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Needing more from Friendships - Page 2

post #21 of 109
Thread Starter 
Lea, I get you!

I feel the same way about my dh not getting me. He gets me the most out of everyone else, tho.

A problem I have is that I might meet moms who seem like we could really get along and stuff, but they always claim to be "so busy". I know this one mom who really is cool (she even attends the UU church I used to visit, so we wouldn't clash religiously, I don't think), but she is so hand's-on with her kids. She has to have a couple hours of "table time" (that's what she calls it) every day and is very, very involved with crafts and her kids. Now, we do crafts and play around here, but I'm not anal about it. So, I just feel like she wouldn't have the time to involve herself with me (we share a friend who feels annoyed and stressed out alot by dealing with her, too).

So, while she is so cool and craftsy (I really dig this lady), I think trying to befriend her would be hazardous to my mental health. But, if she'd just loosen up...that's what I tell myself.

I really should stop looking for friends. It's tiring.
post #22 of 109
WOW - I had no idea that I was one among so many.

I haven't had a good friend for 6 or 7 years now........ I mostly just have the people I work with and then DH.

My sister would be PERFECT - and we do talk alot - but she lives 15,000 miles away....... in Africa.

Oh well....... it would be nice to have a good buddy.

Chelly
post #23 of 109
Im right here with you guys too! I guess Im a friend snob, but only b/c Im a great friend to have. Im reliable, always there, a good listener, non judgemental.....I would do anything for you. I dont think thats alot to ask of a friend. I have friends like that in the state I moved from 5 years ago, friends I had for the past 20years that are like sisters, maybe closer. I can pick up the phone and talk like it was yesterday. I miss them so much, sometimes it makes me cry, my heart aches for them.

I had a bad experience when I first moved here with a friend. We were pregnant together, had are dds 2 weeks apart, then it seemed her true colors started coming through. THe competiveness, the gossip, the hurtful things she would say to push me away. I finally ended it by not returning her phone calls. I havent seen her since and its been over a year. I realised that I was so desparate for a friend, that I couldnt see her for who she was, not my friend.

Ive met other moms since, started a moms group, and still havent met my soul sister. Though there are a few good candidates. I think its cos ive been burned......maybe Im looking for this ideal....... maybe I just think I deserve what Im looking for in a friend. I thought having a child would make it easier to make connections with women, but I think it makes it harder. THere are so many dealbreakers now. So many differences that are hard to overlook, the big ones anyways. Alot of flaky people......thats so hard for me to deal with!

But we must be on the right track. Im not giving up yet!
post #24 of 109
Wow-this is a potent topic. And I am right there with you--i actually posted about this a few weeks ago, confused about how to make new friends.

I had some good friends in school, (grad) but then they just drifted away. I called them at least once a week, or emailed, trying to set up dates to get together (this was before I was pregnant) and at the last minute they were always "too busy".

About a year ago, I told my friends that I need more from them. I explained to each of them that "I expect my friends to call once in a while, even if you're busy, to say hi, or how's life" and they all seemed to understand completely, but only ONE has followed through. She calls, returns my calls, comes to my get-togethers...

I have made some new mommy-friends, but they are new friends so you can't talk about everything with them. Don't people realize how hard it is to make new friends, and how long it takes to really get to know someone==it really is WORTH maintaining existing friendships.

I too feel like I try with my friends, more than they try with me. And I get really resentful about it. How hard is it to pick up a phone? I think EFFORT needs to be made by people to maintain friendships. I tell people, you know how you make an effort with your boyfriend or SO? YOu call, you buy them things, you worry about them, etc. Well, I think a similar effort needs to be made on behalf of your friends.

Sigh. Don't people realize how precious good friendships can be?
post #25 of 109
What I have a problem with is "friends" who spend the entire conversation bit*hing about their immature husband, debt, in-laws who walk all over them, out of control kids, etc. but do nothing about these issues.

