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Where did all the friendships go?
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Submitted by mydogsarelazy on September 23, 2006 - 1:59pm
I am in my late 40's and in the past five years I have found myself losing friends left and right. Has anyone else been through this?
A little bit of background...
When I was growing up I always had friends. It wasn't that I was one of those "popular" kids, but I always had a circle of close friends, and also plenty of people who I just felt comfortable with.
My friends from High School stayed friends even when I went to college six hours away, and of course I made more friends there.
Through my thirties, the phone was always ringing, and the friendships continued.
Five years ago, my whole life went on hold when I was diagnosed with testicular cancer, needed chemotherapy and did not go to work for six months. During that time, my wife of ten years filed for divorce so that was a tremendous jolt. That is when the friendship losses began.
Naturally, going through a divorce made me wonder how much of a "friend" my ex-wife had been, and of course her continuing close friendship (although probably not an affair) with my closest friend from High School meant more pain. My stepkids were of course totally conflicted by the divorce and my relationships with them have never recovered.
Other friends, who I had expected to say "thank god you made it through cancer and divorce" also fell away gradually. Maybe when I re-married, many of them didn't quite know how to revive a friendship with me and my new wife. Going through a crisis like I went through matured and changed me, so many of my old friends and I seemed to have less in common.
Where I work, I have many "hey, how are you?" informal friends, but that circle of close friends has really dwindled.
Yes, divorce is a bit part of this -- it divides people and shakes things up -- but I also feel that so many people around me are just too busy with their families, money problems, careers etc. to give time to friendship. A recent acquaintance who just moved here from Germany tells me that she finds Californians pre-occupied and flakey, and that people often make then break social commitments to her.
OK, that was quite a rant. How are you doing with friendship in this very busy world?
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