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Old 08-23-2005, 02:13 PM   #1
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Best friend issue. Help!

Okay. I don't need a debate or a lecture on how I need to change, just heartfelt advice, knowing I will always feel the way I do about this subject.

My best friend in high school and college is an officer in the Air Force. We got really close because I never judged her for her (somewhat stupid!) decisions and loved her anyway. She had a child at 15, despite coming from a very strong Christian family. She told her parents, had the baby, and was able to finish school, and get her degree. She also has a beautiful redheaded 10 year old DD to show for it who I love like a neice who was flower girl in my wedding.

Ever since she joined the Air Force, we have been in different parts of the country and I missed her like crazy. One night over a year ago she made a confession to me that she had gotten accidently PG and had an abortion. In her defense, she was in a tough spot. The father of her baby was our newly divorced VERY hypocritical former Bible Study teacher. She was also due to go for her physical to join the Air Force less than a month after she found out she was PG. If she had continued the PG, they wouldn't have let her in. The father had told her that if she chose to have the baby he would deny he ever slept with her (awful, awful man) and tell the whole world what a ***** she was. He said the ONLY way he'd take responsibility was if my she moved out of state with him and got married. Then they could come back and say the baby was adopted. Of course, there are ways around that, but she has always put so much importance on what people think, and already having one child out of wedlock put a big chip on her shoulder.

Not to mention the fact that she had stellar career dreams with the Air Force. Well, she has gotten into flight school. She's always wanted to be a pilot and navigator and she beat alot of odds to get in. She's the only woman in her flight class. The class is here at our base. I was incredibly excited first about her coming. I'd missed her really badly and was in desperate need of someone here who knew ME as ME so I couldn't wait to see her.

The first couple of times I saw her were strange. I have NEVER NEVER let on to her that I think about the abortion. But it really gets to me to hear her say things like "I want to have another baby" or "DD wants a baby brother or sister so bad" or go on about all the career acheivements she's accomplished (that wouldn't be possible if she had had that baby.) She'd just be a thankless nobody like me, I suppose. I guess I just find myself thinking "You wouldn't have any of these things if you didn't have to sacrifice a life for it" and "Yeah, you want another baby now that it's convienient." I guess the thing that tops it all is that she has already been in that situation, overcome the odds at a much younger age, and has a beautiful DD to show for it, though she's left her DD an AWFUL lot for months at a time with her parents to go off following her career goals. Another thing that bothers me.

It's getting to the point where I don't even want to be around her because I have all these feelings going on. I don't want to be a judgemental person. I want to have my best friend. I act like nothing bothers me, and try to be a good friend to her despite my feelings. But it's getting weary. My feelings are strong on the abortion subject.

Will I get past the thoughts, and how do I do it? I get a little sick when thinking about it, but I try so hard not to let it show. But I just can't feel the "closeness" I once had with her. The thing that makes it worse is I am the ONLY PERSON in the entire world (besides her new DH) that she's ever told about the abortion because she knew I wouldn't judge her, I'd always been such a good friend, and she hated lying to me for 2 years. She did say "I didn't tell you before, not because I thought you'd judge me, but because I thought you'd be dissapointed in me and you mean so much to me. You've always supported me in all my other mistakes, and I love you for it."

I guess coming from the point of view of a mother is what has changed me towards her. I don't believe, knowing her as well as I do that she would trade her career and her dreams for that baby or for spending more time with her DD. I suppose having kids myself makes me think about how selfish she's been. I know if she was more regretful over some of her decisions, I'd feel differently and do anything in the world for her.
What do I do???????? Help!
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Married 09/28/2002
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Old 08-23-2005, 02:29 PM   #2
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netle HB User
Re: Best friend issue. Help!

Your friend definitely made some bad choices in the past. But what kind of person is she now? Has she changed? Has she realized her past mistakes and learned from them? Have you ever sat down with her and asked her about the decisions she has made and what she thinks of them now? For all you know she might be thinking about that abortion everyday.

You have a right to feel uncomfortable. These are very tough, moral issues and it has a lot of people strongly divided. But one thing I want to ask you, is what do you expect? Do you think she deserves to have a terrible life because she's a single mom and had an abortion? Should she be weeping everyday and making a big production about the past? Do you feel as though she should be punished for the mistakes she's made? Or are you jealous because she made all those mistakes and still accomplished a lot with her life? While you, who have probably been a good person, haven't had the success you wished you had?

Sorry if all that seems harsh. It's certainly not my intention, but I am just curious to poke deeper and see if there isn't more to it than meets the eye.

 
Old 08-23-2005, 02:57 PM   #3
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Re: Best friend issue. Help!

Kittie, I'm not offended. Your second paragraph was RIGHT on. I have made all the "right" moral desicions in my life and so has my DH and life has just been one brick wall after another. While she's made terrible decisions deemed as extremely selfish and had tons of success for it.
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Old 08-23-2005, 03:14 PM   #4
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Re: Best friend issue. Help!

