Invitations from close friends


Well-Known Member
Important side note: we have invited these close friends of ours to every thing we have had involving milestone celebrations over the many decades we have known them and they have freely and happily attended.

Event #1. A long time ago I posted about an extraordinarily difficult time in my life when I got a wedding invitation from a very close friend (decades long friendship) to attend her (adult) child's wedding less than a week before the wedding. Her and her husband wanted to invite family, even family that live far away, even family that they aren't very close the wedding before inviting my husband and myself. Like all things, there are odd complications to the story...but we didn't do anything on our end to cause this.
It was a weird and painful situation and I don't agree with their behavior or decisions. We did accept this rather odd invitation and went to the wedding. Things are ok between us, but a little tense, not entirely the same. I told my friend I felt slighted by this very late invitation etc., but she explained how she felt. We agreed to disagree. There is some tension, but I think it isn't so much this wedding thing...but more because they have had some financial and other difficulties in recent years.

Event #2.Flash another child is having a milestone event. Let's say it is a college graduation. She sent me the invitation a few days in advance to the party. (not the graduation). There are potential mitigating circumstances to this situation. And this event isn't as "big" as the other.

We talked on the phone recently and she mentioned that she was excited about going to event #2. I told her I just got the invitation. She replied "Oh that...I just sent you that so that you would be in the loop."

I guess I'm oversensitive, because I did feel event #1 was out of line. I don't truly feel that way about Event #2...but certainly don't feel great about it either.

If you are having a milestone graduation celebration, wedding shower, baby shower, engagement party, etc. and want to almost "announce" this to others...but don't exactly wish to invite them to the does one handle it? What is the proper thing to do? It could be interpreted as "please send a gift." I was going to send a gift whether I got this announcement or not. It almost just calls attention to not being truly invited to the this particular case, I don't know how I would handle it myself.
Maybe just send an announcement .... NOT an invitation to a party a few days before the party. In the case of a baby shower...send a baby announcement. In case of a graduation grom college...send an announcement...not an invitation to a graduation party a fe4w days before the party and use that as the announcement. Thoughts?

Also...should I take offtense that somehow she seems to truly enjoy going to our events, but doesn't seem to want us at hers? She has a large family and this at least in part, seems to be the issue. I'm baffeled. My other friends tell me you don't treat decade old friends this way. Again, baffeled.
Last edited:


Well-Known Member
Today I'm laughing a little re my post.
Although I do think my friend's behaviors are peculiar , I recall a quote that I think applies "Offense is taken not given"


Well-Known Member
I agree - send an announcement, not an invitation, if you don't really want someone at the event. Maybe they like attending your parties because you throw really good ones. It does seem strange, though.


Things are so odd now a days. I'm old school. Announcement means they want a gift?

Invitations means your presence is wanted...not going send a gift if your close...and I believe in a RSVP.

Recently at a baby shower the friends opened all the gifts for the mother to be and arranged them?? Strangest thing I ever saw. Why bother to wrap then?


Roll With It
Manners are manners, regardless of what kind of family you have or how big they are. That this is relatively new is telling to me. She is showing that she does not really want you as a friend, in my opinion. She wants your gift, hence the invitation, but not your friendship. Real friends don't behave this way.

My mom was horrified when I refused to send graduation announcements to allllll the many relatives who were out of state. I explained to her that I saw them as a greedy request for gifts and not something I wanted to participate in. She got it after that. I did call the relatives that I was close to, my godmother, my great aunts that I actually knew, etc... and explained that I wasn't sending announcements because I didn't need gifts, but I loved them and appreciated that they were happy for me. Some sent gifts anyway, but many were truly appreciative because they were on fixed incomes and we are a HUGE Catholic family and a TON of my cousins and their spawn are incredibly greedy. I may have gotten nicer gifts than some of the cousins because of this, but it was NOT my intention. I know that happened at my wedding when I did the same thing.

Your friend is showing a truly appalling lack of manners. Her late invitations truly are saying "I don't want you there, but go spend some cash on a gift for me anyway. I know you will, but I don't think you can see that I don't have friendly feelings toward you."

People show you what they are through their behavior, not through their words. She is NOT your friend.


