Friendships ending and changing - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 32 Old 01-07-2007, 02:08 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I couldn't think of another place to post this. I'm sure all of us have had friendships that have meant a lot to us, but something has happened to derail it. I'm not talking about growing apart or moving away. More like an argument about something that's been brewing for a long time. It seems like everything is fine one day and then, poof, all of a sudden, someone who was in your life is out of it. Sometimes friends reach out and make up, but it's different than it was. There's a wall there that neither friend has enough trust to climb. That can be painful too. I'm experiencing this now and while I'll share the details later, I wanted to hear your stories and how things changed. Also, how did you cope with the loss/change?
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#2 of 32 Old 01-08-2007, 05:08 PM - Thread Starter
 
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OK, I'll go first. My friend of almost 9 years and I are having a major argument about our kids. I told her that her daughter was calling my son mean names (like loser and dork) and that it's gotten worse recently. She blew it off by saying her daughter didn't really know what the names meant. (Her daughter is 8.) I brought it up again the next day because I didn't feel that she took it seriously the first time. I told her that I want the name calling to stop and that it has progressed to bullying.

She wrote me 2 long emails defending her daughter and attacking me and my son. She said I never liked her daughter and that affects how I interpret her daughter's behavior. She said my son lies and she doesn't believe him. She said he's just trying to get her daughter in trouble. She said my son is bullying her younger daughter (who is 6, like my son) when he grabs her and grits his teeth and makes gibberish noises. (My son has a mild autism spectrum disorder. That behavior is called stimming and he gets corrected for stimming on other people whenever he does it. It's an autism thing-not a bullying thing. But we still don't allow him to do it on other people.) She also seems to be mocking the road I've taken with early intervention and evaluations for my son, and that I shared it all with her. Finally, she put a couple words in quotes that I read as "so-called"-she wrote your son's "autism" and his "diagnosis."

So, I don't know if this friendship will continue. I don't know if I want it to. It won't if she is mocking me. That's going too far. My family has been through too much to put up with that crap from a "friend."
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#3 of 32 Old 01-08-2007, 06:18 PM
 
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Wow! I really feel this one right now. I "had" a friend for something like 15 years. When I became TOTALLY UNEXPECTEDLY pregnant last year I was really excited to tell her. So I went over to her house with another friend of ours and showed them the U/S pict. We all talked about it for a few hours then I went home. This was back in early June. I had called her a few times and never heard back from her so I stopped calling. Figured she knew my number too. Well she called... last week after hearing about the birth of our son. WHY BOTHER at this point? I am so over it. My Mom tells me to get over it and she is offering her hand out now... My feeling is, she hasn't been there for a very difficult pregnancy when I really really needed my friends, why do I need her now when I have less time them I use to. I know I am speaking out of anger, but I AM angry and I think I have a right to me. Just wish I knew what I did that pissed her off in the first place....
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#4 of 32 Old 01-08-2007, 07:39 PM
 
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I seem to pick bad friends and have had this happen a lot.

The one who meant the most to me was my best friend for nearly 10 years and is/was Godfather to my eldest daughter. When I first met my husband I explained to him that under no circumstances would I dump my friend and after meeting him hubby knew we were just friends and was fine about it.

Then about 3 years ago he met a woman. Great, I was super excited for him and her and couldn't wait to get to know her. Only problem was she thought I wanted to steal him (I have no idea why cause I'm married and had never had any inkling to be with this friend of mine!) and slowly he stopped calling me and finally one day I called him and he told me his wife (they never told me they were getting married) was jealous and he wasn't allowed to be my friend anymore. I was absolutely gutted, I still am. Since him I have to confess I don't really have friends. I think I've been hurt too much in the past. I guess it's his loss but it still makes me sad and I still miss him an awful lot.
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#5 of 32 Old 01-09-2007, 02:06 AM
 
