Dear Annie: There is a friend that I met through a place that I used to work, and we stayed friends after we no longer worked together. We would text every few days. I’ve been to her house for holidays; I’ve met her husband, son and daughter. They’re a nice family. She lives in a beautiful house.
I am not married; I have no kids and no family. Lately, my life has been falling apart. I am unemployed. I am facing foreclosure on my house. I’ve got bills backing up, and my ex-boyfriend moved out with his 50-year-old daughter and never paid me a penny toward bills.
Recently, my friend and I were texting back and forth, and I asked if she had ever been in dire straights. All she said was “Yes.” OK, I thought, if she doesn’t want to talk about it, that’s fine.
So a little later, I continued texting her about other things, but she didn’t reply. I left messages and got no call back from her. I even mailed her a letter by post.
Should I reach out to her anymore? Is she ghosting me? Should I consider this friendship over? – Dumped Friend
Dear Dumped Friend: Your friend might have gotten nervous that you were on the verge of asking her for money, and perhaps she didn’t want to make you uncomfortable by turning you down. Or maybe your texts just made her feel guilty about her own situation. Possibly, she’s just dealing with pressing personal issues of her own.
Whatever her reasons might be, I urge you to put all that aside for the time being. Foreclosure, debt, a breakup – these are major life stressors. While a friend can emotionally support you as you sort through such tough problems, she can’t solve them for you. For that, you need professional guidance. You could start by enlisting the help of a Housing and Urban Development-approved counselor, if you haven’t already. (Visit https://apps.hud.gov/offices/hsg/sfh/hcc/hcs.cfm for HUD’s database.)
Trust your friend isn’t “ghosting” or avoiding you, and that she will break the radio silence eventually if she is a friend worth having. Then the two of you can talk about what caused the dead air in the first place.
Send your questions for Annie Lane to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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