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OT - Why are You Talking to Me?

lieutenant_dad's picture

Backstory: DH had a close friend we'll call A a few years ago. Out of the blue, A stopped hanging out with DH. When asked why, A would never give him or I a straight answer. We've heard from other people that have asked him that it was because DH is a know-it-all (he can be, but that seems like something you'd tell my DH as to why the friendship ended), DH committed stolen valor (this one I don't understand in the slightest because DH doesn't have any pride for being in the military and HATES being thanked for his service), A didn't like how DH and I started dating while I was still married (but separated) from XH (even though A is still best friends with a guy who started dating another friend's GF behind his back), etc. A's wife (we'll call her M) had alluded toward the end of their friendship that she couldn't trust DH around her and their daughter, which is effing bonkers for a bunch of reasons and was never elaborated on.

Needless to say, we avoid A and M. However, we share a mutual friend who had an outdoor birthday get-together this past weekend. DH and I decided to go because COVID is waning here and it was outside. The only time we see A and M is through this friend. In four years, we've seen them at friend's wedding, baby shower, and now this 10-person BBQ.

Anyway, in the past, we've all been cordial. However, yesterday, M was all up in our business. We were talking to friend's wife and M kept asking how are the SSs, where is OSS going to school this fall, where are we working now, etc. She even asked about my recipe for pasta salad.

Guys, this is nothing-special pasta salad. Legit, pasta, veggies, dressing, cheese. There is no recipe.

Then, the "men folk" start talking about bad marriages. DH is not participating but is listening to this conversation and was waiting on friend to come back out so they can chat. Out of nowhere, A chimes in about how DH had a bad divorce and tries to rope him into the convo. DH is nonplussed, says something to show it's a touchy subject and that he's not participating in a discussion about his past with people he doesn't know and aren't friends with, and promptly ignores them the rest of the time we're there.

When we go to leave, M hints that she hopes we get to chat sooner than in two years again. We say bye to friend and wife and leave.

In the car, I told DH I feel like I have whiplash. How is it that these folks had something against DH (and I) so much that they'd end the friendship but then start trying to rope both of us into conversation and find out what has been going on in our lives?! I get having polite conversation for friend and wife's sake, but you can be pleasant without asking questions. We didn't ask either of them a single thing the entire 2 hours we stuck around.

It hurts, if I'm being honest. DH took it hard when A stopped talking to him (but kept talking to BIL who should be the person they should be concerned about having around). I feel overly protective when A and M are around because they hurt DH. I probably dislike them more than he does because they hurt him.

I just don't see the point in engaging with us. There were other people around. We didn't need to put on an awkward show. Friend and wife are aware of the "bad blood", but they know it's not going to be repaired, and also know that we can all be polite to one another in each others company.

But this crossed over from "polite" to "friendly", and we want none of it. To the point that we'll likely turn down future invitations if we know they'll be there. If they wanted to be friends, they should have chatted with DH (and I, because I think I was part of the problem) about the problems instead of dumping the friendship. But, they dumped it, and DH and I have zero want to be back on friendly terms. That ship sailed years ago.

I'm not looking for advice, really. I just need to let this out. 


futurestepmomnowstepgf's picture

HATES being thanked for his service. In all honesty, my bf is so anti the military in terms of politics, etc. I wonder how he ever joined in the first place.

If A is also in the military, like it sounds like he is, probably some sort of drama or rumors amongst the people he works with or their spouses. Obviously I am not a military spouse, but I have witnessed a lot of drama and rumors that start amongst military people who work together which then branches out to their spouse and the people in their circle. My guess would be that somehow a rumor was made about your DH, that A heard and told M, which made either A or M, or rather both of them say, we aren't associating with them anymore, or someone else they know felt that way so they followed suit. Then, maybe they found out it wasn't true sometime recently so now they are trying to get back in your good graces. In two years, I have witnessed/heard this happen many, many times, which just makes me happy bf does not live on base or have a ton of marine friends honestly. 

Just my two cents! 

That is unfortunate though, I am sorry to hear you went through this. I would definintely keep my distance. If you see them I would be cordial and if they try to pry again, I would take an opportunity that I could pull M aside or for your husband, A aside, and just be upfront and say "We are not sure why you ended the friendship we had before and it hurt that you would not tell us the reason why. My husband and I or My wife and I have no problem with being civil and friendly with you, however since our friendship was not a priority to you before, we am not interested in trying to rebuild the friendship now. If you could please refrain from brining up personal details to others that we had shared when we were friends would be greatly appreciated."

I would not punish the friends who you invite you and you must enjoy seeing for their other friend's behavior.


lieutenant_dad's picture

Thanks for understanding!

