Can We Be Friends?


It’s not a trick question but the answer is tricky. After the recent episodes with barely husband that I discussed here and here, I distanced myself from him, which ultimately caused him to break down.

He didn’t initially confess he’d gotten himself very drunk after driving back from Scotland. He then confessed to having cried all day. He begged me to be his friend because he feels isolated. He says he needs my support but I don’t think it’s healthy that he clings onto me.

I don’t like seeing him broken. I wish he would allow people in. I am trying so hard to rebuild my friendships and even harder to make new friends – it doesn’t come without effort from both sides – and he should try too.

He said he cried because he can’t bear the thought of me being happy without him and he knows that’s what I’m trying to do. It sounds selfish but I don’t feel he means it that way. He is very lost but I can’t be his North forever. He doesn’t understand how my feelings don’t magically come back, how I can’t be with him after all the good things we had together.

There were many wonderful things indeed but, over the last few years, it was torture for me: he crushed every bit of me, he blamed me for every problem and called me horrible things. He admits now he had it completely wrong and he did it the wrong way. He wanted me to change some things so he made me feel like shit in the hope I would. I don’t respond well to pressure like this. My stubborn side comes out and prevails.

He wore my feeling off slowly and steadily. I don’t hate him, exactly because of all the good things we shared but they don’t erase the bad ones.

He was trying again to get together as a family for Raven’s birthday. She’s having a party at mine with her friends. He will come then she goes with him until Monday (bank holiday) and he wants me to go spend the night so we can go to a restaurant she enjoyed going with him. As I spoke to him on a video call and he made the suggestion, I could see Raven making a cut-throat gesture.

Like me, she is happier with the split, even if it means sharing her time between two households. As I ended the call, she turned to me and said “Don’t you dare!”

I won’t dare.

7 Comments Add yours

  1. tarnishedsoul says:

    For the record, I don’t think you are the one being selfish here. He literally is saying the thought of you being happy without him is killing him, right? He is literally saying that your happiness means nothing unless it involves him…that is the epitome of selfishness…it reminds me of someone I broke with…sigh.
    Your happiness should have been his concern…as I’m sure his happiness was yours, but it’s hard to be in a one sided relationship.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. DFMGhost says:

      I meant to say he sounds selfish but I don’t feel that’s his intention. I know he’s not well. I see it but it’s not like I can exchange my happiness for his.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. tarnishedsoul says:

        IT’s a hard lesson to learn…

        Liked by 1 person

  2. bone&silver says:

    Can you suggest he goes to some counselling? He really sounds unhealthily dependent on you, & a bit manipulating too… from my complete outsider’s perspective. I think being ‘friends’ is extraordinarily hard, & often impossible with exs…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. DFMGhost says:

      That’s what I tried to explain to him. It’s not healthy. I try to help him but I need to put limits. He is going to a work party tonight and I hope things go well for him there and he can develop friendships with some colleagues. Fingers crossed!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. bone&silver says:

        It’s so hard isn’t it? But sounds like it will take more than just a good party to change his habits… yes, fingers crossed! And well done for setting (& sticking to) healthy boundaries

        Liked by 1 person

      2. DFMGhost says:

        The party won’t solve everything but it’s a start. Or at least I hope it can be.

        Liked by 1 person

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