In the last few years, I’ve had several friendships end. Some of them have been due to difference of opinion about my separation and divorce, and others have just been a gradual drifting apart. Memories of them might cause me to feel a sharp sting, or even bring tears to my eyes. I had never cried over the loss of a friendship with a woman until last May.
I had been friends with Joy for 8 years, seeing her through her divorce, taking her kids for weekends at a time while she went away for sanity time, or on modeling jobs to help support her kids. We were like sisters. We were always at each other’s houses, helping each other, secure in the fact that we had each other’s back any time, anywhere.
When Joy* introduced me to a new guy she had been seeing a new guy, I realized that they’d been together for much longer than I had thought. I wondered immediately why she’d waited so long for us to meet. Within a few short weeks, he was forcing her to cancel plans with me, and would take her phone from her after she got home from work. She couldn’t check it or let me know she had broken our plans when that happened. Joy had never treated me that way before; I didn’t understand it, and was hurt by her lack of respect.
Our last involvement as friends was when she was trying to play cupid with me and a guy that lived in her apartment complex. I kept not hearing from him, and began to wonder if she’d made the whole thing up; something seemed fishy. Her boyfriend heard that I wondered about the truth behind her match-making, and took it upon himself to write me a series of texts to “break up with me” for her. He told me I had too much drama in my life for them, that I was hurting Joy’s feelings, and that I was not to contact her ever again.
I knew in that moment that he was a dangerous, controlling, emotionally abusive man. I didn’t want to associate with him anymore. I didn’t put up a fight about not contacting Joy again, because I wasn’t going to invite another lecture from her boyfriend. I made the decision that I wouldn’t speak to her unless she came to see me in person. I wanted her to apologize for his actions, and I didn’t want her in my life unless he was no longer a part of hers.
Last year came and went. I had my custody trial, moved out of my ex’s house, and she married her boyfriend. My 9-year-old daughter still has sleepovers with her 8-year-old. On the occasion that Joy fights with her husband, she calls my ex and he keeps her daughter, or will facilitate a discussion between her and her husband. She’s been married less than a year, and already it seems that my intuition about him has proven to be correct.
Things are going very poorly with Joy and her husband, and I’m afraid for her. My kids have called me to tell me when she’s come over to get away from him, or that she’s asking about me. But she made a choice, and shut me out of her life. It hurts me very much that she’s in this situation, but it’ll take an incredible amount of discussion, as well as her separation and divorce from him (or his rehabilitation in therapy) for me to allow her back into my life. He is toxic, and she allowed him to end our 8 year friendship for her. There are few people I have trouble forgiving for their actions, and she’s one of them.
Have you ever had a friendship come to a dramatic end? How did you cope with it, and do you still miss the friendship?
This is an original post to World Moms Blog from our recently-divorced, highly-resourceful, single mom of four, Frelle, in North Carolina.
The image used in this post is credited to Spaceodissey. It has a Flickr Creative Commons attribution license.
*Name has been changed to protect the privacy of individual involved.