Ask Amy: Wife inspires friends to walk on eggshells

Dear Amy: Over the last three years, my husband and I have enjoyed several camping and mountain biking trips with another couple.

“Ruth,” the woman of the couple, works with my husband.

I thought we had a good time as a foursome. Very few other women will “rough it” in the wilderness like we four do.

A few weeks ago, Ruth approached my husband and explained that they’d been avoiding more trips for the past year, as they didn’t think I enjoyed the trips.

I emailed them to offer reassurance that I do enjoy the trips — and our friendship — and asked them to join me for dinner to discuss this while I was home alone for a week (my husband was traveling).

They shut me down for any in-person interactions, saying that I project my unhappiness onto them, that they walk on eggshells around me, that I caused multiple instances of tension, and because of my “impacts” they would remain intentionally unavailable.

Amy, I was completely shocked! I had no idea they felt this way.

They put on a good mask — for years. These people I thought were close friends shoved me aside — by email. If they had been honest about the tension they felt, I might have been able to change my behavior, or at least understand what was bothering them.

Instead, I am confused, grieving a friendship, and just … really hurt.

They acted like “nice people,” so this came as a shock.

I am now questioning whether many other “friends” dislike spending time with me, and are walking on eggshells.

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