January 17, 2018

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Opinion

Drift off from friend instead of abrupt break

Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: How do you end a long-term friendship? I no longer feel a connection to this person and we have recently had disagreements and some conflict in our relationship. I feel that we have drifted apart in our values and interests and I really don’t see that resolving itself.

Even though my kids have hung out with her kids, there really isn’t a strong friendship there, nor between our husbands, but I have to assume they would like their friendship to continue. What is the best way to do this? Offer some explanation to her, or just start ghosting her and slowly disappearing from her life? I feel the latter is the way to go, or maybe that’s just the cowardly way of doing it. — Ghosting, St. James

Dear Ghosting: Men have been drifting off friendships in real life and ghosting (disappearing online) for years, and when they run into the old friend they ditched, there’s often no real problem. They just say, “Oh hi, how are you doing these days?” and have a short conversation. There’s never a real fight to get over.

In those cases, the people involved most often never spoke intimately or told their friend any real secrets the way women do.

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Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: How do you end a long-term friendship? I no longer feel a connection to this person and we have recently had disagreements and some conflict in our relationship. I feel that we have drifted apart in our values and interests and I really don’t see that resolving itself.

Even though my kids have hung out with her kids, there really isn’t a strong friendship there, nor between our husbands, but I have to assume they would like their friendship to continue. What is the best way to do this? Offer some explanation to her, or just start ghosting her and slowly disappearing from her life? I feel the latter is the way to go, or maybe that’s just the cowardly way of doing it. — Ghosting, St. James

Dear Ghosting: Men have been drifting off friendships in real life and ghosting (disappearing online) for years, and when they run into the old friend they ditched, there’s often no real problem. They just say, "Oh hi, how are you doing these days?" and have a short conversation. There’s never a real fight to get over.

In those cases, the people involved most often never spoke intimately or told their friend any real secrets the way women do.

Women, on the other hand, tell each other about their real lives, secrets, listen to complaints and look after them when they are sick or sad. It’s pretty hard to drift off or just "ghost" from that, even when it stops being good.

Women may say something in anger and then they are both mad and/or hurt. Also, they tell everyone else who will listen.

In a case of a long-term relationship like yours with this woman and her family, hit the middle.

Stop resolving the disagreements and don’t share any more secrets, even though you’re used to gossiping with each other.

Take a "whatever" attitude and don’t ignore opposing thoughts on divisive issues.

Speak up, even if it gets uncomfortable and there’s a spat. Let the differences build up, and at the same time, see less and less of this person.

If she corners you, don’t deny the friendship is damping down.

Just say, "I guess we don’t have as much in common anymore." That’s not a comment worthy of a fight, such as, "I’ve had enough of you and your attitudes. Get out of my life!"

Slowly drifting away may be the way for you to go here, but ghosting is too hurtful for women, who need to know what’s going on in their friendships, if possible.

 

Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: I think you may have missed the boat on the Drinking Wife problem, the woman who is always quietly stewed and reminds the husband of his alcoholic mother.

First, he should seek out Al-Anon to determine whether he is a codependent or not.

If he is, upon leaving his wife, in time he will simply get involved with another woman with an addictive personality. I’ve seen it over and over again. — Woman Called "K", Winnipeg

Dear K: Though it makes sense to find out if someone is codependent, it doesn’t make sense to stay with the first wife because there’s a chance he might choose another alcoholic.

Lots of people leave alcoholics and want nothing to do with other bad drinkers, and don’t choose them consciously or subconsciously.

Should he seek help through a counsellor, psychologist or a codependency group? He’s going to learn a lot, granted, but just because his wife turned out to be an alcoholic doesn’t mean he needs a relationship where he is addicted to the caretaking of a drinker. Codependent people build their lives around taking care of others rather than facing their own life challenges and developing a healthy, fully productive life.

Please send your questions and comments to lovecoach@hotmail.com or Miss Lonelyhearts c/o the Winnipeg Free Press, 1355 Mountain Ave., Winnipeg, MB, R2X 3B6

Read more by Miss Lonelyhearts.

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