Placed in the Middle

Placed in the Middle | Memee's Musings

So it is 2:00 a.m. and finally I am compelled to write something. This is not a post about me and the struggles I’ve been going through for the past month. This is about someone else’s struggles, two people’s actually. My oldest, dearest friend and his wife.

Around eleven a.m. I got on Facebook and found that she had made a post which was very out of character for her. It wasn’t up for long so I cannot quote it, however it said something like, I am totally heartbroken. Sometimes there’s just nothing more you can do.

The women who responded all interpreted it the same way as I did, uh-oh big time marital problems. I didn’t know what to say and I certainly didn’t want to be having a discussion on Facebook. So I said nothing in the hopes that I could get away with “not having seen it.” The fact that she later removed the post certainly helps me with that little pretend.

Tonight however she private messaged me. We don’t text or call each other so this was unusual as well. When we get together we eat, drink wine, and share like sisters… though honestly, I am much more upfront and revealing about my world than she is with hers. We click. We click like we’ve known each other our entire lives although we’ve only known each other in person for just under a year. Her husband on the other hand I’ve been friends with for 32 years. We click too. And in the same way, like we’ve known each other our entire lives. No, actually, that’s not true. it’s like we’ve known each other for a millennium of lifetimes. It’s always been that way. Even when we were fifteen.

We would come together and click. And then, as life does, we’d turn and go our separate ways, but life would inevitable put us back in each other’s paths unexpectedly and without intention on our parts. It has happened four times so far. Needless to say I love them both and want them to be happy.

And so I found myself having this online chat about the marriage problems of two very close friends who I love. I don’t want to be involved or put in the middle of it. And I was confused about her deciding I was the person she wanted to make her confidante, after all I have much lengthier history with her husband. I listened. I’m good at it. People open up to me. Even strangers will tell me their woes, especially on days when I really don’t want to talk to anyone (lol,it’s something I’m trying to learn to accept and embrace as the gift God meant for it to be.) I listened because I didn’t want to turn a friend in crisis away when a friend was needed more than ever.

I listened. I encouraged her to continue trying, and to not beat herself up for the mistakes she has played in the collapse of her marriage, and I reminded her that no matter what happens she is a strong woman and will indeed survive. I believe I did right by her in the conversation as a friend and as a “sister.” When she seemed to begin wallowing in the “I can’t live without him. He’s my life. He’s my soulmate.” I put her in check with that. Meaning, I told her I felt she was throwing salt on her wounds (but I was much, much gentler than that).

And now we come to the reason for this post. I told her the truth as I see it: This is a learning lesson and an opportunity for growth for both of them. They will either come out the other side of it stronger individuals or stronger as a couple… whatever is God’s will. Here’s the thing though. I’ve been witness to the workings of the marriage during this past year, and privy to the problems for several years. She is mentally abusive to her husband and she does not recognize it or take responsibility for it. In my book that there tells me they are not soulmates. If someone is your soulmate hurting them would hurt you just as much, if not more. You just couldn’t be abusive to a soulmate, no matter who you are or how fucked up you are mentally. Of course that’s just my opinion. I’m wondering do you agree with that idea? But then on the other side of the coin perhaps the three of us are soulmates to each other, manifesting relationships with one another in different life bodies and roles.

I know it seems odd that I claim to be a Christian and then I talk about past lives. I just don’t think we living humans have it all figured out yet. I think we agree to a contract before we are born of the lessons we will endure because with each life manifestation we become closer and closer to our god-like selves we are meant to be. I don’t know. I also believe in Heaven. I also believe that when we die our souls sleep and sometimes our souls dream too.

Life is complicated and while living it we never truly figure it out. My views expressed in the preceding paragraph are very dialectical. But you know what, so is life. I both believe I am unworthy of friendships and loving relationships while at the same time believe in equal measure that I am a great catch and wonderful friend. And so I say if I can hold two equal beliefs at the same time in life so too can I for “religion or faith.” God knows me, loves me and accepts me even if I happen to be wrong and even if I am a sinner. And you know what, He loves and accepts you too!

