Easier said than done sometimes…. today’s topic of discussion is – Is it ever okay to lose a friend?
Women and their friends are a fascinating subject. As a rule us ladies love our friends fiercely and rely on them for our very survival, not practically of course but just to be there at the other end of a phone (or a coffee cup/bottle of fizz) when we need to vent, rant, cry or moan as if our very lives depended on it. Some of us have friends we have known since childhood and that’s a special kind of bond because you’ve literally shared every life-stage with each other and know pretty much everything that some of our newer friends may not yet be aware of (some things really are best buried though!) Then there are the friends you meet through commonalities like your kid’s school, work, hobbies etc. These girls are just as important and whilst the bond may be younger it can be as strong as the day is long.
Each of our friends brings something different and wonderful to our lives and together, the support network they create is a beautiful thing to behold! When you have that support there is NOTHING you can’t achieve.
What happens though when a friendship, new or old, becomes a constant source of negativity in your life and starts to draw your focus and energy away from family, other friends and life in general. Is it ever okay to say ‘this is just not working for me anymore?’ Or is it our duty as a friend to stick with them through anything?
I spoke to a few women recently (names have been changed for obvious reasons) to see what they thought; I have to say it seems that many of us have had to leave a friend behind and move on for the sake of our own stress levels and sanity.
Cath : “I had a group of friends all the way through Uni and every year we would meet up at least 4 times for drinks, spa days or just a general catch up! We were the 4 musketeers and as close as close can be but gradually as time went on, one of the group began to distance herself and cause upset between us all by telling silly lies and trying to create bad feeling. We all got married and had kids one by one except this one girl. Every time we spoke she would make it clear that she felt marrying was ‘selling out’ and that family life was for losers – she made no effort at all to get on with my husband or see my children. It was really upsetting and whilst I tried to hold on for as long as I could I finally had enough and stopped calling her after a particularly stressful time where she told another friend that she thought my kids were badly behaved and that my husband was always flirting with her! We rarely saw her for her to even have these opinions! Sounds silly when I put it like this but I was actually devastated. I tried to confront her gently with it and she laughed and said I was just uptight and needed to get over myself – not a care in the world at having been caught bitching! She never called me again either after that, and I realised that actually it was always me calling her anyway, and always had been. I feel sad that I had to let go of her but in retrospect she had brought me so much misery over the last few years and without any positivity to balance it out so I felt I had no choice. I still hope I will see her again one day and that she will tell me she’s sorry and misses me but I won’t hold my breath.’
This story and versions of it seem to be fairly common amongst us and only one of the 10 or so women I spoke to said that when you are friends you must stick with that person even if they are pushing you to the point of insanity and bringing nothing good in return. No matter what!
I was truly lost for words when I spoke to one particular lady – a fabulous woman with a heart of gold and a smile like summer who we shall call Jill. Her tale of a friendship gone wrong was a truly devastating one: her friend from childhood had been having a secret affair with her husband for years and all the while posing as her bestie. When the whole thing blew up, the friend was not even remorseful and made no bones about who she would choose if it came to it – the husband won and off they went into the sunset. You couldn’t make it up!
So ladies, I would love to hear from you – as always! Have you managed to keep all your friends and work through the issues or have you had to call it quits and move on?
Looking forward to your thoughts!