I was a bit*cher too, in my late teens and all throughout my 20s--I read somewhere that complaining is actually a bonding ritual when you're in your 20s and learning who you are--but I'm almost 33 and have a great marriage and 2 small kids now. I may not know who I am yet but I know I'm tired of "friends" who use me as a sounding board, get me VERY worried about their supposed marital crises, and then do NOTHING to change their bad situations, leaving me with an aching stomach.

I have a *really* good marriage, and DH is an outstanding, mature partner in parenting. When friends tell me about their husbands who don't *ever* watch the kids/go away for weekends with the buddies/have extramarital affairs/demand control over every penny in the house/scream at the kids for no reason/spank the kids/let the in-laws criticize them in front of family/themselves criticize their wife in front of the family--and so on, I try to offer ideas and suggestions--gently--for them to change things.

What I've come to realize is that these folks don't *want* to change. And so I need to move on.

The sad part is, I've just described about 90% of the mothers I've met in this area! Grrr.....

And all I hear is how *lucky* I am to have found DH, how *lucky* we are we don't have a lot of debt, how *lucky* we are to live near MIL who helps, how *lucky* we are to have a child who listens most of the time and who eats food other than mac&cheese, PB&J, and chicken nuggets. Um, no, we aren't *lucky*. We've made conscious choices that resulted in positive life outcomes. Why can't people understand that their actions have consequences?

Oh, off the soapbox. Good topic!

Mel
post #26 of 109
I agree. I think I did the same thing in my 20s too. I seemed like a magnet for women in abusive relationships. Thing is, their toxity leaks everywhere on the relationship. I finally caught on that is was a one way friendship with me doing all the work.
post #27 of 109
I feel that bitching with friends is a good thing (but I am in my 20's) but it can get to be too much when that's all you do. When I complain about my husband or spiritied child I actually would like to hear how someone over came the same things, but sometimes it does make things better just to get them off your chest.
We are poor and seeing that my husband just lost his job our money woes will probably get a little worse before they get better.
I don't have an issue with having friends that are better off money wise but I can see where if you let it , it could cause tension. I admit it is hard to struggle really bad and then have friends talking about all the new stuff they have bought etc.. but then again why shouldn't my friend be able to talk about it with me.
I have found that women really knock each other down a lot. There is a lot of competition among women. I do not want to be a part of that at all.
post #28 of 109
Quote:
Originally posted by gurumama
And all I hear is how *lucky* I am to have found DH, how *lucky* we are we don't have a lot of debt, how *lucky* we are to live near MIL who helps, how *lucky* we are to have a child who listens most of the time and who eats food other than mac&cheese, PB&J, and chicken nuggets. Um, no, we aren't *lucky*. We've made conscious choices that resulted in positive life outcomes. Why can't people understand that their actions have consequences?

Oh, off the soapbox. Good topic!

Mel
Yep, I hear all of that too! I bet a lot of mommas here can nod on that one! Luck doesn't play much into happiness - good choices have so much to do with peace and joy in life. IMHO
post #29 of 109
I second that!
post #30 of 109
I guess it's all a matter of perspective. I agree that a lot of life choices after adulthood determine where you are in life and how happy or finacially stable you are. I do find it to be simplistic.
Not everyone started off with the same advantages. I actually do think "luck" plays a part.
Not being in debt , now that is becasue of good choices!! Having a great MIL, I'd say that is lucky. Being born into a family that is loving and supporitive I'd have to say that is luck a well. Which a good foundation in life goes a long way, not everyone has that.
So there are some things that most definitly are a result of choices you have made and then there are things that aren't.
Just like I have worked damn hard to be who I am today with a lot of struggle, I'm still struggling. Looking in from the outside you might say well this is wrong in her life because this and this choice etc. but you wouldn't have the whole picture at all. I can be pretty safe saying I have in my adult life worked as hard as a lot of people and I have made some very good choices but I am still poor and I am still struggling to over come the massive hurdles in my life, and a lot of them were not put there by me.
I take responsibility for the mistakes I have made in life but I will not pretend I didn't have disadvantages to begin with.
That said I feel everyone should be damn proud of what they have accomplished but just keep in mind that everyone isn't starting off at the same "level" Someone that seems to not have accomplished much might have in many ways accomplished more than you can know. Sometimes you don't have anything to show for it, it's all on the inside.
post #31 of 109
Thread Starter 
I think a lot of life perspective has to do with one's sense of responsibility. Like, sometimes, I'm all "Woe is me...", b/c I'm stuck in the Why did this have to happen to me? mentality. But, just changing my sense of responsibility helps a lot with how I deal with my life circumstances. So, instead of wondering how I got into this mess, I can say to myself, Well, these are the steps I took that led to this. I can take ownership of what's going on and learn from it. Maybe I can be more aware next time and my life will seem to take a turn for the better.

