Good Friendship vs. Bad Romance: Guess Who Wins?
Why are women outraged, devastated and horrified when a friend does us wrong, but manage to limit our emotions to hurt and confused when the love of our life turns out to be a cheating-ass liar?
You won’t forgive her in a million years but him? You forget his sins in weeks, or days or sometimes mere minutes.
You know the story—the one where the friends and lovers hook up. Imagine it’s your story: they are YOUR friends and YOUR lovers. Want to bet you give your bestie the boot and give him a chance to explain?
Perhaps you have a less messy tale of treachery, like a friend who was vocal and loud about your lousy relationship. You probably cut her loose and cut him a break. And another. If you are lucky, “break” eventually ends with “up” and your friend understands you were temporarily insane.
Or maybe your friend did something like offering to pick up the birthday cake for your mom’s party but at the last minute had to work until after the bakery closed. That’s what she said anyway, you think to yourself, and then ice her out for a couple of weeks, or forever.
At the same time/same party, your beloved was supposed to pick up your mother but had to work and didn’t even show up. He will have more time when this project is over, you tell yourself. Again. And again, and again, right through mom’s next birthday.
Months or years go by. Considering relationship statistics and how big a dick your paramour apparently is, whether you saw it or not, you are highly likely to have parted ways from the one you thought you would be until death did you part.
And the one who would highly likely still be in your life—your friend—might as well be dead. Funny, no, sad, whenever something reminds you of the past, you miss her and barely remember him.
But what if you have the chance to forgive you best-old-ex-friend? What if she emails out of the blue, or you see her on the street, or you both go to the class reunion? How do you respond? Do you respond?
Does it matter if she is in trouble? Should it? What if you are in trouble?
Having been the ice-er and the ice-ee, I can tell you this: your friendship will never be the same. You are both different people, each with more scar tissue and tougher skin, with more patience and compassion.
With the wisdom that comes with age and shame.
Yes, shame. The default female emotion.
Truth is, you are both ashamed of your behavior. You meant well, she meant no harm. She made a mistake, you leaped to conclusions. As for the man in the middle, if your luck holds, he became bullet dodged.
Whether you take your friend back could depend on the depth of your now severed-connection. It could turn on how much you loved her. Or how great the sin, after how long a time.
If you are in a bad place, you might welcome the long lost comfort of someone who knew you when and well.
That might turn out fine for you. Your renewed relationship might be everything it once was, before…
Before the betrayal.
And there it is.
Somewhere inside you, or inside me at least, you know you can’t depend on your once-and-future friend. Sure, the anger can subside and all can be forgiven.
But women’s friendships are profound and intense. We don’t have to reign in our emotions with each other. In fact, the bigger mess you are, the tighter your friends become.
We give our hearts to our friends every bit as much as to our lovers and tend to their hearts with every bit as much care. Moreover, we don’t expect as much from men as we do from women. Our standards are higher for each other.
They are only men, after all.
Whether that is right or wrong, we do our best to live up to those standards. When we don’t, and when our friends don’t, our disappointment runs deep, so deep that we really never get over it.
We expect friends to be friends and we expect friends to be there. We don’t wonder if “this is going to work out” like we do after a first date. The potential of the relationship ending is not a consideration built in from day one.
We are blessed with friends; we don’t have to worry about whether and how we will “make it for the long haul.” Female friendships are always long-haul.
When they aren’t, when they get short-circuited or blown-up or merely neglected, the disloyalty is all the more brutal: we lose a friend and faith.
That is unforgiveable.
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This week in our “Let’s Make a TV Show” project, I promised you a title. To refresh your memory, our show is about Rachel Bell Ingalls, a 47 year old CEO and founder of a network security firm. Rachel has kept the company regional, and off the radar. She believes the size and anonymity keep her clients and her own network safer. In fact, none of her security solutions has ever been breached and none of her clients have ever been hacked.
This spotless record, if publicized, would make Rachel a target, she is certain. Attacking her clients would become a competitive sport for hackers worldwide. Then, one day, the news leaks, and a long-lost friend reappears, Joanne Nelson Brown, the friend with whom she started her first business of authenticating members for chat rooms.
Drum roll please…….
What do you think? Where do you think it comes from? Leave a guess in the comments below or on the SingleandtheSweetSideof40.com Facebook page for a chance to win a $40 Amazon gift certificate.