Well-Known Member
Staff member
For me, I wouldn't be quick to assume you know what your friend is thinking or what her reasons may be. People can be very peculiar and unthinking at times, but it doesn't always indicate they have selfish motives. Perhaps open up a dialogue with your friend and share your feelings with her letting her know you find her actions off putting but would like to give her the benefit of the doubt by trying to understand her actions.

It read to me as if her choices may revolve around finances and if so, folks are often not willing to share that information because it brings up so many feelings about our worth, so they cloud it all with odd choices that may be hard to understand.

People can act in strange and sometimes hurtful ways, however it often has nothing to do with me, it is their own idiosyncratic way of handling life. If we can communicate about it, quite often when all the feelings are on the table and true listening occurs, I can understand why someone behaved in a particular way. I may not like it, but I can understand it.

Your story reminds me of an incident years ago when I was in Greece, where standing in line and waiting your turn is not part of their cultural behaviors. I was quite judgmental and in fact, righteous about it, thinking that we Americans are so much more polite and mannerly. I talked to a Greek gentleman about it and he told me that he judged Americans for what he considered to be idiotic behavior to wait in line when you could push your way to the front. After a moment of staring at him as if he had 3 heads, we both started to laugh. In that moment I saw clearly that had I grown up in Greece, I would feel exactly the way he did and I let the whole thing go. It was a cultural difference. It ended up being a lesson for me in how I judge others and make assumptions when I don't have all the information.

I don't know if your friend was trolling for gifts or what her reasons were, but she may not have the same sense of manners and courtesy that you have. You may have very different attitudes and feelings about invitations, manners and what the right thing to do in this situation is, but it doesn't necessarily mean one of you is wrong, it is just different. However, you may ultimately decide that her actions are not in line with your sensibilities and the hurt or weird feelings that are brought up by your friends behaviors are not the kind of energy you want in your life.

I lean in the direction of the old school thinking that mof mentioned, I like manners and being polite and etiquette, however, all of that has really shifted in recent years and folks often don't have the same respect for etiquette, they handle it differently.

It's a sticky situation for sure. I am a believer in direct and honest communication but you have to have both parties interested in finding a bridge to stand on which can create a win/win.

Good luck with it Nomad and let us know what you decide to do.


Well-Known Member
Direct and honest communication:
With reference to the first incident, I'm actually proud of myself that I told her how I felt...that I didn't agree with her choice, that it was hurtful to me and so forth. She and her husband felt family came first over a thirty year friendship...even family she barely knows.

I absolutely DO think there is a lot of peculiarity here. I do think this is "on them," as some say. I do not think it is anything we did etc. I think some of it involves some cultural differences, some of it involves some stressors they are experiencing (financial and otherwise) BUT I do think some of it is very peculiar, a little rude and unkind. No how much (what percentage) in each category...I have no idea.

I do know that hubby and I have had our share and sometimes MORE than our share for years and years of financial stress, health stressors and big time over the top Difficult Child stress with very little and mostly NO help from others and we did our very best to avoid acting unkind to others and in particular these people.

I had an acquaintance of mine call our efforts at maintaining career (my husband), a good home, taking care of the needs of our children, participation in community, trying to keep my head above water with my health issues and so forth "nothing short of herculian."

It's all been shocking to me because this is a person I've known for decades who has always been extremely kind and appropriate. It's as if suddenly things have really changed. I think I made excuses for some oddities I saw previously...but so one is perfect. Then, when incident number 1 happened...I still basically let it go because sometimes people make mistakes, sometimes very big ones. I don't know what to make of incident number 2. But, in my heart of hearts, I recognize that this relationship seems to be changing. Maybe the stress over the last few years has been too difficult for her and she is a changed person.

I don't have the luxury of "taking offense." I'm doing my best to look at it SIMILARLY like we look at our adult Difficult Child. I very likely did not cause this. She is an adult and she makes her own choices and decisions. It is extremely, big time doubtful I can change her. If her behavior toward me is consistently hurtful, I can ask her to behave differently. If she chooses not to...I can decide not to let it hurt me...not to take offense...but also to greatly reduce my time with her or even end the friendship. At this time, my decision is to greatly limit my time with her....and hopefully even make new friendships.

