Tag Archives: relationship

Dreams Of Growing Old With Someone

Dreams of growing old with someone I felt was the love of my life- catapulted me into a 2 decade marriage.  At a young age, I had no idea how little I knew and I had no understanding of what intimate, long lasting love was in a marriage.  I only knew that I wanted him to be the axis of my life.  He was everything I wanted to build my life around and so I did.

We were quickly blessed with a sweet little boy, and somehow, I now had 2 people to devote my time and love towards.  As the years went by, the deep love between my former spouse and I quickly turned to lies and hurt.  So many mistakes were made and we managed to devastate our little boy time and again.  As the marriage began to fade at a rapid pace, God gave us an unexpected miracle of a little girl.  Her existence became known only one day after an agreement for a divorce. We struggled even more to hold our marriage together, to give our children the opportunity of a family.  Our lives were impacted by military combat, frequent absences of their father and we were a lonely military family, away from our loved ones.  There was no village to help and rarely time together as husband and wife.

The years continued to go by and our children were our only joy. We managed to create a team effort, absent of real intimacy, void of trust.  We built a lovely home, strong careers and we ran a regimented home that kept the ship more than afloat.  As the years passed, I longed for another child, and I still deeply loved my husband.  And, so, one morning I learned I was pregnant and my entire life felt completely right again.

And then it wasn’t.

The marriage continued to break apart and was put back together time and again; more combat deployments and a diagnosis of Autism with our youngest son. We picked ourselves up from the many pains and crisis’ over the years, packed our belongings and departed the military life after 20 years.  We needed normalcy and time as a family.

Two short years later, it ended in divorce.  Abruptly.  And we waged an emotional war on each other that I can clearly see now is shameful and did detrimental harm to our children.  It eroded our emotional health, finances and family relationships.  We embedded distrust, anger and hatred in our family.

Fast forward 4 years, we have just begun to be civil and really try and co parent our last remaining child that lives at home.  Are we friends?  I wouldn’t go that far. But, I would say that we are doing everything right in the best interest of our children, and our grandchildren.  We face the challenges that all of our children are dealing with because of their traumas and because we were too consumed by our own pain to think clearly.  Some of those traumas were from the military life we had together and others from the turbulent divorce.

Recently, my former spouse gave me the courtesy of letting me know he is remarrying.  I was grateful because it gave me the chance to brace myself for impact with our children.  His courtesy was an opportunity for me to see that our family is moving on in healthy ways and we can help our children prepare for more changes.  I know my children will struggle with this, but it is my prayer and hope that they will see that we are still a family.  It will take more time for them to accept the finality of the divorce; that the last shred of hope is absolutely gone.  Four years is but a drop in the bucket compared to 25 years.

I hope my children’s father finds in his new marriage all that we lacked in ours.  I want that for him; to see him happy and to grow old with a wonderful person by his side.  I can only hope that our children will embrace their father’s new life and that they know in their hearts that he does love them.  And that, his “moving on” from the marriage he shared with me is not about “moving on” from his relationship with our children.

I hated to love him after the marriage fell apart.  And, it felt good to love to hate him for so long.  But now, I feel peace and contentment in what we had, what was lost and what we have since found as civil people that deeply love the children we were given.  From our teenage marriage and ongoing brokenness, we created two sons, a daughter and were given the blessings of a daughter in law and 3 grandsons.

I’ll forever be grateful for the good times we shared and for the years we tried to give it our best.  We were teenagers when we married and we taught each other so much about life.  But, my most amazing lesson is that through so much devastation, former partners can find common ground when you share a deep love for the same people.

I’ll always have many regrets.  And, there was a phase where I swore I regretted the entire marriage.  But, since the dust has settled and there is a mutual effort of building trust and respect, I now remember that there were good times.  And, we did do some things right.  We made beautiful children that still deserve both of their parents involvement and support.  And if that means that our family grows through remarriage, then that’s what it means.  I think there is never too many people to love our children and grandchildren.

