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“Am I Not Trying Enough with My Best Friend?”

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  • #853849 Reply
    Dear WendyDear Wendy

    From a LW:

    “My best friend and I seem to have major arguments every few months or so. Thing is, I never see them coming because she tends to hold onto things and then blows up at me saying that I am a sh*tty friend or that I treat her like crap. I say that I never see an argument coming is because if I say or do something that upsets her, she does not tell me right then and there as it is happening. Her demeanor does not change in those conversations, so it throws me off guard when out of the blue she starts throwing it back in my face. We have been best friends since high school and I know that people grow apart, but I feel as though this is not one of those cases. It has happened more often in the past year or so, but I feel like I’m at an impasse since her and my brother became official.

    About a year ago, I was engaged and she had already agreed to be my maid of honor. Well, she responded to a story that I had posted that it was apparently common knowledge. I did not know this and replied back something along the lines of “well you’d think that…” and that set her off. I was using the word ‘you’ in general, not her specifically and even after I explained myself to her she said that I talk down to her all of the time. She brought up old conversations from months before and I honestly did not know that I was doing that. The argument got heated and I said things that I’m not proud of and she said things that hurt me as well and I was on the verge of telling her that if she really felt like I treated her so badly then she could just drop out of being in my wedding. I decided against it, because I felt at the time that it was all just a misunderstanding and we would work it out. She did in fact say that if I continued talking to her like I unknowingly was then she would end our friendship.

    A couple of months before my wedding, she hosted a bachelorette party for me. She asked me if I wanted to help her decorate for it and I of course said yes. I thought it would be fun and I would be able to help out a little bit since my girls kept the planning a secret. Once we got to the place and we went out with another bridesmaid who was there. My best friend had said it was ok if she helped us set up as well and then all of a sudden when were getting last minute things the whole idea of anyone helping her was the end of the world. I offered to help set up the TV, and she said that her aunt would sue me if I couldn’t get it working. I made a suggestion on how to get set up done a little bit faster and she started yelling at me. I felt like she wasn’t understanding me, so I said the suggestion a couple of different ways hoping she would get that I was trying to help. She claimed that I was taking control of everything and that I didn’t even need to be there and that I had invited myself up to the location early. I just turned around and silently cried to myself, she started just doing random things proving that she didn’t need anyone’s help. On the last day of the trip, everyone was tired and no body felt good, but the night before she was the only one drunk and wanted to take pictures so as a group we decided to wait until the morning. Everyone else was onboard to take pictures, even though we looked and felt like crap. She decided to be moody and grumpy the entire morning and refused to take a picture with me. And all weekend she was texting a guy, when I specifically asked for no phones so that we could all spend time together. But I have never mentioned to her how much that hurt me, especially because of this next case.

    Around Easter, she and the guy decided that they would make things official. “YAY!” Except, that guy was/is my brother. I know it’s cliché for people to upset when their best friend starts dating their sibling, but I have never been nothing but supportive of them. What hurt me was that they lied to me and hid it from me even after everyone else in our families said that they shouldn’t do that, to be honest with me. Her reasoning when I asked her? Because I was against the idea of them dating in high school. High School! Nearly 8 years ago, and they never once asked me why. When I told her that they hadn’t, I said because I’ve lost a best friend who dated my brother and my brother has been hurt because of that best friend. I did not. do not want either of them to get hurt. In high school, it was a different reason probably because it was so taboo that any of my friends actually liked my little brother. I even told her, because it had become a joke/topic amongst our families of if they would date, that I would be happy for them. I told her that on the way home from the bachelorette trip and she still did not tell me. My wedding was a couple of weeks away and I asked if they could make that day about me and my husband, they could dance and talk and whatever, but my brother was the DJ and she was my maid of honor, so they both had jobs to do that weekend and I obviously wanted my day to be perfect. Come the night before the wedding. That day was fine, but at the rehearsal dinner that sat away from the rest of the bridal party. My grandmother and my parents were away from their family because they decided to sit with my other brother and cousins instead of with the bridal party that she was suppose to be a part of. After dinner, I told her that she didn’t have to take me home so that she could get some sleep and hang out with her family who were in town for a couple of reasons. She seemed grateful that I didn’t want to put her out, that my parents would drive me. But as soon as my mom and I pulled up to our house, her car was in the drive way. She could’ve told me that her and my brother wanted to spend time together, that I had planned to hang out after the rehearsal, but she intentionally did not tell me. At the reception my brother was too preoccupied with her to do the song list correctly and the announcements. She in turn, while we were all getting ready wanted to go look for him even though everyone knew wasn’t suppose to be there. The other bridesmaids and vendors asked me about it, they had noticed and I couldn’t say anything because I felt if I did it would be misconstrued as me trying to break them up.

