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Friendship at breaking point

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This topic contains 83 replies, has 10 voices, and was last updated by avatar Leon 1 week, 3 days ago.

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  • #849996 Reply
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    JuanMilo

    Hi everyone, I’m looking for a bit of advice on a friendship that I feel is a bit one way at times.

    Let me start this story with the fact my dad passed away a few months ago.

    Basically my (M 28) birthday is coming up and every now and then, I go to my friend’s (M 29) place to stay (he lives over the other side of town and travelling back via public transport is inconvenient). He recently told me that he’d prefer me not to stay over on the weekends as he likes to have a day to himself after working all week. All good. He has this entire month off as a perk of his new job, my birthday is coming up, I haven’t seen him for months and I asked if he what he was doing this weekend, he said nothing. So I said, do you mind if I come up for a night or maybe two. He gave said ‘not this weekend as I’m off work, maybe next week’. So I told him that the reason I mentioned this weekend is because it’s my birthday and I don’t get what you mean by the fact you’re off work. To which he replies ‘I’ll be playing [a video game]’ (don’t want to reveal any potential personal details so I’ll leave the name out.

    At this point, I’m just thinking well that’s pretty shitty. This guy literally calls himself my ‘best friend’ and on the first birthday after my dad passed away, he’s insensitively just saying he’s playing a video game all weekend, so we can’t do anything. First of all I just leave it as it is, but then I did message and to say I felt a bit disappointed that he’d happily leave me with no company in order to play a game.

    He starts to accuse me of ‘being out of order’ and we end up having an argument. He tried to say I was inviting myself up and sent me some mocking texts as he was on the defensive from me saying I felt let down. He tries to say that I’m guilt tripping him about my dad and he thought I was getting ‘up and over’ his death now. Tbh, I find it all very insensitive and emotionally out of touch.

    The thing is we’ve had several disagreements before, he often says callous things that leave me wonder what the hell he actually means by what he says, things that sound like put downs. Sometimes he gives me put downs as ‘jokes’. He also plays the victim if he’s criticised – once when we were planning on getting a flat together, he tried to pressure me into moving out before I had my student loan was confirmed, which I didn’t want to do. After telling me I was ‘annoying him’ he ended up saying ‘get a real problem’. The thing is, I’ve had some pretty bad health stuff going on since I was 21 which he knows full well about, so that hurt. I had a go back and I was pretty nasty, then it was all ‘I can’t believe you said that to me, no one’s ever spoken that way to me before!’. As if he hadn’t just been a complete dick and didn’t warrant it. In the end I apologised to make things right, but somehow he’s never in the wrong.

    Another time, his long term GF split up with him and I tried my best to be there for him. He sent me literally hundreds of texts a day (highly frustrating) and while he was going through this, I even spoke with him on the phone for hours despite having the flu. Very shortly after that, I had a bit of a mental health crisis with severe anxiety. He knew how bad I was and that I needed company – one of our good friends was going up to stay at his flat, so I asked if I could come too. He said no because he didn’t want two people staying at his flat, I told him I needed some company but he didn’t care, he was ‘nice’ about it, but no, I couldn’t come up despite badly needing company. Despite it being only weeks after I helped him through his breakup.

    When we argued earlier, this ended up getting brought up. He thinks that I start arguments when I don’t get what I want – but in reality things go sour when I feel highly let down as a friend. He said that he’d ‘planned to do something with one person’ and just because I’m down doesn’t mean I can join in. That is pretty much word for word.

    I have know this guy since I was 11 but I’m starting to think he isn’t a friend worth having. Imo, he is either emotionally inept or just highly selfish. Any advice or insights would be very welcome! Thank you if you made it this far.

    #849997 Reply
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    JuanMilo

    Apologies in advance for my typos! Should have proof read but I suppose I wanted to get it off my chest as quickly as possible! Also another piece to this story is that this guy has said we’re like ‘brothers’ in the past. He’s the one who puts himself on this pedestal, but he doesn’t act like the person he claims to be

    #849999 Reply
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    PurpleStar

    Sadly, it is time to find other friends. This guy is not you bestie any longer.
    People grow up differently and grow apart.

    #850000 Reply
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    golfer.gal

    I’m so sorry about your dad. I think it’s clear you need to move away from this friendship. I’m not saying you need to cut this guy out of your life if you aren’t ready to, but his behavior has been really cold, frankly cruel, and it’s clear he doesn’t value you. His “best friend’s” dad died a short while ago and he doesn’t want to hang with that friend on his birthday because he’s playing video games. He doesn’t want you to come visit when he’s working, and apparently he doesn’t want you there when he’s on vacation.

