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Sad things

Posted on 2006.05.12 at 12:34
Current Mood: sadsad
Current Music: Justin Hinds & The Dominoes - Sitting In Babylon
Taking a break from my usual thought provoking political controversy and odd internet finds, I am having a friend related crisis.

My best friends for a long time have been a couple, Lorie and Bill. When I say a long time, I mean a really long time. We all ended up in the Boston area, but we all grew up in St. Louis and all went to the same junior high and high school. Bill and I have been close friends since we were 13. Lorie and I became friends a few years later, during our junior year. Lorie and Bill both went to college in Boston, and became a couple there. They have two great kids, boys 10 and 7 whom I have mentioned in this blog several times. I have taken care of both the boys on various occasions since they were born. They have been like my family, and were a big factor in why I moved to Boston in the first place. They have helped me through a lot of hard times, and I think I have helped them through some as well. We did many things all together, and I thought of them as a sort of quasi-family.
So when I started seeing Stefanie, Lorie was skeptical. I can accept that. The start of our relationship was rocky, to say the least. It was on again off again, there was still another guy hanging around, there was her hospital stay, and the like. I really liked Stefanie, though, and decided to see it through as far as I could, to see if anything could come out of it. I often tend to bail on things early on because I convince myself that they are absolutely going to end badly, but with this I decided (as per my therapy work) to think that maybe it might work out, maybe something good could come of me and Stefanie being together.
And it has. We are in love. I love spending time with her daughter. I have been spending a lot of my time with Stefanie and it is great.
Lorie doesn't approve.
A while ago, Lorie told me that she thought that Stefanie would hurt me, that she was severely ill, that she could never be stable, that I was putting myself in a horrible situation, and that she didn't want to be part of it. She would spend time with me, but she wouldn't meet Stefanie, and she didn't want her around her kids.
I was really hurt, but sort of understood, I guess. I thought that while this was a very harsh reaction, it came out of a place of concern. I was concerned myself. There were a lot of red flags at the beginning of this relationship, and it was absolutely proper to make sure that I saw them.
So Lorie and Bill have been avoiding me. Not returning my calls, not taking my calls. Our birthdays passed with one phone call, no plans to get together. I used to eat dinner with them once or twice a week, but I haven't seen them since March. I hadn't told Stefanie about what Lorie said, since it contained some even harsher stuff than I have written above, but it was getting embarrassing that I talked all the time about my best friends, but I never took her to meet them.
Oh yeah, Lorie has never met Stefanie.
So today I talked to Lorie, and she told me that her position has not changed. I thought that after a couple of months when she saw that I am really happier than I have been in years, that I am working well, and that things are good, she would relent. But no. She says she will get together with me if I want, but that she doesn't want to expose her or her family to Stefanie. I am devastated. I haven't heard from Bill, but my call to him to wish him happy birthday the other day went unanswered and unreturned. I guess he is on board with Lorie.
We have been friends for literally more than half our lives. Can it be over? Over this? Do they think so little of me that I would choose someone SO bad? What do they think Stefanie and I would DO to their children? What are they telling their boys about why they never come over any more?
If Lorie would make me choose like that, were we ever friends at all?


violet_memory at 2006-05-12 17:19 (UTC) (Link)
Im so sorry you are going through this. Its hard when friends dont approve of a relationship. Ive been lucky in that although most of my friends disapproved of most of my relationships, they managed to see the comic value in my bad choices (for these were, in fact, bad choices). Almost universally they love my husband though.

But I have a friend whose wife I dont approve of. I dont like her for him at all and I secretly would love it if they broke up. He seems so unhappy with her though. Still, I hang out with both of them or him alone and its fine. I have told him privately what I think but I treat her nicely because it was his choice.

It sounds like your friends are having a problem doing that, and a lot of the reason seems to be that they are worried about their kids. When people become parents, sometimes their heads cave in ever so slightly and they think that they can protect their kids from everything. This, as well all know, is never going to work.

If I were you I would insist heartily on a sit down discussion with them. The phone thing isnt working. YOu need a direct, face to face meeting. Preferably they can keep the children with a babysitter so they dont factor in, and frank talk can happen (or at their house after children go to bed).

Maybe you can explain that although Stefanie has problems, you need from them the space to make this choice, even if it turns out badly...and reassure them that even if it does it doesnt change that you are the same loving friend you always were if they can just accept you.

I wish you luck. Its so hard to deal with these kinda things. Friendship is harder, I think, than a lover, to lose.
theservant at 2006-05-12 17:25 (UTC) (Link)
wow, wise words.
I guess I am confused as to what they think I am going to DO to their kids, or what bad effect I might have now.
violet_memory at 2006-05-12 20:51 (UTC) (Link)
You'll never know until you get them to open up to you face to face, unfortunately. I hope it works out for you.
theservant at 2006-05-12 22:27 (UTC) (Link)
I guess you are right, but right now I am mad about the whole thing. I am mad at them about Stefanie but I am also mad at them for treating me like a disobedient child.
Chavah ("Little Raccoon") bat Sarah
qilora at 2006-05-12 17:39 (UTC) (Link)
man, this is really awful....

i can understand why your friends would want you to break up with a person if they did think that person *would* hurt you, but i never understood that mindset of "i won't sit here and watch this, i love him/her, so i will abandon them until they do what i say"...

i had a couple friends pull this on me when i was living with the abusive ex-husband, and it made it *that* much harder to leave him because i had so few friends around for support...

its hard for me to be on your friends' side because, obviously, *you* are who i know (at all) and i would have to admit i'd be biased in your direction through all this....

