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Overthinking, how to strain a friendship


Coily
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English Conversation About A Friend
English Conversation About A Friend

This will definitely be the complicated and uncomfortable post I've ever made here, and probably mountains out of molehills.

So a recent mostly non-incident has made me concerned for my best friend of 30 years, due to his wife of 10 months way of coming across. Now he and I have lived about a thousand miles apart for a decade, and I have not been the best at visiting due to my heavy work schedule; but we have remained close. His wife I have only chatted with on the phone and briefly by text, so I sadly do not know her; especially as I was unable to make being Best Man at their wedding (pneumonia and covid combined for extra fun) I feel as though she has some animus towards me.

Now I will admit she has made me wary, as some of her behaviors mimic another friend's ex wife. Both cases rushed into moving in, put heavy pressure on exactly how to propose, and other seemingly narcissistic behaviors and excess vanity. On the other hand when my friend was having doubts, I told him to do pro and con lists when he was getting cold feet; as this has been his only relationship.

I think the moment that became a flashpoint in her attitude towards me, was a planned trip for two nights (she was invited too) of me coming down to visit them before the birth of their child a month after. He was enthusiastic, and she tentatively agreed, with the caveat I could only sleep on the couch and not the guest room. Then the following week she told him she had a doctor's appointment and may have to have induced labor, she told him I could still come but he had to be at the appointment. I immediately canceled the trip so as not to cause undue stress, he promised that we could do something in future but with his "mini me" along. While I have no problem with this, we had discussed this as being a last hurrah before he became a father; our "wild and crazy" has always been two drinks at a ball game and trying to out pun each other.

What bothered me was her appointment was suddenly "canceled" and she insisted they go out for their last romantic dinner before their child came. Then a baby shower the following weekend. This, perhaps unintentionally, was a red flag for me. I want to give her every benefit of the doubt, but something just doesn't sit right with me. Obviously not something I would ever mention to my friend, but I have to see if I'm just reading too much into things.

I want them to have a fantastic life together an raise a healthy child; but I think I will have to do a fade from his life for the benefit of their marriage. No other friend have I felt the need to become disengaged after the arrival of a child, those changes are of great magnitude; so it is not as if I am unfamiliar with how dramatic new parent's lives change.

 

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I would breathe and wait and see.  I don't see where you have to make this decision now especially at this pivotal point in his marriage and impending fatherhood.  Why the urgency? Pregnant ladies are notorious for being hormonal and needy and acting strange sometimes. I remember freaking out when I was 8 months pregnant and at a UPS store to get passport photos since I'd changed to my married name.  A man near me carelessly dropped a box on my foot -a customer - it wasn't a true accident - it was him being oblivious to me standing where I was. Because I was pregnant, balance not great -I got very upset and upset that he was clueless/didn't apologize. Of course he didn't get why a pregnant woman might not want to injure her foot or risk falling and of course I am sure wrote me off as hysterical/overemotional.  

Look -she is pregnant in a small home with her new husband.  She never should have agreed to an overnight guest and instead agreed but was rude about hosting - the whole couch thing etc. 

Doctor's appointments do get moved around -I was so out of it I showed up for my 11 week ultrasound on the wrong day, cried to the receptionist, begging her to find a way to fit me in and she did with a caring look that told me I wasn't the first flaky pregnant lady.  Typically that never happens to me!  It's a crazy time, at least it was for me.  

Give it time.

 

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I think the trip was at unfortunate timing. His wife was at the end of pregnancy and expected soon. So you there would certanly be "a nuisance" of a sort. Its much better to visit them later. Get a nice present for a kid(perhaps something even for wife, that should soft her up lol), get some time with a friend etc. 

On the other hand, she does seem a bit vain. A last romantic dinner before the child comes? Really? I am on a romantic side and even I would consider that "over the top" as in just something she imagined that she should get and made him do it. So I think that you could be "on the money" with that one. She just wanted him for herself(which is somewhat understandable because she is pregnant) and not wanted you there. Are there some other examples of that? Her just cutting him off from friends? Because that is concerning.

