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how do you deal with feelings when friendships die? Need some perspective

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Old 07-01-2013, 10:34 AM   #1
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Default how do you deal with feelings when friendships die? Need some perspective

I need some perspective from the ladies here.
A long time ago when I moved to a new area I made a huge effort to make some new friends, in fact I got together a group of women all in a similar phase of life and we started to have a great thing going. I wasn't able to get together as often as they did because they were stay home moms and I worked, so its probably safe to say that their friendships were more close knitt than mine with them, but we were still all good friends for years and would always invite each other to events and so on.
I was nothing but super nice to those group of women.

Then a couple years ago or so, times for me got extremely busy because of a ton of life events hitting- some of them pretty traumatic, but I was hardly able to see and socialize with anyone for quite a while. My friends didn't make any extra efforts to check up on me and didnt do much other than say a few things here and there once in a while on facebook. One of them in particular that I was great friends with, I was especially sad when after a long hiatus from me when I finally showed up on a girls night out, she didn't even bother to ask how I was doing and was just too busy talking about herself.

Then I noticed that she had stopped inviting me to any of the events she used to (birthdays etc) and was always too busy to come to mine. It seems like the group of friendships that I'd started moved on to simply be friends amongst themselves and I became "excluded" out of the club.
I wondered and wondered and wondered why until I got sick of wondering and confronted some of them simply asking if anything is wrong or if I'd done anything wrong (I can't imagine what since I didn't even around to have done anything wrong). Noone gave me a straight answer and rather said that nothing's really going on with me and that I'd certainly done nothing to offend them.
However the friendships continued without me.

I mourn them in a way, since they represented a very special time of my life and I thought we'd be friends for a long time. Aside of that, I'm ticked off that I'd spent so much time and effort to try to make these friendships in the first place and then in the end, couldn't hold on to them. Now I have to start from scratch building new friendships and I have some great friends (not part of that original group) but I'm bitter about why it is now so obvious that they don't care to be friends anymore.
Because I work fulltime, have kids etc, time that I can spend on building friendships is extremely limitted, and I'm upset that I had put in all this time into something that ended up fruitless long term.
Im hurt and not sure how to process my feelings. Any advice?
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Old 07-01-2013, 11:15 AM   #2
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Dissolving friendships can be very difficult if one party is ready to move on and the other is not. I should warn you I tend to over think things, so what I think might have happened may not be on point, but its how I would think of it.

I would think, if an entire group of women started slowly and gentley excluding you, as in there was not falling out, that you didn't do anything horrendous ot offend them, as they said, but that they are all in agreeance that you are not adding to the group or are not on the same page as them.

I have been the working mom and the SAHM, and I can say from the SAHM position, that being friends with a working mom is difficult and I don't really put much effort forth to do so. I've been there (the working mom) and they do not have as much time or energy to maintain friendships. I have tried since staying home to maintain friendship with working moms, and I usually give up after awahile, however, the door is always open for them to restart the friendship when they have the time. If I had to guess I'd say that was the main reason for them closing you out of the group, especially if they have always been SAHM. I have met many SAHM that really don't get what its like to work fulltime and be a mom.

On just the subject of friendships, sometimes people just change, and they don't see the same connection in people they were once friends with. I've had this happen over the years. I'm a changer! lol I'm one of those people that I feel I've gone through a lot fo growth since my teens, and I want friends that are growing as well. People I meshed with even 5 years ago, I no longer do. Some people seem to have the same personality and outlook on life most of their life (and that might be a really good thing!! Maybe they have always been an insightful lever headed person) for me I was the door mat type in my early 20s and I did a 180 in my mid 20s and became very aggressive, and I am slowly mellowing out, so needless to say, the people I keep as friends have changed because I have. People that like me being a door mat, those friendships ended abruptly when I decided not to be treated like crap. The more rude and aggressive friends I used to have, I've slowly distanced mysefl from, or one I finally just ended the friendship because she was an ***.

It might be your friends have gone through their own changes, and it doesn't mean anything bad about you, but they may need new and different types of people that they feel more comfortable with as they change and age.

