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Where has the love gone?

23/11/2010

It was back in the summer that we got news that a couple within our inner circle of friends were splitting up. It was one of those ‘I don’t believe it’ moments, ‘It can’t be’

All of us in our own singular ways didn’t want to believe it and struggled to understand, after all they had always seemed to be such a sturdy couple, quieter than some of us but loving and happy. Nobody saw this coming not even her husband. We were all genuinely devastated for them, for their two little children aged 4 and 6 for their families both of whom are really exceptional people.

To make this easy and avoid any direct repercussions let’s call them Brad and Angelina.

I found out though Brad’s sister, she wasn’t supposed to say anything but she was so unhappy she burst into tears, in my front room and I listened to her tell me that Ange had fallen out of love and wanted a split as soon as possible.

‘It can’t be! Come on, this is a flash in the pan, we all have arguments and make up, it’ll be over in a shot and we’ll all be laughing about it.’ I hugged her and made some tea, as you do in moments like this, and we moved on to twin talk and other matters as I promised not to breathe a word (which I didn’t).

We sadly watched from the sidelines as the couple disintegrated, we watched Ange dismantle their family home and move out taking the kids with her. We rallied around Brad who is a broken man. Shocked and in disbelief that the love of his life, his soul mate, has gone and he now sees his children on a “your turn, my turn” basis.

I did meet with Ange back in September, we talked a lot and I stayed the night as she’s quite far from me. This allowed us to eat and spend a lovely evening together. You see Ange has never been afraid of talking about her past battles with depression and mental health issues so I was kind of hoping she was just mixed up, that she needed time to sort herself out, to see white from black. Because being divorced, I know how awful it is and I know how thin that line is between accepting a relationship for what it is and breaking it into a million tiny irreparable pieces. I came away the next day convinced, by Ange, that it was over. She hadn’t let on to anyone for the best part of a year how she had been struggling and how she was just over it now. Love had gone and in its place an empty black hole.

Brad needed serious attention, he was a shadow of his former self, he’d lost so much weight he looked like a skeleton. He was shaky, he was nervous in our company, his self-esteem had taken such a battering that he was questioning whether we would still want to be friends with him.

Ange disappeared from our horizon and the lads in our group saw to it that Brad got regular evenings out, a good old pub crawl to take his mind off things even just a minute. Through the grapevine we heard that Ange had turned into the bitch from hell.

Constant screaming matches, arguments, lack of communication, a complete break down. He isn’t allowed to visit her new home – not even to pick up the children or drop them off. He has to telephone and she will get back to him when it is convenient and bring the children to him at their old family home, now displaying a To Sell sign. Many tales are coming back down the line to me and having a line of communication with her I decided to email her to see if it was true.

As is my nature I asked Ange directly, why can’t he come to your house, not even to pick up the children? Why are you treating him like dirt on your shoes? Why won’t you get back to his texts, emails or phone messages if it’s something important regarding your children and work commitments? You’ve got what you wanted Ange, is it necessary to be so ruthless to Brad? I asked all the questions that have been troubling me and in the same email I called off an arrangement to see her that Saturday. I was supposed to go with another girlfriend of ours to see her but I feared knowing all of the above would turn the meeting into a Spanish inquisition on my part and ruin the get together for the other two. I backed out and left them to enjoy each others company.

I opened up an email from Ange today sent on Sunday in reply, hoping me and my family are well, thanking me for my support over the past 6 months and wishing me well for the future. Kind regards.

Kind regards???? Is that what it comes to? No answers to my questions. No reasons as to why. Just goodbye.

I had realised by clicking send on that email I had opened up the possibility of an ending to our 6 year friendship. I had hoped it wouldn’t be. I am therefore left angry – Is that all it takes to call off our friendship? I had hoped it was stronger. Disappointed – I love Ange, she’s a really nice person. I didn’t want to lose her friendship but I can’t watch her be so nasty to Brad, also our friend. And empty that the Ange I once knew is not the Ange today. A changed woman who has made her decisions and has stuck by them. I hope she made the right choice and I hope it works out for her.

Have you seen a similar change in one of your close friends?

Photo credit

Writing workshopI’m entering this post into Josie’s Writing Workshop this week. The prompts were words she had ‘found’ in and around Glasgow. If you fancy seeing what the others came up with today, nip over and check them out.

