So-called best-mates ruined my 50th birthday

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anonymous user
Registered: 12-31-1969
So-called best-mates ruined my 50th birthday
6
Wed, 09-19-2012 - 8:14am

Hi, new here and looking for advice.

My best friend is local and I've known for 32 years and we keep in touch regularly and go out every month or so.  sometimes we don't see each other for a while which is fine, but we're pretty much always in contact.

My husband was trying to organise a surprise get-together for my 50th birthday and sent an email to my group of friends looking for suggestions/help.  He'd already organised a night-away for us the day before my birthday, at a 5 star hotel complete with limo, champagne etc and was all out of ideas. 

This friend calls him up and says "lets have it in your house" to which he said no because I've said to him before that I don't want parties at my home for me as I end up doing all the work.  We also have a poorly cat and prefer to keep things quiet for him (she knows about this). 

Something has gone wrong between her and my husband which he told me was a big misunderstanding so he ended up sending an email around again saying he'd decided on a location nearby our house and for everyone to come along - it was for a Sunday.  Some people replied saying they couldn't make it and they've since contacted me. 

This friend didn't even bother to show up or even phone me on my birthday.   She phoned me the next day and left a message on my phone saying "happy birthday"  - no explanation as to why she wasn't there.  No card.... no present... just blanked it.  So I texted her and said "why weren't you at my party" - she told me to call her when I have a quiet minute.  I've not had any time and replied saying this, but to be honest I think she should be making the effort to contact me and tell me what happened.  She works 1/2 a mile from my house and passes the end of my road when going home so she could even have dropped in (I work at home). 

The day after my birthday I was sooo upset about this and stupidly was crying my eyes out, I really thought she was a best mate but she's put her feelings etc about my husband before me.  Even if she'd stopped by the next day while he was at work she could have redeemed herself - not sure if I can forgive her.  I do believe if there was something like "death in the family etc" she would have contacted and explained but it's clearly due to this argument with my hubby.

I hate this situation, I'm not used to falling out with friends but I do think she owes me an explanation.  Should I ignore her from now on or push for an answer as to why she ignored me. 

Or maybe it's obvious - I'm not really such a great mate as she says I am... the longer it goes on the worse it feels, it's just hanging over my head.  At 50 years old you'd think I could resolve friendship issues but I'm not experienced with this at all.

Oh and my other "best friend" sent a card with a £10 Next voucher - THAT also hurt me as I travelled 400 miles to visit her for her surprise 50th and made a big effort and spent a whack of money too. The voucher is a bit like an afterthought.  She's not short of money either but even if she'd gone and bought something for £10 that would mean so much more.  AND I don't even shop in Next! 

So, that's my 2 longest standing friends have deeply hurt me and not made any contact on the day of my birthday.  On the plus side some friends did turn up, even if only for an hour.

What should I do?

x

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-16-2008
Fri, 09-21-2012 - 6:59am

So, that's my 2 longest standing friends have deeply hurt me and not made any contact on the day of my birthday.  On the plus side some friends did turn up, even if only for an hour.

You have a choice to either focus on what your friends have done for you, or focus on the things they have not done for you.  You seem to want to focus on what they have not done, and how much they have not done, and to what extent:

some friends did turn up, even if only for an hour.

But they did come - for an hour.  I'm wondering...what could they have done to meet your expectations?  Stayed for three hours?  Three days?  Spent X number of dollars? 

When it comes to birthdays...and certainly by my 50th, I have no expectations at all.  If I can see my friends to celebrate, I am honored.  If we can't get together, we will celebrate the next one.  And I feel that way about my friends' birthdays.  I try to remember, and try to be thoughtful - but in my own way.  It may not be limousines and nights out on the town, but I might send a funny card along with a thoughtful note.  Would that be enough for you?  Or do you need fireworks and confetti? The thing that would kill my effort is if I had a friend who was sitting there placing a higher value on what I did and how much I spent, rather than placing value on the fact that we can be together and enjoy each other's company.

The other side of this is that you seem to be very giving in some of your friendships, but it is not reciprocated.  Rather than expecting the other person to respond in kind, you need to evaluate whether or not you want to continue investing the amount of time, energy and money into that particular friendship, recognizing that the other person may not ever respond in kind or in the way you would hope.  So then maybe you maintain contact with that person, but you pull back in your efforts - if that is what you need to do in order to feel more balance in the relationship. 

