Friendships?

Avatar for sunset5000
Community Leader
Registered: 10-10-2007
Friendships?
4
Wed, 01-29-2014 - 3:42pm

I am new to this board.  I turned 40 this past November.  Around that time, it seems like I am slowly losing my friends, one by one.  I have asked friends and people who know me what do they think is going on.  What am I doing wrong?  Everyone has told me that I have done nothing wrong, it is part of getting older.  

I am married and have 2 children.  That all is going very good and I am happy.  But, there now is a big part of my life that is dissapearing and it is really bothering me.  I have always had lots of friends, my phone use to ring daily.  Now, I am lucky if it rings once a day.  This may sound childish or silly to anyone reading this post, but I value friendships and I feel like I am the only person making the efforts to keep the friendships.  I know people are busy with work and families.  But,  friends would always make time, even just a few minutes a week to call and keep in touch.  This really bothers me because I feel like I am chasing and begging my long time friends to stay my friend.  And, I feel like they give excuses, "so busy...."  I know we are all busy, but like I said, we all use to make time for friends.

Am I totally losing it?  If it keeps happening, it has to be something I am doing, right?  But, I can't think of anything with any of my close friends I did to hurt the friendship.

Anyone else experience something similar?  What did you do?

Thanks for taking the time to read!

Avatar for sabrtooth
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-03-1999
Wed, 01-29-2014 - 6:57pm

I don't know about you, but with MOST people, once they have a family, a house, and a job, they no longer have the time to sit on the phone all day, or go out with friends all the time, and get anything ELSE done, unless they have a live-in nanny and houskeeper. 

If you have a fulltime job, and add the time to get there and back, that sucks up AT LEAST 10 hours of the day, right there.  Then there is cooking, cleaning, shopping, house and yard work, pets, homework, kids activities, exercise, lessons, dr visits, dental visits, often older parents who need care, 5 minutes to kiss your husband, then fall in bed and start it all again the next day. 

I'm 61 and retired from my paying job to daycare my grandchildren.  I have them from 6am to 7pm or later, depending on how their parents days' go, as they all have busy careers.  I have a toddler now, and an infant coming in a few weeks.  I can't leave them unsupervised for 30 seconds.  On top of that, I also have cooking, cleaning, shopping, house and yard work, pets, exercise, dr visits, dental visits, older relatives who need care and visits, 5 minutes to kiss my husband, then I fall in bed and start it all again the next day.

IF I have a few minutes to myself, I generally talk to relatives first.  They are simply higher on my priority list.  I talk to my friends a few times a MONTH.  They are as busy as I am.   We try to have breakfast together once a month, usually a couple hours.   Whoever is available shows up.  We try to pick the next visit before we break up, but if we can't or not enough were there, we keep in touch via messaging, e-mail or Facebook.

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Wed, 02-12-2014 - 12:02pm

I think it's being married that is really the big factor.  I've been married & divorced twice.  The first marriage ended when I was about 41 or so and I had 2 little kids--even after I got divorced, it was just hard to go out with friends that much, having to see people around the schedule when my ex had the kids, plus then I started dating, so a few years later, again I got married and then got divorced 5 yrs later.  I just see the difference--when you are married with kids, most of your energy just goes to your family--I would still try to see my old friends but since all of them also were married with kids and worked and had a lot of obligations, it would be more like a few times a year we would plan a dinner or something for the group of women from high school and whoever could show up would do that.  I had one very close friend and we'd try to see each other more often but even though we have been best friends since high schoool, sometimes months would go by before we could get together.  When I got divorced, which is now 5-6 yrs ago, I looked around and realized that it was very boring and I had only a couple of friends to do things with.  I got involved in ballroom dancing and met a lot of single friends and now I have friends to do things with all the time--but this is the key--they are single!

Now I certainly don't recommend getting divorced so I do agree that it's probably nothing that you did, it's just that people are busy with their families.  It's good that at least now you have things like Facebook where you can keep up easily with things that are going on with people.  Maybe you can try to arrange a group dinner or even breakfast a few times a year.  I think most adults have maybe 1-2 close friends--if you have friends where your spouses also get along, that's great cause you can all go out together.  I also think that you will find that when everybody gets older and the kids start going away to college, then people also will have more free time, so like everything else, it's a phase that you have to go through.

Maybe you can try making friends with the moms of your kids--then at least you will see each other at the kids' activities.

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Wed, 02-12-2014 - 12:12pm

I don't know why my reply came up as blank and now I don;'t feel like retyping the whole thing.

What I said in a nutshell is that I think that most people who are married esp. w/ small kids don't have that much time for friendships and spend most of their time w/ the family.  I see a big difference now that I am divorced--I have a lot of friends but everyone is single and our kids are grown.  When I was married & my kids were younger, it was pretty rare that I got together w/ friends.

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-29-2010
Thu, 02-13-2014 - 4:17pm

I think its like the others said, everybody is busy with a lot of demands on their time; and mothers tend to put everybody else's needs before their own so "girlfriend time" becomes very limited. We still need friends so we try to make friends with people that its easier to be in contact with, like other moms waiting at soccer practice or ballet class, or with co-workers or neighbors. A lot of those friends may fade away too when the kids drop ballet or we change jobs.

I suggest trying to keep some kind of contact with the old friends that you value the most, even if its just through Facebook. When the kids are older and you all have more free time then you might be able to reconnect.