My SIL for example (and she a really crap head lol) has not matured a day past highschool. BUt she didnt have nice friends in highschool, she was /is a loser dirtbag. She has kids but leaves them with her brother so she can go get high and drunk! Most of her friends are bums too. She can't understand why DH and I are not still friends with our highschool friends. I stayed friends with a few that matured and are nice people, but the ones that are 32 and acting like they are 17 I stopped talking to years ago. She doesnt work and barely takes care of her kids, so she still invests a lot of time into her friends (like a teen).

However for the rest of us, I agree that when you have your plate full its too hard to invest a tone of time to make friends. I prefer to live and let friendships happen, and if they are meant to be they will thrive. Ironically most of the friends DH and I have now have little time for friends. lol Meaning we are all busy couples with young kids and when you get that day off you want to spend it with your spouse and kids. We see eachother at kids birthday parties, and over facebook, and we all say the same thing, that this is a hard time in life to make lots of friends because even if you have a free Saturday, it hard to get the other family to have free time at the same day....UNLESS you want to make friends with a couple that either has no kids, someone who doesn't work, people with kids that have a live in babysitter, or a single person...(and please if one person with a chip on their shoulder gets their undies in a twist over that), its the truth, even if you are working 40 hours a week, if you do not have kids you have more time to spend with your friends when you are not working. My "friends" that never had kids, never got married OR their kids are older (that;s what I'm waiting for) have more girls nights out, go out more at night, meet with friends, go to parties, and other stuff to meet and keep friends. I think feeling like friendship are hard to start is normal for most working parents. It feels weird when the time period right before having a family is full of friends, but I think its completely normal.
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Old 07-01-2013, 12:22 PM   #3
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Glamorgirl wow! thank you for such an in-depth response. I really appreciate your perspective and I think you hit the nail with the hammer with the SAHM eventually not bothering with the working mom.
The sad thing is where does that leave working moms.
I invested so much time in these friendships - and I did it at a time when I had relatively more time during the time I took off after the birth of my first. I specifically made friends with other women who had babies that same time in my new area, thinking we could build friendships for both us and our kids that would last hopefully a lifetime.
In my situation I have to work and can't stay home, but I have relatively flexible hours and would try on every occassion to keep up with everyone and do things with everyone.
I didn't expect to make friendships that were as tight as those of the SAHM group who could see each other practically daily, but at the same time I didn't think I didn't think I would end up totally excluded from the circle of friends either. At the very least we would always get together for kid birthdays and so on (which are celebrated on weekends anyways) and some from the group I still see relatively often that way. But surprisingly the one out of all of them that had been the closest friend (and the one i invested the most time in) seemingly has completely decided to exclude me out of her life. Either conciously or unconsiously. I know that she has so many friends and time to spend on friendships that she might not even notice, but for me with limitted time, it sucks to have invested it into something that ended up not working out long term.
Nothing I can do about it, but sometimes it really hurts, especially when it takes so much time as you said to build friendships from scratch and there's so little time to do it. You wish you'd made friends that you could have kept to begin with.

On another note, I noticed your ticker and congratulations!!!!! Looks like you have very little left to go. Have you done anything to prevent much weight gain?
I ask because, I found out very recently that I am expecting too! A total surprise, and I'm petrified about weight gain now and so on since I was just starting to tackle the weight problem and this happened at my highest ever. I'm hoping this journey is going to be as healthy as possible.
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Old 07-01-2013, 01:30 PM   #4
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facingfacts, I have been both a SAHM and a working Mom. When I was a SAHM my day was full and I had very little time to socialize with other SAHM , or anyone else. As a SAHM I did all my own housework including tons of laundry every day when there is a baby in the house. As children get older , then come the Doctor's visits, Dental appointments , Soccer practice, Dance Lessons, Kids Birthday Parties, you name it a SAHM has a full day and then some.
Rather than thinking you have been snubbed realize SAHM are busy ,too.
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Old 07-01-2013, 01:35 PM   #5
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I’m also dealing with a similar situation. I belonged to a great group of friends in college at a large sports heavy state university. We went to bars and football games together during our college days. I felt very close to the group and believed we would tailgate together for many years to come. For the first few post college years everything went mostly according to plan. Members of this group ended up all over the country but we got together once a year or so for football games, school events, weddings, etc. At this time I have not heard from any of them in nearly 2 years. Also not one of them reached out to me in any way after Hurricane Sandy (I live in a heavily hit Jersey Shore town). I’m the type of person where if there is anyone in my phone who lives in Oklahoma, even if I have not talked to them in awhile, I’m sending them a text after the tornados to make sure they are ok. I am off FB so they may have sent a comment or something if I posted about Sandy but I feel like I should have gotten a text just because I live in NJ and they know me. It just hurts.

