Sunday, March 2, 2008

Old Friends and the Ghost of Me

There have been many times over the past few years when I have wished I had someone to talk to. In the end I found that voice in my blogs and the willing ears to listen to my woes, my concerns and my stumbles along the way, as my relationships with people changed and changed again.

I have spoken before about the fact that I've spent a lot of my life being a loner and an observer. I haven't actively sought friendships and in fact I've probably feared them in some ways. Safer that way sometimes. The mother of my children has had no problems along those lines and has had many friends to lean on during those times. And I'll say again that the failure of the marriage was in my eyes my fault, not hers.

Anyway, she's moving on and has a new partner, as do I, and I trust that one day everything will be OK for all of us. I said a couple of posts ago that my daughter is staying with me whilst her mother is on an overseas holiday and I thought that was wonderful but I will admit it hasn't been all smooth sailing. I won't go into details here but I am thinking of a private blog where I can air that stuff too.

This weekend she has stayed with friends of mine and her mother...really good friends, god parents to our kids, best men at each others wedding etc. And I know that they have been a great shoulder for my ex-wife to cry on and I'm glad that they supported her. But with what's happened things can't go back to the way they were and that came home with a thud this morning.

Yesterday I asked if they minded whether my new partner came over with me to pick up my daughter and they said that they didn't, but on speaking to them this morning they said that it would be too uncomfortable to meet at this time. Now in my mind I know that this is their issue, not mine, but it also draws a bit of a line in the sand. I am not sure if they have met the new partner of my ex or not, but I hope when they do that they don't see him with the ghost of me hanging around. He deserves the chance to become their friend too.

My ex is lucky that she has been able to maintain those other relationships with friends that she had before the break up. The fact that I haven't maybe simply rests with that fundamental flaw in my character that makes friends hard to come by. Maybe the fact that in my desire not to burden anyone with my version of events I have simply allowed other versions to become the reality.

Perhaps the friendship I actually thought was there may have passed into memory some time ago and all I feel now is an echo of what once was. My only choice now is to leave further contact to them. One day I hope they may be ready to move on too. It reinforces our need to make a new circle of friends now, because you can't substitute old relationships with new ones. You really have to start again.

Addendum: 9:30pm
My mate wasn't there when I picked my daughter up obviously choosing to stay away. His wife did ask me to step outside when I arrived and said that she would never forgive me, not for what I did, but for the way I did it. She also said that she wasn't one to judge people and therefore this was not an issue related to my new partner, but to me. I told her that people make judgments based upon their personal knowledge of issues and that in this case, given she had never discussed anything with me, that she was basing those opinions entirely upon one side of the story.

To be honest I have absolutely no idea what she meant by "the way I did things." I told her that if ever she did want to ask me about my actions that I would be willing to talk about it with her and that she knew where to find me. I have arranged for my daughter to stay elsewhere next weekend.

It had been my mates 50th birthday when I was away and I bought a book for him which I gave him yesterday. In it I wrote "Thanks for the years of friendship and memories. May there be many more." Somehow I no longer think there will be.


Gypsy said...

Unfortunately when there has been a marriage break up, mutual friends often feel the need to take sides. It isn't very comfortable for anyone and is just a sad after effect. Maybe it's because you feel such a burden of responsibility for the breakdown of your marriage that you weren't proactive in maintaining old friendships. There is always two sides to every story and you have allowed them all to only hear one side. I understand why completely.

I'm disappointed in your friends that they cannot see their way clear to at least meet your new partner. After all, a lot of water has gone under the bridge and your ex wife now has a partner too. That is a great pity and I would leave the ball in their court too.

Most of all though I am sorry that there have been issues with your daughter and her visit with you. Maybe it was too much time for her to spend with you both for her first visit and is just going to take a bit longer for her to come to terms with seeing her Dad with someone else. I'm really sorry Loz.

I am always ready, willing and able to listen if ever you feel the need to offload your worries and concerns. That's what friends are for and God knows you have been there for me often enough.

Take care and hopefully you and your new partner will make friends of your own without the baggage of past relationships. Good Luck and sorry I have written a post in your comments :)

meleah rebeccah said...

Its a sad fact of divorce but friends of the married couple always end up 'chosing' or taking sides.... at least on some level.

Josie Two Shoes said...

I know how difficult it is for your new partner to "compete" with the ghost of your past relationship. While my friends and family have been very accepting of my new Sweetie for the most part, some of his family and friends view me with an eye of suspicion because they were so in love with a judgemental eye because they were so in love with his first wife. My heart goes out to you and your partner. I hope she realizes that it isn't personal, and it is their issue to overcome, not hers. I am sad that your friends took such a judgemental position, no one really knows all that transpires in a marriage except the two people in it. I agree, time for some new friends that love you both! Making friends doesn't come easy for me either, but the exercise of trying will do us both good! Hopefully your partner has some friends that are more accepting? I know it's going to take a little time for your children to adjust to the changes in both her dad and mom's lives, but they will come around eventually, keep trying and don't give up hope! Blessings to the both of you, starting new lives at this age is a bit scary, but also exciting!

