I’ve held my tongue for too long. It’s time to unleash this beast of emotions and anger that I have kept hidden for the sake of others.
My fiance chose to end a friendship a couple of weeks ago. The now former friend was once very important to her. They’ve known each other for years and we have even spent time vacationing together. My fiance and I met through this friend. They talked everyday on instant message while working. They were very, very close. I had the horror of watching it fall apart from up close. Then I got the pleasure of being blamed by the friend when the blame laid entirely in her lap. I listened to my fiance explain the final falling out but never gave my fiance any indication of what she should do. I listened. I hugged. I did not make this choice, nor did I push for this choice to be made. I didn’t push at all, I never provided an opinion, I did not even hint which direction I thought she should go. Of course I had an opinion, it didn’t matter what I thought and it still doesn’t. It was their friendship, not mine. My fiance made the decision to end their friendship completely of her own volition.
My fiance has had a few frustrations with this friend over the past year regarding the friend’s treatment and response to my fiance’s mental health. She told me that the way the friend spoke to her about her mental health bothered her but never really wanted to talk about it. I wasn’t a party to their conversations, I stayed out of their friendship. I had my own with each of them but didn’t interfere with theirs. I purposefully never challenged their relationship. Before the friendship ended, I never stated a negative opinion of the friend. I do admit though, that I did on occasion vent about rude comments being made by the friend regarding my daughter. As a mother, I could not accept such petty, childish, backhanded insults to be thrown toward my daughter. When my fiance was frustrated with the friend, I listened and said that sounds shitty or some type of response like that. I just listened. When I found out the friend’s husband hated me after being unfriended (childish), I didn’t ask why, even though it was horribly painful to realize I was unwanted in that home. I loathe rejection, it is my greatest anxiety. Turns out based on the friend’s own words, that she has been telling my fiance for months that I’m a master manipulator and accusing me of all sorts of evil deeds. She’s been encouraging my fiance to consider alternatives, you know, to consider leaving me. Thankfully, my fiance didn’t listen to her lies and manipulations. Even going so far as to write my fiance an open letter on her blog where she flat out blames me for the friendship failing. She accepts no responsibility for the friendship failing, even though the blame is entirely hers.
My fiance has depression and anxiety. She doesn’t hide it, it’s not a secret. She wakes up each morning and fights hard. She never gets a break from the battle. It’s not a winnable war but each day brings a new opportunity to fight hard enough to enjoy life. She is following the advice of her medical team and she is currently winning most days’ battles. She is in counseling, as am I. She goes to group therapy. We attend a parenting class together. We’ve had joint therapy together. We go to the gym as often as we can. We eat healthy. We read books. We care for each other’s well being. I love her with everything I have to give and she loves me. We have learned how to communicate and speak each other’s love languages. We know we love each other but when two broken people love each other, they have to work harder to make it work than those people who just have it easy in life. In the beginning, we had some communication issues that were briefly exasperated when we first moved in together but using the tools and techniques we’ve learned from our therapy teams, we now know how to ask the right questions and are in a place where we can be honest about things that bother us – without fear – because we know how to do it respectfully. We have discussed what makes us happy and what upsets or frustrates us and it’s working! These past few months have been so entirely happy and positive for the two of us – but this friend isn’t happy about it. It seems as though she’s been against us for months now and I have no idea why. Both of us are happier than we’ve ever been in our entire lives. I wake up each morning with a beaming smile after falling asleep in her arms. So, so happy.
The problems began after my fiance had a mental health breakdown in May that required some additional care. While I was the one that hit the panic button and asked the friend to check on my fiance since she was down the street from her and I was 45 minutes away, my role in my fiance’s life was ignored. The friend treated me like an outsider and shamed me when I asked for information. The friend took over control of my fiance, including taking away her phone, and ignored my persistent requests for updates letting me believe everything was “fine” until it suddenly wasn’t. My fiance was forced to put someone in charge and chose the friend. I had issues with that choice but she and I have discussed all of this openly and honestly, and I accept her reasoning. Regardless, after being put in charge, the friend has done nothing but brag about how she dropped everything for my fiance like she’s some sort of superhero. She’ll share with anybody and everybody my fiance’s personal matter just to sound even more important. Well, guess what – a lot of other people dropped everything too. I can’t even tell you how many people came to help me pack both my house and hers for our move or came over to be with me. But the friend wasn’t one of them. I spent the entire time working my ass off for my fiance, does that mean I’m a superhero too? No! It means we are good honest people that did what needed to be done for someone we care about. You’re not a superhero, get over it. And if you were – you certainly are the opposite now.
