There was only like a two year window between when I started dated and when I started dating my husband. I have three, I guess you would call them, exes. I know for a fact I could contact any one of them today, 15+ years later and they would be happy to talk to me. I won’t because we are all married and it would be weird but I could.
One of them, in a random conversation a few years back, offered to install a new washer and dryer for me, should I ever need one. The second, I’m sure would do the same because he turned super religious after we parted company and he and his family always do charity work. The third, well, he would not help me install a new washer and dryer but if I called him, he would definitely come over with his children and they would all make fun of me while I tried to do it.
I’m not trying to brag about how easily I could get free labor. First of all my husband could install a new washer and dryer blindfolded with one hand tied behind his back and secondly, he wouldn’t appreciate me calling ex boyfriends over to the house. I say all this to say, I’ve never had someone close to me just suddenly shut me out of their life before, the way I am experiencing now with my former bff, “gay husband” and I honestly never thought that this would happen.
I’m not saying that I’m still friends with everyone I’ve ever been friends with. If that were the case I would have tons of friends. My family moved around a lot when I was in school. I’m the type of person to have one to maybe three close friends and not really talk to anyone else.
Every time that we would move and change schools, I would leave a best friend behind and we would try to stay in touch but eventually we would grow apart. Understandable, we were too young to drive and we didn’t even have cellphones or Facebook so we just couldn’t sustain a friendship that didn’t involve seeing each other at school everyday.
This doesn’t feel like that. It feels more like a breakup is supposed to feel. Like I said, I’ve never had a real breakup because me and the three stooges I mentioned above just casually broke up and continued talking as friends, like the very next day we were friends again. I guess there weren’t a lot of feelings involved.
I’m saying, I’ve never really had that sharp delineation from being in a close relationship one day and the next day you’re like strangers who can’t talk. I’ve also never had a relationship, including my 15 year marriage, that was as involved and time intensive as my relationship with douglas. (Inappropriate, maybe but true.) Apparently now that’s over and there is nothing I can do. I feel heartbroken and helpless. I also feel nothing.
The thing is I didn’t ever see this coming. Douglas and I have been friends since high school. We’ve worked together. We’ve lived together. We even shared parents for years. (Long story. Some other day.) If you had asked me last year who the one person I was sure I would be close with forever was, I would have said him. Sorry husband and other best friend but it’s true. You just can’t compare the time we spent together.
Douglas and I talked everyday, Sometimes all day. He moved to a different state over ten years ago and it didn’t make a bit of difference with our commitment to each other. We were each other’s number one confidant and then suddenly one day we weren’t.
He has always been more social than me and he’s always had a lot of girl friends. I never really worried about it because it was clear that I was still his main fairy princess. When he started talking about the woman he works with, I thought nothing of it. Then he started talking about her more and more and more. Now he talks to her about me. Or he probably doesn’t.
I don’t know when or why or how this happened but she replaced me and I will say again, I didn’t even think that was possible. How can she be so wonderful that a 20+ year codependent relationship just means nothing to him now? Is she snarkier than me? More hateful? Needier? Impossible.
I felt the transition coming and I’ve written about it before. All of a sudden he was talking about her all the time. Going places with her every weekend. Sharing Hulu subscriptions. (Which is against the law, btw, Douglas). I should turn him in.
I even said something about feeling replaced a few months back. It was a big deal for me to admit something like that to him. As close as we were we weren’t vulnerable with our feelings like that. That’s why we were such good friends. We have similar walls up. I did confront him though. That’s how badly I needed reassurance. He didn’t give it to me. He told me that I “would always be special” to him.
Okay, fuck you, too.
It’s not like we never talk. It’s like I wish we never talk because taking to him now just reminds me of how close we aren’t. It’s like talking to a stranger or a coworker acquaintance. We are polite to each other! It could break a heart. I’ve had to get off the phone with him on more than one occasion because our conversation was so small-talky, stranger-on-a-bus style that I wanted to scream.
If we text now, it’s only a few back and forths, not an ongoing, conversation with no end in sight. Sometimes he doesn’t even answer me all day. We’ve actually gone over a full week without speaking at all. We used to not be able to go a day. I don’t know what happened and I’ve already tried to talk about it once and I can tell there is no point in trying again.
I guess I could try and call him more, maybe even drive up and see him but I don’t think it would make me feel any better. Probably worse. He’s done sharing his life with me and there is nothing I can do about it. He even came in town for Christmas this year and he didn’t even care to see me that much. Instead he went to a club and hooked up with someone.
I don’t know why he has chosen to stop caring about me but he has. I don’t know what I did. I’ve seen him do this with other people before and I know there is no negotiating it. We are done and I struggle with whether or not I should keep up the pretense of taking his calls or responding to his texts at all or if I should just completely stop because they feel like pity calls and I hate being pitied.
Maybe someday we will be friends again. It seems insane to be so close to a person for more than half of your life and then just “poof” it’s gone forever. I don’t know what to do and he is the one I would ask about it. I can’t believe I don’t have him to talk to anymore.
As I said, I’ve only ever had a few close friends at a time. He has left a big hole. I’m trying to make new friends but I don’t even know how to do that as an adult. I don’t have a lot of choices at work. My other best friend and I are still besties but we’ve always had a more laid back connection. She doesn’t live in town anymore either and it’s nothing for us to go months without talking and then have a nine hour phone call and spill our hearts and never doubt that we are close friends. I’m glad to have a friendship like that. We are sisters. It doesn’t come close to filling the alone time left from no longer talking to Douglas everyday.
Don’t get me wrong, I have a husband. I’ve known Douglas longer. My marriage was built around my friendship with Douglas. My husband has never had to have super intense conversations with me everyday. I wouldn’t even know where to start with him. Maybe that’s not the healthiest dynamic but, hey, it’s been working for 17 years.
I’m saying, who wants to be my new best friend?