Ask Ellie: Should I break up with a friend who isn’t interested?
QI have a friendship situation I’m struggling with right now, but I need your insight.
I’ve known my boyfriend for almost seven years now. We started out as roommates and continued as friends after I moved out, but the past year has been hard to handle. Makes you wonder if this friendship is worth continuing.
I got married in the summer and only a month before he told me he couldn’t attend my wedding due to “financial problems”. Obviously I wanted him to be present, but I said that was understandable and told him it was fine.
In the months following my wedding, he didn’t even reach out to congratulate me. I was shocked and when he finally contacted me I told him how I felt.
He offered no excuses, acted annoyed, told me I was overreacting and told me to “stop the drama”. I reluctantly got over him and tried to organize get-togethers for beers, but every time he bailed.
At this point I’m starting to feel pathetic and I don’t know why I’m chasing a friend who doesn’t seem to want to reciprocate. I know this is about my ego feeling bruised, but I also feel like it might just be the truth that he could care less about me as a friend.
Is this friendship even worth saving? Should I just move on from it?
THEA seven-year friendship that included being roommates for a while is a significant relationship as it happens. But through marriage, you took a natural step into your next major relationship.
What happened then was also foreseeable. You’re newly married and learning a new lifestyle in a full-time partnership with the woman you love. He could not afford to attend the wedding. Both are the same factors separating you from being together or even communicating much.
Then he contacted you, but you were scared away. This is the equivalent of siblings “fighting” or misunderstanding. You were close in those early years, but now you live in separate personal universes.
You have already moved on, and so has he, to the extent that you both have other people, responsibilities, and important tasks. Reduce yourself to being pathetic or ego-damaged. Keeping a distance was natural on both sides. You are immersed in an important event; he was not.
Understand that life happens to all of us in stages. Your closest college friends will likely spend the next seven, 10, or even 20 years deeply immersed in work/career/marriage/family. Even so, they may still connect and reconnect years later.
Don’t analyze or reconstruct what you think he’s feeling. Be yourself and be aware that he is also in a different stage of life now.
Q: I am a very sensitive person who requires a lot of solitude.
I have upset a daughter-in-law who is “not feeling well” and doesn’t know what she did wrong. She stayed here with her child and puppy for nine days. Mother and her child eat differently than me and my husband, we are in our 70s.
I explained that I could handle a three-day guest. My husband coped well with the nine-day visit. This problem was then shared with the other child who does not speak to me.
I felt that my husband is not supportive and I feel that this problem is making our future difficult.
THEBoth you and your husband know your sensitivity. The time of the visit should have been fully discussed and its duration agreed upon. Perhaps his other child could have received the guest. Equally to blame here. The young mother did nothing wrong.
Ellie’s tip of the day: Adult life comes in stages, former friends move on, but sometimes reconnect years later.
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