On this week's podcast, Viv discusses what to do when a friend doesn't feel like a friend any more.
My friend and I have been friends since we were nine years old, we're now 34 so that's 25 years. I like to think that I've been there for her through the ups and downs and I've always liked to think that she had my back, too. However, over the past few years I've started to realise that this has actually been a very one-sided relationship and, while I've come to the conclusion that I think I should leave this friendship behind, I'm struggling to let go. A recent series of events have made me come to this decision, and I'd love your advice on what to do.
Two years ago, I told my friend that I was pregnant. I was only six weeks on, and I told her that I was sharing this with her before the usual 12-week milestone because if anything happened, I'd like someone I could turn to for support. That night, I had a miscarriage. I sent her a text in the morning to tell her I'd lost the baby and was flying home (we live in different parts of the UK), and she wrote back: "That's terrible x". It was a full 10 days before she got back in touch, saying she didn't call because she felt awkward and didn't know what to say. By this stage, I was lucky that I had other friends and family that I could turn to. I did feel let down, but accepted that it's something that makes people uncomfortable and didn't dwell too much.
My husband and I tried again to get pregnant but after two years we had no luck, so in March we went through IVF and it was successful. Around the same time (before I knew I was pregnant), my friend told me she was 12 weeks pregnant. I was delighted for her and congratulated her and we spoke a lot about her pregnancy and I mentioned having gone through IVF and we were about to find out the results. A few weeks later, I had another miscarriage, and I sent her a message to tell her. I couldn't face picking up the phone to break the news, so a text was easier for me at the time. She wrote back, "Hope you're OK x" and I didn't hear from her again, apart from a few weeks ago to tell me her baby had been born. Again, I congratulated her and asked lots of questions but she was really cold and cut the conversation short any time I got in touch. I still don't know the baby's name.
I'm about to go through my second round of IVF and, while I'm grateful to have the opportunity to try again, I live in constant fear that it will end with another miscarriage. I am going home at Christmas and will have to see my friend and the thought is adding to my anxiety and making me sick with worry. I haven't yet told her how I feel, she has been so cold with me I fear that I would just be picking up the phone for an argument and I can't cope with that right now. At the same time, if I see her, I can't just pretend that nothing has happened. I don't want to see her at all if I'm honest, but she lives close to my parents so it's unavoidable, and I hate that there are loose ends.
The few people I've spoken to have been quick to put it down to me being resentful of her pregnancy. I'd like to be very clear that that isn't the case. I have loads of friends with new babies or who are pregnant and I'm happy for them all. I'd never wish the pain and loneliness of infertility and miscarriage on anyone.
How can I leave this friendship behind and move on? I can't get it out of my head.
Hurt and confused friend