jennifer
      December 8, 2014 / 9:18 am

      Thank you Wendy!
      Your comment reminds me, we can never walk in another woman’s shoes, and never truly know her essential truth. No matter how bonded or connected the friendship, we all travel our own path.
      Perhaps there are issues she wasn’t honest enough to share, but we now move on…separately. Thanks for sharing your story.

  21. Rebecca Hively
    December 8, 2014 / 5:22 am

    You obviously struck a chord with MANY women! And I SO agree with so much of what you said. Friendships are difficult to maintain in this fast world we live in so we need to make sure that EVERY one of them is meaningful in the time they are there. But these times do come and go. And the going can be very difficult. Thanks for sharing something that affects all of us women at different times in our life. It always helps to know we’re not alone.

    • Jennifer
      Author
      December 8, 2014 / 9:23 am

      I do wonder if the frantic pace of our lives, contributes to this. Did this happen as frequently during simpler times? I imagine it did, but we didn’t have a forum to share. It does help to know one is not alone. I’m so heartened by the outpouring of support you have all offered me. Thank you Rebecca!

    • Jennifer
      Author
      December 8, 2014 / 9:24 am

      xoxo Frances with an “e” :). Enjoy those Grandbabies!

  22. Barbara Stevens
    December 8, 2014 / 6:34 am

    Jennifer, the longer I live the, the more I am amazed at the breath taking self focus of some people. Say a prayer for your friend, lament the loss for ten more minutes and then go Christmas shopping for Baby James.

    • Jennifer
      Author
      December 8, 2014 / 9:26 am

      Wise counsel Barbara! I’ve only bought him a little pair of slippers! I’m way behind the eight ball on Christmas. I have started to knit him a hat though…I better get my butt in gear. xoxo

  23. December 8, 2014 / 8:52 am

    I lost my best friend of 23 years only a few months ago. I have no idea what happened. She just freaked out one day and then stopped talking to me. It was like the person I’d known for 23 years wasn’t even there anymore. It made me question the reality of our friendship that had endured so much over so many years. I went out of my way to try to figure out what was happening but she shut off all communication. She blocked me from all her social media except Twitter where she went on and on giving vague references and posting expressions of someone that has been hurt. She refused to communicate with me what even happened. I was left bewildered. I found this to be so cowardly, immature and simply strange. I felt that after 23 years I deserved some reason. We were the type of friends that would email every day. Talk every couple of days. See each other once a week etc. I was planning a surprise birthday party for her 2 weeks before this went down.

    I wrote long emails trying my best to salvage whatever there was. All to no avail. She still hasn’t told me what went wrong.

    I seriously thought about just showing up at her doorstep. Confronting her. But I didn’t.

    She threw me away like a crumpled piece of trash.

    Needless to say I’m still trying hard to cope with the loss. It makes me angry and frustrated. With every passing day I’m learning to let it go little by little. I thought at the age of 58 a person would be more mature. I now see that with age does not come maturity.

    So yeah…I totally feel for you.

    It’s not easy to feel like you’ve been rejected for no reason at all.

    bisous
    Suzanne
    http://www.suzannecarillo.com

    • Jennifer
      Author
      December 11, 2014 / 8:42 am

      I’m sorry this happened to you Suzanne. It’s such a personal rejection. Showing up on her door front might have been even more painful. Moving on is tough when we have no closure.

  24. December 8, 2014 / 9:07 am

    sounds like you extended the olive branch for a very long time…she must be going through some issues to be so cold and cut you off without as much as a word. It is her loss Jennifer.
    As a person who dislikes conflict I think you are a real gem and if you come back to Victoria we really Must do lunch!
    Take care…sending you a big hug.
    Leslie

    • Jennifer
      Author
      December 11, 2014 / 8:43 am

      Lunch it is!! I promise to give you much more notice next time.
      xo

  25. December 8, 2014 / 9:18 am

    Interesting questions. I got dumped by a very good girlfriend many years ago. She sent me a letter out of the blue. It was very upsetting. I have a current friend who when I suggested we meet for coffee she texted back to say she did not have time. She only wanted to meet for dinner as couples (in other words on her terms).
    I have learned that it is really all about them and nothing about you in these situations.

