Friends?... or Loss Of...

Updated on August 16, 2010
J.W. asks from Olympia, WA
30 answers

I had this friend for about 8 years. My best friend! Knew everything there was to know about me. All 3 of our kids are 2 months apart. Our wedding anniversaries are 1 month apart, we were inseperable!
We had our little tiffs here and there. We would go a month without talking or whatever, but it would always go back to normal.
I recently caught her talking about me to her mother (her cell phone called me on accident while she was on the phone with her mom!)
It wasn't anything major, but my husband had bought my a new wedding ring (an upgrade) and I was excited about it! She was talking to her mom about me and my ring. How self centered I am and how my ring was probably really just from Walmart or something... Just a bunch of stuff. I called her to confront her about and as soon as I told her that I heard what she said, she hung up on me. No defense, no excuses, just hung up. Ever since that things have gotten worse and now we do not talk at all.
Now, I know this is going to make me sound dumb, but I miss her. I know that she was talking about me, but I had talked to her husband about it and he said he feels it is just a jealousy thing. They are not doing as well financially as we are and he wont let her spend money like she wants to and they cant afford things like we do. I tried to talk to her numerous times and she just blew me off.
I don't know if I should just let it go or try again to talk to her and work it out. Part of me thinks I need to just get over it and move on, but 8 years is a long time to just throw away a friendship. IDK. I just miss my friend. What would you do?

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So What Happened?

So I decided to call her yesterday. She answered the phone and I said "I know this is kinda weird and if you don't wanna talk to me then I will let you go and won't call you again." She said that wasn't what she wanted. So I continued to tell her that I miss her and its weird seeing each other and not being able to say hi or anything. That I miss having her around to talk to or to have our kids play (all 3 of our kids are 2 months apart). She told me that she felt bad about the ring thing and that she just felt as if there is a competition thing going on and she doesn't want to deal with that. I told her that I never intended for her to feel that way. She said that her husband and everyone that she has talked to about it all think she is crazy for thinking that. The funny thing is that my husband and I have talked numerous times about how we feel they are always trying to 1 up us. It gets annoying. So if she felt that way then I kind of get it. But I told her that I just wanted her to know how I was feeling and that I am putting the ball in her court.
She called me this afternoon to invite us to the spray park. Her and her husband are taking the kids and wanted to see if we wanted to go. So, I think things may be getting back on track.
But she just told me that they are planning on moving closer to her husbands work which is over 2 hours away!

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answers from Washington DC on

I think you should move on , a true friend would be happy for you no matter what , if she is jealous because you are better off financially and with what you own and will talk about you to the first person who will listen , that is not a friend.

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answers from Portland on

With friends like that who need enemies? Get out & be social & find some new friends. You don't need this aggravation.

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answers from Richland on

I know its hard, but I would let her go. You can miss her sometimes, that is normal with any long relationship. Unfortunately, though, she sounds jealous and toxic and that isn't what you want ( or deserve) in a best friend. There may come a time when you can be social again, but for now I would stop calling her and let things lie. She owes you an apology and some explanations, and they need to come from her.

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answers from Los Angeles on

Okay, so you've tried numerous times and she's blown you off. You've reached out and she hasn't made the effort to accept the olive branch. Really, SHE should have been the one reaching out and apologizing profusely. Eight years is a long time; but some friendships do wane. I think I'd let it go. I would be extremely hurt if I listened in on a conversation of a supposed best friend speaking so cattily about me. The ball's in her court. Now move on and find a group of friends who will support you and have your best interest at heart. They're out there!

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answers from Portland on

It's a sad loss of faith in a friend when we hear such a low opinion of ourselves come from their mouths. It was not your fault that you were accidentally called, and I think it's pretty human to stay on the line if your name came up.Perhaps not the best choice, but certainly human. A previous suggestion that you should be the one to apologize is a bit confusing and not exactly a healthy way to approach the situation.

Your friend is probably very embarrassed for saying what she said. Nonetheless, the ball really needs to be in her court. It was an accident that you heard what she was saying, but like any sort of mess one makes in life, this is hers to clean up--in short, she needs to make amends with you before your friendship moves forward, or it's likely to come up again during another moment of conflict.