i also know that i like you a lot, and hate the thought of you being alone when you want to be with someone... i also know that you are going into this relationship with both eyes open, you *know* that there were problems in the beginning, and likely to be problems in the future too, but that is not because your relationship (or Stefanie herself) is inherently flawed and irredemeable(sp), more its because shit happens!... nothing is perfect and that is that...

you would rather stick around and work out any problems with Stefanie, as opposed to running for the hills, and i really respect that...

i have no doubt that your friends still love you just as much... they are just losing sight of a few things... playing "withdrawal of affection" in order to control another person's romantic life is just screaming of abandonment issues of their own....

there is the fact that they might not be used to "sharing" their time with you, and that might frighten them... add to that the fact that they do not like Stefanie (whatever their reasons) and that makes them think that *all* their time with you will be ruined somehow... she is "the stranger"....

i don't think that this is entirely (or even mostly) about their concern for their children, because if that were the case they could come to you and say something like "i would feel better about you two hanging out with the family, if i could just get to know her better" and make a point to spend couples-time alone with you and Stefanie, and do just that, get to know her better...

i really hope this all settles out... as time goes on, should you and Stefanie stay together and continue to work on your relationship, i have no doubt that your friends will come around a bit (at least a little)...

i am sure that making themselves be so distant from you, is really hurting them too... and i am *SURE* that they do not want to lose you either...

Eve & Co.
theservant at 2006-05-12 18:17 (UTC) (Link)
I wish I were as sure. I am mad right now, but I feel like basically they are totally in the wrong. There are circumstances under which they might be doing the right thing. If Stefanie had started me smoking crack, if I were giving her all my money, somehow endangering myself, etc.
But I'm not.
And it is Wrong (with a capital W) for them to ask me to choose like that. Part of me (the mad part) says SCREW THEM, if I am involved with any kind of unhealthy relationship it is that one.
The sad part of me wonders whether things could ever be the same no matter what happens.

And Stefanie is being really great and supportive and WITH ME in this. But can I expect HER to forgive them and ever be friends with them? Should I put her in that position? She says she would be able to, but...

I guess I will fall back on the fact that my Mom recently told me that many of Dad's friends (including some with whom she is still friends) told him not to marry her because she was depressed.

Thanks for your words. They are much appreciated.
Misty D. Hudson
mistytsim at 2006-05-12 19:31 (UTC) (Link)
It could be that they are partially afraid of allowing Stefanie around the kids because of the infomation they have about her (although, from my end, it seems like they have it skewed a bit). They might be worried with as screwy as they see Stefanie, that their children will get close to her. And then if your relationship with Stefanie ends, then the children will be hurt.

I had a similar situation when I started dating a guy in my small little circle of friends. A lot of people in the group said we should be together, and then once we were, they told me that it was horrible, and that he would hurt me, and on and on. He listened to it, and now he's getting married to another girl in the group.

Sometimes it becomes necessary to leave your family. If you are doing what you know to be right, and you have a confirmation of that, who are they to say you are wrong? If they are truely your family (let's face it, they are), then they should trust you to do what is best for you, and support you in that.

I hope I made some sort of sense.
theservant at 2006-05-12 19:34 (UTC) (Link)
It does make sense, and it would make more sense if I had any kind of history of dating women for a short period of time, and if we hadn't been together for several months already. I wonder what they are telling their children about why they never see me anymore?
Misty D. Hudson
mistytsim at 2006-05-12 20:15 (UTC) (Link)
I agree with whomever said it earlier: you need to sit down and have a frank discussion with them.
theservant at 2006-05-12 20:36 (UTC) (Link)
I think that is true, but for right now I am mad about the situation and it wouldn't be useful and probably even the opposite.
violet_memory at 2006-05-12 20:52 (UTC) (Link)
I wouldnt worry about what they are telling. I doubt they are saying anything inflammatory. I had a fallout with a friend that our kids were used to, one that can't ever be repaired...I told the kids after some time went by that she moved away. I didnt want them to think ill of her even though I do now :)
theservant at 2006-05-12 22:29 (UTC) (Link)
yeah, I meant more in the sense of would it possibly be worse for the kids to meet Stefanie or that the kids learn that it is OK to drop friends when they do something you don't like?
suzermagoozer at 2006-05-12 23:40 (UTC) (Link)
well that SUCKS.

i can't believe they won't even see you to hear how happy you are or find out if you ARE happy.
to me it seems logical to progress...you meet with bill and laurie...maybe see the kids who have to be just going NUTS not seeing you. And you gotta talk to them. You don't know what their fears are and they should have to articulate that...based on half a lifetime of knowing you. Then after talking to you...they could decide...but it would have to be to your face, which is more honest.

hey listen...you know we were all concerned about this relationship...based on how it started. we definitely didn't want stefanie to hurt you...but we all wanted to see you happy. I don't really get how lorie has let this creep into a place where she is practically taking it all personally...but it is.

sort of like advice: push for a meeting of just you and them. get answers to your questions. do a pulse check before you call that friendship terminal. Share information...but then i guess lorie is the one with the choice to make.
theservant at 2006-05-12 23:48 (UTC) (Link)
Yeah, that is good advice, and I think you have a good take on it. I don't understand where this is coming from with Lorie, at least not exactly.
I am not calling the friendship terminal, but frankly if I saw them right now I am worried that I might say a few things that would put my friendship with them into that state. This has all just sort of resurfaced today, when Lorie told me that she hadn't changed her mind on it at all, so I am still taking it in. And I care enough about being friends with them to not call her up and scream. Even though I feel like it.

But it is really good to hear your take on it, and mostly to know that I am not crazy. Her perspective seems SO out of whack to me, especially when she hasn't even met Stefanie and when I am doing pretty well and am happy.
So I need (and thank you for) the reality check which might lead me to affirm that they are the ones who seem a bit out of touch.
So thanks! Hugs.
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