    From you saying you don’t have anyone else to hang with on your bday, it sounds like maybe he’s one of your only connections? There was a point I was in a similiar situation. Ultimately being let down and blown off hurt more than being alone would have. I branched out, and made some wonderful new friends who love and support me as much as I do them. I’d suggest starting with a grief support group. It may help to talk about your grief with people who understand. Counseling is also a great resource. Maybe take a class, join a recreational sport, check out meetup.com or other resources for joining activities, or look into young professional associations/meetups in your area. Start making some new friends. If you don’t have anyone to hang with on your bday, maybe make it a special day on your own. Book a relaxing massage, order your favorite takeout for dinner, pick up a special bottle of wine or beer, rent a movie you’ve been wanting to see, pick up a new bestseller to read, or go buy a great birthday gift for yourself. I know it’s hard but this too shall pass.

    #850003 Reply
    CurlyQue
    CurlyQue
    Participant

    While i agree that this friendship is obviously not serving your needs anymore, and your friend claiming you should be over your father’s death by now is obviously awful and unacceptable.

    You also seem (in general, not in regards to your father’s death) as a greedy and needy friend. You tried inviting yourself to stay at his home for the weekend, he said No and then you tried guilting him into changing his plans and when that didn’t work you worked it into a whole argument. If the whole point was to have company during your birthday why didn’t you invite him over to YOUR place and invite him to celebrate your birthday with you?? If you want company ask for it? Stop inviting yourself to spend the night at friend’s house and instead try hosting yourself. Uber also exists, so there’s no reason for you to be inviting yourself to stay at people’s homes. It’s also apparent that you over stayed your welcome considering he finally had to tell you that he wanted his home to himself some weekends.

    • This reply was modified 2 weeks, 3 days ago by CurlyQue CurlyQue.
    #850005 Reply
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    JuanMilo

    While I’m grateful for all advice on this post, I don’t get this perspective of ‘inviting yourself’. Never for one instant did I ‘invite myself’, I asked him if he’d be up for it. Had he said no, that would have been fine. Instead he has basically either made an excuse to get out of doing anything, or was insensitive and made out that a game is more important than a good friend.

    The guy is a complete hermit. He never ever leaves his flat, so if you want to see him, you have to go there. There is no chance in hell that he would make the effort to come to mine either, he hasn’t done that once, nor suggested it.

    In terms of me ‘overstaying my welcome’, maybe this is true but if it is, it’s only a result of miscommunication. He used to always invite my to stay at his place when he lived in another city and it was never frowned or commented upon by him how long I stayed, suddenly it’s an issue – but he told me it’s only an issue when he’s working, which is a complete mixed message when he has an entire month off work.

    The top and bottom of this is he’s given me some bullshit excuse because he never wants to leave his flat and now he’s decided that if I do make the effort to see him, I better be gone by the end of the night. I could understand your point of view of this guy would have been open to any other suggestion to chilling at his house, but he wouldn’t. And it’s my time, money or safety if I opt to take public transport or an Uber back.

    In short the sudden change of heart is misleading and probably a bit harsh as he’ll never ever leave his house to do anything and his response ruled out doing anything at all other than playing a game all weekend. So I’m going to have to disagree with your premise

    #850006 Reply
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    JuanMilo

    In regards to being ‘needy and greedy’, I basically expect back something like I put into the friendship, I don’t think there’s anything up with that when they’re your self declared ‘best friend’. I’ve been there for guy during his darkest hour, but I never got that in return. I also lend the guy money regularly, to cut a long story short, I do a lot for him and get little in return. It wasn’t so much that I want him to ‘change his plans’ (which were no plans at all) as more that I literally said it’s my birthday and then made a suggestion, he came back with something that imo shows he isn’t much of a friend. If your friend who’s just recently lost his dad wants to spend a bit of time with you, I think it takes someone pretty heartless to just say you’d rather sit and do nothing. So I didn’t try to guilt him into changing his plans, I let him know I felt a bit hurt by the lack of effort on his part. At which point, he comes back with argumentative replies saying I’m ‘out of order’ and that I’ve ‘annoyed’ him. It takes two to have an argument and you can’t place all the blame on me. At that point, he’s escalated it into verging on an argument immediately after I said I felt a bit let down that he’d rather sit and do nothing.