If she is able to work through the feelings you describe (her financial issues with her husband as well as her jealousy), there's a chance you'll be able to move back into a friendship. I was recently in a similar situation with a friend (let's just say that it involved a misunderstanding) and know firsthand how our hearts tug at us, how much it hurts to miss that other person. I did what I could within the realm of reason, and then took my husband's advice--I let it go. I cried, gave things time and while the friendship didn't truly recover (we are civil to each other), it gave me room to see that we didn't actually have a lot in common and that there were some inequities in the relationship I'd chosen to overlook. The good part of it was that the hard feelings hurt less over time, and her absence allowed room in my life to make a different friend who is a better match for me and our family.

Part of being a friend is being supportive not just in the hard times, but the good times too, and it takes a certain amount of maturity to celebrate someone else's happiness when we feel our situation doesn't measure up. If this situation doesn't heal over time, I do hope you can make some new friends who don't need to put you down to make themselves feel better.

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answers from Las Vegas on

She's not talking to you because she got caught doing something that she has done probably a million times before: being two-faced, backstabbing and spreading horrible gossip. And this is probably not the first time that she has talked about you and said unfair things about you behind your back; this is just the first time she happened to get caught.

From what you have written about your relationship and how she handled things (or didn't) after you confronted her, I'm just thinking that she doen't have what it takes to be a friend. Sure, she may be fun to hang out with but do you really want a friend around that you can't trust? That you know will probably turn around and spread malicious gossip about you behind your back because she can't handle her own issues of jealousy? I completely understand wanting to have that friendship connection but it's time to be a bit more decerning about who should be allowed into your inner circle and who should not. There are other women out there that probably are equally as fun and your "friend" but want trash you behind your back when something good happens to you and not them and know how to say, "I'm sorry," when the situation calls for it. Save yourself a lot of drama and let this "friend" go.

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answers from Detroit on

Friends don't talk about you! 8 years is a long time but think about it is it worth getting hurt again over? My best friend has been my best friend 28 years and we have never I mean never had any type of argument. When she moved out of state due to her husbands Job it broke my heart I felt like a part of me died. We are miles away from each other but we both know that if we need each other we are there. I feel that a friend doesn't judge you and they certainly don't hurt you even if it behind your back. She probably is jealous but that is her problem not yours. If she comes to you and says she is sorry that would be one thing by why in the world would you have to say you are sorry for listening in on the phone call? My friend and I have always been happy for each other not matter what we may have that the other doesn't. Things happen for a reason it might just be time to move on since she doesn't sound like a true friend. Good Luck and I know a loss is a loss just look at what you do have a great husband that showers you with gifts and remember you are the lucky one and it is her loss in the end.

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answers from Jacksonville on

Doesn't sound like she was "talking behind your back" so much as maybe venting. She sounds like she has a lot of frustrations. Who better to listen (and I mean listen, not necessarily commisserate or play the "one upmanship" game), than your mother?!.

Maybe you could send her a short handwritten note (no emails or anything like that) that just says: Hey. I'm sorry I kept listening to that call. I should have hung up. And I'm sorry if I made you uncomfortable talking about my ring. I was just really excited. Can we put this behind us and move on? I miss you.

And leave it at that. If she is ready, she will call you up. And if she isn't, she won't. But you'll have done all you can, and you will know it's time to move on.

Sometimes big differences in finances can make it too difficult to continue close friendships. There is just too much discrepancy. It is awkward and difficult to be either the one who "has" or the one who "doesn't". And it can strain every aspect of your involvement if you let it. Maybe she isn't able to see past it right now. You can't do anything about that but move on with your life.

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answers from Kansas City on

What's that saying that people come in our lives for a reason, a season or a lifetime?

You need to do what your heart tells you. But if she isn't willing to reach out, don't drive yourself nuts trying to keep something there that isn't.

And remember that sometimes you just grow apart from people. My best friend in college and maid of honor at our wedding is a perfect example. We didn't even have a disagreement, we just headed into different directions in life. And some of my closest friends now, that I know I could call anytime day or night, are friends I've just had in the last 5-10 years.
Now that being said, I do have one friend from high school, 30 years + that she and I are still very close.

