When Is a Friendship Worth Letting Go Of?
By: Beth McHugh 2009
Some of us are lucky enough to have friends for life. Perhaps we met them on our first day at school and that was it – glued together for life through a series of boyfriends, exams, spouses, children, break-ups and illnesses.
Most times we accumulate friends at different stages of our lives; some we keep, some we lose track of. But sometimes we have friends who really aren’t healthy for us and we would be better of without, but somehow we just never get around to breaking the bond.
Take for example the case of Jane and Samantha. Jane and Sam had been friends for ten years but what started out as fun and with one mutual interest in common began to unravel over time. When Jane’s father was diagnosed with cancer, Sam suddenly disappeared off the radar and did not even bother to attend her friend’s father’s funeral. After several months, when things had literally “died down” and all the hard grieving work was done, Sam suddenly resurfaced for coffee dates.
But Jane was in for more trouble as she contracted a virus followed by a spider bite and was laid up for eight weeks. Where was Sam? Well, Samantha had disappeared yet again. Jane was reliant on her family and other friends to help her put during the time she was bedridden.
Then came the day that Jane’s youngest son left home. Jane had gone through grieving processes when her other children had left home but this son was her “baby” and she took it hard. She cried when she needed to but Samantha, who had no experience of children or the bond that forms between parent and child simply dismissed it all with a wave of her hand. So once again, Jane turned to other more experienced women for support.
It was after this event, so long into the friendship, that Jane realized that Samantha was really no friend at all. Sam was a classic case of a fair weather friend and thought nothing of getting Jane to do all the odd jobs for her that she didn’t really want to do herself. Samantha didn’t even wash her own car, but paid someone to do it and Jane decided that enough was enough when Samantha suggested that Jane wash her car for her as “she had more time than Sam had”.
Jane has since moved on to better friends, ones that not only respect
her but consider friendship to be a 2-way street, not a one-way cul-de-sac
in favor of one person.