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To be so hurt?

(80 Posts)
Urmstongran Sat 10-Feb-18 19:24:12

I retired fairly recently. I had worked with a colleague for over 20y & over time we became good friends, confiding in one another & occasionally meeting outside of work - to go to the garden centre, visit at one another’s houses for coffee. When I retired we initially kept in touch occasionally. Then, such a shock when after emailing, with no response for a few weeks, I realised that was it..... Tried her work email. Nada. I asked why she had stop replying. No response. OMG I cannot described how hurt I felt. I even dreamt about it! Has anyone else been ‘deleted’ like this & how did you come to terms with it?

Cabbie21 Mon 19-Mar-18 08:55:03

I sometimes think that those friends who have been very close and helped us through major life crises will shy off renewing friendship after a break. Perhaps they know they can’t commit to that same previous level, perhaps they are going through problems themselves.
Life does move on, and Ill health, promotion, divorce or family matters can take a new hold on us, to the exclusion of friendships.

Bluebell123 Mon 19-Mar-18 04:49:00

It appears many of us have have been in similar situations and some interesting explanations as to why friendships die. Food for thought indeed.
I too had a very close friend for years. We shared many happy times and supported each other through some rocky periods too. Then I moved abroad. We keep in touch with the occasional email BUT when I return to the UK and visit my old stomping ground she does not invite me to her house so we can have a jolly good chin-wag, whereas other friends do.
Upsetting but I suppose "Ours is not to reason why...."

Cabbie21 Sun 18-Mar-18 19:15:43

Whilst I have some old friends from years ago that I could just pick up where we left off, if we were to meet, our friendship is actually reduced to a Christmas letter or email.

I realise I am as guilty as the next person for failing to keep up more regular contact, but would it really have any meaning? At least once a year we have some major news, whereas every month it would just be trivia.

I suspect what most of us need is someone to chat to on a regular basis, someone who could support us in a crisis, someone to socialise with. That needs to be someone close by.
If I renew contact with an old friend they are usually pleased to meet up, but then it Peters out, so seems a bit pointless, if they are not that bothered.
Perhaps nobody actually wants to be real friends.

cornishclio Sun 18-Mar-18 10:01:04

I have recently retired and still meet up with my closest work colleague. Luckily we both have lots in common but she told me she is so jealous I got to retire at 58 and she has to work until state pension age of 67. Thankfully she hasn't allowed that to affect our friendship and I try not to rub her nose in the fact I no longer have to work. We just chat about the stuff we always used to, family, holidays, work, books etc. I think some people do get jealous when a colleague retires particularly if they are the same age.

ladyjane10 Sun 18-Mar-18 01:01:25

dear urmstongran, You have had some wonderful advise and helpful words. Two years ago I moved house to another town. I felt lonely I suppose. I felt cut off. Then in November I had a breast scan. It showed I had breast cancer. I had 39 get well cards and loads of offers of help. Some times our friends have there lifes to live as well. I,m starting to waffle on so I,m going to shut up.

Madgran77 Wed 14-Feb-18 16:49:51

Since retiring I have one friend that I have kept in touch with ...but that is because we have so much moire in common than just work.

JackyB Wed 14-Feb-18 12:27:06

As some others have said, I would be wary of work relationships: regardless of how intimate you were with them, ex-colleagues can drift away very soon. This has happened to me after every job I left, even though we had many happy memories together.

You are lucky that you still have a good circle of friends from your earlier work, apart from this one ex-colleague. Perhaps the secret is to talk about things other than work when you are together, so that you can keep up a conversation when you are no longer involved in the workplace.

OTOH, I am very fortunate that nothing like this has happened within my family like some others have described above - that must be heart-breaking, as well as very awkward in so many ways.

auntbett Wed 14-Feb-18 11:26:25

So sorry you feel hurt - anyone would do. However, my feeling is that you should draw a line and don't give it another second of your time or brain space. Some people just decide to let relationships go - painful sometimes, but I think you should do the same.

IesuGrist Tue 13-Feb-18 14:43:41

Could you write her a letter?

