Sometimes love doesn’t feel like it

By Mir
June 13, 2007
Category Friends

I’m not sure how to write about this, and I’ll tell you right now that I have no idea how it ends.

This is about a dear friend of mine, someone who has seen me at my best and seen me at my worst. Someone who has been a part of my life for years and watched my kids and held my hand through my divorce and offered to kick Otto’s ass when he broke my heart years ago and was amongst the first to celebrate when we got back together.

This is about someone who is going to be very angry at me for a long time, most likely.

The background, the history… it really doesn’t matter. I have had concerns for a long time. I have been let down by her for a long time. I even stopped speaking to her for a while, when I just couldn’t take the disappointment and worry anymore. When she (finally) came back to me to apologize, I asked her point-blank if things had changed. She said they had, and I believed her.

She was lying to me. Hell, she was probably lying to herself. It took less than two weeks for the old patterns to reemerge.

I’ve been busy. Busy with work, busy with packing, busy getting ready to leave. Maybe I should’ve done something earlier, maybe I was too busy to really realize. Maybe I just didn’t want to see.

I’ve been trying to reach her. I’ve been leaving messages (unanswered), I’ve occasionally managed to reach her and make plans (all of which she’s broken, usually by just not showing up). She’s not there. Even when she’s there, she’s not there. But she says she’s just busy. She’s so busy that she has no time to see me. Or talk to me on the phone. Even though I’m leaving in less than two weeks.

I finally did what I should done a month ago (or maybe a year ago, I don’t know). I called her husband.

She doesn’t know yet. I assume she will find out. I further assume she will feel horribly betrayed, and that she will hate me for a while.

I have to assume that I did the right thing. That she will get the help she needs. That I will not have to live with the guilt of something happening and me never having tried to stop it. That she will get through this.

That she will someday realize that I did it because I love her.

But most of all, I need to believe she will get better. Even if she never speaks to me again.

I could deal with that—with losing her forever—if it meant she came back from the place she’s trapped in right now.

This Love Thursday, I wish you enough faith to get through the love that doesn’t feel like it.


  1. Aranda

    What you did took so much courage and so much love. I hope someday she can see that. No matter what happens, you showed yourself as a good friend and someone who cares deeply about your friend.


  2. Judy.

    Love doesn’t mean never having to say you’re sorry. Love means doing the right thing for the other person, even if it’s not the easy thing. You are proving your love…and I hope one day she sees it. You are a good friend. {{{hugs}}}

  3. Barb Cooper

    Someone once said to me that if there was even a smidge of enjoyment in offering intervention or constructive criticism to someone you love, you shouldn’t do it. It’s counter-intuitive, Mir, but if it has caused you this much anguish, you are absolutely doing the right thing. And it’s also important, I think, to recognize that what you did is healthy in terms of your own self preservation, too. It sucks. It hurts. But you did the right thing. God bless you and your friend.

  4. Christine

    I’m have had to make a very similar decision this past week, as well. It’s so hard, because I have received a big verbal lashing … a “How could you do this?”

    Because I love you. Whether you see it now or not … I love you.

  5. Barb Cooper

    Oh, and you know what? For years I worked on the issue of childhood hunger –which is a problem in this country that has never gotten much airplay. It was a lot like tilting at windmills. So, every day, I looked at this quote and I kept on: “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.”
    Dr. Seuss, The Lorax

    Maybe that might be good for you to read sometimes when you doubt yourself?

  6. Mamacita

    Me too, Mir. It hurts, doesn’t it. I really liked and respected a certain friend, and when I realized what he was doing to his wife and children, I called him on it, and he couldn’t take the truth. You did right to speak up. So did I. But it hurts, doesn’t it.

    Why are there always so many people “out there” who encourage others to do wrong? It is beyond my comprehension. Shame on them.

    And good on you.

  7. ChristieNY

    I’m so sorry Mir. :( You did the right thing though.

    I once took the keys from a friend of mine who was trying to drive drunk. His parents found out that he was drunk (and underage) and he got in trouble. He never spoke to me again, but, he’s alive and well ten years later and that’s what matters.

    I couldn’t just sit back and let him do what he was going to, he could have been hurt or hurt someone else (or worse), so losing a friend, it hurt me emotionally, but it was for the best for everyone involved, including those who could have been had I not taken those keys.

    Happy love Thurs. I hope it gets better. Hugs.