So, the dream of growing old is different now.  There is no sitting on the porch swing next to my children’s father, grey haired with our grandbabies at our feet.  But, I do dream of more laughter and smiles, and our children taking the next step forward in healing after all they have been through in their lives.

– Carmen 
Not Just Nearly Learn happiness, But Really Learn happiness

My Divorce Is Final…Now What?

At the time my divorce was final, I was still living with my ex, which I do not recommend to anybody, but financially we just couldn’t support two households. Life went on this way for about 4 months post divorce. Finally I was able to buy a house of my own. We sat down with our 3 daughters and explained to them THIS IS IT! Mommy and daddy would not be living together any longer. They seemed to be okay with the news. 

I was about to turn 40. The first weekend I had to myself was like a scene from a movie. When my ex pulled out of the driveway with our girls for the first time it was his weekend, I screamed out loud with sheer joy. I had already made a playlist with my favorite break up songs, but not the depressing ones, the liberating ones like “I Will Survive” and “All the Single Ladies.” I danced around my kitchen and made myself a gourmet meal complete with a bottle of wine. 

The following day I slept in, got up and pulled my hair into a ponytail. I looked at myself in the mirror and realized I could do whatever the hell I wanted for the next two days. I watched Chick Flicks, Netflix, period dramas, cooking shows, you name it. Most of my divorced girlfriends had immediately gotten involved in other relationships, most that had started before their divorces were final. Not me, I didn’t need a man! I’d read every self help book I could find. I was going to work on myself, love myself (insert eye roll). I knew I needed to be alone and figure out how I’d contributed to the demise of my 12 year marriage………….until the loneliness set in. 

Loneliness can make a woman do stupid things, as I was about to find out. 

Karen

I Am A Domestic Violence Survivor

****READERS…we had a submission from a domestic violence survivor which I think is an important story to share as I was once in that situation myself with a boyfriend many moons ago…I have edited her submission and obviously we are not sharing her name etc.—- It is my hope as well as hers that this will inspire you and if you are in a situation like this PLEASE seek help from qualified professionals…a website that has resources by state is www.thehotline.org.   This is a bit outside of our normal content, however I feel that it is an issue that needs a voice.  PLEASE any comments positive and supportive, we don’t do judgment here.  Thanks.  – Noelle

When you think about a domestic violence victim, who comes to mind?

Is it an addict that couldn’t get away? Is it a woman with 5 kids who has no resources of her own? Is it the girl with no self-esteem?  Is it a professional woman that somehow believes she deserves it?

Shockingly… Domestic Violence victims have no stereotype. People don’t plan to be a victim. Many of us turn out to be successful survivors of a less than ideal situation.  When children are involved it becomes even more important to have a breakthrough…

Let’s chat a bit about that word – survivor.

I walked into Safe Haven in Tarrant County in June of 2018 as someone experiencing domestic violence. The marks I had were fresh – bruises, scrapes, mental images. I felt ashamed. I hated being seen in public looking like this. To this day I remember what I was wearing – purple sunglasses to hide the facial marks, my nephews t-shirt, and my shorts. I had a giant bruise but had nothing else to wear. I couldn’t go home yet, I couldn’t face my previous life while coming to terms with my new one.

The second I walked through the door at Safe Haven, I began to weep. What had gotten me here? What was I supposed to do? Was I really about to share with complete strangers what had happened happened? Yes. Yes, I was.  I had to…something had to change, and I had been through enough, it was time to take my life back!

I threw my shoulders back, wiped away me tears, and went through the intake process with the counselor. As I filled out the basic paperwork, I felt numb. When we got to the paperwork that talked about my relationship, I cried. Was I crying because I missed us? Partially. More than that, I realized all the abuse I put up with over the last year and 9 months, which was an eye opener for me.

Lots of thoughts ran through my head…such as:

I felt like I was to blame for everything, that’s not abuse is it? Our relationship needed so much work because of my faults, again, that’s on me, right? I didn’t need privacy, what was I hiding? Did my past have to do with why our relationship failed? Is it all my fault?!  Was I really abused?

