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Vent/Advice: Losing a male friend to a relationship

CN: Best guy friend of 10 years has dropped off the face of the planet since getting a girlfriend. Was supposed to be my man of honor. I'm worried, hurt, but not wanting to force my way back into his life. STDs are being sent out in three weeks, and I have to decide whether or not to invite him and his gf. WWYD?

Novel: Ever since I've been 13, my best friend has been a guy. I met my FI through him (they were roommates in college), and he's been a part of my life every step of the way. When I was in India for half a year, he wrote me letters and read my blog every day. I couldn't picture my wedding without him standing up for me, so I asked him to be my man of honor.

August of 2008, he finally got a girlfriend. Since Septemer of that year, he hasn't returned my phone calls, texts, FB messages, or e-mails. This is somebody I used to talk to twice a week. We never had a fight or any reason for a sudden cutoff. I finally ran into him nine months later and called him on it. He apologized, said I hadn't done anything wrong, but said he just couldn't commit to remaining in contact with me more than twice a year. Around that time, he started cutting his guy friends from college out of his life. None of them have ever met his gf, btw, even the ones who lived 10 minutes away from him.

I e-mailed him a few weeks ago saying how sad I was that things had happened this way. Said that I missed our conversations and that I wanted to know what was going on in his life and get to know his gf. Short, impersonal e-mail back saying he was busy. I called him a few days ago wishing him a merry christmas and said I'd love to catch up, even if it's just for a minute. His other friends have done similar things and haven't heard back either.

At this point, I feel like I just need to let the friendship go, as much as it kills me. My concern in all this really isn't the wedding, but we're sending out our STDs right after the holidays. It's sort of forcing me to make a decision, especailly since our wedding is 100 guests. Assuming I haven't heard from him, what would you do? I really have no idea if I should even invite him or not. If he came, it'd feel weird and fake. If he declined, I'd probably lose it. But not inviting him just seems so sad.

Re: Vent/Advice: Losing a male friend to a relationship

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    How he handles his personal relationships is really up to him.  It could be more than just the girlfriend, he could be genuinely busy.  I know that over the years I've lost touch with some pretty great friends and great people because we've moved on and just don't have time to maintain those friendships.

    My best friend from high school is someone I met in kindergarten.  We're still friends, but that friendship has changed from hour long phone calls once a week to FB emails and Christmas cards.  She's still awesome, I still love her, but she lives 3 hours away, has a family and we both have different circles of friends than we did even 5 years ago.

    Friendships morph and change over the years.  It's hard to accept sometimes, but necessary.  Trying to force it isn't going to put the friendship back on old footing, it'll strain it further and make him less interested in talking to you since whenever he does, he gets shat on for not being a good friend.

    "You can take your etiquette and shove it!" ~misscarolb
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    It sounds like you have done what you can to reach out to him and express that you still want to be friends, but he isnt reciprocating. If he doesnt return your call or whatever, its just a sign that he doesnt care as much about continuing the friendship as you do. It sucks, but it happens. I would let it go for the time being, he knows youre there.
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    I voted for not sending the save the date but maybe send an invitation later if things change.  I think this is a friendship you may just have to let go of though.  If I were you I might send him an e-mail telling him how much his friendship has meant to you over the years, but that you can see it has come to an end on his part and you want to respect that.  Then say something along the lines of if he ever changes his mind or wants to get in touch with you, please do, or give him your contact info or whatever.  Then let it go and don't contact him anymore.
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    I am sorry you're going through this. My bestfriend is also a guy and we went through a similar path a couple years ago. His gf at the time was super jealous and insecure and swore we were sneaking around behind her. We tried explaining to her a hundred times that we were like sister and brother. I met him when I was 2 and we were inseparable! She convinced him to cut off all ties with me and mutual friends and he did. I was extremely hurt.

    Finally I ran into him at the local grocery store. Two days later he called me telling me he broke up with the crazy ex and my friendship was more important.

    When he finally met someone new we told her right up front that if she has a problem with me, well then, that's too bad. I am happy to say that they have been together for almost 4 years now and we are all very good friends. He is proposing to her soon too! so excited!