This friend began planning more and more things during times I couldn’t be there or it would be very inconvenient for me to be there. Like right after work, across town near where my fiance worked but not me. She flat refused to EVER come to our new house. It’s too far, she has too many responsibilities with her kids… These are not my words – this is what the friend said to my fiance and is now claiming she never said. She claims she has all these kids and just can’t make the drive but guess what, we have nearly as many kids who are with us more than hers are with her, they are all in sports too, and we can still make the trek. If something is important, you find a way. My fiance knows this and does not accept this response. She sees it as the friend being too self absorbed to realize she is not the center of the world. She keeps saying she’s like this with everyone but yet claims my fiance is one of her best friends. When I found out her husband didn’t like me, I wasn’t surprised. They are both fickle people and honest people like me aren’t welcome in fickle houses. We don’t understand fickle bullshit so we can’t play their games which makes them hate us. I wasn’t told why, just that he didn’t like me. I was told that he could be civil so I shouldn’t be bothered by it. What the holy hell fuck kind of answer is that? I’m supposed to smile and be nice to someone who has made it public that he doesn’t like me but doesn’t have the balls to admit it to my face or even tell me why so I can maybe fix whatever behavior is bothering him? He and I are just supposed to pretend that we like each other because it’s easier for fickle people to be fake and lie. I’m not fickle, I don’t lie, and I’m not a fake. This friend went from being a friend to tolerating me at best and I have absolutely no idea why or even when I became her target. I brushed it off. I let it go. It hurt but it was important to my fiance that I pretend that it didn’t.
As someone who has been rejected by many people, I was simply waiting for this friend to take the final walk away from me too. I am too familiar with the body language and behaviors that precede being rejected that I saw it coming but I said nothing. My fiance held this person close and I didn’t want to be in the way. Just the day before the falling out, I encouraged them to go and have a spa day while we were supposed to be camping together. Or coffee, or something! I knew by then I was persona non-grata with the friend and her husband but my fiance was excited about camping so I was too. I rallied up the kids, I helped plan where I could. I never said one foul word about camping except to defend my daughter. This former friend was constantly asking my fiance about my daughter. It was repetitive, it was obnoxious, it was angering. I just wanted to scream ASKED AND ANSWERED – Now what about your kid? Oh but when I brought up her daughter’s behavior that led to my daughter’s behavior I was being rude – apparently criticizing someone else’s child only goes one way with this friend. After all, her daughter picked almost every fight last year and would NOT give my daughter the space she kept begging for. But an occasional swear word is enough to turn my daughter into a villain. I’d rather be around a kid that pops off a swear word once in a while over one that can’t give me personal space any day. But I bit my tongue because I didn’t want to start a war. It wasn’t my friendship anymore.
What led to the final straw in this friendship and the moment my fiance decided to walk away, was the behavior of this former friend. She was horrific and she needs to be called out on her behavior. My fiance had a bad night. Her mental illness is similar to mine in that it manifests quickly in the form of they don’t love me anymore so now they are going to leave. It’s my first thought when someone is upset with me. It shouldn’t be, but it is. My fiance and this former friend had some conversation that led my fiance to believe the friend was done being her friend. I’m not sure what was said – I didn’t ask. But my fiance suffered a breakdown thinking about the loss of that friendship. I held her while she sobbed on the kitchen floor. I held her while she fell asleep crying. I listened to her as she attempted to put into words the feelings she was having. I never said one negative thing about the friend. In fact, I assured my fiance that she was probably perceiving something incorrectly. The next morning I texted the former friend and let her know that my fiance had a bad night and provided one or two key sentences from her concerns. I encouraged the former friend to reach out to help reassure my fiance that their friendship was solid but asked politely for the friend not to betray my confidence. I specifically asked her to reach out in a way that didn’t let my fiance know that I “ratted her out” so to speak. She did the opposite and as soon as possible used my words to confront my fiance during what was supposed to be a fun get together.