What kind of a friend are you? It looks like you're secretly jealous that things have turned out well for your friend, despite some major obstacles along the way. You don't seem to have such a bad life yourself, having a husband and kids, so why does it bother you so much that your friend is happy? She was irresponsible for not using protection the second time and allowing herself to get pregnant again, but she was very young and people make mistakes. I am convinced if she had decided to have the second baby, people would judge her even more harshly for being a mother of two babies out of wedlock with two different fathers. Not to mention, I don't think any of these ultra religious fanatics would have helped a single mother of two provide for the children. I'm sure it's for the best that another unwanted child wasn't brought into this world. This woman, despite some major problems in her past, had the courage and guts to follow her dreams and turn her life around. Perhaps that's why you're so jealous of her and judge her so much, because you never had such courage and determination to go after what you wanted.

Last edited by SophiaM; 08-23-2005 at 03:16 PM.

 
Old 08-23-2005, 03:26 PM   #5
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Re: Best friend issue. Help!

So if push came to shove you'd admit that you're jealous of her success? You feel she doesn't deserve it, don't you? Unfortunately, life isn't always fair. Sometimes the liars and cheaters (I'm not calling your friend this) get all the breaks and have good things happen while the moral upstanding citizen has hard luck. That's life. No sense in being mad about it.

I understand it's more the abortion you're upset about. I don't share the same strong feelings for you as I'm pro choice. In her defense, she probably did what she thought was best for her at the time. I'd suggest you be a good friend and be forgiving and understanding. We may not like or agree with everything people do, but if she's your good friend you'll bite your tongue and not give her grief about it.

 
Old 08-23-2005, 03:41 PM   #6
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Re: Best friend issue. Help!

Sophia, first of all she was not that young. She was older than I was when I got pregnant with my first. She was a grown woman at 23.

Secondly, my friend and I both are "religious fanatics" and that's exactly the issue. She has ALWAYS been pro life, as have I, and exemplified that by continuing an accidental pregnancy at 15. I have never judged her for a single mistake she's ever made, and I've made plenty myself that she's supported me in. I'm not being "harsh and judgemental" towards her. I still love her and treat her as I always have, despite how I feel, because it's not my place to judge anyone, it's God's. THAT was the point of my post.

My DS was an accidental pregnancy. My DH and I had only been married a month when he was conceived, and I didn't get to finish college because DH joined the Air Force shortly thereafter and we moved. It's not that I didn't have the "courage and determination" to go after what I wanted, it's that I know how to put others ahead of myself. I look at him now and no there is NO way I could have ever ended his existence because I had dreams. My dreams have changed now because of him.
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Married 09/28/2002
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DD born 3/24/2005

 
Old 08-23-2005, 03:52 PM   #7
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Re: Best friend issue. Help!

Well, it looks to me like you ARE judging her, even though you say you're not. And 23 is extremely young, especially to be a single mother of two. I don't intend to criticize your beliefs, but I've observed on more than one occasion that most of the young women who end up with an "accidental pregancy" are the ones that come from a very strict religious background. I am actually appalled at that much older (I assume) hypocritical religious man who got her pregnant! He should have known better than to take advantage of a young, impressionable woman and not insist on at least using protection to avoid putting her in this precise situation. But you know fully well that if she had proceeded with the pregancy, the judgement of the whole "religious" community and the burden of struggling financially to raise the children would also be on her and her parents, probably. I'm sure it was not an easy decision for her, but she probably couldn't see another way out at that time. And I can't blame her.

As for yourself, having a child doesn't preclude someone from pursuing college education if they so desire. I know a few women who went to college while having a small child. While it is much more difficult and challenging to accomplish, it CAN be done if you have the courage and determination. Some people go part time or take some classes online. I even have a couple of women who are going to graduate school with me full time while having a small child at home (one has a 3-year-old and one has a 6-year-old). So, I don't think it's too late for you--you can still do it!

 
Old 08-23-2005, 04:00 PM   #8
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Re: Best friend issue. Help!

Actually, I can relate to where you're coming from. My husband and I work really hard to make ends meet. We save our money and live from paycheck to paycheck. I am not saying we've made the best choices in life, because we haven't. But we're good people and we work hard.

We do work with a lot of single moms and I can't imagine how tough that must be. But it's also frustrating because these women get a lot of assistance from the state. When my husband and I were searching for a new apartment, all the decent places that we could afford were low income. We're in this weird gray area where we don't make enough money for a nice place, but we make too much for any assistance. Sometimes it feels like we're stuck in this limbo. I have some friends who do social work and even they feel frustrated because they go to these homes where these people who have no money, seem to have a real nice home and a lot of nice stuff. Meanwhile they're just trying to save money to make rent or house payments.