    • Jennifer
      Author
      December 11, 2014 / 8:44 am

      That’s strange. My husband even suggested perhaps they didn’t like him!! I said no, it had nothing to do with him. Just we two women.

  26. Sara
    December 8, 2014 / 9:29 am

    I went through the death of a 30 year friendship several times with the same person. I suffer from depression and it got to be too much for her. We even went for about 3 years without contact. Then I was feeling really sick and alone and I left a message for her, she was at my house within a few minutes. We had a long talk last week and decided to give it another try, we miss each other and love each other too much not to try again.

    • Jennifer
      Author
      December 11, 2014 / 8:45 am

      That’s true friendship Sara. You are blessed to have each other!

  27. December 8, 2014 / 9:31 am

    Hmmm…the silence seems so peculiar. Possibly you saw this in her personality before? I’m thinking passive-aggressive or very timid-avoider-of-conflict-at-all-costs? Either way it sounds like you took the healthy path and removed yourself from a painful situation. There’s an old saying about those unhealthy relationships. ‘We need to stop going back to an empty well…’ The important thing is that you don’t personalize her inexplicable behavior. One thing I’m learning as I get older is most of the time when I run into women who offend is it’s not about me. Sadly, it’s about them…I’m so glad you wrote about it and found such wonderful support from your readers. 🙂

    • Jennifer
      Author
      December 11, 2014 / 8:46 am

      Thanks Leslie. The number of women who are sharing their stories amazes me. It seem to be such a common hurt.

  28. DaniBP
    December 8, 2014 / 2:12 pm

    Jennifer I think you dealt with this so well, that was brave and direct and I so admire you for it.
    To be brushed off in that way is really kind of humiliating isn’t it? You didn’t accept that, I think that’s awesome. xo

    • Jennifer
      December 9, 2014 / 1:26 pm

      Thanks Dani!
      It was humiliating.
      Even though it happened in the privacy of my own thoughts. Painful. I’m not usually quite this direct, but glad I was this time

  29. December 8, 2014 / 3:10 pm

    I’m so sorry you went through this, Jennifer, and so glad you stood up for yourself and spoke your mind. It’s flabbergasting that adults conduct themselves this way – suddenly ditching a friendship with no explanation.

    The closest I’ve come to this was in the first few years during / after divorce. It was like I was contagious. It added terribly to the hurt and isolation. And of course, it’s more difficult to make friends as we grow older in part because our lives get so busy. And, dare I say it, we’re a little more tired.

    Wishing you wonderful NEW friends in the new year who will fully and honestly appreciate you.

    • Jennifer
      December 9, 2014 / 1:27 pm

      Thanks DA! This happened right after I read and shared your wonderful post about how difficult it is to make new friends at our age. Poignant.

  30. Romy / Hippy at Heart
    December 10, 2014 / 8:38 am

    Really tough, I experienced something very different with a very close friend. Good not to have the little voice that holds you back to stand up for your truth!

    • Jennifer
      Author
      December 11, 2014 / 8:47 am

      Agreed!

  31. Sanne
    December 10, 2014 / 9:46 am

    It is difficult to express myself correctly, my English is better passive than active. I had the same problem. Thought I would have found some few new friends only to find out, it seems I’m not really good, rich, stylish etc. enough for them. As I am 61 I thought: who cares. I will not let my well-being determined by the feedback of others any longer.
    Because then I leave it to others to build up or down my strength – not any longer with me.
    PS I love being over 60 🙂

    • Jennifer
      Author
      December 11, 2014 / 8:48 am

      That’s the perfect attitude!! In the end, we need to be happy with ourselves. The person we see reflected on others eyes is not always our truth.