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I am dealing with this right now also. I have a friend who in college we were inseperable. We went to high school together as well. I was the first one in our group to get married and then got pregnant shortly after. She was the first person I told about everything. Well, she met a guy in college who was best friends with his roommate and HIS girlfriend. My friend and this person's girlfriend became very good friends and slowly I am squeezed out of the picture.
My friend calls me (now maybe every 6 months) and reminds me about how they talk EVERYDAY on the phone on the way to work and I can't see her for more than 2 seconds without her mentioning this person's name. It got WAY worse after I had DD when I when I felt the most lonely. I have contemplated about whether or not this was all just MY issue - the jealousy etc. and to some extent it is. But then I realize that it is how insensitively and hurtful she has handled each situation. She hurt me in many ways by excluding me from vacations, get-togethers, and did not even invite DD to her wedding. (I was a bridemaid and of course, the other girl was the made of honor...and naturally my friend was my made of honor...I hate weddings)
So today, as it stands, she doesn't have the slightest clue of how many things she's done to hurt me but I can't seem to bring myself to confront her...I guess I feel it's too late or something. But I have had about 5 vivid and upsetting dreams about it. It is kind of like mourning a friendship because it will never be the same and will never be as strong/good.
My husband and I got together with my friend and her husband for the first time in forever this weekend and I was nervous about it. I'm always afraid I won't be able to "fake" being so happy to see her.
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#6 of 32 Old 01-09-2007, 02:11 AM
 
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Oh my goodness, this is happening to me right now. It wasn't a long-term friendship but rather a new acquaintanceship that I thought would grow. Bam, it ended in an instant. Still not sure exactly what happened. I even blogged about it today, if you're interested in my reaction to it (address is in my sig).

As for long-term friendships, I haven't had them end suddenly, so this is rather new to me. I have had friendships fade away and I've experienced family members becoming distant, but nothing abrupt until today.
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#7 of 32 Old 01-09-2007, 02:49 AM
 
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Losing a friend sucks. I lost my best friend of 10 years (I would have married her if we were gay.) I still don't know what happened. I felt like I was putting a lot more into the relationship than she was. Sometimes I still get mad about it (its been about 5 years since I saw her) and sometimes I'm just sad. I'd confronted her on a couple of things, and she would always say "I Know, you're right, I'm sorry" but then nothing would change.

Then my H was my best friend and he went and got a girlfriend. So obviously he's not my friend anymore . I know he will be eventually though.
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#8 of 32 Old 01-10-2007, 01:21 AM
 
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I've been thinking about this lately too. I miss my friend. We'd been friends for about five years. Her dh and I used to teach at the same high school and that's how we met. I'd helped her through several difficult situations...her dh was very abusive, physical, emotional you name it he's done it. Well she finallly left him in the middle of the night so I helped her move out and get into an apartment, gave her all the houseware stuff she'd need to get a clean start. Phone numbers, resources, so she'd never have to see him again.

This is the kind of wacko guy that you don't call when he's home because he'd hurt her if she talked on the phone to me. He put a gun to her head on several occasions. Anyway, she ended up back together with him so I just couldn't help anymore. While I'm afraid for her safety and that of their 2 kids, I'm also not willing to risk the safety of my family.

Just before she got back together we met for dinner. I'd just had a m/c and she was pg. She didn't want to talk about my m/c, and that's all I wanted to talk about...I wanted people to acknowledge that I'd lost my child.

Needless to say, we couldn't talk about much. I don't have any respect for her dh and I still don't understand WHY she is still married to him. I hope she's happy and that she and her dh are getting therapy.
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#9 of 32 Old 01-10-2007, 07:15 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Roo_Online View Post
Oh my goodness, this is happening to me right now. It wasn't a long-term friendship but rather a new acquaintanceship that I thought would grow. Bam, it ended in an instant. Still not sure exactly what happened. I even blogged about it today, if you're interested in my reaction to it (address is in my sig).

As for long-term friendships, I haven't had them end suddenly, so this is rather new to me. I have had friendships fade away and I've experienced family members becoming distant, but nothing abrupt until today.
Me too! I met this lady at my son speech session. Her son was taking speech too. We talked in the waiting area many times before we decided to get together for playdates. She understood and was very supportive of my sons ADHD and Aspergers.

She hosted this huge Halloween party at her house and required most of her friends to help out with various tasks. She told me to make the pigs in the blanket snacks. She was very overwhelmed with everything so I decided to search the cupboards for the baking sheets, foil, etc. Later she questioned why I would go through her kitchen cupboards and when I joked that she should label them so I could find the things she seemed offended. Also my son was spending the night that night and had a meltdown. They ended up driving him home at 2am.