Anyway, I wouldnt give up 30 years of friendship like that. He is your friend and he still needs you. Especially if his wife is like that. If you think she is like that, your friend would need somebody to listen to him. Dont think you would be the cause of demise of their marriage just for being a friend. And even if you are, then there are far more bigger problems there then you.

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As to the “urgency”, I can only explain it in terms of knowing how singularly focused my friend is. I want him to enjoy every moment he can with their son. 
 

While it’s not my first time experiencing the whims of a pregnant woman; she welcomed other friends of his in the week prior without such caveats.

Time and space I’m willing to give in abundance, but I am seeing a familiar pattern.

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3 hours ago, Wiseman2 said:

People do grow apart and marriage and kids are big dividers.

Many women may not want houseguests when expecting/ right after birth.

That's ok. When the dust settles, plan something where you're not staying with them.

 

I think marriage and kids are only big dividers in friendships that weren't that close to begin with and where there's a lack of flexibility in compromising over new schedules and priorities.  My friends started getting married and having kids around 17 years before I did.  For my close friends we stayed close and that often involved me traveling to see them in their new home in the suburbs and working around sleep schedules, activities.  For acquaintances if our common interests were work-focused or city- focused and they'd moved away from both -well, sure it faded a lot.  

When I became a mom I focused on friendships -not mom friends -and had less time/flexibility.  One very close friend saw me in my 9th month for lunch -she gave me the name of her house cleaner as I was desperate at that point -couldn't bend much etc - she said she would help after (she was single/no kids but an involved Aunt!) - I asked her for no help like that -she offered. 

After the birth I invited her and others with an evite for a baby-related event -around two weeks after -no response from her at all. I followed up with a personal email (calling was almost impossible with my newborn) -no response. 

We became FB friends and private messaged years later -I didn't bring up the MIA and we were never close again - no clue what led to change of heart given our last, close meeting that ended with hugs.  We'd been close for about 7 years at that point.  I was hurt.  I can tell from what she posts she probably assumed I'd be all about motherhood and fade out so she did it first.  She was dead wrong and would have been generalizing.

I had other friends who balked at meeting for lunch instead of dinner, or criticized me for not finding a sitter for my toddler so we could go out for dinner instead of ordering in so I could meet her new boyfriend, other friends who knew I was bringing my active toddler to a restaurant for lunch and were very late so that I couldn't stay long after they arrived late, etc.  

It takes accommodating and compromise and the friend might not get a whole afternoon to go to a ball game child-free etc but if you're close you do your best.  I did in the 17 years before I had kids and a number of my friends have done the same.  It doesn't have to change a close friendship or the connection.

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I want to re-emphasize that I’m not unfamiliar with the drastic changes of a new born cause, most all of my friends have had kids since the start of friendships. This has been the only case where the communication wasn’t clear from the idea of the visit. A “No” at the offset would have been more acceptable, than how things played out.

Also the fact that I was the only friend of his that had not been able to stay over during that time. 

 

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3 minutes ago, Coily said:

I want to re-emphasize that I’m not unfamiliar with the drastic changes of a new born cause, most all of my friends have had kids since the start of friendships. This has been the only case where the communication wasn’t clear from the idea of the visit. A “No” at the offset would have been more acceptable, than how things played out.

Also the fact that I was the only friend of his that had not been able to stay over during that time. 

 

I think you are overthinking this. I’d err on the side of doing what it takes to keep the friendship. 

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1 minute ago, Coily said:

I want to re-emphasize that I’m not unfamiliar with the drastic changes of a new born cause, most all of my friends have had kids since the start of friendships. This has been the only case where the communication wasn’t clear from the idea of the visit. A “No” at the offset would have been more acceptable, than how things played out.

Also the fact that I was the only friend of his that had not been able to stay over during that time. 

 

If you have the sense that you’re getting on her nerves, just keep your distance. It’s not worth the hassle splitting these fine hairs about who was in the wrong. They need some space. Try not to judge your friends’ partners harshly. Stay neutral as it’s not your business to get that close and personal about someone else’s partner. 

I do think it was strange she didn’t offer you a guest room. Leave it at that and move on and spend time with other friends. There’s no need to cut anyone out and there is far too much going on to make such a drastic decision.