( I say similarly because we can't exactly make new children. LOL. But, we can do our best to not let our adult children offend us, greatly limit our association with them and move forward).


Well-Known Member
So many things come to mind in response to your quandary, Nomad. First, I recall what my mother told me a couple of years before she died: Copa. If you expect people to be perfect, you will be alone.

But on the other hand, in my life, I have walked away from many friendships. A lot of times it was circumstances. Other times it was arrogance or some other limitation on my part. But then, there is this, too: Sometimes, people betray you, and there is the need to accept that what has been thought to be friendship, is no longer, or never was. How do we determine when we should cut or losses or fight to regain or improve a relationship, by talking it out? It is hard to know.

I agree with RE, that there is always room to turn a cheek, and to look for the context which is not intentional or personal; which you have been trying to do, by forgiving her odd behavior as financially driven, or even envy. And in what RE says there is a deeper truth too. A prisoner told us once in an anger management class: I always assume that if I had been raised in the exactly same conditions, I would think and do like the other guy, too.

I think with this friend of so many years it comes down to your investment, and a question of love and respect. Look how hard we try for our difficult children, and some of us, for our mates and our parents. We dig down into ourselves, and we change, for them and for ourselves. For many of us there is no chance of turning away. I think this can be the same for friendships. But not always.

I have been thinking a lot of a friend of more than 40 years ago. I was young. Out of college. My first professional job. She was maybe 10 or 12 years older than me, married, in a much better financial situation, and she was in a position to give (and did) in such a way that I could not. I was over her house maybe 3 nights or more a week. She included me in many social events.

There was a time this became stifling to me and I did not know why. I wanted to build a future life different than the one I had. It seems I could not comfortably move on and hold on to the friendship. Or perhaps, I did not want to. I remember I felt borderline angry with her. She constantly interrupted me to put words in my mouth. When I told her and her husband I would enter psychoanalysis, the husband tried to discourage me. Perhaps he was right, but was this not a personal decision? Did it reveal an underlying lack of respect, that perhaps was built-in to the friendship? I don't know.

I seemed like the ungrateful friend but like you on some level my needs were not being met. I needed to be recognized, seen in a different way, than what was happening. Maybe that person I needed to be did not yet exist and I needed to create her. I kept the friendship on a more distant basis maybe 10 years more, more because there was a nexus of 3 friends who socialized together, intermittently. I was the youngest by far.

In sum, I needed to move away from this couple, and did not forgive myself for doing so, and still do not so many years later.

I have realized that friends are not easy to find or make. What I took for granted, is not easily replaced. I am far more guarded 40 years later.

We change. Maybe this friend does not anymore meet your needs. Maybe she senses it. Or maybe, like me, you are more discerning. It could be she has always been this way, and only now you are seeing and feeling it differently.

After about 15 or more years of knowing this woman I wanted to adopt my son. I asked her to fill out a reference form. She did. Unbeknownst to her, the social worker showed me the form after she had submitted it. She had cautioned the social worker I not be allowed to adopt because I was "emotional" which of course raised a red flag. I felt this was a betrayal, but never confronted her. If I were ever going to do this, I would tell the person up front, that what I would write would be hurtful, and give them the choice. This woman had no compunction about destroying my life. Did I sense this about her all of those years before? I do not know.

25 years later, I did go to a gathering at her house with my son who was then about 10. She had never met him, and she was very kind to him and to me. (This woman notably was very sociable and gracious.) I would have been around 50 then, she, a decade older. She asked me over the phone, when inviting me, are you still beautiful?

When I think about this, I believe it was an aggressive and cruel thing to say. Of course I was not still beautiful. I weighed 50 pounds more. I was 25 years older. She had never all those years earlier intimated that she thought I was beautiful. But the real point was this: I had spent the last 25 years developing myself. Taking risks. Studying hard. Obtaining a doctorate. Getting a profession. Establishing a career. Raising a son, alone. Living internationally with my child. There were many things my life lacked, and many struggles, but the point emphatically was not, whether I was still beautiful or if I had ever been. What was this woman thinking?

The thing is, these things are hard, for those of us who take relationships, and take ourselves and our lives seriously. It is hard, because we are important. We want to have integrity. We want to stay true to ourselves and to our commitments. And it is hard to know what to do when they seem to collide.

