Out growing a friendship....

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Oct 30, 2010 1:40 PM GMT
    I met 1 of my best friends 20 years ago when I first came out and we would ravage through the bars together during our 20s having a great time.

    Being there for each other during parts of our lives & etc even though he was always the type to ask "favors" of friends to always get what he wanted & etc but Ive never been the type to ask anyone help with anything wanting to make my own way and take care of my responsibilities without asking help from anyone.

    Anyway....fast forward 20 years later he & I are both partnered but I work 3rd shift, 12 hours a day sometimes, have 3 kids schedules to keep up with, own & take care of my own home by myself, try to find/spend time with my bf that lives two hours away and etc. It gets rather hectic at times. When I do have free time I usually crash and sleep & etc.

    My friend on the other hand is still stuck in this mode of all he wants to do is take trips, party with friends, go to bars & doesnt even plan for his retirement or anything. It drives me crazy & then when hes bored in town or off from work gets rude & frustrated with me when I dont make time for him & I never do anything with him.

    He is a good friend but our schedules & priorities in life are obviously different. I have about had it & am about to let the friendship go.

    Am I wrong? I know my circumstances as a gay man are different than most because I do have 3 kids & am very involved in their lives & my bf is a priority also as I have to travel out of town to see him.

    I get tired of being yanked & pulled in every direction but dont make a point to spend time with him as all he wants to do is go to bars, travel and talk about how his bf & him are & he feels lonely. Even when he is here in town he just wants to sit at a local bar & drink beer with friends & Im way to busy & get to bored for that.

    Am I being a selfish prick? I just think we have different priorities in life & have gone our separate ways. What do you think? Am I being a bad person/friend?
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    Oct 30, 2010 1:55 PM GMT
    You have 3 kids and he think you're selfish for not abandoning them to spend time with him?
    Sounds like he's the selfish one.

    My best friend lives next door to me in the same duplex. He's got a wife and two kids, ages 2 and 5. The difference is I understand he's busy with his family, and encourage him to stay with them instead of partying with me.

    Your friend needs to learn some respect.
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    Oct 30, 2010 3:16 PM GMT
    redbull saidAm I being a selfish prick? I just think we have different priorities in life & have gone our separate ways. What do you think? Am I being a bad person/friend?


    I don't think so. Having kids changes all sorts of priorities. They come first. Your friend second. If your friend doesn't understand that, then that's his problem, not yours.But yes, your relationship with him will change, the question is, will he go along with those changes, or simply long for the good ol' days which can no longer be a reality--not necessarily an end to the friendship per se, but an end to the type of friendship you might have had.
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    Oct 30, 2010 3:16 PM GMT
    I don't think the solution is to end the friendship, sometimes you need a break from each other. If a friendship is strong enough to last 20 years then there's something going for it despite the two of you now having differing lifestyles.
    I sort of had the same problem with my best friend (which is the longest friendship I've had) a few years ago whilst we were living together. I had a emotionally breakdown and was pretty inconsiderate of her which she never saw that side of me before and distanced herself from me. We ended up drifting away and not catching up for about 2 years and the separation was really good for us since we did spend a lot of time together and couldn't really concentrate on having our own space. We are pretty different from each other now, I don't drink very often anymore (we used to get drunk at least 4 days a week) and have a very low tolerance for alcohol but she still drinks quite a bit which is the basis of most of her socialising and I'm more interested in the opera than metal gigs. And I don't have as much money as I used to so I don't go out so much and we understand that we don't have to see each other everytime one of us calls.

    Explain to your friend that your circumstance has changed since you both have been hanging out and you can't live in each others' pockets like you used to anymore. It's not like you don't want to be friends with him, just to see him in different settings rather than the same bar scene.
  • HndsmKansan

    Posts: 16311

    Oct 30, 2010 3:21 PM GMT
    You aren't being selfish, you are showing a maturity he lacks. If it were me, I wuuld continue being friendly with him, but make it clear that while you certainly consider him a friend, you have priorities in your life these days which outweigh partying as your number 1 priority.
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    Oct 30, 2010 3:30 PM GMT
    TerraFirma said--not necessarily an end to the friendship per se, but an end to the type of friendship you might have had.
    Exactly...
  • CuriousJockAZ

    Posts: 19138

    Oct 30, 2010 3:33 PM GMT
    I don't think you are being selfish at all, Red. Life happens and friendships evolve in the meantime -- sometimes you get even closer, other times you grow apart. Doesn't mean you can't still be friends, only that the boundaries have changed.
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    Oct 30, 2010 4:16 PM GMT
    Looks like you've evolved but he hasn't. I have many friends whose lives have changed and evolved, while mine has not. I'm still single, but more alone now in my 40's, since my friends all got married, had kids, moved away to pursue careers, acquired life partners who now take up most of their time, etc, etc.

    I never complain, I never tell them they are wrong, I never do anything to try to make then regret the way they have chosen to go in life. I just realize I'm not one of the lucky ones who have achieved something better in life - yet (knock on wood). We all want to find fulfillment and happiness, or at least some level of satisfaction and something worthwhile to occupy our days.

    If he is complaining about you doing those things and achieving a better and more worthwhile existence, he is the one not being much of a friend, in my opinion.

    It's nice to go out and have fun once in a while, get a drink and hang out with buddies, but that can get pretty boring for someone with different aspirations. I would say, keep him at arms length and apply the good roads, fair weather principle to your relationship with him. Only infrequent, light social contact and only when necessary, nothing more.
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    Oct 30, 2010 4:23 PM GMT
    redbull saidAm I being a selfish prick? I just think we have different priorities in life & have gone our separate ways. What do you think? Am I being a bad person/friend?


