Clareified

Where does the good go

Relationship posts I heartily co-sign

The first is from the brilliantly insightful Carolyn Edgar about ending long-term platonic friendships.

The second is about ending romantic relationships by my number three arch-nemesis, Ken Wheaton. Who I hate. Except when he writes awesome posts. Then, he’s Ken Wheaton who I REALLY HATE! Awesome blog posts ARE MY THING! MINE! Jerkwad.

13 Responses to “Relationship posts I heartily co-sign”

  1. Ken Wheaton Says:

    No. 3? Man, that kinda hurts. Could I at least get 2.5?

  2. Dawn Summers Says:

    NO. We hate you.

  3. pearatty Says:

    Hmm, I did not care for the Edgar post. It was vague about who did what to whom, and lots of “if someone walks out of your life let them go”, but then didn’t say if it was she or her friend who did the walking.

    So, first, I think women are really bad about ending friendships without being up front with the friend that that’s what’s happening. We complain to high heaven about the guy we’ve been dating for 5 months who just stops calling, but then end 20-year friendships the same way. And then the friend says “what’s going on, did I do something?” And we say “No, no, I’m just really busy right now.” And then bitch to our other friends about “geez, why can’t she get the message?” I’m guilty of this myself, though not recently. It’s cruel, and it’s weak. If that’s what happened to Edgar, I’m sorry for her, and don’t think she should excuse it. But I have the sense that it’s her that did this to her own friends.

    Also, it’s a sensitive subject for me when people say they broke up with a friend because the friend had a toxic partner. I know how annoying it can be. But if I were Edgar’s friend “Stephanie” my attitude would be, “hey, I was in a really difficult, toxic relationship, and you abandoned me.”

    I’m going to say that you’re not allowed to dump a friend because of a toxic partner unless you’ve made a genuine effort to work around the partner, and be up front with your friend that that’s what your doing. As in “Stephanie, I’m going to say this once. I love you and always will. I don’t enjoy Dick’s company, and don’t care for what I see of your relationship. I’m never going to talk about Dick with your again, unless you tell me you want to. But let’s you and me get together on our own, when you want to hang out.” If you do that, and “Stephanie” gets pissed, well, you’re no worse off than if you’d just blown her off.

    What toxic people do is isolate their partners. By dumping your friend, you’re playing right into the toxic person’s plan.

    That Wheaton post, though, spot on.

  4. Dawn Summers Says:

    LOL Uh oh. Is that post about you? cause I will fight her! Actually, you were very good with your toxic partner in groups. I didnt hate him till you came clean. But now I hate him soooo much! *shakes fist* *throws darts*

  5. Carolyn Edgar Says:

    @pearatty: I’m sorry you didn’t care for my post. Everyone is entitled to his or her own opinion. But you read an awful lot into spaces I left blank for a good reason.

    I didn’t chronicle the details of what went wrong with Lisa and Stephanie because I truly feel those details are (1) personal, and (2) beside the point. The point I wanted to make was the one I made: that no matter what the reason, when someone leaves your life, let them, no matter how hard it is. For the record, I didn’t dump or abandon anyone in their time of need. I said that Stephanie was bad at taking counsel from others and that she withdrew from anyone trying to offer it. That’s all that I need to say about that.

    The kind of speech you suggest, is the kind of thing people say to make themselves, not the other person, feel better. “Well, I told her how I feel but that I’m there for her, so my conscience is clear.” Really? “Stephanie, your man is a louse and I think you’re a dumb ass for staying with him, but anytime you wanna hang out, let’s.” Umm, no. It’s like watching someone destroy themselves with drugs, which I’ve also had the misfortune of doing. At some point, you just can’t be present for another person’s self-destruction.

    Thanks for your comments (feel free to leave one on my blog as well).

  6. pearatty Says:

    But now I hate him soooo much! *shakes fist* *throws darts*

    And that’s why I love you. :)

    Actually, you were very good with your toxic partner in groups.

    Yeah, we did some of our best work in public.

    But actually, I wouldn’t even say he was toxic, exactly. Very very difficult to live with, and kinda nutty, in ways that some people really disliked and other people found charming or just eccentric. And super jerky during and after the breakup, to be sure. But I did have long-term friends who cut me loose because they found him annoying, and I have dated actually toxic people with the same result.

    I’m not the Stephanie in the Edgar post, but without more detail from her, I could have been. (Hence, the “sensitive topic”.) And honestly, I did eventually get the picture that I was being “broken up” with by my friends, but I did not know why. And it would have made a difference to me in evaluating my relationship, to know how people I had cared about and trusted for 10 years or more, felt about my partner. When your partner is telling you that you are crazy for being bothered by his crazy, and your friends are just drifting away from you, it can be a confirmation of what your crazy partner is telling you — “I’m the crazy one, even my friends don’t like me anymore.”

    And when those friends came back to me after the break up, and said “oh thank goodness, I never felt comfortable telling you how much I hated him, but now we can hang out again,” well, the trust is gone. I know I can’t count on those people to tell me what’s on their mind.

  7. pearatty Says:

    (x-posted with Carolyn)

  8. pearatty Says:

    Carolyn: thanks for your thoughts. I have a feeling both of us (and Dawn too, probably) are really writing about our own experiences, and imagining that the other is writing about our own experience too, and filling in the blanks accordingly. :)

    I think my post above pretty much responds to your comment, although I cross-posted with yours, so hadn’t seen it yet. But actually, this:

    “Stephanie, your man is a louse and I think you’re a dumb ass for staying with him, but anytime you wanna hang out, let’s.”

    Minus the “I think you’re a dumb ass for staying with him”, yeah, I think that’s exactly what you should say. If your Stephanie withdrew because she didn’t want to hear it, then that’s on her. But I think we assume that it’s obvious to the person in the relationship how we feel about thier partner, when it often isn’t.

    And I also get how annoying it can be to hear someone bitch for years about their partner without doing anything about it. I think it’s perfectly acceptable to say “you know, Dick’s been doing that since you were dating, and I think you’re right that it’s wrong, and will think you’re right the next time, and the time after that, but I’m tired of hearing about it without you doing something about it. So I’m not going to listen to stories about Dick anymore. How about those Mets?”

  9. Dawn Summers Says:

    . I have a feeling both of us (and Dawn too, probably) are really writing about our own experiences, and imagining that the other is writing about our own experience too, and filling in the blanks accordingly.

    This is why conversations are hard and people get blogs. I didnt see any of your comments over on carolyn’s site. are they being held for moderation of something? you sure it posted properly?

  10. pearatty Says:

    Ok, I posted them over there. Does posting only over here count as talking behind Carolyn’s back?

  11. Dawn Summers Says:

    hahaha nah, I can just appreciate the quest for comments.

  12. Katie Says:

    Thanks for posting these. I’ve handled some breakups with grace and dignity, and others were giant debacles. It’s funny – with friendships I seem to much more easily walk away and not look back. With guys things tend to get stupid. I need to work on that.

  13. Dawn Summers Says:

    “With guys things tend to get stupid” We need coffee mugs that say this

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