Hello My Name Is….SINGLE!

single

Someone recently asked me if I ever plan on getting married again and the answer was a resounding NO! Not that I’m against marriage but I’ve been there and done that. And in all fairness to my ex, he’s not some bad, lying and cheating man who was the consummate evil. We just drifted in different directions but we’re still great friends. I’ve found that for me, marriage doesn’t agree with my personality nor my temperament. I’ve never been a woman who needed a ring, a piece of paper and a kid to validate me. I’m lucky, I grew up with parents who never pressured me to conform. My mom always said that my life was my life and no one else’s. I needed to do what felt right to me and if that meant never getting married and having kids or any combination thereof, so be it.
I’ve heard all the formulaic cautionary tales and musings about being single and childless and I say suck it. Being married and having kids guarantees nothing. Just look at the people dumped in nursing homes because those lovely children of theirs no longer want to be bothered. Well, that is unless there’s money involved but that’s another topic of conversation. Oh and there’s Peter and Polly Perfect. The ones you just want to smack, droning on and on about their perfect marriage, their perfect kids, their perfect dogs, their perfect home, their perfect car, their perfect job….just perfect…perfect…perfect!!!! Ugh!
I’m always very leery of anyone singing the praises of their perfect marriages and lives. It brings to mind, “doth protest too much, methinks”. Many times, sad to say, those marriages are the ones in the most trouble. It isn’t impossible to have a happy marriage and yes there are many people who’ve been married for decades. My parents for one. But society, family and friends need to pull their foot off the gas pedal and stop making the assumption that marriage is what everyone wants. Some people aren’t marriage or parent material. It doesn’t make them bad people, it just means they had common sense enough to know themselves. I believe fully, if you are unhappy in your marriage and you’ve done all you can do to salvage it, then leave. You can’t make someone want to be with you if they’ve emotionally or physically checked out. Far too many times people live on fantasy island and believe in fairytales. Fairytales only exist in films and books. Life is a different ball of wax.
I think the divorce rate would plummet if people started being real with themselves about what it is they truly want before they get married and have children. I also think society should back way off with indoctrinating people with the idea that the only way they will find true happiness and fulfillment is through marriage and children. That may be true for some, but not all. Marriage can be a wonderful joining of two mature people who know what they want and are working toward that goal. But life can also be a beautiful thing when people work towards their goals going solo. Not everyone does well land-locked and guess what…that’s okay too. You owe no one any explanations on how you conduct your life…it’s yours, so now go out there and enjoy it.
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What Happens When a Friendship Turns to Sh*t?

“Lots of people want to ride with you in the limo, but what you want is someone who will take the bus with you when the limo breaks down”.  Oprah Winfrey

I know in every long-term friendship,  like with any other relationship, you’ll hit a bad patch. But what happens when you absolutely do not recognize the person who has been your best friend forever? This is a question that I thought I would never be compelled to ask. My best friend…my brother, has turned into someone I can’t comprehend nor understand. He’s sullen, sulking, combative, moody, irritable, defensive…whew, it’s exhausting. It’s as if he’s turned into some Jekyll and Hyde, walking advertisement for schizophrenic psychotropic drugs. I’ve tried to talk with him but I’ve hit a brick wall every damn time.

More than anything, this is the behavior that’s the most puzzling; we have always been able to talk about any subject or issue that was bothering us, now we can barely talk about anything. He’s had several life-changing events in his little slice of the world over the last year and a half and I understand that, but I’ve been there for him every step of the way. However, the blame-game is what’s troubling. It seems that everything that’s going wrong in his life or bothering him, is someone or something else’s fault or responsibility.

The environment around him is most times…toxic and I called him on it. But as usual, he started with a childish response instead of an adult solution. This type of erratic behavior has only made our relationship even more strained and splintered. Today for example, he went with me to a meeting and all the way there you could feel the tension in the car. Normally we’re laughing, joking and having fun, but oh no, not this time, it was awful. On the way back, it was more of the same and when we are out and about, we normally stop by his home to see my niece/god-daughter (a long story about that title) and I had made arrangements with his wife to do so because I hadn’t seen my little muffin for about a week.

He made an excuse about being too busy and I could “catch up tomorrow”. Excuse me, but tomorrow is Monday and I haven’t won the lottery, so I need to handle my business. This is uncharacteristic behavior and I’m at a loss on what to do. Before anyone starts with maybe his wife has something to do with us having issues (which has been brought up by others), she’s a genuinely nice person and it’s not in her personality to cause trouble. Believe me, I know what friends and relatives look like when they’re knifing you in the back. I also want people to know that my brother is not an inherently bad person either, he has a good heart but at this moment, that’s just hard to remember.

I have almost arrived at the conclusion that maybe we need a good long break from one another…maybe we’ve hit an insurmountable brick wall and it’s just best to change routes…I don’t know at this point. I want him in my life, but I’m not quite sure that he still wants me in his. He has never verbally indicated anything of the sort, but if it’s not that, then what? The one thing that I feel he resents is my friendship with his wife…he even said to her, “why were we communicating”, that I was HIS friend…HIS sister. But how can I have a relationship with my niece/god-daughter and him if I don’t have some sort of amicable relationship with his wife? You see, none of this makes sense.

I’m at a loss on how to fix this and for me, that’s a first. I don’t want to keep going around in circles with him nor do I want to walk on eggshells around him. It has almost become untenable and that has to stop. Do friendships have expiration dates or do we need to freeze them every once in a while to make them last longer? What to do……