    Over the past few months, I have asked her multiple times to hang out with me. Asked her what she wanted to do and what not. Only one time did she say yes and we went to the movies. I asked her questions about her sister’s pregnancy and about her relationship with my brother. I made a joke about not being blindsided again if their relationship went one way other the other. All of these things were relevant in my mind because they had all been topics of conversation the night before when she came over to our parents house to spend time with my brother. She never told me to stop asking, that it was none of my business, or that she didn’t want to talk about any of it. So when a couple of weeks ago, she freaked out on me again for saying that I was glad that she was able to spend time with my brother while she was visiting her sister. She claimed that I had tried to make everything about me, that I was ungrateful for the bachelorette weekend and that I hurt her mom’s feelings for not eating at the bridal shower she threw for me (I was sick, I ate a poptart before hand and literally couldn’t eat anything else and eventually after gifts, I did eat a little bit), that I literally ignored her at my cousin’s wedding, and that I was not trying at all to be a good friend and that I again treat her like crap. Plus lots of other things and twisting my words around. I could say what I told her on this, but I feel that I might be repeating myself on.

    Every time she has been with me and my family as my brother’s girlfriend, I’ve tried to talk to her. She comes at me with a could shoulder and one syllable responses. It seems that we are remembering everything in two completely different ways. She never told me that I had upset her or that she needed space. Every time I’ve asked to hang out, I’m met with an “i’m busy” or “my sister’s coming into town” or something along those lines. Is she right? Am I not trying as hard what I think I am? Do I not seem supportive of her and my brother? My husband sides with me and my parents don’t really want to be on their bad side for some reason but seem to know that what I say is true. Or at least my version of the truth. While yes, I am still hurt that they lied and hid things from me I don’t want to be the reason if they break up. At first I thought that I was in the right and that she was being the bad friend, but now I don’t know. I keep saying that if I knew she was going to treat me like this, that last year I would’ve just broken off our friendship and dealt with that loss then. But now, if we stop being friends and her and my brother eventually get married, I feel as though things will get extremely awkward and I don’t know what that will entail.

    If I am in the wrong, what should I do to make it better? Or if it’s the other way around, should I just stop asking her questions about things that we normally would talk about? I am completely lost and my heart is constantly aching, because I do not know what to do. She has told me to actually try, but I don’t know how else to show her that I am.

    Am I Not Trying?”

    #853852 Reply

    You’re micro-managing her behavior.

    During your wedding, you asked her, and your brother, not to hang with each other and to sit only in their designated spots. At least that’s how I read this. That and this — “yes, I am still hurt that they lied and hid things from me” — are over the top. They didn’t conspire against you. They just wanted to be in their relationship as it was starting out, getting their own vibe going with each other, without having to answer questions about it or open it up for everyone’s assessment. That’s healthy.

    You told her you didn’t need a ride, she said okay, then you saw her car in your driveway. So what? You released her from her obligation, so she went to hang with her boyfriend. Why is that a big deal?

    If she’s going to be your sister-in-law, I’d say you need therapy. That seems extreme maybe, but you seem like you have control issues that really should be addressed. I say that with kindness. You want these people in your life, so you need new skills.

    #853853 Reply

    Yeah I’m getting control issues too. In top of the other stuff you had everyone go on a trip for your bachelorette but wouldn’t let anyone use phones? Girl rein it in a bit. People aren’t props, they have lives outside of you and your wants.

    #853857 Reply
    Dear WendyDear Wendy

    Yeah, I agree with others that you sound controlling. I couldn’t get over the no-phones rule on your bachelorette weekend either. Your friends planned – and paid for and made themselves available for – an entire weekend to celebrate you and you forbade them to use their phones?! They’re grown-ups! Where do you get off dictating whether or not they can use their phones? So many other details in your letter are little red flags that you have control and entitlement issues. And, look, you DO sound upset that your best friend and your brother are together. You wrote: “Around Easter, she and the guy decided that they would make things official. “YAY!” Except, that guy was/is my brother.” Why the “except”? Why not just “yay”? Don’t think for a second that your friend – and your brother – haven’t picked up on the “except.” You aren’t happy they’re together. I pick up on it just from this letter and I don’t even know you.