In college I felt like the relationship was somewhat one sided. I reached out to them more than they reached out to me. They had all been friends before I “joined the group.” I always felt a little on the outs. Reguardless, they invited me to events and we shared some really good times. Most of them were a year or 2 ahead of me. They were lucky enough to graduate before the economy tanked and to a person they all ended up with “real jobs” right after college. I had to move home and struggle with unemployment. I ended up working a 9$ an hour career-goal related job while attending graduate school. My situation is improving. I earned my masters degree with high marks and I will relocate in about a month. Anyway most of them are married or in serious relationships with stable careers. Me not so much. They tend to do a lot of “coupled up” events which I do not get invited to.
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Old 07-01-2013, 01:57 PM   #6
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facingfacts, I have been both a SAHM and a working Mom. When I was a SAHM my day was full and I had very little time to socialize with other SAHM , or anyone else. As a SAHM I did all my own housework including tons of laundry every day when there is a baby in the house. As children get older , then come the Doctor's visits, Dental appointments , Soccer practice, Dance Lessons, Kids Birthday Parties, you name it a SAHM has a full day and then some.
Rather than thinking you have been snubbed realize SAHM are busy ,too.
I haven't have this experience. I have two kids and one due in a few weeks.

I worked fulltime when DS1 was a baby, I worked my hours around DH so he was not in daycare, but I was still very busy. We lived in an apt then and working 40= hours a week then coming home and cleaning a small apt and taking care of a baby was a lot.
I went back fulltime after DS#2 and again was always crazy busy, 40 hours a week is a lot fo time to take out of doing house chores and yes still doing dentist visits, soccer, birthday parties etc.

About 2 years ago, I cut down to per diem and it was much easier.

I had much more time, and had no issue with (on my days off) having the condo cleaned and laundry down by like 10am. I felt I had too much time on my hands, and this included that my oldest is high functioning autistic and we had several therapies to go to throughout the week.

I stopped working in Dec of 2012, we moved out of the condo and into a big house. And I'm slowed down by pregnancy, because I tired out a lot faster. My oldest just finished half day kindergarten, and I have a 3 year old. We do karate, soccer, appts, parties, gymboree, playdates and I keep the house clean and I still am not super busy. I'm busy, but nothing like I was when I was working, and I won't even try to be one of those SAHM that gets all "well I'm busy too"...yes I am but again it was way harder workking. I am even taking class online and I will say that seems to eat up the rest of my time...but I've done both, and working was more time consuming.



Also even though the after school shuffling is more as they get older, they are also gone all day at school!! My oldest will start 1st grade in sept and be gone for like 7 hours including bus time. It practically like not having a 3rd child 5 days a week! I know when all my kids are in full time school I will be back at work during the day. With no kids around, I can be done with house chores in like a few hours! And I'm a type A person that is over the top with cleaning, so its not like I'm doing a crap job lol.

