Author Topic: Hurt Feelings!  (Read 14467 times)

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Offline aserb

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Hurt Feelings!
« on: August 25, 2007, 06:20:14 PM »
About two years ago we met a couple at church let’s call them Ron and Anna. Ron and Anna live two blocks away from us. Initially we liked each other but were not particularly close. We would see each other occasionally, socially outside of church. Then, within the last year and 1/2 we started getting closer, relationally. My wife and I have a four year old girl and Ron and Anna have a five year old boy and seven year old girl. My daughter just adored their daughter and we enjoyed their company on a weekly basis, mostly on weekends. It progressed into spending major holidays together including Christmas, Easter, Thanksgiving and even minor holidays like St. Patrick’s day and Super Bowl Sunday. We were even part of their marriage blessing, I was the “kum.” Needless to say we saw a lot of each other facilitated by both church attendance and proximity living two blocks away.

Needless to say, about 3 months ago, it all changed.  Anna refuses to be in the same room with my wife.  My wife has racked her brain trying to think why this precipitious change in behavior.  I have sat with Ron to discuss what could have happened, but got only vague responses, like” . . . everything is fine.” We got no more invites over to their house, our invites were declined x3, a misled invite never reached our mailbox, etc. We always tried to reciprocate. We as Christian brothers and sisters should expect more from our very close friends. But where is the accountability in friendship? You don’t just drop friends like this! We ask our fellow Christians, what is your opinion. We do plan on speaking to our Priest about this situation. But for now we are two very shocked and hurt people. We cannot figure out. We can’t seem to move forward.

Thoughts  Opinions?
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Offline ozgeorge

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Re: Hurt Feelings!
« Reply #1 on: August 25, 2007, 07:45:07 PM »
Thoughts  Opinions?
Several years ago, I decided to write out in my journal how I approach all my friendships. Here's what I wrote:

"Whatever you choose to give or freely share,
that I accept, respect and will hold dear.
I will not demand more of you than you are prepared to give,
for if I do, then you will be forced to pretend, confabulate and be dishonest.

Within you and within me is a Sacred Ground,
which we may acknowledge and celebrate in the other,
but must never tread upon.

If, by my expectations, demands and inadequacies,
I force you to lie, to be untrue to your self,
the disservice I do you is great,
and my punishment will be alienation both from you and my own self.

I cannot be all that you need, for that would make me God,
But what I am and strive to be, I would like to share with you if you so desire.

If, by loving you I set you free,
then I am your friend indeed."

If you're living a happy life as a Christian, you're doing something wrong.

Offline Anastasios

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Re: Hurt Feelings!
« Reply #2 on: August 25, 2007, 09:36:41 PM »
I have only had a close friend cut me off three or four times in my life. The one time there was no explanation and this has bothered me for seven years, and I feel it is totally unchristian. Another time the guy explained why he felt our friendship should not continue and I respected that and was at peace. I'm sorry your friends did not give you this courtesy. I like George's thoughts above but it is so hard to let people go when they don't give you the time of day after having been close to you. Very unfair.
« Last Edit: August 25, 2007, 09:40:01 PM by Anastasios »
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Offline aserb

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Re: Hurt Feelings!
« Reply #3 on: August 25, 2007, 10:00:05 PM »
George:

I like your rthoughts but sometimes when you're in the thick of things its difficult.

Anastasios

Thanks for your empathy.
Save us o' Son of God, who art risen from the dead, as we sing to thee Alleluia!

Offline EofK

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Re: Hurt Feelings!
« Reply #4 on: August 25, 2007, 10:01:41 PM »
It is incredibly hard when a relationship dies, whether from neglect or intentionally abandoning it.  Has your wife talked with your friend's wife?  It sounds to me like your friend's wife has the objection in this case and it's possible that her husband is just being put in the middle of it, hence his trying to smooth things over by saying nothing is wrong.  It might be a good idea if your wife checked with her friend to see if there is something that has offended her or something she'd like to talk about.  (I say all this and yet I'm terrible about confronting people... it makes me uncomfortable and nervous to "rock the boat.")

I had a friendship that died over the years as well, though I was the one who had to pull away.  My friend, though a very sweet and generous girl, was possessive, jealous, and passive-aggressive.  I hated to lose her friendship, but it felt like every ounce of strength drained out of me when I spent time with her and nearly every visit with her ended in a fight.  I did make efforts to tell her that her behavior made me uncomfortable and stressed our friendship, but she turned it around on me with guilt trips and accusations (I'm not a good friend, I didn't care about her, how could I throw away seven years of friendship, etc).  After that, I tried explaining to her that I couldn't be close friends with her because her behavior was beyond what I could bear.  I know it hurt her, and it hurt me to walk away, but I know we're both happier now.  She's moved on to other friends and so have I.

