Wedding Woes

First of all, your therapist gave terrible advice.

Dear Prudence,

I’m in a dark place right now. My husband is out of work and making things harder, and my friends are hanging out without me, doing things that I used to initiate when my world wasn’t falling apart. One even got married and didn’t invite me, but invited a mutual friend that she doesn’t know well.

I think I hide what I’m going through well, and I do try to send texts that don’t really go past “hello, how are you?” Some don’t even respond. I’m feeling unwelcome at home and invisible with friends. I tried to tell one about newly discovered infertility, and she wanted to know why I even want kids, considering that men suck.

My therapist told me to lean on my friends, but how do I ask my friends for support when they are unresponsive, and without feeling like a burden? And what would that support even look like?

— Lonely

Re: First of all, your therapist gave terrible advice.

  • Options
    The therapist isn’t really the issue here, although I think their advice is suspect. 

    Have you had an honest conversation with your friends that you’re feeling excluded? Have you talked about why? 

    Set up time to hang out with your friends. Just to hang out. See how that goes. 

    But if things are dark at home, your friends aren’t the answer. 
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    LW you talk about 'holding it together' and 'hiding' what you're going through.  You don't realize that your lack of vulnerability actually is hurting your relationship with your friends.  If you're not telling them what's going on, but are seemingly distant, then they're going to think the issue is with them. 

    You're going to have to ask to meet one or two of them for coffee or something and hope the invitation is accepted.  Have a chat, and maybe give the 20,000 ft view of what's going on.  Do not dump everything from the last few months (year?) out all at once because then you look like you just wanted to meet to vent it out.  You have to ask them what they have going on too.  

    If I reach out to someone I haven't checked in with recently, I usually start off with, "I'm so sorry I haven't kept up.  You know how shit goes.  How are you?  What's been going on? (And if something recent like a move or job change has happened, I ask about that)."  

    Everyone has their shit.  I wish people would recognize that more often and not keep everything so internalized.  But if people were like that, we wouldn't have Prudie. LMAO

  • Options
    Also, this letter is timely.  This week's "We Can Do Hard Things with Glennon Doyle" (podcast) is ALL about friendship and maintaining friendships when you're in the midst of adulting, marriage, raising a family, grinding out your career, etc. 
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