Why do some SAHM get so offended at the idea that they have more time. Um you're not working, of course you have more time! So do I! I have nothing to prove in that area, if the subject comes up I'm like yeah its easier, and I can do it because I'm fortunate enough that my husband has a good income now and we can do it. No harm no shame here! I mean look! I'm on the damn computer now!! lol I have extra time (which will not be the case when the baby is born, but as they get older its gets easier)
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Old 07-01-2013, 02:09 PM   #7
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Glamorgirl wow! thank you for such an in-depth response. I really appreciate your perspective and I think you hit the nail with the hammer with the SAHM eventually not bothering with the working mom.
The sad thing is where does that leave working moms.
I invested so much time in these friendships - and I did it at a time when I had relatively more time during the time I took off after the birth of my first. I specifically made friends with other women who had babies that same time in my new area, thinking we could build friendships for both us and our kids that would last hopefully a lifetime.
In my situation I have to work and can't stay home, but I have relatively flexible hours and would try on every occassion to keep up with everyone and do things with everyone.
I didn't expect to make friendships that were as tight as those of the SAHM group who could see each other practically daily, but at the same time I didn't think I didn't think I would end up totally excluded from the circle of friends either. At the very least we would always get together for kid birthdays and so on (which are celebrated on weekends anyways) and some from the group I still see relatively often that way. But surprisingly the one out of all of them that had been the closest friend (and the one i invested the most time in) seemingly has completely decided to exclude me out of her life. Either conciously or unconsiously. I know that she has so many friends and time to spend on friendships that she might not even notice, but for me with limitted time, it sucks to have invested it into something that ended up not working out long term.
Nothing I can do about it, but sometimes it really hurts, especially when it takes so much time as you said to build friendships from scratch and there's so little time to do it. You wish you'd made friends that you could have kept to begin with.

On another note, I noticed your ticker and congratulations!!!!! Looks like you have very little left to go. Have you done anything to prevent much weight gain?
I ask because, I found out very recently that I am expecting too! A total surprise, and I'm petrified about weight gain now and so on since I was just starting to tackle the weight problem and this happened at my highest ever. I'm hoping this journey is going to be as healthy as possible.
Dispite what other may think, most SAHM do have more time to get together, hense forth moms clubs etc that are usually for SAHM.

I found when I was working, most of my friends were my work friends. However when I left work, even though I stayed intouch via facebook, and occassional phone calls, I realized that the previous "time" together (like a few times a year) didn't seem like enough. I had more time and was able to get together more often with the kids, where as they were still getting together rarely, which worked for them and it did for me when I was worknig. I'm am lucky that my job was one that was not 9-5 so sometimes my work friends have off mid week during the day and we can get together, but for my friends that are working 9-5 its harder. Heck ,even my neighbor she and I used to hang out outside and talk and she went back to work a few weeks ago and I don't really see her now. She's busier, nothing personal.
Maybe, and I wouldn't have though this until reading bargoos post, they feel like you think you are busier than them because you work and they are getting huffy over it? Like they are feeling the same thing , that they are busy too, and its creating tension. I'm not saying you are causing it, but sometimes a ridiculous mompetition developes between working and SAHM, each having their own reason to feel they have something to prove to the other, not all moms do this, but mayeb that;s whay happened with your group...have you even said (not meaning to upset them) that you were busy? Do you talk about work to them? Again, not your fault, but maybe they felt annoyed by it?? IDK...


As for pregnancy, I gave up! I did though...

WIth my first pregnancy I worked fulltime and I'm a nurse os I was on my feet, walking moving, lifting and I didn't watch what I ate and was about 220 lbs after the baby was born.
The second I didn't want to gain as much so I watched what I ate and was still working, and weighed about 220 after baby...

With this one I counted calories! Wasnt working, but tried to stay active by walking...looks like I'll be about 220 after baby..

This is our last so I just gave up, I'm not going to have another pregnancy again so I've stopped trying to figure out why 220 is my magic number because its high. I was 145 lbs two years ago...

So I have no adivce! Sorry! But congrats!! I di believe that many women are able to stop an unhealthy weight gain by calorie counting and exercise, and I''m sure my case is because I still was not burning off more than I was taking in, but its almost over so I'm just not going to worry about it anymore.

I was terrified to regain and its been aweful doing so. Even though its for a great reason, I cant wait to get this weight off, kills me it will take another year at least!
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~Now cycling, walking and strength training for a healthy pregnancy and hopefully faster delivery~
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Old 07-01-2013, 03:15 PM   #8
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I think there are thousands of reasons friendships fade and most of them aren't anyone's fault.