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As a mother of two sons, I can vouch for your friend's wife.  Even though I'm not exactly the same as your friend's wife, I'm somewhat similar.  Between full time jobs, child rearing, chores, errands, sleep deprivation, maintaining a house and prioritizing immediate family, there truly isn't much leftover time.  If there is, sleep is so needed! 😴  If there is any spare time, we're exhausted, prefer to catch our breath and relax.  Unfortunately, friends, relatives and in-laws become collateral damage by default.  You haven't seen anything yet.  The newborn phase is just the tip of the iceberg.  Life becomes frenetically paced and insanely busy after that!  😮

Sure, we've made time and effort to maintain friendships but not at the same level as our previous carefree, childless days.  Those days are over for years to come unless you wish to tag along as a spectator for little Bobby's soccer practice, help him with his homework, help busy parents with errands, chores, tasks and you get the general idea. 

Accept that you'll have to be squeezed in somehow at lower status and don't be offended if texts, getting together and interactions are few and far between.  Grow accustomed to it because it's bound to happen.  If you're not willing to acquiesce and play your new role, then you'll end up drifting apart and fading away from your friend's life. 

Your friend's wife doesn't want to share her husband with you because she needs him.  She needs her husband's undivided attention, focus and help galore.  I remember during the newborn and baby phase, my husband did anything such as housecleaning, chores, grocery shopping, all errands, cooking, laundry, changed the baby's diapers, gave the baby to me to nurse, burped the baby, allowed me to sneak in a little sleep and repeat.  (He prefers to mow the front and back yards.)  My mother, sister and friends brought some homemade meals which were a godsend.  We were crazy busy during the infant baby care / toddler stage. 

My husband still helps me a lot nowadays.  I need him.  Granted, not as much as when our sons were infants and babies but he still helps me tremendously in numerous ways. 

My husband has limited time and energy for his local mother and sister as do I with my local relatives.  We don't gather together as often as they expect but then again, my MIL (mother-in-law) gets bored easily, my SIL (sister-in-law) and her husband are prematurely retired and they have a heck of a lot more time than we do.  My sister is a SAHM (stay at home mom), my mother is retired and my brother is understanding.  We're all at peace while realizing that we take what we can get time wise and it's either take it or leave it.  None of us impose on each other because this is what boundaries and courtesy are.  We have an unspoken understanding and reality check. 

Until you're married and a father, you won't truly grasp and comprehend this new changed status in your life.  Having one child is busy.  Having two or more children is insanely busy! 

Don't get too attached to people who are very distracted with marriage and a new baby or young families because you can't relate.  Be with those whom you can share similar circumstances with because both parties will have more time to invest into each other.  Or, know that you're only offered crumbs because it's all they're willing to give you if that. 

Get busy with your own life and be with people whom have more in common with.  "Be evenly yoked."  If you're with people who are at different stages in life than yours, learn to adapt and accommodate THEIR schedules and lifestyle or whatever they're willing to give or not give of themselves to you.  Back off.  Don't pester.  Don't bother them.  Give people whatever time and space they want.  Either they'll find space in their crowded lives for you or their unavailability will tell you to bug off.  I'm sorry. 

Don't depend on some people to make you happy.  Find other ways to give yourself joy and security.  Be more independent minded.  Only be with people who are compatible to you.  "Birds of a feather flock together."

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2 hours ago, Cherylyn said:

Accept that you'll have to be squeezed in somehow at lower status and don't be offended if texts, getting together and interactions are few and far between.  Grow accustomed to it because it's bound to happen.  If you're not willing to acquiesce and play your new role, then you'll end up drifting apart and fading away from your friend's life.

I thought I made my self repeatedly clear that I have happily taken this "new" role with this friend and other close friends over the years. I am not a naive moron.

 

2 hours ago, Cherylyn said:

Your friend's wife doesn't want to share her husband with you because she needs him.  She needs her husband's undivided attention, focus and help galore.  I remember during the newborn and baby phase, my husband did anything such as housecleaning, chores, grocery shopping, all errands, cooking, laundry, changed the baby's diapers, gave the baby to me to nurse, burped the baby, allowed me to sneak in a little sleep and repeat.  (He prefers to mow the front and back yards.)  My mother, sister and friends brought some homemade meals which were a godsend.  We were crazy busy during the infant baby care / toddler stage. 

