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I feel like I don't want to be friends with my lifelong friend anymore

(65 Posts)
Ionia Sat 18-May-19 10:42:13

It pains me to say this. We've been friends since I was 11 (she 12). We're now 56 & 57. We only say each other once or twice a year. When she visits and we meet 'in person' I'm always left feeling annoyed and disconnected. She is a talented, amazing woman who leads a very successful life personally and professionally. She has always been the 'leader' in her world, but I don't like the unsolicited advice or comments 'did you know you have stains on your stair carpet', to 'I think you should park your car more this way' to 'you need to get out more' etc.

She's well-off and I'm so happy for her personally about this, but I find myself irritated at her insensitivity to my own financial situation.

I feel terrible about the way that I feel, which is a lack of warmth towards my oldest and dearest friend. I'm always relieved when visits are over, and I feel sad about this.

Urmstongran Sat 18-May-19 10:47:30

You have grown apart. It’s sad but your gut feeling is that you no longer enjoy her visits or company. Rather than fight it, let it slide and eventually fade out.

MawBroonsback Sat 18-May-19 11:09:24

Some people feel the need to patronise others or to put it bluntly, put them down.
It may not be meant unkindly but I am reminded of Lady Catherine de Burgh in Pride and Prejudice.
Let her go and should she ever ask why, you could tell her that fond as you were/are of her, the constant put downs were hurtful and demoralising.

Beckett Sat 18-May-19 11:19:49

As you have known her for so long is it not possible to have a quiet chat with her and explain how her comments are upsetting you? She may be used to having to take charge in her professional life and finds it hard not to in her personal life.

ditzyme Sat 18-May-19 11:20:13

I have cut ties with my oldest 'friend' recently. We have known each other nearly sixty years, she was bridesmaid at my first wedding in 1972. I don't believe she has had a very happy marriage, and have always thought she got married to the first man interested enough to ask, because she was the last of our class who was still single in her mid-20s. I moved around a lot, she stayed in her home town. At first there was lots of letters to and fro, then she got a job and the correspondence slowed down, but she always sent birthday cards and I never forgot hers either. Her career took off, from typist to head of a large department within five years, two sons came along also. All I ever heard from her was a card at Christmas with a one line message - always 'Hope you are well'. I accept she had a busier life than I, but once technology kicked in, she could have emailed regularly, just a quick chatty email every now and then. But no. Then she retired a few years ago, and I was so pleased as I thought it meant she might keep in touch now But no. So I sent a letter saying I wouldn't be in touch again as it seemed a very one-sided 'friendship' to me, and that wasn't the sort I wanted. Thought that might evoke a response, but no.
The point of this rambling is to say that it's perfectly all right to put an end to the friendship. We grow older and our priorities, what we expect from life, change. Friendships should make us happy, glad to be with the other person, to see them. If it's not making you feel like that, it's not worth it. You could write to her and tell her you won't be keeping in touch, and telling her why, as you put it on here. I'd give anything for a good friend I felt really close to, but sadly she died.

cornergran Sat 18-May-19 11:46:26

Sometimes friendships benefit from a sort of re-shaping. I’ve managed this quietly with a couple we were close to and while still valuing the joint history find there is little in common now. We are now about two hours from each other. So we no longer invite them to stay or go to stay in their home but instead suggest we meet for a meal somewhere between us or occasionally travel to them for a day which keeps some contact but doesn’t feel strained. I suspect as time passes this will happen less. It’s part of life I think and best accepted rather than be concerned about.

paddyann Sat 18-May-19 11:58:24

sometimes we just go in different directions,we've been friends with a couple for over 40 years ,now they've GC ...and they want to be away on breaks every month.We have 4 and a half GC (new one due late summer) We have them all regualrly and one we've had half the week day and night since she was a year old ,9 years.They think we need to "take our lives back and come on holiday with them" We are more than happy doing what we do.We love our young people ,,our 16 year old is a wonderful young man and the 3 girls are pure entertainment value .So if the choice is between them and breaks we dont want I know which will win .

KatyK Sat 18-May-19 12:27:21

People who feel the need to put others down are usually not as happy as they would have you believe.

Sara65 Sat 18-May-19 12:54:35

I have an old school friend, haven seen her for over 40 years , but we keep in touch

Over the years her letters have become more like a travel guide, they must have been to every country on earth, climbed every mountain, crossed every desert, bought a stunning little getaway on every continent, I could go on ......

Anyway, I’m not jealous, I’m happy for her, but I’m really not interested!

luluaugust Sat 18-May-19 14:49:03

KatyK I couldn't agree with you more. I have an old friend who apparently had a wonderful marriage, brilliant children and was very good at telling me and others what to do, years down the line it now appears the marriage was very unhappy and the AC have been affected in one way and another. We are still friendly but time and distance means we aren't able to meet anyway as we once did. It is sad but with old friends dying, moving etc I find I can't quite worry about it as I once might have.

