• Handling Breakups

A friendship between military wives begins to unravel

May 5, 2017 | By | 2 Replies Continue Reading
While friendships between military wives can have a strong bond, they don’t always last forever.

QUESTION

Hi,

I am having such an internal battle on how or whether to dissolve a friendship. My friend and I formed an instant bond when our husbands were in the military. We have raised our children together, camped, bowled, play cards as couples—just a good, solid, I know I can count on you friendship.

The past two years have been so different. Our daughter divorced and is in a relationship my friend does not approve of. We do not talk about our children anymore. I feel judged by her, which is probably more my problem than hers. I know the distance between us is hurting her as much as it is me.

I have looked at this in all directions as far as moving forward and I feel I am uncomfortable because our very open care and concern toward each other and our families is no longer there. So sad. I need to relate to her that I think our friendship is over. I want to take responsibility for my distance and decision yet I don’t want to pick up the phone or write a letter – I am in limbo. Any direction will be appreciated.

ANSWER

Hi Melanie,

Friendships between military wives can be very close. It sound like the one with your friend certainly was—and extended to your families as your children were growing up.

From your note, I can’t tell exactly what caused this friendship to go astray. You mention your daughter’s divorce but given the strong foundation underpinning your friendship, it’s hard to believe that this alone made you feel judged and distant.

Have you had any conversations with your friend to find out why each of you is feeling more alienated from each other than you were in the past? Before you totally end this friendship, which you seem ambivalent about doing, can you have a heart-to-heart chat to better understand the distance that has come between you—and then make your decision after that?

Once you end a friendship, it’s extremely difficult to go back so if you are uncertain, I would not act impulsively and would give yourself whatever time you need to better understand exactly what is bothering you.

If you do have a talk and decide you don’t want to pursue this friendship any longer, you don’t need to draw a line in the sand and end it summarily. You can limit the frequency of your visits and see if you continue to drift apart. I don’t see anything that would be gained by declaring the friendship is over in words.

Hope this helps a little.

Best, Irene


Previously on The Friendship Blog:

The friendships of military wives

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Category: HANDLING BREAKUPS

Comments (2)

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  1. Irene (the other one) says:

    It seems strange that this woman should cut you out because of your daughter’s choice of partner. It could be that she feels protective towards your daughter having known her since childhood, and don’t want her to be hurt again. I would leave it for a while, if she doesn’t contact you in the near future, try sending her a Christmas card, saying you’re thinking of her and hope all is well since you haven’t heard from her for a while. See where it goes.

  2. Amy F says:

    Sometimes we befriend people situationally, due to proximity or shared experiences, and these friendships are primarily based solely on one or two temporary facets of life, rather than shared values and mutual affinity. These relationships aren’t meant to last forever. You seemed to have more in common than just the military angle, and you might have become friends under different circumstances as well.

    Unless she’s calling or getting in touch with you, I don’t think you need to make a formal declaration of ending the friendship, especially if you’ll run into her at events. You can change your interactions from friendly to cordial, from open to closed. If she asks you you’re doing, reply but don’t ask back, for instance. You and your friend could just be going through a time when you need some distance, and you’ll reconnect again in a few years. I wouldn’t make any permanent decisions or actions.

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