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Friendship has run its course?

(116 Posts)
AcornFairy Fri 05-Mar-21 14:57:18

Please can anyone who has shared an experience like mine let me know how you dealt with it. I’d love to hear thoughts about what might have happened to what I thought had been a good friendship of some 20 years.
At Christmas time, having sent a gift to a friend, I received an email from her (I think – she and her husband share an email address) telling me that “our friendship has run its course and is at an end. This will be my last communication with you. Please don’t contact me again.”
We had not met since Covid raised its ugly head in March. I phoned her on occasions but she said that she would prefer to be contacted by email. So that I did, although her responses were a bit random and left me rather concerned about how she was coping in lockdown. If I voiced my concern she simply said that she was fine. By the beginning of December I realised something must be wrong but nothing prepared me for the denouement that was to follow. I’m left bemused, indignant and wondering “is it me?!”

B9exchange Fri 05-Mar-21 15:18:03

I shouldn't think it is you at all, just as there are people who hang onto their clothes for many years with affection, there are others who discard the old ones and buy new, and I'm afraid there are some that treat their friendships the same way.

It hurts a lot, and there is a lot of 'what have I done?' but it has happened to me twice, and I didn't manage to persuade them to change their minds, just had to accept it and move on. In one case I missed a lunch appointment because I was ill, and that was enough apparently!

EllanVannin Fri 05-Mar-21 15:44:16

A true friendship should never be pressured in any way.
My late friend of 60 years and I had a wonderful friendship which I'll treasure for the rest of my life. It was one which hasn't caused me to rush out and suddenly make friends with someone as I've never felt the need since her death. She left a lasting impression on my life.

ixion Fri 05-Mar-21 15:49:43

How do you know that the email actually came from your friend and not her husband?

BlueBelle Fri 05-Mar-21 15:55:32

I think ixion may have hit the nail on the head maybe it’s the husband playing games otherwise it seems strange and deserves an explanation

welbeck Fri 05-Mar-21 15:58:15

this is the kind of message that is often urged by MNers and sometimes on here, when someone is no longer keen on keeping up a friendship/acquaintance.
i have always felt dubious about it. i would prefer to just taper off. maybe that's what she was trying to do, but you didnt take the hint, so she felt she had to be more blunt.
but there is usually some preceding events or difficulties that have led to this point.
are you sure that when you were in contact, there were no signs of dissatisfaction on her part, or differences of values, politics ?
and even if there were not, the fact that she has stunned you in this manner shews that you two have less in common than is necessary for friendship.
at least the message is clear.
that's one less b'day etc gift to bother about. good luck.

Nonogran Fri 05-Mar-21 17:07:21

Hello Acornfairy, your post is so sad to have had such a blunt message to curtail your friendship. Chin up! Lots of friends on Gransnet and best of all, space in your heart & mind for a new friend! Accept her email for what it is. Don't pursue it or it could get embarrassing. Look for a new friend as soon as lockdown is over. Good luck & don't dwell. At least she was straight with you. Big hug.

sodapop Fri 05-Mar-21 17:58:43

I agree with ixion and BlueBelle check first that the message actually came from your friend AcornFairy then if it did just say you are sorry to lose her as a friend and move on. It's sad when a friendship ends like this but I don't think its down to you some people are not coping well at present. Don't worry about this there are friends on GN.

Gelisajams Fri 05-Mar-21 18:44:40

I feel for you Acorn Fairy. It’s hard to accept that someone you have shared so much with and has become part of your life suddenly drops you. You question yourself and wonder what you have done to upset them.
Sadly it’s just how some people are as B9 says, and it’s nothing you have done.
Making new friends isn’t the easiest, but I do hope you can find a kindred spirit when lockdown ends. Take care.

Elusivebutterfly Fri 05-Mar-21 18:50:09

AcornFairy, I'm sorry this happened to you and understand it is distressing. At least she told you, which is better than just being ghosted. I was ghosted by an old friend last year. On reflection, we disagreed on Brexit and she had become a conspiracy theorist which I found difficult so things probably had come to an end.

3dognight Fri 05-Mar-21 18:58:23

Sometimes people just want to move on. We are not always privy to those reasons. I had a friendship that just petered out when I moved to another part of town, but we still still hug if we see each other in town, and chat, well we used to before Covid.

