I have several groups of friends, and one group in particular has always been very close. We met when pregnant with our first babies and have met regularly and kept in touch ever since. However, things seem to have changed, the atmosphere is different, the talk is different, there is an elephant in the room.
We all still chat about the same things, children, school, too much to do and not enough time, ageing parents, blah de blah, all the personal stuff except, except, no one asks me about my relationship. I regard two of these people as close friends, and spent a lot of time with one today. We went through all the usual chat, and unusually she did the lions share of it, not once asking me about my life. I have a good friend calling in tomorrow too, it has been the same with her.
So am I being over sensitive? Are they worried about asking? Or am I just not on their radar now that I am a single mother with a lover. Does my life seem so far removed from theirs that they don't know what to say, are not interested, feel threatened? I know we all lose friends during such times but I really don't want to lose these. I am still me, the same me I always was; though perhaps not the one they used to see, the' settled in a safe relationship with two lovely children' one, the one living a dull life in leafy suburbia?
I listened today to my friend talking about her comfortable life, two children doing well, financially very secure, two holidays booked already for 2010, and thought, yes, maybe I am off their radar now? I thought about mounting bills and making ends meet. Perhaps it is them that are dipping off mine?
You need to address it. Maybe they want to talk to you about it but don't know how b/c its not a topic that has been brought up before. Maybe you are sensitive about it too but don't realize it. Friends are friends are friends. My group had been through ups and downs and fights and make ups. Sometimes times like these make us realize who our true friends are but don't make any hasty judgments. It took time to form the bonds, make sure you respect that time and effort.
Well, take the plunge and talk about your plans with the new man...
Hey Suburbia, this is real, you are not imagining it. Having been through this, I know. It's just not comfy for people who haven't taken the plunge to be around those who have.
Moving out of Suburbia does make you different, and this is a necessary transition to your new life.
Real friends, become fewer, but the ones who stick around are real nuggets.
The recent boredom and isolation you speak of is something I too experienced and fretted over. It does pass, as you build a new life.
You are a lovely, warm, popular, kind and caring woman and mother. That hasn't changed. Have faith in yourself and hold your head up high.
If other people are uncomfortable, and are up for talking about it, then all well and good. Not everyone is and some would prefer to withdraw than to face awkward truths.
I am miles and miles away, and I am your friend. So is Bobo. I see no reason for that to change. If we lived closer, we would be round bothering you all the time, with the kids playing together and us exchanging stories about the change from Suburbia to urban sophisticate and city lover :).
At times like this, it helps to focus on what IS, rather than to dwell on what is no longer.
Take care, dear one, cos this is a transition phase for you.
Hey Suburbia, I was just about to delete my blog in a fit of hopelessness, when I read your post. Thank you for helping me back from the brink of withdrawing just be being you. You are a star :). xxx
Tricky. My wife is part of a group of close friends - through being young Mum's together 20 years ago.
One of them left her husband to move in with one of her best friends husband.
That really put the cat within the group. I think they feel disconnected from her - plus the boys stayed with the Dad... tricky
this harsh but l'm afraid too true....the term 'shit sticks'....applies here...
the 6 weeks since our split....my in laws havent been in touch, MIL, SIL, BIL, nephew, neice theyve bee here and my kids have seen them but not so much as a text message of support or the offer of help in the move NADA...
OUR friends, the few that were left faithful after we moved north in '96 after the 'debacle'...only two came to visit us 400 miles north....and the remaining only allowed visits to them by previous arrangement...since the split, having been nobbled and informed before I, have remained silent...or texted words like...'l'l call you tonight, l'll email you later..' NADA....
the harsh reality...
BUT...this says MORE, shit loads more about them...than you or I!!!
I'm guessing that they themselves are just being oversensitive and are scared of bringing up potentially emotional subjects. Best thing is to mention it yourself in a lighthearted way so it is all out in the open and everyone can move past it.
There's always a smug one, isn't there.
I don't think you'll lose your friends. A period of adjustment may occur but I think you'll have them for a long time to come.
I want to hear about this lover! xxx
It's always tricky, as a friend of someone recently hurt, bringing up the subject, if you think that it may not be welcome. Try talking to your friends... if they have been there all this time then its worth that initial discomfort? And if then nothing changes, then you know.
When a family splits up it causes ripples far and wide. Maybe they are feeling those ripples and just dont know how do deal with it, and think that you need normality... when in fact you need intimacy.
TALK to them. Never assume that someone is not your friend. Because I bet they are. xxx
I bow to Hullaballoo, she's the one with the experience. My guess is that they feel a bit threatened because your relationship went awry and they don't want their own relationships to be "contaminated". An absurd idea but I'm not sure how you deal with it.
Suburbia..... I do understand what you mean....... completely.
I face similar feelings of being ostracised because I have cancer. Suddenly I am different from them.... the people in my group and they don't know what to say.
Thankfully many do and are very good.
I am shrugging this off now. It isn't the end of the world.
Hope you find a way round it too. Maggie X
Nuts in May
Maybe they feel they may be prying too much? Why not just ask them straight why they don't broach the subject?
