Monday, April 28, 2008

When Is It Okay?

I was reading a blog the other day, and started thinking about something. The balance that friends have in our lives. I had a friendship that went sour. She did some things that affected me and my husband in other areas of life. She thought these things were minor and no big deal. But we felt they were parts of life that an adult deals with every day, and are blown off by someone that doesn't value hard work and relationships. So I made the choice to end the friendship. She was very angry about this, and made some dramatic threats. Luckily, the people she contact saw through her and blew off her attempts at drama. That was several months ago. And looking back on the friendship, I think of a few things.

-We were friends when we both needed it. We were good friends for a while. We talked every day, helped each other with things, and relied on each other for support and laughter. It was good.

-When our lives changed, we needed to change. I entered into a new career, and a new place in my family life. I was forced to mature and take on adult responsibilities. Some I was ready for and some I fought, but that didn't change the fact that I had to deal with them. She, although getting married and moving to a different state, didn't work and didn't have many responsibilities. Sure she had a house to clean and a husband to care for, but she herself said she didn't do that very well. Looking back, I wonder if that was the start of the end.

-Once that "maturing" took place, I was less interested in high school drama and more interested in college and progression and family and religion. Those things that I considered to be "adult life". I didn't care as much for myspace or "so-and-so is mad at me again". With that in mind, I didn't find talking to her as interesting as I used to. I didn't enjoy hearing about the games of her life and drama that came with it.

-She started doing things that I felt weren't good. Her husband was sick. Instead of standing by his side while he went through surgeries and such, she moved to another state for several months and complained about not being near him/ not having money/ not getting a job/ not getting the financial support she felt she was entitled to. She seemed to think that people were there to do things for her and owed her a life, rather than making her own way. She had no plan of when they would be reunited or how to change their situation to live together again. It didn't seem to be important to her to stay with her husband anymore. Her values drastically changed from what they used to be.

Thinking about it now, I appreciated her friendship. I enjoyed being her friend, and I won't forget the support she gave me. I don't regret the friendship, but I do wonder if it could have ended differently. I would have opted for less hurt feelings for both of us. I think about her still. I wonder how she is doing, and how her husband is doing. I wonder if she is doing better, if she has learned more, if she has re-united with her husband. I wonder if she is getting along with her family and if she has purchased the car she wanted. I wonder if she still is angry with me.

So, here's where my mind is now. When is it okay to end a friendship? When should one continue a friendship that may be damaging and when is it okay to cut the ties and move back to a healthier lifestyle? Now, I'm not talking about getting a high and mighty attitude and acting better than everyone else. But when is it okay to raise your standards? When do you end something with someone because they are no longer meeting your standards? And how do you end a friendship, if it comes to that?


grassyhill said...

Hmmm.... I used to have a fried that I had the same feelings about, I did not know if I wanted to end the "friendship" or if I was just being mean... well I should change that form "used to" to "still have"... this is not fun...I wish taht I could help.

Callia said...

Who says that all friends who move in different directions in their lives need to be formally cut off? Sometimes we just need to take a few steps back from people and let life lead us where we're bound to go and if the friendships are meant to return, there is no formal "bye forever" to hold you back just a "hey how ya been haven't heard from you in forever" to bring you back together if it's meant to be.

Maybe it's time to raise those standards and just sit back and watch for a while and see where the road of life takes you and where it takes her.

Sometimes it's good to just sit back and watch and see what people come up with.

*Mini* said...

That's a good point. I hadn't thought about it that way.

Heidi said...

Life is about growing and adapting to the new - sometimes you grow with someone and sometimes you grow in different directions. You will know when the time is right to end things - whenever that is.