Military Significant Others and Spouse Support - MilitarySOS.com
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 19

Thread: Friend Issues

  1. Senior Member
    rayzgirl's Avatar
    rayzgirl is offline
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Me: Colorado
    Posts
    552
    #1

    Confused Friend Issues

    Advertisements
    So I should give a little background before I get around to my question....I grew up in a fairly conservative, Christian, homeschooling background. Thankfully, my parents weren't as legalistic and strict as some of the other families we knew but my friends' parents were. We met all of these people (and kind of branched into a new phase of our family's life) at a new church when I was about 13. Once we started going there I made a handful of girlfriends, primarily because about 99% of all the kids in church were homeschooled so we all had a lot in common. I had 3 good friends, 2 of whom this post involves, I'll call them "Anna" and "Abby". Anna is about my age and Abby is two years younger and they are sisters.

    As you can imagine, we were all fairly straitlaced and model little citizens throughout high school, definitely the "I Kissed Dating Goodbye" and "Authentic Beauty" style girls (popular Christian books). Our viewpoints and beliefs were all quite similar and, of course, that was part of our friendship. Once I went to college, I considered things for myself and went through a crisis of faith. I was so disillusioned with how I had been raised that I tended to throw the baby out with the bathwater. Consequently, that did strain my friendship with both Anna and Abby. Plus, I had gone out of state for college and was actually living away from home while they both went to local schools and lived with their parents (they both moved out within the past two years). Our experiences during that phase of life were just very different.

    Post-college, I would have said that our friendship was alright. It got back onto more solid footing, particularly within the past few years since I moved away from home again (I now live across the country from my family and friends) and I have been grateful that we could maintain communication through text and facebook chat, primarily. When I would go home I would generally try to make plans to get together with them and catch up. If asked, I would have said that our friendship was good all things considered (how much our lifetsyles and viewpoints have diverged).

    Since I moved across the country and have spent several years truly on my own, I have really come into my own quite a bit. I've been able to sort through some things and solidify more about what I believe and what my viewpoints are. Some of them I share with my family and friends, others I don't. And I'm okay with that. I respect their right to their opinions and I accept that we have our differences but that doesn't have to affect our relationships. I should add that I've become very libertarian, so still similar in regards to fiscal policies but seriously different on social issues (I believe gay marriage should be legal, I support a woman's right to choose an abortion, etc). As some of you probably know, social issues tend to be sticky topics for many Christians, particularly the ones I just mentioned. Over the past year, I've started to be more open about my viewpoints. I don't try to attack anyone else's views or get into big arguments, I just share my opinion, generally via blog posts or articles that I agree with on facebook. I have wondered if that might get me into some hot water with the more conservative element of family/friends that are friends on there but I wanted to be honest about who I am and have the same opportunity to share my viewpoints that everyone else does on facebook.

    This past summer I went home to visit my family and was able to see Anna. Our visit was enjoyable and cordial. The day I left was the same day that DOMA was struck down. I shared an article about that via facebook and simply put a caption something along the lines of "I'm glad to see this." Anna texted me and asked "Are you pro-gay?" I responded by saying that I would consider myself to be libertarian and explained my viewpoint concisely. She didn't attempt to engage in an argument and it seemed like that was that. However, ever since then she has grown more and more distant. To the point where she doesn't talk to me anymore. I didn't notice it at first because not every single text or facebook message gets answered. But after a month or two I suddenly thought "Huh. She hasn't responded to anything I've said lately." I had last attempted to communicate via a friendly facebook message. About two months later she responded with a brief response about what she had been doing, was busy, etc. I promptly sent a reply and I think that was the last time I heard from her (which was the end of August).

    I have to say that I tend to be the type of person that is very sensitive about my relationships. I invest a lot and I expect the same from those I consider to be friends. I will make the effort to reach out a few times but if I'm rebuffed or ignored then I will just quit because I am very sensitive to rejection (probably overly much). That is why I have stopped making an effort to contact Anna because she didn't seem to have any desire to talk to me and certainly wasn't making an attempt to initiate herself. At first I thought things with Abby were okay despite what was going on with Anna (and I didn't try to talk to either of them about the other). But all communication on her end has fallen off too. When I made my relationship with DB public I was watching to see if they would say anything, text me, "like" the pictures on facebook....just some indication of a big change in my life that I would have liked to share with them because I am very happy with DB. Nothing.

