I was dropped by new friends and dread not seeing them again | Dear Mariella

You may have tampered with the balance of power with this couple, says Mariella Frostrup. Is there something you are not divulging?

The dilemma For the past few months I have been befriended by a lesbian couple who welcomed me into their lives as family. I am a 40-year-old single, straight female and was greatly flattered by their attention. I enjoyed helping them out, unasked, financially, as I often do with family members I am close to. After spending a terrific week together (at their invitation), I left for my home overseas promising I would be back in six weeks to join one of them on a trip they had begged me to take with them, although the planned activities were not my choice. Upon landing I received a stilted note from the partner I shared the most with, cancelling the trip with no explanation. My response was simply: “You’ve got to be kidding. Is this a prank?” She replied: “No, it’s true.” Since then they have stayed silent. I am beyond hurt by this sudden cruel behaviour when I have always exhibited the utmost kindness towards them. I now dread that I may never hear from them again.

Mariella replies You’re pushing me into uncharted waters here. Not because your friends are a lesbian couple, or because you’ve helped them out a bit with money, or because they’ve cancelled this impending trip without explanation – but because you consider these elements as trigger, motive and insult. It suggests you have an instinct about what might be the cause of this upset and perhaps pride, shame or self-righteous incredulity are hampering you from accepting what you sense but won’t confront.

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