She emailed me two days later ending our relationship because of my behavior at her party and my sons issues. She never listed anything specific but I gathered that my sarcastic and smart-ass personality was fine when we were alone but was offensive to her when she was trying to impress people. I don't think I was obnoxious but that's what she implyed. She never gave me the opportunity to defend myself. Even now, 3 months later, it still hurts to be blown off and judged but I know I am better off without her.
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#10 of 32 Old 01-12-2007, 01:49 PM
 
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My best friend from middle school, through high school, through college and beyond died rather suddenly when we were 28/29 years-old. We had our own ups and downs, of course, but I miss her very much. I've had other girlfriends, but no one near as close as her. I've had some other friendships crash and burn and that's been painful. Sometimes I contemplate trying to find and cultivate another really close friendship like that one, but it was SO close I realize it would be impossible to re-create now that I'm wrapped up in family and career stuff. Long gone are the days (and metabolism!) of sharing chips on the couch and picking apart each character from 90210. And it's the small stuff that makes such a good relationship for me... Usually I realize that I do have an equally intense and sastifying (and sometimes frustrating!) friendship in my dp. I have to try way harder to make things work with girlfriends now than I used to. Finding the time, agreeing on what to do, letting down the walls I've built up...
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#11 of 32 Old 01-12-2007, 02:31 PM
 
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I've recently undergone dx and treatment for breast cancer. There is nothing like a major illness to make you reevaluate who your real friends are. I have one friend that I've known since kindergarten, and was my maid of honor, who didn't even send me a card during my year of treatment. On the other hand, I have made some wonderful new friends and got support from sources I never would have expected. Things change.
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#12 of 32 Old 01-12-2007, 04:11 PM
 
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This is a common theme among women. I don't think men experience this sort of thing. Their relationships with other men are usually simple and direct.

I had a friend, and we "broke up" over the phone. It was very civilized and the "break-up" was kind of satisfying in its own way. We discussed our differences and wished each other well and said good-bye. I often wonder if we should have stayed friends because we had such an easy time discussing the problem between us!

Then.... There were two other women who are really responsible for me being who and where I am today, with whom I am no longer friends. To make a long story short, I just stopped returning their calls. I loved these women and miss them terribly some times. But I can't be friends with them, so I'm not.

The writer Mary Gaitskill wrote a terrific story about the end of a friendship in her book of short stories, Bad Behavior (can't remember the name of the story, too lazy to dig out the book). I love to read this story because it so perfectly describes my relationship with one of my former friends. I also like the way John Updike writes about the rifts between/among women in The Witches of Eastwick (although some call him a misogynist, I don't really see that).

It doesn't get discussed very often. Sort of a murky, icky topic.
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#13 of 32 Old 01-12-2007, 04:42 PM
 
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I agree with the poster who said a major life event can help you see who your real friends are.....I'm recently separated and some of my closest "friends" have completely dropped the ball and done some of the most insensitive things imaginable. At the same time, other women in my life have stepped forward with such grace and heart....it's equally astounding.

But what can you do but move on and keep trying? Women need women....I believe that with all my heart. Just gotta discover who the right ones are. Kinda like men
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#14 of 32 Old 01-12-2007, 06:06 PM
 
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I had to extricate myself from a vicious emotionally abusive relationship with my best friend during college. We were so incredibly close and it was the best friendship I ever had, but the sicker she got (undiagnosed mental illness) the worse our relationship became. While I didn't hate her afterwards, I did harbor a lot of hurt and resentment towards her for things she had said and did to me and accused me of doing to her. I couldn't bear to think of her for years until one day I got an email from her apologizing for how things had turned out. I don't know what prompted the note, perhaps her therapist recommened it, but it opened a floodgate for me and I was finally able to forgive her and hope that she stays well. We will never be friends again, ever, but if we were to see each other out and about I would be able to stop and say hello without animosity and with a true caring for her well-being. That's the best I can hope for/offer her.

However, just last night I found myself losing yet another of my very few friends. We come from opposite sides on one particular subject, and rather than showing me the calm, constructive, courtesy that I have always tried to show her when discussing the subject, she lashed out and was incredibly rude and hurtful. It also showed me her true colors regarding this subject and how she perceives my opinions about it. As Mr. Darcy says: "My good opinion, once lost, is lost forever."

