I am having problems coping with the end of a ten-year friendship. My friend’s morals and values shifted majorly starting two years ago; so much to the point that she was willing to give up her marriage and family for an underage boy. Yes, she did her time, and yes, I stood by her through it all…even when I did not feel comfortable doing so. However, now that she is “free,” she no longer communicates with me. Do you think I should continue calling/texting/emailing, in hopes of a response, or do I need to take the hint and start attempting to deal with the loss?
~ A Friend in Need
Dear "A Friend in Need"...
What a tough situation to be facing, not only for you, but for her as well, I'm sure. I know how difficult it is to be faced with a loss, whether though the end of a friendship, romantic relationship or through a loved ones passing. In all honesty, an end of any relationship, is a death of sorts. You go through a very similar grieving process. It's even harder when it wasn't by your choice. But here is the thing...you lost your friend a long time ago. You have been holding on to a memory of the person you once knew; a shell of her. Your friend made choices that pushed her own husband and children away for goodness sake, so why would you be any different? Not trying to be harsh, but getting you to see the reality of the situation. This is about HER and HER issues. The non-communication is about her, not you. You, unfortunately, just happen to be on the receiving end. More than likely, she probably doesn't want any involvement with anyone or anything that has something to do with that time in her life. Nobody but her is important at this point. It's evident by the choices she made both then and now. I know it's tough, but we all have seen in our lives people come and go, and I'm not saying she won't be back, but for now, my advice is to let her be. You have made it very clear with all different forms of communication, that you are there for her and she is probably not in the place to be able to receive that love from you or anyone for that matter. Besides which, if you genuinely think about the person she is now, is this someone you would choose presently to be friends with? I think a lot of people hold on to what used to be, both in love relationships and friendships. It's what makes it so hard for us to move on. We keep thinking about who they were and aren't able to face the reality of what or who is in front of us. I say it's time you did.
Perhaps the best thing to do for your own peace of mind is have some closure. I suggest maybe writing her one last email telling her that you wish her well and you will be around (if you choose that is what you want) if she ever wants to talk. But for your own peace of mind, "A Friend in Need", my suggestion is that you close this chapter and be grateful for the 10 years of good friendship you got to experience. Not a lot of people have such friendships. You were a lucky one. Like anything in life, relationships are cyclical, and she might fall into the category of being around for a "season". You've been a good friend while a lot of people might have turned their back on someone during a situation like that. I say, walk proudly in who you are and how you handled the situation and pray for your friend that she gets her life back together. For her children's sake most of all. Good luck!