Sorry for the book!  All that to say, confronting your friends is the right thing to do, even if it's difficult.  If they won't offer any explanation why they've snubbed you, I would suggest letting them go their own way.  It would be a good idea to talk to your priest as well; he'll have better advice than I would.  :)  Best wishes!
Human beings, who are almost unique in having the ability to learn from the experience of others, are also remarkable for their apparent disinclination to do so. -- Douglas Adams

Offline Ian Lazarus

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Re: Hurt Feelings!
« Reply #5 on: August 25, 2007, 10:43:14 PM »
If they wont reveal it or refuse to speak to you, be patient and pray.  It'll be revield, and hopefully resolved, in time.

Prayers.
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Offline Eleos

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Re: Hurt Feelings!
« Reply #6 on: August 26, 2007, 12:16:49 AM »
Well Im glad to know that this type of thing doesnt just happen to me.  That in and of itself is helpful.
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Offline GabrieltheCelt

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Re: Hurt Feelings!
« Reply #7 on: August 26, 2007, 12:31:30 AM »
Losing a friend is gotta be way up on the list of painful things that can happen to us. Sometimes the reasons are clear enough, and sometimes they're elusive (which makes it even more painful). Sometimes you're really better off in the end, and sometimes God can be trying to make you aware of something your love for the other person blinded you to. After all, we're only motivated to change when some sort of pain is involved. I'd follow the advice of the others and speak to your priest about it. He may see things from an angle you hadn't thought about. I'll be praying for you... :)
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Offline PeterTheAleut

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Re: Hurt Feelings!
« Reply #8 on: August 26, 2007, 12:42:40 AM »
Well Im glad to know that this type of thing doesnt just happen to me.  That in and of itself is helpful.
You're being either extremely facetious or extremely insensitive; ;)  I sincerely hope you're just trying to be the former.
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Offline Eleos

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Re: Hurt Feelings!
« Reply #9 on: August 26, 2007, 01:13:55 AM »
You're being either extremely facetious or extremely insensitive; ;)  I sincerely hope you're just trying to be the former.
Actually no.  I meant what I said.  I truly empathize with what ASerb is going through.  I recently went through a similar situation and it was agonizing and still is.  I cant figure out why it happened, and in this particular situation I got a less than vague explanation then boom - I'm cut for good.

I cant comprehend it because I can't even imagine doing something like it.  It doesnt make sense.
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Offline joyisgod

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Re: Hurt Feelings!
« Reply #10 on: August 26, 2007, 06:14:16 AM »
I can relate to the situation because I also have lost a close friend of mine for extremely vague reasons, or what seemed to be more of an excuse.  I was distraught to say the least because this individual was the most precious person in my life and for them to just have a “change of heart” was painful to endure.  For a long time I tried to find out what truly changed, but I never got an answer that I thought was sincere.  Finally when I confided in another friend about the situation she advised me that, “maybe it is not my place to find out why that person changed their feelings towards me, God put this person in my life for a reason and He took that person out of my life for a reason, maybe that’s all I needed to know.” 

While my friend and I have lost all sorts of communication together, I know that if they ever needed me I’d be there for them in a heartbeat, while I don’t know if the feelings are reciprocated, however, I’m sure they are, I would suggest that you follow the same pattern.  Be there for them if they ever need you but don’t expect anything in return and don’t dwell on the situation of why things ended the way it did, you’ll just suffer a lot of sleepless and restless nights (speaking from experience) and you don’t need to go through that headache. 

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Offline aserb

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Re: Hurt Feelings!
« Reply #11 on: August 26, 2007, 09:18:21 AM »
Thank you all for your kind and helpful responses.

This has not been an easy time.

Save us o' Son of God, who art risen from the dead, as we sing to thee Alleluia!

Offline calligraphqueen

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Re: Hurt Feelings!
« Reply #12 on: August 26, 2007, 09:07:08 PM »
IF this couple is a member of your church, there is the admonition in scripture to tend to this rift.  If your wife has "offended" her, she should come to your wife and say as much.  Since that isn't the case, your wife is certainly allowed to go and ask the other woman what the problem is.  It could be based on hearsay from someone else, or some percieved slight.  who knows.  I hate it when this happens, people can be very fickle and absurd at times, with their Christian brothers and sisters especially.

If you guys were this involved, a sudden change is more than a little suspicious.  Even if the friendship isn't renewed as it was, it would be beneficial to know what the reasoning is.  I know us women will torture ourselves trying to figure out what we did to cause it, when in reality the other person's change of heart doesn't have much validity.  Sadly, some people can just be very shallow.  boy have I been there before.
Hope you find resolution soon.

Offline aserb

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Re: Hurt Feelings!
« Reply #13 on: August 27, 2007, 09:54:56 AM »
Thanks CQ. Very wise and comforting words indeed.

To all who have written, we empathize with you too who have lost friends. Our prayers are with you.

