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Old 09-27-2018, 03:39 PM
 
Location: SW Florida
9,129 posts, read 6,301,171 times
Reputation: 12644

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Quote:
Originally Posted by germaine2626 View Post
I'm the OP. I think that the reason that I am so surprised by this is that we are/were female friends that always socialized as a group or as individuals NOT as couples. I knew that it was not unusual for people who socialized as couples to drop friends who lost their spouse, but I did not think that it would happen to me in that situation.

The people in my widow/widower support group have reported quite a few situations where their friends dropped them immediately and completely from activities, parties, dinners out, social events, etc. that they had done as couples.

I decided to do something pro-actively (more than just my calls and emails to individuals). I sent out a group email to the five women (all friends from 25 to almost 40 years) that usually are the key people who attend those dinners that either have not happened in the last 11 months (very doubtful) or I have not been invited to attend (more likely). I said how much I missed getting together and I wanted to plan a lunch together. I then listed over a dozen dates that worked for me (from mid October to mid November). I figured that the dates were so far in the future that they couldn't all claim that they were busy for all those dates, plus maybe there would be a little "peer pressure" (even if someone didn't want to see me or "a widow" they really couldn't admit that to the others).

Well, people are starting to respond, writing that they are looking forward to getting together and are eliminating dates that don't work for them. I'll post back in a few days if this worked or not.

Wonderful idea! Fingers crossed that the get togethers will happen with your group. Will be glad to hear that it does.
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Old 09-27-2018, 04:16 PM
 
2,051 posts, read 779,007 times
Reputation: 4002
Quote:
Originally Posted by germaine2626 View Post
My husband died nine and a half months ago. I have been trying to get together with several good friends that I have known for over 30 years which led to this thread.

For many years (recently) I used to go to lunch with one good friend about once a month and we spoke on the phone at least once a week (we used to work together and saw each other daily for decades). I suddenly realized that I had not seen her even one time since Hubby's funeral. Looking back I recall quite a few times that I called or emailed and she responded that "relatives were in town for the next two weeks and she would call after they leave and we can have lunch" or "I'll be in Arizona for month but I'll call when I get back" or "I have a bunch of doctor's appointments coming up but we will get together soon."

With another good friend I realized that I had left so many phone messages (about once every two or three weeks for several months) and she had not returned any of my calls that I emailed her and asked if she had changed her phone number. She immediately emailed back and said had the same number and that she had "busy".

Now, there were a group of friends that got together every few months since we retired several years ago. I suddenly realized that I had not heard about any of those get-togethers being scheduled since last fall (shortly before my husband died). Hmmm, did they still have the get-togethers but not invite me?

Now, I should point out that I have wonderful supportive relatives, and one or two other friends that have been great, plus I attend a weekly widow/widowers support group that has been amazing. But, I would never in a million years have suspected that some of my oldest and dearest friends would have ignored me like they seem to have ignored me after the death of my spouse. And, it isn't a "couples thing" as we have always socialized just as female friends not as couples. Some of the women are married, some are single/never married and some are divorced.

There really isn't a question in this thread, but I wanted everyone else who is grieving that "Yes, it does happen that friends disappear after a death." And, yes, it does make it even more lonely to be a widow. I hope that it doesn't happen to you like it happened to me.
It could be hard to accept but maybe your girlfriends were with you because their
husband's hung around with your man.

After a divorce my girlfriends abandoned me and it took me by surprise until I found out they were afraid of me. From what I found out it seems my filter did not work most of the time i was with them and they did not want to spend time with me because I raised too much conflict. Since then I have made changes to myself but nevertheless I was alone with my grief.
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Old 09-27-2018, 04:58 PM
 
Location: Somewhere in northern Alabama
16,803 posts, read 51,165,405 times
Reputation: 27531
Quote:
Originally Posted by kitty61 View Post
It could be hard to accept but maybe your girlfriends were with you because their
husband's hung around with your man.

After a divorce my girlfriends abandoned me and it took me by surprise until I found out they were afraid of me. From what I found out it seems my filter did not work most of the time i was with them and they did not want to spend time with me because I raised too much conflict. Since then I have made changes to myself but nevertheless I was alone with my grief.
Thank you for your honesty in offering that possibility. I am sorry that you had to go through that process of grief without the support that might have been there.