Yes.  Yes, it was abuse and somehow, I missed the signs, even someone as smart as me…I missed it and got caught up in this crazy mess… If I had seen the early signs, it may not have gotten to the physical abuse part because maybe I would have gotten out sooner. Maybe not.  I don’t know.

What DO I know? I know that I didn’t deserve that, nobody does.  These things in a relationship are NOT ok.  This is dysfunctional and unhealthy.  Time to get help and get healed.

Today I am far, far beyond these moments, how did I do it? I had a tremendous support system. Family, friends, the people at Safe Haven… everyone played their role in my transition.

Going to group counseling allowed me to express what I was processing, feeling, all without judgement. This man physically harmed me… yet I still loved him! WHY? Counseling helped me answer questions like this and so much more.

My sister gave me a safe place to call home for a bit. And while she didn’t fully understand what I was going through, she listened. She let me get a shaky sentence out, cry, talk some more.  Honestly, just verbally processing it, without judgement, is what was happening and that is exactly what I needed.

My sister let me try to go home, and openly accepted me back when I couldn’t stay there. She never made me feel like a burden, nor did her family. When I was ready, she went with me, along with a couple of best friends, and legally cleared, packed, handed over responsibility of his things, to his best friend. They sat with me in what felt like such an empty hole and helped me move forward.

Now, a year and a half later, I am so much stronger. I am a domestic violence survivor, not a victim, living my life day to day. I hold a strong leadership position in a fortune 500 company and am blessed beyond measure.   I am so grateful.

If he would have had his way, I wouldn’t be here. My life would have ended that terrible day when I had enough. I got my second chance, and you can too. It’s hard, but girl, you’ve made it to this point, you can make it to the other side. We will welcome you and help you in ways you don’t know you need yet.  PLEASE get the help that you need if you are in a similar situation, every state has resources that will help you.

I have shared this hoping that it may help someone else find their way from the dark into the LIGHT.

-SM

Alone Does Not Equate To Lonely

Alone: adjective; having no one else present, exclusive of anyone or anything

Lonely: adjective; being without company, cut off from others, being solitary of mind

The difference between being alone & being lonely is:

    Alone describes your physical space. 

I live alone in my house. 

I did my grocery shopping alone today.

   Lonely describes your mental space.  

I am lonely sitting on this bench.

I felt lonely at that party last night.

You can easily be alone, be at home all by yourself, separated from others and feel alive, connected and in relationship with the people in your life.   You can be content with your ‘alone time’, finding things  you enjoy doing, when you are by yourself. Cooking, baking, crafting, reading.  You can be alone yet on the phone with a friend, FaceTime a family member or have a Zoom Meeting with your Book Club. 

Just as much as you can be in a crowded room full of people to connect with, conversations to be had, people to say hello to and feel very lonely.  You can be in a Study Hall full of classmates, a conference room stock piled with other colleagues or at the park with your kids and a handful of other moms and again, feel lonely.  

Lonely is an inside job.  Alone is an outside job.  

When you’re alone, you can very easily change the situation by changing your location.  You can go to the mall, library, church meeting Mom’s Group.  You can ask friends over for dinner or go to the movies with a few people.

When you’re lonely though, that is an internal battle to be won.  What causes your loneliness?  Is it the missing of your mate, the envy of your playful neighbors, the wanting of something different?  I am sure whatever it is, if you can identify it, and ….claim it, ….name it, ….look at it square in the eyes. You can find a solution.  It might be uncomfortable.  It might stretch you outside your comfort zone.  It might require something of yourself that you haven’t done in a long time. But I know like I know.  You CAN find a solution.  

Good luck my friend.  Lonely is not your middle name.

xoxo

Your God girl

Tracy

A Short Story of Toxic Love Tears

I can’t tell you when it happened or when I chose to let my guard down for something, I shouldn’t have given a second look to. We often don’t know the broken parts of ourselves until we fall into a toxic situation. I will start by saying a lot of what I did was far from anything I am proud of, but I want to use this experience to help others in the dark scary space of a bad relationship.