My husband still helps me a lot nowadays.  I need him.  Granted, not as much as when our sons were infants and babies but he still helps me tremendously in numerous ways.

This while the crux of the matter, only seems to affect me. I don't want to be a distraction, hence my pondering how to best bow out if there is some animus directed at myself for whatever reason.

2 hours ago, Cherylyn said:

Don't get too attached to people who are very distracted with marriage and a new baby or young families because you can't relate.  Be with those whom you can share similar circumstances with because both parties will have more time to invest into each other.  Or, know that you're only offered crumbs because it's all they're willing to give you if that. 

Get busy with your own life and be with people whom have more in common with.  "Be evenly yoked."  If you're with people who are at different stages in life than yours, learn to adapt and accommodate THEIR schedules and lifestyle or whatever they're willing to give or not give of themselves to you.  Back off.  Don't pester.  Don't bother them.  Give people whatever time and space they want.  Either they'll find space in their crowded lives for you or their unavailability will tell you to bug off.  I'm sorry. 

Don't depend on some people to make you happy.  Find other ways to give yourself joy and security.  Be more independent minded.  Only be with people who are compatible to you.  "Birds of a feather flock together."

While i understand you were trying to "baby step" a bachelor though this, by your logic I would have no friends. I know and well respect boundaries of families. I try my utmost to be helpful, if that is helping with a project, running an errand for them, or by understanding that plans need to be canceled. I am not some self centered idiot who is expecting to be catered to, I only want to make sure I am not intruding or causing problems for a man who has been a brother to me. If that's me F-ing off because his wife doesn't like me, then so be it

I do apologize for the sharpness of my reaction, but I am tired of being treated as an inferior because I am (unhappily) single and this reply pushed that button. For all of my other friends have never treated me differently after they wed and became parents, mostly as I have always been one to keep to myself and happily busy.

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Coily!!!

 

Really nice to see you round! I’m sorry you’re having friendship woes!

 

I think, people make time for what is important to them. I see busy Mums of 5 still go to regular yoga classes and hair appointments. My husband still plays pool twice a week and sees his friends then. I put the kids to bed on those nights alone because I know it’s his social time and important, especially as a bloke, you need to shoot the s**t so to speak, alright! 🤣

 

My gut feeling - I don’t know anything about your friend and his wife but, my feeling is, for whatever reason, she’s not your biggest fan. I think you probably suspect this? That’s tough. Because your friend, be default, in his new role and just because it’s his wife as well, he is probably always going to side with her. In public, anyway. He might start thinking differently.

 

I don’t know. Everyone is so different aren’t they! I adore having people over. When I was heavily pregnant I was still going to baby groups and having people over and cooking them dinner and making them drinks! I did right until I popped! I didn’t have hard pregnancies and was perky as far as being pregnant goes for most of them. Some women are different. I think you know, I have 3 all under 4 so, I don’t have masses of kids but it’s a decent number to keep any one gal busy if you get my drift! 
 

I have been on the flip side Coily. I have had friends fall out with me, me fall out with them, and they have cited “it’s because you’re married and pregnant and have kids” as the reason why it failed. Truthfully, they thought that but it wasn’t at all. As Batya has mentioned, we never clicked in the first place, and really, looking back; they were never “true” friends. So we drifted apart easily and I think in all honesty, we probably both wanted to happen and that the kids were a good excuse. Kids are, by the way, a fantastic and socially acceptable excuse to not do anything! I also have a feeling she made up the induction story. Don’t ask why. Any pregnant woman can say vaguely she “may need to be induced”. It’s so vague and plausible but would sound serious enough for your friend to have to be beholden too it.

 

I do understand the less time. It’s a fact of life. I also understand of course, kids and your partner come first. I know you do too. I think what you are getting at is… is it her? What have I done? Can this be fixed? Will he let me go because she has the hump about me?

 

That Coily really depends what her personal motivates are regarding you and also, how much your friend wants to keep the peace. If she talks to him privately and says this and that, I don’t think you should see Coily anymore we have too much on then, maybe he is likely to agree and it might fade?

