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5 Signs of A Strong Friendship – ...
5 Signs of A Strong Friendship – Spotting A True Friend

Hi all.  Some of you know me but I'll give you some background.  I've been divorced (not my choice) for 3.5 years now after a 29 year marriage. As a married couple, we had a nice network of friends.  These friends were from his place of employment.  Some of us would get together pretty often; we would invite some of these couples to our home for drinks/dinner, and vice versa.

When I got divorced, these friends turned their backs to me.  I did/do understand why they behaved this way.  My theory is that they were uncomfortable because of the divorce, especially since their respective spouses worked with my ex.  I did reach out to 2 of these female friends via Facebook DM.  I really wanted to continue a friendship with one of these women.  That said, I wrote a DM to her stating that I assumed she heard about the divorce.  She replied that she had. 

Now, my kids are adults but her kids were still in grade school.  I didn't want to pressure her or make her feel uncomfortable so I told her that I'd like to get together with her at some point.  I added that, since her kids were still in school, had lots of activities, etc, she should let me know when it would be convenient for her.  I waited and waited but no response.  I DM'd her again at Christmastime, wishing her and her family a Merry Christmas, etc.  Again, I suggested that we get together.  No answer.  A second Christmas went by so I DM'd her again, her wishing her a Merry Christmas, etc.  Again,  no answer.  Clearly, she wants nothing to do with me.  I'm OK with it now and I don't care at this point.  So, my question is, do you think I should have actually suggested a particular day in which to meet for lunch, or was I too passive?  I would appreciate your input.  Thank you!

 

 

 

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No. I would let it go. Unfortunately,in divorces friends make their choice . If her husband works with your husband it just makes everything really uncomfortable. You are not at the same stage of life either. I wouldn’t think about it anymore . 

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4 minutes ago, goddess said:

So, my question is, do you think I should have actually suggested a particular day in which to meet for lunch, or was I too passive? 

Sorry about all this. 

To answer your question: No, I don't think you were too passive or that anything would have changed had you suggested a specific day or time. For whatever reasons—and you'll never know the exact reasons—this former friend has shown herself to be just that, a former friend. In your shoes I'd chalk it up to one of the many very difficult side effects of the divorce and focus on forming and maintaining relationships where there is an equal give and take. 

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No -to me too passive would have been simply texting "hi" or "merry christmas" with no inquiry or conversation opener.  Or if she'd said "sure sounds good" and you hadn't then followed up with specifics.   It takes two.  She knows 100% you want to get together. She does not and it's awkward for her to explain especially in typing.  I'm sorry and I would let it go.  

(Years ago after my sister's divorce I was at my niece's wedding - my ex brother in law was there with his new wife and his brother was there with his new wife - his first wife had passed away. 

I was sitting at a table with this new wife - the brother's brother and her new baby twins and we were having a lovely chat and I was playing with her babies who were delighted.  Then the photographer came for a table picture and she told me not to be in the photo because it might not be appropriate/could be awkward.  Huh??? Because my sister used to be married to her brother in law? And we were at my niece's wedding? I mean yes I stepped aside but how rude.  So obviously some people go to great lengths to exclude the former family.  

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I have a policy regarding that. No matter how you are, as long as you are good to my friend, you are good for me. After you part ways, well, you cant expect me to choose you over my friend. My friends girlfriend(now his wife) got "mad" at me after I said to her that if they break up we probably wouldnt hang out. I have to admit that we are good friends and that it would be hard now. But again, he is the friend, she is the wife. 

You have to understand that people in most of cases choose so they wouldnt wound up in ankward situations. They were his friends wives. That is "his side" of friendships. As you probably have your side. Who probably wouldnt take him into the circle now. Also, no offense, but it doesnt sound you were terribly close to that woman. Might also having something to do with the decision. Also, no, as others have already said, you suggesting the date wouldnt change much. Somebody who wants to hang out would contact you without you having to chase them.

Oh, I have another good story regarding this. My other friend broke up his engagement. But he was devastated, not because he broke engagement, but because he was very close to her brother and brothers wife. But after he broke up engagement, they both not only deleted him off Facebook but also dont want to even say "Hi" to him. Dunno what he expected when he was the one dumping the guys sister. Ofcourse they wouldnt want to hang out with him anymore. 

Anyway, its sometimes like that. Use the time you have now after divorce to maybe create your own network if you dont have one already. 

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She doesn’t want to continue being friends after your divorce. You didn’t do anything wrong. 

As they’re people he works with I’d leave it alone. She’s not obligated to continue the friendship with you and you know her through your ex. They don’t seem like true friends to me (this network prior). They sound like they were just people participating in any events or outings for the sake of your ex-h. Shallow friends.