While the latter "friendship" may recover a bit, it will never be the same and I no longer trust her at all. I'm incredibly disappointed and hurt by this turn of events since I have few people in my life that I really considered friends and I thought she was one of the good ones.
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#15 of 32 Old 01-12-2007, 06:42 PM
 
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My DH ran into the friend that dumped me and she told him to tell me she said Hi.: Why? Why not just say Hi to DH and leave me out of it? : I am surprised that I am annoyed about it. My son was excited to see her son but her son says, "I'm mad at you". I don't understand why after three months this child is still angry about this and why is his mom okay about him holding grudges? He's four. Don't most four year olds get over disagreements with friends faster or at least let it go. My son doesn't even recall having a meltdown at their house and has asked me many times to visit them again.

I figure since his mom dumped me by email than she's okay with her child holding anger for months. I see it's not the healthiest relationship anyway so I'm not sad anymore.
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#16 of 32 Old 01-12-2007, 06:44 PM
 
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I just came across this post and want to share what I've learned. Iyanla Vanzant wrote a book,"Acts Of Faith" and it is full of daily inspiration. In one area she speaks of friends. I am not quoting directly but it says something like; people come into your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime. She then expands on that idea. Just as seasons change, everything in life changes. It's all good. Losing a friend is a mournful time but remembering they were in my life for a reason (or me in theirs) and taking the goodness of the friendship with me seems to help. lyanla talks of sharing, learning and growing. The only thing we can do when a relationship ends is "let go". Holding on or trying to figure things out only makes a person feel worse. She says "for everything there is a season". Remembering this has given me peace.

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#17 of 32 Old 01-13-2007, 02:53 PM
 
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Holding on or trying to figure things out only makes a person feel worse.
Sometimes that is true, but not always. It seems normal to me to want to figure out what happened if the communication wasn't clear. We can learn from mistakes or we can learn more about what we want or need in relationships from the ones that didn't work out.

When I get really upset I have a tendency to think, "That's IT, that relationship has to end!" But sometimes all that's really needed is a break, not a total break-up.

Still, I did break up with a friend about a year ago. We tried to talk it out, so we both know why (it would be so horrible to not know why!)
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#18 of 32 Old 01-13-2007, 03:21 PM
 
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I am going through a friendship break right now, at least I think I am. I haven't known her very long. Just long enough to decide that I'd like to have her in my life.
I started a writing group, and we "hit it off." We started getting together separately from our weekly writing group. We were also in regular contact via email, phone, & Myspace. She is very interesting, and a phenomenal poet. She also gave me more faith in my own writing, and incredible feedback. I honestly felt like I'd hit the lottery when we met. It has been a long time since I've had a friend I've connected with on this level.
I went out of town for a week, and things have been different since I returned.
She told me she is feeling antisocial. She abruptly decided to "bow out [from our writing group] for a while." I've discovered, however, that she has been spending time with other friends and being social.
I am rather certain I have offended her somehow. It bothers me not knowing.:

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#19 of 32 Old 01-15-2007, 10:38 AM
 
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Whaddya know? I've killed this thread, too.

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#20 of 32 Old 01-15-2007, 12:11 PM
 
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I wanted to add a different spin about frienships ending without there being a fight or blow up.

Hubby was friends with a group of 'kids' from school since kindergarted. They all grew up together. Of course, when we met I also became part of the group. That was 15 years ago since all of us - the originals and the partners- got together. We saw eachother finish school, get married, have kids, buy houses and live life. But recently I just don't feel the 'click' with any of them anymore. Specifically one couple we used to be the closest to. I just find that some of the ways they live their life to be 'offensive' to me for lack of a better explaination.

Hubby and I have also been reading and exploring spirituality, and the universe and things like those included in the Secret. I feel we have grown so much from our friends who still seem fixated on material things and socializing at the expense of their children.

We also have fundamental differences in vaccination and medicine in general. We do not vax and take a holistic approach with our bodies. They are the vax for everything and drug up your kids for every sniffle.

I don't know. I read something once about a term called "Social Drag" which basically means that you are expanding and growing and those you know haven't caught up to your new level of thinking and being.

