Tuesday, September 18, 2012

When You Lose a Friend to a Relationship

As we sipped our wine at my favorite restaurant, my friend and I started talking about life, friends, relationships and the brokenness that sometimes occur with all the above. We're not guaranteed a lifetime of friendship with anyone, nor relationship, marriages, and sadly, a family bond. Conflict parts us. Life itself parts us. And lastly, death certainly parts us.  While the saying goes, people come into your life for a season, a reason and for a lifetime, we'll never be sure which ones in our life falls into which category. Backtracking to what my sister stated the other day -- "We're all on borrowed time. There is no soul that we own. We can only share and bond with those people in the here and now, until it's time for them or us to go." It made sense. While we think our daughter, son, mother, father, sibling, or friend are "ours" --- they can leave you through choice or through death and there is nothing you can do to stop it. If you don't let go, you'll never heal and move on. If you don't accept what has happened, you'll find yourself always having a huge void to fill. So much easier said and explained than done and experienced, however, it's all truth.

WARNING: Friendships may be temporary. 
In this case, between sips of wine & spaghetti bites, my buddy and I started talking about good friends who drop you like a hat once they find 'the new love of their life'. It seems to be more common than I realized. While it seems so juvenile and a bit high-schoolish to assume your friend should be there for you no matter what - your "BFF" should never leave you for anything - it's a fact of life that... life gets in the way. I think it's safe to assume that all of us at one point in our lives got so caught up in someone, that we forgot to call 'so and so' for the past couple of weeks, perhaps even months. And you know what --- that's okay. And when it's not okay, it's up to you to decide whether or not, and (if) they come back into your life when the steamy romance hits a brick wall, to let them back in. What would you do?  It's very sad when almost every single day and every weekend you're with the same friend and enjoying their company, and then -- BAM -- that one person comes into their life to sweep them away from yours. It's not so much of a 'jealousy' issue as it is 'what was I here for then' type of thing. Was I passing the time for you? Was I only here to keep you company until Mr. or Miss Right came along? It makes you feel used in a way.

But were you? 

In this particular case of my friend's situation --- a girl threw herself into a full fledge relationship and basically stepped out of everyone's lives around her. She placed her partner above everyone else, even if it meant hurting others in the process. After a while, her partner claimed that she was smothering him, and now she is floating back to her old circle of friends. Here's my take on this... People are wired differently. Relationships to them means their future life: husband/wife/kids/house/white picket fence type of dream scenario. And while others treat relationships 'easy come, easy go & great if it lasts' and not as their end all be all, it has to be accepted that some people just have different priorities than we do.  With that being said, it also has to be accepted from the friend who dove into this intense relationship to expect and prepare to not be accepted back into the circle, or that one friendship again. And if it is accepted, then great. Sometimes it feels like we've been used or just flung to the side, and yeah, it sucks. But think about the mindset of someone who is desperately trying to gain a committed relationship. All of the reasons of leaving the friends behind can be a few factors: a controlling partner, jealousy issues, fear that the partner may find interest in one or two of the friends, and maybe, it's just because the two are so engrossed with one another's company that they don't need anyone else.

Who knows...? 

Some relationships have strings attached.
Madelene and I have been through so many friendships, together and separately. If I want to go out to grab a bite to eat with a friend or a night out for a few cocktails, she has no qualms about it, and vise/versa. If I told her, "Hey Mad - I'm gonna go out with 'so and so' tonight, be back later" -- there is absolutely no conflict at all. And the same goes for her. We do not own one another. We respect one another's time apart and love our time together. We have a great deal of trust and honesty, which brings me to another point. I remember a few years back when I too, lost a friend to a full-fledge relationship. I understood it somewhat, and yes, I felt bad because my buddy no longer wanted to hang out or do the things we used to do. I came to terms with it. But one day, I called her up and said, "Hey, what about some appetizers and drinks for happy hour?" (We're talking an hour or two tops after work.)  "On a Friday night?" she gasped, "I can't possibly go out without Michelle on a Friday night, Deb."  Then it hit me that Michelle gets home after 6pm -- and I said, "Well, we can both have a quick drink at 5pm and then head home. C'mon, it'll be fun like it always is." She was shocked and appalled I would ever make a reference to go out without our partners, especially on a Friday night. It was then I knew I would never get another chance to hang out with my old best friend again...or at least like we used to. I totally get it, but sometimes I have to ask myself, "What did she really want?" And maybe, that was what she exactly wanted. You never know. So, I had to accept it and leave the option of happy hour open forever. It's still open till this day and yes, that's my choice.

So what would you do if your closest friend left you for a relationship - and weeks, months or even years later, they come back into your life after their love affair had crumbled apart? Would you take them back in, or would you shut them out?

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4 comments:

The Elephant's Child said...

Honestly? I would be very guarded. I would probably be happy to resume a relationship of some kind, but it would be most unlikely to be as close as it was. I would feel used - both in the past and for the future. Losing a friend is always sad whatever the reason. Just the same I would be reluctant to set myself up to be hurt by the same person in the same way. And yes, as I type I feel petty. Petty but honest.

Shadow said...

i think that a relationship that results in you cutting ties with all your current friends is not a healthy relationship.

as for them re-appearing after however long, yes, i probably would not shut them out, after all, time changes people, and we all deserve a 2nd chance...

the walking man said...

Would you take them back in, or would you shut them out?

Dunno I walk pretty fast and most people don't know where or how to find me when they do think maybe shit should have not happened this way or that.

I seriously do much better mentally with fewer physical people in my life.

Xmichra said...

From real experience - I'd let them back in and start over.

You can let something like that break your relationship down, or you can just accept it for human flaw and choose to see the good in the person you one knew.

If it happens all the time - well I'm thinking that is more an issue with *them* and your friendship won't be that strong anyway.

But really, I don't need any enemies, and it's your choice how much to trust a person. So why not let them back in? They didn't actually "do" anything to me... time slips us by sometimes, does it really matter the reason? Does her relationship not desirve the same as my time with my kids? It's all relative.