Sorry, I got off track there. I am a stream-of-consciousness writer so it happens frequently. Anyway, I’d like to conclude by saying that I definitely do not want to be counselor to either of them. I tried to make it clear to her, but she kept on and I was patient and kind. Please pray for me that this does not become a pattern for her to come to me. It really puts me in an awkward place. Likewise, I don’t intend to counsel him. I doubt he’ll come to me anyway… this is so much more complicated than past conversations. However, if he does I will tell him what I told her… “Shouldn’t you be telling [her] these things?” Marriage is tough enough and when people begin to drown inside of it, adding an untrained person to the mix is the worst idea ever! Thankfully, at his request, she will begin counselling soon. I honestly hope she learns to see and accept some of her behavior for what it is. There are things he has done as well. No one is blameless and no one is perfect and if they both want to fix it, then I believe it can be fixed by taking one step at a time and having patience and not relying on a non-professional’s advice aka interference to dictate your behaviors.

I pray that the outcome, whatever it may be, is ultimately in the best interest of both of them.

p.s. It is interesting that my entire life seems to be coming full circle. This blog began with my own heartbreak and crisis. If I can survive, she can too (she’s actually much stronger than I.) I have another longtime friend who says his life is coming full circle. Is yours also? If so, let me know… I’m curious to see if this is a universal pattern.

This wonderful photograph was taken by Josh Pepper and acquired through Unsplash. It’s a great source for free photos under the Creative Commons Zero license, so check it out!

14 thoughts on “Placed in the Middle

  1. Oh I have been here so many times. So many times, I decided to specialize in couple’s counseling. It is hard when the two people looking to you for help are two people you love and know well.

    It’s funny but I think that in a way my life has come full circle also. As a teenager writing was my life. It is what got me through. I stopped writing for years because of a bad relationship and then college sucked the creativity out of me.

    After years of training to be a therapist it is writing that is once again getting me through. It is helping me deal with my mental health issues and it is making me money (which training as a therapist has never done). I had not thought of it that way before now. Thank you Memee. I hope your friend’s get the help they need.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. That’s rough. If she is mentally abusing him they really need to tackle that problem before they move forward.

    I can see how easy it is to let our emotions get the best of us and forget the impact we make on our spouses.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Now this is interesting. Yes, I do believe my life has come a bit fuller circle. I started my blog as a place to discover who I was and become more comfortable with myself because I was lost. Well, now I feel found and comfortable! So yeah, full circle indeed.
    Now with regards to your situation Memee, my darling, I completely understand. While I have not had a married couple come to me, I’ve had two really good friends who are in a relationship do this exact same thing. And I was the middleman. But I thought to myself, “You know what? No. I’m not gonna take sides against and for friends at the same time. Sometimes, when two friends are in qualms, you have to step back. It’s always best to let someone who is solely dedicated to one side take that side to handle those problems, not someone who’s faithful to two.”
    I think you had the correct mindset. This is one of those things that THEY have to work out, not you. So good for you Memee.
    Thanks for sharing! I’ve missed your wonderful content! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for sharing your experience and re-enforcing that I made the best choice of a crummy situation. As for content, heck, I’d better get back to it! Perhaps reading your comments tonight will ignite something in me. I have several days off in a row this week so… we’ll see.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Well, don’t be rushing yourself to write something you’re not feeling. It’s great to keep your skills sharp but don’t forget the best ingredient, passion.
        Take care of yourself love. ❤

        Like

      2. Yes. I remember when I was a beginner I got so wrapped up in writing every day. That was ridiculous pressure. I stopped writing for myself and began writing for my “readers” and the quality dropped for that time. Once I let that go, my quality went back up and my enjoyment was greater and the stress was gone. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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