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Annie’s Mailbox: Keep high-maintenance friend at a distance

Dear Annie: My husband and I recently purchased a new home. It took us a while to reach this point. In the course of trying to purchase, we were offered help by a good friend, “Mary,” who lives 1,500 miles away. Mary referred us to her mortgage lender, also 1,500 miles away. We engaged the lender, who worked hard, but things didn’t move as quickly as we needed, and we lost a large deposit on the house, along with the costs of an appraisal and inspection. This was money we could ill-afford.

We recently found another house and used a local mortgage lender. Everything went smoothly, and we’ll be moving soon. Here’s the problem: Last month, Mary called to chew me out because we didn’t use her mortgage person. I told Mary that we lost a lot of money due to that person’s inability to help us, and we’ve moved on. Mary was mean and nasty and hung up on me. I haven’t heard from her since.

Mary and I have known each other for 30 years, and we’ve been through a great many of life’s ups and downs. She’s like a sister to me, and our husbands get along well, too. I was astonished that she would be so obtuse about what we’d been through. Mary often reacts like this when she’s angry, but I wonder why it’s up to me to make the effort to fix things. Should I reach out to her? It saddens me that such a longtime friendship would end this way, but I’m ready to let it go. – Arizona

Dear Arizona: Mary is what we call high maintenance. She is emotionally demanding, cuts you off when you don’t put her first and then forces you to do the hard work of repairing the friendship. Over time, this behavior becomes tiresome, and we don’t blame you for having had enough. Mary lives 1,500 miles away. Consider distancing yourself from the friendship, bit by bit. Let Mary make the next move, whenever that is, and you can maintain the level of friendship that best suits you. In the meantime, please try to find new friends in your current location.



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