#Microblog Mondays: Friendship

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Not sure what #MicroblogMondays is? Read the inaugural post which explains the idea and how you can participate too.

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Wow, I’ve been absent for a while! It’s been unintentional, but every time I have some free time (aka, when baby is napping) there are a hundred other things I need to do and blogging falls down the list. I’ve been reading and following along, and I do have a million things to talk about (which is sometimes why I don’t blog, even if I find a pocket of time…where to begin!). Anyways, I’ve had a situation weighing heavily on me for a while, (I’m sure there are others in a similar boat) so I’m going to get it off my chest.

Like many other infertility sufferers/survivors, my best friend was busy procreating while I was struggling through IUIs and IVF. Her first child was born just after J and I started trying to get pregnant, so at that point I was super excited, for her, and for J and I. By the time she was pregnant with her second child, J and I were fully immersed in the world of IF. In a strange twist, just before my BF got pregnant for the second time, she had been prescribed clomid as she wasn’t ovulating regularly, and was having very long cycles. She went to her GP, who ran some tests and gave her the clomid (all of this happened in a very short period of time and she never went to Ye Olde Fertilty Clinic). She was waiting for her CD1 so she could get some bloodwork done. Her period never came, and it turned out she was pregnant.

That was a turning point in our relationship. As much as I didn’t want her to be in the IF trenches with me, it would have been nice for my BF to understand what I was going through. So when she told me she was pregnant, I was relieved for her, but also turned more into myself. I shared less with her, I didn’t see her as often (it was too hard). Once her second boy was born, I went for the obligatory visit (it’s awful that I saw it as obligatory, rather than wanting to see her new child). Granted, she also now had two children, and I had none so we were living very different lives.

Even once I finally succeeded in becoming pregnant, and having my baby girl, we never reconnected. She did come visit when baby girl was just new but then after that I noticed a distinct pulling away. She was very curt and brief in our text message exchanges, they were never initiated by her and when she didn’t wish me a happy birthday I knew something was really up. I questioned her on it, and she told me that she was hurt that our relationship had faltered after she got pregnant, that we weren’t close anymore, and that she rarely saw me anymore. She ended with something along the lines of “I’m not solely blaming you”, but sort of left it hanging as in, she mostly was blaming me. I did pull away, I know that. But I didn’t have much left to give to anyone during treatment, and then life with a new infant swallowed me up for a while. I blame myself, but I wish she would have made more of an effort too.

After I straight up asked her what was going on and we hashed that out a bit, we had a casual catching up convo, and I made a date to go visit her and her boys. That visit felt awkward, and stunted. We haven’t had much contact since, but neither of us has brought up our dying relationship. I think she’s stopped trying again, and frankly if it’s this much effort and things have changed so much between us, is it worth saving? I feel harsh saying that, and she is/was my best friend. We’ve know each other since we were 17, we used to be inseparable. But I think when things really changed was after the birth of her first child. And I get it, new parents are busy, priorities change. Couple that with the fact that I ended up undergoing fertility treatments, I think we’ve drifted too far apart, and though we now have similar-ish lives (in that we both have young children), I’ve changed fundamentally and I don’t knowhow well she fits in my life anymore.

I sort of feel like I am being lazy, and dismissive of such a long time friendship, not trying to save it. But I have a high school friend who I rarely see, and we don’t chat a ton but whenever we do, we never skip a beat, it’s like no time is lost at all. It’s not like that with my once-bestie. And that’s what makes me think, as sad as it would be, that it’s time to let it go.

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23 thoughts on “#Microblog Mondays: Friendship

  1. Mali

    Oh, this is hard. My once-bestie and I drifted apart when she had children and I didn’t/couldn’t. She made friends with other moms, and I felt pushed aside and ignored. For some years we’ve been trying to resume, but I’m very wary, and still protective of my injured heart. It’s been another process of loss, and I’ve had to grieve that loss. I will always love her, but I’ve recognised that we’re not able to be each other’s best friends any more. But we can still support and encourage each other, and have fun together. But differently. And not as often. I think we both recognise that. If we couldn’t, I think I too would let it go.

    • Mali

      PS. It’s not “awful that (you) saw it as obligatory, rather than wanting to see her new child.” It’s sad. That’s different.

    • Despite the fact that we used to have fun together and “get” eachother, I think it was our single, childless selves that suited eachother and now…not as much. It’s tough though.

  2. I know exactly how you feel. My best friend has two little boys and I am still firmly in the if trenches. About a year ago I noticed her pulling away from me and ot turned out she had the same feelings your friend expressed. I apologised but also helped her understand where I was coming from which she hadn’t really got. It helped and we’re all good again. Having said that, I do believe that some friendships reach a natural end and that it’s OK to let them go. For example if my friend had not got it, I would have let it go… I don’t need friendships in my life that are Such hard work and where there is no space for empathy or understanding.

    • I was hoping after we got it out in the open that something was wrong, it would be better but I think it’s more than just IF that drove us apart, I just don’t know that we relate as well anymore beyond just IF.

  3. I totally get this. I’ve recently had a falling out with a friend that I’ve been very close to for the last few years. It doesn’t help that she is 10 years younger than me and not anywhere near trying for a baby and also we worked together in a stressful job until recently. She has pulled away from me and apparently thinks that I’m jealous of her new job (which I’m not) and is tired of my negativity and apparent unwillingness to listen/act on her advice (I.e. adoption). It’s been really upsetting for me but I’ve had to let it go recently as she has pulled away and I’m doing a FET (transfer on Friday). It’s hard but you have to do what is best for you and if life stages are too different or people can’t empathize and so become hurtful rather than helpful then it makes sense to have that space.

