Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Friendship in Jeopardy

Deeply Hurt In Arizona writes: I return to my hometown at least twice a year to visit my large extended family. When I do, I have tried to make time for my oldest friend, "Judith", whom I have known since kindergarten. In the past we have gotten together for a few hours here and there -- for dinner, coffee or whatever. She's great company and we have fun together. I'd like to spend more time with Judith, but Mom and Dad are close to 90 and there are many other relatives on my and my husband's side to see, which takes up most of our time. Years ago, we tried to see all our friends, but more recently we have limited it to Judith and her husband and occasionally include a mutual friend. Judith just e-mailed me telling me to "have a nice life" because if we were "truly" friends, I'd make more time with her. She won't reply to my e-mails or return my calls. I respect her feelings, but feel pressured by the time constraints of our brief visits home. Judith has no children, a single brother and a married brother with whom she recently reunited. I feel like I have committed some kind of crime. I think if she were a true friend, she'd understand my predicament. Please help. -- DEEPLY HURT IN ARIZONA

Dear Deeply Hurt,
I feel like there are pieces missing from your story. However, given that you have obviously written to Judith and tried calling her to explain your point of view, she should definitely be more understanding. If she would like time with you, she should make the trip to you and your husband's home for a visit. A "true" friendship, as Judith so eloquently referred to in her email to you, is a two way street. Granted, you are not going to your hometown mainly to see Judith. If this is her argument, you could offer to pay for half of her travel costs for her trip to see you.

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