  32. Marcia
    December 10, 2014 / 8:21 pm

    Sigh… so familiar … and painful.
    To answer one of your questions, no, you cannot save a friendship with persistence, unless each person is equally devoted. Friendship is like a garden cared for by two gardeners, each responsible for 100% of their side. Not 50, 100. If one gardener neglects their side, the weeds will kill every flower and fruit no matter how persistent and devoted the other gardener.
    I used to ask if I had done something to offend, but each time I asked I was made to feel as if I was delusional, so now I don’t ask, I just walk away permanently. I refuse to surround myself with anyone who is not edifying, uplifting, genuine and transparent. Boundaries that remind me I matter, and “why I love being over 50.” 😉
    Good read, Jennifer.
    xoxo

    • Jennifer
      Author
      December 11, 2014 / 8:51 am

      Thanks Marcia! Great wisdom in your comment. It is 100% effort on both sides. Just like in a marriage!!

  33. December 11, 2014 / 3:07 am

    interestingly enough even though people say there are two sides to every story – in this case what i find interesting is that the manner in which she has handled shows her personality. And truth be told if she handled it better i would have grieved more for that friendship myself but i find someone’s character is shown in how matters are handled when things are bad. I mean everyone is nice and sweet when the going is good but when things go wrong – that is the true litmus test and i dare say you really have not missed out on that person too much.

    • Jennifer
      Author
      December 14, 2014 / 10:40 pm

      There are always two sides to every situation. And I only know mine. We have spoken and have a difference of opinion on how this occurred. She remembers things differently than I…so I am now left to ponder my role in this. A post script is due.

  34. Linda S.
    December 11, 2014 / 2:21 pm

    Hi Jennifer, I have read your blog for awhile now, never commented before. (I found you through Adrienne’s blog) Sorry about the loss of your friendship, I have had that happen in the past with a couple friends and drove myself nuts wondering what when wrong?

    On the opposite end of the spectrum I ended a friendship just last year. For the last 5 years or so this friend had become very negative and critical. Even of my family members! And it seemed that every time I was around her I could not be myself anymore and we just didn’t have much in common. The straw that broke the camel’s back was when she called me up to ask a favor. (which I had done for her many times before) I was sick with a cold and could not help her out. She ended up getting mad and hanging up on me! A few weeks later she emailed me like nothing happened. I responded back by telling her that I thought she owed me an apology and big shock…she thought it was me that should apologize! A few emails back and forth ended up with me just opening the flood gates and telling her exactly how I felt about everything. HUGE relief!

    I haven’t spoken to her since then although she made a couple attempts to contact me. It’s really hard when you have known someone that long (since middle school) but I just CAN’T go back there. (plus I see her getting worse as she gets older) I have some other really great friends so why do I need that drama in my life? I can see now that she was a toxic friend and I am so much better off!!

    Linda in San Diego

    • Jennifer
      Author
      December 11, 2014 / 4:24 pm

      Hi Linda,
      Welcome!
      Thanks for sharing your story! I am amazed at the response I’ve received and the number of women this sort of thing has happened to!
      Being older, wiser and more confident certainly helps, doesn’t it? Bravo for you speaking out. She sounds like a friend you can definitely live without.

  35. Renee
    December 12, 2014 / 1:24 am

    A few years ago I ended a 30 plus year friendship. This “friend” suffered with depression for many years. I was always available for her and unfortunately as well as her drama. At any time and apparently for any reason she would stop communicating, for months! Then loom up and want to resume our friendship as if nothing happened. The last time she went through one of her “episodes” I decided I deserve better. I am too old been through too, much for any further crazy, manipulating nonsense. I explained to her that I no longer could count on her friendship and wished her well. Interestingly, a mutual friend recently had a party that we both attended. We had a great time with each other (she can be very funny) but no way am I returning to that toxic brew. I am so much calmer and HAPPIER, without that unpredictable “friend” in my life. By the way I am 58.