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answers from Kansas City on

A real friend loves you through thick and thin. If she isn't interested in apologising, then maybe she's ready to move on. But if you really do miss her, send her a note telling her that you forgive her for talking behind your back and as the other poster suggested, that you didn't mean to brag about your ring. You were just excited.

I have a friend that told me once that she felt everything just came so easy for my husband and I. She'll never understand and we don't talk very much anymore. She is jealous I'm sure. She divorced and that was after years of her making little comments that were meant to dig me about her and her husband having a better marriage than we do. The sad thing is, we've worked our butts off to get what we have. We haven't had any help from anyone EVER. This friend that thought things have gone so easy for us has grandparents and a father that has showered her with money, gifts, down payments for houses etc. Her father even left her with a living will that protected her house from her lousy credit. Her family has been adopted for Christmas, had cars paid off, been showered with gifts and cash from total strangers. I work 7 days per week. She just quits jobs whenever she feels like it. At least, she used to. Now that she's divorced she has to take care of her family.

This is the petty stuff of life that makes me not care if I have any real friends. I like my surface relationships that I can find online. The less we invest, the less we will be hurt when they get tired of us and move on. :)

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answers from Fort Collins on

I will just right her a diplomatic email and tell her that you are sorry that your excitment about the ring did make her feel may be incomfortable and if you could please work things out with me and tell her what you just told us that you really miss her that 8 years is a very long time and that you don't want to throw your wonderful relationship away just for a ring.Good luck.

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answers from Portland on

Write her a letter and forgive her. She's embarrassed, poor thing. Of course she shouldn't have said what she said, but women gossip and say things to Mom that they would NEVER spread to others in their group of friends. Her mother is her safe place to really share what she's feeling. I'm sure it's jealousy and I'm sure it was nothing. I feel for you that you overheard. How hurtful and how difficult to get over. Sounds like the friendship was more important to you though and it sounds like you'll be able to move past it. Hint, I wouldn't mention the jealousy part to her specifically. I would only say that you understand why she vents to her mom.

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answers from Colorado Springs on

You know, if you want to be friends with her, you might write her a letter or call her again. Tell her that you know it was a stupid thing to say, but it's no big deal. We all should be able to vent to our moms about stuff that bugs us. Tell her that you miss her and that it isn't something that you want to lose her friendship over. Tell her you forgive her. I bet she's really embarrassed! Could you imagine that happening to you? I'm sure we've all said things about people that if we knew they knew, we'd want to bury our heads in the sand or have the world swallow us up. If you don't resolve this now, it will haunt her for the rest of her life. And, probably you, too. Don't live with regrets. Life is too short, and this is too petty of an issue to let it rule your life. I hope it works out with you two!

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answers from Phoenix on

With friends like that who needs enemies. If she is willing to humble herself & admit her wrong even after you tried you have to say Goodbye. I know it will hurt. I've been there.
One thing to try is to write her a letter and send it to her. Tell her how she made you feel and that you forgive her.
Simply you have to know your worth. Dont make someone an priority when you are just their option.
Hopefully she is mature enough to get past her own guilt and shame and be your friend again. Obviously you are a good friend to her.
Remember you are not a doormat.

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answers from Colorado Springs on

A quotation just came to mind, but I don't remember who said it - "I don't miss her; I miss who I thought she was." It's too bad that this happened between two longtime friends. But it's common.

My take on the matter is this: Don't push it. You're upset and she's embarrassed, and it sounds as if even the husbands are involved. I think you need to let her go her way, and if she doesn't want to speak to you, let her be distant. That's another thing a friend does for a friend.

Your job would be to keep busy and have other friends. She will undoubtedly do the same. Think kindly towards her, and don't *ever* talk about her to others except to say wonderful things! Who knows - sooner or later, you might become buddies again and be able to laugh over this whole event. Stranger things have happened. Time is often the best healer.