For anyone thinking that conflict might be an issue for them, check out youtube for the Marshall Rosenberg "Non-violent communication" lectures. Even if you find him to be a bit much, there are some core principles that can prevent conflict or mitigate it in everyday life. Many of us might have been instructed in "manners" and basic social skills, but true communication as peers is much more than that.
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Old 09-27-2018, 05:28 PM
 
Location: Wisconsin
16,429 posts, read 15,834,769 times
Reputation: 38591
Quote:
Originally Posted by kitty61 View Post
It could be hard to accept but maybe your girlfriends were with you because their
husband's hung around with your man.
While that could be true in some situations, my best friend is single/never married and my other best friend has been divorced since before I even met her (25 years ago).

And, regarding the husbands of the other group members, my husband and I have never even seen them since we attended my last work Christmas party ten years ago. We never socialized as couples, we were only female friends that socialized (went out to lunch, shopping, etc.) with the other females in the group.


Quote:
Originally Posted by kitty61 View Post
After a divorce my girlfriends abandoned me and it took me by surprise until I found out they were afraid of me. From what I found out it seems my filter did not work most of the time i was with them and they did not want to spend time with me because I raised too much conflict. Since then I have made changes to myself but nevertheless I was alone with my grief.
I am sorry that happened to you. And, I am glad that you are growing as a person.
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Old 09-28-2018, 12:00 AM
 
6,155 posts, read 3,228,119 times
Reputation: 12472
That's horrible!

We had a small group of gals where I lived before, and when I worked, who would get together occasionally. Some were married, some were not. One of them had a spouse die, and another went through a divorce then remarried later. That didn't interfere one bit in our get togethers. I don't know why it would.

The only thing I can think of is that ...is it possible you have changed? Do you talk about your deceased husband too much?

Or is it possible they don't know how to act around you? I don't think that's something to be uncomfortable about, but maybe some people are.

Is it possible their excuses are valid, and you just notice more now because you don't have your husband around?

Are you young enough and attractive enough to be a threat to them? Some women don't like being around attractive available women.

If so, I think that's horrible, and it means they were never friends.

Did yu ever coordinate a get together before? If so, have you tried to set up something, and let them know, so they can either come or not? Whether it's dinner out or a movie or whatever.

I gotta tell you that I don't understand it. Not if they were your friends.

Well, I just read your update that you are trying to schedule something. So that sounds promising. I would add...be upbeat or at least neutral and not sad. If someone asks you about it, answer & move on. Don't sound needy. The friends who had a husband pass away and other who went through a divorce rarely mentioned it. We were all there to gossip, have a stress-free time. Although they mentioned something a couple of times.

I hope it works out. I really see no reason to drop a friend because their marital status changes. As long as they are the same person I liked before, and they can still join the group like before.

Last edited by bpollen; 09-28-2018 at 12:15 AM..
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Old 09-28-2018, 09:09 AM
 
Location: Toronto
149 posts, read 33,563 times
Reputation: 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by bpollen View Post
That's horrible!

We had a small group of gals where I lived before, and when I worked, who would get together occasionally. Some were married, some were not. One of them had a spouse die, and another went through a divorce then remarried later. That didn't interfere one bit in our get togethers. I don't know why it would.

The only thing I can think of is that ...is it possible you have changed? Do you talk about your deceased husband too much?

Or is it possible they don't know how to act around you? I don't think that's something to be uncomfortable about, but maybe some people are.

Is it possible their excuses are valid, and you just notice more now because you don't have your husband around?

Are you young enough and attractive enough to be a threat to them? Some women don't like being around attractive available women.

If so, I think that's horrible, and it means they were never friends.

Did yu ever coordinate a get together before? If so, have you tried to set up something, and let them know, so they can either come or not? Whether it's dinner out or a movie or whatever.

I gotta tell you that I don't understand it. Not if they were your friends.

Well, I just read your update that you are trying to schedule something. So that sounds promising. I would add...be upbeat or at least neutral and not sad. If someone asks you about it, answer & move on. Don't sound needy. The friends who had a husband pass away and other who went through a divorce rarely mentioned it. We were all there to gossip, have a stress-free time. Although they mentioned something a couple of times.

I hope it works out. I really see no reason to drop a friend because their marital status changes. As long as they are the same person I liked before, and they can still join the group like before.
These are the points I was going to bring up. In combination, and please don't take this the wrong way... your gloom might have also been making them feel more depressed about their own situation. Or definitely even though it's well deserved to talk about your situation, others might not be comfortable/know how to a person act in such a situation.
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Old 09-28-2018, 09:22 AM
 
Location: Wisconsin
16,429 posts, read 15,834,769 times
Reputation: 38591
Thank you to everyone who has responded. I have been considering and thinking about your comments.
Quote:
Originally Posted by bpollen View Post
That's horrible!