Josie Two Shoes said...

By the way, I am loving my private blog, I feel so much more comfortable sharing what really goes on in my mind and life! Those who care about you will gladly follow you there!

Anonymous said...

Wow, what a post to hit home to me again. Going through similar stuff myself in the planning of my 50th. Who gets invited? And also my ex - he has a new partner. Will I be comfortable at my party with them there? Yet he should be there, He was part of my life for 30 years. Have I moved on enough for that? Because it is so true - the friends we had as a couple do maybe take sides. And many do slip out of our 'new' life.
But you know it's ok for that to happen. We are on a new journey and new people start to come into our life. I have made some amazing new friendships and Laurie, I would definately like to include you here. (Do hope you got the email I sent. Will send again if not.)

I'm sorry of course that your daughter staying was not smooth sailing. But here again it's a transition thing I think. Going from a time in place to this new time for your families.
I sort of see it that it is not just 'our' journey. Each person involved is on their own path and trying to process everything going on too. It's hard for everyone and hopefully we all become better people from the lessons involved.
Something that helped me heaps after we split and me thinking lots of people were only hearing his side of the story was this quote..."What anyone else thinks of me is none of my business."
I've accepted that into my life and gee it helps. I really don't have to justify myself to anyone.
Take care Laurie.

Jen xxx

Finn said...

I'm sorry darlin'. It hurts to lose a friend, especially over something like this. But I suspect that this may have been more about your friend's wife than him. Maybe he left because he knew how she'd behave and was embarrassed.


Gypsy said...

I've just read your addendum and I am very sorry about your friend not being there and his wife's stance. She says she doesn't like to judge but that is exactly what she's doing. That must have been very hurtful.

Blur Ting said...

It's sad that things turn out this way. Like what your other readers said, people often feel the need to take sides. In your case, your ex must have aired her views and your friends now sympathise with her. You, on the other hand, have chosen to remain quiet.

In my case, my ex was the one who went around gathering sympathy from our friends while I chose to keep a low profile. He told his side of the story and lots of other tales. Only much later, when I spoke to our friends again that I managed to vindicate myself. They all believed my side of the story simply because they know me for who I am.

It doesn't matter what your friends think as long as you know the truth. It's sad but people tend to feel sorry for a divorced woman. Somehow they view woman as the helpless victim and we know it shouldn't be this way. I do admit that in every marriage, it takes two to make it work. So, we really shouldn't judge or blame anybody.

You have the right to start your life anew with your new partner. Do not worry about what others say. It's your life afterall. In your old age, it's your partner who's going to be around you, not anyone else.

Loz said...

My dear friends. I don't blame them at all for feeling the way they do. God knows I despised myself often enough. I just wish that they had bothered to talk to me about things as well and there is a bit of irony in that statement given my lack of communication with people. I do keep coming back to those 4 agreements I have mentioned many times -
Be impeccable with your word.
Don't take things personally.
Don't make assumptions.
Always do your best.
So many of them have not been adhered to in this situation and yet I shouldn't be surprised because until I'd read the book I wouldn't have understood what they meant either.

Lynda Lehmann said...

It sounds as if you have gone through an awful lot. I relate to being somewhat of a loner myself, having been let down often enough to make me want to remain a bit self contained. It's so hard when you're feeling vulnerable, to let people in. You are not alone, nor in the fact that you have been having many issues and probably some heartbreak.

I wish you luck, resolution, self-forgiveness to whatever degree you lack it, and renewed happiness in the future.

Linda and her Surroundings said...

You wrote: "The fact that I haven't maybe simply rests with that fundamental flaw in my character that makes friends hard to come by".

I don't see that as a flaw. Like you, I keep to myself having finally realised that making friends is something that will never be natural for me. I have a handful of people I share my time with and cannot handle more than that. That your ex has had shoulders to cry on is nice for her. Some of us just do our own thing and choose not to go that way.

I have not read your blog for ages. So much to catch up on and read. Thanks.

Seine said...

Perhaps she did feel a need to speak her mind, but i wouldn't forgive her either, not for what she did/said, but the way SHE did/said it ... pulling you aside like that just to make you hear her overly judgmental (and ill-informed, one-sided) opinion was selfish, uncalled for, and extremely self-righteous

it's sad to lose friends like that, and you're right, it's nice that your wife was able to stay close to them and find comfort in their support ... but when i had my issue with cheating, my best friend told me that she doesn't judge what I did, and that no matter what ended up happening, she would help me and support me through things

true friends accept you for the person you are and help you along life, mistakes and all