• Keeping Friends

The friendships of military wives

Published: January 12, 2014 | By | 6 Replies Continue Reading
Because of deployments, the friendships of military wives are vulnerable to change.
QUESTION

Hi Irene,

I moved to my neighborhood two years ago and I clicked with a neighbor. My husband was deployed and when he came back from the military, I talked to her and told her our friendship wouldn’t be the same because I needed to recover my lost time with my husband.

She doesn’t understand and has become pushy. Now since I haven’t responded to her texts, she has been texting my husband to find out information about me. How do I handle it??? Help, I am very mad.

Signed, Marci

ANSWER

Hi Marci,

I’m so sorry that this situation has gotten to the point that you’re you upset and angry. I assume you haven’t cut off this friend completely, you’ve just asked her to step back and give you more space.

It’s not uncommon that, as happens to everyone else, life changes often bring about changes in the friendships of military wives. Clearly, you deserve to spend as much time as you want with your husband, especially since he is returning from deployment. A good friend should be able to understand that and accommodate your needs. Having already made this clear to your friend, she is out-of-line in being pushy.

Given what’s transpired, you need to decide if you want to remain friends with your neighbor and see her less often than you once did, or whether you want to end the relationship entirely. Since you are so angry, it might be a good idea to give yourself a cooling off period before making a rash decision.

Perhaps you can write a note to your friend/neighbor and explain once again that you need “time off” for yourself and your husband. Seeing it in black and white might have more impact than your prior conversations. Additionally, let her know that it’s inappropriate for her to text your husband.

Depending on her response, your decision may become clearer over time.

Hope this helps.

Warm regards, Irene

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Category: Creating and maintaining boundaries, KEEPING FRIENDS

Comments (6)

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  1. Cat says:

    This neighbour doesn’t sound like a good friend at all, they are not listening to your wishes instead are being self-absorbed and thinking its about them.
    I really cant stand ‘friends’ like this. Its hard enough being a military wife (I’m a Brit who is married to a veteran US soldier,nobody was nice to me on base so I had no army wife friends while living in the states and when I was back home while OH was in Iraq 3 times I had 1 friend here-if you can even call her that)
    Stay positive Marci I send you all my love and best wishes xxx

  2. Marci says:

    Thanks for all the comments and help is always nice to know that there is people that supports you with positive comments, I have been feeling overwhelmed thinking is my fault someone said to me YOU CREATED A MONSTER

  3. Amy says:

    Since this friend is also a neighbor, it’s best to tread lightly as you might be living near her for many years. I’d avoid a confrontation because of this.

    If it were me, I’d ask my spouse not to respond to her texts, and I wouldn’t respond to her texts either. I’d be pleasant, but aloof when I see her in the neighborhood, but avoid being overly friendly to maintain a strong emotional boundary. I certainly would not put anything in text or email that could be misinterpreted or saved for future “ammunition” if she becomes angry or spiteful. I’m not sure I’d even send a written note, just because that sometimes invites a dialogue or discussion, but if I was communicating via message, it would be handwritten.

    Good luck!

  4. Sandra says:

    Dealing with friends who are either pushy and needy is a challenge. They have their own “agenda” or reasons that don’t consider the needs of others. You were trying to set boundaries in order to spend more time with your husband, and you have a right to do that. In fact, you have a right to set boundaries in friendship for any reason that matters to you, regardless of your husband’s military status.

    When I have friends who are too smothering, pushy, or needy, I find that they want something I cannot give. The challenge is to find a way to tell them so. I like Irene’s idea of writing the note — to see how that works.

  5. Carol says:

    Hi Marci, I believe this person needs you in her life instead of wanting you in her life. Remembering our teenage years, having a close friend was an avenue to growing up and not having to rely on parents so much. For some reason this thought is what comes to mind. I feel all of us will keep on understanding ourselves through these types of situations in our lives. It seems your friend has become dependent on you to be there for her. If we can admit it, many of us had to learn this hard lesson by losing a person in our lives because we unknowingly didn’t keep healthy boundaries with them. As I have moved into my 70’s, my view of many situations have changed a great deal. I recently moved back to an area that I lived in 30 years ago. When the word got out that I had done so, some old friends I hadn’t been in touch with wanted to get together. I wasn’t ready to do anything but settle into my new place and ground myself in my life as a retiree. It was what I needed to do.

    As people began to contact me, I simply told them I was not ready to rebuild friendships or do anything but take care of myself. I made it clear to them that my decision has nothing to do with them, as my goal was to find peace in my life and needed time to do so. I know some are upset with my decision, but some simply said they understood and call when I felt like it. I think it scares some people when you set a new boundary with them as it is taken as you’re abandoning them. If this your friend’s “life issue,” then it is on her to seek help to deal with it, and not yours to solve for her. A true friend wants you to be happy and certainly the circumstances that take you our of her life for a period of time in order to be with your husband…well it seems it would have been something she would completely understand.

    Last words…take care of yourself and your husband, enjoy your life and send your friend well-wishes for enjoying her life as well without you for whatever period you need time for your partner and you to reunite. And while doing what you need to do in your own life, feeling empathy for your friend who will need to adjust to being without you for a time. If she’s smart and wants such a good friend, she will give you space reunite with your life partner.

    My best friend is married and has obligations to her husband and her adult children, as well as their friends as a couple. I respect the life she has with others and I think I can do this without fear because I know if I had some kind of true crisis as in illness, etc., she would be there for me. When we became friends, I was well aware of her circumstances and accepted that our friendship would not be the most important obligation in her life.

    I wish you peace of mind to find your way.

    Carol

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