Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Don't Rock the Boat....

So I had a chat with a friend the other day that left me a little unsettled.  Apparently, over the last few months with all the changes in my life she felt like she didn’t know me anymore.  That we didn’t have much in common these days.  I think more than anything it was just a time/distance issue and perhaps a little slackness on both of our behalves on keeping in touch.  But, it still got me to thinking.

I’ve had many a person tell me that getting divorced really changes your friendships.  That some of your friends will suddenly become distant either to concerns about the strength of their own marriages or because they suddenly see you as some sort of competition.  That some friends will find themselves unable to connect with you because they view your life as so very different from theirs.  Also, some friends will suddenly be envious of your freedom and that will put a chink in your relationship.  (Please note – I don’t think any of these things are the reason for the bump in the aforementioned friendship.)  And of course, for your single friends, suddenly they will totally love you and be all over you because you are finally “one of them.”  That you get a lot of new BFFs simply because now you can and do go out with them on a social level.

So lately I've been thinking about the friendships in my life and how they have changed since I made the decision to leave Duckie.  Some friendships that had long been dormant have sprung back to life in new and surprising ways.  Look at my friend Melissa (of Melissa and Dave who so kindly and generously helped lug me up three flights of stairs to my freedom).  She and I had been in mid-level touch in recent years thanks to the internet but our friendship is thriving now at a completely new level.  Gwyn and I are another example.  We’ve been building a friendship for the last six months but things have definitely ratcheted up since January.  Of course between some other personal crises in our lives previous to January, I think Gwyn and me were meant to be friends regardless of our martial statuses.  Or even me and Jules.  We’ve been in touch for a while and through random family crises, we’ve even spent a fair amount of time together in the last year despite living across country from each other.  When we revealed the marriage dramas in our life, I think our friendship leapt light-years ahead of the normal friendship timeline.  So those have been good changes.

However, some friendships, my two college BFFS, that were the foundation in my world have definitely suffered and I’m not entirely sure why.  College BFF #1 from the other day mentioned that she felt like I wasn’t the same person I was before.  I countered with saying that I was exactly the same person I was just that I had a differently lifestyle.  Despite all the dating/boys/sex, I’m still busting my butt at work, being a mom, going to church, etc.  Her comment did make me reflect on my life though.  But in my heart, I don’t feel like I’m any different as a single girl now as I was as a single girl back in the day when we built our friendship. 

College BFF #2 told me she was concerned we were growing apart too.  That she was getting involved in her own pursuits and I seemed to have a new circle of friends I was hanging out with.  Now she has been busy pursing a new career, she’s an awesome photographer that I’d love to plug here but I can’t or I’d totally blow my secret identity, but as for my new circle of friends, unless she means boys I can’t say that I have a new “circle.”  I mean sure Gwyn and I have definitely expanded our relationship in recent months and I’ve been having some girls’ night outs that I wouldn’t have had otherwise but I still pretty much have the same circle of friends that I’ve had in recent years. 

Just so you know, these two particular girls, we’ve been through a lot in the last 15 or so years.  I totally believe this is just a growth period in our relationship and that all will come out well in the end.  I think knowing about this blog detailing my single girl exploits maybe is the biggest thing that has thrown them for a loop.  One has chosen to read the blog and one says she doesn’t intentionally.  We all three have very different ideas and expectations of sexuality and clearly a lot of this blog is about sex – LOL.  If I could go back in time, I would never have told them about it knowing what I know now.

Then there’s this girl who I’ve known for about 5-6 years now who is the very definition of my soul mate.  When she and I met it just clicked in an instant and though we are both busy and don’t talk nearly as much as we used to, she’s been by my side every step of the way.  We used to work together and she more than anyone else, witnessed the bit-by-bit deterioration of mine and Duckie’s relationship.  She was the one I vented to, the one who heard my frustrations on a daily basis, the one I detailed the collapse of our nonexistent sex life.  She was the only one who knew I had a crush on Sawyer and when exactly we crossed the line.  She’s the first one I cried to when I could finally verbalize the words that I wanted to divorce Duckie.  What can I say; she’s been on a hell of a ride with me.  Yet my relationship with her has been steady and strong.  Not one bit of change throughout the last few months.  It’s curious why some relationships have strengthened, some have weakened, and this one has remained steady and even.  Weird…

Writing that maybe that’s why it’s been hard for my college BFFs to adjust to this new reality for me.  I protected them from a lot of my relationship with Duckie.  Maybe on some level they feel like I spent a lot of time lying to them and maybe deep down inside, that unease at the fact that I’d withhold that kind of information is causing the rift.  Maybe if I’d been more open and honest with them all along we wouldn’t feel this separation today.  And that breaks my heart because in some weird twisted way I did feel like I was protecting everyone around me by not telling them all that was going on. 

Hell, maybe if I’d been more open and honest all along with everyone – friends, family, and even Duckie – maybe things would be very different in my life right now.  But that’s another post for another day…

I guess overall I’m just feeling perplexed as to why getting divorced would rock the boat of the friendships in your life.  Maybe you can give me a little perspective….



  1. This is so weird- I posted something akin to this on my own blog a long time ago but about how weird friendships can get when you have a disabled child. Some people back off because they simply don't know what to say, or because they don't want to have to think about how hard your life is. But some people step up to the plate, try to understand and even offer to help. I lost alot of friends, good ones or so I thought, but I think each big step in your life, like divorce (done that too so I know what you are going through!) brings an opportunity to see which relationships in your life are strong enough to make the journey through life with you. A "fair-weather" friend is no friend at all. Letting go is painful sometimes, but if your friends can't grow with you, you'll grow apart. In the end the strong ones will stay right where you planted them. :)

  2. I agree Short Girl...fair-weathered friends piss me off. Either you love me for all my strengths and weaknessed...or you don't. You can't pick and chose. That being said though, I'm really sorry to hear that some of your friendships are suffering. I'm sure it's part of the process. My parents used to joke about which friends they got in the divorce, but those were mutual friends. Know that we all love you though and I hope they come around!

  3. I wanted to add that I certainly don't think my two college BFFs are fair-weather friends. We've been through so much in the last 15 years to prove that they aren't. I think maybe life has just changed so fast and so much in such a short period of that that we have all been left spinning our wheels a bit and trying to figure out this new "reality" I've created for myself. Thanks for the love girls!

  4. I hope they adjust then- you obviously don't want to lose them. But who knows maybe they will just be out of the picture until you are off the market again? Not that you should let that happen anytime soon, but... FJB definitely seems like serious relationship material thus far!
    Hey I also wanted to tell you I read an article in Cosmo that women on the pill find themselves more attracted to guys with a feminine side. Watch out MM!