Wednesday, March 30, 2016

I get it

My husband had lunch with a friend yesterday who was talking to him about a situation she's come up against with a couple of other friends.  Basically, she and her husband are friends with two couples and have been for years.  Since high school.  Everyone in that group of six used to get along just fine, but there was an incident that fractured the relationship between two of the couples, leaving my husband's friend and her husband sort of caught in the middle.  It sounds as if the end of the friendship between two of the couples was ugly and people who had been friends for a really long time said some pretty harsh things.  In the end, one of the people in the situation ended up being told he was basically a piece of garbage and no one had ever liked him.  Ouch.

Now, my husband's friend and her spouse are sort of caught between the two.  They hang out with one couple more often than the other (the one who was most hurt in the situation) and the more injured of the two parties takes it very personally.  He gets upset, and he becomes sort of needy because he gets less time with these friends than the other couple.  My husband's friend finds it frustrating, because it's not intentional that one couple is getting more time than the other, but this friend seems to feel as if it is.

After hearing this story relayed back to me, my initial reaction was to say "Well, he's really making something out of nothing", but on further reflection, I feel very sad for this person.  I think I feel sad because I get it.  I get that hurt, and that feeling of insecurity that comes from it.  I've been that person who was told they were a piece of garbage.  I've been that person who thought they were close to someone only to have it all fall apart.  And I've been that person who watches everyone else get along just fine with those people and it can be hard.  It can be hard to always wonder if those people are poisoning everyone else against you, or to wonder if people saying something isn't intentional is entirely honest.  It's hard to know that you lost people you really cared about and see that other people are seemingly becoming closer to those people, because you wonder if the others are next.  You get put in a space of always waiting for the next shoe to drop.  You question everything.  You read too much into everything.  You become more afraid than you ever really knew you could be, because you just feel like you can't lose one more thing without going a little mad.  It's particularly hard when the assessment is that you're garbage, or you're the entire problem, when in reality all parties probably own some responsibility.  It's easy to feel like these other people are all hanging out without you, so your other friends are choosing sides and they didn't choose you.  I realized, the more I thought about it, that I really got where this person was coming from.

My husband told his friend that she had to understand where this person was coming from as well, and that he's been there and he gets it and it's ugly and hard and she said "Well, it's pretty exhausting to deal with" and his response was "Sometimes being a good friend is exhausting".

And it is.  Sometimes I think it's more exhausting than people want to put up with, so they don't.  They walk away because it's easier, and that exacerbates the problem.  I think for those who are used to being told how terrible they are, walking away just reinforces the message.  In the end, I hope my husband's friend finds some understanding and compassion for this friend of hers, and I hope her friend finds some love and loyalty where they need it.  But, in the meantime, I get it.


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