    • Jennifer
      Author
      December 14, 2014 / 2:11 pm

      It’s great that you could enjoy each other’s company for the shirt term, but keep your personal boundaries. We have to be able to count on friends.

  36. Nola Rice
    December 14, 2014 / 7:51 am

    I had a very, very close friend cut me off without a word. It was horrible. I wondered for years what I had done to cause such a reaction with no explanation. When we returned from China I received a call that she had died and would I please come to the funeral home for visitation. Another friend of the husband told me this was her m.o., she just dumped people. The entire family and everyone treated me like nothing had ever happened, it was surreal. I did get closure, but it did not change the way it hurt. I do feel badly that she was not able to maintain friendships and family ties, it was sad.

    Nola Rice

    • Jennifer
      Author
      December 14, 2014 / 2:13 pm

      Knowing your friend had a habit of dumping people, doesn’t make it any less painful. Thanks for sharing!

  37. December 22, 2014 / 2:49 pm

    I am sorry to hear that your friend decided to part ways and you don’t know what caused that. I have been there before and it is very painful to get silence from a friend. For me, I stop communicating when a friend does not respond after three times of contacting her. If they are really busy at that time, they will contact me when they are less busy.

    I hope you ‘recover’ from your friend’s withdrawal.

    • Jennifer
      Author
      December 22, 2014 / 3:16 pm

      Thank you so much!

  38. Joyce
    December 29, 2014 / 10:25 am

    I am so glad I stumbled upon your blog. I had (past tense seems appropriate) a friend of about 45 years who took offense when I was honest with her. A little history: friends since 3 rd grade, included in family vacations, living overseas at same time, later holidays together with our children and husbands etc. We currently live a 6 hour drive apart. A couple of years ago I contacted her a month in advance of a road trip I was taking to a cooking school (something she also enjoys) 45 min. from her home. She was working on her PhD at the time and I knew she was busy, but asked if she wanted to attend the cooking school with me or at the very least, meet for dinner. She flat out refused all ideas due to the fact that she was SO BUSY. She had an empty nest at the time and a husband who does all the shopping and cooking and a maid! I was hurt and disappointed, but told her I understood. Brooded for a couple of months and then sent her an email telling her of my disappointment. She replied by telling me not to “throw away our friendship” and she never expressed any apology.

    Months passed, and I receive a Christmas card (she had forgotten my birthday for the first time in 40 some years). I responded with the hope of getting together in the following year. One year later now and have not heard from her. I am getting over it and realizing that although we have longevity of friendship, perhaps not a deep friendship. And as my succinct and wise husband said, “you’ve never had much in common with her”!

    Thank you for letting me get this off my chest! It is therapeutic and I’m happy to know that this is common among women even 50 +.

    • Jennifer
      Author
      December 30, 2014 / 8:36 pm

      Thank you for sharing!!
      How bizarre for her to implore you not to “throw away your friendship”, when she had already done it!! No matter what her reasons were, it’s painful to feel discarded. Especially after 45 years!! I’m so sorry.

  39. Dawn
    December 29, 2014 / 10:26 am

    This is a post I can identify with. I think it sometimes more painful having a breakup with a girlfriend than a boyfriend because of expectations. However, I have been on the other side when I ended a friendship but did not tell the person explicitly why I no longer wanted to see them. I was going through a bad period and could no longer tolerate her shallowness and self-centerness which was something that didn’t bother me during the good times because we had a lot fun together.

    • Jennifer
      Author
      December 30, 2014 / 8:32 pm

      I was thinking the same thing about the difference between it happening with a girlfriend vs a boyfriend. Feeling cast aside, hurts no matter who does it.

  40. Jan
    December 29, 2014 / 2:13 pm

    I had the same thing happen to me and we had been BEST friends for years and all of a sudden no response. It is almost like a death.

    Sent cards, etc. apologizing if I did anything, pleaded with her to tell me why and nothing.

    It has been about 10 years and I am over it but I would still like to know why-there had to be a reason and I could handle the truth more than this.