Save us o' Son of God, who art risen from the dead, as we sing to thee Alleluia!

Offline aserb

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Re: Hurt Feelings!
« Reply #14 on: August 27, 2007, 08:14:06 PM »
Please if others want to chime in all are welcome the replies so far have been most helpful.
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Offline Tamara

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Re: Hurt Feelings!
« Reply #15 on: August 27, 2007, 09:21:59 PM »
Please if others want to chime in all are welcome the replies so far have been most helpful.

Dear Dan,

Is it possible they felt smothered by too much togetherness? Maybe they wanted to have freedom to spend time and holidays with other families but were too socially incompetant to know how to do it. Instead they just cut you off completely rather than try to explain to you they wanted some space. I am just throwing ideas out there because it is hard to know what the problem could be.
I will say that some women can be very odd and cruel. Even though I am a woman I find men to be more straight forward and easier to be friends with than some women. I like the directness of men and the fact that they might get angry with you but they will confront you directly. They don't play mind games and they easily forgive minor offenses. Sometimes they don't even notice a minor offense.... ;)

sincerely, Tamara
« Last Edit: August 27, 2007, 09:22:59 PM by Tamara »

Offline aserb

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Re: Hurt Feelings!
« Reply #16 on: August 27, 2007, 09:46:27 PM »
Thanks Tamara. I was waiting for your response. The thought of too much togetherness crossed my mind. But  I did not think of the fact that they may not know how to develop other friendships

Dan
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Offline Tamara

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Re: Hurt Feelings!
« Reply #17 on: August 27, 2007, 10:57:16 PM »
Thanks Tamara. I was waiting for your response. The thought of too much togetherness crossed my mind. But  I did not think of the fact that they may not know how to develop other friendships

Dan

Are your former friends American born or of Slavic background? Sometimes cultural differences cause different parties to take offense without the other party knowing they offended.
I remember a Spanish teacher in high school said she offended a group of South American exchange students who came over her house for dinner. She served corn with the meal and they were very hurt because in their country you only feed corn to pigs.

I know that when I am with Arab immigrants and Arab Americans I can stand much closer to them when having conversations because their space bubbles are very small. If I do not greet them with a hug and kiss on each cheek (the Lebanese insist on three kisses!) they are offended and will think I am a 'cold fish' American.  :D So when I am with the Arabs I am an Arab. Also, the elderly Arab ladies have no problem telling me directly if my tabouli or holy bread tastes good or not. They will give me advice on how to do a better job next time without me even asking.  :D In other words, they are very direct and have no problem with confrontation.

When I am at the Antiochian parish with former evangelicals I need to give them larger space bubbles when I converse with them because most of them are from English backgrounds. They deal more indirectly with others and me if there are conflicts. They hate direct confrontation. Hugging and kissing only happens once in while and there is no offense taken if I do not hug or kiss them every time I see them. The one exception is my Serbian-American girlfriend...she always gives me a hug each Sunday...sometimes she hugs me at various times during the service. I am going to guess Serbians are very affectionate people.  ;)

« Last Edit: August 27, 2007, 11:04:41 PM by Tamara »

Offline aserb

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Re: Hurt Feelings!
« Reply #18 on: August 28, 2007, 09:08:35 AM »
Tamara:

Enjoyed your story but no I do not think there are cultural differences. My wife and I are American born and we can go in and out of the cultural maze depending on the person or persons we're dealing with.

I have to tell you that I shop at a Lebanese-American grocery from time to time (I love middle eastern food) and I have befriended the owner a middle aged Maronite Christian. He often comes from behind the counter to greet me and talk about family and politics and he stands very close to me. I have gotten use to it.

Thanks

DAn
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Offline aserb

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Re: Hurt Feelings!
« Reply #19 on: August 28, 2007, 11:05:26 AM »
I have scheduled a time with our priest and his wife tomorrow to discuss the matter. Your prayers would be appreciated. I'll keep you all posted. Thank you for your concern.

Dan
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Offline Schultz

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Re: Hurt Feelings!
« Reply #20 on: August 28, 2007, 11:28:40 AM »
I think CQ hit the nail on the head. 

My prayers are certainly with you and the family, Dan.

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Offline aserb

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Re: Hurt Feelings!
« Reply #21 on: August 28, 2007, 03:48:54 PM »
Thank you Schultz, Tamara, et. al. I'll keep you posted. I have prayed for all concerned and sought the intercessions of the Theotokos. I often turn to her in matters dealing with women.

Dan
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Offline Trudy

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Re: Hurt Feelings!
« Reply #22 on: August 28, 2007, 09:55:57 PM »
This same situation happened to me.  A friend just dropped me like a hot potato.  It took 3 or 4 years of coldness till I finally bit the bullet, went to talk to her and asked, "What have I done?!"  She told me and I was positively shocked!! 