  8. Coleen

    Love works in mysterious ways. I know that’s trite, but if you look at it, it’s totally true.

    Thank you for showing that love is courageous, all the time, no matter the form.

  9. Steph

    Mir, listen. As someone who is in recovery (and has, obviously, been to hell and back), I can definitely tell you that you. did. the. right. thing. Please go easy on yourself. I screwed over so many people back in the day that it’s a wonder some of them still talk to me. And some of them still don’t, but they cared enough about me at the time to give me the tough-love approach when I truly needed it. Was I pissed off back then? Absolutely. Did I feel like I was screwed over? Sure. But, most importantly, did it get me into recovery? The answer is a resounding “yes”!

    If your friend wants help badly enough, she will seek it. You gave her a serious kick in the ass, but it sounds to me as if she desperately needed it. And now, I kinda want to round up all the people who kicked MY ass, just to say, “Yo! Thanks for saving my life!”

    (P.S. I’d be happy to talk to you about this further, if you feel like you need to. No pressure, of course.)

  10. Juggling Frogs

    What a good friend you are. I hope she finds a way out of that dark place and back into your life again. She’s lucky to have you for a friend. May she realize that some day.

  11. becky

    decisions like that are so tough to make. hugs to you.

  12. Jaime

    i also wanted to send more hugs your way…

  13. Terri

    More hugs to you… Sometimes you just have to listen to your heart and do something, even if it is the hardest thing you’ve ever had to do. And even if it means the end of a friendship. Never doubt that you did the right thing.

  14. Katie

    You did the right thing. Often the correct choices in life are the hardest. ((hugs))

  15. Mimipz5wjj

    Some times love hurts. You did the right thing. The best way to show her you love her is to make the sacrifice of losing her friendship in order to help her get well.

    One day she’ll realize it!

  16. Brigitte

    I just came here from Chris’ (notes from the trenches) site, where I laughed until I had tears, and now you’ve given me the other kind.

    I hope your friend does eventually realize you did it out of love, but even if she doesn’t, you will have made a positive difference in her life. You’ve done right.

  17. Randi

    Oh Mir – I’m in a similar boat so I know how you feel. At least you had the courage to do what was right. One day, eventually, she will appreciate you, and if she doesn’t, her family will.

  18. Sarah

    Oftentimes, doing the right thing for someone you love, who’s in trouble, hurts like crazy.

    You are a true, true friend.

  19. Melanie Marie

    You, my dear, are a true and wonderful friend. I wish I had that courage… I gave up on my “friend” and walked away. Maybe its not too late. Thank you!

  20. meritt

    I don’t think you ever stop into my blog, but about a month ago we discussed this issue. One of my readers/friends in real life went through the exact same thing as you… but after the last time she tried to ‘help’ her friend, the friend avoided calls and communication again for almost a year.

    **** My friend/reader went to her funeral last month.****

    Yes… you did the right thing.

  21. catherino

    I wish with all my heart that my brother had had a friend like you 2 years ago. It’s got to be easier to live with the aftermath of anger than the aftermath of suicide. You did the right thing. I hope it helps.

  22. jenn

    Yes. Just yes. There’s no new ground to cover here, all the other commenters have said it. And frankly, with all the hugs, it’s looking a little like an virtual dogpile, so I’m just going to nod my head and say “yes.”

  23. ishouldbeworking

    This is why it’s called Tough Love. It’s tough to be on either end, but hopefully your friend listens and her husband will help her get the help she needs too. More (((hugs))) to you for doing the right thing. Maybe one day, you’ll get some real hugs from her.

  24. Aimee

    Oh, Mir… my heart just breaks for you. I do believe you did the right thing. I don’t know precisely the circumstances, but I’ve been through something that *sounds* similar with a co-worker and friend. It’s not easy, but it did end up having a happy ending in that she got the help she needed. I hope your friend does, too.

  25. Genevieve

    Yes. You absolutely did the right thing. And it’s so hard.

  26. Loving Annie

    I am totally in the dark here, Mir.

    What did you do ?
    That really matters.

    Was she cheating on her husband ? drinking ? doing drugs ? Gambling ? Abusing her children ?

    Calling her husband just because she was busy and rude, well, if he acknowledged it — and still stays with her, it says he knows about how she treats people an doesn’t really care because whatever they have works for him.

    Please enlighten me as to what you called about !