One of my friends that really bugs me refuses to take responsibility in her life. Things are always happening to her. Nothing's ever her fault, ykwim? That really bothers me. I mean, we all have our moments, but I know I have responsibility over how I live and view my life. There are few things actually beyond my control, IMO.

That's probably why the friend situation bothers me so much. Because I know I had a choice, and I made the wrong one, IMO.
post #32 of 109
r
post #33 of 109
I should clarify: I do think that lots of people are in negative situations b/c of forces beyond their control. I've BTDT and it sucks. But *most* adults are able to change the negative things in their life, either through their own volition or by going to therapy, ending a negative relationship, changing behavior patterns, etc. It's not that fate suddenly drops some wonderful present in your lap and *poof* you're 40 lbs lighter/married to prince charming/feeding the kids whole foods/respected by in-laws/making $20K more a year/able to be SAHM and so on.

I think I have a chip on my shoulder about this. Chaka is right, too, that it's about taking responsibility for your life. I come from an extremely abusive childhood, with a schizophrenic, alcoholic mother and basically an absentee dad. Neither of them took responsibility for anything--it fell to me. And so out of that mess I have struggled to get a sense of normal and reasonable perspective. It's taken a *lot* of work. And I've done my share of griping with my buddies about poor me, etc. but I ultimately turn toward what *I* can do to change the bad stuff.

The moms I meet now are generally (though not all) people who came from fairly upper middle class families, who didn't work 3 jobs through college, who had stable, relatively loving (if somewhat materialistic) families. These women are the ones who are calling *me* "lucky" for what I have now--as if my choices didn't play a role in it, as if I can't be responsible for my own happiness. *THAT* is what bugs me.
post #34 of 109
Quote:
Originally posted by Sheacoby
That said I feel everyone should be damn proud of what they have accomplished but just keep in mind that everyone isn't starting off at the same "level" Someone that seems to not have accomplished much might have in many ways accomplished more than you can know. Sometimes you don't have anything to show for it, it's all on the inside.
Good perspective shift, thanks Heather.

I definitely will agree that we don't all start on the same footing and some were born into families that helped build a strong sense of confidence and established a strong foundation. I feel fortunate to have experienced my parents and my extended family.

My husband was from the opposite spectrum - he came from a difficult upbringing, very impoverished, too many dads and too little time for him with a mother that worked around the clock to just keep their heads above water. ANYWAY . . . he is a strong man, but he says that if he hadn't met me - someone that believes in him - that he probably wouldn't have come as far as he has.