So I do see where you're coming from to a certain extent. Maybe you should just admit to your friend that you're jealous. Don't be accusatory or preachy. But just get it off your chest, let her know that you still love her, and that you realize that these are your issues and not hers.

Your friend sounds a little like mine. She was raised in a religous household, but she made a lot of bad decisions in life. She got pregnant young, a 2nd time and had both children. She's not living the high life by any means, but she's in school right now and seems to have learned from her experiences.

I don't know anything about your friend, but if she is anything like my friend, she did not have a good childhood. The women I know who came from religous backgrounds and got pregnant young had deeper, emotional issues to account for their behavior. Perhaps there were issues with her father or other family members. I am not saying that makes the bad choices okay, but it explains why they chose the path they took.

 
Old 08-23-2005, 06:15 PM   #9
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Re: Best friend issue. Help!

Quote:
Originally Posted by SophiaM
Well, it looks to me like you ARE judging her, even though you say you're not. And 23 is extremely young, especially to be a single mother of two. I don't intend to criticize your beliefs, but I've observed on more than one occasion that most of the young women who end up with an "accidental pregancy" are the ones that come from a very strict religious background. I am actually appalled at that much older (I assume) hypocritical religious man who got her pregnant! He should have known better than to take advantage of a young, impressionable woman and not insist on at least using protection to avoid putting her in this precise situation. But you know fully well that if she had proceeded with the pregancy, the judgement of the whole "religious" community and the burden of struggling financially to raise the children would also be on her and her parents, probably. I'm sure it was not an easy decision for her, but she probably couldn't see another way out at that time. And I can't blame her.

As for yourself, having a child doesn't preclude someone from pursuing college education if they so desire. I know a few women who went to college while having a small child. While it is much more difficult and challenging to accomplish, it CAN be done if you have the courage and determination. Some people go part time or take some classes online. I even have a couple of women who are going to graduate school with me full time while having a small child at home (one has a 3-year-old and one has a 6-year-old). So, I don't think it's too late for you--you can still do it!
Sophia, I don't know which one of your quotes I LOVE more and I agree with every thing you said. Perhaps it would be best if these friends distanced themselves for a time. At least until they have become mature enough to realize that EVERYONE makes mistakes and it's never a good or useful idea to judge, so harshly, the people you love the most.

 
Old 08-23-2005, 06:31 PM   #10
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Re: Best friend issue. Help!

I must be the only one who doesn't think you are jealous of your friend.

I think you are torn between your strong belief system and what your friend has chosen to do with an unplanned pregnancy.

I believe that what you need to do (maybe with some Help from folks here?) is find a way to express your feelings to your friend without the judgements. There's no point in lying about your feelings & acting like everything is o.k. to such a good friend, but telling her she's some sort of criminal isn't going to help either.

You asked for advice without debate or lecture, right?

 
Old 08-23-2005, 07:11 PM   #11
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Re: Best friend issue. Help!

Ruth, as always, you are a Godsend!!!! Thank you so much, and I couldn't have said it better.

Yes it irks me that she's made "bad" decisions and gotten so far while, (Kittie, I TOTALLY know where you are coming from!!!!) DH and I have always strived to do our best AND make "good decisions" and aren't doing as well career wise or financially. I wouldn't trade my family for anything, but there are things I feel like I'm missing out on. And every mother I've ever known has felt that way at some point.

But yes, the bottom line is this: I love her. I want to keep our friendship. But I'm afraid that I can never go back to the way things "were" because of the conflict with my belief system. She and I have been through SOOOOO much together. Her problems, my problems, wild college years, stupid mistakes, etc because we both had a love, respect and admiration that didn't judge. THATS my problem. She and I have NEVER done ANYTHING that the other would change their feelings about. We both know that, that's why I'm left with this delimma. This is such a huge issue for me.

I don't feel like discontinuing the friendship is an option. But I'm afraid things will never be the same. As I said earlier, I want my best friend. And what's done is done. But I just needed the support to get over it.

No, I haven't talked to her about it. I didn't want her to lose faith and trust in me over viewing her differently over this. That's why I never said anything. Just acted like everything was fine. But maybe that's a good idea. I'll keep you posted.
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Old 08-24-2005, 04:45 AM   #12
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Re: Best friend issue. Help!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruth6:11
I must be the only one who doesn't think you are jealous of your friend.

I think you are torn between your strong belief system and what your friend has chosen to do with an unplanned pregnancy.

I believe that what you need to do (maybe with some Help from folks here?) is find a way to express your feelings to your friend without the judgements. There's no point in lying about your feelings & acting like everything is o.k. to such a good friend, but telling her she's some sort of criminal isn't going to help either.

You asked for advice without debate or lecture, right?

I agree with this as well. I have to imagine it's very frustrating to have these strong, religous beliefs and have a close friend who, although she says she shares those values, hasn't really followed through with them.

 
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