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  #1  
Old Jul 16, '13, 2:19 pm
Bonnie Bonnie is online now
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Default Catholic etiquette & ex-friend

Years ago in the town where we used to live, I had a good friend. Our children were the same age, we went to the same parish, and we seemed to have a lot in common. I continued to see her about once a year after we moved, but I was becoming rather disenchanted with her. Her main - sometimes sole - topic of conversation was how awful her siblings were.

When my mother died in 2004, I called this friend to let her know. She wasn't in so I left a message on her answering machine. I didn't expect her to come to the funeral as she didn't know my mother, but I thought I would hear from her.

But there was no card, no phone call - nothing. I did not contact her again.

Fast forward to earlier this year. She sent out a mass e-mail letting everyone know how wonderfully her mother is doing & that her mom was moving in with her. That is the ONLY e-mail I've recieved from her in in the past 9 years.

Through the grapevine, I heard that she was wondering why she hadn't heard from me. Of course, I could say the same!

Ever since the e-mail from her, I've been wondering if I should just write her off as an ex-friend, or if I should let her know how hurt I was. And still am, really.

Unless she's changed, I don't want to be friends with her again, but it would be nice to hear an apology.

I'm thinking I should just write her off - it has been 9 years! - and offer up the hurt feelings. God knows I've likely treated others as shabbily.

What opinions am I offered?
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  #2  
Old Jul 16, '13, 2:33 pm
Sunbreak Sunbreak is offline
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Default Re: Catholic etiquette & ex-friend

Sometimes messages on answering machines get lost or are erased by mistake before they are heard. I know this has happened to me. Do you know that she actually was able to listen to the message you left? I would give her the benefit of the doubt.
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  #3  
Old Jul 16, '13, 2:49 pm
Della Della is offline
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Default Re: Catholic etiquette & ex-friend

People naturally drift apart when they haven't seen each other for a long time. I'm with Sunbreak, your friend probably never heard your message. Why else would she contact you as if nothing had happened?

We need to assume the best in others, especially when we don't know what may have happened. I would send her a nice note to say you're glad she and her mother are doing so well and then leave it with her. If she doesn't contact you, then you have met your obligation and can simply move on with your life.
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  #4  
Old Jul 16, '13, 3:00 pm
shainski shainski is offline
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Default Re: Catholic etiquette & ex-friend

Well, i will tell you that many many people do not know how to respond when some tragedy or death occurs to someone else.

She may not have gotten the message. She may not have thought she was supposed to respond. or she may have been terrified that she was going to say the wrong thing - and freeze up every time she considered contacting you. And then when she hadn't talked to you in six months - she might have been so embarrassed that she hadn't been in contact with you that it made it worse.

I don't think this is as unusual as you may think. When my father died - I had a number of people who - all of a sudden stopped communicating. And when I eventually called them - there was a moment of silence - so i had to begin with something like : "You probably heard that my dad passed away a while back. It's tough from time to time - but I'm doing just fine.". Once I broke the ice, then the other person could become relieved that he/she doesn't have to think of the perfect thing to say to make it all better.

If she was a friend you enjoyed - I would forgive this oversight. If she isn't worth the effort, then write her off. But don't do it because she shows of this lack of communication. After all, you haven't contacted her in 9 years either other than a message on her answering machine.
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  #5  
Old Jul 16, '13, 3:54 pm
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Allegra Allegra is offline
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Default Re: Catholic etiquette & ex-friend

I would try to stop taking it personally and realize that she might not have gotten the message, or known how you wanted her to respond, or been in a position to respond. Friends often grow apart over the years and this is normal. I would not write her off, but I would try to let go of hurt feelings and leave the door open. Maybe you will become close again, maybe not. The important thing is to forgive her for her percieved slight, even if she doesn't apologize and even if you don't become good friends again.
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  #6  
Old Jul 16, '13, 4:05 pm
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Inego de Loyola Inego de Loyola is offline
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Default Re: Catholic etiquette & ex-friend