Fairydoll2030 Tue 13-Feb-18 09:38:58

Urmstongran. My DH has had a similar experience to you. His work brought him into contact with several other branches of the firm around the UK. He struck up a friendship over twenty years ago with a chap at another branch as they both enjoyed the same hobby. They would meet up regularly to pursue their hobby. I met this man several times, and DH has met his wife and son. DH retired a few years ago and they still kept in contact but, suddenly, three years ago this chap cut all contact. He stopped texting and phoning and has not even responded to DH’s emails at Christmas sending good wishes to the family.
Enquiries to former colleagues have not revealed anything apart from the fact that he has also cut contact with another work friend. He still works for the same company and does not appear to be unwell. Although he has been ‘seen’ he’s definitely not been ‘heard’ (from). DH has never been someone with a wide circle of friends and though he doesn’t say much I know he feels hurt about it. They had such a long friendship. We will never really know what happened.

NfkDumpling Tue 13-Feb-18 07:29:01

Poly580, personally I would let that friendship fade. We can't keep friends with all those we've known throughout our lives, there'd be no room for new ones!

NfkDumpling Tue 13-Feb-18 07:26:05

After reading Apricity's Sunday post, I realise that I may be guilty of dumping someone. Many years ago woman I used to work with used to chat and confide in me at work. We met up outside work for coffee in a group of work mates very occasionally. After I changed jobs she continued to keep in touch and invited me to a couple of social outings with the old work lot, I went but things had moved on in my old job and I felt out of touch. I thought she was just a work mate, so I was tardy in replying to further messages and eventually didn't even do that. We had nothing at all in common and life had moved on, for her as well as me. I now feel very guilty. sad She obviously thought our friendship was deeper than I did.

Out of work friendships can wax and wane but it's harder with work mates as one minute you're seeing each other five days a week and the next it's stopped. A large chunk of what you had in common was your work and that's gone. Sometimes a friendship can't take it. The problem is when the friendship is lopsided, one person moves on and the other doesn't.

Catterygirl Mon 12-Feb-18 17:49:49

I didn't realise it was so common. It has happened to me with two long term friends recently. They are happy to exchange Christmas cards and photos of lovely expensive holidays but that seems to be all. Luckily I have a few new friends.

Christinefrance Mon 12-Feb-18 08:19:01

It seems like it was not a close friendship urmstongran things do change. It's easy these days with e-mail etc to keep in touch but equally easy to opt out without face to face contact. Don't waste any more time worrying about this, get on with your life, meet new people, it's her loss.

Apricity Mon 12-Feb-18 02:51:29

Poly580, surely the behaviour you describe has nothing to do with where either of you grew up or your respective financial situations now. The woman is just a rather nasty piece of work, a user of other people to meet her own self absorbed needs. This is not a "friendship" in any sense of the word, it's about being treated as a convenience. Don't allow anyone to treat you like that. Time to let her go and replenish your self respect. Definitely "Good bye".

Poly580 Sun 11-Feb-18 22:53:25

Should I tell her it’s goodbye...
I have been friends with somebody for 38 years. It doesn’t make any difference to me but she grew up on a much rougher council estate than me.... please read on. Many years ago after a works night out and I was letting her sleep at our house whilst putting her to bed ( so drunk and woke my hubby and two children up) she said to me. I bet you never thought the likes of me would bother with somebody like you......
there have been many references and insults over the years and other friends no longer bother with her. During our working career we always had to out extra in for her to make sure we had a present that was good enough. Before Christmas she didn’t send me a card for my 60th because she was too busy packing for Caoe Verde. I have supported her through her hubby having an affair, looking after her afterwards until today... sorting her finances.... the list goes on... she has never been there for me but praises me to people That I will do anything for anyone.
I am never invited to anything at her house or any family events but she has been to all of mine. Often invites herself or takes the hump
When not invited. We grew up in different parts of the city... I can’t believe how much she looks down on me When she came from a much more humble background than me.