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11 Comments leave one →
  1. 23/11/2010 2:47 pm

    Funnily enough i completely relate to your story. It happened with my best friend when she split with her husband. She went really weird. I tried to be there for her but she didn’t want to know. we ended up falling out for a year over something. It must be horrible going through a divorce and I guess some people deal with it by shutting off/ down. Hard to know the best thing to do.

    • 24/11/2010 11:22 am

      You’re right, it’s hard to know what to do so in situations like that I rely on my instinct. I cannot go to visit her and not say anything as that would be false. I did not want to ruin my other friends meeting with ehr so I stepped out. I also, after a good night’s sleep, don’t believe that a freidnship can end so miserably like that and I shall be abck in touch and see where it goes. fiungers crossed xx

  2. 23/11/2010 4:43 pm

    Lots of hugs. Not an easy situation.

    It is possible it is all as it seems. It is also possible that there is more to the story you will never know.

    Questions like you asked would have probably had a better effect face to face. You get to see the body language, you get to ask again.

    Is your friend (the guy) getting professional help? He sounds like he could really use it.

    • 24/11/2010 11:25 am

      You are right, there are always two sides to every story and I’m more than ready to listen to her and I have supported her wholeheartedly from the outset as I will continue to. I have always been 100% honest with her and told her I may not agree with her decisions but I would not jeopadise our friendship for that. After all, we all make our own decisions in this life and accept the consequences those decisions bring. thanks for your comment 🙂

  3. 23/11/2010 5:41 pm

    When couples divorce, friendships fall apart. It happened to me when my husband and I split. It just happens if you remain involved. You can’t do that if you really care about both people. The BEST thing to do is separate yourself from both sides as much as possible and keep it on a shallow level until things settle down. Because they WILL settle down. It’s hard to do when one party is visibly more shaken than another. Sympathy kicks in and you want to protect that person. But if you do care about the other person, you just can’t. I understand your friend and you had a good evening of conversation but most likely, you’re not even close to understanding what she was going through and what she IS going through. If you care about that friendship, my advice from someone who went through a similiar situation as Ange is this: Calm down and let it go. I can guarantee you Angie is suffering on a million levels and the anger, disappointment, guilt, etc you feel and imagine is most likely magnified a billion in her. Just because someone initiates a breakup does not mean they are without suffering. You really want to make amends? Apologize to her for jumping the gun, making assumptions, and involving yourself with something that has nothing to do with you. Let her know you do value her friendship and are there to LISTEN when she’s ready.

    • 24/11/2010 11:32 am

      Thanks you for your reply. Sadly for me I have been through it too, my ex left me for a girl half my age after an 18 years relationship, marriage and two kids so I can speak out about this. I know how much it hurts, I know how long that hurt lasts, years. I know you never fully recover. A mark rests on your soul for life.
      I accept her wanting to go and start a new life, I accept that as her friend I will stand back and let her get on with it but I don’t think I could call myself a good friend to let her carry on destroying her ex partner’s self esteem any more. I feel something must be said. I maybe wondered if she wasn’t aware just how much she was hurting him and I wanted her to know it wasn’t necessary.
      she could have the new life and construct a decent communication with her ex without all the nastiness. I hope some of what I said went in.

  4. 24/11/2010 8:27 am

    I have no experiance of this, but I have had friends go a little strange and one frie4nd, turn out to be someone I didnt really know, she was a grabbing, selfsish woman and everything was onesided.

    • 24/11/2010 11:35 am

      Love your new blog BTW! I must change my blog roll to the new link 🙂
      Who knows what makes people tick eh? I’m not giving up on her, today I feel more refreshed and ready for round two. Fingers crossed she’ll be open to contact

  5. sryk permalink
    24/11/2010 9:21 am

    Is a very well written post….. Thanks so much for information. ….Sorry for my English

  6. 25/11/2010 1:32 pm

    It’s so difficult when close friends split. Even more difficult to realise they didn’t just leave their partner, they left you as well. It leaves you feeling angry and upset. Why did they have to break up with me too?

    I wish there was something I could say to help you feel better. Keep trying, as others have said, maybe it’s just the stress of divorce, maybe it’s the stress of dealing with the kids, maybe depression. Noone really knows what another person is dealing with.

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