In the fallout after a divorce, you’ll find out pretty quickly who your real friends are. Do not take it personally even though it feels personal. You don’t know what other people are going through either and I found (interestingly) that my divorce or finding courage to break free exposed issues in marriages of others. My thoughts are you don’t know the reasons why but all you need to do is respect her choice. 

I’d respect her wishes and leave her alone. You don’t need people like that in your life who don’t want you in it. It was gracious of you to extend an invitation but don’t waste your time lingering over someone who can’t be bothered to stay in touch.

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1 hour ago, Seraphim said:

No. I would let it go. Unfortunately,in divorces friends make their choice . If her husband works with your husband it just makes everything really uncomfortable. You are not at the same stage of life either. I wouldn’t think about it anymore . 

Yes, I did let it go.  I was just wondering, that's all.  Just so you know, however, her husband and my ex did work together but the ex moved to another city about one year after the divorce.  Thank you for your response, Seraphim.

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1 hour ago, bluecastle said:

Sorry about all this. 

To answer your question: No, I don't think you were too passive or that anything would have changed had you suggested a specific day or time. For whatever reasons—and you'll never know the exact reasons—this former friend has shown herself to be just that, a former friend. In your shoes I'd chalk it up to one of the many very difficult side effects of the divorce and focus on forming and maintaining relationships where there is an equal give and take. 

Thanks for your reply, bluecastle.  The topic came up a few days ago while visiting my son and he thought I was too passive.  I disagreed.  I do regard her as a former friend now.  Too bad, because we had some great times together.  Such is life!  

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1 hour ago, Batya33 said:

No -to me too passive would have been simply texting "hi" or "merry christmas" with no inquiry or conversation opener.  Or if she'd said "sure sounds good" and you hadn't then followed up with specifics.   It takes two.  She knows 100% you want to get together. She does not and it's awkward for her to explain especially in typing.  I'm sorry and I would let it go.  

(Years ago after my sister's divorce I was at my niece's wedding - my ex brother in law was there with his new wife and his brother was there with his new wife - his first wife had passed away. 

I was sitting at a table with this new wife - the brother's brother and her new baby twins and we were having a lovely chat and I was playing with her babies who were delighted.  Then the photographer came for a table picture and she told me not to be in the photo because it might not be appropriate/could be awkward.  Huh??? Because my sister used to be married to her brother in law? And we were at my niece's wedding? I mean yes I stepped aside but how rude.  So obviously some people go to great lengths to exclude the former family.  

I guess people make their own choices, some of which are rather hurtful.  Sorry you went through that.  Thank you for your response.  I do appreciate it, Batya.

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I think it’s different if you meet the friends together rather than one person introducing the other to “his “ friends. Timing matters. I didn’t like when my friend stayed in touch with my ex and thought it was ok to invite all of us to a gathering at her home. Or tell me “oh if you can’t come I’m inviting ex”

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22 minutes ago, Kwothe28 said:

I have a policy regarding that. No matter how you are, as long as you are good to my friend, you are good for me. After you part ways, well, you cant expect me to choose you over my friend. My friends girlfriend(now his wife) got "mad" at me after I said to her that if they break up we probably wouldnt hang out. I have to admit that we are good friends and that it would be hard now. But again, he is the friend, she is the wife. 

You have to understand that people in most of cases choose so they wouldnt wound up in ankward situations. They were his friends wives. That is "his side" of friendships. As you probably have your side. Who probably wouldnt take him into the circle now. Also, no offense, but it doesnt sound you were terribly close to that woman. Might also having something to do with the decision. Also, no, as others have already said, you suggesting the date wouldnt change much. Somebody who wants to hang out would contact you without you having to chase them.

Oh, I have another good story regarding this. My other friend broke up his engagement. But he was devastated, not because he broke engagement, but because he was very close to her brother and brothers wife. But after he broke up engagement, they both not only deleted him off Facebook but also dont want to even say "Hi" to him. Dunno what he expected when he was the one dumping the guys sister. Ofcourse they wouldnt want to hang out with him anymore. 

Anyway, its sometimes like that. Use the time you have now after divorce to maybe create your own network if you dont have one already. 

That's the problem:  I was close to this woman.  That's why It bothered me when she didn't want to continue being friends.  Perhaps it was too awkward for her to get together after the divorce.  I certainly didn't expect her to take sides.  But, it is what it is.  No big loss.   If she were a true friend, she would have acted differently.  Thanks for your feedback, Kwothe.  