    If you want to have a decent relationship with your future SIL, give her some space, stop micromanaging her, stop keeping score, and, frankly, stop “trying” so hard. Pick up on the clue that she needs a little break from you and she wants space to be with her boyfriend without you breathing down her neck.

    #853864 Reply

    It’s not all about you. Stop making all the things about you. You’re not trying very hard when you are holding on to this long history of drama and constantly acting affronted. You are judging every little thing she does.

    If you want to repair the friendship, ask her what you can do. Apologize for having an opinion about her relationship with your brother.

    Stop pretending like people need your permission or need to give you a heads up about their personal relationships. You’ve asked to know in advance, if their relationship goes one way or the other so you aren’t blindsided. What the actual?! Seriously. That’s none of your business. If by some grace of god she confided in you about that, I have no doubt you’d broadcast it to the world. Stop asking your parent’s their opinion on your friendship with her. You are taking this so far over the line, I’m surprised she actually wants to try and work it out with you. The only person you can control is yourself. Take twenty steps back and reflect on the choices you’ve made and how they’ve affected others.

    #853872 Reply

    Shut the fuck up, LW.
    Just shut the fuck up.

    NEWSFLASH: You are wrong about pretty much EVERY point you try to make in this whiney rant of s letter. Instead, you cluelessly paint yourself as controlling, bratty, entitled, oh, and just an all around pain. Talk about a drama queen.

    Shut the fuck up.

    Oh, and knock it off.

    #853880 Reply
    avatarAm I Not Trying?

    I do appreciate most of your comments. I honestly did not know that this would go straight onto a forum, I simply asked for advice from Wendy. For those who suggested therapy, I have already been considering it, it is quite expensive though. My best friend did bring up that I was controlling in our last argument, I honestly could not see that I was being that way or that I am that way. I also did not see that I was making everything about me. Honestly, for my wedding, I think that I had the right to make it about me with a couple of things that happened that day. Maybe not them sitting away from the bridal party or showing up at my house without even letting my parents know, but him failing to do something he had already agreed to do yes I have a right to be upset about. I did not write this letter or this response to be bratty or to paint myself as the victim. I asked for ADVICE on how to fix my mistakes, because I could not see that I had made any. If any of you that have already responded read this, or if anyone else reads both letter & response, I am looking strictly for advice on how I can make this better and make it up to her. If you want to tell me that I need to shut up, that I’m a whiny brat, or anything unhelpful-do not respond. Thank you.
    I never forbade the girls from using their phones during the bachelorette weekend. I did not even know that it was a whole weekend trip thing until a couple of weeks before. I simply made a request so that we could all be in the moment together. My best friend/maid of honor even agreed that while we were at the house or for things that didn’t require someone to have their phone (like going out on the town) that there would be limited phone usage. She even enforced it with the other girls and made it a game that whenever someone was on their phone, they would lose points. But she made an exception for herself and was constantly on hers.
    I said “except” because I did not expect it. I am 100% happy for them and I have tried to show that, but it has been difficult when she literally ignores me when she hangs out with my family or when she’s always “busy”.
    I have gotten over everything except that I don’t know what to do to fix it. Giving her space, apologizing, all of it I have tried and it just seems to go no where because I don’t know what else to do. I don’t pick up on that I have a controlling behavior, she is the only person that has told me this besides the ones on this forum. I want to change this and I don’t want to be like this anymore. I know that it won’t happen over night, but anything that could help me would be great. ADVICE is what I asked for, and that is what I am needing.

    #853883 Reply

    This update is the same exact tone as your letter. Which only proves our point. Clearly — you do not accurately grasp your own behaviour. You are controlling. And more — constantly insist that your are RIGHT. When you clearly not. Instead, you are very wrong.
    Frankly, it is no real mystery as to why your friend is simply over it.
    This is a moment for real pause. Reflection. And real change.
    But instead you insist — not that you were ever wrong, but instead have “gotten over everything.” Which is hilarious in that clearly you have not. Your whole update — let’s call it RANT 2 — is blah blah blah, I am so right. Blah blah blah, they are so wrong.