For myself I know I always tried to accept my partner for exactly who they were and love them in all their flaws so I could get the same love in return, but this does not mean allowing bad behavior. Toxic relationships come in secret. They can sneak up when it is already too late, and you have fallen face first in love.

One of the first times I was screamed and cussed out I was leaving the emergency room from a
chrons’ flare and I didn’t even understand what was happening. The situation stressed my partner out and it made ME feel guilty for having put them in this situation. Looking back, I should have been done right then and never looked back but sad to say, it was only the beginning.

One Christmas I remember not having my kids for Christmas Eve, and for some reason I was not allowed to be with my partners family for their Christmas celebration and I just set there alone in my house staring at a fire and a tree filled with presents for BOTH our children and I remember feeling so let down and alone. How was I in a relationship?

We should never accept the very minimum of someone. We should never put our basic needs to the wayside to appease them and what they think is normal if it is hurting our hearts.

I have already had failed relationships in the past and as my mid 30s’ were creeping up I simply told myself don’t give up; keep trying no matter what do not quit. But this was the absolute worst thing I could have told my self for the course of almost 2 years. After I got off work one day, I came home to an empty house as they had already packed up their stuff out of my home; with a text message saying they didn’t feel like they had the freedom to come and go as they please so they needed to go. Within 3 weeks from that we were already back to the vicious cycle of not allowing each other to go because I didn’t want to give up and they didn’t want to see me move on.

There is something about jealousy that is scary. We can’t fathom the idea of someone we love being with someone else even if they are NOT the person for us, so we hold on for dear strength until we have muscle failure.

I think the worst feeling is when you see yourself changing into something you aren’t because you are so dead set on making this relationship work it becomes on obsession as if it was a drug but in my opinion, worse. I had just assumed I was getting skinnier because of my illness but it was in fact stress. I went to 18 sessions of therapy to try to get a hold of myself so I could let it go but I was left months later in a deep depression. I am very passionate about my political views and beliefs, but I found my self listening to some of the most racist and downright ignorant comments I ever heard in my life and it was coming from my partner and their family.

Once the family was not supportive of me and tried to shine a negative light on me, I knew it was the end. It wasn’t the entire family but one in particular that didn’t actually know me went from calling me sis to an ugly worthless…. Well you can imagine the rest

.
We tend to forget our worth and all that is great and makes us who we are after being put down so much. Dear ones, this is not true, and it is only a reflection of them not you. You are a light to this world and anyone putting pain in your life or screaming at you or putting you down with words has more broken in them than you can help no matter how much you love them

. I started to blame myself often and realized that may have been easier on my partner to point fingers than to really work on the issues at hand that motivated them to be so hateful to me in the first place. Calling someone a and name or anything to put you down or an F YOU; is NEVER okay. We try to justify it because we love them and so badly want them to be happy but what are we saying to ourselves when we let it go and hug and kiss them and go back to them?

Until you love your self you can NOT actually love anyone; this goes for me and for my partner. Had I loved myself more I would have ended that toxic relationship long ago. Cutting it off was terrifying and gut wrenching. I don’t think I will ever stop loving them but after getting
put down and crying so often for so long there was simply nothing left in me to continue. I learned over time if I tried to end it in person it wouldn’t work but I finally did via text message and blocked before they could respond.

Then the hard work comes. You are left with yourself. Being alone is hard and it sucks yes but it is A LOT easier than being in a toxic love story. You have to remind your self of your worth even if you can’t see it or feel it or recognize yourself in the mirror. You have to make a promise to your heart that you deserve so much better than something that broke you. No going back to a circle that never stopped and no going back to something that didn’t bring you respect, honor or real love and a future. At some point you have to tell yourself that you are the most important thing in your life (aside from your kids) because in the end we all die alone. If you don’t love yourself people will see that, and the wrong people can take advantage of you until you have nothing left. I lost several jobs over the course of the relationship, my health declined and the relationship with my children suffered. I had to decide to teach them the right way to handle a bad situation and that was to simply to wish them well with love and let
them go.