 

There is another option. You could chat to him and just, tell him how you feel. Maybe wait till a good 6 months after the baby has been born. See how things play out but, you could say hey, I really miss us hanging out. Is your wife okay with me? I haven’t upset her in some way, have I?

 

These might be daft ramble suggestions Coily I’m sorry 🤪

 

I can still carve out time for anything that is important to me, even with the three bambino’s. Mum friends turn up and call, I have family over and cook for them, mix drinks all day when they are here! I’ll go to play dates on short notice. I co started up a kids reading group in our new area, I made time for that, the kids come, we all read at the library. I have a few casual friends I will go out for a drink with once the babes are all in bed! My husband, he’ll go to shoot pool, play in competitions twice a week, another night if he seems frazzled from work I’ll say why don’t you go for a beer, see your Dad? He does really gladly. I fancy taking up a late yoga class one night when I find one I like the look of.

 

Of course I have way less time than when I didn’t have kids! But, I don’t work. I have all day during the day, and any evening I want once they go to sleep. You can always make time for what is important too you! Kids or not! 
 

I think your gut instinct is right! Something is up, or has changed.

 

x

 

 

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Occam's razor: The simplest answer is often the correct one.

I agree with mylolita. After reading what you wrote I feel that your friend's wife is simply not that welcoming towards you whatever the reason/s. I'd suggest you remain polite to your friend and his wife. Shows that you're a classy lady. You're also leaving the door open but have no expectations in regards to this friendship for the time being. Let the dust settle. See how things turn out later.

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On 10/11/2021 at 9:41 AM, Coily said:

This is more of me needing to get things off my chest, so I can wade through a weekend and not get fed up.

To start off my best friend of 30 years is finally getting married, and I couldn't be more excited for him! As it's a smallish wedding, myself and another were asked to stand up with him, no specific best man. Not my wedding, I'd have just been happy to attend.

Now the annoyance. Myself and the other groomsmen decided to arrange a bachelor's party. We tossed around some ideas and then he went silent, we're both busy so I figured we'd coordinate later. Next thing I know is he's decided the group (all 4 of us) are going to Las Vegas. Initially no set plan as to where we're staying, no clue as to what we are doing or room arrangements; other than "it's taken care of." I ask a few probing questions, and  at best I get vague answers.

Both myself and the groom has expressed frustration over the lack of information, to no avail. Only the Groom's father knows details, and won't share with me either. I feel like the odd man out, and rather than let it get at me I am ranting here.

Is this the same friend?

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Just now, Wiseman2 said:

Is this the same friend?

Yes, the very same.

In the end I was unable to attend due to being under a physician’s care. Which gave me a load of guilt, in addition to the guilt of Covid and pneumonia for the wedding.

Perhaps on my part this guilt is playing into my reaction how more recent events played out.

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6 minutes ago, Coily said:

Yes, the very same.

In the end I was unable to attend due to being under a physician’s care. Which gave me a load of guilt, in addition to the guilt of Covid and pneumonia for the wedding.

Perhaps on my part this guilt is playing into my reaction how more recent events played out.

Weddings seem to be another big life event people go strange over and have fall outs during! 
 

Babies, weddings! My only sister fell out with me big time over my wedding 8 years ago - we’ve never been the same since! It’s craziness Coily! 
 

The whole things are emotionally charged.

 

Do you think your friend secretly resented you not going? Even though you had a totally legit excuse being so sick? 

 

x

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Sounds like a smidge of self sabotage.

The woman doesn't even know you, so I wouldn't personalize the lens through which she sees a complete stranger. You guys picked the week she's supposed to deliver, right?  

Sure, she could have just said no to the timing, but she's probably aware of her husband's fondness for you and hoped that demonstrating the difficulty this would raise for her was enough of a red flag for him, but you can credit yourself for stepping up to see it.

I think personalizing this would be a mistake. I know we can all tend to do that sometimes, but it really doesn't serve you. You have history with this friend, and his priorities have long since changed. Whether HE realizes that well enough to not take his wife for granted is an unknown.

Head high, throw out some olive branches in the future and see whether friend extends another invite at a better time for his family. The other friends who stayed before this particular week may have demonstrated for wife that sharing husband with houseguests so near delivery is not what she'd prefer to do.

Not a reflection on you.

Head high.

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1 hour ago, Coily said:

I thought I made my self repeatedly clear that I have happily taken this "new" role with this friend and other close friends over the years. I am not a naive moron.

 

This while the crux of the matter, only seems to affect me. I don't want to be a distraction, hence my pondering how to best bow out if there is some animus directed at myself for whatever reason.

While i understand you were trying to "baby step" a bachelor though this, by your logic I would have no friends. I know and well respect boundaries of families. I try my utmost to be helpful, if that is helping with a project, running an errand for them, or by understanding that plans need to be canceled. I am not some self centered idiot who is expecting to be catered to, I only want to make sure I am not intruding or causing problems for a man who has been a brother to me. If that's me F-ing off because his wife doesn't like me, then so be it

I do apologize for the sharpness of my reaction, but I am tired of being treated as an inferior because I am (unhappily) single and this reply pushed that button. For all of my other friends have never treated me differently after they wed and became parents, mostly as I have always been one to keep to myself and happily busy.

I never implied you were a naive moron.  Those are your words, not mine.  If you're happy with your new role with this friend, then be happy.

The best way to bow out is to do nothing.  Drift apart and fade away naturally.  If your friend wants to be with you, he knows how to contact you.  Then take it from there.  If he's preoccupied with his wife and new baby, you obviously know why. 

You can still have friends despite being a bachelor.  A lot of bachelors have friends.  Being a bachelor is no exception just like single women have friends as well.  Anyone can have friends if they put forth the effort to branch out instead of focusing on one friend or a few.  It's not a complete lost cause. 

It's good of you to be helpful or offer help.  Some people will take you up on it, some people don't wish to impose and others prefer to be left alone or to their own devices.  As you say, canceling happens as well. 

I never implied nor insinuated you were a self-centered idiot who is expecting to be catered to you.  Again, those are your words, not mine.  Since you don't have children, you don't know what life is like from the other side.  I was merely explaining to you as a parent and as a new mother.  Life as I knew it, transformed overnight the instant I set eyes on my newborn and same with my husband.  Friends are wonderful to have.  Don't get me wrong.  However, my husband's and my entire shift and focus zeroed in on this precious tiny life we brought into the world which took top priority to its zenith.  It's impossible to truly grasp this meaning until you've experienced it.  I was clueless when I was childless and a person is never the same once they become a father, mother or parent of a helpless baby.

If his wife doesn't like you, well, she's married to him and he could very well defer to her always.  I'm sorry but it's the way it goes.  She's the boss especially now with the impending birth of their first baby.   I'm sorry but you're put by the wayside in all of this.   Your friend's primary focus is on the mother of his child and their new arrival on the way.  

I remember how super busy and excited my husband and I were before our son was born.  We took birthing classes,  shopped for the baby's nursery, enrolled in our local hospital's 'Mother's Tea' which was a new parent seminar complete with goodie bag of gifts in tow and refreshments.  I was preoccupied with my baby shower, flooded with baby gifts including via postal mail, relatives from across the country sent me money and it was such a special time in our lives.  I remember washing all the baby's layette (newborn / baby clothes) in baby detergent, folded everything very neatly for the dresser drawers, arranged the baby's closet, sewed my maternity dresses, hand crafted nursery decor, etc.  My husband I couldn't be more thrilled.  Friends were not even on our radar.  It was all baby, baby, baby.  Sure, we saw friends but visits with them became brief and infrequent.  There were only so many hours in a day.

If the wife doesn't like you, her marriage is a package deal and usually whatever the wife says, the husband follows.  I'm sorry.   If not, he's super busy anyway. 

If HE wants to be with you, HE will let you know.  He can see you without his wife.  You don't have to visit their home.  You don't have to be with his wife in order to see your friend.  If your friend is unenthusiastic about seeing you and contact with each other grows infrequent, then there is your answer.  Actions speak louder than words.  For whatever reason, accept the way your friend is and you will be OK.