With this woman, I might have spoken to her directly and told her: this is how what you do makes me feel. I want to move beyond it. Would you be willing to talk about it? Except, in this case, I think she would not have been able to deal with this kind of honesty. Or was I at the time, capable of such. But looked at another way, our feelings are our responsibility. Your friend is not responsible for how you feel. You are responsible for changing the way you think, or moving on. That is what I think. And me too. Actually, I am forgiving myself, now.

I look forward to your response, Nomad. You have to distinguish in yourself, I think, whether it is love or pride, that is at stake for you. right now. If it is love, dig in. If it is pride, let it go. People change. Sometimes we can bring friends along with us. Sometimes not. There is no blame in that.
Last edited:


Well-Known Member
That was great Copa, thank you!
I might write more later.
I talked with her at length re the first incident. I was very upfront. I told her I was deeply hurt.
I'm glad I spoke up and I'm glad she seemed to of heard me.
You are right. You can't expect people to be perfect and you don't walk away from long term friendships without at least a very long pause first.
They have lost the friendship of certain close relatives. So, troubles are many due to changes in behavior. Then there is potential jealousy. Maybe some small cultural influence.
It's complicated.
I don't think I want to have another difficult conversation with her.
You are right, she didn't deal all that well with honesty last time.
Part of me feels like that first very difficult conversation didn't do much.
You can never fully know what a person is going through so perhaps there is much more to this story and I'm unaware.
I don't think I can change this odd distancing and I'm making peace with it.
But it's still difficult...hence these periodic posts reaching out.
The replies are comforting.
Many thanks Copa and everyone.


Well-Known Member
Nomad. I added some more to my post about taking responsibility for our feelings, and the idea of talking it out. I agree. The work is ours to do. They are really outside of it, and responsible only for themselves.

I am thinking of our children, here. We do not talk it out. Why? First, they are unreliable. But as much, we make these decisions independent of them based upon our own values and needs. How is this situation different? Sometimes people stay on in friendships not because of what happens but because of so much time and effort invested, water under the bridge. Marriage is like that too, for many. Is this inherently wrong? I do not think so.

You know. The reason I did not ever talk to this woman in my life about all of this is because at bottom I did not care enough. That is the truth of it. It could be that I was fundamentally flawed, I accept that. But that is what the truth is: I was indifferent. It boils down for you Nomad, to this question: Is there the the caring for your friend that will overcome the obstacles she is presenting, which could have nothing at all to do with you, which is what RE is suggesting.

But I will tell you this: I would not end a deep and enduring friendship of decades, which still nourished me, over an invitation or lack of one. That she did not include you could be based upon trust and confidence. Not the opposite. She could be assuming that she does not have to keep up appearances with you. Or she could be embarrassed that she does not have the means to compete with your standard of living. And she feels shame. In this case, your enduring friendship could support her. You really have it within you to look away from the hurt of it, based upon your continued caring for her, and decision that this friendship still serves important needs.
Last edited:


Well-Known Member
I'm in some odd middle space. The relationship isn't as good as it was once before. And her husband seems to have some silly issue with mine ...that is likely jealousy related. I can't help but still care for them because of all the good memories.
But things remain strained.
I do see certain similarities here that can happen in any relationship.
Thank you again!


Well-Known Member
Nomad. Sometimes in my experience relationships go to this middle space. With our kids, for sure. With our spouses, too, when we do not know quite what to do. I was there for a while with M, until he decided to change. What could I do? Leave or stay, that was it. Until he decided to change. I did not talk to him about it as he is very defensive (or was.) It is harder when there is a choice.

Sometimes we do not know which way things will go until the future has revealed what happened in the rear view mirror. I think we have to have a special kind of patience to deal with the not knowing. Your friends, and you, will decide. Then it will be known.

There were few things I was surer of, then the distance I maintained from my mother. And then in the few days before she died, and after her death, I knew this distance, while understandable, was the gravest error of my life.

