Do our friendships affect our relationships?
We have some lively discussions on the FabafterFifty facebook page and one in particular subject really struck a chord when I read it. Gabriela Lerner ( the raw food chef who also happens to be a contributor to the site) posted the following:
“Last week I had an interesting experience. I’m generally a positive, happy person, but I spoke with a friend who’s going through a severe relationship issue. The friend was deeply hurt and I listened to her story for almost an hour. I felt very sorry for her and for the relationship and I could really put myself in her position and feel her hurt.
Does your friend’s hurt overlay your own relationship?
That night, I picked an argument with my husband over something banal. It could have easily turned into a full blown fight if not both of us had made the decision to not carry on with the argument but to get a good night’s sleep instead. As I lay in bed I reflected on the day and realised that I had internalised my friend’s hurt and had overlaid it onto my own relationship. Not a good thing. Because actually, I love my husband. I’ve loved him for over 20 years and I still love him just the way he is. Including the bits that irritate me at times.
The next morning I had regained my positive energy and had reconnected with my love for him and all I appreciate about him. Try it, it’s very healing and it really makes a lot of ‘irritating behaviours’ completely irrelevant. I’m not saying, ignore rudeness or cruelty in a relationship, as that is not healthy. But just consider what you loved about your partner/husband/other half when you first met them and ask yourself whether you still love that about them. Appreciate them for who they are and hold a value of them being free to be who they are. Oh.. I can see this could turn into a whole blog… I better shut up LOL. Have a great day, be grateful for what you have, have fun, be free! ”
Being drawn in to the negative view of men
Gabriela’s experience certainly resonated with me! I spent a lot of time recently working on a project with someone whose long term relationship had just ended. She was extremely negative about men (and life in general). Every meeting or conversation that took place somehow managed to touch on how dreadful men happened to be- to the point where I was starting to wonder if being single was really the best way to live as I looked for signs in my own husbands behaviour which bore out the events of my colleague’s experience. Fortunately I was able to distance myself from this colleague’s views on men and life, and continue happily in my own relationship. It would have been incredibly easy, however, to get drawn in to that same way of thinking.
There is a fine line between being sympathetic and supportive, while not being pulled too far into the hurt and disappointment to the point where it impacts your own life.
I have often seen group of friends instigate breakups or divorces at similar times. Who else has experienced similar?