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Truth vs Frienship
Having best friends is something that we experience from our childhood. However, as we "mature" and become adults our friendships take different forms. You recognize those friends that are meant for a lifetime and those that are more of an acquaintance than a true friend. I've learned that friends usually fall into these 2 categories.
The lifetime friends are the ones that will require some extra leg work, similar to love relationships. We usually tend to take for granted these friendships because, well, they're friendships. We don't think they require TLC and usually ignore the important details.
Part of nurturing a friendship is dealing with the trials and tribulations that life presents to us. This means being honest when you don't want to be honest. What does that mean anyways? Many people have said, "If they are your friends, they will listen". Or, "It's their life, let them make their own decisions and don't get involved". Being honest comes with two stipulations to consider: keeping or losing a friendship.
My friend, Beth, is a good example. Beth was in a relationship with a man that, well, there are no nice words to describe him. He was a liar, manipulator, smooth talker, and many other things. Beth and Greg had been on and off for years. Greg was, what he claims, "framed" and ended up in prison for a couple of years. Beth, as usual, was by his side the entire time. While in prison, he was enlightened and convinced Beth of a beautiful life when he got out. He even proposed to her with an "I owe you" ring. Needless to say, I was not very happy to see my friend put her life on hold for someone that had consistently proven to be worthless. I should add that she would travel 4 hours, each way, to visit him every weekend. So, here was my 30-something, beautiful and intelligent friend waiting for this man to get out of prison to get married. I didn't agree with it but I honestly thought, he still has at least a year left and he probably won't go thru with the wedding. I kept my opinions to myself. I had already told her of my distaste of the situation so there was no need for me to say even more.
I was wrong! I was wrong about keeping my opinions to myself and I was wrong about his/hers wedding plans. Now, I had to decide if I should tell her that it was a BAD idea or not. We lived in different cities so our visits were usually catching up and discussing daily life occurrences. I decided to tell her the wedding was another heart break waiting to happen. As I drove down to meet her, I realized there was a strong possibility that she would send me to hell and I would lose a friend. However, if I didn't say anything I would have to live with the regret of not saying anything. Because and only because this was a life changing event, I said my piece. She was receptive but still married him. During their marriage our friendship was placed on "pause", that's what I like to call it. Their marriage lasted less than a year as she found out he was cheating on her with many women. She wasn't sure if I would say, "I told you so" or if I would just lend a shoulder to cry on. I went with the latter.
I learned that sometimes you have to be willing to lose a friend. I was lucky Beth was so receptive and never held a grudge for not agreeing with her wedding. Even on the day of the wedding I said, "there is still time, I can tell the valet guy to pull my car up", she still didn't get angry. Rather than spending time talking about how Beth was making an awful decision I decided to take such a huge risk and be honest.
If you are ever in the same position, assess the repercussions of your honesty, assess your friendship and your standpoint before you share your truth. And, be tactful!!! We all have feelings and it is hard to hear opinions from your closest ones. Life long decisions are hard to make and having true friends there to tell you the truth is just as important as making those decisions. Friendships are relationships in need of TLC just like all of our other relationships. Take care of them.