Sunday, 10 July 2011

Can you help with this friendship dilemma?

I have a bit of a dilemma and I'd really appreciate some advice.

I have a very dear male friend, lets call him Gerry. We've been friends since secondary school and have remained platonic friends throughout three marriages (two of his, one of mine) and numerous other relationships. We've only ever been platonic friends, there has never been any romance between us and never will be. He's The Teenager's godfather and has always been a very positive male figure in my girls' lives. He was also a great support to me when my marriage broke up, and after my parents' deaths.

About 3 years ago he met his latest partner - let's call her Gina. Gerry and I remained friends as normal, and he introduced me to her pretty early on. She's very nice and they seem very well suited. I've met her a few times but recently I began to sense that she didn't quite 'get' the friendship between Gerry and me.  I'm not sure what it was that gave me that impression, just a sixth sense I suppose.

In April it was Gerry's 50th birthday and Gina sent me an email to say she was planning a surprise birthday meal at a restaurant and would I like to come. I replied saying that yes, I'd love to come and could she send me the time and date and I'd be there. I didn't hear anything else from her.

I didn't have her phone number or address so I couldn't contact her that way, but the birthday came and went and she didn't get in touch. I'm not sure why. I don't have his address either so I couldn't even send him a card.

I'll be honest, I'm not the best at keeping in touch with people so I wasn't too worried when I didn't hear from Gerry for a while. A month or so before his birthday he moved in with Gina, they now live about 30 minutes away so I knew there would be some changes to our friendship. We used to see him once or twice a week when he called in on his way home from work, or at weekends when he would call and stay for an hour or so. He doesn't live that far away but it was inevitable that those casual drop-ins would come to an end.

But now it's July and I still haven't heard from him. I've texted his work phone, but no reply. I haven't tried to ring him because I don't know what to say. How do I explain why I didn't go to his birthday meal? Do I mention that his partner didn't give me the details, or do I make some other excuse?

I want to call him, but not sure what to say.  I don't think I've handled the situation very well and I admit that I'm a bit rubbish like that. What do you think I should do?