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Are we really friends?

  • I am having problems with a woman in my life. She is the wife of one of my husbands friends. She stays at home with her children, and she and I occasionally talk on the phone, complain about our husbands, and go out together. She can be really fun, and most of the time I enjoy our time together. But there's another side to her. She tends to pressure me into spending time with her. She will make snide comments if I don't call her back in what she considers to be a reasonable amount of time (a couple hours). She gets angry that I don't have a cell phone and can't be reached when I'm out (these are the times that I'm really glad that I don't have one). Whenever I start to explain what's going on in my life, she'll say "yeah whatever" like I'm making up excuses to not spend time with her, and then will laugh as if she's joking...even though I know she isn't. I have told her that I work from home and take care of our daughter during the day, but she doesn't seem to get that I'm busy. In fact, whenever she asks me what I've been up to she says "what have you guys been up to? nothing?", and if I tell her what's been going on in our life her response is usually "soooo nothing really". It's really rude, and it hurts my feelings.

    The latest problem was that she wrote me an e-mail in all caps chastising me for not writing her back after 30 minutes. I am so sick of it, but I feel like she's impossible to talk to. I also don't want to be the bad guy in the relationship because our husbands have been friends for YEARS, but I'm honestly tired of dealing with it. I'm wondering if anyone else has dealt with someone like this in their life? What did you do?
    Flag as inappropriate Posted by mamajama on 1st April 2008
  • wow - that is so hard! i think it's a major case of she just doesnt get it and is probably VERY lonely. does she have other friends? are you her only friend? (maybe we know why? lol)

    have you tried to just talk to her over coffee (or maybe a few glasses of wine would be better haha!) and say something like

    'i really like our friendship and you are so fun! i really want to enjoy the time we spend together. Ours schedules are so different, and i dont expect you to understand, but i do expect your support and empathy. It really hurts my feelings and destroys my positive image of you when you say you dont believe i am busy or that i didnt have a good enough reason for not getting back to you. I want to have our fun easy going friendship! How can we change this negative cycle and get back on track to fun?"

    or something along those lines... though maybe less wordy! But i think if you do need to be careful to keep her from getting on the defensive. my guess is she is very insecure and probably a little jealous of your 'busy' schedule and working from home. Maybe you can think of this as an opportunity to mentor someone? sometimes changing the perception of the friendship in yoru eyes can help the relationship shift...
    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Kate on 1st April 2008
  • Treat her like you'd treat your child: I'm sorry you think I'm neglecting you. I would love to talk about it when you are ready to have a real conversation.

    Seriously, just call her and say it w/out thinking about it. B/c if you think about it you'll become a push over. I have to do this to DH sometimes and he admits it's true: if I treat him like a two year old then he will get the point. If the honest things you have to say offend her then bye bye baby. I think we all get to a point in our lives when we learn we don't have to deal with crap anymore. Please keep us posted!! (and don't think I'm harsh. I swear, I'm not, but I got tired of being the person who was stepped on).
    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Mandy Nelson - Dandysound on 1st April 2008
  • Amen to what Mandy said. This is nothing more than childish behavior in a grown up body. I had a friend who would do this to me (at the time, I was child-free and she had one child and a stepchild) and I finally just said "When you want to talk to me like an adult and not a 12 year old, let me know." Still waiting! LOL!.
    Flag as inappropriate Posted by jhmclaughlin on 1st April 2008
  • Mandy's got it right
    Flag as inappropriate Posted by KC on 2nd April 2008
  • i think Mandy and jhmclaughlin are right if you have a solid basis for the relationship. I have to say, i am also very blunt with my husband and friends that i have a good solid resltionship and history with! (ok even some new ones that you just know you can say anything to!)

    however, if this 'friend' is someone you want to keep as a friend and she has NO idea that you think she is annoying - i dont think you can honestly expect and positive result if you just turn around one day and speak harshly with out taking into consideration her perspective.
    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Kate on 2nd April 2008
  • I would not consider someone treating me like that my friend. It sounds like friendship is a one-way street for her. But, maybe it's just a lack of self-awareness. It truly sounds like she just doesn't know how to be a good friend.

    I would just be honest with her and let her know how you perceive her actions when she is demanding of you and when she dismisses your life and expects you to put her as a priority.
    Flag as inappropriate Posted by BrendaG on 2nd April 2008
  • I honestly don't think that she knows that she's doing it. I have tried to say things to her in the past, and she changes the subject so fast it's not even funny. She laughs it off or makes it seem like I can't take a joke. I have to call her today, because she asked if our families could go out to dinner this weekend. I talked to my hubby and we're not going to be able to. I really dread having to tell her no. But maybe this will be the perfect opportunity to talk with her about her behavior...Thanks for the advice! I'll let you all know how it goes.
    Flag as inappropriate Posted by mamajama on 3rd April 2008
  • Good luck. Think about using specific examples and a lot of "I feels." For example say, "when you say this, it makes me feel like that" and try to steer away from phrases like "you always."
    Flag as inappropriate Posted by BrendaG on 3rd April 2008

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