Eve 6’s guy offers advice on difficult friendships End-shutdown

“I feel like I’m doing all the heavy lifting in this friendship”

Dear Eve 6 Guy:

I’ve been best friends with K. for 17 years. We’re long-distance friends: she’s in Georgia, I’m on Long Island. She has been here for visits several times, but our friendship is mostly through email, text, and phone. We used to talk every day, but as our lives got busier and the years went by, it was a few times a week, then once a week.

Our friendship runs deep. She knows things about me that no one else knows. For more than a decade, we have shared details of our lives and the lives of our children. We’ve been through breakups together. We have spoken to each other from our respective ledges.

We had moments where we drifted apart, but we always came back to each other, both apologizing for not prioritizing our friendship better. Well, K. just had a bad breakup (they were engaged and living together), and she has some health issues. I know she likes the space when she’s extremely stressed, so I give her that.

The last time we spoke, she told me that she was having a hard time and that she was sorry that she wasn’t a good friend. I told her that I would always be there for her when she was emotionally ready to talk. I didn’t say anything about my recent health problem or fragile emotional state because I didn’t want to burden her with my problems when she clearly has hers.

Two weeks went by and I hadn’t heard from her so I sent her a short text asking if everything was ok. She said she was fine and she asked me to email her an update on my health issues and my children. So I did. That was two and a half weeks ago. I haven’t heard from her since.

This isn’t the first time I’ve felt like I’m doing all the heavy lifting in this friendship. I’ve been upset about this before. But this is the first time she’s felt like she’s actively ignoring me, and I truly think our relationship has become a burden to her, just another thing on her very comprehensive to-do list to check off when she can.

I don’t want to be that. I’d rather end the friendship forever than be dumped every two weeks by her. But how do I get close to her? Do I let her know how I feel and add to her guilty feelings for us, or do I just let the friendship stagnate?

I feel too old for all this. I thought once you got older, friendships were easier. I suppose not. I appreciate any advice you can give me.

I feel like I’m being a ghost.

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