friend divorce

March is a crazy exciting month for me! Lots of changes are underway and I can’t wait to blog all about it!!! Until then, I am pausing to focus on a not so exciting change I’ve been dealing with this month . . . a friend divorce.
It’s been brewing for the past year now and after last week, it’s officially done. One could argue it went on longer than my real divorce.
Anyway, I had a longtime girlfriend in my life, going on 15 years now, where we’ve always had a really hard time communicating. While we always had such fun together, we always seemed to view situations completely different. In social situations where I might not view anything amiss, she’d walk away with her feelings hurt. In other situations, she might do something that I found unnecessary or rude, and likewise, she’d not understand what the issue was. We basically spoke two different languages. This created a lot of friction between us throughout the years. Even leading to long breaks in our friendship. Even after we’d reconnect, the same old issues and old hurts always seemed to crop up again in some fashion.
Same story, different day.
This dynamic drove me nuts and forced us to both have to put a lot of extra time and effort into the friendship. It often left me exhausted and wondering what the point was, here we are 30-somethings with much bigger fish to fry . . . while I like her and care about her a lot, life is simply too short to have to spend forcing friendships to happen.
I was left pondering a lot, at what point to you just cut your losses and focus your energies elsewhere, you know? Especially when you care about someone and don’t want to hurt feelings and when there is no way to truly convey to someone who doesn’t understand you or where you are coming from. It  just becomes an incredibly tough situation to navigate.
A year ago, a crazy silly social situation occurred and left me at the end of my rope. I was so frustrated and tired of running interference, tired of being made to feel like I was having to justify interactions with other people and constantly explain where I was coming from when I felt like they were things that shouldn’t have to be explained. It was time to put some space between us. For the good of us both. I felt as though if I wanted to have such a laborious relationship in my life, I would have stay married to my ex-husband.
The next few months that ensued were bittersweet. On one hand, it was a relief to have that tension and drama removed from my life. But, on the other, I missed her a lot. My real hope was that the space would allow us to get our own lives, be free of the tension and the unconscious competitiveness that always seemed to be the undertone to our friendship. Yet I hoped we could remain in each others’ lives somehow, now and again exchanging emails or a lunch date to catch up. And we did try. Attempts to do so though, always failed, and it felt like the time and space was only making the gap between us larger. Perhaps because, again, we speak two different languages.
The space I needed to reset, was space she took to mean I wanted her out of my life for good.
Over the holidays we found ourselves at the same holiday party. I tried to approach her, but she couldn’t look me in the eye or say more than two words to me. I have never felt so uncomfortable at a social function before, never as an adult. That night I gave up on any hope of a sort of reconciliation.
A couple weeks ago, she wrote me an email. It was a surprise to see her name in my inbox, it was a civil note about something simple. I responded. She responded. I had hopes maybe we could remain friends after all. However, when I went to respond again, it wasn’t so simple anymore. I have had so much happen in the past 6 months alone. How do you sum that up in a simple email? I wanted to write something meaningful. To let her know I hope she’s well and to let her in on my news, too. But, nothing I wrote seemed to fit. I decided to sit on it a bit.
But, several days later, before I was able to compose a response, she defriended me on Facebook. It was then I realized that simple email, wasn’t so simple for her, either. It had been a test. A test to see how I responded, how much I let her in. My inability to respond right away, probably gave her the validation she needed to go on deleting me permanently from her life. I mean, as silly as it is – remove as friend, says it all.
It certainly stung when I realized what she’d done. But, I can’t say I was surprised.
I was mostly just really sad about it, sad because it sucks you can like someone and want to be someone’s friend, yet you can be so incredibly different and speak such different languages that it isn’t even possible.
So, now all I can do is wish her well and hope she’s happy. Hope she’s surrounded herself with people who speak her own language.
I am certainly thankful that I have.

Comments

  1. When friendships dissolve it is always sad. But sometimes for the best too!!!

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