I imagine that there are as many ways for a friendship to end as there are people who have ended them. The end of a friendship can be just as messy, painful and confusing as the end of a romantic relationship. Honestly, sometimes it’s more intense. Instead of dividing up common property and deciding who keeps which material possessions, the end of a friendship sometimes results in the divvying up of mutual friends and shared social scenes. God help those overlapping friends who remain close to both of you– they must walk that fine line that leaves them feeling stuck in the middle afraid to mention you to her or her to you. How awful is it to be that friend– the one in the middle? Someone should set up a 5K run for those people, because that’s a bad situation and they deserve some money or some extra social cache for enduring it.
OMG, it’s so painful.
It’s comforting– if rare–to see the end of a friendship in black and white terms– she stole my husband so I withdrew the gift of my friendship from her. There’s no need to phone-a-friend there– just dump the relationship. But real life is murkier. I had a friendship that went seriously and hopelessly off the rails over fertility. Our chemistry turned into a toxic mix of hurt feelings, regrets, jealousy and deep resentments. We have yet to come back from the brink. Maybe someday we will be able to pick up our friendship and offer each other support, love and free babysitting. But until then, I’m still sorting out what happened and hoping to learn from my own mistakes and grow as a friend.
Check out my piece on Mom.me about fertility and friendship; it’s available here.