Friends and Guilt

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Friends and Guilt
42
Tue, 07-29-2003 - 11:54am
This will be kind of convuluted and I don't know if I can articulate it properly but I'll try! Lately (last year or 2) I've had a massive lack of good friends. I have acquaintances, or people I'll go to lunch with, or people who have children ds's age who we go over and "play" with... but most of my "friendships" are pretty superficial. There are two people who for the sake of my dh worrying about me not having any close friends I tried to talk to, but I find myself feeling guilty for not having a miserable life. (If that makes any sense) Almost all women I talk to long to leave their husbands, or have husbands who don't respect them, or they don't respect their husbands. (That one's the worst... I can't imagine treating dh the way some people treat theirs!) And when they go on their little tangents about their SO's, I don't know what to do other than keep my mouth shut. I feel guilty saying.. I don't have that problem, I actually like my husband... Are there any people who are genuinely happy with their lives anymore? I mean everyone's got problems here and there... but I don't think I've met anyone other than my in laws in the past 3 years who were actually happy they were married. FTR, it doesn't really bother me that I don't have close g/f's, mostly because I keep close contact with a couple college friends who live far away, and I've always been kind of a loner anyways. I think my dh worries that in 20 years I'll regret something.. I don't know. I don't really see that happening because I'm happy with my goals and my life. I guess the point of this whole thing... does anyone else get depressed by the deterioration of society as a whole when it comes to family? Do you find yourself feeling like a lone duck in being happy? Am I crazy? LOL... I know this is long but it's been getting at me the last day or so.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Tue, 07-29-2003 - 12:15pm
You are not alone.

I am, for the most part, a "normal", productive, happy, healthy, married (happily, 10 years), childfree woman.

I can count all of my close friends on two hands. The rest are acquaintances.

You asked, "Are there any people who are genuinely happy with their lives anymore?" LOL! I had to laugh because I asked my husband the same question last week.

You are smart to keep your mouth shut when other woman complain about their SO or spouse. I dread the family bar-be-cue because the "estrogen clutch" (aka hubby's female relatives) conversation consists of bitching and moaning about their husbands, their kids and their friends! Egads, life is full of good! You know who I hang with? The retired folks. At least I can hear about travel, grandkids, gardening, golf, Florida and arthritis.

You ask, "...does anyone else get depressed by the deterioration of society as a whole when it comes to family?"

I do. I honestly don't think most couples marry for the right reasons. And I think coupldes should wait at least five years before having kids because most divorced people I know have two year olds and they were married for three years, then divorced!

"...Do you find yourself feeling like a lone duck in being happy? Am I crazy?..."

I try my best to surround myself with positive, happy, productive people. Fortunately, I have a loving family with aunts and uncles who are happy, married, productive, interesting, responsible individuals!

I also had a epiphany on my 30th birthday. I decided to (and did) rid my life of "emotional vampires". "Emotional vampires" are friends/acquaintances that will not contribute to their own happiness. Their stories are the same, it's just a different day/week/month/year. I grew tired of hearing the same stories and dispensing the same advice. Yes, everyone has problems. My life isn't perfect either but each day I CHOOSE to make it better.

No, charlesmama, you are not crazy. You choose to be happy and productive and that makes you who you are.

In the words of Alain-Rene Lesage from Histoire de Gil Blas de Santillane, "I am happy and content because I think I am."

And I believe that...I do.

Avatar for mygriffin
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-28-2003
Tue, 07-29-2003 - 12:36pm
I know EXACTLY what you mean!!! The majority of my close friends are always COMPLAINING! I recently went on a girl's weekend trip and two out of the four of us were complaining about their DHs the entire time. I just really didn't have anything to add to the conversation. "My DH doesn't want more kids, I do." "My DH doesn't help with the childcare." "My DH works long hours and is never home." Blah, blah, blah.

They're both SAHMs whose DHs make lots of money. I felt like I had NOTHING to contribute the conversation.

Last week, two of them were talking about their DHs looking for new jobs. The new jobs would mean more money, but more time away from the family. I looked at them and said, "You know, I'll keep my little, one-story house in (my city), with my DH at his sales job, my budget mini-van and my PT job." I don't want to live in a bigger house, in the high-class city with a DH who's never home and couldn't care less.

I am happy. I would almost go as far as to say things are perfect. If I complain about something, I make sure I make an effort to fix whatever's wrong.

You are not alone.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Tue, 07-29-2003 - 12:40pm
Ok now you two... (dietblackcherry and mygriffin) Why the heck don't you live near ME then so I can talk to normal people? I just found out a friend (cough...acquaintance) of mine is leaving her husband for... get this.. an inmate at the jail where she works. (She's a CO) On TOP of that guess what he's in jail for.... beating his girlfriend! ACK!
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Tue, 07-29-2003 - 12:56pm
Thanks for the compliment!

I WISH that I lived in Northern California! You are a lucky gal! I live near Philadelphia which is nice because of the seasons and the beach.

