A Fork in the Friendship Road


I've been having a swirl of emotions today and after reading a post over at Ever Mine, Ever Thine, Ever Ours and seeing that others are going through these same issues, I felt like I could go ahead and spill my thoughts on this.

The plain truth is that this is where it starts for me today: my feelings were hurt. I had a really close friend for a long time but a few months ago we reached a fork in our road, so to speak, and decided to go in different directions. Of course, this sounds easier and cleaner than the way it felt at that time. But sometimes you reach a point where it seems like someone you really cared about doesn't really care about you as much as you thought they did. Or something's changed and you're not sure what. And that hurts . . . whether you're fifteen or thirty-two. It just does.

Honestly, I hate friendship drama. Or any kind of drama for that matter. I don't like conflict (especially when I feel like I don't understand where it's coming from). Friendships take work, I get that. But if caring about someone and being part of their life is a drudgery, or something you have to force yourself to do--I guess I don't feel like the friendship is at a good place. I want my friends to want to see how I'm doing, to be involved, to care when I'm falling apart, to love me and pray for me and let me know that they're doing those things. I've had a lot of discussions with women my age about friendships lately, and I think that at this season of our lives (raising small kids) it can just be difficult to nurture friendships. The flip side of that, however, is that we need friends more than ever at this place in our lives. Especially those of us who don't live near family.

Anyway, this particular friendship hit a fork in the road and we split. And I told myself that it was okay and I was going to let it go and not be hurt anymore by that situation. And I so wish I could be stoic about it and not feel excluded or sad or hurt. But I'm a girl and being stoic is not easy for me. Anyway, I'm not mad at all. But I can be honest and say that today I felt hurt. I felt excluded. Have you felt that way before? (I mean, post the drama of high school.)

Friendships look different because people are unique. I have friends where I feel like I reach out to them more than they reach out to me. I have friends that are so great about reaching out and being intentional. I have friends where we're pretty 50/50 in that department. I have friends I keep up with online. And then there have been women that I've wanted to be friends with who didn't really show any interest in pursuing a friendship with me. That happens and it's okay. Not everybody's going to click with everyone else.
I'm not the kind of person who needs a ton of friends. I've had the same BFF since I was twelve. And I'm super blessed that my two sisters are the loves of my life and are there for me in a split-second if I need them. While I don't need a host of girlfriends in my life, for sure I need a few. I need someone to vent to, someone I can count on in a pinch, someone who has a hug or a smile on hard days. And those friends in my life who fill those roles (whether nearby or across the miles) are precious to me. I know that Jeff is my very best friend, walking through life next to me, loving me, being there for me. But he doesn't always understand the major dilemma of a bad hair day or having absolutely nothing to wear or the concept of wearing shoes that hurt just because they are to-die-for cute.

But he tries. :) 

How about you, lovey? Have you run into these issues with grown-up girlfriends?



35 comments

  1. Oh honey! you are writing the words right out of my head!!! I am in the same situation as you right at this very moment...hugs and understanding xo

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  2. I am glad that I could help. It is just so sad when our friendships seem to end. Except my friends don't tell me, they just ignore me and it really started to get to me! We have to be strong and realize that we will find new friends that hopefully won't suck as much as the other ones!
    I hope you have a good rest of your week!

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    1. You're so right, Sarah. Some friends stick with you through thick and thin, those are the ones I need these days!

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  3. OH Yes - well not persay with friends but family I married into. DRAMA, pety, mean and no matter how hard I try to be friends it just doesn't happen. So you know what I stopped trying. Yet I have that impulse to reach out - I slap my hand. Sometimes I wish I was in HS bc you talk crap and the next day you could be friends not as a grown up!

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    1. Oh gosh! I know for some people, drama with family can be even worse than drama with friends!

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  4. This hits home for me. I am going through a situation with one of my closest friends since grade school. She has a very strong personality, with others who meet her always wondering how we have "worked" as friends. I have been going through some stuff in my life that has been challenging, emotional, difficult...at home and at work. I am seeing a counselor and learning how to work on me, set boundaries, and ultimately make the right decisions for ME. My friend, however, feels she has to tell me what I should or shouldn't do. In the past I just kept my mouth shut, but because of these new "tools" I am learning to apply, I have said more than I ever imagined to her' "I appreciate your advice, but I am doing what works for me/my child/my family." more often than not, she keeps going and talks over me. Once in a while she gets her back up because I have spoken up. I have felt her pulling back as well as myself. I respect her opinions and have asked for advice at times, but I have always thought before doing so since I often know we will be on opposite sides, or her opinion will be too strong it won't even be something we can dialogue about. I definitely see that fork in the friendship road. Trying to figure out how to make it work so it's not completely thrown away. I have learned a lot about me in the process, and setting boundaries. But the hurt is there, like you said.

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    1. Oh Suze, navigating that sort of friendship can be hard. But I think it's so great that you're standing up for yourself and being bold and making decisions based on what is best for you and your family. That's something I need to do too.

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  5. Ohh I am glad most people are going thro' this I sometimes wondered " is it because I am from a difficult culture (Kenyan background) so I just don't understand how "these American friends" want to be loved or Love?" I thought I was doing it all wrong but I am consoled that even you girls are going thro the same.

