Social Question

poofandmook's avatar

Did I do the right thing with my ex best friend? (details inside)

Asked by poofandmook (16984 points ) December 18th, 2013

The long and the short of the situation is that I was best friends with her since 6th or 7th grade, and we’re 30 and 31 now. I asked her to be my maid of honor for my wedding this past October, and that’s when things got hairy.

She basically alienated herself from my entire bridal party, and she didn’t want to deal with any of them and none of them wanted to deal with her. It was making everyone angry, frustrated… and I can’t even say what it did to me, since everyone complained to me about the other one. I eventually couldn’t take it anymore, and I had to remove her from the bridal party. I offered to let her be a guest, but she refused, and of course the friendship ended in a lot of hateful words. I don’t regret removing her from my bridal party… I don’t think it would have been anything but a miserable, tense day if I hadn’t (and really I should have asked my kid sister anyway but that’s beside the point), but I regret that the friendship ended. Though, I did know before I made the decision that if I did go that route, the friendship wouldn’t last. Which is why it took me so long to do it in the first place. She went back and forth between admitting she was a terrible friend in that situation to claiming she had no idea what she did wrong. It was a mess.

At any rate, today is her birthday. And I have said on multiple occasions since that I miss her. I fought myself for hours and finally sent a text that said “for what it’s worth, I have thought about and missed you often these last several months. I know you hate me, but I wanted to wish you a happy birthday”.

I don’t know if I did the right thing in texting her. I doubt a call would have been answered (and really, I’m at work and can’t have any kind of conversation worth having), and for all I know she’s blocked my texts too. We haven’t said a word since “that day”. I’d like to think I was the better person… I don’t know. I’m just conflicted.

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21 Answers

Jonesn4burgers's avatar

I think making contact was the right thing to do. I think you should try again. I can’t blame you for wanting to salvage your wedding plans, but that was an event, not the end all of friendship decisions. Make contact. Tell her you love her and miss her. Explain why you made the decision you did.
Good luck!

poofandmook's avatar

@Jonesn4burgers: What I said at the time was that because of her actions toward the rest of my friends and family involved in the wedding, I couldn’t have her as my maid of honor or in the party, but I didn’t want the friendship to end and I didn’t want to not have her there at all. She chose the path from there, and her choice was to end everything.

KNOWITALL's avatar

Friends grow apart, it happens all the time, it happened to me a few times, and it’s not a bad thing necessarily. Extending the olive branch is not wrong either, but try not to place too much importance on it, people tend to shy away from painful situations and you both were probably hurt.

I’m not sure why she accepted the position if she wasn’t in to it though, that’s weird to me.

Jonesn4burgers's avatar

That was then, though. Loooonnnnnggggg ago a very sweet fellow broke up with me. I felt like broke up was a final thing. Just over a year later I bumped into him. He looked awful. When we were together he was heavy into bodybuilding. He’d become thin, and pale. We had a short conversation. I asked after his health, and remarked of his current condition. He told me he’d been involved with a wonderful woman, and lost her. He said he was so sad after, he simply let himself go. I did the math, and realized he meant me. I reminded him he’d broke up with me. He said yeah, but he’d hoped I loved him enough to chase after him.
All those months we missed each other. The day we talked, he was involved in a new relationship. We never got back together.
That sort of thing happens a lot. Call her. Send flowers or a gift. DON’T HANG IT OVER HER HEAD THAT SHE CHOSE TO END EVERYTHING, PETTY. You love her. Focus on THAT.

poofandmook's avatar

@KNOWITALL: that was kind of the basis of my whole argument at the time. She said she didn’t realize until it was too late that it made her feel bitter and jealous.

jca's avatar

I think it’s not a bad thing to do what you did. Now the ball is in her court. Please send an update as to if and how she responds.

The Update Lady

poofandmook's avatar

she did answer. She said she doesn’t hate me and apologized for her behavior then. Asked what we’re supposed to do now, and I said it was up to her, and she said she’d like to rebuild a friendship. So we’re awkward texting now, catching up.

poofandmook's avatar

also, I was careful with my wording to apologize how the whole thing went down, but NOT to apologize for my initial decision. I hope that specifically never comes up because that conversation won’t go well. I still fully believe it was the right decision, and I am trying to avoid at all showing any regret for that. I am sorry it went so horribly awry, but I won’t take any responsibility for it either. She made all the choices with how it ended.