I also think many times friendships fade without any of the friends being able to put into words why. Or they have reasons to vague or embarrassing, or painful to put into words.

It's also extremely likely that each of the women in your group could have written posts very similar to yours.

Some may feel that you distanced yourself from the group and now want to pick up where you left off, and they're just not feeling it - they may not even consciously realize that they were hurt by your departure or that they're resentful of your return.

Sometimes I think the explanation is even simpler. At our core, we're animals like any other, and our friendships are no different than the herds, flocks, packs, and prides of other creatures. There's usually a pecking order, a social order, and returning to a group after a long absence is often met with rejection.

We don't know that we're acting like wild lions or wolves, or horses... but we do anyway...following the social " formula" that is perhaps transmitted through culture (we do what we see our preceding generation do) or perhaps it's even encoded in our genes.


In many animal social groups, especially predatory and scavenger animals from wolves to rats, returning to the group after a long absence just doesn't work out well, especially if the returning member was of high rank in the group. If the group allows the member back at all, it's at the bottom in a barely-tolerated position. When it's a former LEADER (which it sounds like you may have been) it almost never works out well... You can hang around the edges of the group waiting to be tolerated as the lowest ranking member knowing you may never be fully accepted (as a former lead wolf might) or you can move on.
We don''t realize we follow these patterns, but we do, at least according to social anthropologists.

Maybe social anthropologists are wrong, but I don't think it matters, whatever the reason, friendships morph, change, and often dissolve over time and sometimes there's not much you can do about it, and it doesn't necessarily mean that you or they did anything wrong
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Old 07-01-2013, 04:03 PM   #9
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These people are free to chose whether or not they socialize with you, you aren’t married to them and they really have no obligation to you. They don’t “owe” it to you to stay close. Sometimes people just grow apart, and it doesn’t have to be anyone’s “fault”.
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Old 07-01-2013, 04:17 PM   #10
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I lost a friendship earlier this year. I can tell you that I mourn regularly over the loss. It was partly my fault, and partly my friend's fault, but I see no way to repair the friendship. I know it's completely over. It hurts because we were best friends, and I really felt it was going to be a lifelong friendship, but it wasn't. My friend changed significantly as a person, and I was unable to accept all the changes. Ultimately it was my lack of acceptance that finished the friendship. All I can say is I truly regret the loss of the friendship. If I thought an apology would fix things, I'd do it in a flash but the friendship was falling apart anyway due to us lacking common interests.

Regarding your situation- it sort of reminds me of something a friend of mine is going through right now. Her mother died, and she withdrew into herself and rejected offers of help/support/companionship from her friends. But then she turned around and felt like her friends didn't try hard enough. She called me a couple weeks ago to set up a dinner together, and I was glad to hear from her. I had been giving her space, which it seemed like she needed after her mom died. She had blown off all my attempts at getting together, so I stopped asking and figured I'd wait until she was ready. However, when she contacted me she made a couple snide comments about how her friends had just disappeared when she needed them and I could tell she was including me in that statement. It felt a bit like a slap in the face- like she was telling me I handled things badly even though I gave her distance due to her own rejections of my efforts. Anyway, I'm not saying for sure that's what happened with your friends, but could it be possible? You did mention that you went through a rough patch. Is it possible your friends didn't know exactly what you wanted from them, and they gave you space when you didn't want it?

Another possibility is that they are "good time" friends. Many people do not know how, or do not want, to deal with other people's troubles. If you went through a period of time where you were unhappy or had bad things going on in your life, sometimes people just don't want to deal with it and they respond by withdrawing. It's not how a real friend should behave, but people have a tendency to avoid negativity.
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Old 07-01-2013, 04:22 PM   #11
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Why do some SAHM get so offended at the idea that they have more time. Um you're not working, of course you have more time!
I think that the reason some SAHM get offended is because it is often implied that because they are not working outside of the home they're lazy. Housework and raising children are often undervalued in our society, but be that as it may it's still "work". You're just not earning a paycheck!

