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Old Friends and Regrets

TheLostOne2020 posted 12/4/2020 06:53 AM

Alright so the other day I met up with a friend of mine that I haven't seen in two decades. I will call her Tammy because that's like as close to a 180 from her name as it can be. Anyway, she was one of my best friends in High School and directly afterward. We hung out a lot and were really close. I had girlfriends, she had boyfriends, and our friendship wasn't affected.

My ex enters the picture and she was never right with Tammy, she always thought that there was something going on. She thought this because we were close. In particular, Tammy had a child and she wanted me in the delivery room with the father. So I was. Note, this was prior to me dating my ex.

I cannot tell you how many times and how much shit my ex gave me for this. It started as a gentle ribbing that I was the father of Tammy's kid, but it was incessant and eventually caused me to withdraw from my friend (there were other incidents, mind you).

In any event, the other day Tammy and I got in touch and we went out to lunch. It was truly a great experience. We caught up a lot, but there's still a lot of ground to cover. What was supposed to be an hour lunch turned into a four hour lunch. So we will probably hang out in the future.

I'm bothered by the regret I feel for letting my ex affect my friendship with Tammy. I lost a lot of friends (not just Tammy) when I got together with my ex. At the time I thought it was simple attrition due to growing up and growing apart and, to be fair, the bulk probably was due to that.

I think, in the future, if I date someone and they make me sacrifice a friendship then it's probably a red flag. It's something that I should pay attention to. This is probably obvious but I'm reflecting on it today and friendships lost. Also, I want to say that this is something I need to be responsible for - it might seem that I'm blaming my ex but ultimately I'm the one that withdrew.

[This message edited by TheLostOne2020 at 6:55 AM, December 4th (Friday)]

Lalagirl posted 12/4/2020 12:36 PM

Hi TheLostOne2020,

You have been heard.

I am glad that you got to reconnect with your friend - true friends are a rarity and in a healthy romantic relationship, the gender of said friend should not matter.

TheLostOne2020 posted 12/4/2020 14:24 PM

Lalagirl

You have been heard.

I appreciate that.

I am glad that you got to reconnect with your friend - true friends are a rarity and in a healthy romantic relationship, the gender of said friend should not matter.

I agree with you here. Thank you.

barcher144 posted 12/4/2020 14:29 PM

I can completely empathize.

A couple of years after I got married, I became good friends with a female co-worker... a completely platonic relationship (at least from my direction). I cannot recall a single incident in which the friend and I were together outside of work hours (we'd go to lunch together, that's it) except for incidences when STBXW was around (e.g., we had a party and this friend was invited).

STBXW eventually became uncomfortable with this friend. Her logic was that she believed that the friend was romantically attracted to me. I'm pretty dense, so I have no idea if that is true or not.

In hindsight, STBXW's "concerns" seem a lot like projection. As I told her once upon a time, I would never date this friend... even if STBXW and I would get divorced (and since separating, my friend and I have not had any romantic interaction at all).

Phoenix1 posted 12/5/2020 01:09 AM

I, regrettably, let Xhole drive a wedge between me and my BFF that I've known since 3rd grade. After I kicked Xhole out and we divorced, I apologized to BFF (and others) for allowing that to happen. We are now closer than ever.

Never again will I allow someone to come between me and my true friends. Never.

So, I get it. Glad you could reconnect.

steadychevy posted 12/5/2020 07:28 AM

I'm glad you were able to reconnect with your friend from the past. I disagree, however, with all of the posts above.

Is the friendship more important than the marriage? The marriage should be the most important relationship of your life. If a relationship bothers a spouse should you disrespect the spouses feelings and diminish them?

I don't believe there should be close opposite sex relationships that are separate from and kept separate from the marriage. Friends should be friends of the marriage.

TheLostOne2020 posted 12/5/2020 17:59 PM

barcher144

I can completely empathize.

Thanks.

STBXW eventually became uncomfortable with this friend. Her logic was that she believed that the friend was romantically attracted to me. I'm pretty dense, so I have no idea if that is true or not.

This is, essentially, what my STBXW believed. The thing was I made my friend in HS and she was part of a group of us that hung out together. After High School the other members drifted away (one went to Greece, another college, and the final one just cut himself off). Plus she was friends with my male best friend. So it's not like she was only my friend, although I was closest to her out of everyone.

That said, as in your case, it was platonic.

Phoenix1

I, regrettably, let Xhole drive a wedge between me and my BFF that I've known since 3rd grade. After I kicked Xhole out and we divorced, I apologized to BFF (and others) for allowing that to happen. We are now closer than ever.
Never again will I allow someone to come between me and my true friends. Never.

That's good, I'm glad that you could reconnect that friendship.

So, I get it. Glad you could reconnect.

Thank you.

steadychevy

I'm glad you were able to reconnect with your friend from the past. I disagree, however, with all of the posts above.
Is the friendship more important than the marriage? The marriage should be the most important relationship of your life. If a relationship bothers a spouse should you disrespect the spouses feelings and diminish them?

No, a friendship is not more important - I will agree with you there. That said, in my particular case this was just one of several friends that she was uncomfortable with. There were guy friends too - two of which are actually dead now so I can't reconnect.

