Friendship mysteriously ends after 30-year relationship

Published 8:41 am Tuesday, October 6, 2020

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DEAR ABBY: I need help moving past the end of a longtime friendship. I don’t know what happened. My friend, my former college roommate, just drifted away.
After school we continued to be friends — not besties, but we would meet for coffee or dinner a few times a year. Fast-forward 25 years. She called me the day she left her husband, 10 years ago, to tell me the news. I was her emotional lifeline for a few days, and it was intense. We continued to be in touch a few times a year.
Then, a few years ago, I sent a message suggesting we meet soon. She replied that she was busy but would get back to me about a date, but she never did. I waited six months and again suggested we meet. She replied that she had a conflict but would let me know a date that would work. She didn’t do it. I didn’t reach out again and haven’t heard from her since. It has been three years, and I know through other sources she is doing well.
I’m having difficulty dealing with being dropped after a 30-year friendship. I can’t think of anything I did to cause it, and I don’t understand how a friendship like that can just be kaput. What do you think? — DISAPPOINTED IN WASHINGTON

DEAR DISAPPOINTED: I find it interesting that when this woman was in turmoil, she reached out to you. However, after her marriage and the emotional dust-up that surrounded it, I suspect she may have decided to close that chapter of her life.
You stated that the two of you didn’t stay in contact other than “a few times a year.” Think back. Did she contact you only when she needed emotional support? If that’s the case, recognize the relationship for what it was. Now that she is doing well, she may be firmly focused on the present rather than the past, and frankly, although it may sting, I think you should do the same.
DEAR ABBY: I have a family friend who at one time I considered to be like a sister. The issue is, my family hosts her family every Thanksgiving. They are never invited. They just say they are coming over. They bring drinks, more for themselves than for us. Their kids run around, break things and behave disrespectfully, while the parents seem to regard the behavior as amusing. They also bring along Tupperware for leftovers but don’t bother staying around to help clean up.
When my family told them we weren’t cooking for Thanksgiving last year, her response was that they’d do something just for their immediate family. I was shocked, because my family has hosted them for more than 15 years. I have kept my distance since, but I’m still upset about it. How do I bring up the subject without anyone getting their feelings hurt? — RETURNING THE FAVOR

DEAR RETURNING THE FAVOR: Why are you worried about bruising the feelings of these self-entitled people? They haven’t shown they are concerned about your family’s feelings. Be glad to be rid of them. If the subject comes up, tell her that your family has again made “other plans” for Thanksgiving — just YOUR immediate family.
Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.
What teens need to know about sex, drugs, AIDS and getting along with peers and parents is in “What Every Teen Should Know.” Send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $8 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby, Teen Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling are included in the price.)

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