40 year Friendship Over

by Ann

I have known my sister-in-law for 40 years. She has been my sister-in-law for 30. Friends since childhood. She introduced me to my now husband 30 years ago. She planned my wedding, I would wear her dress, she called the Preacher that she had, she was making all the arrangements.My husband and I decided we did not want that and skipped out to Clintwood, Virginia and got married for $25 bucks, that is a deal, I don't care what anyone says. So when we got back and told everyone, she stopped talking to us. It hurt me bad because I was young and I "needed friends". Well, my husband patched everything up. We were both pregnant.

Now that the kids are grown, we were going to West Virginia with them to their cabin. My husband kept telling me, this is going to end up biting us in the butt. It did. There were red flags everywhere. I ignored them because I loved my sister-in-law and brother-in-law. Trust your gut. We went down to the cabin one day by ourselves and there was a for sale sign in the yard. they never told us. They were upset because we were not cutting the grass, fixing the roof, taking care of the place. I thought they invited us to have fun, I was wrong.(Don't get me wrong, we did help with everything including food) You see, she has been verbally and physically abused by her husband, and she needs some sort of peace, so she works herself to death and expects the same from all of us. She is controlling and domineering and all the while being very polite about it, you know something is wrong, you just cannot put your finger on it.

They sold the cabin. I was going to have a 50th birthday party for my husband, she started making all the plans with her brothers and sisters. Not mine, not my side of the family, but her side of the family, she is not married to my husband, I am. She told me on the phone that I was the reason they sold the cabin, I was hurt really bad, I had no idea, so I never called her to cancel my husbands party, that is all it took, she will have nothing to do with me. She told my best friend I did not want to be around people. I never said that, she had a need to blame someone other than herself. I feel sorry for her, but we will never be friends again. I suffered depression from hearing all of her bad days and how everything was bad for her, and how she was suffering, and all the while my self esteem was drained. Now that her and I do not talk, I went back, got my certificates to be a caretaker for MR/DD people..which is quite rewarding. I have no stress, I work full time, my husband and I are planning trips. Life has never been better for me since I am no longer around her. It should have been done along time ago, after I caught her in lies, and manipulations. I will not allow people to do that to me again. I am 50 now, and I have a lot more experience now. My in-laws will not help you if you need food, but they want handouts, they will take from you if it means they will look good. I am so glad I have a new found confidence, and I can actually talk to my Lord now without feeling bad. It feels so good to be happy...I still have pity for her, but no relationship...and that I have accepted. I just needed to vent somewhere, and I thank you for letting me do so.


Vistor's Comments
Date: May 7, 2008
Posted by: Catherine, www.Life-With-Confidence.com

Hello Ann and thank you for sharing your story. You've been through a lot but you haven't let it destroy you. You've become stronger for having gone through it.

I hope you can see that your sister in law's actions speak volumes about her and how she feels about herself. When she criticized you, she was really talking about herself. Her comments come from her place of fear, insecurity and unhappiness. Most likely she feels powerless in the situation she's in and the only way she thinks she can gain some power is by taking it all out on you or blaming you for the negative things in her life. She's letting herself be a victim and not taking responsibility for her own life.

It takes a lot of courage to let go of a relationship that you've had for such a long time. Good for you in being able to let something that wasn't working for you, go.

I'm glad your husband is so understanding and realizes that it's his sister's attitude that's the problem and not you. It says a lot of good things about your husband as well.

You two are doing fantastic and I think you should be very proud of yourself.

It truly is better to let the negative people out of your life. You don't need them and you are better off without them.

Thank you for sharing your story. I think it will also help a lot of other people in the same situation.

Comments for 40 year Friendship Over

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May 08, 2008
Thank You Catherine
by: Ann

Hi Catherine,

Thank you so much for your words of encouragement. Giving up a 40 year friendship was the hardest thing I have ever had to do.

The one thing I have learned in this last year, is that, I am important. I actually believe in myself now, I do not feel worthless anymore. I have learned to love being me. I look in the mirror in the morning and I am truly happy.

Thank you!