leemw711 Sun 11-Feb-18 21:30:34

I was “deleted” in a rather different way a little while ago. I had been a teacher and later a school librarian in a very good grammar school for some 30 years - by then I was in my early 50s - when I was called into the boss’s office and told to go and “clear your desk and get out!” You are too old to be working in a school - I was heartbroken. I loved my job, loved working with the teenaged pupils and certainly wasn’t expecting to be booted out! My colleagues all agreed that I was doing a great job and that the library was well organised and well stocked. Parents and pupils complemented me on it too. I miss working, miss the school and all the friends I made there and wish I had pointed out that as the Headmaster was the same age as miss he should be sacking himself as well!

sweetcakes Sun 11-Feb-18 20:40:42

Even in this chuck away society that we live in now it seems that even friends are disposable 😔

driverann Sun 11-Feb-18 18:55:15

I worked driving an ambulance in the NHS with the same colleague for 15 years platonically we were very close friends there was not anything we did not tell each other. I went to her family events and she came to mine. We had been through a lot over the years some of the incidents we attended we will never forget and often cried together when no one was looking. I retired 18 months before her and she told me that the job was never the same after I had left. In the end she took early retirement. She moved 25 Miles away and never contacted me again. Her daughter told me “mum was too hurt to keep in contact. It took me a long time to understand it and never had really.

Ramblingrose22 Sun 11-Feb-18 17:08:06

Urmstongran - I had a similar experience when I was still working.
I had a work colleague that I was friendly with for a few years. We used to go to lunch occasionally and have a good laugh about colleagues we both knew.
One day when I emailed her to suggest meeting up for lunch again she just said no without giving any reason. This happened a second time.
I didn't want to email her again so when I saw her by chance in the street I went up to her and said "You don't want to have lunch. Have I offended you in some way?" She didn't even want to make eye contact but said "No, I simply don't want to meet for lunch anymore".
I mentioned it to someone in confidence whom she worked with who said "I'm not surprised. She doesn't talk to anyone anymore and we all think she's gone peculiar."
I realised then that she'd changed somehow and that it was the end of the friendship.
It's natural to be upset when these things happen out of the blue but they are not necessarily your fault.
Don't worry about it and move on.

Harris27 Sun 11-Feb-18 16:45:13

I interesting reading this I'm not retiring yet but work with younger girls and wonder if I would keep in touch with them after I leave??pause for thought maybe we have only workin common.

Day6 Sun 11-Feb-18 14:40:34

My feeling is, to use a cliché, water does pass under the bridge, for a reason.

I can only speak for myself but tenuous work related frindships and online activity, like messages and emails, can start to become overwhelming. I used to share emails with a friend who lived over 100 miles away. We'd known each other as children but then life took us in different directions and we lost touch. We found each other again via Facebook and then emailed each other and met several times. She was as lovely as ever and we got on well, but this old friend was one of many who by now had started using emails to get in touch.

It hit me a while ago that I was spending so much time writing to so many people about different things. We had in reality become estranged and didn't share experiences any more, and online activity almost artificially kept alive something that would have fizzled out of its on accord after a while - had it not been for messages and emails.

I now have a policy of refusing to connect via Facebook etc to people who left my life a long time ago. Just because we have computers doesn't mean we have to be overjoyed to connect again when we probably don't have as much in common anymore and are unlikely to meet often, if at all.

Having too many friends (online ones) to keep corresponding with can be very time consuming. I slowly stopped replying to several as it almost seemed like forced correspondence. I didn't need to know the minutiae of their lives and they probably had little interest in my wittering about my grandchildren, book club lunch or holiday in Scotland.

The theory is lovely, the reality is time consuming and a bit forced. I hope that doesn't sound mean-spirited. I am trying to be realistic.

kircubbin2000 Sun 11-Feb-18 14:22:47

Yes I noticed that with some of my casual friends. When I asked them to send me a text with some information I realised they no longer had my number saved on phone.

sandelf Sun 11-Feb-18 14:16:48

Yes I have, and I have done it. The only way it to move on. Nothing lasts forever.

quizqueen Sun 11-Feb-18 14:04:38

Perhaps she's come to realise that you have little in common now you're retired but that's no excuse for rudeness in ignoring you.