Friendships Go Both Ways

No one is perfect and we are certainly not ourselves when we are grieving.  We can be touchy and super sensitive so it’s no surprise that we often forget that friendships go both ways.  So much so that we may hurt others without meaning to.

We can ask for their forgiveness, but we can’t make others forgive us for the mistakes we made while grieving.  Unfortunately, some friendships will not survive our emotional grief journey.

On the other side, their foolish comments and actions can cause us a lot of extra pain.  You need to forgive them, not for their sake but for your peace of mind.  You just don’t need this additional stress and drama in your life.

Un-forgiveness can keep you stuck in bitterness and anger.  The truth is that we often expect more support and understanding than they are able to give.  When we grieve we are messy and emotionally not with it – we can be bitter, angry and touchy about things we normally would let pass.  This may cause us to withdraw and not be the friend we used to be. Of course, we aren’t the same person that we used to be and friendships can be affected by our grief.

Friends will only be patient and understanding for so long and then they move on.  If the friendship is important to you than you have to understand how your grief may be affecting your friendships.

Your biggest mistake maybe in believing that what others offer to your friendship is more important than what you offer to it.  You are a great person, maybe a bit unbalanced, but being a widow is a work in progress and takes time.

Friends shouldn’t be expected to fill all our needs – they can’t fix the hole in our heart.  Instead they should be part of our life because of mutual respect and caring, not need.

Friendships require effort on both sides.  If either you or your friend only talk about the negatives of life, there is a good chance that the friendship will become just a griping session whenever you are together.  Instead start a habit of the first five minutes being free of the negatives and more about what each other’s plans are.  After those first five minutes you can both do some venting and griping but try to keep it balanced.

For friendships to work both of you need to feel heard, respected and appreciated.  If not, this weak friendship may need to be left behind to make room for new friends.

Make an effort to be “in the moment” when you are with each other.  Focus on just enjoying each other’s company.  If you no longer feel the friendship than understand that things change and that friendships do not come with a “life time guarantee”.

Mary Francis, The Sisterhood of Widows

  1. Cynthia meyer
    | Reply

    This is so true, it’s been a year since I lost my Ed and I know who my real friends are but I’ve also been blessed to find a few new ones.

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