I think that 'why' the relationship disrespects the spouses feelings should be explored.

I don't believe there should be close opposite sex relationships that are separate from and kept separate from the marriage. Friends should be friends of the marriage.

That was always my intent - my ex DID make friends with two of my friends, just not with all of them. The friend I mentioned in the OP did try to make friends with my ex. She invited us to her wedding, among other things.

That said, I do get what you're saying.

steadychevy posted 12/6/2020 06:53 AM

I wasn't being critical of you, TheLostOne. You and the old friend tried to bring her and her husband into being friends of the marriage. It was still an issue of the XW and you ended the friendship.

I know very little about narcissism. I think one of the signs is someone separating their SO from friends, family and support systems. That can be an issue, obviously. The worrisome observation to me is that you lost a lot of friends. I'll bet you didn't even notice when it was happening but is now on reflection.

Even friends of the marriage can be dangerous. When I speak of friends of the marriage I'm mostly meaning other couples. There are enough stories on SI about cheating between a person in each couple. Obviously not really friends of the marriage.

My issue is friends of opposite sex with one member of the marital union. I was friendly with members of the opposite sex but not close friends. I believe that it's easy, with time, to drift into conversations that should only be between a martial couple or are critical of the marriage. The gateway to an EA.

I don't think that was the case with your old friend. I'm glad for you that you were reconnected with her. I trust that will be with her and her husband should the friendship continue. Hey, maybe she has an "interesting friend".

ThisIsSoLonely posted 12/6/2020 17:00 PM

I totally agree with this:

I think, in the future, if I date someone and they make me sacrifice a friendship then it's probably a red flag. It's something that I should pay attention to.

It's one of the things I see on here that rubs me the wrong way - the whole "I will not allow my spouse to have friends of the opposite sex." To me that is a massive red flag - controlling, insecure, untrusting - not for me.

Good for you for holding your ground on this. My ex and I (not my cheater - the one before him) are still very good friends. We were engaged and called it off - we were much better friends than lovers. I trust him with my life and there is zero way I would kick him out of my life for some new man. Zero. I have healthy boundaries with him and total transparency and that's the way it's going to be on my end and I would expect that from anyone I was with as well.

Good for you.

TheLostOne2020 posted 12/6/2020 17:46 PM

steadychevy


I wasn't being critical of you, TheLostOne. You and the old friend tried to bring her and her husband into being friends of the marriage. It was still an issue of the XW and you ended the friendship.

I didn't take it that way - I saw some nuance there.

I know very little about narcissism. I think one of the signs is someone separating their SO from friends, family and support systems. That can be an issue, obviously. The worrisome observation to me is that you lost a lot of friends. I'll bet you didn't even notice when it was happening but is now on reflection.

Yes, this is exactly true - it's on reflection that I notice it primarily.

Even friends of the marriage can be dangerous. When I speak of friends of the marriage I'm mostly meaning other couples. There are enough stories on SI about cheating between a person in each couple. Obviously not really friends of the marriage.

My issue is friends of opposite sex with one member of the marital union. I was friendly with members of the opposite sex but not close friends. I believe that it's easy, with time, to drift into conversations that should only be between a martial couple or are critical of the marriage. The gateway to an EA.

I completely agree with you here - it could be easy to drift into that sort of conversation and into an EA.

I don't think that was the case with your old friend. I'm glad for you that you were reconnected with her. I trust that will be with her and her husband should the friendship continue. Hey, maybe she has an "interesting friend".

Actually her marriage went bust a few years back. He alienated her and she divorced him - she found out later that he was cheating on her.

She does have many friends though.

ThisIsSoLonely

It's one of the things I see on here that rubs me the wrong way - the whole "I will not allow my spouse to have friends of the opposite sex." To me that is a massive red flag - controlling, insecure, untrusting - not for me.

I think it's contextual (I'm thinking of my ex's 'friend' who transitioned into an AP), but yeah, friends of the opposite sex should be fine - it's if it starts crossing into EA territory.

Good for you for holding your ground on this. My ex and I (not my cheater - the one before him) are still very good friends. We were engaged and called it off - we were much better friends than lovers. I trust him with my life and there is zero way I would kick him out of my life for some new man. Zero. I have healthy boundaries with him and total transparency and that's the way it's going to be on my end and I would expect that from anyone I was with as well.

Good for you.

I think you are doing it correctly - healthy boundaries are key.

twicefooled posted 12/7/2020 13:10 PM

This definitely speaks to me, so thank you for posting.

I've spent most of the past 7yrs finding myself again and examining all of my relationships - not just my failed marriage. I can move forth confidently that if anyone asked me to give up ANY of my close friendships then I would end it with them. Why? Because my friendships (that I would have had before they entered the picture) are a part of me and it would give off a big red flag if any dating partner wanted me to get rid of them, it feels really controlling.

The people I surround myself with have my best interests at heart. Now, if any of them said they didn't like who I was dating, I would look into it deeper. Because they know me inside and out. A new partner just doesn't have that history.

My now ex husband had an issue with my then best friend. In hindsight, I now know that he was controlling and jealous of any relationship outside of us. At the time I believed his assessment and stopped being her friend. We have since reconnected but what a big wake up call that was!

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