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14 minutes ago, Rose Mosse said:

She doesn’t want to continue being friends after your divorce. You didn’t do anything wrong. 

As they’re people he works with I’d leave it alone. She’s not obligated to continue the friendship with you and you know her through your ex. They don’t seem like true friends to me (this network prior). They sound like they were just people participating in any events or outings for the sake of your ex-h. Shallow friends.

In the fallout after a divorce, you’ll find out pretty quickly who your real friends are. Do not take it personally even though it feels personal. You don’t know what other people are going through either and I found (interestingly) that my divorce or finding courage to break free exposed issues in marriages of others. My thoughts are you don’t know the reasons why but all you need to do is respect her choice. 

I’d respect her wishes and leave her alone. You don’t need people like that in your life who don’t want you in it. It was gracious of you to extend an invitation but don’t waste your time lingering over someone who can’t be bothered to stay in touch.

Well said, Rose!  Her husband and the ex worked together for a year after the divorce.  He moved to another city, got a new job.  As you mentioned, that certainly revealed that she is not a true friend.  I did/do respect her choice.  I DM'd her a couple of times in 2018, and on Christmas 2019 and 2020.  I will definitely not DM her anymore.  Clearly, she doesn't want my friendship.  

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23 minutes ago, goddess said:

Well said, Rose!  Her husband and the ex worked together for a year after the divorce.  He moved to another city, got a new job.  As you mentioned, that certainly revealed that she is not a true friend.  I did/do respect her choice.  I DM'd her a couple of times in 2018, and on Christmas 2019 and 2020.  I will definitely not DM her anymore.  Clearly, she doesn't want my friendship.  

Yeah. I learned the hard way too. I’m with you on this. Onwards.

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16 minutes ago, goddess said:

That's the problem:  I was close to this woman.  That's why It bothered me when she didn't want to continue being friends.  Perhaps it was too awkward for her to get together after the divorce.  I certainly didn't expect her to take sides.  But, it is what it is.  No big loss.   If she were a true friend, she would have acted differently.  Thanks for your feedback, Kwothe.  

Yes, but again, they are his side of friendship. Sometimes people choose like that to avoid ankward situations. 

Also, I dunno circumstances of your divorce. But I wouldnt get passed that your ex didnt really painted a nice picture about you to his friends and subsequently their wives. So, take that into consideration too. 

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46 minutes ago, Kwothe28 said:

Yes, but again, they are his side of friendship. Sometimes people choose like that to avoid ankward situations. 

Also, I dunno circumstances of your divorce. But I wouldnt get passed that your ex didnt really painted a nice picture about you to his friends and subsequently their wives. So, take that into consideration too. 

Yes, that's very possible.  He might have done that.  It was my mistake to regard her as a true friend.  Now I know better.   Live and learn, as they say.  

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8 minutes ago, goddess said:

Yes, that's very possible.  He might have done that.  It was my mistake to regard her as a true friend.  Now I know better.   Live and learn, as they say.  

Sorry this happened.  This reflects on her, not you. You're fine and more considerate people deserve your friendship. Hope you are doing well 🙂

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48 minutes ago, goddess said:

Yes, that's very possible.  He might have done that.  It was my mistake to regard her as a true friend.  Now I know better.   Live and learn, as they say.  

No matter how you find out, it always stings to realize that someone you felt close to didn't really feel the same. So big internet hugs to you.

Also, given how your ex was, it's very very likely that he painted you black in order to make himself look good and also to garner sympathy, support, and attention from all the people in his circle. His ilk just do that and sadly, there is nothing you can do about it but move far away from all that. Ultimately, those who buy into the lies, never really knew you. True friends would stick by you and ignore your ex.

Revamping your life is tough and some days are better than others. Some days, you crave what was familiar. Thing is, that as you persevere in revamping your life, you will end up surrounded by friends who love you for you and just you. On that note, those from your past who aren't reaching out to you, who aren't there for you, go ahead and write them off. It's not you, it's them. You tried harder than I would have.

 

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1 hour ago, Wiseman2 said:

Sorry this happened.  This reflects on her, not you. You're fine and more considerate people deserve your friendship. Hope you are doing well 🙂

aww, thanks, Wiseman.  I was under the mistaken impression that she was a true friend.  Not the end of the world!  LOL  I am doing quite well, all things considered.  I did throw myself some pity parties at the beginning but I'm pretty much over that now.  There are days when it stings but not many.  Thank you for asking.  Hope you are well, too.  

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54 minutes ago, DancingFool said:

No matter how you find out, it always stings to realize that someone you felt close to didn't really feel the same. So big internet hugs to you.