    Imo guy is incapable of understanding what it is to be a friend and that there’s any effort on his part required in any way, shape or form. Yes in hindsight, I shouldn’t have suggested staying at his, but when there’s no effort in his part to do anything, my side of the bargain is that I’m at least not shoved out in the cold in a bad area to get the bus at night or forced to pay money for taxis. If he isn’t going to put an ounce of effort in, then I don’t think I’m unreasonable to ask if I can stay the night.

    #850007 Reply
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    JuanMilo

    Hey golfer gal, thanks so much for your response. Thankfully I do have a handful of close friends and I have arranged to do something with one of them instead. I do think I’m going to try to get out more to make some more friends though, I play guitar and have been learning Spanish for a while, so I think they could be two good avenues to meet new people through. Thank you for your concern!

    #850009 Reply
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    allathian

    Him being a hermit to the point of never wanting to leave his apartment is not healthy. Has he always been like this or is it a recent development?

    In any case, he sounds like a taker. He’s willing enough to turn to you when he needs help, but he’s not willing or able to be a good friend and help you when you need it. Sounds very one-sided to me. I’m not saying you need to drop him completely as a friend, but maybe cut back a bit on the friendship. He’s not behaving like a bestie should.

    #850013 Reply

    To JuanMilo. I am very sorry for the loss of your father. That must be incredibly difficult and painful. Have you considered grief counselling? (assuming you haven’t already – which I probably should not assume).

    This friendship does sound quite one way, and nobody in any circumstance ever has the right to tell you a time frame for your grief.

    You sound very similar to me in a lot of respects. I have often found myself giving and giving and giving in various forms of relationships (being it friendship relationships or romantic) and rarely receiving the same level of kindness, support and generosity in return. It used to be a very sore subject for me because for the longest time I could never understand why I never got out of these situations what I was putting it – especially given how we are taught ‘treat others how you wish to be treated’.

    An important lesson I have learned in life though is that motto really only stems as far as giving respect. Whilst I would certainly help a friend in need out, if for whatever reason I had decided I couldn’t or didn’t want to – I would want that decision respected. It can be painful to be rejected in a time of need, but a harsh truth of life is nobody owes you anything (that sounds very harsh when said so bluntly, so please do not take that out of context). All I mean by that is nobody is legally obligated to be there for us, to support us, to help us etc(other than our parents when we are children). If we find people in our lives that do, then great and show them the gratitude and respect they deserve. But unfortunately not everyone is prepared to. Their reasons for not offering these kindnesses are almost irrelevant because nothing changes the fact that they are not prepared to.

    If you feel this friend is more take than give in this friendship (which it does sound like), then you have every right to show yourself the support and care that he cannot by stepping back from the friendship and leaving that space in your life open for someone who will give as equally as you do.

    You sound like a very intelligent kind man with a huge heart – focus on keeping it huge and unbruised by those unwilling to appreciate its value.

    I wish you all the best with your anxiety issues. I hope you are receiving some form of help as such things are very difficult to bare alone.

    Have a wonderful day and smile – you are a good person 🙂

    #850014 Reply

    This friendship isn’t working for you anymore. Have you see a grief counselor?

    Sometimes friends can’t give you want you want from them. You are expecting him to be a better friend, one who considers your feelings and that is not this guy. People can be really weird about loss. Some people just don’t know how to react or deal with your grief and they disappoint you. Your friend seems pretty selfish and it could be he just doesn’t have the emotional maturity to give you anything close to what you want in a friend right now.

    The term “inviting yourself over” is what you described. I’m not sure why that is so offensive to you, but the definition is literally what you wrote. You asked if you could stay over, he said no and you got upset about it and tried to get him to change his mind. I understand he never leaves his place and would never come to yours, and that actually says a lot about him.

    I’m sorry your going through such a hard time. I can’t really imagine how hard this is. I’m sorry your friend is an asshole. I hope if you haven’t seen a counselor, you can do that soon. Be good to yourself. Take a step back from this friendship.

    #850017 Reply
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    cdobbs

    i think friendships (or any relationship) needs to be a two way street, with both people contributing to the friendship….if you are the only one making any effort and your friend doesn’t seem to reciprocate then its time to let the friendship go….i wouldn’t confront them….just sort of stop contact and focus on yourself and developing new friendships

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