Yea but how good does it feel to say your 'Lover'? xx
I dont think I can add anything to what has been said before. I think you'll find that some friends fall by the way side and some will stick with you through thick and thin...I agree with most commenters before me...talk to them...only by doing that will you know!!
i experienced much the same when i split from my husband of almost 30 years. Even my 'best friends' who i am still v close to found it very uncomfortable. i think partly because although they knew my ex was a complete arse, i had a 'loverrrrrrrr' as carrie says in satc.
it changed how i felt about people, but the few who stuck by me i am immensely fond of.
also had a number of people telling me, as did my lover (.. he split from his wife at the same time), they were unhappily married but couldnt seperate because of financial reasons. I deduced from that, that some folks reticence to be supportive was down to envy and a feeling of .. she has been brave enough to do what i cant . how unhappy can you be , ask for sympathy and do nothing ?
complicated ..but i KNOW you have done the right thing.
some friendships made through links in the playground are shallow and founded on the mere fact that you are all just the same ... children same age , husbands houses etc etc. when something changes you no longer fit.
its no loss to you
as you say life is too short.....
A newish blog, you may find some stuff that could help, but seeing you grow over the past few years i think your doing great.
True friends are going to stick by you no matter what and are concerned about how you are coping. That being said, Scargosun makes some excellent points. Maybe they are just uncomfortable and don't know what questions might be appropriate to ask. If all they want to talk about is themselves, though, I'd say it's time to make new friends!
I think any change in another's circumstance, especially when it is initiated,makes others unsettled because it causes us to review our own life and our own resistance to making things different.
I have heard it said that apparently a freshly single (even if there is another in the frame) lady can be perceived as a threat to other women. I have a fried in a similar position to yourself, and I have heard others say 'we will need to watch her now'. It is bizarre.... but human beings are.
Focus on what you want and let them get on with it. It will work out fine in the end XX
Your post here struck a chord with me, over the years, I have drifted away from certain "long time friends". It happens.
Perhaps your 'friends' now see you as a threat to their lives, and I mean this in a nice way. You see you have done the brave thing, you have moved away from a relationship and marriage which was stultifying and unsatisfying. You have had the courage to say "enough is enough".
You have also met a new man, who brings you all the things you needed but didn't get from your marriage. These "old friends" feel threatened by this "new you".
Perhaps, they are in a similar situation in reality, but dare not admit it even to themselves. And they see you, with your new life, new man, as a threat to their supposed suburban security.
I drifted away from old friends mainly because I found they never "asked" about how I was doing, it was all about them, if you like.
Sometimes, we need to move away from old friendships, however much we feel we are 'old friends'. Once you have cut the ties with them, you will actually feel better. Trust me, I am a Dr. ;0D
Seriously, though, it may be just time to move on from their friendship, and have you ever thought they may be a wee bit jealous of your new life?
I hope this helps, sorry I have not been around much, or blogging much, mainly because the weather has been so lovely the past few weeks, time at the computer has been limited.
I still look in though!
Take care, and I also think all the comments on here contain much wisdom for you on this subject.
Sometimes the friends we make years back, just fade because life changes, friends change.
Was thinking about this after I posted my last comment. I wrote on my blog about an old "friend" a few posts ago. We had been in contact again, for some reason which escapes me now (I will have to go back and read my blog post!!), and I was unsettled by the new contact.
We had been very close friends, and I couldn't work out in my head why I felt so unsettled about starting up again. Then I realised, time had definitely moved on, other life experiences had come between us, and I no longer was the person I had been when I was good friends with her.
Sorry I have gone on here, but I think you really do need to make new friends, and say goodbye to these ones.
Me again. I was curious about what had made me write my post about friendship, so looked back on my blog.
It was funny, because it appears the post I wrote was inspired by a blog post of yours!
Monday 19 October 2009 - Toxic Friendship was the post.
I felt so much better when I decided not to resume the friendship.
I have been relegated to the coffee/lunch in the daytime friend as the Saturday night dinners, Sunday barbeques etc are too couple orientated.
And I work all week and the weekends are the only time I have, sometimes I even don't have the children but my friends view weekends as time they could never leave their partner to come out with me.
Is it ungallant to say I told you so? Probably. In two years time you'll have completed a transition to a new network of vibrant, wise, loyal and accepting friends who will enrich you in ways you couldn't of expected in suburbia.
Hi Suburbia - Been there - you win some and you lose some. Just keep being you.
I'm thinking they just feel a little weird about it. Give them time.
Things completely changed for me when I was newly separated. I really struggled to identify with my happily married friends and vice versa. In fact, it didn't work at all. I found the whole smug suburban thing just desperately dull and felt completely out of it and also felt they didn't approve of what I was up to....I found, like you that I reconnected with other friends, of old, maybe less judgemental or just knew me from before. Friends all have their place at different times. Maybe, for a minute you will find that your coupley friends have to take a back seat. It's not that they're not interested, its that they don't think to ask because they can't relate. At all. Other stuff going on. Lx
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