‘I Resent My Best Friend for Moving Away and Having Kids’


A few years back, my best friend got married, moved to the suburbs, and had kids. My partner and I stayed in the city, about two hours away from her place on public transit. I was sad when she moved that I couldn’t just drop in for an afternoon to hang out. But it happens, people change and want different things in life.

She is keen to host us in her guest room on weekends, whenever we’re able to come over. But she and her husband fight all the time, and he spends most of his free time playing video games in the basement while she does all (ALL) of the housework and childcare duties.

The problem is, I don’t want to visit her anymore and I kind of resent that it’s been literal years since she’s come into the city to see me. I know being pregnant and breastfeeding, as she’s been cycling in and out of for a while, makes getting away from home difficult. But when I visit, we can’t get more than a few words in before a kid needs her attention, and her husband is someone I’ve never really liked, even before his transition into fatherhood (or lack thereof). Every time we visit, my partner and I spend the bus ride home dissecting what ruined the weekend for us.

I don’t think there is any way to address any of this with her directly without ending the friendship. She won’t discuss her husband’s failings with me, and I’ve tried! (Last time I saw her, I said outright that it pissed me off he was playing video games while she was doing everything else. She just said he had a busy job and deserved his leisure time, and then changed the subject when I asked if she didn’t deserve the same.) She seems pretty lonely and is always so thrilled when we come to visit because I’m really her only friend. I want to be there for her, but I don’t want to stay at her house or give up any more of my weekends to play Auntie to her kids while she runs herself ragged and her husband plays Call of Duty.

Is there anything to be done? Or should I just make excuses until the kids are older and she can travel to see me for a day trip instead?


I’ve been on both sides of this dilemma. It’s hard to be in a different season of life than our bestie, but that’s what happens when you become an adult. Before I get into it, I will say I personally still regret abandoning my friends when they were knee deep in the trappings of domesticity. That’s not to sway you in any direction, but it’s something I’ve been grappling with in the last handful of years.

Based on what I’m reading, it sounds like you’re more than a little resentful of your friend’s life choices, which, okay fine. She moved to the suburbs and popped out a bunch of kids, and now you can’t just call her up and veg on the couch or grab dinner or go to a movie without a ton of planning. That sucks! It’s hard to lose that kind of connection, especially if the life she has isn’t one you want (even if you might in the future, I don’t know!) The simple fact is: This is the life she’s chosen. If she’s your friend and you really care about her, you’ll figure out how to show up for her in a way that fits where you’re both at. You say she’s your best friend, but you didn’t say how long you’ve been friends, so I can’t really properly assess how deep the roots of your friendship are.

If you don’t think you can be the friend your friend needs because you have too many issues with her life choices, then you need to end or change the friendship, not make excuses for why you can’t see her and hope that things get better in a few years. From what you’ve written, you don’t seem particularly fond of her kids and don’t have much interest in creating a relationship with them. If that’s how you feel now, I can’t imagine that your feelings are going to change as they get older.

As for the husband issue, if there is one thing I’ve learned, it’s that you cannot get in the middle of that relationship. I hated my best friend’s now ex-husband, but when they were married, I kept that shit to myself and played nice because that’s what you have to do sometimes for your best friend. The more you make clear that you don’t like him or the choices they make in their relationship, the more she is going to be defensive and unreceptive. She’ll be less likely to open up to you, which she might start doing if she doesn’t feel like she has to defend him to you. Then, you can talk about it on her terms. You will get nowhere by airing out all of your grievances with him to her face. You can bitch about him all you want with your partner though.

It sounds like your best friend really cares about you and values the relationship you two have. When I had a kid, I cherished my relationships with my childfree friends even more than when I didn’t have kids. They reminded me that underneath all of the mom stuff, I was still a person. Your friend probably feels that way about you, too.

Honestly, I think you wrote this to ask for permission to end your friendship with her, and if I’m being totally truthful, I think you should if this is where you’re truly at. It doesn’t sound like you’re willing to be the kind of friend she needs right now, and she deserves someone who wants to be there for her. Maybe one day, you two will be able to come back to each other and have a different friendship, but at the end of the day, her family will always be an important part of her life. If you don’t want to deal with a husband you don’t like or kids, there are plenty of people out there who don’t have those things that you can be friends with.