    So all this to get to my question (ha ha)....at this point I'm not sure how to handle my visit home for Christmas next month. The situation is awkward because, as I explained earlier, our families all went to church together, basically grew up together, our parents know each other, etc. My sisters are best friends with Anna and Abby's younger sisters, our Mothers are friends, etc. My Mom LOVES Anna and Abby and sometimes I think she probably wishes I were more like them. It would not go unnoticed if I don't make plans to get together with them and, unfortunately, it would be awkward to explain this situation to my Mom or sisters. They just wouldn't understand because they really love the sisters and think highly of them. I have wondered if maybe I should make the token gesture of facebook messaging or texting Anna and Abby and saying "Hey, I'm going to be in town these dates. If you would like to get together, let me know" and then leave it at that. Part of me doesn't even want to bother because I am hurt that they've basically given me the cold shoulder with no explanation and no offense on my part. I hate feeling like I'm running after them when they don't seem to want a friendship with me anymore. But I also don't want to deal with my family asking why I didn't make an effort to get together.

    If you read all of this, thank you!!! I guess I'm just wondering what suggestions/advice anyone might have about how to handle a situation like this.
    "...so have I chosen, both the sweet and the bitter."
    -tolkien-
  2. Regular Member
    Alexandria♥'s Avatar
    Alexandria♥ is offline
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Posts
    230
    #2
    Let them know that you will be in town and leave the ball in their court to decide to meet. If you guys do meet up I would consider doing two things. Have a serious talk about not letting politics get in the way of friendship. If you guys can get all your cards onto the table and get past it, go do an activity of some sort, one that doesn't drift towards politics, viewpoints, etc. something that keeps you actively focused on your friendship and nothing else. If it doesn't work out at least you tried which is a lot more than some people can say. Hope this helps.
  3. MilitarySOS Jewel
    Ol' Grey Mare's Avatar
    Ol' Grey Mare is offline
    MilitarySOS Jewel
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Indiana
    Posts
    14,646
    #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Alexandria♥ View Post
    Let them know that you will be in town and leave the ball in their court to decide to meet. If you guys do meet up I would consider doing two things. Have a serious talk about not letting politics get in the way of friendship. If you guys can get all your cards onto the table and get past it, go do an activity of some sort, one that doesn't drift towards politics, viewpoints, etc. something that keeps you actively focused on your friendship and nothing else. If it doesn't work out at least you tried which is a lot more than some people can say. Hope this helps.
  4. MilitarySOS Jewel
    katinahat's Avatar
    katinahat is offline
    MilitarySOS Jewel
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Posts
    20,893

    #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Alexandria♥ View Post
    Let them know that you will be in town and leave the ball in their court to decide to meet. If you guys do meet up I would consider doing two things. Have a serious talk about not letting politics get in the way of friendship. If you guys can get all your cards onto the table and get past it, go do an activity of some sort, one that doesn't drift towards politics, viewpoints, etc. something that keeps you actively focused on your friendship and nothing else. If it doesn't work out at least you tried which is a lot more than some people can say. Hope this helps.
    I agree with this.

    One of my good friends doesn't celebrate Halloween, doesn't support gay marriage, etc. for religious reasons. We just either 1) don't talk about those things or 2) make sure that we remain respectful in our conversations and don't dwell on those topics. I am a "liberal Christian", I guess, so I often don't fit in with the fundamentalist side of things, but they're still my brothers and sisters in Christ, so I still want to be friends with them. It can be a difficult path to navigate.
    ​​​

    “Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known.” -- Carl Sagan

  5. Account Closed
    Lynn's Avatar
    Lynn is offline
    Account Closed
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    It could be worse.
    Posts
    29,398
    #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Alexandria♥ View Post
    Let them know that you will be in town and leave the ball in their court to decide to meet. If you guys do meet up I would consider doing two things. Have a serious talk about not letting politics get in the way of friendship. If you guys can get all your cards onto the table and get past it, go do an activity of some sort, one that doesn't drift towards politics, viewpoints, etc. something that keeps you actively focused on your friendship and nothing else. If it doesn't work out at least you tried which is a lot more than some people can say. Hope this helps.
    I agree with this.


    One thing to evaluate, in case you do meet and talk with them, is your own feelings on having close friends who don't share your views and why you want to remain close with people who so strongly object to things you find to be completely normal. What are you trying to hold on to? Are you going to be able to have a close relationship going forward when you disagree so strongly on these issues?