Like you, I've been treated as an inferior.  Try not to take it personally,  Coily.  People are people.  They're super busy, trying to survive, stressed and people become stingy with their time and energy because of it.  Unfortunately, time is a commodity they're not willing to trade.  Some people are miserable and don't wish to socialize nor share company with others.  Some people are mentally and / or physically unhealthy and have their preferences regarding what they want or not want to do.  Some people are unemployed.  Some people have limited means.  Everyone has their own painful story.  It runs the gamut.  

I've found that I don't hurt so easily anymore because I follow other people's cues. I do what they do.  No more, no less.   If they put forth the effort to care for me whether it's spendimg time together, text, phone chat or email time permitting, perhaps engage in birthday or holiday gift exchanges or sustain the friendship by reciprocating, I'm all in and will do likewise.  I will pour my heart and soul into the friendship.  I too will demonstrate equal enthusiasm.  If they trail off by becoming disinterested in me, contact is seldom or if I have to always initiate, if they treat me with apathy or indifference (or worse yet, say something unkind or gaslight me), then I back off and we live our own lives in separate peace.  I only want friendships with those who share mutual eagerness and if not, my interest and desire wanes.  Let nature take its course. 

Each parent is different.  Some will make time for you whereas others will cast you aside.  Keep in mind, the pregnancy, newborn infant, toddler stage is mind boggling busy.  If you add another child into that equation, try doing everything for helpless little ones while not even having an ounce of time for yourself.  Eating quickly over the kitchen sink is the norm.  Finding time to shower is a sneaky luxury. 

Be patient with some people and if not, then the friendship had run its course.  If you remain realistic, nothing will come as a shock to you anymore.  This is human nature. 

A considerate and kind gesture from you to your friend would be sending a postal 'Baby Congratulations' greeting card for the new parents.  A gift card enclosure would be a loving gesture to give.  Gift card suggestions would be VISA or to a local restaurant for takeout meals for after the baby is born.  In the past, I've bubbled wrapped the congrats card with gift card enclosure, stored both in a small box and taped it securely with packaging tape.  It was postal mailed with signature confirmation required and if no one is available to sign for the package upon receipt, the recipient or spouse is required to pick it up from their local post office with signature confirmation.   This way, the package will not be intercepted with theft en route to the recipient.  Also, sending a bouquet of flowers for the new baby is a nice, celebratory gesture, too.  The florist has pretty floral bouquet arrangement selections befitting for new baby congratulations.  Perhaps these gestures will cause your friend and his wife to warm up to you and perhaps he'll be more apt to nurture the friendship knowing you went the extra mile for him, his wife and new baby.  If not, you did the right thing anyway and leave it at that. 

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15 minutes ago, mylolita said:

Weddings seem to be another big life event people go strange over and have fall outs during! 

Babies, weddings! My only sister fell out with me big time over my wedding 8 years ago - we’ve never been the same since! It’s craziness Coily! 

The whole things are emotionally charged.

Do you think your friend secretly resented you not going? Even though you had a totally legit excuse being so sick? 

 

x

The only inkling I got of any wedding difficulties, was chatting with his mom; a surrogate aunt. He had two reactions, being upset that I couldn't make it and then how he and his parents would break it to the bride. Ironically I had sent ahead the wedding clothes to his mother, which fit my stand in.

With the chaos of that week, and the bride's reactions to many "not perfect" things i could imagine a seed of resentment from all of that.

19 minutes ago, catfeeder said:

Sounds like a smidge of self sabotage.

The woman doesn't even know you, so I wouldn't personalize the lens through which she sees a complete stranger. You guys picked the week she's supposed to deliver, right?  

Sure, she could have just said no to the timing, but she's probably aware of her husband's fondness for you and hoped that demonstrating the difficulty this would raise for her was enough of a red flag for him, but you can credit yourself for stepping up to see it.

I think personalizing this would be a mistake. I know we can all tend to do that sometimes, but it really doesn't serve you. You have history with this friend, and his priorities have long since changed. Whether HE realizes that well enough to not take his wife for granted is an unknown.

Head high, throw out some olive branches in the future and see whether friend extends another invite at a better time for his family. The other friends who stayed before this particular week may have demonstrated for wife that sharing husband with houseguests so near delivery is not what she'd prefer to do.

Not a reflection on you.

Head high.

 The planned trip was a month before she gave birth, almost to the day.
I really don't want to project much on her, I know my reaction has tainted my view of how this happened.

