Wednesday, November 10, 2010
I wanted to get your objective opinion on something. Recently most of my girlfriends, some whom I’ve known since childhood, are disappearing on me. I noticed they started hanging out without me, or “forget” to invite me to lunch or a movie. I confronted one of my “Friends” who has since distanced herself from me and she said that she didn’t like the fact that I date married men. When I asked her if that’s how our other mutual friends felt, she said yes, which is why they don’t hang out with me anymore.
I thought friends weren’t supposed to judge you. I told her that true friends are friends through thick and thin and don’t judge, but she brushed me off. What do you think?
This is interesting, because without knowing the depths of each of your friendships and what you all have been through together, it’s hard to say either way – you can make an argument for both sides.
While I think your friends should judge you based on your heart, maybe your heart is showing them something they don’t like. Have you ALWAYS dated married men and they’ve accepted it until now? Or is this something new that you’re doing that they think isn’t really “you?” If this is new behavior, I'd hope they'd talk to you about it rather than abandoning you. But if this has always been your thing, perhaps they're just tired of it now.
Either way, a person can decide to let go of a friendship if they feel that those involved are growing apart. Most friendships, especially between women, are born and nurtured through commonality – shared interests and values. Perhaps your friends feel that your standards and values don’t fall in line with theirs, in which case they don’t see you as someone who they have anything in common with anymore. If they are turned off by your behavior or the choices you make, it’ll be hard for them to respect you – in which case any interaction with you could be seen as “fake.” Some people take adultery very seriously, and they may question your ethics and the type of person you are based on the choices you’ve made.
I’m not saying you’re a bad person, but depending on some experiences that your friends may have had or the values they hold dear, they may not look at you as a model friend. They also may not trust you around THEIR man. Most women (and men) feel that if you’ll sleep with someone’s husband with no regard to their relationship, then you’d probably sleep with THEIR man too. Women tend to keep a close eye on OTHER women they think are shady…especially when their man is concerned. They may feel that a woman who feels no shame in sleeping with another woman’s husband will feel no shame in sleeping with their man too. Although you may not cross that line and break the “girlfriend code,” your rep may be a little shaky when it comes to men.
Some of us have found ourselves involved with a married man at one point in our lives or another. We may have told ourselves that if the relationship was a good one, he wouldn’t be with "me." We find reasons to justify our behavior, even if deep down we think it’s wrong. We can either choose to continue what we’re doing, because…after all…we don’t know that woman – OR we can choose to do better because we know better. Just because you’ve made a decision to get involved with a married man in the past doesn’t mean that you have to CONTINUE doing that – either because you feel you can’t or don’t deserve better. The past choices you’ve made don’t have to define who you are now. But it seems that by consistently dating men who are unavailable to you, your friends may feel that this is EXACTLY how you are choosing to define yourself.
If you see nothing wrong with dating married men, either because you feel no obligation to the other woman, or because you seek relationships with no commitment, then that’s your business. You answer to no one but God and yourself.
But you can’t blame or be mad at your friends for exercising their right to choose who they have in their life. We should choose who we have in our inner circle very carefully, and if your morals/values don’t jive with theirs, then you’ve grown apart and it may be time to let the friendship go. If you want to keep the relationship, then talk to them about how you can change their perception of you and ask them what you can do to salvage the friendship. They may ask you to change your ways, in which case you’ll have to make a decision. If you feel you shouldn’t have to change in order to be their friend, then keep it moving. But if they speak to you from their heart and seem genuinely concerned, hear them out and consider their feelings…or try to see things from their perspective. Sometimes our friends (especially those from childhood) know us better than we know ourselves.
I hope it works out for you.