I was talking with a good friend of mine the other day and she needed a bit of advice. She’s married and is in a good place with her marriage, her kids and just life in general. The short of it is, she’s happy.
She mentioned that she had 2 different friends that were getting divorced and were calling her for support. She wanted to know the best way to support her friends but not allow the fact that they were UNHAPPY affect her happiness. She basically wanted to know how to not be affected by their negativity. My advice was to be there for her friends as a listening ear but learn to cut the conversation short when it veered into husband-bashing. I also told her to limit her conversations with her friends when she was at home with her family (which you probably would be doing anyway).
I wasn’t trying to be mean when I gave her this advice. I have found that as women, we are quick to sit around and have good old fashioned hen sessions, which is fine. But there is a fine line, in my opinion between venting and letting off steam, and going into bashing your husband or significant other. And I think as women, we have to walk that line very carefully. Just because some else’s spouse or S/O messed up, doesn’t mean mine did/does the same things. As a newlywed wife, it’s important to me to build my marriage in a fashion that works best for me and my husband and not let a lot of opinions from other wives get into my head. Everyone’s situation is different.
I remember when I got engaged, one of my bridemaids had just wrapped up a fairly difficult divorce after being married for over 10 years. I knew it was difficult for her to end her marriage but I was happy that she was finally free from her former spouse because he was not uplifting her as a wife. I was nervous about telling her I was getting married because I knew there was some pain she was going through. But as a true friend does, she put aside her feelings to be happy for me, and was there for me in a tremendouse way during my engagement and wedding. She knew that I had wanted to be married for a very long time and she’d supported me during my singleness so it was a given that she would support me during this next transition in my life.
I know I am going all over the place with this post but I’ve been thinking about it for the last few days. I think all too often, we diminish our own joy because someone else in our lives is experiencing some pain or sadness. And that’s just really unfortunate because sometimes others NEED that joy in their own lives. My sorority sister was was over the moon for me. And you can have empathy for someone in a difficult situation and not feel like it has to be at your own personal expense.
I was kind of rambly, I know but I hope you were able to get the gist of what I was getting at. Did I give my friend some decent advice? What would you say??