As we all know, our friends can be just as important to us as our family…and a lot of the time they ARE family!!! I can say that, for women, when we find great girlfriends that we can trust and love it’s like hitting the jackpot. Unfortunately, when things go wrong it is like a horrible breakup. That horrible, gut wrenching feeling comes over you and you go through a terrible mourning period. It is like the love of your life had just left you and that they are no longer in love with you. You ache for a long time and you sadly reminisce over the great times and over analyze what went wrong and why it had to be this way.
About 3 years ago I met a group of girlfriends at my new job. My usual practice is not to get to personal with coworkers. I normally would find 1-2 people who I do become good friends with and everyone else I am simply friendly with. Living in South Florida, it is quite difficult to find good girlfriends. So, when I met these girls I felt so relieved. We were quite diverse, some younger than others, married, single, one had a long-distance boyfriend and of course I had been living with my boyfriend (now husband). Needless to say, I became very close to these girls and some more than others. We shared almost everything: our pasts, our current events (good and bad) and our hopes for the future. Several happy hours, brunches and dinners came out of these friendships. Not the entire group would always get together all the time as we still lead very separate lives. But, I maintained my ongoing friendship with everyone, always happy to be with them, to be there for them when I was needed as a group or as a trusted individual. I can say, for the most part they did the same.
I guess the sad story started before most of us even knew it. One of us (now known as Ms. N) had decided to move back home to New York with her husband. This move back home was apparently so crucial she couldn’t make her duties as bridesmaid at one of our friend’s (now known as Ms. A) wedding. But, about 4 months later, it was apparent she had moved back and had not told us. As most of us were not as close to her we dismissed it as nothing unusual and did not think twice about it. A couple of months after that, I went to happy hour with one of the ladies (now known as Ms. C) and she tells me that three of them had lunch with Ms. N and discloses a very personal story about Ms. N’s husband having a meltdown and leaving her and the worst part is that he is now living with another woman. A few days later I had lunch with Ms. N and she told me all the sad details, not knowing Ms. C already had told me. She told me after her mother-in-law passed away he snapped. There were nights he didn’t come home, he was drinking too much and doing drugs. To make matters worse, there was at least one night she got out of bed, drove to a bar in her pajamas and slapped him in the face as this other woman was sitting on his lap. Finally one day, he left her and moved in with the other woman. That was when she decided to go home to New York…alone. After that day, I was there for her. I had gone through some tough times with my ex and knew she needed someone who would not judge the situation. There would be evenings that my husband and I would be having dinner or just relaxing at home and she would call me needing to talk…and I would drop everything and drive over to wherever she wanted to meet. My idea of friendships have been from the great experience I’ve had from my best friends from back at home, and I am all to happy to create the same with others.
Fast forward, about a year ago my husband and I had some major problems. We were in a very dark place, me getting ferocious and mean and him with a little stray in his eye. I told the ladies of our problems but it was Ms. N and another lady of the group (now known as Ms. M) that I told the crucial details to. Ms. C did not get all the details but she knew of other “problems”. Ms. A knew very little but had some small details. I will admit after these problems were laid out on the table, I changed. I did not go to happy hour as often as I did, I did not drink as much as I used to and I spent more time with him. These changes were due to our decision to work things out and he admittedly did not like my “habits”. So, I stopped going to as many happy hours and respectfully told my husband in advance of my get-togethers with the ladies(because I certainly wasn’t before). Of course, Ms. C was the most verbal of her opinions and she is the youngest, least experienced and definitely least independent of the group…she was also the most judgmental and gossipy of the group (as you may recall she told me of Ms. N’s story when she wasn’t suppose to). Ms. N was definitely a listener but completely lost after the divorce and started to get closer to Ms. C…put one gossipy girl and one vulnerable girl together and you get a disastrous pair. Then, there is Ms. A who was always a good friend and good listener but happened to be super close to Ms. N and unfortunately is completely lost even as a married woman of her own independency and strength, so she chooses to be a “follower”. Ms. M, no complaints, she is a true friend still is and always will be; she listened, told her opinion and supports me no matter what.
As the months passed, I noticed the get-togethers with Ms. C and Ms. N were getting uncomfortable (side note: Ms. A and Ms. M are married and did not go out with us as much). We all know that when girls get together they sometimes gossip about someone in their own group. I personally started to get uncomfortable, specifically when they bad-mouthed about Ms. A and how she doesn’t drive and how her husband controls her and the worst part was when Ms. N told me how much she basically hates Ms. A’s husband, so thank god she WASN’T a bridesmaid at their wedding…ha! Anyway, the list goes on and on. Meanwhile, these gatherings involved a lot of harsh opinions, eventually becoming attacks. Ms. C, who didn’t know much, felt that my husband was not good enough because he was not making enough money. Then there is Ms. N that I believe was comparing my situation to hers.
*On a short history of Ms. C, she comes from a well-off family, that sent her to a private European University, came back to the states to live with her parents, had a long-distance boyfriend. The long distance boyfriend didn’t work out so she found another boyfriend, literally one week after. But she will say she was single for 2 months since they didn’t make it official until then. Although, the week they met they made the decision not to date anyone but each other (doesn’t that mean you are together then?). He was closer to home a manager to a pizza joint and moved in with him at his place (sorry to sound a bit opinionated myself) and she LOVES to GLORIFY him for his job, as if his job tops all of ours.*
Now leading up to five-six months ago, my communications with Ms. C and Ms. N had basically come to a halt. They were not texting me, or calling me, or inviting me out as much. Frankly, it started getting uncomfortable when any effort was made on their part or my part, sometimes a bit forced. Ms. A was still making an effort and we still had a pretty strong friendship. Then, it was announced that we were getting married. That is when Ms. C and Ms. N really started getting together without me and Ms. A was not as communicative with me (although there was still hope) and I was trying to include her with my wedding plans by asking her advice. It was hurtful of course, I really missed my friends. I dismissed everything as just a temporary disagreement and strangely social media came in to play and I felt, if they haven’t unfriended me from Facebook, then they must still want to be friends.
I am happy to say, May 28, 2013, I got married!!! It was a great wedding in Las Vegas. Despite our decision not to have a traditional wedding, it was still very sad not to have these girls celebrate with me when I was planning and even when we returned as a married couple. The day we returned from Vegas I knew our friendships were over, literally the moment we landed, Ms. C un-friended me from Facebook and an hour later so did Ms. N. So much for my idea that they still wanted to be my friend.
I admit to be broken-hearted, but know to move on. I have to understand that these women chose not to be my friend and that they probably never were. I believe that they are this way because they have unhappy, unfulfilled lives and choose to criticize others to make themselves feel like they are happy and fulfilled. Unfortunately I discovered it the hard way. What I take from this “break-up” is that to be unsupportive throughout the good and bad just means you cannot be a positive impact on a person. These ladies decided a long time ago that I was not the one for them and broke up with me. In the end, I hope that they do find happiness and fulfillment. As for myself, I am getting there…and moving on…as we all usually do after a horrible break up. I choose to meet people who I can be supportive to and bestow a positive impact on.