    What precisely would make her feel so horribly betrayed — Had she sworn you to secrecy and you felt like telling her husband would save her life ?

  27. Sarah

    About a year ago, my best friend was getting involved in some heavy drugs and deeper into a relationship with a man who was abusing her almost daily. For months I ignored it, assuming she would pull out of the dangerous situation like she always had. Too late, I called her mother and told her everything that was going on. The situation was entirely out of my control; I felt like I needed help reaching her. A week later, my friend ran away with her “boyfriend”. Two days after that, she was arrested the next state over for posession, 6 stolen weapons, and a stolen car. She spent a month in jail and was facing 10 felonies on her record.
    We didn’t speak for months. She was furious with me for breaking her trust and going to her mom. It wasn’t until this New Years (about 8 months after everything happened) that she came up to me and thanked me, saying I saved her life.

    I don’t know the details of your situation, Mir, but you did the right thing. I too knew in my heart knew that it was worth losing her if it meant saving her. And even though I was too late, she finally sees what I was trying to do.

  28. BOSSY

    With friends like you who needs hemorrhoids? Kidding! Bossy is kidding! Can’t Bossy have a little friday fun? Oh, it’s still thursday? Never mind, Bossy’s point: You Totally Did The Right Thing. What’s the use of propping up a bad situation?

  29. MMM

    Sounds like you’re a good friend.

  30. MMM


  31. Amy-Go

    My mama always told me only a real friend will tell you the things you don’t want to hear. Sounds like you’re a real friend to me.

    I have internet today but am going dark again tomorrow for about a week…I’ll be thinking happy thoughts your way!

  32. Aimee

    You sound like a wonderful friend to have. ::hugs::

  33. Jodi

    I feel your pain. One of my sisters has serious problems, but doesn’t want to – or can’t – see it.

  34. alice

    You did the right thing, Mir. Love that’s selfless because you give and see the loved one happy? Selfless, but still soft and squishy. Love that’s selfless because you’re giving someone what they need in order to seek help? Even more selfless, because you’re left bereft. Good on you for not taking the easy way out.

  35. Kara

    you did the right thing. Huge hugs for you. Love is so hard.

  36. Lisa

    It SUCKS to be a grown up. You know you did the right thing. Not the easy thing, the right thing. You had to at least try. You can move forward knowing you did try to help your friend. Here’s hoping she comes around sooner rather than later. XOXOXOXO

  37. bob

    I’m confused – I don’t understand why your calling her husband about her avoiding you would make her mad, but I am sure there is much more going on here than you can reveal.

    I am sorry about you and your friend, I know how it feels to be estranged from someone you care about.

    Maybe this’ll giver her pause to think about the dynamic between you. In any case, I hope she realizes you did it out of concern – love – for her.

  38. amanda

    She’ll never know just how lucky she is.

    I hope you won’t suffer too long over this incredible act of bravery and friendship.

  39. Krisco

    You did the right thing. That’s actually a lot to hang on to.

    If it helps any, it sounds like you had already lost your friend. So what you did may hurt the person she’s become, but it’s a step in getting the real one back.

  40. tuney.

    As the person who NEEDS the intervention, I have to say there are days I wish someone would DO something to stop me from destroying myself. Lots of people say, “Stop,” but that’s as far as it goes. Words can only encourage to a certain level. After that, actions love more loudly. Your friend may be angry with you, but if she gets through it, she will realize you did it FOR her, not against her.

    Thanks for being transparent here, Mir. There are many, many times you make me realize I am not as crazy as I thought, that weird things happen to other people, too. GA welcomes you with open (if a little warm and sweaty) arms!

  41. Karen

    Love has many manifestations, and not all of them are pretty. It takes a courageous person to realize that.

  42. Stephanie C

    Anyone would be extremely lucky to have a great friend like you.

  43. Liz

    This post – as most of your writing, really – resonates with me this week, Mir. Thanks for helping me, you know, not feel it and know that I’ll still be okay. Good luck.

  44. Cele

    Mir love doesn’t alway feel like roses and joy, sometimes it feels like deep down fear and desparation to help and protect. You’re a nuturer, you did the right thing. Even if she never tells you so.

  45. Heather C.

    You did the right thing. I got goosebumps as soon as I read this. I know down in my marrow that you did the right thing. I don’t get goosebumps for nuthin’ you know.

Things I Might Once Have Said


Quick Retail Therapy

Pin It on Pinterest