    That is why — if You REALLY want to fix this friendship… you simply need to shut the fuck up. You won’t do so. And NEWSFLASH — you thus won’t repair this friendship either.

    #853887 Reply

    What struck me is the idea that on your wedding day you expected your brother and your friend to “work”.

    Why was your brother set up to fail? He couldn’t enjoy the day with all of his family and I bet a lot of friends, and his girlfriend because you needed him to work for you.

    I don’t care if he offered – you should have declined and understood that your wedding is a day for everyone to enjoy – not just you.

    No one told you about your friend and brother dating. It sounds like you were in a tiny handful of people who didn’t know. And they (his friends, your mutual friends, your other relatives who are close by) likely didn’t tell you because they knew you would fly off the handle and make sure that they knew that their relationship was less important than your wedding day and that they’re relationship could continue as long as it didn’t impact your life.

    #853888 Reply

    “Well, she responded to a story that I had posted that it was apparently common knowledge. I did not know this and replied back something along the lines of “well you’d think that…” and that set her off. I was using the word ‘you’ in general, not her specifically and even after I explained myself to her she said that I talk down to her all of the time.”

    This sounds dishonest. When you reply to someone it is understood that you are speaking to them and that the word you would refer to whoever made the post.

    When you are dishonest it takes away your credibility and makes you less likeable at the same time. You should have apologized because you were being rude.

    What can you do? In the future when you feel the need to post a snarky comment because someone else’s comment has annoyed you, wait two days and see if you still feel like posting the snarky comment. Especially don’t post comments where anyone else can see them. Don’t make arguments public. Talk to her in person if you found her comment rude.

    #853890 Reply
    avatarAm I Not Trying?

    Look, Bittergaymark. I made the response asking again for advice on how to fix my mistakes, this time knowing that I was in the wrong in most of the cases that I put in my letter. What you call “I’m in the right” rant 2, was me explaining a couple of those situations a little bit better so that I can hopefully get better advice than your “shut the fuck up” rant. Because even if my friendship ends, she may end up being my sister in law in the future and neither one of us wants that to be awkward. Hence me asking for advice on how I can fix it, instead of never being able to have a decent relationship with her again. Me getting over everything, is literally that. Me moving on from those situations, because i have. I wrote them in this letter as a background so that I could get clarity on whether I was right or if I was wrong in those situations. And I got that, so I responded hoping to get more advice than “you’re controlling”. So if you would please eat your own words and stop commenting the same thing over and over again, that would be great. I am needing real advice on how to fix the mess that I have put myself in.

    #853893 Reply
    avatarCanada Goose

    Okay, so I’ll respond to the request for advice. I agree with the others on their assessment.

    You have two relationships to fix: with her and with your brother. You can’t have a healthy one with either unless you are on good terms with both. Not sure that you see an issue with your brother but there is one and it will worsen unless you repair the friend relationship. If they marry and have kids, a relationship fracture will cause SO much aggravation for everyone for years, including your parents who will doubtless want to have the whole family for holidays etc.

    Apologize. Without trying to explain your side; call out her/their behaviour, or say how you were let down – NONE of that. Just reach out via a text to both of them: “Hey friend and bro, I owe you both an apology. I realize I’ve been controlling and have overstepped how a friend/sister should behave. I’m very sorry and will try hard to stop doing that. I am so happy that you found each other and wanted to let you know how much I love and respect you both.”

    That’s it. Then see how they respond. Accept whatever boundaries they set for your involvement in their lives. Accept that perhaps she may no longer be your best friend, because you seem to have a bit of a toxic way of communicating with each other. But let me tell you that you want to take the high road here, because this woman may be family. Even if they break up, you want your brother to remember you were supportive, not a control-freak who had opinions she should have kept to herself.

    When she makes you feel slighted in the future, just let it roll off you. Choose to give her the benefit of the doubt – her decisions are made for her benefit not to offend you. Don’t lose your brother because you want to make a point that you are right. Your brother is really the one who matters here, because he will always be family. She can fade away if they break up.

    You can either apologize to keep the peace or mean it. If you mean it, and remain mindful not to judge or control then you have the possibility of a lovely future as you travel through similar life milestones. If you keep score of how you’ve been done wrong, you’ll end up miserable and make you parents and brother miserable too.

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