SadieMartinPaul's avatar

This is why I’m a big fan of elopements. So many friendships break up, and family members become estranged, over wedding plans and decisions.

It’s obvious that you miss your 20-year friendship and want to get back in touch. I would send a birthday card, but I wouldn’t include any “I know you hate me” language. Just keep the tone friendly, send your genuinely good wishes for a happy birthday, and say that you hope to see or talk with her soon. The goal is to move forward and get past this rift, not to revisit all those bad feelings.

rojo's avatar

Yes, you did the right thing wishing her a happy birthday although I probably would have left off the FWIW disclaimer. She was a good friend for many years.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@poofandmook Woohoo, you get to rebuild an important relationship, that’s really cool!!

Maybe it’s one of those thing’s where you agree it sucked and just move on, sometimes talking things through can cause more problems and those negative feelings to come back up though?

I had a besty that I loved very much but I felt she did me wrong in a situation and we lost touch. Now we talk on fb some but we keep it light because I’m not giving her the power to hurt me again, ever. It sucks on my part because I’m sure she’s changed a lot, but when the hurt runs too deep, avoidance is a good policy for me anyway…lol

poofandmook's avatar

@SadieMartinPaul: I don’t really see the specific circumstances mattering here. It doesn’t matter that it was my wedding. She was my best friend, and she was supposed to be there for me because I asked her to be and she said she would be… and not only was she not there for me, but she went even further in the wrong direction and was hurtful as well. Does it matter what the situation was?

fluthernutter's avatar

Letting go of a friend (even if it was the right thing to do) is hard.
I’m sorry you had to go through that. :(

I do think it’s pretty awesome that you extended the olive branch. Fingers and toes are all crossed that this ends well!

Yes, please update us! It would be so nice to hear yet another bride-and-bridesmaid-falling-out-story actually end on a happy note!

SadieMartinPaul's avatar

@poofandmook “Does it matter what the situation was?”

You were close friends for most of your lives, yet the whole wedding party thing brought out an unpleasant side of her that you’d probably never seen. We Jellies don’t know the specific details of what she said or did, but she stopped being your friend and began hurting you. I’ve seen that happen so many times with weddings. If there are any resentments or bad feelings festering, a wedding just seems to throw gasoline on the embers.

The other situation that destroys relationships? Decedents’ estates. So often, siblings become estranged for life because they don’t inherit equally, or because they do get equal distributions and one sibling believes that he/she deserves more.

poofandmook's avatar

@SadieMartinPaul: It just seemed like our relationship never needed any substance. It consisted almost solely of dinners and movies and Halloween outings. There was never anything serious. I wonder if that’s how our particular friendship is supposed to be… which is sort of sad, but some people just have those types of relationships.

SadieMartinPaul's avatar

@poofandmook Every friendship is different, and some of them are closer and more intimate than others. Workplace friends often have absolutely nothing in common other than the job. I’ve made friends on the basis of an shared activity or mutual interest, and the friendships never extended to other aspects of life.

So, maybe you had a terrific dinner and movie buddy. I don’t think that’s sad; I think it’s nice. You and she could enjoy meals together and talk about films. What matters most is that you miss her, the things that you did, and the time you spent with each other.

I really hope things work out.

jlk2525's avatar

If somebody cant see what they did wrong and they obviously are wrong them you need to seriously think if this is a friend you want to have. Even though you are talking it will be weird for awhile and resentment will linger. Removing her from your bridal party was the best thing you could have done and it showed her you won’t put up with bad behaviour. People talk about being the bigger person but you should always do whats you think in your heart is the right thing for you. That may not be clear with this friend right now but in the future it will be. Good luck!

jca's avatar

Did you make up? Is it all ok now?

poofandmook's avatar

yeah, we text every day, went to the movies. Going out next weekend too.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

And what is the status now?

fluthernutter's avatar

@poofandmook Glad to hear your story ended well. Yay for olive branches!

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