Your acquaintance is leaving her hubby for an inmate?

You know what? That doesn't really surprise me because I think common sense went "bye-bye" for some people a long, long time ago.

I was given a valuable piece of advice at age 16: There are two kinds of people. People who "get it" and people who "don't".

Your acquaintance doesn't "get it" and to try and explain "it" to her would be a waste of time and energy.

Charlesmama, continue to be your happy, upbeat, positive self. Spread that goodness and warmth. Smile at strangers. Giggle in public. See the beauty in life and have a great day!

Avatar for mygriffin
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-28-2003
Tue, 07-29-2003 - 1:30pm
Well, I'm in SOUTHERN California. Not quite close enough for a play date, though, huh?

Just about every day, I think about how "good" I have it. I tell my family how much I appreciate them, especially DH, who I don't think I could live without.

Wow, I didn't realize I was so sappy.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Tue, 07-29-2003 - 2:20pm
i have 3 best friends, my DD, my sister and my DH. to me thats all i need. I am happy, adjusted and in control of my life. When i want girl time, i hang with my sis at the club or the local coffee shop. Or we take our DD"s shopping. My sister and i have a planned trip with just us girls (dd's and us) to NY next month and i cant wait. I dont think its the amount of friends you have but the quality of the friendships you keep :)

so no guilt here!

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-15-2003
Tue, 07-29-2003 - 2:48pm
Warning about DD as best friend...

Even using that terminology puts a tremendous amount of pressure on a child. I know, my mother did it to me. I'm sure you mean well, but it's not emotionally appropriate for an adult parent to name their minor child as a "best friend."

I understand the closeness and the love you feel for your child, but I'm just cautioning you about the emotional burden you may be unintentionally putting on her. And I'm not trying to project my experience onto you; I'll just say my relationship with my mother suffered significantly as a teenager and well into adulthood because of her inappropriate emotional "stuff". She often referred to me as her "best friend" and I never considered her such; she was my mom.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Tue, 07-29-2003 - 3:06pm
I definately don't think you are abnormal or isolated!

Heya, I too think happiness comes in small doses. I think way too many people set themselves up for disappointment in their striving for happiness. Ya think some of it is the media? I mean, all you need to do for real happiness is to drink Budweiser, drive a Lexus, lose ten pounds and buy yourself a new pair of shoes and VOILA! you should be one of the happiest people on the face of the earth.

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-12-2003
Tue, 07-29-2003 - 4:04pm
Another post to let you know you are not alone!!! I have such a hard time finding really good friends, for all the same reasons. My life is pretty darned good; it's not perfect, but I'm very happy. My DH is my very best friend in the world and our marriage is incredible. All sources of great pleasure for me. But it seems as though all the women I know are either: a) at a different point in their lives and don't understand where I'm coming from; b) also married, etc, but are miserable and want everyone around them to be miserable, too; or c) immature and stupid (blunt, I know, but that just shows how little tolerance I have for people with no common sense and no ambition).

I keep telling myself that my main problem (and hopefully this is true!) is that DH and I are still so young - only 25 - and 25 today for most people still means partying and screwing around and mooching off of Mom and Dad, etc. We're hoping that when we get into our 30's, we'll find more people our own age to hang out with.

As of right now, the majority of our good friends are much older than we are, but these are the people we know who are happily married, have kids, etc... basically, the people we have things in common with.

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-11-2003
Tue, 07-29-2003 - 4:05pm
Since moving a few years ago and having kids, all at the same time, I sometimes feel the same. I have a few friends but I wouldn't call them the best friends. One is very demanding of my time and has to call me about 3 times a day. She also wants to bring her child to my house almost everyday and stay for long hours. I have tried not answering the phone for a few days and then she will always ask if something is wrong or if she did something to make me mad. Then she will literally ignore me for a week to get back at me I guess, and then start talking and calling constantly again. It is just a personality thing. I sew and crotchet and like to do that with my spare time because I find it relaxing. She doesn't have any personal hobbies and tends to crowd me.

I have another friend who like your friends is in an unhappy marriage. Most of the time she speaks well of her DH to the point of trying to paint the perfect DH and family picture. Then something happens and she breaks down and tells me how he doesn't do this or that or what ugly comment he has told her. I empathize, but she has started getting a jealous/mean streak towards me because of my relationship with my DH which is very different from her relationship. I am on my second marriage and so is my DH and our marriage is very good. She constantly has comments about second marriage flaws etc. and gloats that we pay child support in her nastier moments. I have started distancing myself from her sharp comments, but she still comes over every once in a while. Other people are blends of the same thing, or they are working moms who come home and don't really socialize after hours except with family.

Sometimes I wish I could have a friend that would limit calling me to every 2 days and maybe go out once a week or two weeks together and be fine with it. One that wouldn't want to measure housing size, what DH does for me, where we are vacationing this year, etc. Lets just talk and be friends and joke around. Where did all those type of people go?? It gets frusterating.

--Bell

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