Really makes me think twice about how I'm raising my kids. I want them to grow as I did - believing that all things are possible and that the only boundaries are the ones we set for ourselves.
post #35 of 109
Okay I obviously have a chip on my shoulder too. Believe me when I say I have accomplished a lot by just being an okay mom and being a pretty together person. I have f'ed up my share and I do take resposibilty for it. If anything I get way too down on myself. That's why I say not everyone is coming from the same vantage point and it does matter and ,makes a big difference.
I have spent a lot of my life just trying to survive and self actualization was not big on my priority list. I have spent many years internalizing everything and I'm not doing that any more. All the hurdles in my life have not been my doing and if that isn't taking responsibilty so be it. Now all the stupid money decisions and such are my fault and my responsibilty. My relationship problems are my responsibilty to fix, what we are shown and taught are very hard to overcome. I do realize it is up to me to change them though.
I am in control of my actions and my choices and from someone who was controlled most of my childhood that is very important to me. I openly admit I have not yet over come the abuse done to me but I have stopped using it as an excuse.
The moms I meet now are generally (though not all) people who came from fairly upper middle class families, who didn't work 3 jobs through college, who had stable, relatively loving (if somewhat materialistic) families. These women are the ones who are calling *me* "lucky" for what I have now--as if my choices didn't play a role in it, as if I can't be responsible for my own happiness. *THAT* is what bugs me.
I see exactly where you are coming from about this.
I was thinking about the upper middleclass, well adjusted , from loving families, parent who paid for their college, had every advantage, people who talk about how "hard" they have worked to have what they have. Of course they did work hard but it's all relative.
post #36 of 109
sheacoby, , for both your posts.

and vesta, i dont know how to work the quotie gadget, but i love what you said enough that i'm gonna type it out:
"sometimes i think that people who complain but dont do anything to fix their situation, really CANT do anything, because they are so depressed and angry that they cant think their way out of a paper bag."
yes! BTDT, and were it not for some excellent *luck*, in the form of supportive loving people, my life would now be,sh*t, because i would never have been able to drag my depressed a$$ out of bed. wow, i am so off topic, but this was too compelling to pass up.

but anyway, the reason i was following this excellent thread was a facination with the fact that so many fabulous people can be suffering from a need for true friends. funny, i always assumed that all you witty, charming folks must have freinds by the millions. i mean it. i am flabbergasted. i can relate to everybody here. i have some good friends, but definately have my share of social woes. it seems like my desire for REAL, deep friends is often so much greater than that of others. most people really only seem interested in the superficial stuff, and frankly, i'd rather stay home than work so hard to keep from talking about things that really matter.
post #37 of 109
okay sunbaby, your post really resonated with me! what exactly *is* going on with us? there's too many of us looking for deep friendships to say that none of us have run across someone else looking for deep friendships.
i, for one, have come to the conclusion that i'm studiously avoiding at least one person in my life who would be a good candidate for a deep friendship, and she has even made several overtures. when i ask myself why, i think i'm afraid -- afraid of opening myself up at that level, afraid of *needing* a friend (if i lose or am rejected by my disfunctional friends, i can say to myself, well, geez, who needed that anyway?), afraid (on a really junior high school level) that b/c she's thinner than i am, has more money and is classically beautiful, that she's not going to like me. so i found a few things about her to privately quibble with and i've kept our interactions on a fairly limited level. what is wrong with me? i think i'm also afraid that if i do pursue the friendship, i'll be disappointed, that she won't be the friend i'm looking for.
so, i decided to take a risk. i called (but had to leave a msg). i'm going to put some energy into this friendship and see where it goes.
susan, trying to get over that whole junior high thing...:
post #38 of 109
Ok, Sue~

Now you got ME thinking... I avoid deep friednships, ok most ALL friendships for about the same reason. But I flake out. I make arrangements, but when the date gets near I call and cancel. It's a real panicky thing. I am so afraid of not being liked, of not liking them, or both

I am such an oddball. I do everything different than most, AND I have a dry sense of humor that very few people get, AND I am myself from day one, so that may throw people off too.

I mean, what if I involve myself in a friendship, and they blow me off...or worse, they think I am suffocating because they interest me so much?

OY VAY!
post #39 of 109
I think fear plays a big role for me. I am afraid I will get hurt if I get too close. I am afraid I will not like the person once I get to know them and then I'll have to find a way to get rid of them. I'm afraid they won't like me if they get to know me. I'm afraid I will be disappointed. I'm also afraid I'll never find a friend that can relate to me. Fear holds me back a lot, yea I'm working on it.
post #40 of 109
You sing it sista SheaCoby!
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