We had a small group of gals where I lived before, and when I worked, who would get together occasionally. Some were married, some were not. One of them had a spouse die, and another went through a divorce then remarried later. That didn't interfere one bit in our get togethers. I don't know why it would.

The only thing I can think of is that ...is it possible you have changed? Do you talk about your deceased husband too much?
.
Well, I definitely have changed. But, I don't think that "talking about my deceased husband too much" is a problem as I haven't even seen, or even chatted on the phone, with five of the six women since my husband's funeral 9 1/2 months ago. They haven't returned my phone calls or emails (or just responded "I'm pretty busy right now. I'll call soon" or "Let's have lunch in a couple of weeks"). So they wouldn't even know if I talked about him too much or not as they never actually talked to me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bpollen View Post

Or is it possible they don't know how to act around you? I don't think that's something to be uncomfortable about, but maybe some people are.
It is possible that is big part of it. All of us are in our mid-60s and I am the first one to have a spouse/significant other die Even in our extended, larger group no one has had a spouse die or even had a spouse who had a serious illness.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bpollen View Post
Is it possible their excuses are valid, and you just notice more now because you don't have your husband around?
It is possible that is part of it, too. I know that two of the women have started to travel a lot more than they did in the past, and are taking more extended trips. Plus, two other women spend a lot of time with their newest grandchildren.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bpollen View Post

Are you young enough and attractive enough to be a threat to them? Some women don't like being around attractive available women.

If so, I think that's horrible, and it means they were never friends.

Did yu ever coordinate a get together before? If so, have you tried to set up something, and let them know, so they can either come or not? Whether it's dinner out or a movie or whatever.

I gotta tell you that I don't understand it. Not if they were your friends.

Well, I just read your update that you are trying to schedule something. So that sounds promising. I would add...be upbeat or at least neutral and not sad. If someone asks you about it, answer & move on. Don't sound needy. The friends who had a husband pass away and other who went through a divorce rarely mentioned it. We were all there to gossip, have a stress-free time. Although they mentioned something a couple of times.

I hope it works out. I really see no reason to drop a friend because their marital status changes. As long as they are the same person I liked before, and they can still join the group like before.
LOL! No, I'm certainly not "more attractive". Two of the women are fit enough, and attractive enough, and stylish enough to still "turn heads" at 65 and that's not me.

I suspect that it was/is just a "perfect storm" of a bunch of different things.

So far it looks like the get-together, scheduled for five weeks from now, was a good plan. I'll post back to let everyone know how it goes.

Last edited by germaine2626; 09-28-2018 at 09:41 AM..
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Old 09-29-2018, 09:13 PM
 
Location: Durham
1,693 posts, read 2,091,718 times
Reputation: 1699
Quote:
Originally Posted by germaine2626 View Post
I'm the OP. I think that the reason that I am so surprised by this is that we are/were female friends that always socialized as a group or as individuals NOT as couples. I knew that it was not unusual for people who socialized as couples to drop friends who lost their spouse, but I did not think that it would happen to me in that situation.

The people in my widow/widower support group have reported quite a few situations where their friends dropped them immediately and completely from activities, parties, dinners out, social events, etc. that they had done as couples.

I decided to do something pro-actively (more than just my calls and emails to individuals). I sent out a group email to the five women (all friends from 25 to almost 40 years) that usually are the key people who attend those dinners that either have not happened in the last 11 months (very doubtful) or I have not been invited to attend (more likely). I said how much I missed getting together and I wanted to plan a lunch together. I then listed over a dozen dates that worked for me (from mid October to mid November). I figured that the dates were so far in the future that they couldn't all claim that they were busy for all those dates, plus maybe there would be a little "peer pressure" (even if someone didn't want to see me or "a widow" they really couldn't admit that to the others).

Well, people are starting to respond, writing that they are looking forward to getting together and are eliminating dates that don't work for them. I'll post back in a few days if this worked or not.

I think you are being overly generous and forgiving to do this. I hope it works out but don't be surprised if a lot of them don't come. I wouldn't keep reaching out after that. They shut you out and you are now better off without them.
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Old 09-30-2018, 11:14 AM
 
Location: SWFL
21,315 posts, read 18,082,888 times
Reputation: 18691
Quote:
Originally Posted by jmellc View Post
I think you are being overly generous and forgiving to do this. I hope it works out but don't be surprised if a lot of them don't come. I wouldn't keep reaching out after that. They shut you out and you are now better off without them.
Agreed.
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