BlueBelle Sat 18-May-19 14:55:01

Do you need a friend like that just because you ve known her a long time doesn’t mean you have to have her in your
Life for everFriendship is about enjoying each other’s company if you’re not enjoying hers then don’t meet up again or cut it down to once a year then never

KatyK Sat 18-May-19 15:21:24

Yes lulu it's often the case.

SisterAct Sat 18-May-19 16:37:38

A close friend we had for 30 years and nearly asked her to be a Godmother, came on holiday with us regularly. Each time a man came into her life contact dwindled. 3 years ago bumped into her and new husband and she said ‘ having a new bathroom fitted this week. Promise I will ring when it’s done for us to get together’. Needless to say it never happened.

sodapop Sat 18-May-19 17:11:04

I don't understand why you can't be honest with a friend of so many years standing. Seems like a strange sort of friendship.

silverlining48 Sat 18-May-19 18:09:01

Many of the comments ring a bell with me. Two years ago i wrote a letter to my oldest friend. My daughter was seriously ill. I have heard nothing from her since and a friendship of over 60 years ends. It had run its course. Let it go * iona*. I feel nothing but relief.

Maggiemaybe Sat 18-May-19 18:16:45

After mulling it over for a couple of days, I've just deleted a friend request on Facebook sent to me from someone who was for years one of my best friends. We began to grow apart long ago and now have nothing at all in common - our joint memories don't count as she despises the little working-class Northern town we were brought up in. It's a shame really, but I see no point in our pretending to be friends on Facebook when we no longer are. I think it's best to move on.

Lily65 Sat 18-May-19 19:07:17

God It's desperately sad. One of my small circle of friends is " busy" all the time. I haven't got the energy to wonder why.

Urmstongran Sat 18-May-19 19:30:04

A friend ‘ghosted’ me a couple of years ago. I think that’s what it’s called when you try to get in touch and they just ignore you. There had been no fallout. We were colleagues at work and I retired a bit before her. I was so upset. I couldn’t get over it. We probably didn’t have enough in common after work related issues although we did used to lunch together in the hospital canteen.

Anyway another friend put me straight. She just said look face facts, it’s just that this 20y friendship meant more to you than it did to her.

I got over it after that.

Ionia Sat 18-May-19 19:34:25

Thank you all for taking the time to respond to me, including offering your experiences. I've appreciated every one of them. I will take time to reflect further, and this has provided some valuable touchstone reflection points.

Many, many thanks.

notanan2 Sat 18-May-19 21:15:20

I think it can cause problems when you equate length of frienship with the quality/value of the frienship.

I had an old school friend who I stayed friends with long after we had anything in common or enjoyed each others company. Once I realised how stupid it was to call your oldest friends your "best friends" by default we actually started getting on better. Now we catch up now and then as old AQUAINTANCES and it works much better than trying to maintain the friend title just for old times sake.

jeanie99 Sun 19-May-19 02:26:11

As individuals we change over the years so it's not surprising if we have little in common with someone we knew 60 years ago.
Having said that my husband has one friend from 60 years ago who he and I are still great friends with. We have common interests and the same values but I would think that is unusual.
We have a couple of married friends from our previous home location who we chat with on the phone and meet up occasionally for a meal.
We have friends met on holiday from about 15 years ago who we see more regularly.
Friends come and go for whatever reason.
How I see it is, if the friendship is not providing happiness, laughter and sharing of each others lives the friendship as faded just let it go. There is little need to explain anything.

GrannyAnnie2010 Sun 19-May-19 09:22:39

I agree with Sodapop. The next time she tells you to do something you don't like, simply raise your eyebrows at her and say warmly, "I don't appreciate you saying that - I'm happy with the way I do/have things, thanks." And continue to be warm and friendly. It won't be a big deal to her, really.

Harris27 Sun 19-May-19 09:27:08

IT doesn't matter how old the relationship is if your not getting anything out of it cut ties. You need uplifting friends not ones who make you feel worse after a visit.

grannygranby Sun 19-May-19 09:28:57

it seems that her behaviour to you is passive aggressive and you are right to be offended by it. The next step is to not put up with it. It means of course that she has passed the burden of ending the relationship over to you. We increasingly live in a society where those who think they are better, more successful etc feel they should manage the less better off. Complete rubbish. In your own particular way tell her not to patronise you, or to sling her hook. It is no more blunt than her telling you you have a stain on your carpet. (very close people can criticise you but even then it should always be reciprocal). Time to act Ionia, cheeky woman.

Bridgeit Sun 19-May-19 09:45:52

I know it’s hard but it’s time to let go. You will feel so much better when you do.
Please don’t feel terrible we all change over time.
Perhaps you could write a letter sending her best wishes & say you will not be in contact for a while , it would be up to you if you choose to give a reason.
Best wishes life is to short to endure & tolerate situations we don’t need or want.