    We once asked a group of our friends ( people I thought were my friends) when I was going thro hard times to meet up and pray and nobody replied to me...It is hard for me to love them again I make the effort and pray about being intentional with them but the grudge is in my heart! In my culture your friends are part of your family and you treat them as family...

    sigh!

    I told my husband the other day I didn't feel like I had a best friend right now. I corrected myself "well, besides you, Honey." I'm learning that friendships go through seasons especially as we are raising our kids and nurturing our marriage.

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    1. Thx so much for this comment, Nancy! And we're so lucky to have husbands who are such a great support for us. I know Jeff's there, regardless of girl drama. :)

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  6. Truth: I still have the same bff from forever - but the one I had since I was 12? I ditched her a few years ago. It sounds so harsh, but we had grown into two drastically different people. And, even though we WORKED IN THE SAME BUILDING, I couldn't bring myself to get back into her drama. I'm so thankful my husband is my best friend and I'm thankful for the other relationships in my life. But, when you said you had the same friend since you were twelve, it made me miss her - just a bit.

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    1. I totally understand about growing into different people. And there's just no way I can take lots of drama. Thanks for stopping by, Kristen!

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  7. Oh my! I had the same think happen to me a couple of weeks ago. We had been friends since elementary school. We were in each other's weddings. Then I saw her with another lady, and my friend stubbed me. I was so upset. I could not sleep because I wondered what I did to offend her. Then 2 days later, she sends me a text, "It was so good to see you. Let's go to the movies soon." What?!?!? I did not know how to respond to the text. Thank you so much for this post. It's nice to know I am not alone struggling with adult friendships.

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    1. You're definitely not alone. Adult friendships can be just as confusing. Part of what was frustrating about this one friendship that ended for me was that I still to this day have no idea what happened to make her so upset.

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  8. Brandy, a wise women told me "that if you have one true friend in this world, you are very lucky indeed." I would not worry about it, You have a great family. Love You

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  9. I feel the same way about friends. I'm desperately looking for close friends here since we just moved last August. This is my first experience making friends that didn't come from a pre-determined environment (grad school previously). I hope we can keep getting to know each other!

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  10. Losing a friend is always painful. I've had my share of losing a friend or two in the past but knowing that I'm a better person because of them, regardless of the reason for losing them, makes the pain easier to deal with.

    Dropping by from SITS! Have a nice day!

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  11. First happy SITS day. Second, I think being a mother to toddlers is one of the most difficult stages to maintain friendships through (so far anyway). Because you no time and the major issues, sleepless nights, throw up, potty training, not everyone is interested in hearing about. I lost a friend when I was in this stage and it hurts (still does on the days I miss her laugh). She was single and just wanted me to put more into the friendship than I could. And you have a girl, watching her go through the friendship drama is harder than doing it yourself....I blog about raising girls if you ever want to check it out. Enjoy your day.

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  12. I totally have had this happen in my life...and my feelings where so hurt. I was in my 30's so I felt silly for feeling this way....but you can't change feelings of the heart!
    Great post!
    M

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  13. I hate that friendship can be such a difficult thing. I feel you on this one, that's for sure. But I must admit, you're quite lucky and very blessed. It sounds like you have a lot of support systems in your life.

    I moved to Texas a couple of years ago and boy... has this ever been the loneliest time of my life. I didn't have a ton of friends to begin with, and now that I live far away from the place I call "home" (where I grew up, back in Michigan), it's pretty much -- if I don't keep up (keep contact) with people; they're too busy to keep up with me. It's been painful, but I'm a writer (a new writer) and one somewhat good thing is that I don't have any distractions. It's tough on holidays though. If I don't extend well wishes, I sometimes wonder if I'd hear from some of them. Everyone seems to think I'm made of Teflon, but in truth -- let's be real here, we know that I feel the same love and joy, hurt and pain as everyone else.

    This is the most I've ever said about any of this to anybody. I pretty much bury it, working at staying focused on God and writing most of the time; thinking, this too shall pass. I guess the saying is true, "Things that don't kill us only make us stronger". I keep thinking that this is a season that I'm going through. I hope that's true.

    Thank you for being so honest and candid. Although I don't have sisters and brothers, or children or love relationship (boyfriend or whatever), I identify with you a lot. But look at the responses that you're getting... you're certainly not alone. There are several of us who "get" what you're talking about.

    Anyway, thank you for sharing your feelings. That's special... and a good place to begin some new friendships, I think.

    Happy SITS Day to you, from a new SITS friend!

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  14. You shared a struggle eloquently that probably most women know all too well. It's just a part of life, I think, for women, but it's still challenging and hard.

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  15. Great post and so true! Girlfriends are so vital to women growing up and growing old. I love my girlfriends and I agree with you that it does take work. I too have let go of a couple and have tried to be a friend to some that just are not interested. But, those that are there for you and care for you are gems! Happy SITS Day!

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  16. Sorry about the loss of your friendship. I hope you are healing.

    We all change and grow, and sometimes we don't end up in the same place. It's hard when we realize we don't fit anymore.