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answers from Minneapolis on

I think I would send her a card. Take the time to go into Hallmark and go to that "Inspirational Moments" section. I bet they have a card that fits. I would jot a little note saying hearing her words hurt me, but time heals wounds and you would like to have coffee/lunch and try to move past it "together". End the card with "As close as we ARE; I know you are feeling the same void as I" "So let's work together to fill the voids" "Text me a couple of dates that work for you". Then you have put the ball back in her court. I am sure she was embarrssed and needs to deal with jealously, envy, embarrssment and even some anger. A lot of emotions to sift through. Give it a little time; if she is a friend work on it and it will come back together.

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answers from Topeka on

I know EXACTLY what you are going through...I have ( had) a best friend, more like a sister really...but we have TWENTY FIVE years of history!!! I could tell her anything, she knew more about me than anyone, and we did everything together!!! About 10 years ago, she shared a confidence that I had told her, with her grown daughter, who then shared it with MY grown daughter and it caused major...MAJOR upheaval in my family!! We have never...NEVER spoken a word since then!! But at HER choice not mine, I have reached out to her by mail several times, (We have never discussed the confidence betrayal, in fact it is just an educated guess on my part that this is what caused her to turn her back on me...embarrassment over what she did) but she has only responded with one Christmas Card with her signature on the bottom.
All of that being said...I don't know what you should do!!! She is the one that was in the wrong....she is the one who owes you an apology.The only place that I can see that you were in the wrong was in listening in to a conversation that wasn't meant for your ears. I can see an arguement for the fact that you should have simply hung up your phone as soon as you realized that she hadn't called you and not continued to listen to her conversation with her Mother. I feel the only thing you can do is make it easier for her to apologize and make amends...sit down and write her a letter ( snail mail not email) and tell her how much you miss her, apologize for listening to her conversation with her Mother and tell her how much you would like to have your friendship back. Then you sit back and wait....
Good luck to you...I know how your heart is hurting.


answers from Eugene on

Sorry but this is a very, very class conscious society. Money is our measure. Your friend is jealous for certain but has no tools to deal with it. Putting down the value of your ring to her mother is just part of the problem. It speaks of betrayal. You would have had more sympathy if she had told her mother you got this lovely ring which she wishes she and her husband could afford.
You didn't throw the friendship away you were just trying to straighten things out. She threw away because she feels inferior due to financial standing.
I once had a friend I treasured and her jealousy kept us apart. It took me years but I finally ended it since the jealousy was only one portion. There were numerous betrayals over the years. It has left a hole in my friendship circle. However, I have made new friends who don't do that to me.
You will find new friends. Just put the friendship on a shelf and pray that she finds a way for her circumstances change for the better



answers from Portland on

A good friend is hard to come by. They are like marraiges with the tiffs and stuff. I bet if you knew about the money stuff before this you would have understood why she was grumbling to her mom. Everybody has great ideas on helping you get your friendship past this. But I have a different view for you. The phone call to her mom was suppose to be private. You were not suppose to hear it. You should not have listened, you should have put the phone down till the conversation was over with. I would say you owe her an apology also. I would include in the hallmark card your own apology, and ask her to come to your house for lunch, remember she is having money concerns, and buying a lunch may be out of reach for her.



answers from Chicago on

I would give her a little time, maybe a month or two, then try again. I would not throw away the friendship. Let her know it's important to her & if SHE wants to throw it away, then there is nothing you can do. I bet she is jealous. I think the major reason women have issues with each other is jealousy. It's sad, but some people have insecurities & that prevents them from being friends w/ people who have more than them. Give her some time to cool off, then try again in a month, if that doesn't work, then wait another month. She may come around. You may want to think back about if you said anything to make her more jealous (like did you inadvertently brag about it, or flaunt it). If you think you did, even w/out realizing it, make sure you apologize. If you did not, then it's really just your friend's insecurities. Just make sure you're not the one who gives up. If it's her, then it's out of your control. Good luck.



