My friend and her husband asked to borrow a substantial sum of money from my husband and I. We said no due to a previous experience (not with her).
Initially, they seemed OK about it, however, as time has gone on they’ve been rude when we’ve spent our money on other things. They want to know what everything cost and make digs – it’s like they are earmarking our money against their debt.
We saved to take our kids away at Christmas and were careful about how we told them, as I felt guilty. They didn’t buy our kids (their godchildren) Christmas presents because apparently they’re “spoiled”, but they accepted our gifts for their children (also our godchildren).
I’ve been calm about the situation, but now her family are also being rude. Our kids are missing their kids, so I’ve tried to make contact, but it’s thrown back in my face.
They won’t meet with us and now, due to lockdown we can’t. My friend also won’t return my calls, but sends unpleasant texts.
We wanted to continue a relationship for the kids, but I can’t see it working. I’m so hurt I’ve decided to end the friendship, but I feel guilty we’re letting our godchildren down.
My mum says my friend is jealous and thinks it’s best we walk away, as the situation is making everyone unhappy.
My friend seems to have forgotten that we didn’t cause their problems and it’s not our responsibility to sort them out. I’m very sad that money has come between us.
What are your thoughts? Do I ignore her or provide an explanation? I don’t want to write a letter, as I know it’ll get passed around her family.
Firstly, stop feeling guilty about saying no to the loan and for spending your own money. I think it’s clear your friend feels angry, maybe even embarrassed, and is acting out as a way of punishing you. She’s also punishing the kids when it’s got nothing to do with them.
I always think lending money or even doing business with friends is risky because it can ruin the friendship, which is obviously the conclusion you came to.
However, it sounds as if you’ve tried your best to make things OK between you, so I think it’s up to her now – maybe she’ll realise she doesn’t want to lose you as a friend and change her attitude, and then you can decide whether you want a relationship with her again.
In the meantime, I’d back off because you’ve done nothing wrong and it’s making you miserable. I also think getting her family involved and sending unpleasant texts feels like bullying.
As for the children – you can still send her kids cards and gifts if you want to do that. I don’t know how old the kids are or if they all attend the same school, but it might be possible for them to maintain a friendship independent of the adults.
I think you’re looking for someone to tell you it’s fine to step back from this friendship – your mum has told you it’s OK and now I’m doing the same.