To me, that you are pondering this is to your great credit, in so many ways.
Last edited:


Well-Known Member
Thank you so much.
And I like what you said earlier about choice. We can chose how react to such difficult situations.
You and I had a little similarities with parents, although with me it was my father.
AND I chose to distance myself and I do believe I made the right choice. He was very toxic.
That was a profoundly difficult choice. AND ironically, I would say in most cases, probably not the way to go. But, it is a difficult and very personal choice.
My father was physically and psychologically abusive.
That for me, was the right call...and for you it was the right call. Different people, different situations, etc.
My marriage is a very long one and we both have had to give and take...big time.
I feel so very blessed.
I think you are right in that this friendship perhaps in time will reveal itself. Maybe it is on a long pause.
I just don't know. Relationships, especially long ones, can be tricky...that's for sure! :)


Well-Known Member
You know I am thinking here how inherently limited some of us are. Namely me. I know a woman who has cancer. I have not known her long or well. She has never been to my house. She did ask me when she was going to have surgery to check on her dog. M thought this presumptuous, like she was taking advantage of a new acquaintanceship when she has lived in this town 3x longer than I and has family here. But her husband wanted to stay with her throughout the long surgery, and I understood. I helped out.

When I did not see her husband, I worried, but kept my distance, not wanting to intrude on their privacy; but also, I was afraid. I was afraid of illness. I was afraid that she may have been mutilated by her surgery (her mouth.)

The weeks turned into a month.

When I saw her husband, finally, I rushed up to him extending my good wishes to the wife, asking how she was. He said: you can go in. She's in the living room. I demurred. I was afraid, still.

I seldom do things just because I should. It really is a limitation of character. I wait until I want to do them. I did not want to go in that house or living room.

Now. There is no way back. I am really afraid to visit or call. That is what I mean about things getting decided without really deciding, and only knowing the fate of a relationship, not by intentions but by looking in the rearview mirror.


Well-Known Member
At the risk of boring the you know what out of most of you and beating a dead horse....lololol

So my friend of thirty years calls and it seems one of her adult children is pregnant but doesn't wish to tell the extended family at this time...wishes to wait three months. Just the parents and siblings. No aunts, grandparents etc.

I understand this part.

So my friend calls and says the following "I'm calling you and telling you the news because I just had to tell somebody and since you don't know anybody I figure it's safe."

She just seems way offfff to me. On one hand I understand, on the other hand...a weird thing to say.

It might be I don't "know anybody" especially of late because I don't get invited to anything. My husband said it's like we are people you've just hired to paint your just feels extraordinary weird and a little RUDE.


I started to say something and she cut me off and said "well, you know, you don't get to see my extended you wont have an opportunity to tell them by accident...."

I just nicely got off the phone.

It's so obvious that when my husband started doing well with his work, we started to get this odd treatment. Yet, they've enjoyed decades of special privleges...long story....and it never bothered us at all.


Ok...I will let it go. Life is weird sometimes.


Well-Known Member
I would feel the same; the implication is you don't count. Like you are invisible. Or she wants you to be. This is particularly cruel. It is like she wants you to know that you are in the margin, out of the circle.
since you don't know anybody
And she is letting you know SHE is conscious of this and wants you to know your place too. That is the part that is impossibly difficult. She is forcing you to take notice of it all. She seems to be putting it right up front. We can try to forgive her because obviously she has REAL issues, but still, I would have a hard time too. Of course, there is literal truth to what she says: you are not a family member and she is choosing to keep you away from her family. But why? And why tell you? For what?
you don't get to see my extended you wont have an opportunity to tell them by accident
This is what I mean. She is telling you here this is intentional and this is her plan and she wants you to know it is. She wants you to know your place. In Latin culture this is very, very rude. When we go to family gatherings at M's sister's house, there is nearly always a neighbor or a friend, more than one. She is choosing to exclude you Nomad. And she wants you to know. And she continues to use you as a confident. Why? I am sorry, Nomad.
Last edited:


Well-Known Member
Nomad. Do you have any thoughts about either one of the situations I have commented upon in this thread (either the friendship of my youth and middle age or recently the acquaintance who has cancer)?