Without going into a ton of detail, she worked for a realtor and we listed our house with them.  After 6 mos. it hadn't sold because the realtor over priced it.  We switched realtors AFTER I talked with my friend and explained why.  She AGREED that we were making the right decision...and still was angry which led to the coldness.

I apologized to her in tears.  She did also.  But our friendship never picked up at the same level of warmth and depth that we once had. 

I also had this happen with my son's grandfather.  My husband died.  I remarried and my current husband wished to adopt my son and add on the new last name to his original last name. We sat down with the grandfather, discussed it at length and he gave us his blessing to move ahead.  A year later grandfather just stopped seeing his grandson. Everyone, and I mean EVERYONE from family to friends told the grandfather that it was wrong of him to make his grandson pay for the anger HE felt towards us and the new last name.  My son used to ask, "Doesn't grandfather love me anymore?  He never comes to see me."

That was never reconciled.  And sadly, I only just found out what the issue was because the grandfather moved away and never told me where he went.  The grandfather is now reposed and my son struggles with his hurt and anger even now at the age of 26. 

So I suggest, your wife go to your friend and gently and lovingly ask what she did to offend her.  Be ready to hear what is said. Ask for forgiveness no matter what (as we are called to do).  Then let it drop.  However, be prepared that the friendship will never return to what it was.  And if it does...then thanks be to God and Glory to Him forever.

I am sorry you are experiencing this.  It is very hard.  And forgive me for being so long winded.

~Trudy~ :-[
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Offline GabrieltheCelt

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Re: Hurt Feelings!
« Reply #23 on: August 28, 2007, 11:26:06 PM »
I was thinking about the nature of this post today and just wanted to say thank you Aserb for bringing it out into the open. I think this type of post is great on several levels. First, it brings out the compassionate side of all of us because many of us have been there. Secondly, it helps us bring our defenses down just a little, and reminds us all of the important things in life. And thanks to all who have shown the courage to post their own stories...
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Offline aserb

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Re: Hurt Feelings!
« Reply #24 on: August 29, 2007, 10:22:08 AM »
Trudy & Jibrail

Thank you for your kind and encouraging words. We visited our priest and pani (presbyteria, khourie, matushka) ;) and it was very encouraging. They are good listeners and more than anything helped my wife to deal with the situation. I cannot divulge to many details at this time

Dan
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Offline aserb

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Re: Hurt Feelings!
« Reply #25 on: September 19, 2007, 07:40:53 PM »
I just wanted to thank all of you for your prayers and keep you posted. I met with my priest twice, once with my wife and once by myself. It's been difficult and I am struggling  to find out what the Lord is trying to teach me through all of this. I know that I have come to appreciate more of the friends that I already have and that maybe I have ignored, both in real life and virtual (like here on the net. (Thank you all and I will keep you posted.

Dan
a sinner
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Offline myrrhbear

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Re: Hurt Feelings!
« Reply #26 on: July 28, 2010, 10:00:25 PM »
It is so very hard to be abandoned without a reason given by someone you gave your heart to. I feel I must never give it so freely again.
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Re: Hurt Feelings!
« Reply #27 on: July 28, 2010, 10:48:23 PM »
Since this has bee resurrected, it would be interesting to know how everything turned out.
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Offline Nyssa The Hobbit

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Re: Hurt Feelings!
« Reply #28 on: July 29, 2010, 01:47:58 AM »
I also found this thread interesting, since I'm going through my own friendship breakup.  :(  Hubby and I were friends with a couple, their kids played with our boy, we celebrated the occasional holidays, helped each other out with all sorts of things....But the wife kept nursing an old grudge, wouldn't just accept me the way I am, started getting snarky.  I never really knew where I stood with her; it was like one big guessing game all the time.  I'd think everything was perfectly fine, then months later I'd hear she was still mad at me.  A couple of months ago, the husband started getting snarky with us as well.  A month ago, we had this huge blowup over a misunderstanding, and they said many hurtful things and cusses without even trying to find out what was really going on.  It was very painful, but we felt we just couldn't go on like this, and ended it.  I sent an apology that never got a reply.  I'm heartbroken, hubby is angry, but we both wish they would call and try to work things out.  And they're Orthodox.  It's all so sad.  :(  
 
« Last Edit: July 29, 2010, 02:13:06 AM by OrthodoxFairyQueen »
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Offline aserb

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Re: Hurt Feelings!
« Reply #29 on: July 30, 2010, 08:19:14 AM »
Gee - it's been three years since I posted this. We see the couple in public (shopping center and school, etc.) and are courteous to say the least. I have no hard feelings and the sadness has gone away. i take solace in long standing friends whom I have known through thick and thin. As I look back it was a case of too close too quick. That happens sometimes.  The world keeps turning. I don't have time for snarky people. They sometimes create their own hell. May the Lord have mercy!
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