He was sobbing. He didn't understand how she could do this. Had it all been a lie?
I remember standing with my friend as he faced the end of his marriage. She said she never loved him. She said it had always been terrible. And his heart was breaking because he just didn't understand.
My heart was breaking for him. She was also my friend, but I was hurting for him. This was something she was doing to him. She was hurting him. She was the bad guy. I never got her side of the story.
When a relationship ends it's easy to feel like we need to take sides. Those of us on the outside seek to understand so we know who's side to be on. Maybe not always, but often enough that we should be ashamed.
No matter how close we are to the situation, we are not those people. We do not feel what they feel. We have not experienced what they experienced. We do not know why they made the choices they did. And no matter what is said or who is blamed, we probably have no real way to know what happened.
I have never ended a marriage. I have never had my spouse end a marriage. But we did come close. I did ask him to move out. And he was so angry.
I didn't understand. I was trying to save our marriage. I believed that separating would help us figure out what was wrong and heal without being in such close proximity that we were destroying each other. He felt rejected and powerless.
And that's why being in relationships is so scary. We are giving power to the other person. By choosing to love someone, we are giving them the power to hurt us. Sometimes relationships end because both people want them to. Other times, one person chooses to end it and the other person is at their mercy.
This is true of any relationship that involves love. When you love and value someone, and they remove themselves from your life, it hurts. It could be a parent. It could be a child. It could be a friend.
For me, it was a friend. I am the one who ended it. And I am seen by many as the bad guy.
I guess I am, in a way. I didn't handle it well. I was so afraid of hurting her that I was not direct. I slowly removed myself from her life. Little by little we were just no longer connected.
Friendships are tricky things to end. It's not like you file for a divorce from a friend. Where is the line? How do you tell when a friendship is over?
I was not angry. I do not think she is a bad person. In fact, I think she is an incredible person. I admire her a great deal. But for whatever reason the friendship was no longer good for me. I think we grew in different directions. I think we both changed so much that we didn't fit together any more. Even after trying to put it back together a couple of times, it just no longer felt right. It felt forced and fake.
The relationship was not good for me. I'm not saying she wasn't good. We weren't good together. I was unhappy. I wanted out. The more I tried to make it work, the worse I felt about myself. I was being untrue to myself by pretending I could make it work.
Ending our friendship hurt her. I am sorry about that. I hate the fact that I caused her pain.
But it is my responsibility to take care of myself. Our relationship was causing me pain. Maybe that is selfish, but I believe it is what was right for me. I wish there were a way for me to make the decision that is right for me without making a decision that caused her pain. I couldn't find one. And I did try.
We had many good years together. I am a better person because of her influence in my life. I think of her often and hope she is happy.
And I know I made the right choice.