Wherever you are I hope you are working on you like I am working on me, and I hope one day you will love yourself as much as I loved you. Thank you for teaching me what I don’t deserve and reminding me of my worth; I will forever be grateful for this experience. I will always remember you and my toxic love tears I shed for you and if I had to go back, I wouldn’t change a thing.

I forgive you.

Love,

Rachelle Robbins

If Everyone Just Did What I Wanted, I’d Be Happy.

If everyone just did what I wanted.. I’d be happy… I feel like a child throwing a tantrum sometimes when people just can’t respond how I want. Sounds crazy I know…

This happens throughout life… from friendships to relationships to family to coworkers… it’s hard to get to the to point in life where you understand that people are not going to always do what you want… and it’s more about how much you…and what you can live with.. 

The list is endless of all the things that I want people in my life to do… from the good morning texts to having my kids put their dishes away to having someone be able to just say they love you.  

 I would wait for days or weeks for my ex to initiate any form of communication and it would never happen. I would be furious, but of course I would never say anything. I would just give suttle hints.  Or lots of loud sighs… I would wait for him to plan anything in our relationship and he never did.  

At that time, what I didn’t understand was that If they haven’t been the initiator or the planner  in the relationship then they will probably not know how to handle that role. And I’m not an expert at communicating either, but if you are waiting for your partner to all of sudden take over that role. Good luck. They are going to be lost trying to take over that role. They might have never had to do it before and for them it’s scary and they might not have the confidence to try out that new role. 

I was in a relationship with someone that never texted me “ good morning” I couldn’t understand it.  In my mind, it only took seconds to send a good morning text and why couldn’t he just send that simple text for me. Seems simple.. we would argue over this all the time.  But eventually I just had to let it go.. he would try, I would get a couple days of good morning texts and then nothing.   

It has taken me a long time to figure out that it was more about me than the person that I wanted to change… it was about just accepting who that person was and what I could live with… could I live without the good morning texts or would I continue to send snarky texts when I didn’t receive one and complain about it.  It was about what I could overlook and what expectations I could let go of… 

Either I could spend the rest of our relationship complaining about all those things or I could just let it go. And maybe I could start noticing the other things.. the mid day asking how my day is or the stupid Snapchat emojis that make me smile. 

I learned through these relationships that it was more about what I could accept and still be happy.  It was about learning to know what I needed out of the relationship instead of constantly changing someone to fit the mold.  

And if I could not learn to let those things go, then I needed to probably end the relationship because as much as I talked and talked about what I wanted… it was never going to happen.  How do you decide to make that choice?? The choice of learning what you can and can not control in a relationship. Is it worth the constant fighting or unanswered texts?  

This took a long time to understand. I would try and make people respond the way I thought they should. Or I would try and make them be the communicator or the initiator … I would try and turn them into the person they never were. If that makes sense.

I’ve learned to just let a lot of things go and realize that I can’t expect someone to be someone they are not.  I’ve had to realize some people don’t change. I’ve had to realize there are certain things that are deal breakers for me in relationships.  I think I learned that trying to change someone wasn’t making me any happier. I had to figure out what I could be happy with in a relationship and then start learning from there…

-snarky 

https://www.snarkydivorcedgirl.com/blog

Man Up

Do you want a Man’s Man?  A strong, get-it-done, rough & tumble kinda man?  

Then you need to listen to what he says, & watch what he does.  Do those two things line up? When he says he’s going to pick you up at 8:00… does he pick you up at 8:00?   When he says it’ll be fun to go somewhere special, does he take you there? When he says he’ll make the plan for Friday night, does he follow through?  When he says he doesn’t eat junk food, does he go to a fast food place and justify why?  