    No you are not being a selfish prick. It is unfortunate but we do out grow our friends. Especially when they continue to burn you and their apologies no longer mean anything.
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    Oct 30, 2010 4:24 PM GMT

    Every friend is not meant to travel your path in life for the duration. Sometimes ppl need rest stops. If you truly value the relationship you have to find solace in defining it differently. For best results I say communicate your feelings and see where his head is at.
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    Oct 30, 2010 6:19 PM GMT
    Outgrowing friendships is something normal. I think if you continue to grow as a person and put different priorities first, and the other person doesn't then yes, your lives will lead you in different directions. I wouldn't necessarily cut this person out though, just simply be forward, say what you need, whether it be a break in the friendship or just for him to know what your feeling, and then go from there. If it's important to both of you, you both will do what's right to make it better from here on out.
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    Oct 30, 2010 6:48 PM GMT
    I think it is only natural that your children are your number one priority. My take on this situation is that if you are available to spend time with your friend, then spend time with him. If you have other things you have to tend to, then let him know and don't feel bad about it at all. If he has an issue with it, then it is HIS problem to deal with. I'd only suggest trashing the friendship if he is really intolerable or disrespectful. Friendships evolve and you may not be as close as you were in the past but I think it is a good idea to try to preserve the friendship if you can.
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    Oct 30, 2010 6:53 PM GMT
    Several times I've out grown friends, Brian. I think more so when you're situations changes. Maybe your interest changes or you grow out of a pastime, sometimes friends changes. You far from selfish, your a true man that has taken on his role as a dad and lover to your mate....your friend is the one that needs to move on.

    It's hard to do and painful, but I've found that being honest with them is the best. Who knows, years down the road the friendship could be rekindled..
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    Oct 30, 2010 6:57 PM GMT
    I wouldn't let yourself worry about it too much. Friends grow apart and much of the time there is not even any bad feelings between the friends. Our lives change and friends move in different directions. It happens. Concentrate on your family and less demanding friends. He will be fine and so will you.
  • rnch

    Posts: 11525

    Oct 30, 2010 7:27 PM GMT
    (long sigh)

    yes, this sometimes happens.

    my closest, best friend all thru college and then for years after entering the "Real World" and I have slowly gone our spearate ways.

    i never thought that would happen!

    we got drunk and raised hell together all thru school, spring breaked together, worked across the isle from each other during college, sat in the parking lot after work and played the radio loud and killed an 8 pack together, i was the first person he confided in when he lost his virginity, he used his influence to get me hired at his job, i stood in his wedding, held him in my arms at his mother's funeral, wrapped his christmas presents as he got me drunk every year, played with his kids when they were small, defended him to his wife (when i thought he was right and she was wrong)....

    then slowly, inperceptably, we grew apart. we just didn't seem to have much in common anymore. i work second and third shifts at my current job, he is a straight day shift person, the older he got, the more conservative he became.

    we don't work together anymore, his wife keeps him on a short leash, we both stopped drinking so much/so often, i was a "late blooming" gay, i suspect he always had a hidden case of homomphobia....

    i didn't see him for 6 months, then a year....it's been 5 years now.

    So Sad.

    icon_cry.gif
  • awayfromtheci...

    Posts: 154

    Oct 30, 2010 11:04 PM GMT
    redbull saidI met 1 of my best friends 20 years ago when I first came out and we would ravage through the bars together during our 20s having a great time.

    Being there for each other during parts of our lives & etc even though he was always the type to ask "favors" of friends to always get what he wanted & etc but Ive never been the type to ask anyone help with anything wanting to make my own way and take care of my responsibilities without asking help from anyone.

    Anyway....fast forward 20 years later he & I are both partnered but I work 3rd shift, 12 hours a day sometimes, have 3 kids schedules to keep up with, own & take care of my own home by myself, try to find/spend time with my bf that lives two hours away and etc. It gets rather hectic at times. When I do have free time I usually crash and sleep & etc.

    My friend on the other hand is still stuck in this mode of all he wants to do is take trips, party with friends, go to bars & doesnt even plan for his retirement or anything. It drives me crazy & then when hes bored in town or off from work gets rude & frustrated with me when I dont make time for him & I never do anything with him.

    He is a good friend but our schedules & priorities in life are obviously different. I have about had it & am about to let the friendship go.

    Am I wrong? I know my circumstances as a gay man are different than most because I do have 3 kids & am very involved in their lives & my bf is a priority also as I have to travel out of town to see him.

    I get tired of being yanked & pulled in every direction but dont make a point to spend time with him as all he wants to do is go to bars, travel and talk about how his bf & him are & he feels lonely. Even when he is here in town he just wants to sit at a local bar & drink beer with friends & Im way to busy & get to bored for that.

    Am I being a selfish prick? I just think we have different priorities in life & have gone our separate ways. What do you think? Am I being a bad person/friend?


    The next time he get's irritated with you for not being available...look back to what you wrote here and use it as your talking points to talk with him in a very candid way. Invite him to something in your life that supports what you need to do and where you need to be....even if it is doing homework with you and the kids.
  • tuffguyndc

    Posts: 4437

    Oct 30, 2010 11:21 PM GMT
    i am going to say yes and no.yes, you are being a prick and no you are not being a prick. the truth is that you have not out grown him. i just think you are no longer interested in the things you use to be interested in doing. why don't you tell him that and suggest going else where to hangout. if he doesn't want to do it then tell him you two can not hangout anymore.
    i mean i think you have a responsibility as his friend to tell him that.