Can I get past this? Should I?
have (had?) two very close friends who’ve have been going to the same bungalow colony for several years. My family was never able to go up to the country due to our work schedules, and while it hasn’t affected our relationship, I knew they had this special part of their lives that I wasn’t part of. We’re all close, and when we were able to, we’d go visit, but otherwise our summers remained separate.
This year, I switched to a much more flexible job, being able to work remotely. In addition, my husband got a raise, and with our extra income, we were able to make some lifestyle changes. When he offered to rent a place in my friends’ bungalow colony for the summer, I was thrilled. My kids had been begging to go up to the country for years, and I was excited to be able to give them this great vacation. Even more, I’d be spending the summer with my two best friends.
When I told my friends I’d be joining them, they sounded happy, they really did, but suddenly I felt as if something was off. I thought I might be imagining it — maybe I was just nervous about this new change, so I ignored it, and we went through with the rental.
From the beginning, it was a disaster. While my friends went through the motions of friendship, they didn’t include me in most of their plans. They didn’t introduce me to their summer friends, leaving me to meet them on my own. I often found out about plans after the fact or from other neighbors. Apparently, I was a city friend, not one of their “summer” friends.
I came back to the city feeling very hurt and confused. These had been my two best friends — what had just happened? One of them called me right after we got home and acted like nothing had happened. I was too hurt to pretend, and I admit — I let her have it. Soon afterward the other one called to apologize, giving some pathetic rationalizations for their behavior.
My question is, where do I go from here? Do I accept their apology, forgive them, and make believe this never happened? I feel like this created a real rift in our relationship. I’m so hurt and let down by them that I don’t see how we can pick up where we left off. And in all honesty… I don’t even know if I want to.
hat pain and disappointment you must be feeling! After waiting so long to enjoy a summer vacation with your two closest friends, you were finally able to, but the experience was far from what you dreamed of. You’re now left struggling with the big question of whether these women are actually your friends.
Though you’re probably wishing for a clear-cut answer, unfortunately I don’t think there is one.
Before we even get to the how you can fix this situation, there’s the question of if. You ask if you should “accept their apology, forgive them, and make believe this never happened.” But it did happen, and pretending it didn’t doesn’t make your pain disappear. You may just come to the conclusion that these women were never true friends. Only you can decide for yourself if that is true.
Yet before you take that track, consider this. If you do accept their apology, you can put this entire story behind you, strengthen your relationship, and have a richer, more meaningful friendship.
The thing that struck me most from your description was the phone call with one of your friends after you had both returned to the city. You expressed that you “let her have it” because you were “too hurt to pretend.”
(Excerpted from Family First, Issue 662)