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39 minutes ago, Coily said:

Yes, the very same.

In the end I was unable to attend due to being under a physician’s care. Which gave me a load of guilt, in addition to the guilt of Covid and pneumonia for the wedding.

Perhaps on my part this guilt is playing into my reaction how more recent events played out.

Interesting. Did you ever see the film "Bachelor Party"?

Anyway I agree things were sort of becoming strained for a while now and with the wife and child, it's straining things further. 

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21 minutes ago, Coily said:

 The planned trip was a month before she gave birth, almost to the day.

I really don't want to project much on her, I know my reaction has tainted my view of how this happened.

Whenever there is tumult or upheaval in one's life joyous or otherwise, it's easy for friends or anyone to feel disrespected and ignored.  Try not to take it personally.  Many people are preoccupied with their lives to such extent that they don't have brain space for you. 

As close as I want to be with my sister, she's frustrated with her nut job husband who is not only obnoxiously rude to her but everyone who is unfortunate to be in his midst.  No one is left unscathed.  She doesn't let anyone know nor does she wish to discuss this embarrassing spouse.  Only, my mother, brother and I know the real dirt.  Hence, she developed an insular personality.  Or, she'll gaslight you or abruptly cut you off should you not ingratiate yourself to her.  She's consumed with coping with her non-idyllic life.  I simply follow her cue and have since backed off.  It keeps the peace and all is well.   Is it optimal?  No.  Do I accept that it wasn't meant to be?  Yes. 

Many times you have to accept conditions as they are whether you're disgruntled with it or not. 

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18 minutes ago, Coily said:

The planned trip was a month before she gave birth, almost to the day.
I really don't want to project much on her, I know my reaction has tainted my view of how this happened.

Sure, and I think we all spin like this to some degree, but when we pull back, move our focus onto other things, that tends to form a new perspective--provided we don't hold onto some disadvantageous ways of framing things.

Also consider natural cycles of divergence. This happens with a lot of friendships and is not about animosity, but rather changes in stages of life and a diverging focus. But the people who have mattered most tend to cycle back into our lives if we keep the door open for that. Aside from deliberate betrayals, there aren't really many reasons to discredit ones fondness for us in favor of thinking the worst of them.

Hang in there, and write more if it helps.

 

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6 hours ago, Coily said:

I want to re-emphasize that I’m not unfamiliar with the drastic changes of a new born cause, most all of my friends have had kids since the start of friendships. This has been the only case where the communication wasn’t clear from the idea of the visit. A “No” at the offset would have been more acceptable, than how things played out.

Also the fact that I was the only friend of his that had not been able to stay over during that time. 

 

That makes perfect sense since you are both a very important friend to her husband and also one she hasn't actually met, been able to develop a relationship with and doesn't know at all really. To her, you are a complete stranger for all means and purposes.

So, consider a more bening perspective that she was heavily prego, stressed, lots of stuff goes on those last days and did not want the pressure of this visit/meeting in the state she was in. Even if she was being passive aggressive about it, it's forgivable and doesn't mean she is some monster.

I think your own guilt is playing heavily into this in terms of missing the wedding because you were sick. Why do you feel such guilt over something that could not be helped? Something to deal with internally. Also, probably best that you do accept the simple reality that this trip was poorly timed, including the whole last hurrah theme about it. 

Don't throw away your friendship. Do get a grip on your emotions. If you do plan to visit them, plan better and opt to stay in a hotel so you don't burden them even if they invite you to stay at their home. That will give all of you a safe zone of sorts to both connect, reconnect and also have some space. After all, you haven't seen your friend in person for years and you are a total stranger to his wife.

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There were gaps with my close friendships.  Births, deaths, unemployment, family drama, financial woes, poor health, emergencies, etc. all occurred during different stages in our lives.   There were times when there was zero contact to no one's fault.  Despite that, we still maintained decorum, participated in each others lives (gifts, special occasions, etc) even though time lapsed in between.  After we could catch our breath, we picked up right where we left off. 

Keep your expectations low to nil and one of these days, hopefully you'll all come full circle.  Give it time.  If it was meant to be, it will be and if not, it wasn't meant to be.

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