answers from Seattle on

I know exactly how you feel. I had this friend I had known since birth. (Her mother and mine were preg with us at the same time.) We were inseparable since birth. When we were 15, we lost touch with each other. Her mother (who is bi-polar) decided we didn't need to be around each other. She up and moved! We had been searching for each other ever since. Luckily for me, I hadn't been married, so finding me was easier than me finding her. I tried every route I could to locate her. I was exhausted from trying. One day, I logged onto my Facebook acct and guess what I saw? A friend request from her! I was estatic! We found out we only lived a few hrs from each other. We started hanging out again and at was wonderful. But then, as time went on, she started to say things to me that were just borderline hurtful. She started to dictate how I raise my children and how I should dress. She would easily get angry at something small I or my children would do. (I believe she was bi-polar like her mother.) It reached a point where I knew I had to talk to her. I tried, like be honest, sincere, and say with respect how she hurt my feelings. She would either hang up the phone, yell at me, or tell me that she doesn't want to talk to me ever again. She did this SEVERAL times. Finally, just a little over a month ago, I decided enough was enough. I loved her and her son with all my heart, but I was losing the battle and in order to protect what my children and I had, I had to disconnect myself. I told her I thought it was better we part ways. As a last ditch effort, she started telling me how I wasn't loved, my family doesn't love me, how I'm mentally messed up, I need help for the sake of my children...etc. I still think about her and wish we were still friends, but I had to part ways. It was hurting me and my kids by sticking around. I hope that your friend sees what's happening between the two of you. I would give it some space and try again later. If she continues to do what she's doing...then maybe it's best to part ways. I'm sorry this is happening. If I could hug you in person, I would...I know how you feel. Hope all works out. *hug*



answers from Seattle on

Please write this friend off as she's no "friend" of yours. Life is too short to waste time on someone who will only stab your back. Find, renew, or build stronger relationship with people who are good to/for you. Dump this girl PLEASE! I had to dump a 20-years long friendship with a friend who was constantly jealous of me...which lead to hate and discontent! So...figured life is too precious to waste time on someone you can't trust be be a good friend.



answers from Eugene on

I know that's very hard. You're friends. You have a deep, long, and rich friendship, not just some surface thing. One of the hardest things I've found between my own friendships can come when one friend finds herself in a better or worse economic status than the other friend. I've been at both ends of that equation, and it can be very uncomfortable. It's like suddenly, you have to be very careful about what you talk about. I've felt the envy of wishing I had the money to take my kids on a trip after hearing about someone else doing it, or to do expensive upgrades on my home when a friend is deep in the throes of remodeling and talking about the details--as friends do! I've also felt the sudden withdrawal of friends when either I came into some money--or they lost a job or a husband who provided income--and I ended up being the one with higher financial stability than them.

When we are all in a situation where an international economic crisis has led to personal concerns and sometimes real tragedies for many people, it can be hard to remember that we are friends first and foremost, and to stay that way as things shift. I think it's important to be sensitive to your friend's situation and why she may have acted the way she did. I know what she said hurt you, but you WERE listening in to a private conversation that was not meant for your ears. That may have been her way of "venting" her feelings so she wouldn't take them out on you, when you didn't deserve it. It wasn't nice. It was hurtful. But you took her off guard when you "confronted" her about it, and that doesn't bode well for de-escalating the problem.

Here's what I would do:
Either call her, if you think she will listen, or send her a card with a handwritten note.
Say this-
-I'm sorry. I was insensitive about how tight things are financially for you right now, and you didn't need to hear me talking about my new ring. I should have realized how that might feel.
-I miss you. Your friendship has been a very special part of my life for a long time. We have shared so much. I want to stay your friend. I want you to stay mine.
-I was hurt by what I overheard, but it wasn't a conversation for my ears, and I shouldn't have listened.
-I care about how you feel. I am concerned about how you are doing. I don't know how to be when, right now, we aren't in the same place financially, but I want to make sure our friendship evens out so you get what you need from me as a friend and I am able to still have you as a friend.
-Can we please talk about this?

What you SHOULDN'T do (and believe me, I know how hard this is, and I DO understand you are hurt by what she said) is try to get her to apologize for what she said. Make the communication all about opening your heart to her and what YOU could have done better. It's very likely she may come to a place where she apologizes on her own, once she hears that, but it is not likely at all that she will apologize if you ask her to--no matter how justified you may feel.

