Long-time Friend Mysteriously Cuts Ties

By Amy Dickinson | October 13th, 2023

Will mutual friends become collateral damage?

women playing bridge, image by Iakov Filimonov. Article giving advice after one friend cuts ties mysteriously, after 25 years of playing bridge together.

After 25 years, a friend cuts ties very suddenly, without specifying her reasons, but maintains some ties with mutual friends. Can the spurned friend move on – without losing touch with the mutual friends? See what Ask Amy advises.

Dear Amy:

I am in a group of four women who have played Bridge together almost every week for more than 25 years.

A year ago, one of the group abruptly cut all of us off. Through a series of texts and emails she told us that she can’t be friends with us anymore.

She wouldn’t make time to see us in person. She seems to be particularly mad at me. I emailed her trying to find out what had happened.

She started with a paragraph about all my wonderful qualities, but then she said that we can no longer be friends. She wrote that I’ve done “1,000 things to hurt” her over the years, but she wouldn’t tell me what they were.

Her son is getting married soon and she has invited the other two members of our group, but not my husband and me. As far as I know, she doesn’t see or talk to the other two, either. I’m quite devastated by this and communicated my feelings.

I’m very hurt that the other two are going to the wedding when I’ve been so slighted and hurt. I don’t know if I can keep the hurt from affecting the relationship between the remaining three of us.

I’d like your take.

– Hurt

Dear Hurt:

I’m not sure it’s fair to judge these other people for accepting an invitation you have been denied.

This former friend has (perhaps deliberately) set a mystery in motion, and this will corrode your other relationships, if you let it. And then you will have lost three friends, instead of one.

I cannot dive in and decode this strange turn of events for you, but in my opinion, it is extremely cowardly to confront someone part-way, crack open a box of mysteries, and then slam it shut. If there is an extreme difference in temperament and personality between the two of you (you are outgoing and assertive, she is shy and passive), she may have felt dominated or silenced.

You could ask your other friends for any insight they might have; one advantage of their glancing contact with this person is that they might bring back some valuable information.

Want to get even more life tips from Amy? Read more of her advice columns here!

In the tradition of the great personal advice columnists, Chicago Tribune’s Amy Dickinson is a plainspoken straight shooter who relates to readers of all ages. She answers personal questions by addressing issues from both her head and her heart – ranging from when a friend cuts ties suddenly to dark family secrets and DNA surprises. A solid reporter, Dickinson researches her topics to provide readers with informed opinions and answers. You can email Amy Dickinson at askamy@amydickinson.com or send a letter to Ask Amy, P.O. Box 194, Freeville, NY 13068.

©2023 by Amy Dickinson

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