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DarlingRhadamanthus's avatar

What to do with two (once) close mutual friends who aren't communicating?

Asked by DarlingRhadamanthus (11271points) June 26th, 2010

I had a great friend (I’ll call her Mary) in high school and when we graduated, we went to separate schools. At university, I made a great new friend, (I’ll call her Molly). Molly and I hung out together and got along famously. Then, Mary decided to come to my university and live with me. So, Mary and Molly and I became really close friends. Mary was a bit of a wild child (think Goldie Hawn in the “Banger Sisters”) but during university, we all had a bit of that wild streak. There was a time when I met a man and we started dating and spending a lot of time together. That’s when Mary and Molly became even closer. Then all of us, including our boyfriends would hang out together.

I ended up moving away after university, and Mary went one way and Molly went the other. They kept in touch. I kept in touch. Then, Molly married. And Mary married. Everything was still okay as far as I know. Then, a few years into Molly’s marriage, Mary was in her town and called her up to meet her for dinner. Molly came to meet her and (according to Mary) was really distant and aloof. Mary would try to laugh and reminisce and Molly would just not engage in a dialogue and was quick to make her exit. This really hurt Mary. Eventually, I lost track of Molly, but Mary (my childhood friend) and I became even closer.

Molly reappeared in my life and I still feel the same toward her. We are still great friends. However, she still seems cold toward my other friend, Mary. I am still great friends with Mary. I have no idea what happened so many years ago. But I feel caught in the middle.

What do you do when two people that you love….are on the outs with each other? (Well, actually Mary doesn’t not like Molly…she is still bewildered as to what happened.) Molly mentioned Mary briefly, but that was it. No mention again. So, I end up not talking about Mary to Molly and not talking about Molly to Mary. I don’t want either of their feelings to be hurt. I love them both dearly.

I just wish it was like the old days…the Three Musketeers again.

Any ideas? Has this ever happened to you? What did you do?

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11 Answers

MissA's avatar

In a perfect world, all of our friends would meet and like each other. That would be a world-changer alright!

In this case, there’s really nothing you can do. Be what is natural to you. Maybe nothing really happened. Time is on your side. Maybe the ‘problem’ will be revealed with time. It would make you feel comfortable if Molly and Mary were friendly with each other…but, that may never happen. I think your feelings are natural and do hope that things work out for you.

Dr_Lawrence's avatar

It is unfortunate that Molly and Mary do not seem motivated to bridge what would seem to be a minor gap that has widened over time through lack of effort and contact.

Enjoy your friendships with both Molly and Mary. Unless Molly shuts down with you if you refer to Mary in passing (or vice versa), stop trying to insulate one from the other. I would, however, avoid trying to promote a renewed friendship between them.

Remember that a friend who loves you delights in hearing about what makes you happy whether they feel the same way or not. This takes the pressure off you to filter out any mention of the other friend and that should reduce your stress and discomfort.

How does that sound?

janbb's avatar

Since they are no longer in proximity, it does not seem like a terrible issue even thought it is painful to you. I don’t think there is much you can do; they will either work it out or not.

marinelife's avatar

You are lucky that your two friends even bonded during college. You cannot expect their friendship to track yours.

I would say just enjoy them separately.

I don’t advise doing this, but if you want to, you could ask Molly why her feelings changed toward Mary.

rentluva5256's avatar

I would ask Molly what’s going on.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

While it’s not meant to, this may sound harsh, but what happened between Mary and Molly is really none of your business.

As @marinelife mentioned, I would enjoy their company separately.

If, at some future time, you know in advance that you will all be in the same room together, then ask as @rentluva5256 said.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

Some friends who drift apart don’t easily pick up and go with each other after a distance of years, I’ve learned with my friends to just let what will be, be.

Iclamae's avatar

Talk to them separately about their frustrations with the other. If they don’t want to talk about it, explain your hurt feelings and frustration over being caught in the middle. Depending on what the problem is, it may be fixable or a simple misunderstanding. However, you should be prepared for the possibility that it isn’t.

This same thing happened to me but over a much shorter period of time. My two friends were torn apart by a scumbag that they both had a different type of relationship with. In the end, the bitterness and things that were said (and not said) were unforgivable, on both sides. While I wish we could have all been friends again, it would have been impossible unless both had never met the guy. They refused to see each other on friendly terms (though were capable of being polite at parties) and drifted apart, leaving me in the middle and then eventually alone.

I am a firm believer of knowing what’s going on. Especially since so many fights are stupid and just need a mediator. However, I did end up alone in this scenario. I don’t think it’s because of my efforts to mediate but the evidence is against me here. These two girls were just complete opposites and normally it was fun but when put in this particular scenario, it was too much for them to handle.

DarlingRhadamanthus's avatar

Thanks for the answers, everyone.

I have not pressed or meddled or interfered. They do not live near me, but when I go home, I will visit both of them, hopefully. There is no outward anger or upset between them. It’s just a sort of aloofness on the part of Molly toward Mary. Molly became a real conservative and Mary (who was wilder than the rest of us) ended up ALSO hanging up her platform dancing shoes and became an incredible soccer mom, PTA President and the whole nine yards. Their children have been straight A students and not a spot of trouble with any of them. They both have had parallel lives so to speak. I do think of the “Banger Sisters” when Goldie Hawn still crazy shows up at the very conservative house of Susan Sarandon her best friend from way back. And how Goldie tries to take her back to that wild time, but Susan pretends that never happened. Sort of re-writing the past. Some people don’t feel comfortable with the past. I know that I have changed so much from the person I was in college that when I run into other people who knew me…it feels like they are talking about someone else.

All I am saying is that dinner they had was before Mary became a mom and changed so much. Molly may have thought, “Oh, she might be a little dangerous for me now that I am married.” If that makes sense. Someone said it was “none of my business” what happened between them. I’m not exactly “dying to know”. I have left it be. I was just asking to see what others have done.

I keep hoping that I will be able to get us all together….we have been through a lot…lost our parents and our children are grown now…relatively, anyway. That’s a lot of water under the bridge. I thank you, though, for your sterling input…it does help.

Adagio's avatar

Through the ages 13–18 I was very close friends with two girls, together we made a tight triangle. I have had occasion to speak with both women over the 30+ years since then. I have nothing in the least against either woman, they are both well-adjusted, very nice individuals but if I was meeting them now for the first time the truth is that we would not be close friends, the magic that once existed between us has gone. I’m sure they both feel exactly the same way, there is no need to put this into words, no need to speak about it, we have simply moved on. Much and very different waters have passed under the bridges of our lives. Some friendships are there only for a season, which does not diminish their former significance in any way and I figure that’s OK.

DarlingRhadamanthus's avatar

@Adagio…Thanks for that nice response, Adagio. It may be that my two friends may have become friends only because of their connection to me….and maybe now that I am not in proximity, the “glue” has worn off. So, I still can love them both, but they don’t have to necessarily be friends as they once were.

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