Unfortunately, friendships change during the life span. Sometimes it is just about growing apart. Occasionally, it is about one side who doesn't keep up their part of the relationship, meaning being busy and thinking less about keeping in touch even though things happen with no bad intentions. What I personally experienced and which I believe is more common than people realize "the third" person entering the relationship between old friends and intentionally or unintentionally putting a wedge into the friendship. The "third party" is a romantic boy or girlfriend who will eventually become a spouse. When this happens, the initial friendship might suffer tremendously because if the friend has to choose between the longtime friend and the spouse, the friend most of the time draws the short straw. Exemptions are if the person is strong and make it crystal clear to their spouse that "Jamie is like family, I hope you don't have a problem with that?" I know this is wishful thinking and seldom happens. Most likely, things will evolve, as with one of my old friends who married a very dominant woman who was jealous of our relationship and wanted my friend to be exclusive to her. He conformed to her wishes (demands), which was more than I could put up with, in the long run, and our relationship ended. I treat my good friends like brothers and can't accept being treated like an "acquaintance" because that is the only way a spouse agrees with continuing the relationship. What is interesting with my old (former) friend is what, if I understand it correctly, The only friends he has a relationship with after being married for ten years are three men who are also married dominating women like himself. They have a casual superficial friendship only as deep as their wives allow them to go. It is upsetting why a person agrees to sell himself out. Yes, some men and women accept and are drawn to a dominating partner and become the pushover. Sometimes, they are based on deep psychological issues, like marrying a woman/man like their mom or dad. It never leads to an honest and healthy relationship. Furthermore, a family dynamic is far from a good environment for children to grow up in.
In the next post, I will talk about being a good friend throughout your life. Remember, you have limited influence on how your friends treat your friendship. You can only show how to behave and act like a good friend yourself and hope it will be contagious. As mentioned, the real test of a friendship is in our late twenties or thirties when we settle down and get married.
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