I guess in the end I am just sad. We have so many memories and past experiences together. There is something to be said to be able to say, "Hey remember when...." and have a good laugh with someone who understands what you are referring to.

I miss them in so many ways. But, I just don't know how to go back. We are not the same people we used to be and I really don't want to go back to being the people we were. I just wish our friends had grown in the same areas we have. They are great people in the core of their beings. It's just sad.

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#21 of 32 Old 01-15-2007, 06:21 PM
 
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people come into your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime. She then expands on that idea. Just as seasons change, everything in life changes. It's all good. Losing a friend is a mournful time but remembering they were in my life for a reason (or me in theirs) and taking the goodness of the friendship with me seems to help.
Well put!
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#22 of 32 Old 01-18-2007, 04:05 PM - Thread Starter
 
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It's nice to know I'm not alone! I'm not sure if our friendship will survive or not. I don't know if it was based on more than being in similar situations in life-stay at home, homeschooling moms with flexible schedules who like to get out and do things. We both love babies and animals and movies and books. I shared the difficulties of my life with her, but she didn't really with me, she tells me. So maybe she was taking the "best friend" position in my life, but I wasn't in hers. So what's left then? We had fun getting together as families (our husbands are friends too) until the kids stopped getting along. If the kids getting together isn't an option anymore, then what's left for our friendship? The occasional girls night out and me talking about my life without her doing the same?
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#23 of 32 Old 01-18-2007, 05:10 PM
 
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When I started Cosmetology school in 2004, I met this awesome girl. We became best friends immediately. We then moved in an apartment dorm together. So we were together from 8-4 in the classroom and then the rest of the day in the dorm. We did EVERYTHING together. One day, I went home to MS and when I came back, all her stuff had been moved out. She never told me why she moved. She said that we needed to talk but she would never talk to me. So a few weeks pass and we became acquaintances. But that was it. She tried being friends with me and wanting to do things with me but I just could not allow that. Well, in January 2006, about 7 of us that were in Cosmo school together had to go take our State Board. She was expecting me to wait outside the testing area and wait on her. I waited until 7:50, never saw her so I went in. Why be late for her? Anyway, she never showed up. My mom and a friends mom saw her pass the testing center. But she never came inside. I called her afterwards, no answer. To this very day, I still have not heard a single peep from her. I sent her a message telling her that I was pregnant, Nothing. I heard she was getting married and having a baby as well, texted her telling her Congratulations, nothing again. So I gave up. If she wants to have some sort of relationship with me, she is going to have to make the effort because I am giving up on trying.
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#24 of 32 Old 01-19-2007, 12:08 AM
 
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Dealing with changes in and loss of friendships has been one of the main themes of my life since I became a mother. Friendships just aren't easy anymore, and it's difficult to pick them up again when distance and/or life changes intervene.

I found this article really interesting. It explained a lot about why it's so difficult to make and keep friends when you are focused on young children. The idea of "social-identity support" seems to explain why it has been so hard for me to maintain a relationship with a longtime friend who chose not to have children. Being a mother is my main identity; it's not part of hers. We can share old stories only so many times.

http://www.psychologytoday.com/artic...102-000001.xml
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#25 of 32 Old 01-19-2007, 02:14 AM
 
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I am going through this as well. It has a lot of little reasons leading up to it but I think it boils down to me.( how cliche` is that?!) I had a HUGE family thing come up right before the holidays and I am also going through what seems to me, an emotional, spiritual, and mental growth spurt. I have pulled into myself to learn about myself and work on things that need working on (LONG list). I think it is something that I had been ignoring for a while and it is hard for me to come to grips with alot of my emotions and it feels good to be learning and getting to know me as who i am now. I would like to reach back out to her when I am ready and I know that she might not be willling to hear it out or understand or get over that akwardness and that is okay, I can't blame her for that. I still love her dearly and always will no matter what happens but this is something I have to do right now. It is is the only thing I can do FOR ME right now and it feels good. I have to give so much to E, my husband is SERIUOUSLY short changed and I need to focus on me, my husband, and family dynamic as a whole. I feel bad doing something FOR ME, because I don't ever do that, but I am a firm beleiver you can't be with other people until you can be with yourself. So I am trying to be with myself.