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  #7  
Old Jul 16, '13, 6:07 pm
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mommy k mommy k is offline
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Default Re: Catholic etiquette & ex-friend

I would answer and tell your friend u are happy for her-but I would also ask why she did not reply to your news too. This will clear the air to see, and you will have facts.
Then forgive her whatever the answer- and based on her answer it is up to you tro continue the friendship.
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  #8  
Old Jul 16, '13, 6:19 pm
underacloud underacloud is offline
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Default Re: Catholic etiquette & ex-friend

There are two separate questions here:

a) Should you forgive her?

b) Should you remain friends?


The first question requires a yes response. As others have posted, there are many different and understandable reasons why she may not have responded. I think you should just assume the best and forgive it. Recall what our Lord taught us to pray - "forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us". I'm sure, as you note yourself, that you've acted "shabbily" towards others, so if you forgive this offense without demand of apology, you may trust that the Lord will forgive your own sins that you may not be aware of and thus have not offered apology for.

As for the second question, there is no moral requirement to maintain friendships that have passed their use-by date. It is entirely up to you whether you want to make an effort to maintain it, or just let it fizzle out. I wouldn't base such a decision on this one incident, but it seems that the friendship overall is not wortht he effort for you.
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  #9  
Old Jul 16, '13, 8:07 pm
Sahara DeSert Sahara DeSert is offline
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Default Re: Catholic etiquette & ex-friend

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sunbreak View Post
Sometimes messages on answering machines get lost or are erased by mistake before they are heard. I know this has happened to me. Do you know that she actually was able to listen to the message you left? I would give her the benefit of the doubt.
this happened to me just yesterday. I hit the erase button instead of play button. I do not have any call display features. Luckily I guessed correctly who it was and was able to call and 'fess up
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  #10  
Old Jul 16, '13, 8:25 pm
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Bruised Reed Bruised Reed is offline
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Default Re: Catholic etiquette & ex-friend

People react weirdly to death sometimes. People say the wrong thing and apparently some avoid saying the wrong thing and end up saying nothing. For nearly a decade.

It sounds like you have heard things through the grapevine. Have your heard everything?Sure she sound chipper and like things are swell now but have they always been? It's something to consider.
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  #11  
Old Jul 18, '13, 11:49 am
Bonnie Bonnie is online now
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Default Re: Catholic etiquette & ex-friend

You all have pretty much the same answer so I think you're right! Thanks for helping me to "see the light."

I'll be sending her an email.
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God bless,
Bonnie, OFS
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Northeast Washington

"While we have the opportunity, let us do good to all." Galatians 6:10


Good used books at BonniesBooks.net

Catholic since '76!
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  #12  
Old Jul 18, '13, 11:50 am
Della Della is offline
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Default Re: Catholic etiquette & ex-friend

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bonnie View Post
You all have pretty much the same answer so I think you're right! Thanks for helping me to "see the light."

I'll be sending her an email.
__________________
The external deserts in the world are growing, because the internal deserts have become so vast. -- Pope Benedict XVI

Tiber Swim Team, Class of '87.

Inklings!

"Sanctum erit, facere bonum" Della's blog: http://dellakmg.blogspot.com/
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  #13  
Old Jul 18, '13, 4:12 pm
m crane m crane is offline
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Default Re: Catholic etiquette & ex-friend

Answering machines can be incredibly unreliable. I would just assume that she never got the message and go on from there.
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  #14  
Old Jul 18, '13, 11:03 pm
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Contra Mundum Contra Mundum is offline
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Default Re: Catholic etiquette & ex-friend

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bonnie View Post
Unless she's changed, I don't want to be friends with her again, but it would be nice to hear an apology.
I wouldn't expect an apology. I mean, she is wondering why never heard from you again - she obviously doesn't understand what she did wrong.

If you are not interested in renewing this friendship, then don't reply to her email. Offer the hurt up, say a prayer for her and move on.

This is what I would do in these circumstances.
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