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Has anyone felt like a third wheel?

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  • Has anyone felt like a third wheel?

    What do I do in this situation? I value all your thoughts here. My husband and I had a couple we spent quite a bit of time with enjoying outings and dinners but when their old friends moved back from interstate they had little time for us. Though a tad hurt, it was fine as we had another couple (family) we enjoyed outdoor activities regularly with and so we continued to spend fun times with them....until...... at a family gathering we invited the other friends to join us out of politeness and our family and the friends got on well. Then they all bumped into each other on a holiday and they hit it right off. Long story short they now have fun regular get togethers and post all over social media. We miss just having time with our family couple but they have little time for us now and if we suggest we get together alone, they are desparate to include the other friends all the time. Ive spoken to them gently about how we would like to do things just with them but they just dont get it and continue to include the other couple in everything . They all have a ball together, lots of fun and laughs but because our nose is quite out of joint we have backed off from both of them and they continue to just have fun all the time posting on social media etc. The friend couple had no time for us when their friends moved back and now our family couple have taken up the outdoor activity with the others. They invite us but we feel like third wheels with how well they all get on. We also feel they have to invite us to keep the peace. What would you do? Thanks in advance.

  • I can't help but wonder if you and your hubs are depriving yourself of fun and enjoyment, out of hurt feelings and possibly even jealousy.

    Friends are important, but there are different types and levels of friendship. You can totally have friends who are "social friends" that you do things with just to have a good time, but they wouldn't be the ones you'd call in tragedy or in need. Know what I mean?

    Is it possible that you and the hubs got jealous when the friend's old friends moved back in the state? If their old friends moved back in the state, it would be totally normal for them to want to hang out with them some even if that meant a decrease in time with you all for a while.

    Now, you are in the same boat with this other set of friends.

    But from the outside looking in, if you and your husband like both couples and the couples like each other, this is the perfect setup to have some GREAT fun and make some awesome memories together.

    Maybe it's time to get past the hurt feelings, accept the friendships for what they are, and let yourself enjoy them?
    "Be what you're looking for."


    • I see what you're saying, Ashlee T. There could well be feelings of jealousy and also feelings of hurt out of rejection. In fact, secretkeeper, I have felt like the third wheel myself in the past. I know exactly how you're feeling. You're not alone in that regard. It seems these friends have put you and your husband at a distance. I don't know what you could do to reverse that. You could induce yourself into their lives and activities again, but it seems they're not interested anymore, to be frank. I think you'd be flogging a dead horse.

      However, I do agree with points Ashlee T. has made. BUT who wouldn't be slightly jealous and hurt? Your reactions are definitely what anyone would feel. I'd move away from this couple and just socialize when you have no choice [so to speak]. I wouldn't take stock any promises they make and I'd definitely forget them and move on.

      This isn't advice you probably want, but I see no solution. They are as they are and I wouldn't waste anymore time on them.


      • This exactly why Im loving this forum. Two different points of view, both with absolute truth. You are right Ashlee T and we have accepted that we have feelings of jealousy towards the fun they have and also feelings of hurt that neither couple see or care that it would hurt us that we have been squeezed out . And I agree so much with you Popcorn&Candy with your thoughts that we are flogging a dead horse. We feel putting ourselves in a situation with us all together would just be putting ourselves on the emotional chopping block again. If we try hard to fit in with their very close bond while feeling unimportant could come across as false and needy. Earlier in the year we had made a plan to meet up with our family couple (just us and them) but we were waiting on a date that suited both of us and it kept being put on hold. Then last week we got a message they had organised a get together (bushwalking)with the other couple and would we like to join them. We feel we were only invited to keep the peace they post their bushwalking on social media. Our plans of a separate meet up just fell through the floor so we made other plans. I like your advice Popcorn&andCandy to stop wasting time on them. We had let go of the first couple and I think we have to do the same with the family couple sad as it is. They have painted us quite a picture about where we stand and even if its jealously and hurt its real and not something we enjoy. Thank you so much. !!!


        • Yes! It sounds like you've sorted this out quite well. It's cliche, but life is too short to spend on things that don't make you happy.

