Turn and face the strain: changes
I don’t deal with change so well. I don’t deal with hope so well either so we’ll leave any discussions of Obama’s marketing slogan for the 2008 presidential election for another day.
Change is hard for me. My husband’s most frequent comment to me is that I live in the past. He’s right; I’ll readily acknowledge that I do. Especially for someone who insists on planning for the future.
When it comes to friendships, change is especially hard for me. The changes that occurred in my friendship after I made the transition from being a single woman to a married woman were difficult. My friends were no longer first in my life; my husband now was—and that’s how it had to be from that point on.
This grieved me incredibly. I’m sure it grieved them more. Not only did I get married but I left New York state soon after to move hundreds of miles away to Kentucky. They probably felt as though I’d left them behind. And I must acknowledge that I did.
Now, I have a close friend who has just given birth to a beautiful baby girl. I am happy for her. But as I visited her and her husband today, their main attentions centered around this tiny, helpless life who needed care and attentiveness. It was then that I experienced what my single friends must have felt when I got married: I felt left behind.
My friend and her husband have moved into a new stage of life that includes a child. And today, I felt the sudden shift in our friendship like Californians feel the shift of the earth underneath. We initially became friends at church because we were one of the few young married couples who were still childless. Not that it was a stage of life my friend particularly wanted or liked but it was where she was and it was where I was and it was one of the reasons we were able to become good friends.
I have lots of friends who have children but I suppose I’ve always had a hard time relating to them because they’re moms and I’m not and I hate bugging them because their children are their first priorities. And I’ve never seen this particular friend that way but with her new daughter, that’s where our friendship is headed. And I’m sad and I grieve a bit because even though we’ll still be friends, our friendship will never be the same.
My heart now sincerely goes out to my single friends who lost me to a husband. I understand how they feel now.