Weird Situation W/ Sort of Ex-friend - WWYD?

Updated on February 12, 2013
L.N. asks from Fort Myers, FL
23 answers

My husband works with a woman who is about 10 years older than us. We used to get together with her and her husband quite a bit. I was never close personal friends with her…it was more of a “couples” thing if you KWIM. Although, she did go to my baby shower. Well, after DH and I had DS things went sour. This couple never had kids and I found her to be very judgmental of me for being a working mom. Every time we got together with them she would have some rude comment. I have no time/interest for a “frenemy” type relationship so we stopped getting together with them and the friendship basically withered away. Although – she still does work with my DH…..

Well, about six months ago she had to have a pretty major medical procedure…my husband sort of mentioned it but didn’t really give me the full details until maybe a month or two ago. I felt bad but didn’t think to call her or anything…I hadn’t seen her in ages and we were never all that tight even when we would get together with her husband. Anyway, I went out to lunch with my mom the other day and was telling her about all this and my mom was horrified that I never called or sent a card. Now I feel bad…but it was six months ago at this point so what can I really do?

Not to mention, there was some awkwardness because a month or two ago my “friend” also sent me an invite to an MLM party she was hosting. I really did not want to spend the evening apart from DS after working all day to buy products I don’t want/need so I asked DH to tell her at work that I couldn’t make it. (Looking back, I should have called personally to tell her…and offered my condolences for her health problem at that time.) A few weeks later I got a kind of terse email saying she was rescheduling the party and to let her know if I could make it or not. No “how have you been” or anything. So I simply wrote back, “Sorry, I can’t make it.”

So, there is a lot of awkwardness in this relationship now and I don’t know how to proceed…I’m not really interested in a friendship with her but she does work w/ my DH and as my mom pointed out, she did go to my baby shower and all that….we were friends at one time…I do feel I kind of owe her an apology for not attending her party and not calling to say sorry about her surgery and all…but at this point it seems too late to do anything.

What would you do?

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So What Happened?

You are right One and Done, I was passive aggressive.
I was just so mad after she started making mean comments about me attitude became, "Forget her!"
So, I've kind of been a b to her....just now realizing that...and feeling bad. :(

Featured Answers


answers from Washington DC on

i think it's ridiculous that anyone expects you to send cards or attend obnoxious parties to or for a woman you don't consider a friend.
i'd let it go without a second thought.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

Even if I have a good working friendship with someone I never feel guilty about saying no to a sales pitch. The home party sales model has a high potential to destroy friendships. I learned this while working on a degree in marketing!
Yes, you were friends at one time but it sounds like she ruined that. I don't think you owe her anything.

4 moms found this helpful

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answers from Columbia on

So this woman who doesn't have any kids makes rude and judgmental comments about you being a working mom, and your mom is insisting that you should feel guilty for not trying to be her friend?

This person isn't your friend. You needn't feel guilty for not communicating with her. You've chosen rightly, and IMHO, you should ignore your mom's guilt trips unless you want to drag out the misery of trying to fake a friendship that clearly never was.

You feel guilty because your mom said things that made you question your not communicating with your not-friend. Don't. Don't let your mom guilt you. SHE feels that it was improper for you not to contact not-friend. You were fine with it until you felt your mom's judgement. But you didn't do anythign wrong.

Your not-friend sent you an invite to an MLM party because she's not your friend and wants you to come so she can make money off of you. You weren't rude by asking your husband to tell her that you couldn't make it. And you're not rude for telling her later that you can't make it again. Next time, though, you need to simply say "I don't do MLM/sales parties, sorry." Cut that issue off permanently.

You don't have to "proceed" or do anything. Nor do you owe her an apology. That is you MOM's opinion, not yours. She sounds like a judgmental sourpuss...just maintain the silence. Just because your husband works with her doesn't mean that you need to try to be friends.

Just let it be.

C. Lee

ETA: Yes you were passive aggressive. But that doesn't mean that your feeling guilty for acting like a "B" means that you should be friends with someone who was acting like a "B" first! WHY are you feeling bad? Seems rather odd that the victim of someone's nasty and rude commentary should feel guilty for being upset about it. Yes, you could have handled it differently, but that doesn't negate the fact that this woman was and is still not your friend.

11 moms found this helpful


answers from Norfolk on

She's been demoted to acquaintance.
Trying to be overly friendly would be a mistake and send mixed messages when you are really not interested in being close friends.
You can be polite and wish her well without getting chummy.
Does your husband consider her a friend or merely a colleague/business associate?
If she's a friend of his, then he certainly could have sent a get well card to her after her surgery on behalf of you and him or maybe the office sent a group card (where everyone signed).
If he didn't, then he's not that chummy with her either.
I would not let what your Mom said make you feel guilty.
You are not obligated to attend any parties she throws.