          If you really like these couples and really want to be a part of their lives, accept the relationship for what it is and just let yourself have a great time.

          If you don't, if the bad outweighs the good then you'll be better off without them anyway. I don't think anyone wants to be around if they feel they've been included out of some sort of obligation, so I can't blame you all.

          I played devils advocate a bit because of an experience I had once that was similar. The friend totally ghosted me, out of nowhere. There were no fights, no harsh words and I had no idea what I had done wrong. She would go out with other people to the places we'd often go and not even invite me. It ultimately ended our relationship forever. Years later, I was speaking with a mutual friend about it and she said this girl described almost the exact opposite to her - that I was the one who put a barrier between us.

          It didn't change anything except that it made me see that as strongly as I felt I had been mistreated, she felt the same exact way and her feelings were just as real to her as mine were to me. Humans are funny, huh?
          "Be what you're looking for."


          • Ashlee T I wonder if your friend turned the truth around to others that you were to blame for the friendship fail, to cover the fact that she had treated you very badly which is how it seems to me. I guess while there are always several sides to these situations I know from my point of veiw, we have tried to organise separate get togethers and they find a way to not be available unless the other couple haved oked their availability first. They all know exactly what each other are doing, what their plans are, holidays outings etc while we have no idea and when I ask I get told "their phone is out of battery" and no answer.....ever. So yes my nose is right out of joint. But Im thinking now that I will be polite but not available. I think that will make them happy and Im also feeling that they will most likely turn the truth around to others, like I feel your friend has Ashlee T, and they will say that we have been distant and the problem. Im very glad you told me that story!! You are sooo right. Humans are funny but I also include myself in that funny farm. ????????


            • Haha. Yes, I'm part of the funny farm with you. .

              I don't think she knowingly turned the truth around. I think it was just her true perspective of the situation. She said that she asked me to do things and I declined and that she got tired of asking. But, I do not remember that. I mean, of course there were times I declined because there are times I just don't want to do anything....but apparently, she took those rejections very seriously, where I just took them as me feeling comfortable enough to be myself.

              I always say that the intention of communication is irrelevant. It is the receipt of the information that is relevant. I can have absolutely zero ill intent, but depending on the audience, my efforts can be mistaken as ill-intended. My former friend will never believe any differently than that I did her wrong and I will never believe any differently than she did me wrong - and in the end, it is possible that neither of us really did anything wrong and it was all a product of not taking the time to understand each other.

              "Be what you're looking for."


              • Wise words AshleeT. It really does pay to try to look at everyone's point of view. And I am sure we are partly to blame because we have rejected offers of get togethers with them for our own insecure reasons . I have made it clear we enjoyed doing things separately and they dont want that. So that is their choice. If we were desparate for friends we would crawl back in and to the group and pretend to be jolly and happy but we actually have great group of friends that dont make us feel any less part of the group than anyone else at all. Ive come to the conclusion that some friends and relationships have a life span and that people change and move on as we will now do. We will always be respectful to all of them. I hope the will do the same for us. Somethings are better let go of.


                • Agreed. The infamous "Madea" has a clip about the different types of relationships that beautifully explains this.

                  For me, a few great friends are far better than a bunch of mediocre ones.
                  "Be what you're looking for."


                  • You've got the right approach, secretkeeper: I am glad I was of help, too.

                    There is no time in life to waste on people who just don't care about others. To be honest, you're best off without those people in your life. Life is short to waste on the unappreciative. Concentrate on the friends you do have and move on.


                    • Thank you both soooo much. You both have helped me realise what I know deep down is right. I feel like I want to send you both chocolates !!!!! I have looked up the Madea clip and now want to listen to every word she has ever said. Its all there in front of your face but you dont see it until its pointed out. Im going to take the advice from you both (and now my own subconscious ) to move on confidently that Im not behaving like a little kid in a sand pit. Im sure the family couple will be sulky with us now to make us look bad and squeeze us out even further but that will just reinforce that we need to let them all go. Thanks again. Hugs!!


                      • You're welcome. I do think you've made the right decision.



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