Well-Known Member
I'm not sure Copa. This is a Latin Family. Mind you, they have been separated from a large part of their family. They have always been a huge cohesive family. I've always been very impressed by this.
Then my friend's husband did something that was deemed inappropriate. Several cousins and their family spoke up and separated. This is unheard of.
My friend and her husband went on a campaign to make sure the rest of the family stayed on "their side."
We wanted to be loyal friends, and, of course stayed on their side, even though we wondered about it.
It's hard to say if my friend and her husband had to go to any extremes because I think their family's attitude is to simply let anything and everything go...even if a person feels cheated, etc. But, they went on this weird campaign to make sure the rest of the family saw it from their perspective.

They have a very elitist attitude. All major holidays HAD to be celebrated at their home. After awhile, I think this got a little old.

My husband and I have almost no family, were burdened greatly by a Difficult Child, I have major health problems and barely worked all these years and they looked at us as "poor x and x." They were particularly amazed by our Difficult Child.

A few years ago, my husband changed careers ever so slightly. A variety of factors were involved. It is a related field. He liked it better and it paid better. He has done well. We stayed on a budget. Meanwhile, several years ago, her husband lost his job. He did not get another. They have a large house. It's basically impossible that they were able to maintain that large home. Perhaps her parents helped out. Hard to say. But, this likely is part of that "elitist" thing. Must maintain the large house...

When it became noticeable that we were doing well...they started pulling back from us. They have looked down upon us.

We made good frineds with a lady from a South American country that sometimes would do housekeeping but also did babysitting. This is someone they knew indirectly because she was at our house a lot. I recall one time the husband said, "You know I like 'b" because she knows her place." I recall being shocked out of my mind. The truth is we care deeply for "b." It just seemed like a horrible thing to think, never mind "say."

But, now we realize they kind of thought of us similarly to the way they think of "b."

My husband had a professional job (just retired) for over thirty years. At the retirement luncheon recently, people were in tears. They (my friends) are angry (jealous) that he will receive a pension. They (mostly husband) even has made subtle noise about it "not being fair." My husband also maintained a professional consultant business, which as I mentioned in recent years he has altered in a different arena that is more lucrative.

Anyway who truly knows my husband can't help but admire him. He often works from 8 am to 10 pm

These friends of 30 years never called or even texted when he retired.

Both my husband and I have tried to look at this as they obviously have major issues.

That weirdo comment is kind of bothering us. They recently sold their home and are more solvent than they have been in the past probably seven years. My husband actually said "watch as soon as they sell their home, they will act more peculiar ..." I can't type it out all here, but he called something things verbatim.

I was saying to hubby yesterday, I would be hard pressed to describe this odd situation to anyone.
I think it is a horrible class thing combined with something else. Jealousy would be high on my list of guesses. But, it's only a guess. It is painful to think that we were some sort of "fodder" for them ....poor so and so. No matter how much we mess up, we wont be as poor as soo and soo. We wont have as many problems as so and so (because they have a Difficult Child). We make more money than so and so. We have a bigger family than so and so.We have a bigger house than so and so.

But, to make good money even with crazy health problems and a Difficult Child....not that this is what we were going for...took tremendous skill, self control and very hard work. I would think that would be something to be admired. I think (know) my husband is a hero.

This has been a very hurtful situation...but somehow after that bizarre conversation, I'm starting to feel a little better. I might be seeing it a tad clearer.

I think the real truth is these friends might actually be the ones that are "low class," ... the very thing they think of other people and may think of us.
Last edited:


Well-Known Member
Nomad. I am in a similar situation with M's family, and my own sister treated me as a non-entity and now will not have anything to do with me at all. M, no matter how his family treats him, has love and loyalty and a sense of responsibility to them. It is so worthy of respect. M just chooses to forget what they do. He sees it, and feels the sting and lets it roll right off his back.

Despite my profession and the fact I have some money, we are social outcasts, in our own minds; because of M's status, and because we prefer it, actually. (I can masquerade as a women of status and respectability, but it is a dress up game.)

I guess what I am saying here is I would go with your heart. If you have a love for these people, do as M does and keep in the game. I have thin skin, so I get angry and hurt. So, if you are like me, you will pull back and protect yourself and nurse resentment.

Think about it. Nobody can define you really except yourselves. The truth of who you are, nobody can touch that. The rest does not matter.


Well-Known Member
The "knows her place" comment? Horrible. Really, Nomad. Re-read your first post today, where you laid out the conversation with your friend. This comment about your friend, is this not the same attitude that she displays overtly with you?