Are you asking why does this matter?  

It matters because 

# 1 – it’s important that your man keeps his word

 #2 – it’s important that he values his commitments to you

 #3 – it‘s important…because when he says “you’re beautiful”… you believe him

 

Men are action oriented.  They are doers, hunters, fighters, chasers.  They are bold, courageous and strong. If we don’t give them the space to be that MAN, and we take away THAT manhood that we want so much… they could feel unwanted, undervalued or even threatened and they just might leave.  

It is not our job to be the man in the relationship.  It is not our job to do, to get, to fix, to plan. It is our job to BE….be femininity, be heart, be comfort, be quiet, be encouragement.  They have hard edges, ours are soft. They get to the point, we talk in long sentences. They drive, we relax. They do, we be. Am I making sense?

If we don’t allow them the space to hunt, court, defend, protect …..because we’re doing it.  Because we’re calling first, we’re making the plans, we’re in control, we’re figuring it out and we’re fixing it where it’s messy…. if we DO all the DOING….. we’re not giving them the opportunity to be living at “full throttle” in their manliness… protecting, providing, fixing… and they just might not stick around.  You can be an independent woman and still bring on the captivating feminine.  

So sit down, smile, flip your hair and bat your lashes.  He’s about to Man Up.

xoxo

Your God-Girl,

Tracy

Making Friends Mid-Life

I just moved to Fort Wayne 7 months ago and I have so many wonderful friends today!  

I have so many new friends in my life because I said yes.  I said hello. I started a conversation. I smiled. I went to the meeting.  I joined the Study. I accepted the invitation. I went alone. I walked through the door.  You see…. I had decided before I moved here that I was going to make this a life worth living, I was going to meet women and I was going to enjoy my new home in this new place.  

If you want to be a part of a larger circle of girlfriends, it will take you getting out of your fragile way, it will take you being bold and stepping out and it will take you creating something different.  You will have to risk, you will have to research things happening near you and go alone, you will have to be in the mindset of positivity and possibility and love.

So, you say hi first.  And maybe that’s all it is…. is a hello.  This time. And maybe nothing comes from it.  It goes no further than that. But, MAYBE, just maybe… a compliment about her cute sweater creates a coffee date.  Maybe volunteering at the animal shelter turns into a friendship with someone you may never ever have met otherwise.  Maybe going to a yoga class alone and chatting afterwards you end meeting your new bestie and especially when you open your mind to the fact that you and the woman across the street can’t wait to meet each other… you end up creating a friendship only the heart can explain.

So to create a larger circle of friends… yes…. it requires you to go places and do things and kindly say hello.  You never know what could come next. It’s never ever too late in life to make new friends.

xoxo,

Your God girl 

Tracy

TWSM Book Review ‘The Five Love Languages for Singles’

The Five Love Languages for Singles by Gary Chapman

Reviewed by Liz Fendley

The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman started with his original work designed for married couples over 20 years ago. Many of us have heard of the five love languages to help us understand how we prefer to give and receive affection: words of affirmation, gifts, acts of service, quality time, and physical touch. This book is dedicated to single adults and addresses our specific needs, including a chapter dedicated to the needs of single parents. It is a great read.

I should probably share the disclaimer that I originally took the five love languages quiz when I was a married parent. As such, I was a bit skeptical of how “real” this book would be for single parents dealing with issues like parenting, work, and dating. My skepticism was dispelled, and I found the book to be refreshing and respectful.

In the chapter on single parenting, Chapman addresses the fact that your children may not have the same primary love language that you do. This one struck home for me. My primary love language is physical touch, closely followed by quality time. When my teenage daughters took the quiz, they both scored with “gifts” as their primary love language. My first response was, “Uh oh. There is no way I can afford this.” Since then, I have learned that something as simple as adding a $1 “gift” to a grocery store or errand run and saying, “I was thinking of you today” can make my daughters’ days brighter. If a loved one tried to do the same thing for me, I would be polite, but I would probably be thinking, “How many calories are in that?” “Seriously, just give me a hug” or perhaps “This house has way too much clutter anyway”.