Just send her a beautiful card, one that maybe has a picture that meant something to you both? Blank for your own message. Wish her well and thank her for her friendship........and mark it CONFIDENIAL!

AcornFairy Fri 05-Mar-21 19:14:49

Thank you for your lovely responses. ixion, BlueBelle, sodapop, and probably 3dognight: I was wondering if anyone would pick up on this. A number of possibilities for my friend’s behaviour have crossed my mind and one has been coercive control coming from her husband. In addition to their shared email address I have, for some while, wondered if snail-mail – greetings cards and the occasional written letter – correspondence to her was being opened by her husband. A few years ago she got quite exercised about the fact that people sometimes refer to her as “her forename and surname” and not as Mrs “husband’s forename and surname”. A few other things subsequently made me wonder about this assumption and when I spoke to a couple of my other friends (who do not know her) they did think this was rather telling. So I’m torn between trying to find out more and letting sleeping dogs lie.

Gingster Fri 05-Mar-21 19:22:20

I’m another who thinks it could be her husband making mischief. Probably jealous of your friendship. It’s another way of looking at it . Can you get in touch with her other than e mail or phone?

Nicegranny Fri 05-Mar-21 19:45:39

That’s really sad for you Acornfairy
If there’s a chance that this is a case of coercive control you need to step very carefully. Sometimes people don’t realise that they are being controlled as it’s creeps up on them so slowly. She may be afraid to step out of “line” and could have implications for her if you kept writing.
If you are really concerned could you not “accidentally” bump into her away from her house? It sounds a bit like stalking but if it’s the case of CC she may even need help or not need or even want it.
It’s a tricky situation for you and such a sad thing to loose a good friend but be careful.

ElaineI Fri 05-Mar-21 19:59:20

Hmm it is a bit strange. Does she have any family or friends you could contact to say you are worried? The wording is a bit off - if you had had a big fall out then maybe but it does sound strange as does wanting emails instead of phone calls. Hope you find out but it is not you.

Blinko Fri 05-Mar-21 20:06:47


I’m another who thinks it could be her husband making mischief. Probably jealous of your friendship. It’s another way of looking at it . Can you get in touch with her other than e mail or phone?

I wonder if she's being controlled by her OH? Can you contact her any other way, eg. text?

mumofmadboys Fri 05-Mar-21 23:15:34

How old is your friend Acorn? Could she be starting with dementia? I am sorry you are hurt

Eloethan Fri 05-Mar-21 23:51:11

It sounds very odd to me. Perhaps there is something else going on in her life that she can't or doesn't want to tell you about.

Cid24 Sat 06-Mar-21 10:34:09

I wondered too if it was her husband

polnan Sat 06-Mar-21 10:35:20

I think, perhaps.... the "stress" from this virus, well the lockups, more so, have caused a lot of ... problems,, my best friend and I email a lot,, but I have felt the strain, just emailing and not meeting... the written word is not the easiest, combined with all that is going on in our heads... I know my head/brain/mind
is not what it used to be..
interesting comment that the mail may not have come from her though.


Cid24 Sat 06-Mar-21 10:36:54

Was it a very close friendship?

greenlady102 Sat 06-Mar-21 10:38:03

I have no advice to give except to say that alarm bells always ring for me when I hear that two people share an email address; unless its a business one that both have access to and they also have private individual ones. I don't see what you can do though unless you have any mutual contacts

Abuelana Sat 06-Mar-21 10:48:04

Mental health issues maybe ? Having qualified in mental health. I’d reach out one more time...... and if the friendship is really over then let it die...
Everyone has dealt with the pandemic in all sorts of ways! Good luck

Daisymae Sat 06-Mar-21 10:50:24

While it could well be her husband, you have actually spoken to her in lockdown so really there's nothing much you can do. I would be inclined to let it lie.

WhiteRabbit57 Sat 06-Mar-21 10:50:37

I have had to drop friends for various reasons and I think its quite nice that she wrote to you and didn't leave you hanging. You probably did something that hurt her personally, something she can't vocalise and something you aren't really aware of. She's mulled over it in lockdown and made the big decision - with the help of her husband no doubt.

Whatever it was it was going to sully your relationship and she was obviously building up resentment. It's time to move on.