10 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

You can't go back in time and change it. It's done and over with. It doesn't matter IF she went to your baby shower, after your daughter was born, she didn't treat you well. If I were you? I would let it go and stop holding grudges. Life is too short.

I'm sorry that your mother made you feel bad for something you didn't do. You let this relationship whither away for a aren't a "match" with a childless couple. There are people in your life for a reason and a season...she was a season.

Yes, your husband still works with this W.. You can be cordial. Be polite. Just because you aren't really friends, doesn't mean you can't be nice...If she invites you again, reply via phone thanking her and tell her you hope she is well (if you mean it, if not - it WILL sound fake).

You told her you were NOT going to attend the party. You do NOT owe her an apology for that, in my book. It's not like you blew her off. IF you were a no show - yeah - then, in my opinion, you owe her an apology.

Let it all go. Really. Don't feel guilty for this anymore. You can't change it. If she brings something up - then apologize. But other than that? Just act like it was a blip on the radar or nothing happened and press on.

Good luck.

9 moms found this helpful


answers from Portland on

Let it go.

If she had been hell-bent on having your support during her medical issues, she would have called you. If she was truly wanting you to come to her MLM party, once again, picking up a phone and actually saying "Hi! How are you?" would have been the right place to start on her end.

Move on; life will sort this out. Personally, I can't stand people who are judgmental about working moms-- I kind of think something in their self-image or personality is a bit 'broken' to hate on someone for something like this. I think your mom is overreacting, personally. Your husband is the co-worker, and I'm pretty sure HE signed the office card wishing her well on her surgery.

In short-- the phone works both ways. If this woman wants to be a martyr, let her. (although there is that old saying: "Get off the cross, we need the wood." ) She sounds like a real treat. Let it go and just know going forward how you want to respond to her NEXT time.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Milwaukee on

I think it's too late to and I would let it go. I think after the party thing she is not going to contact you again anyway.

If your going to blow someone off you have to follow through.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Tulsa on

no to MLM parties without apology.

You could just decide to do better next time. Personally, I am sick of frenemies and would not want to open that door up again.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

She's not a friend of yours. She's your husband's co-worker. I would not send a card or anything, as I think it's too late in the game. I think the window of opportunity has closed. This might only have her responding like, "What took you so long....I had surgery months ago, why are you sending something now?" She might take some offense. You have no intentions on pumping up the relationship so you might consider letting this one go on its way. It just doesn't sound like to me that this is a friendship you want, so why cultivate it by sending a card that you really don't want to send?

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

I really think this woman is not sitting around wondering, now, why didn't L. send me a card.
We would quit worrying about what people thought about us, if we knew how little they did. I forget who said that but it's true.
You did exactly as much as you wanted to. I trust you to be a good judge of character and worth listening to your gut about it the first time around.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Springfield on

I don't know that I see the need to "turn back the clock" and apologize for things in the past. It would have been very nice of you to send a card or call her when she had surgery, but it isn't necessary. It isn't something you need to apologize for. Also, you don't need to apologize for not accepting her invitation. You very well could have been busy. She may or may not susspect that you just didn't want to go. She could be giving you the benefit of the doubt.

I would procede assuming there are no hard feelings. The next time you have the opportunity, go that extra step. Accept the invite to a party you don't really want to go to. Or include her in a party you are having. do something a bit outside your comfort zone, but act like nothing happened.

If you try to apologize right now, you're just inviting trouble. If you choose to become closer friends, you might at some point say, "You know, I don't think I was a very good friend to you during that time, and I'm sorry I wasn't there for you." But only do that if the friendship grows closer. Otherwise, let it go.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

In all honesty, I think you have acted in a passively aggressive way.
In situations like the medical situation or the party, I ask myself how I would like the other person to respond.
It would have been nice to drop a card in the mail or send an email wishing her luck and a speedy recovery.
It would have been better for YOU to respond to the party invitation personally, because, well, that's what people do. That's the way to RSVP, not through your husband.
Buddies or not, this IS a coworker of your DH, and while you don't have to have nights out together or even attend her MLM parties, you CAN be civil, caring and polite--that's kind of what separates is from the animals!

ETA: think back to the comments from her that made you feel so bad. Did they make you question your choices? Did they strike a nerve in some way? Is it possible she wasn't being judgmental, just clueless? DINKs do not, can not truly understand being parents. Her comments were just coming from where she is right now, from her frame of reference, kwim?
It's also possible, that as a new mom, you were being overly sensitive...

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Appleton on

I went to a jewelry party hosted by my grandson's day care. I hated it, the jewelry was not my style and the salesperson was pushy. She asked me what I thought I told her honestly, "I only wear real stones" and she left me alone. The only reason I went was because the hosts (school) got points for me being there. When someone invites you to a MLM party it's because the more butts they get in the chairs the better their reward is at the end of the party. If she were a close friend then an explaination would be in order but this person is not your friend. She is a co-worker to your husband. She has clearly shown she doesn't really like you by her attitude.