For most of us, The Five Love Languages for Singles is a great read and Chapman’s background as a pastor and references to scripture will be reassuring. If I have one criticism of this book, it is that Chapman assumes a heteronormative stance due to his specific religious beliefs. If you are an LGBTQI single parent, this book may be less likely to speak to you. Perhaps there are additional resources online that are more inclusive.

As many of us are spending more time at home with Covid-19, I am also happy to say that I found “my” free copy of this book via the Libby app from my local library. The Five Love Languages for Singles is an easy read, and might even keep our homes calmer and happier as we are spending so much time together!

Rating: 4 stars out of 5

~Liz

The Five Love Languages for Singles

Copyright 2014 by Gary Chapman

Sometimes You Have To Let A Friend Go

Sometimes I just can’t be that friend,the friend you want, sometimes I have to pick me and let you go.  Years ago,  I would never have thought of letting a friend go, I wouldn’t have had the self confidence to pick myself over another person.  I would have just gone with the flow and allowed the friendship to continue even if it was a struggle.

Last year, I knew I had to let a long term friend go.  I just could not survive the friendship anymore.  Our friendship was too much of a struggle for me and it was draining. I had my own challenges in my life and I just couldn’t give her the time and commitment she needed.  And in return, she was angry at me for not reaching out, or checking in, or being able to see her.  I did feel horrible and went back and forth with my decision.

I knew I did not have the time to commit to this friendship.  I did not have the energy and strength to put into it what it needed.  I could not make her happy.  I couldn’t be the friend that had to drive 2 hours to see her and she would never come this way to see me.  I could not be the friend that constantly reached out but didn’t receive anything back.  I could not put my energy into a friend that would never reach out to see how I was doing, but you were expected to reach out to her…I couldn’t do it anymore. The one that would never just call and ask how you are doing.. We had many fun times together but over the course of our lifetime, it became more and more draining.

I knew she would require more of a commitment than before.  I couldn’t commit, I just couldn’t do it.  I also could not take time away from other people that had been there for me in the last few years.  I could not be stressed about it anymore or feel like I disappointed her.  We might be friends again, but I mentally can’t do it right now.

I had to just say no I can’t do it. I had to say no I didn’t have the time to see her or come running.  I needed to put myself first.

I had always been the person that tried to do everything for my friends, even ones that I really didn’t feel that close to.   The old me would have put my needs aside to help her with her needs.  Yes, that is all great.  But after many times of not receiving the same treatment back, it becomes so exhausting and draining.   In the past, I had set myself up to fail…I finally realized I do not have to keep friends that drain me… Or keep one’s that take me away from things I felt were important in life.  I do not say yes to every event or activity that I am invited to anymore.  I have learned to hang out with friends that have the same interests as I do.  I have just had to let some friends fade out.

I try to eliminate the drama with friends. I will step away. I like friendships to come naturally and not be a lot of work.  I do not want to plan a fun night out and have it ruined by fighting or making others feel uncomfortable.  Or be with someone that needs to be the center of attention..

I have learned to set boundaries with certain friends.  It actually works!  I have friends that I love for many reasons, but I need to set boundaries.  Some friends I do not have more than one drink with or do not spend much time with outside of certain activities.  Or some friends I can only see for short periods.  It might sound selfish, but it is what keeps our friendship together.

I think the older I get the more I have realized that I do not need a lot of friends.  I do not have the time for all the drama.   I do not have to be friends with everyone.  I choose my time very wisely because it’s limited.  I learned to say no to big events and concentrate on smaller ones with the people that I really love.   I do not need to attend every halloween party, birthday party, work social, or christmas get together.

Friendships in your 40’s should be easy..the friends that stop by at 6 and don’t leave until midnight because you start doing a puzzle and laughing… Those are the friendships that I want to  last a lifetime.

-Snarky

 

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