Question: A recent visit from my former friend left me hurt and puzzled, maybe you can help me understand what happened. We knew each other for several years at my previous workplace in another state. She held a higher position there, but we were very friendly, being of the same age, single, and having similar interests. After I married and moved out, we kept in touch, and last month she came to stay with us for several days. My husband took some time off work, and I did, too, and we drove her all around for sightseeing, and accommodated her to the best of our abilities. For two days everything was fine. On the third day, a Saturday, she left us a note that she didn’t want to keep us from our “family things” and went somewhere alone early in the morning while we were still asleep. We haven’t planned anything apart from her for that day. I called her cell phone, but she wouldn’t pick up. Eventually we left the house and returned only after dark. There were two hysterical messages on our home phone answering machine to call her, since she didn’t have a key to our place. I called immediately, but she wouldn’t pick up again. I left her several messages, but she wouldn’t call back. The next morning, she showed up and rang the doorbell. She didn’t answer any questions, hurriedly packed her bags, and left, not even letting us drive her to the airport. I haven’t heard from her since. I feel very bad about it, but I’m also confused. What was all that about?
Answer: You might have involuntarily sent her a message that you and your husband had better things to do than entertain her. Or, she might have perceived it through no fault of yours. She might have been upset at the very fact that you got married and left, and visiting you gave her a chance to air her frustration. As a houseguest, she should have told you about her separate plans, not just leave without the key and expect you to stay put and wait for her return. The fact that she didn’t try to clear the air with you upon her return home means that she was also deeply hurt, but you might never know if it was because of your words or actions, or because of her own issues. If you really care at this point, you might try to contact her and reason with her, but it might only lead to more frustration on her part, and more insults to you.