Here is an excellent insight into a friendship gone wrong, written by Jacquelyn Mitchard.  It may help give you some insight into some of your own friendships, their meaning and where to go from here:

http://www.more.com/memoir-friendship-wrong

 Clara - I just now read your response to another post expressing how much you cherished a button sent to you by one of your friends and the fact that you were hurt by your other friend's lack of thoughtfulness.  I understand that...I really do.  And it is at that point that you might have to reconsider the value of this particular friend.  Or, consider what might be going on in her life...perhaps she is struggling with something and cannot devote the time and attention to her friendships that she would like to.  Or maybe nothing is going on and she is thoughtless and self-absorbed.  You then decide the place this person holds in your life.

 

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-22-2004
Fri, 09-21-2012 - 2:00am
Did he really insult your husband? What did she said? Try to see things a little from her perdpective.
Where does that leave you? I guess it depends on how you two handle the situation. She doesn´t need to be your DH friend. Just your friend.
Hope you two can harbor this situation and continue your friendship.
iVillage Member
Registered: 01-22-2004
Fri, 09-21-2012 - 1:52am

Well, I don´t know your husband but you must know him. If she is a best friend, why don´t you try to listen to her side of the story about the argument with DH.

Who really knows what really happened between them both. When you listen to her, then you can decide what to do about the situation.

About you friend with the money, I can relate.

I went to my best friends daughter´s wedding, and the couple asked for money. I went to Hallmark and bought a nice card and envelope. I put an amount of money that for a woman who is alone was good.

When it came my daughter´s wedding and they also asked for money. My friend was invited and she and her husband tear part of the menu to wrap the third part of the amount of money I gave for her daughter´s wedding.They were even laughing about the  wrapping the money in the menu. I didn't´t say a word but I felt bad and that showed, who and how she is.  

 

I guess we all put people in pedestals that they don´t really fit. I have learned to lower my expectations about people and try to see them as they are, and not as I want them to be. From that point, I reframe the friendship and try to balance it.

It´s hard I know, we feel disappointed. But we have to be clear in mind that people are not what we want them to be. They are just what they are.

 

Good luck!

Avatar for lizmvr
Community Leader
Registered: 06-06-2001
Thu, 09-20-2012 - 12:02am

I have had a falling out with my best friend's husband in the past, and it led to me not talking to my friend for a substantial amount of time.  I didn't feel that, after her husband called me a "selfish b*#ch" and told me to never contact her again, that I really could call or visit her for some time.  I wasn't sure if he had told her what he had texted me when I refused to drive her younger brother over two hours to the husband's parents' house to make their holiday travel easier even though it was no longer in my travel route. I did know, however, that I didn't want to call her and seemingly come between her and her husband, no matter how angry I was that he would call me such a thing.

I'm sure you don't think your husband would ever do anything like my friend's husband did, but I'm also sure that my friend didn't think at the time that her husband had texted me the hateful message either.  So, I would encourage you to get your husband to talk before taking out all of your frustration on your friend.

"Oh and my other 'best friend' sent a card with a £10 Next voucher - THAT also hurt me as I travelled 400 miles to visit her for her surprise 50th and made a big effort and spent a whack of money too. The voucher is a bit like an afterthought.  She's not short of money either but even if she'd gone and bought something for £10 that would mean so much more.  AND I don't even shop in Next!"

Ok, I understand the desire for relationships to be reciprocal, but I also just don't think that gifts should be given with the expectation that the recipient of a gift from us has to then gift to us at least as much or more.  It's nice that you could go away to celebrate your other friend's 50th birthday with her, but I'm not sure what circumstance your friend is in now or was in when your husband planned your birthday party. Have you asked her why she couldn't make it?  Was she even invited? I'll agree that it's odd that she sent a gift certificate for a store at which you don't shop, but if she doesn't even know your taste well, I get the impression that maybe she doesn't place the same importance on your relationship as you do.  I see you as having a couple of options here:  1) talk to her and find out the reasons behind her not coming to celebrate your 50th birthday, and then decide if the reasons are valid enough for you to excuse her absence and move on with your friendship, or 2) just realize that this might not be as important of a relationship to her, and start to withdraw your own efforts until you feel balanced again.

Happy belated birthday!

Liz


Clinical Research Associate


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