A old ex-friend contacted me, and I don't know how to respond

I have mentioned here before about a friend of mine who I had a falling out with last year. We had a slight difference of opinion after she married my ex-fiance. She said some stuff that really hurt my feelings, and I had really planned to never talk to her again.

Anyway, I’m not writing this to try and cast any blame on her or anything. See, I recently FOUND GOD (shock! gasp! eek!) and I’ve been doing this praying in my online journal thing. Helps me remember to thank God for the things He’s given me and to turn my problems over to Him. So a few days ago, I decided to ask God to help me forgive some people who had hurt me in the past, two of those being my ex-fiance and my ex-friend.

Today, I received an email from her wishing me a happy new year and quoting 2 Corinthians 1:3-7:

Not only do I not know what that means, if it means she is extending an olive branch, I don’t know how to respond. I kind of miss her friendship, but, frankly, even if I have forgiven her and her husband, I can’t be friends with him. He did things… I just could never be comfortable being friends with him. And I don’t know how I could be friends with her and feel so strongly about not being friends with her husband.

In fact, that’s pretty much what started all of this to begin with.

I’m a little lost.

I don’t think being a Christian means you are obligated to involve yourself in an uncomfortable social relationship even if you have spiritually “forgiven” them. Just be simple and to the point. Email her back that you appreciate her sentiments, but that you really don’t want to re-engage the situation at this point because of the emotional discomfort it causes.

IMO emailing her back and telling her you have “forgiven” her and your ex for their trespasses upon you will not accomplish much other than jerking her chain (ie Who are you to forgive me) and re-igniting a war.

I agree. Forgiving someone and loving them as your brother/sister in God does not mean that you have to love their lifestyle/circumstances, etc. Because of the situation I would not be able to have a social relationship with them either if I were in your circumstances. Just email her back and wish her the best of the New Year and let it go at that.

Is there anything there worth returning to?

That’s what I am trying to determine. I’ve missed her friendship this past year, but I don’t see how I can deal with her husband. Though, he is currently in the Navy and far away. But it was this exact friction that wrecked our friendship to begin with.

I realize that God doesn’t want me to put myself into a possibly bad friendship just in the name of “forgiveness.”

Can’t comment on the christian aspect of things, but I’ve been in a similar boat.

This time last year, a so called friend broke my trust, caused no end of upset and strife between myself and two other friends - all in the name of “best possible intentions” you understand *rolls eyes and generally, was a royal pain in the arse.

Just before christmasjust gone, I receive two mails from her. After all this time. I thought about writing back, but you know what? Once trust is gone, that’s it. In my book at least. She never explained her behaviour, and she never apolgised for it - not to me anyways. I haven’t spoken to her or the other people involved in what will be this month, a year. At the time, it hurt. I missed them a great deal, but now? No. If the other two wrote, or called and explained, then perhaps I might feel differently, but I doubt they will so it is rather moot.

If people can’t accept and appreciate what a genuine friendship means, then they can take a hike.

Hastur asks a great question. In my situation, I can’t see that it was.

One thing though Cessandra, other people will come into your life who will treat you in the manner in which you should be treated. :wink:

A friend of mine called today and we were talking about marriage and what it means (because of the thread Couples sharing the same email). She pointed out that this situation is actually kind of similar. My ex and my former friend are a unit now, they are married. It actually wouldn’t be fair of me to pursue a friendship with my former friend and expect her to accept that I can’t stand her husband. So, I sent her a note that said simply “Happy New Year” and left it at that. If she writes me again I will try to very gently explain why I feel that we can’t be friends.

I would think you are best off as you are.

Forgiveness means that you don’t stew over her or what she did; that you aren’t seething with anger and wishing her ill. At least that’s the way I see it. But that doesn’t mean that you have to let her be in your life. No doubt you can make it clear (in a really, really polite way) that you have good feelings for her, but it’s best right now that your relationship be limited to perhaps brief Merry Christmas emails or something.

Well, I have to chime in on the “friend with someone whose husband bugs me” thing. My ex-boyfriend Jon cheated on me. He met another girl while we were dating (actually, he allowed himself to be set up with her, traveling on a trip to meet her while telling me he went on business–that slimy jackass). It was pretty humiliating, and the more I found out about that and other stuff, the more I believed he was an incredible jerk.

They ended up getting married and she moved here. We had friends in common (people Jon and I knew and met together) so I ran into them occasionally, and then his wife ended up joining the same volunteer organization I did. I got to know her better and you know, I really like her. I think her husband is a spineless loser but she’s grand.

We have managed to carve out a pretty comfortable friendship, albeit not a real close one. I’ve let go of most of my anger at him (she didn’t know about me at the time so I can’t be mad at her) and now I am neutral on him. She and I don’t do social things that would bring our spouses together and she doesn’t talk a lot about Jon when we’re together. I am cordial to him when I visit their house, but he usually makes himself scarce. It works.

It’s up to you how you feel about being friends with her, but don’t discount the possibility just because you’re not fond of him.

I think other posters have it right, though. Forgiveness means you let go of the bad feelings. It doesn’t mean you have to go back to the way things were. That’s entirely your choice, and your decision has nothing to do with how forgiving or Christian you are.

I was confused as to why everyone thought that I thought fogiving might mean I had to be friends with her (I never thought anything like that). I think I left out a sentence or two in the OP. The reason that I mentioned writing in my journal how I wanted to forgive her is that she undoubtedly read that and that’s the reason she wrote to me. The reason that I was considering being friends again was because I have missed her.

But, I really think that one of two things would happen: a) us being friends would cause friction in her marriage; or b) her marriage would cause friction in our friendship. Maybe I should explain… our falling out happened because shortly after they married I had started thinking about and actually dealing with some of the things my ex had done to me (he was emotionally abusive and it took me a long time to even admit it to myself, even after I’d left him). I wrote about it in my journal, and she flipped out and accused me of whining and called me some names and told me that everything that had happened was my fault. So I do have good reason to think that there would be friction.

I am still a little sad, because we were good friends, but I am feeling at peace with my other friends advice. Thanks for all of your help.


First of all, do not even go there blaming yourself for what happened with your ex and on no account allow other people to do that to you.

If she was a true friend, she would support you. He might be different with her; he might not. You’re best shot of both of them.