A few days later, the two of them were going to meet up for a drink and for my fiance to collect a payment toward camping. According to both of them, they were not in each other’s presence for very long. Both reported that the friend told my fiance that using her mental illness as an excuse is a “cop-out”. My fiance ended up storming out. That’s all they agree on regarding this confrontation. My fiance called me while driving home, sobbing and screaming about the friend’s behavior. I was stunned and said very little. I just listened because that’s what I was asked to do. I hugged her when she got home and tried to help her forget about the confrontation. My fiance said that the former friend immediately started verbally attacking her. Telling her she was ridiculous for thinking their friendship was in jeopardy. To this, my fiance attempted to explain that her brain, her wiring, her mental illness, makes her think that everyone is leaving (as does mine). The former friend told my fiance that using her mental illness to explain a breakdown was a “cop-out” and that she should be over it (her mental health issues) by now. To hear my fiance’s version of events just shattered me – the ignorance behind such a statement is bewildering. So I waited a day or so and called the former friend. I only asked – what happened. I tried asking some questions and to pass along some well intended thoughts but I was interrupted so many times, I quit talking and resorted to grunting noises. I was told by the friend that my fiance walked into the bar “looking for a fight”. (No she wasn’t, she called me just before excited to spend time with her friend). And that soon after they sat down together, the former friend confronted my fiance and in describing her version of events repeated the words “cop-out” no less than 20 times – thereby admitting to the most despicable act. She also mentioned that had my fiance spoken to their other friend, she’d be all better by now because that other friend was once depressed and fixed it. According to this former friend, a lifelong battle with depression can be cured by talking with this other friend who can fix it within a few days with the tips and tricks that worked for her… Not the team of professionally trained doctors and therapists that my fiance is already working with. The most disgusting insult and most ignorant thing I have ever heard someone say is to accuse someone with a mental illness of using their mental illness as a cop-out and telling them they should be over it by now. These two perceptions are easily the most uneducated and misaligned idiocy I have ever heard and to hear them coming from someone my fiance trusted was infuriating. Then the friend went on to proclaim as many times as she repeated herself that she did nothing wrong, she is a superhero remember, and would stand by what she said. I kept my cool for the most part, at first I tried to rationalize what was being said but I couldn’t find any rationality. She was refusing to admit she was wrong. In fact, she was insisting she was completely justified in her words. I wanted to scream at her but knew it would solve nothing and it wasn’t my friendship. She was yelling in my direction and I let her. The one or two minor corrections I tossed back at her bounced off her ego so hard that it wasn’t worth trying. I finally told this former friend that I was going into an area with no cell signal just to be done listening to her self righteous, egotistical, uneducated, misinformed, misaligned idiocy. It wasn’t my decision on what was going to happen next. I knew when I hung up the phone that I would likely never speak with this person again. I didn’t even tell my fiance that I spoke with the former friend until days later AFTER my fiance had decided the course she was going to take. What was I going to say? Oh hey, you know that person you once held dear? Yeah, she’s gone psychotic. Instead I listened to my fiances suggestions on how we could make things better and discussed options for going camping still with this former friend and her family. Yep – after being told that I was a piece of shit, after being excluded and treated like shit, after listening to my daughter get slammed for asinine reasons, after listening to this person admit that she insulted my fiance in the most despicable way, after finding out the husband hated me – I still listened as my fiance worked through her options including going camping after all.
This former friend thinks she is amazing. She’s not.
- Nothing is ever this friend’s fault. I have never heard her apologize for anything. At least not in a sincere manner. She’ll apologize but it is words to appease, not an admittance of guilt. For example, I’m sorry you can’t understand me instead of I’m sorry that I didn’t word that in a respectful way.
- She is consistently negative. I’ve never heard her say much of anything nice about anyone but she blankets her statements with coy terms like “but that’s just how I feel”.
- I’ve been trying to think of a time when she had something nice to say to me and I can’t. Every time she talked to me, I felt shamed. She talked down to me so much that my self image deteriorated with each conversation. I grew to be fearful of what she had to say because she could never find a positive approach to anything.
- Like for example, we had a long conversation about gay marriage. She’s against it – feels it’s a sin, would vote against it, doesn’t think it should be legal – but she would be in our wedding in a heartbeat. (WTF?) Then she wrote a whole blog post about how wrong it was but she loves us anyway. If you can’t accept that we deserve to be married as much as you then you’re no better than the worst of them. Fickle…
- She claims to be broke and borrowed money left and right but goes on vacation without repaying her debts first. It’s like she lives her life on a gamble that someone else can fund it until she balances her checkbook. But don’t ever tell her husband that she borrowed money because then she might actually get rebuked.
- I was always hearing about how the friend owed my fiance $100 for this, or $200 for that. My fiance said she gave up asking to collect money from the friend because it was never paid when first promised. It always got paid, just much later than planned.
- She made my fiance pay for four campsites back in January for a trip in August and after rescheduling payments a few times, finally offered to reimburse her AFTER the camping trip. In those 8 months, the friend and her husband/family took several trips to the beach, went to winery after winery, landscaped their backyard purchasing all sorts of new vegetation, bought a bunch of new pool toys, spent money left and right but couldn’t fork over the few hundred dollars my fiance desperately needed to reimburse her for the campsites. After all, I had been unemployed for three months and we were broke as it was.