    It really is a cruel, cowardly, hurtful thing that I would never to to anyone, especially a best friend. In hindsight, this is what I wished I had told her and still think about doing it-I was too devastated at the time.

    • Jennifer
      Author
      December 30, 2014 / 8:26 pm

      Thanks for sharing Jan! I am amazed how many of us have encountered this in mid-life. I always thoughts of it as a “high school” type behavior. Apparently not.

  41. Aisling
    January 6, 2015 / 12:59 am

    Hi .jennifer i must admit being on the other side of this. I have an old friend that i have been trying to get rid of for years. I am not brave enough to confront her directly as i am a bit afraid of her. I have just tried to do what your friend did and avoid her – it has taken her a few years to take the hint but she has dropped away in the last year. I was worried that she could do me harm like she could when we were at school by bad-mouthing me etc…

    Not your situation i am sure

    • Jennifer
      Author
      January 6, 2015 / 9:36 am

      Thanks for sharing. Being afraid makes someone toxic to you and I’m glad she’s gone for you!!

  42. Joyce
    January 6, 2015 / 7:50 am

    An interesting follow up to my post of Dec. 29th. The aforementioned ex-friend sent me a lengthy letter a few days ago. Just a rambling newsy overview of her past year. No mention of our “falling out” and it felt as though the letter could have been written to a stranger (the letter was just to me, not a Christmas letter). In the letter she complains about some new in-laws and their religious beliefs and how different they are. I found it snobbish, insulting and negative. Can’t believe it has taken me this long to realize that I really don’t have anything in common with this woman and her negativity is not healthy! Good- bye to her and I will not reply to her letter. No point to a reply. She just wants to brag and complain in a letter once a year. She has no intention of getting together and I don’t need an “Eyeore” bringing me down. The things she complains about are superficial. When I think about women I know who have been through cancer, death of children or spouse…… No friendship here and I feel so much better letting it go. I’m glad she sent the letter – made it so much easier for me!

    • Jennifer
      Author
      January 6, 2015 / 9:42 am

      She did you a favor sending it. Onward to better friendships!! Happy New Year Joyce!

      • Joyce
        January 6, 2015 / 1:46 pm

        Thanks, Jennifer! Ready for a new year and a fresh start! Happy New Year to you too!

  43. Jacqui Wright
    January 26, 2015 / 3:41 am

    Hi Jennifer.I’ve only just read this post and I’ve recently written a post about how hard it is to find friends when you get older. It’s definately her loss.Keep being fabulous dahling!x

  44. February 2, 2015 / 1:51 am

    Hi Jennifer. It baffles me that fully grown women behave this way but sadly they do – I’ve lived to tell the tale! Someone who I thought was a good friend to both me and my children, just suddenly cut all ties from me. To this day, I have no idea why! I did everything you did – telephoned, sent letters, asked her if there was anything I had done to offend her but nothing. I just think that’s the coward’s way out. Be honest with someone! It took me about 2 years to fully get over it and when I bumped into her and her daughter in the hairdresser’s one day, we both blanked each other. So sad for our kids but I honestly didn’t think there was anything else I could do. More recently I’ve had a similar situation with a good friend of about 10 years – is it me?! We’ve kind of repaired things but she just completely distanced herself from me for no apparent reason. We have mutual friends though so we manage to muddle through. Weird isn’t it?!

    • Jennifer
      Author
      February 2, 2015 / 11:48 pm

      Having mutual friendships would help one muddle through. We didn’t have that, so were on our own to flounder and decide what our feelings were. It’s not you!! Thanks for sharing with us Suzanne. I am truly amazed how many of us have suffered the same fate.

  45. April 19, 2015 / 5:39 pm

    Such a great post, it would have been better for her to just say something like we’re not really suited, cowardly really

    • Jennifer
      Author
      April 19, 2015 / 5:42 pm

      It would certainly have been kinder Jody!!

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