    • Yeah, if someone was being really insensitive/negative I would have no problem walking away. This has been more gradual and subtle, but still, we’re not the friends that we once were. It’s tough. Good luck with your FET!

  4. This came at such a good time for me. I am going through the same thing with my long time “best friend”. She has four kids and I have long felt like I put more effort into the relationship and I don’t feel like she makes much time for me or even checks in on me to see how I am doing going through IF. She had to have her tubes tied after her last child because of how thin her uterus was. They informed us this weekend that they have a meeting with an adoption agency set up. I am sick over this and can’t stop but thinking she will be competing with couple’s that can’t have even one kid. She mentioned she has felt a distance between us and I can’t decide now if I want to get everything off my chest or just let the distance build. If they go through with trying to adopt I don’t know that I could remain friends with them anyway – it would be too painful and too upsetting. Especially since based on things she has said over the last few months the only reason she wants another baby is so that she doesn’t have to deal with anxiety of trying to figure out what she will do after her youngest goes to school – mind you he is only 2.5. *sigh* I also wonder if we are only friends because we have been friends since grade school.

    • Oh, I would certainly have a hard time maintaining that friendship. My BIL and SIL were talking about adoption right after their second baby was born (her dr has strongly advised against her being pregnant again) and hubby and I had just started fertility treatments. It was like a dagger to the heart. I hear you on not wanting to let go of a long time friend though, it’s such a part of your history it feels like they should always be there.

  5. You know… I think so much of this boils down to how people respond to you when you’re experiencing IF. I have two very good friends who got pregnant whilst I was trying, and we remained friends because they were the nicest, most decent people possible. By which I mean, they completely understood why I was pulling away and didn’t get upset. They let me set the pace. When they needed me (i.e. tearful phone calls about life being sucky) I was there for them. But it was okay that I didn’t visit all the time with coffee cake.

    Sometimes, it is okay for a friendship to have run its course. You can honor it for what it was, and let it go without remorse.

    • It was a bad situation with me pulling away, and her pulling away I think because she was pregnant and didn’t really know how to handle me. We just went in totally different directions, and having kids has changed her, and me so I don’t know how we relate anymore. It is sucky, but I don’t see us ever being where we once were.

  6. I have a friend kind of like this. She was actually the one who gave me the pregnancy test that tested positive on my second pregnancy. I told her before I told anyone else. We weren’t close in high school but sometime after that we reconnected and had weekly dinners and movie nights. I have had two miscarriages and she now has 4 kids. I see her at sporting events because he oldest son goes to school with my niece and it is super forced and awkward to try and talk to her. We just don’t have common ground anymore. It’s sad, but unfortunately how life goes sometimes…

    • Yeah, my friend was the first person I told and really the only person I was open with about our IF (besides other IFers). But I think she didn’t know how to support me, and we grew apart and I sought out other people.

  7. Isn’t it funny how with some friends it’s OK to take long breaks and there’s no guilt/blame, but in other cases it always feels like someone is doing something wrong? The reasons for the distance might have to do with why you were friends. If you were friends because you enjoyed doing a lot of things together, I think that sort of relationship suffers the most from changes in lifestyle or crises that interfere with regular activities or recreation. If you were friends because you complement each other on a deep level, then the regular contact may not always be as necessary. On the other hand, if one or both person’s world view radically changes (that can happen through IF or parenthood for sure) that relationship might be doomed. I don’t have the answers! I know I have been close to different people at different points in life and I am still in touch with most of them, but not necessarily seeing them often or sharing deep secrets.

    • I don’t have a ton of close friends, and I’ve found that a lot of friendships have come and gone in my life. Maybe I’m a shitty friend, and not good at keeping up my side of a friendship. Or I’ve just grown and changed, and cycled out of friends. Perhaps a bit of both…

  8. I’m so sorry for the loss of the friendship, but it does sound like the best course is to let it go. It is unfortunate when friendships are casualties of infertility. I have a best friend since I was 15, and she has three children and I have none, but we don’t live near each other and she has been wonderful through our struggles. She messes up every once in a while, such as complaining to me while pregnant with her third child that she’d have to get a minivan and that’s just not what she wanted, and I had to firmly and gently tell her that I just wasn’t the right person to complain about having TOO many kids and needing a bigger vehicle to hold them all. 🙂 I think though if we lived closer and our day to day contacts were impacted by kids/no kids dynamics that it might not have turned out the same. We had couple friends who married within a month of us that we lost because they got pregnant right away and we…didn’t, and the differences became too stark and it became actually painful to spend time with them, and I didn’t want to keep up with it. It is so much better since resigning myself to the fact that we are not friends, that we didn’t survive infertility, and that’s okay. There are great friends out there who did, and it sounds like you have the same. It’s hard to mourn a friendship though.

  9. It’s hard to know how much you should do to save it, and how much to let it run its course. It sounds like she was hurt by your initial pulling away, and is now pulling back, not being there for you as you weren’t there for her. And maybe all of that just needs to be said and clear the air. Maybe neither of you have gotten to say to each other everything at you want to say?

  10. I walked away and kept thinking about the situation. It’s funny — I was just speaking to ChickieNob today about a friendship that ended with a bestie. It took me 15 years to get an answer as to why she let the friendship go. Because I couldn’t understand how she could let something so difficult to achieve (a close friendship) end. Her answer wasn’t really satisfactory, and maybe I’m more inclined to always try to save a friendship because of that. So take my advice with a grain of salt 🙂

    • I like to hear your thoughts on it. We became fast friends in our late teens, and I wonder if our previous lifestyle (sans husbands…and kids) and similar interests (which have somewhat changed and matured) were part of what kept our friendship going. It does really suck letting go of such a long time friendship, but I keep thinking is it worth keeping if it’s not working?

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