I think a friendship is worth swallowing your pride over and trying openly look for your part in it. I have personally saved a friendship such as this, by doing exactly what I've suggested.



answers from Eugene on

Spells out one thing to me, money troubles. She is, I'm guessing, in high stress mode over it and has trouble talking about it with you or anyone so she is shutting out people close to her. Pretty sure that is was is going.



answers from Philadelphia on

Good friends are hard to come by. Tell her you value her friendship and you need her in your life.



answers from Seattle on

First of all.... you listened in on a private telephone conversation between her and her Mom. I don't care how you got there, but once you did you should have immediately hung up, identified yourself and hung up. This woman was entitled to have her conversations private, believe it or not it's the law. With all of that said, she was venting to her Mom, lots of people vent about things that are their private thoughts, maybe she was having a bad day, maybe she and her husband were in a tough spot, maybe she was a tad jealous and she complained to her Mom and not to you..... she didn't make those comments to you, but to her safe place, her Mom.

You're going to have to do some major repair and apologizing if you want to salvage a relationship, but the trust is broken and will be hard to get back to where it once was. I would apologize with no expectations for a renewed relationship. You owe her that. And you tossed the relationship away when you stayed on the phone once you knew who she was talking with. I think you need to move on having learned a valuable lesson about privacy and friendship.



answers from Portland on

Does it really matter what I'd do? Or are you really asking:

"I want to have my friend back, but I don't want to be a door mat. Do you think I am?"

You're not. You confronted her. If you want closure, call her and ask to meet for coffee - somewhere public. Tell her you don't want to fight. You just want to get back on track.

She hung up because she knew she was being a bit-- and was caught at a low moment. It's embarrassing. And be honest with yourself. Have you never ranted about something she did to your mom or husband? It wasn't anything that you would say to her and truth be told, you probably forgot about it by the time you saw her again. It was petty and didn't really have anything to do with your friendship. But it didn't matter because she didn't hear you. So, it was harmless - right?

When you meet her, do what you promised. Don't start a fight. Say that you knew you overhead something that wasn't meant for your ears and that you didn't mean to flaunt your new ring in her face - you were just excited and wanted to share the special gift with your closest friend. It doesn't matter if that isn't what you thought you were doing - the point is...she felt that you were. Then both agree to move forward and actually do it.

Good luck!



answers from Atlanta on

She was probably embaressed when she hung up on you. I would give it time and prayer. When it feels right, say a month or 2 or 3 you two will get back together. If it's truly a friendship worth keeping to you both it will all work out. We all make mistakes and we all have faults the important thing is to just let each other Be. I understand you missing her, and it does not sound dumb in the least. Of course you miss your friend. But this is all part of the process. Maybe you will both go through a learning and healing process through this. ~~The Best to You Both


answers from Milwaukee on

Mail her a letter and/or card and let her know you vaule her friendship and would love to get together some time soon. If you want, and really feel this way, let her know that it did bother you at first what you over heard but you don't care what she said to her mom and vaule her friendship.

If she does not want to talk/hang out any more well then you will just have to respect her choice. If she does hang out just be sensitive to what you tell her because of her struggles.



answers from Harrisburg on

First of all, it is disturbing to overhear what someone really thinks about you, but in reality, don't all women talk about each other. By her telling her mom (if it was another friend, it might have been worse-and it's not like you told her it was confidential) so, by it being mom, it may not have been derogative in nature, it could just simply be "girl talking to mom about everything in their life, including issues with your ring. However, you confronted her, and that was good of you to do so. By you doing so though, she got caught and probably feeling really bad. Don't expect her to feel comfortable confronting you again, she is ashamed of that. Give it some time and then tell her you miss her and it's ok with you if you continue being friends. If riff raff happened in the past and you straightened this one out, you can fix this too. I don't think it's a trust issue in this case, it's just women talking...which sometimes some of us should just get a grip on and control for the sake of friendships. In your situation, it didn't sound like she meant you harm, it was just conversation. Like your husband said, it's probably jealousy (and jealousy isn't as bad as it sounds). Envy however is another demon. Watch if this continues and determine for yourself, but I think this is worth you talking to her again IF she chooses to do so.

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