I'm not saying that SAHMs have it harder or easier than working moms, as every family is unique and has unique needs. Some SAHMs may be able to get all the chores done by 10am and have dinner on the table by 6, others may have been so busy chasing around a destructive toddler that they haven't showered in 3 days!

Likewise with working moms. I'm sure that some working moms have extremely supportive spouses who pull more than their fair share of the weight, allowing those moms to have more time to socialize but then there are the the working moms who put in a full day at their jobs then come home for "second shift" - doing dishes, cooking meals, cleaning up, etc.

My point is that it's wrong to assume that just because someone is staying home with the children that they have more free time by default. You just never know!
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Old 07-01-2013, 04:45 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Missy Krissy View Post
I think that the reason some SAHM get offended is because it is often implied that because they are not working outside of the home they're lazy. Housework and raising children are often undervalued in our society, but be that as it may it's still "work". You're just not earning a paycheck!

I'm not saying that SAHMs have it harder or easier than working moms, as every family is unique and has unique needs. Some SAHMs may be able to get all the chores done by 10am and have dinner on the table by 6, others may have been so busy chasing around a destructive toddler that they haven't showered in 3 days!

Likewise with working moms. I'm sure that some working moms have extremely supportive spouses who pull more than their fair share of the weight, allowing those moms to have more time to socialize but then there are the the working moms who put in a full day at their jobs then come home for "second shift" - doing dishes, cooking meals, cleaning up, etc.

My point is that it's wrong to assume that just because someone is staying home with the children that they have more free time by default. You just never know!
Actually I do...I AM a SAHM! lol!!! Besides if a mom has to do A-Z and another mom also does A-Z but while working, its only logical that the working mom has less time to do A-Z. Unless you area assuming the working mom is only doing A-M? Many working moms are doing all the stuff listed, dentist, dance class, soccer, birthday parties, PLUS working, so yeah they are busier. I realize that support can make a difference. So this might not be absolute if one mom has more help from family or friends. But generally speaking, two moms with similar lives, the one working has more on her plate. Because the working mom has to come home from work and STILL chase that toddler around the rest of the day. Plus do all the house work she couldnt do while she was gone. (Again depends on support, hubby might help, like mentioned)

And I really don't care if its implied that I don't work, I know what I do. I guess I'm not bothered by the stereotype of the lazy SAHM. I know it exists and I know its not true. And I really don't care. I worked fulltime with kids too, and I am so grateful to have more time with them that I don't care who thinks I do what. I only wish I could have stayed home with them sooner!
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Old 07-01-2013, 06:05 PM   #13
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Glamor Girl - I'm just saying that while it may be true for YOU that you have more time, it isn't necessarily true for everybody. Not trying to hi-jack the thread or start a debate, just saying that what's true for one is not always true for another. (Believe me when I say that without a shred of malice!)
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Old 07-01-2013, 06:21 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Missy Krissy View Post
These people are free to chose whether or not they socialize with you, you aren’t married to them and they really have no obligation to you. They don’t “owe” it to you to stay close. Sometimes people just grow apart, and it doesn’t have to be anyone’s “fault”.
You're right but the poster is also "free" to be hurt by these actions and express those feelings and hopefully receive a little sympathy and kindness.

I completely agree with you, but as someone who has distance herself from a friend and been distance from, there is pain on both sides and it shouldn't be invalidated.

P.S. I am sorry if I misinterpreted your comment (hard to read tone on the internet) but it came off a bit harsh.
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Old 07-01-2013, 06:33 PM   #15
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You're right but the poster is also "free" to be hurt by these actions and express those feelings and hopefully receive a little sympathy and kindness.

I completely agree with you, but as someone who has distance herself from a friend and been distance from, there is pain on both sides and it shouldn't be invalidated.

P.S. I am sorry if I misinterpreted your comment (hard to read tone on the internet) but it came off a bit harsh.
Yeah, after posting it I thought that it might have sounded that way. It isn't my intent to be critical of the OP's feelings. My point was just that sometimes friendships end, and that our expectations for said relationships aren't always shared by others - it's normal and ok for friendships to end.
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