    Sorry this is a novel, but I know what you're going through and maybe, hopefully, this will have a happy ending. :)
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    Stage, I totally see how what I wrote could have come across as being like that. When we spoke, he said he still wanted to be friends but that he couldn't commit to calling me. He said he still wanted to have contact.. My sense wasn't that he wanted to cut things off, just that he didn't want to initiate contact. I see what you're saying, though, which is why I'm not planning on calling or e-mailing again.
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    It may be his girlfriend, it may be that he's just in a different place in his life.  It's sad, but that may be the way things are going to turn out.  It sounds like you're putting in 90% of the effort to maintain the friendship and he's not reciprocating, so maybe it's time to let it go until he initiates something.  My best friend and MOH go through times like that; we'll be super close for a year or two, then not much for a few years.  We've been friends since 6th grade, and our friendship has always ebbed and flowed like that, but we understand that about us.

    I don't know what to do about him being in the wedding.  I'd definately send an invite because things may change, and I think not sending an invite at this point may do irrevocable damage to the friendship.
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    Ditto Stage.  All you are doing is pushing him away more at this point. 

    Relationships ebb and flow.  They change.  Sometimes you will lose contact with someone and pick it back up years later.   And it is no one's fault or doing, it just happens as your life constantly changes.  Trying to force something to fit into how you think it should be is only going to make it worse. He's been very clear about where you fall in his life right now.  Try to accept it and go about with yours.  Maybe one day you will be close agian. 

    As far as the wedding, I wouldn't do a STD and would re-evaluate how you feel about things when it is time to send out the actual inviatation.  I would invite him (and the GF) though.  Thats you doing your part to extend the olive branch, which I feel like you should do given your very long history.  How he reacts is his choosing, but at least you won't ever have any regret or bad feelings about not inviting him down the line. 

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    I think that if you already asked him to be in your WP and he hasnt said that he won't be, then you should invite him. If he declines, then you have your answer, but I don't think it would hurt to invite them both.

    I have a similar friend. We dont talk for a year at a time sometimes, but he is still my best friend. He got married and I didn't know until 6 months later, but that didn't really surprise me. We are both trying to make a more concerted effort to keep in touch, but just because we don't doesn't mean we don't care.
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    And since his other (presumably male) friends are also finding the same thing, I'd have to say that it isn't the new gf being jealous.  Unless she's similarly jealous of the guy friends which would be weird.

    "You can take your etiquette and shove it!" ~misscarolb
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    I think you guys are very right about not contacting him anymore. My phone call was my last try... At this point, it just doesn't make any sense to keep trying, and I certainly don't want to do any damage. So that's done.

    Moose, I agree that it isn't a gf jealousy thing. He's the kind of person who has wanted a relationship for as long as I can remember, and I think it's more of a "nothing matters but her" sort of thing. If it were just me he were cutting out, I would be hurt but wouldn't be as concerned. But he's cutting away everyone he's ever known, besides her friends.
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    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_ventadvice-losing-male-friend-relationship?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding BoardsForum:9Discussion:7db66072-ca6e-4f54-9bc2-15c565b64939Post:4cb90d4a-599c-4df1-bcf2-ee61803ba875">Re: Vent/Advice: Losing a male friend to a relationship</a>:
    [QUOTE]I really hate to point this out, hon, but you're kind of becoming creepy stalker chick at this point.  He flat out told you that he could not maintain the level of contact and relationship that you had before, and yet you are still emailing him and calling him.  This may be about the GF, and it may have nothing to do with her, but by not leaving him be, like he asked, you are risking losing him as a friend altogether.  If you are interested in maintaining the friendship, go ahead and invite them.  But if you think it will be weird and fake, just skip the invite and call a spade a spade.
    Posted by StageManager14[/QUOTE]

    I agree.  Calling him more isn't going to fix it.  He's pulled away, and he's the only one who can change that.  Invite him if you want, but by keeping the pressure via phone and email OFF, you have a highler likelyhood of getting a positive response from him.

    I also wouldn't send the STD - might feel like more pressure.  Just wait & send the invite.
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