Also, given how your ex was, it's very very likely that he painted you black in order to make himself look good and also to garner sympathy, support, and attention from all the people in his circle. His ilk just do that and sadly, there is nothing you can do about it but move far away from all that. Ultimately, those who buy into the lies, never really knew you. True friends would stick by you and ignore your ex.

Revamping your life is tough and some days are better than others. Some days, you crave what was familiar. Thing is, that as you persevere in revamping your life, you will end up surrounded by friends who love you for you and just you. On that note, those from your past who aren't reaching out to you, who aren't there for you, go ahead and write them off. It's not you, it's them. You tried harder than I would have.

 

You are so kind, DancingFool.  I did feel so bad that she didn't want to continue our friendship but, as you mentioned, he probably painted me black.  He oftentimes made it a point to tear me down in order to build himself up, so it's very possible he did that.  Just the way he is.  I have written her off, trust me.  Thank you for your response.  Hope you are well.  Sending you big hugs.  xx

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No, I don't think you were passive at all really. You were fairly forward and clear to this woman that you would like to catch up with her. You did ask her to let you know when would be a good time for her. You would also reach out and wish her a Merry Christmas every year so she knew you wanted to talk to her and keep in touch. If she wanted to meet up, there wasn't really anything stopping her. So I guess she didn't want to. 

I actually think that there are some people that would still be friends even after a couple breaks up. For example, I was friends with some of my ex fiance's friends, though I wouldn't say we were close. After the break up, one of his friends still invited me to her parties and we would all play online video games together (not my ex) with her friends and my friends during lockdowns. 

Also I think at the start yes it's awkward in terms of a divorce when the couple first separates. But because it's been 3.5 years and her husband doesn't work with your ex husband now, I think she could still be friends with you. I guess she would just have to meet you one-on-one and not invite you to a party or anything like that, where your ex could be there too.

I actually agree that maybe this woman didn't consider you an actual close friend and that's also why she wasn't really interested to keep in touch with you. I think it's also true that if your husband had these male friends and these were their wives, then really it was more a situation where you were seeing them by proxy because of your husband's friendship with the men. Who knows, maybe some of them didn't necessarily feel a big connection with you but just had the perspective: "Well the husbands want to hang out so us wives can come along too". They probably had nothing against you but also not necessarily thought of you as a best friend or anything like that.

For example, one of my close male friends was dating a girl for six months. I actually got along really well with her and enjoyed hanging out with them a lot. Then she suddenly dumped him, on New Year's Eve! Then she blocked him. I did actually like her but I only knew her for six months. I have a lot of other friends so I just think I came to the conclusion that I didn't really "need" her. Especially as my male friend is actually a good close friend and part of my friendship group. So I suppose I just thought that continuing the friendship with that girl wasn't really worth it.

Do you have any other girl friends or acquaintances at all that you could reach out to? Maybe even some people you haven't been in touch with much, but you could try to rekindle it? Also I actually think you could still make friends at an older age. One of my friend's mothers moved from the city to a new place, a small country town. There she joined a few hobby and social groups for older people and she did actually make new friends, or at least acquaintances.

Try to build a one-on-one friendship with other women and spend time with them on your own. I think that way they'll be more likely to want to continue being friends later because they're YOUR friend first and foremost. I have quite a few good female friends and I always kept up the friendship with them, no matter if they or I was in a relationship. Some of them I've been close friends with for like 21 years!

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All relationships-- yes, all-- require both parties.  You tried multiple times and that's super cool of you.  So whatever her reason... it doesn't matter.  

That's how I choose to look at things-- I call the people that call me.  I invite the people that invite me.  Friendships do ebb and flow, so it can get a little lopsided, but no response twice-- that's on them.  

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7 hours ago, goddess said:

So, my question is, do you think I should have actually suggested a particular day in which to meet for lunch, or was I too passive?

My heart goes out to you. No, it's nothing you did wrong. She ghosted, and I seriously doubt that a suggested date would have made any difference.

It's unfortunate that divorces tend to divide friends away from the spouse they knew secondarily. While this isn't 'always' true, it's common enough to chalk off as their loss, not yours.

What steps are you taking to explore some new interests and pursue NEW friendships? You deserve to be loved and have friendships in your own right. Could this be the area where you might be too passive?

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2 hours ago, goddess said:

I did feel so bad that she didn't want to continue our friendship but, as you mentioned, he probably painted me black.  He oftentimes made it a point to tear me down in order to build himself up, so it's very possible he did that.  

It's possible that she didn't believe any of 'that' about you or even not think of you as a friend.