Don't be concerned about it. You do not owe this person anything, she was rude and you cut her from your life. If you should see her again be polite, that's all. If she trys to engage you in conversation suddenly remember an appointment. If she invites you over, tell her you are busy with work and raising a child. You don't need to be friendly, simply polite.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

Yes, I agree with OneAndDone.

Why no just drop a card in the mail now, saying that you just found out and you're so sorry. Wish her well. Sending a card, doesn't mean you're trying to be best friends. It simply means, that you are trying to be the bigger person.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Las Vegas on

I have mixed feelings about this... you don't seem to like her. Therefore , you're sending a card or even calling doesn't sound sincere (and people know the difference) However, IF you were to send a card because YOU wanted to and not because "your husband works with her" then that is different. You can always send a card, regardless of how long down the road..
Find one you like, maybe write something to the effect of, I have been thinking of you and hope that your are feeling and doing better. You could even say, sorry I didn't reach out sooner and for that I do apologize (if in fact you are sorry)

When it comes to such matters, I, myself have written many such letters.

Just keep it real and sincere... keep in mind you may not hear back... but you can still make amends to the situation/person and move on... but without the angst..

good luck

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Raleigh on

Just my 2 cents....she is your husbands co-worker and she sounds like your "aquaintence" not a friend. Why does your mom think you are responsible for this person's feelings?

If you want to call, email or send her a card then do so. But I would only do that if YOU want to strike up a relationship with her. It doesn't sound like she was a very good friend to you.

Maybe in the future if she invites you to another party, just decline to her via email, evite or phone call- depending on whatever form the invitation was made.

It's not your responsibility to make her happy or to worry about her feelings unless you want to. It's only awkward if you let it be awkward. So do what you want and nothing else :)

If you were acting passive agressive with her which I don't know, I'm not in your shoes, just learn from it and move forward. That's all you can do.


2 moms found this helpful


answers from Phoenix on

I would leave it as is and move on. You two weren't actually "friends" and aren't compatible. Why on earth would you go to her party, and then apologize for not going? I'd assume your DH extended your & his sympathies during this woman's medical issues, so what more could be done?

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Phoenix on

In an email, I would make my apologies about not going to her party and say you hope it went well. Additionally, I would say that your husband mentioned she had undergone surgery and you hope she was feeling better. Yeah, you probably should have sent a card, but oh well. We all commit faux paus sometimes.

If you're not interested in a friendship with her, just leave it at that. Life is too short and time too previous to waste it hanging with someone you don't particularly like.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Oklahoma City on

Since she's hubby's co worker you might want to think about repercussions to him if you set her off.

If she's one of those kids of people she could make it uncomfortable for hubby.

Other than that I'd say don't do one on one social settings with this couple. No less than 3 couples when they're involved. That way there would always be someone to talk to and if she said something then the other female could help disburse any rudeness. This co worker might not even say anything if there are other people present.

As for going to a buy something party tell her you and a friend were just talking about that product the other day and wondering if someone was doing an order. If she's smart she'll tell you to bring your friend. This way you'll have someone to talk to that you know and that you can sit by.

I am a social person and that's how I'd handle her.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

If you feel that you should apologize, send her some pretty flowers with a simple card. Say : I am sorry about not calling when you were sick and for not coming to your party. Please accept these flowers and lets start over. If you are interested, call me and we can talk about it. Or you could just send her a thinking of you card and say: I hope that you are feeling better now. I am sorry I didn't call when you were sick. Hope you are doing well now~! Take care, _______

Then this gives her the opportunity to soak it in and decide what to do.

Thats what I would do :)

1 mom found this helpful


answers from San Antonio on

You have no reason to feel bad, she is an aquaintence! It's been 6 months since the surgery I am sure she was not even thinking about you sending a card. You owe no explanation to no one. It's your husbands co-worker not yours. To many people think we owe for going to parties, etc.. When invited but we are not obligated to return the favor.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Louisville on

At least you are not her co-worker - that makes it more *fun* ...ugh!

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answers from Miami on

If she invites you to something again, go. Pretend that nothing is awkward. I think you have missed the boat with the medical thing. Only if she mentions it should you talk about it. If she brings it up, then you could say something like hubby told you that she had had a medical procedure, but you didn't know it was a big deal until your mom said something not that long ago. You hadn't seen her in a long time, so you didn't get to ask her how she was doing. Say you are glad she's doing well, and then change the subject.

I do think that you should make an effort to do SOMETHING with her and her husband, once in a blue moon, IF she asks. Just don't do the inviting. And ignore when she says ANYTHING about kids.


1 mom found this helpful
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