Friendship, Parenting

I miss my friends

What a melodramatic title, right? I have friends, still, so it’s not entirely accurate.

It’s just that I miss some specific friends.

(Just as a note, this post has been a bit tricky to write. I’ve been trying to keep it vague so that I don’t actually identify anyone, but obviously that means I can’t go into as much detail.)

Going back a few years, say to 2012 or so, I was so incredibly lucky. I had so many friends. I’d lost touch with some of my uni friends a bit, but I saw girls from school, whom I’d known since the eighties or nineties, all the time. We were totally going to be friends forever, right? (What a weirdly naive view to have as an adult!)

And then I got engaged.

I was the first one of that group to get engaged/get married/have a baby. And from the reactions I got from some people, you’d have thought I’d personally betrayed them.

It wasn’t a surprise when I got married. My now-husband and I had been together for six years. He moved to a different city to be close to me. We were clearly on the marriage track.

The friends who reacted particularly badly were not in relationships at the time. I don’t know if that’s a factor.

One of them made it very clear to me that she did not want to talk about the wedding. She did not want to think about it. It upset her. In the end, she refused to attend. I tried to be understanding but that hurt. We haven’t seen each other since then. She doesn’t even know about the baby, because we’re not in touch. Over 25 years of friendship, gone just like that.

Another came to the wedding but has made excuses about spending time together since. She knows about the baby, but I can’t imagine she’ll want to meet her.

I was excited and supportive for phases they reached in their lives before me: buying a property, getting a job, first boyfriend, doing postgraduate study, etc. I’ve been the shoulder to cry on, driving to different cities after work to listen when they needed to talk, spending hours doing hospital visiting, etc.

But it seems there’s something about marriage and babies.

And it makes me so sad, because I wish I could share this exciting new stage of my life with these ladies who’ve been there for so long.

It’s been on my mind a lot lately. I think I’m thinking more about this as we’re nearing Christmas. We had traditions – it hurts not to have those any more. I want to send a text and ask how they’re doing, but I know the inevitable rejection would hurt more. When the health visitor asked how my mental health was today, all of this nearly came flowing out.

Of course, my husband hasn’t had any of this reaction from his mates. He was also the first of his friendship group to get married and have a baby, but everyone was just really happy for him. I think that says something about men and women.

Ladies, why can’t we just be happy for each other?

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