If you end your friendship, be honest and tell her you can’t be the friend she needs or deserves because the differences in your life are just too much. If you love her, tell her that, too. She’ll need to hear it.

You can chime in with your advice in the comments and submit your own questions any time.

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Sa'iyda Shabazz

Sa'iyda is a writer and mom who lives in LA with her partner, son and 3 adorable, albeit very extra animals. She has yet to meet a chocolate chip cookie she doesn't like, spends her free time (lol) reading as many queer romances as she can, and has spent the better part of her life obsessed with late 90s pop culture.

Sa'iyda has written 128 articles for us.


  1. I think this presumes a lot about the intentions of the author, she might not be asking permission to end the friendship, just frustrated that a meaningful relationship is under strain. There are a million things between cutting someone off and continuing the status quo here. My two cents are: decide what isn’t working for you, what your boundaries are and what your friendship ideally looks like going forward. Then if you want to give it a go, communicate with your friend that things are changing and see how it goes. You don’t need to tell her the reasons exactly, maybe just that things are too busy now for overnight visits on weekends

  2. Red flag friendship if LW doesn’t like the kids. Spouse aside the bff could divorce but the kids will still be in her life. I don’t know if they have end the friendship entirely but I’d say maybe it’s now just a chat/facetime sesh and less — let’s visit many weekends a year – deal. I have long time friends I barely see anymore (if at all) but we chat frequently or see each other twice a year. Doesn’t make them anyless my friend.

    Lastely nothing good comes from continually telling someone their spouse sucks.

  3. “It doesn’t sound like you’re willing to be the kind of friend she needs right now, and she deserves someone who wants to be there for her.”

    Why doesn’t this apply to her friend too, though? It sucks that the advice here is just to do the work of friendship that her friend is unwilling or unable to do herself. I understand that kids/etc is a ton of work and of course changes the nature of a friendship, but it sounds like you’re telling the writer that it’s unreasonable to want to spend quality time with her friend and that her friend is totally blameless for not showing up. She hasn’t come to see them in the city in *years*, and makes them take a two-hour public transit trip if they want to see her? Sounds pretty lopsided to me.

    Writer, it’s okay to want and expect things from your friends. If she’s not willing to be there for you in the ways you need, you probably do need to end the friendship, or seriously lower your expectations of it. That’s a really sad and disappointing thing, but it isn’t something you need to feel 100% responsible for. Sa’iyda wrote, “if you end your friendship, be honest and tell her you can’t be the friend she needs or deserves because the differences in your life are just too much.” Please know that it goes both ways – I wouldn’t say this to her unless you want to Start Something, but it sounds like she can’t be the friend you need or deserve either.

    I’m sorry you’re dealing with this.

  4. Could you switch up the dynamic a little bit? You say you don’t want to repeat what you’ve been doing and I wonder if there is another way to hang out…

    Maybe look for a concert in the city a few months from now when she might be ready to spend a night away from her kids? She might like having a night out (and morning sleep in) to look forward to when she’s ready to be away from nursing for a night, even if that’s a ways out.

    Or maybe visit her when her husband is out of town? Doing fun things with the kids might feel more like a fun sleepover without her husband ruining the vibe. You could even think of something you’d like to share with them (baking cupcakes? Science museum? Kids pool and popsicles in the backyard?)

    Does she care for the kids full time or are they in daycare? If you visit when she has childcare, maybe you could take a day off work and go to brunch and a museum on a weekday?

    Or could you plan a weekend trip somewhere else? Maybe adding more friends to break up the dynamic you’ve gotten into? and be away from her house so the chores split wouldn’t be as present?

    Or maybe you start a Saturday morning phone call habit when she could take a stroller walk and you two could have a real conversation?

    Just throwing out some ideas to shift away from you having to integrate into her home/marriage/parenting dynamic.

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