Jun 11, 2008
by: Anonymous

Wow! What a great story---and one, I believe, so many can relate to. It seems to me that, when you get down to it, all negative comments, etc. stem from the other person's thoughts of themselves. I am really trying to learn to deal with this myself and your story is extremely motivating so thank you for sharing. I have lost many friends b/c "I was just too much too handle." And, when I translate that, and look at each individual situation, it was not b/c of something that I did but something that I was. For instance, in one case, a friend got very mad at me (as I had just got engaged) for having something she didn't. She said that it was her dream and that I'm a constant reminder of everything she wants but can't have. It continues even now that she's married. She lives in a small town and I live in the city. I try to tell her that it's not much different. We both get up, go to work, come home, eat dinner, etc. But, in her eyes, I'm living her dream so I "am just too much too handle." This is very hard for me. I don't understand why others can't learn to be happy. This is a friendship that stems back to childhood and I'm having a hard time letting go because of the times we used to have. Yet, I truly think that a friendship isn't "true" if they can't be happy for successes. Ann, thanks again for sharing. I need to let go and your story is truly inspiring.

Aug 18, 2008
Thank you for your comment.
by: Ann


First of all , thank you for being so kind. Second, your friend is not living your dream, she is using mind manipulation(guilt) to make you feel bad so she does not have to. My sister-in-law did that to me so many times, I had to finally step up, and tell myself, I have had enough.It meant hurting her feelings, but it is better that way, than to suffer depression for years to come. It hurt me at first, because I missed talking to her, but after a few months, i realised how happy I was without all the negativity bringing me down. What I also learned, about myself, is that, I was missing the person I thought she was, i was not accepting her for who she really was, I was ignoring all the red flags, just because I loved her as my own sister...that was my fatal mistake, so i was in the wrong too. Now I can say with honesty, I do not miss her anger, her controlling ways, her mean attitude and the way she sugar coated it to make it sound as though evil were a good thing. She is good at it.
Point being, go out and enjoy your life, GUILT FREE! You are your own indiviual, she does not own you, she has no control over you,you have to erase her negative thoughts from your mind completely and have wonderful thoughts about what you want in life....You have to realise, YOU are the important one in your life first, all we can do is pray for those who choose to be angry and unhappy, but we cannot save people like that, because they choose their own destiny too, they are responsible for themselves, not us..
Enjoy your life!!!

Feb 16, 2009
The best thing that ever happened , with that friendship over.
by: Ann B.

It has now been almost 2 years since this friendship was over, and I am starting to hear things from the other family members and one of my friends.

My sister-in-law is telling people that I, Ann, don't want anything to do with anyone..I have to laugh, because that is not true, actually, my husband's brothers, are now calling him on the his cell phone and getting closer to him since we have nothing to do with her. Found out that she has been belittling other family members and it is now coming back to her.

I believe in, "You reap what you sow". I pray for her everyday, my heart does not skip a beat anymore since I do not worry about what she has to say. She broke my heart a lot, because I loved her like a sister and forgave her over and over.But she chose to do evil things, she lied to me years ago, and her brother's wife told her she better tell me the truth, cause it would be the right thing to do, she did and it hurt like fire, but I forgave her. She is my husband's brothers' wife, so my husband does not get to see this particular brother, ever. But even my husband says, it is better without her in our life, we enjoy it now because we never hear about her "horrible" troubles anymore.

Sometimes it is hard to let a person go from your life, but if you want joy and peace, it has to be that way, and you have to learn to accept it. It has gotten easy to just pray and hope for the best, but my life will never got back to that life style again, I will never let someone like that control my emotions for me again, never. I have control of my emotions and I will never give that gift away again... I hate to say it, but giving up that 40 year friendship was the best things I ever did, I can say that now without hurting because time is a healer...

Feb 25, 2012
Thank you
by: Amber Hayden

Thank you for sharing your life experience.
I am so glad that I read it. I find that it brings comfort to me when I really need it.
Thinking of you.

Jun 16, 2012
Just am going through this myself
by: Anonymous

I have been friends with this person since 3rd grade...we are now 54. Recently she ended our friendship in a very hurtful way...saying I had not been there for her and a plethera of other things. Each time I tried to explain or try to make things better...even offering support sites and information (she had battled cancer and won) it would be turned back on me. Finally I agreed that our freindship must take a break for my own mental health. She didn't understand and asked me to explain when I had made it very clear why I did what I had to do in responce to being treated badly. The thing that hurts is that I had been there for her...even more than her husband and family...to the point of trading my schedual at work...of course there were a couple of times over a year that I could not be there physically but was always there emotionally. The problem is that this woman knows me so well...she know how to stick and turn the knife!!! Even know I find myself wanting to reach out again...but have not knowing it won't be different and I'll end up being hurt worse. She has told me I am not the same person. Maybe I am not since I will not allow her to manipulate me anymore. I had wanted our freindship to continue and told her so...but wanted it to be a healthier friendship. Not ment to be at least not yet. It is helpful to know someone else has survived this. There have been times I have not done well with this situation at all. It truely has been a day by day process.

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