Post # 1
My BFF for 25+ years is a gay male. He’s never really liked my Fiance (he didn’t/doesn’t think he was the right guy for me – but says he is happy for me and will support me in my decision).
The thing that’s KILLING me is how much he’s pulled away from me. It’s happened over the last year or so (I’ve been dating my Fiance for 3.8 years), but since the engagement he’s acted so cold. I tried to make a dinner date with him, so I could talk to him about what’s going on (find out if I’m just dreaming this, etc) but he’s cancelled and hasn’t responded to my email to reschedule.
The more I think about it, the more I think it may not be such a strange occurrence (of once close friends realizing the dynamics of their friendship with you is changing). I know from a single standpoint, I’ve given my newly married friends some space, but now that I’m the one going through it, I realize that I don’t WANT those relationships to change – even though I know they do, to some degree.
Anyway – if anyone has some words of wisdom to get through this, I’d really appreciate it. I know my Fiance is my best friend – it’s just hard to feel like I’m losing my childhood friend when I thought he’d be close to me forever.
Post # 3
Yes! One of my best friends and I ended our friendship weeks after I became engaged. In all honesty, it started to fall apart after she and her fiancee had a really bad breakup and my then boyfriend and I were getting along really well. She was a friend that I thought I’d have for a lifetime and feeling our friendship falling apart didn’t feel good at all. But I thought about how I supported her during some pretty tough times and ultimately looked at how our disagreements were handled. I had the feeling that things would have been much different had her relationship not ended as badly. It hurt badly, but I don’t regret not holding on to a toxic friendship. In no way am I a perfect person but I do try to be considerate of my friends feelings and be supportive of them.
He’s not marrying your fiancee so he shouldn’t treat your friendship any differently. He’s told you how he feels and you’ve accepted that, so it kinda sounds like the problem is his. If you find the friendship worth saving, just give him a little space. I’ve had plenty of friendships that have taken a break and patched things up in the future. But know that you haven’t done anything wrong and this is supposed to be one of the happiest times in your life.
Post # 4
@Miss Dream – thanks so much for sharing your story and your advice. Your words are really helpful. I know my disappointment stems from an expectation of him being there for me. He and I have gone through a lot together emotionally over the years (being his sole support when he came out, etc.) and I wanted him to be there – just like any close girlfriend. I guess I need to chalk it up to “things I didn’t expect to happen upon getting engaged” and give him space (it never dawned on me that he might need this!!). Thanks again, Miss Dream.
Post # 5
No, i haven’t had this issue, but maybe reach out to your friend? Maybe he feels excluded or something…like another guy has *officially* taken his place and the friendship is declining so he’s pulling back. Meet him for lunch and make him dish. A few get togethers should be able to tell you what’s going on.
Post # 6
I definitely went through this with a couple of my friends. It’s funny because I always hated how my friends would isolate themselves when they got into relationships. But I realized that part of the reason that my friends were starting to pull away was because I was too busy spending time with my man instead of making time to spend with just my friends. So I tried harder to spend time with just my friends without the man being there, and that helped a lot. We were able to have our time together to catch up and chat without my hubby always being there.
It kind of ticked me off at first when my friends started pulling away because I thought maybe they were just jealous that I was in a serious relationship. And though that was a small part of the reason they were pulling away, it ultimately was up to me to make an effort to include them more in my life instead of just expecting them to include me in all their plans. So I guess my thoughts on the matter are: try making some time for just you and your friend. maybe he’s just missing the way things used to be, and a couple of get togethers sans your Fiance will help him see that he is still a big part of your life.
Post # 7
I think this happens a lot, not just between friends but also family members. An engagement can change things. It happened between me and my best (also gay male) friend when I moved in with FH, and out of the house we were sharing. We are ok now, we never really discussed it, I think we just muddled our way through. He lives in another state now so I haven’t noticed a difference in our relationship since the engagement (he is going to be my “man of honour” and seems very excited about that). When a good friend of mine got engaged several years ago, I was horrible about it and we stopped speaking. We’re friends again now but thinking back, I can’t believe the things I did/said. The book The Conscious Bride is mostly about helping the woman (or man) getting married deal with their own feelings, but there is also a good chapter on how an engagement/marriage can affect our other relationships too. You might want to see if you can find it. Apart from that, my suggestions are a) give your friend some space (like if he hasn’t responded to your email, give him a call in a week or two); b) ask him about it – I wish my friend had called me on my bad behaviour, because it would have helped me be a better person and helped clear the air; c) don’t stop being his friend 🙂 Good luck – I know it feels yucky but I’m sure with so many years of friendship behind you, you’ll be able to sort this out as well 🙂
Post # 8
Aw, I’m sorry to hear this. Do you suppose it has anything to do with gay marriage? I think sometimes that can hit a raw nerve with people and maybe he’s not pulling away from you but having a hard time dealing with his feelings about marriage, or legal marriages, in general. If that’s something he wants, watching you plan a wedding might be tough when he isn’t afforded the same opportunity. At least not in a way that will be recognized.
I think engagement can really impact friendships. For friends who have recently broken up or want to be in a relationship but haven’t found a good guy, I think it can pull up some emotions.
Post # 9
I am going through this now with my best friend of 21 years. She is married and seemed happy when I was single, but now we just don’t see each other since I became engaged. It is sad and hurts. She has plenty of time, makes plans, and then cancels the day of with a crisis that just happened. I know for a fact that on two occasions there was no crisis bc I saw her out with a friend of ours that is single. I guess she could live through me when I was single….we even had plans to go to the same places and do the same things. What is it about getting engaged that changes the way people look at you? I have been told by another friend that she found herself distanced from people after they became engaged…..