If she's still with her husband, she might just fear the crap she'd get from him. Her own marriage may or may not be on the best terms. Husband might have felt threatened and given her a hard time for hanging out with the single lady.

The stats are pretty widely published that divorce CAN be contagious. She may not have known how to explain her reservations to you--and for all we know, her husband monitors her accounts.

Head high, and I'd take it less personally given that her husband would need to be somewhat like-minded with your ex to have been his friend. So what should that tell you?

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15 hours ago, Tinydance said:

No, I don't think you were passive at all really. You were fairly forward and clear to this woman that you would like to catch up with her. You did ask her to let you know when would be a good time for her. You would also reach out and wish her a Merry Christmas every year so she knew you wanted to talk to her and keep in touch. If she wanted to meet up, there wasn't really anything stopping her. So I guess she didn't want to. 

I actually think that there are some people that would still be friends even after a couple breaks up. For example, I was friends with some of my ex fiance's friends, though I wouldn't say we were close. After the break up, one of his friends still invited me to her parties and we would all play online video games together (not my ex) with her friends and my friends during lockdowns. 

Also I think at the start yes it's awkward in terms of a divorce when the couple first separates. But because it's been 3.5 years and her husband doesn't work with your ex husband now, I think she could still be friends with you. I guess she would just have to meet you one-on-one and not invite you to a party or anything like that, where your ex could be there too.

I actually agree that maybe this woman didn't consider you an actual close friend and that's also why she wasn't really interested to keep in touch with you. I think it's also true that if your husband had these male friends and these were their wives, then really it was more a situation where you were seeing them by proxy because of your husband's friendship with the men. Who knows, maybe some of them didn't necessarily feel a big connection with you but just had the perspective: "Well the husbands want to hang out so us wives can come along too". They probably had nothing against you but also not necessarily thought of you as a best friend or anything like that.

For example, one of my close male friends was dating a girl for six months. I actually got along really well with her and enjoyed hanging out with them a lot. Then she suddenly dumped him, on New Year's Eve! Then she blocked him. I did actually like her but I only knew her for six months. I have a lot of other friends so I just think I came to the conclusion that I didn't really "need" her. Especially as my male friend is actually a good close friend and part of my friendship group. So I suppose I just thought that continuing the friendship with that girl wasn't really worth it.

Do you have any other girl friends or acquaintances at all that you could reach out to? Maybe even some people you haven't been in touch with much, but you could try to rekindle it? Also I actually think you could still make friends at an older age. One of my friend's mothers moved from the city to a new place, a small country town. There she joined a few hobby and social groups for older people and she did actually make new friends, or at least acquaintances.

Try to build a one-on-one friendship with other women and spend time with them on your own. I think that way they'll be more likely to want to continue being friends later because they're YOUR friend first and foremost. I have quite a few good female friends and I always kept up the friendship with them, no matter if they or I was in a relationship. Some of them I've been close friends with for like 21 years!

You said "I actually agree that maybe this woman didn't consider you an actual close friend and that's also why she wasn't really interested to keep in touch with you."  That makes a lot of sense.

We moved here in 2004 so either of us knew anyone.  I didn't work but, obviously, he made friends with many of his co-workers and we became close to a number of them.  We would invite them to our house, and vice versa.  I didn't feel the need for more friends.  All my other friends live about 5 hours' drive away, so getting together is not feasible, especially with the pandemic.  

It truly doesn't bother me too much having no friends here. At this point in my life, I prefer being alone. Perhaps one day, my thinking will change.  I suppose I am still processing my divorce.  One of my sons lives 1/2 hr away and I visit with him every week.  I am so grateful for that.

Thank you, Tinydance, for your feedback.  I really appreciate it.  

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14 hours ago, catfeeder said:

My heart goes out to you. No, it's nothing you did wrong. She ghosted, and I seriously doubt that a suggested date would have made any difference.

It's unfortunate that divorces tend to divide friends away from the spouse they knew secondarily. While this isn't 'always' true, it's common enough to chalk off as their loss, not yours.

What steps are you taking to explore some new interests and pursue NEW friendships? You deserve to be loved and have friendships in your own right. Could this be the area where you might be too passive?

Good point, catfeeder, but at this point in my life, I prefer being alone. I have no interest in new friendships.  Perhaps one day, my thinking will change.  I suppose I am still processing my divorce.  I have a wonderful hobby.  I am a colourist and I design cards for 3 artists, and I totally enjoy it.  It keeps me busy and it's relaxing.   One of my sons lives 1/2 hr away and I visit with him every week.  I am so grateful for that.  Thank you for your feedback.  xx

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