Hope that makes some sense, it feels good just to get to get it out with out hearing my Dh try and pick it apart.
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#26 of 32 Old 01-19-2007, 02:13 PM
 
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I came on here to post about my problems with a friendship and came across this thread. It has really helped me to read that I am not the only one going through this. Thank you!

I started a new thread about the friendship issues I am going through.

I wish you all healing through whatever you are going through and new loving friendships.
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#27 of 32 Old 01-21-2007, 05:54 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Jillmarie View Post
I agree with the poster who said a major life event can help you see who your real friends are.....I'm recently separated and some of my closest "friends" have completely dropped the ball and done some of the most insensitive things imaginable. At the same time, other women in my life have stepped forward with such grace and heart....it's equally astounding.

But what can you do but move on and keep trying? Women need women....I believe that with all my heart. Just gotta discover who the right ones are. Kinda like men
Very well stated. You definately have to keep trying, as you say. Some friends are fabulous and will be there forever. Others are judgmental idiots who can't stick around because they are messed up in the head and have a lot of emotional baggage. I have found out recently whom I can and cannot trust. I have met a few women recently who are simply wonderful and I trust them dearly. They are fun to hang out with and talk about interesting things. These types of friends are hard to come by.

Recently I had a friend who I thought was kind and trustworthy, but she dropped off the face of the planet. I was not surprised, as she showed many signs of not being loyal or trustworthy. She was a coward in every sense of the word. I caught her in lies regularly and she had severe jealously issues and self-esteem problems. I put way too much time, energy, emotion, love, advice, and money into that friendship. She always had really bad excuses, used her husband as a crutch, and never kept her promises. I really tried to help her get out of a marriage she hated and always complained about, but she wasn't having it. I don't miss the friendship at all and rarely think about it because it was one-sided; but, I feel bad for my son because we have sons close in age and they enjoyed each other's company. It is sad when the children suffer because a mom is a bad friend/person.
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#28 of 32 Old 01-21-2007, 06:03 PM
 
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I feel bad for my son because we have sons close in age and they enjoyed each other's company. It is sad when the children suffer because a mom is a bad friend/person.
When I was a kid, my mom had a falling out with the mother of my best friend in the whole world--probably the best friend I will ever have. And I still mourn that loss. We were prohibited from seeing or talking to one another after their falling out. It was completely unfair.

I don't mean to add to your guilt and it doesn't sound as if your son and hers were as close, but I would just suggest that you don't prohibit their friendship if they tried to keep it going. But I know how awkward it can be to still have to have that contact.
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#29 of 32 Old 01-22-2007, 02:55 AM
 
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A lot of what has been said here rings true for me as well. I have a friend who I feel I've grown apart from in so many ways. Over the last 6 years we've had disagreements, but have tried to mend the friendship. She is very much the same person she was in high school and I feel very different from who I was in high school (either way is fine, I think, but it just means we are too different from each other now).

We live out of state, but ds and I have been staying with my parents while dh is working in a whole other state, so she has been asking (and asking and asking) me to get together with her and two other high school friends. I have been very busy while here and I never know when dh will get to come home so I don't like to make plans to far ahead of time in case we can go home. When I told her all that in an email (in response to her email asking me to get together with them) she wrote back in what I took to be a very passive-aggressive way. I think that based on how well I know her.

So, I'm at the point where I just want to tell her that we've had good times in the past that I will always remember, but we are just too different from each other to remain good friends like she wants us to be. She expects more from me than I am willing (or can) give her, and I just don't think a friendship can work out any longer. I probably won't tell her that, though, unless she asks or something.

It is sad when friendships end for any reasons, and it is hard. Sometimes good comes out it, like it might make room for a new person to be a better friend. I like what the pp quoted Iyanla Vanzant as saying. Wise words!
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#30 of 32 Old 01-25-2007, 04:47 PM
 
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Sometimes I think we put unrealistic expectations on friendships. Don't get me wrong, I've been in some unhealthy friendships which needed to end, but I think that we often feel trapped into an all-or-nothing situation--closest friends or nothing.
Recently I've really been trying to see my friendships as good for what they are. And when things are uncomfortable I'm trying to step back and wait it out--patiently and without too much judgement. Perhaps they will fade into acquaintances, but perhaps the waiting will allow the relationship to rise to a new level.

Good luck everyone!
Juliette
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