Post # 10
It’s his was of expressing sadness. It’s knowing you’re going to be someone else’s everything and that’s hard to take when someone means so much to you. As crazy as it sounds give it time and space. People tend to come to their own places when they disconnect and look at things from another perspective. But at the same time, don’t let it upset you too much. This is an exciting time for you. And as a close and dear friend, the person will eventually come around.
Post # 11
Thanks, everyone for your words. It helped me do some introspective thinking and see the ways that my actions play a part in the friendship. We spent some time together this weekend and it made me feel better about how things were going to be in the future. I’m feeling a lot better about everything and have resolved to be a better friend to him.
Post # 12
I have one friend who is being a total… female dog… ever since she found out that we’re getting engaged in February. And it really, really hurts. We’ve grown apart since I’ve lived up here, but all my other friends have been wonderfully supportive! While she hasn’t said it outright, she has the “I’ll believe it when I see it” mentality!
Post # 13
Yes… unfortunately I have definitely had this problem. It is not an issue of my friends not liking Fiance because they all do a lot… but it is definitely an issue of them being in a different life stage than us. We’re engaged and we just purchased a house… almost all of our friends are single, casually dating, renting, and getting drunk 4 nights/week.
The biggest problem I’m having is with all but one of my best friends because they really WANT to find someone to settle down with asap and it just hasn’t happened for them yet. I can tell they kind of hate when I talk about wedding or house stuff… the but problem is that my whole life is consumed with that right now! I’ve taken to just avoiding the topic as much as possible now so if they ask me something like “oh what’d you do this weekend” instead of telling them we did x, y, z i’ll just say “oh just wedding and house stuff” and leave it at that unless they ask more (they don’t). It’s really frustrating to be the “first” one to do this stuff because I feel like they are too busy being sad that they aren’t “there” yet to be really happy for me and I know when its their turn I will be nothing but THRILLED for them. But, there is really nothing I can do so I just avoid talking about it except when totally necessary. It also helps that my Maid/Matron of Honor is genuinely thrilled for me and actually asks me for updates every day. I might go a little crazy if it weren’t for her 🙂
Post # 14
I definitely have this problem, but it’s really only my male friends. One in particular has barely talked to me since my husband and I started dating and that was in January 2009. We even tried to invite him to group outings, but he tried to keep his distance. It still hurts to this day, and I’m thinking of ending the friendship over it.
I think a lot of it stems from the fact that I used to like him, and he knows this. And he really only treated me differently when my husband was there. When it was just me, he acted like his usual self. I didn’t even hear him say ‘congratulations’ when we announced our engagement. My husband says he did though. He’s even taken to ignoring me online if I comment on anything he says.
Luckily though, my best friends have completely been there for me through everything.
Post # 15
I am just dating right now but discussing marriage and I have the same issue with certain friends. Prior to meeting my boyfriend I was single for ten years. I put a lot into my friendships, I was always available, always doing things for them, they came to count on me for certain things. And once I started dating and things got serious, and I couldn’t be there for them anymore, they pulled away and got upset. One friend actually says she hopes my relationship doesn’t last. I make an effort to try and hang out with my friends, but they are not always available and whenever I suggest something I get shot down. But this particular friend will suggest something spur of the moment and gets mad if I can’t make it, because it’s so last minute. She gets upset and accuses me of standing her up all the time. But truthfully, in addition to the fact that a lot of times the Bf and I already have plans made in advance, I am currently unemployed and cannot afford to go out and shop and have dinner like we used to. And it’s not like she is willing to treat, which I have done for her in the past. She always has money issues. I try to suggest things that are free or inexpensive or suggest sharing the driving, but she never agrees to any of it.
Besides this one friend, I have other friends who feel “betrayed.” I dated women for most of my adult life, but recently fell in love with a man. Some people have not spoken to me since I announced my relationship. It amazed me that so many people I felt were my friends regardless were only friends based on who I chose to date.
I feel torn. I love my friends, we have always had good times together. But all of our lives are changing, and I think that it’s possible we are just growing apart.
Post # 16
@lise620- I’ve dated many different sexes over the years. I too got a lot of backlash from friends when I eventually settled into a long term relationship (and soon to be marriage) with a man. Its very difficult to deal with when people accuse you of being a “college lesbian” or of just wanting “female flings.” So…I feel your pain.
I’ve had friends pull away from me because of my engagement. My best friend talks to me less (even though he’s met and really likes my FI). I’m hurt by the pulling away of some good friends, but I try to take it in stride. i think of it like the 7 steps to grief, but instead of a loved one dieing, your relationship is changing. It can cause 1) shock and denial, 2) pain and guilt, 3) anger and bargaining, 4) depression and loneliness, 5) upward turn, when the person begins to adjust to the loss; 6) reconstruction of life without the loved one; and 7) acceptance and hope. Acceptance does not imply happiness. Instead, the grieving person can now reminisce about the loved one with sadness, but without intense emotional pain. I would argue that #6 is more a restructuring of life with the loved one in a possibly different role.
Then again, i thought this was why my FI’s brother was pulling away from him and pissed at me, but it turns out he hates me and thinks our relationship should fail because its bad for his brother. So, it could just be that the engagement is bringing up unresolved or unconfronted issues with people.