    Your friendships in life will face crossroads and it can be done graciously and without animosity so it isn't uncomfortable for those in the overlapping circles of all of your lives. They may feel that they can't be friends at all with you because you don't share their views - if that's the case, you need to prepare yourself for that and how you will respond to that so you can close that door and know that you didn't do anything wrong and don't hold negative feelings about it.
  6. Senior Member
    Andie's Avatar
    Andie is offline
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Arizona
    Posts
    12,747
    #6
    I guess it depends... If you're only doing it because your mom would like it, I wouldn't bother contacting them. Some friendships you outgrow. It happens. You can still like/care about them and not want to maintain a friendship.

    However, if you would like to reach out and rebuild that friendship despite the differences, then I'd do what Alexandria suggested.
  7. In vino veritas
    Dr.VinoVet's Avatar
    Dr.VinoVet is offline
    In vino veritas
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Posts
    14,852
    #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Andie View Post
    I guess it depends... If you're only doing it because your mom would like it, I wouldn't bother contacting them. Some friendships you outgrow. It happens. You can still like/care about them and not want to maintain a friendship.

    However, if you would like to reach out and rebuild that friendship despite the differences, then I'd do what Alexandria suggested.
  8. Senior Member
    *Palindrome*'s Avatar
    *Palindrome* is offline
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    VA to Japanland!
    Posts
    4,528
    #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Andie View Post
    I guess it depends... If you're only doing it because your mom would like it, I wouldn't bother contacting them. Some friendships you outgrow. It happens. You can still like/care about them and not want to maintain a friendship.

    However, if you would like to reach out and rebuild that friendship despite the differences, then I'd do what Alexandria suggested.

  9. The Decider
    Brianna Banana's Avatar
    Brianna Banana is offline
    The Decider
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Tempe, AZ
    Posts
    12,773
    Blog Entries
    1
    #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Andie View Post
    I guess it depends... If you're only doing it because your mom would like it, I wouldn't bother contacting them. Some friendships you outgrow. It happens. You can still like/care about them and not want to maintain a friendship.

    However, if you would like to reach out and rebuild that friendship despite the differences, then I'd do what Alexandria suggested.
    I agree with this. If your mom asks questions, I would just tell her "We've drifted apart." You're several states away (I'm assuming), have gone through college with a completely different social circle, and are seeing someone new. It probably wouldn't come as a shock that you haven't maintained a strong friendship.
    Next time you shop on Amazon, click through this link to help an amazing veterans' organization!

    My 101 blog
    The Arizona Oenophile. Wine snobbery!


    Lovin' up on WiggleWiggle~ since 04.06.2011!
  10. Senior Member
    rayzgirl's Avatar
    rayzgirl is offline
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Me: Colorado
    Posts
    552
    #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Lynn View Post
    I agree with this.


    One thing to evaluate, in case you do meet and talk with them, is your own feelings on having close friends who don't share your views and why you want to remain close with people who so strongly object to things you find to be completely normal. What are you trying to hold on to? Are you going to be able to have a close relationship going forward when you disagree so strongly on these issues?

    Your friendships in life will face crossroads and it can be done graciously and without animosity so it isn't uncomfortable for those in the overlapping circles of all of your lives. They may feel that they can't be friends at all with you because you don't share their views - if that's the case, you need to prepare yourself for that and how you will respond to that so you can close that door and know that you didn't do anything wrong and don't hold negative feelings about it.
    Thanks to everyone for the responses. I think what everyone said is basically along the lines of what I've been thinking. I choose to quote this comment from Lynn because it feels very applicable. In answer to your questions, I've given the situation some thought (and will continue to do so) and, honestly, I have a feeling that if our differences of viewpoint/opinion/belief are such a significant issue to them (and, obviously, all of this is a huge guess as to why they've started giving me the cold shoulder but I have a feeling it's probably correct) then we probably won't be able to retain a friendship. I've seen this happen within my family, with relatives, and with other friends. It's so frustrating because I feel judged without them even bothering to talk to me about their concerns/issues and clarify what exactly it is that I think/believe. And I would certainly like to retain the friendships because the differences are just not deal breakers for me. But, unfortunately, it probably is for them and I do need to accept that.

    Friendships do come and go, particularly throughout the various seasons of our life, and that seems to be a fact of life. It just makes me so sad that some have to end under these circumstances. I think I will try to be gracious and at least extend the invitation to get together while I'm in town so that I know I did try.
    "...so have I chosen, both the sweet and the bitter."
    -tolkien-
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •