Friendly breakup, when it hurts

In this first article of the section "Me… and the others", I found it interesting to talk about friendship, and more particularly about the friendly breakup. Indeed, we talk much more about the techniques to make friends than those to mourn those who were… and are no more. Perhaps because we more often remember the suffering in the so-called "real" rupture, the love breakup.It is also surprising to have such a vision of relationships, when we know how much friendship is an important component of our happiness. Oh yes, if you didn't know it yet, know it, it's important: friendship is one of the fundamental pillars of a successful life. But losing a friend can be devastating… it can hurt just as much as experiencing a romantic breakup. Especially if the friendship has been going on for a long time, and we had built a great deal of trust in this relationship. You choose your friends, not your family… this link was therefore chosen, and built over time, sometimes during pivotal periods of our lives: in adolescence, for example. For some, this break-up can be even more painful than a romantic break-up: I have observed this in men in particular, in the 18-30 age group, in a period when they seek more to "dredge up" and multiply conquests than to build a real couple relationship, and where the "friends" met during childhood or adolescence , or during their academic years, represent the closest circle, sometimes more than the family. Losing a friend can even happen without there being a breakup: I have seen men devastated by the departure of their best friend thousands of kilometers away, for their studies or their work. It was their guarantee of non-loneliness, when they were not in a romantic relationship; more in the family, not yet as a couple, young men rely heavily on their group of friends to fill their loneliness and form their social circle, whether in the evening, on weekends, or for holidays. And this suffering is often silent: we do not cry about the absence of a friend, for fear of passing for a wimp, or that we may think that we are in love… Friendly breakup, when it hurts The real breakup, on the other hand, bruises us in a different way. This is not necessarily the lack, because the friend may have turned out to be a traitor or an enemy. But it affects different aspects of our personality and our lives. We lose a part of ourselves, of our image,we lose the one who sent us a positive image. Who was benevolent, supportive or admiring. We must also mourn, as during a romantic breakup, a part of our history and our life, especially if the friendship lasted a very long time, and the other shared with you key moments of your life, privileged moments. These common memories become solitary memories, and tinged with nostalgia, even sadness. Looking at holiday photos where the lost friend's face also sees is no longer a source of joy – for a time at least, that of the mourning of the relationship. Having shared secrets, confidences, personal problems can also create a feeling of shame and fear: the other being freed from the moral obligation of fidelity and confidentiality, we can fear to see certain things being unpacked in the open, with friends, ours, his own, common friends, the entourage in the broader sense. Some breakups lead to relentless revenge, with hatred becoming as strong as friendship has been. And can also be used to isolate the one who we no longer want to see be part of the group. As in love, a friendly break-up very often has great repercussions in the social circle. Friendship also has a very idealized image,that of a "perfect" relationship, without the constraints of the family relationship, without the complications of the romantic relationship. We meet because we appreciate each other, and only last because we want to see each other, that we have fun spending time together. It has a strong value: friendship is solidarity, mutual aid, loyalty, trust. If a strong relationship breaks down, it can lead to general and deep disillusionment, a loss of confidence in friendship, or even in all relationships in general,and create a gap between oneself and others. And lead to a great sense of existential loneliness. Even more so when the friend unconsciously replaced a brother, a sister, a mother, a father… The loss of a friend can be the loss of a pillar, even more so today, where family ties or marriage are no longer seen as lasting relationships. It is to lose a psychological anchor, a reference point, a reason to live in a city, a region, a reason to have chosen studies, a profession, to have moved… For some, friends determine most life choices. I have already known couples who separated because the man preferred to stay close to his friends rather than follow his partner or his wife transferred to another region, or choosing to live in another climate. It can be seen that among men, the circle of friends is often more decisive than among women, who may seek to stay close to their families, especially for children. Being left by a friend generates as at the end of a romantic relationship that ended unilaterally or conflictually the feeling of being betrayed, of being abandoned, of being deprived of support and a loved one, of a "family". This is why we must not underestimate the suffering that a friendly break-up generates: that the friend betrays you, leaves you, leaves you, leaves on the other side of the world or dies, or simply has no more time to devote to you because he creates his home… or because his wife or husband does not love you, what happens more often than you think is a great suffering, which we must not deny or underestimate by saying (or saying) that it is not serious. Any loss is pain, and it does not mean that you are weak, or emotionally dependent.Nevertheless, when this type of rupture occurs, beyond the mourning, I find it useful to ask myself a few questions. First, look at what caused this break. It can be a conflict, but it can also be due, as in a married couple for 20 or 30 years, to personal changes: we no longer have the same desires, the same values; one can no longer stand that the other drinks as much, or is superficial, or not mature enough…. What made teenagers laugh can irritate or shame adulthood. Another aspect of the relationship and its disappearance may be interesting to study: when this friendship determined all your choices, wasn't it too much to invest another person? When we rely all the time on the other to be there when we are alone, to confide in our problems, or to do activities, isn't that too much to ask? And if the other chooses to create his/her business, to get into a relationship, to take time for him/her, and therefore has less time for you, how will you react? Will you be happy for the other, or sad that he/she is no longer so there for you? Do not hesitate to tell me about your friendly breakups, and how you live your friendships… what do they say about you? Friendly breakup, when it hurts,an article by Sophie Girardot.The text of this article is the property of its author and may not be used without his consent and under certain conditions. Sources / Credits

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Sophie Barbarella

Writer and Public Speaker

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