This friend used my fiance. She played on her willingness to do anything for a friendship; constantly borrowed money, used my fiance for free pet sitting, used her to pay for and reserve camping sites months in advance, invited her to bring presents to her kids’ birthday parties but couldn’t be bothered to come to one of my fiance’s kids’ parties. My fiance’s only compensation was friendship.
When my fiance decided not to go camping with the friend, the final falling out happened less than two weeks before a planned joint August camping trip (mentioned above). One day earlier and we could have gotten a refund but we were within the two weeks and couldn’t. My fiance decided without my input, that since the friend hadn’t paid a dime yet, the sites were rightfully ours so we would offer them a proposal to quit or pay. Basically, an eviction notice from the campsites for lack of payment. OUR MONEY USED AND IN OUR NAME = OUR SITES. We told the friend to reimburse us immediately, or we would have to sell off the sites to recoup our money and if they can’t be sold or paid for, we would be using them.
The friend lost her shit and unfriended and blocked us on Facebook claiming it was all about the money. What was really happening was she was embarrassed that she had to tell everyone, including her husband, that she hadn’t paid my fiance yet and that we wanted to be paid or we would rightfully use what we paid for. She was embarrassed that she caused the situation so she decided to blame me. Because Fickle people can’t handle being at fault. She thought that we would just not go and let her pay us in a few weeks, after the trip, losing money on the two sites we had planned on using while her and her buddies camped there. My fiance decided nope, pay for all four sites or it’s ours to use. The friend kept saying how we were ruining their vacation. Um nope, you’ve ruined ours and now you’ll ruin your own vacation if you can’t pay for the sites. We took time off work too and we intend to have a vacation of some sort. You have our plan, now pay or don’t show up. It wasn’t about the money. It was about fighting for months in mediation to have a vacation with my kids. It was about finally getting to spend time with all four kids at once. It had nothing to do with revenge or even anger. It was about wanting to have a peaceful vacation, and we shouldn’t have to pay for one we aren’t going on – pay your debts when they are due and no one has to ask for their rightful money. She also bitched about having to meal plan for everyone on her own now. Really? Um so do we – that’s a normal thing moms do? Anyway, waiting 8 months to pay someone back, making them feel unwelcome, and then having a fit about them asking for reimbursement is childish. You don’t get to pay for something after you’ve used it. You can’t eat a box of donuts then pay for it. You don’t get to pay for admission to the amusement park as you leave. You don’t get to take the groceries home, eat them, and return six months later to pay. You don’t get to use someone else’s campsites for free.
Here’s an excerpt from the friend’s blog about the falling out which shows her complete ineptitude to understand that I had no role in this and only wants to blame me because she can’t accept that she chased her friend away. I have no idea what lies she thinks I’m telling. I haven’t told any that I know of. I have admitted that I withheld my own opinions about the friend but that can’t be what the friend is talking about. I’ve never said anything to my fiance about the friend that the fiance didn’t say to me first.
While I still stand by the fact that in our last confrontation I didn’t do anything “wrong” per se, I do have deep regret on how you perceived things to be, and am sorry you were feeling the way you were/are. And unfortunately, it helped open the door to the lies you are being told. I can only hope, that you after 7 years, would know I would never ever say half the things you are believing right now, and that you’ll know, that’s not me. That the twisted words you are choosing to hear right now… are not ones I would say. I hope you will see the lies, and manipulation for what they are.
See – no responsibility taken for her own actions. Somehow, even though I wasn’t there and said nothing about it – I’m to blame for how my fiance perceived the “confrontation” and again, what lies? She wouldn’t say half the things my fiance heard her say? Huh?
I would never tell you who you can, and cannot be with. I know you’ll choose to remain with your partner, and I respect that. I sincerely hope though, given other events that have happened, you’ll know what you are hearing is not what was said, or done. We both know the extent of manipulation that can happen with her… and I will always regret that your partner is what caused our friendship to end. I should’ve seen it, and I should’ve known better. I should have maybe fought harder or gone a different way about things. I should not have let her come between us.
I don’t know what other wrongs you believe I have done you… and I may never know.
I repeat – I had nothing to do with this friendship ending. And I’m glad my fiance has chosen not to read this “open letter” because in her exact words she “knows it’s all bullshit and doesn’t need to read it”. I can only hope that the former friend’s remaining friends will find a way to reach her and help her come to terms with being a jackass to someone who relied on her and for blaming someone who had nothing to do with it. The only way this friendship ever resurrects is if this former friend comes apologizing on her knees for forgiveness and guess what – I’ve forgiven her, it’s not me that requires an apology, it’s my fiance. I don’t hold grudges. I never have, I never will. If this former friend were to admit she was wrong, I would listen. But my fiance might not ever give her the chance.