DH and A are both veterans from different branches. They both joined after 9/11 but for very different reasons. DH never saw combat, but did get hurt while in the service (was run over on base). A saw combat and was hurt, too. I think A put a lot of stock in being in the military and took a lot of pride in being a vet, and he was disheartened when DH saw it as "just a job and a paycheck".

Regarding rumors, I think you might be on to something. BIL and A are friends, and I don't trust my BIL in the slightest. It wouldn't surprise me if A complained about DH (or I) and BIL just fed into that complaining. BIL and and DH aren't close, so it also wouldn't surprise me if BIL spouted off about something he didn't know and turned A against DH.

But it's all speculation. It seems weird that DH got picked out of the group that was friends as being the "hated" one while everyone else got a pass. DH has changed a lot in recent years, which is also why he's not super shot in the rear about being friendlier. He's not interested in the "men drink and women gossip" dynamic that A and M participate in with their group of friends. It's just not him.

futurestepmomnowstepgf's picture

My bf feels strongly too that he doesn't want to be thanked or anything because he has deployed, but never saw combat. He joined thinking about going to war, etc. which he has not done, so to him he feels awkward when people thank him and he thinks to a point being in the military is silly when it isn't war time. Sounds like my bf and your DH would get along because he sees it as a paycheck too! Ouch! Sometimes it amazes me how dangerous base is/can be and same with the ranges!

Sounds like that is a strong possibility!

We are good friends with a married couple who are both marines and they are lifers, at times it can be semi-awkward just because their views about the military and my bf's are totally different. Plus bf is counting the days till he gets out and they are working on their career so it is just different. Plus they enjoy hanging out with other marines and their spouses that do gossip as well and that is just not our vibe!

If DH is the only one though that is not into the clique of men drink and women gossip, then that will be why! My bf had more friends/was cool with a lot more people in his squad two years ago, but since people have changed out, the people that are in his squad now are like high schoolers, very cliquey and if you aren't in their clique, than screw you. Personally, I think unless you are high high up, the military does act like high school in certain ways. Personally, I am not about it whatsoever. I wouldn't let it rain on your parade though while enjoying the company of your other friends. Let them look petty and shallow by not feeding in or letting them keep you away from your other friends

futurobrillante99's picture

Their behavior is SO incredibly shady and cowardly, it smacks of guilt and manipulation.

They are probably up to one or more of the following:

  1. Managing their image to the group - trying to look like the peacemakers hoping you'd either tell them off or look rude.
  2. Trying to figure out if you've caught wind of rumors they've been spreading and how mad you are.
  3. Generally trying to make you look bad or get info on you in the safety of a group.

If they were worth being friends with, they would have tried to send out an olive branch directly to your DH and you. They wouldn't have come to stir the pot and start crap at a mutual friend's event.

lieutenant_dad's picture

I'm assuming it's a combo of 1 and 3, mixed with some guilt in realizing that they may have effed up by cutting off that friendship at the knees. Our mutual friend has mentioned them more and more in conversation, which our response is a blank stare and a "that's nice". I've even told mutual friend that we don't care about A and M because they ended it and we have no control over that.

It just didn't feel right. It felt off. And I don't know if that's me being hurt and angry or if that's real.

Gimlet's picture

You are an intelligent and perceptive person, trust your gut.  If it feels off, it's probably off. 

It sounds like you are better off without these game-playing gossips in your life.


Aniki's picture

Without going into detail, I GET IT.

It definitely sounds like they were trying to fuel some drama and possibly get back into your good graces to obtain drama tidbits. Maybe they're bored with each other.. 

IMO, the only thing you can do is gray rock these asshats. XOXO

SM12's picture

Who knows, maybe they both had treated other friends like they did you and your DH and they have very few friends left.   Maybe now they are trying to suck up and get you back.   But I would feel the same way you do....pass on them as friends.

My DH had a friend who he considered his best friend when we first met.  This guy was a "great guy" and there for DH when his father passed away.  Would do anything for you type guy. 

Well he was the first friend of DHs I met when we first started dating.  I watched him get staggering drug and verbally bash two other women at the table.  I was not impressed.   DH was shocked as well.  Later on I watched him throw DH under the bus with the group of friends we had that caused us to cut them all off.  The friend made up lies and started nasty rumors.   Come to find out this friend was having an affair on his wife and wanted all the attention on DH even if it meant lies.   
We have seen this friend out in public a few times.  DH is polite but cold.  I am not polite but stop myself from unloading a verbal bashing like he has never seen.  He avoids me like the plague.   

Some people are just crappy people.