    That's why I believe it's so important for each of us to develop a large support system. I have to have several close friends I can turn to. If I'm having a crisis and the friend I turn to can't help because she is overwhelmed or out of the country or something, I need someone else to back me up. It's not fair to make one person be my only support.

    I broke up with a friend not too long ago. Our definitions of friendship just weren't the same. She needed more than I could offer. It's been tough because we still run into each other. But it was a healthy break for me.

    Again, I hope you're healing. Best wishes.

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  17. Friendships that last are golden. Drifting apart is easy. Breaking up, not so much. I wonder sometimes if the break ups when you both have young kids is more to do with mama bear feelings than friendship feelings.

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  18. OH, I do so hear you. This post speaks to my heart. When I make a friend, which is rarely, I do it for life. And to have that friendship fall apart on me just hurts. I'm a hardworking friend, and exclusion breaks me. I grew up bullied, and that has something to do with it, but mostly, I value my friends, and losing one breaks my heart. I do so feel for you.

    Happy SITS day!

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  19. I'm very much similar to you in that I don't need a ton of friends but do rely on some of those good solid friends. It's definitely gotten harder as I've gotten older - like you said, you don't want to force someone or yourself to care about being a part of your/their life. That's not what friendship is about. I tend to be the one who puts more effort into friendships and I came to a point in my life where I was tired of that - of constantly giving and being taken for granted. Breaking up with friends is heart wrenching sometimes but it's also a natural progression of life. Thank you for sharing this and happy SITS Day.

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  20. This is so hard. It's odd too--I have two friends who seem to come and go in different seasons of my life. And it's weird--because I always find myself wondering if we should always talk about why we drifted and now....why we're coming back together. Sometimes we do, sometimes we don't. And others who I've had to say good-bye to for good because in the end they aren't the healthiest relationship for me. I have to always work to be objective too--while they're not the healthiest for me, it doesn't always mean it's because the other girl is a bad person--we're just not gelling for some reason, right now. And I have to be okay with that. I think it's a really good lesson too for our kids to see us handle these situations gracefully because they'll encounter this over and over, at a different level as they grow up and we want them to learn from us how to go about it.

    Great post! Happy SITS day to you!

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  21. I totally get this. I have had to let go of friendships in this stage of my life then there is too much drama or I feel like I am being drained via negativity. I have a super huge high tolerance for people and their "flaws" because goodness knows I have many flaws of my own - but there is still a line - and I agree 100% that I don't have time to nurture friendships the way I used to but I need them so badly at the same time. It's all complex, and all we can do is proceed with good intentions. Happy SITS day!

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  22. I agree completely, friendship takes effort, but if it's something you are forcing yourself to do, then for me it is time to reevaluate my friendship. I had a close friendship that almost ended years ago, but thankfully after taking some time apart we were able to rekindle it and it's just as strong as over, and another friend whose "friendship" was a huge stressor in my life and I did decide to end our friendship (it almost felt like we were breaking up!). Unfortunately somtimes you have to cut friendships loose. It is never easy to do, but it makese you appreciate even more those awesome friendships you do have :-)

    Thanks for sharing this, and happy SITS day!

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  23. Maintaining friendships definitely gets harder as we get older: people move, work and family takes priority and before you know it, you don't have much time left for friends. But I think it's important to focus on those people who give you love and support. It can be hard, but sometimes it's better to let certain relationships go. Love this honest post. Happy SITS Day!

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  24. Sadly, yes. there's a group of women I used to be a part of, and slowly I stopped receiving invites to their get-togethers, and I have to admit I didn't really try either. But, at that point, it really felt like I would have been inviting myself or pushing my way into a group. I'm still acquaintances with most of them, and still consider one a good friend that I just don't see often enough. But dang, that hurt a lot.

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  25. I have definitely had friendships break up and even though I knew some of them weren't good for me I still miss them. Sometimes we have to let go of one friend to find the right one in the wings. Happy SITS day.

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  26. I suffered through the painful long-term death of a friendship this past year. It was a slow pulling back of my previously close friend from my life. It was so slow sometimes...esp in the beginning...that I didn't realize at first that I was being dumped. I felt pained when I realized that the friendship just wasn't there anymore. After a bit, though, I realized that mostly that friendship had been largely one-sided...with me being the person who primarily put forth the effort. Then I was able to have a sigh of relief that I no longer had to give & give while getting so very little in return. So, in the end, it's for the best. Although it still hurt. Happy SITS day!

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  27. I just burst into tears...I get this 100%. It is partly why I blog. When my friendship with my best friend hit a brick wall I was a mess...I still hurt. A LOT. Most days I don't give it a second thought because I ended the friendship for good reasons, but other days it kills me. This happened a few years ago and it STILL HURTS, like a divorce might. I feel like my best friend died...unfortunately I have come to accept it as part of life.

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  28. It's a struggle even at 50 when you think you all are finally through all the drama, but it happens. I've been away from all my friends and family for the past two years. It's been very hard reconnecting with everyone because we all have lives and are extremely busy. Just love the ones you have and sometimes you do have to move on. Remember, some people leave your life for a reason. Visiting from SITS.

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