friendship conundrum

So… a really good friend and I have recently rekindled our relationship.

She has children who are the light of her life and a husband whom, she confided, she merely tolerates, and often dislikes. Divorce is out of the question. I respect her stance even if I can’t fully appreciate it and I will not try to push her in that direction.

I have a goofball, imperfect husband who is my polar opposite in countless ways and who drives me nuts sometimes, but whom I unconditionally adore. We want desperately to bear a child, but alas, my body isn’t cooperating. Adoption is out of the question. My friend respects our stance even if she can’t fully appreciate it and will not try to push us in that direction.

Neither of our choices is the subject of my question and… PLEASE… should not be a subject for debate in this forum.

Long before husbands and children, she and I were very very close, could discuss anything. We are both good listeners, talkers, empathizers, sympathizers, and jokesters. We get each other. We drifted apart as our lives got more complicated, but I think we’ve both at a point where we need a good friend.

She hasn’t shared her feelings about her husband with many people. She apologized for being a downer when we talked about it, but if she genuinely needs to talk, I’m want to provide her that outlet. I feel honored that she feels she still feels so close to me.

What does a good friend do? Bring it up and fuel her fire? Wait for her bring it up and run the risk that she might think I’m disinterested? Can I talk to her about the good aspects of my relationship with my husband or do I need to stick with stories that call him out as a doofus? (I’ve got plenty of those :rolleyes:, but it doesn’t seem fair to him to censor myself in that way.)

I certainly don’t expect her to censor what she tells me about her kids. Sometimes I need to talk about my infertility (not the clinical part, but the emotional repercussions). Sometimes I want to bury it and talk about anything else.

Are the odds that this rekindling will become a let’s-talk-about-your-misery- so-I-can-feel-better-about-myself fest? Or can I trust that this, a once genuine and sincere relationship, will prove to be as supportive and loving as it ever was?

It’s a little tricky when you reconnect with someone after a while. you’re kind of between feeling like you ought to be able to pick up right where you left off, but on the other hand you know people change with time and they turn into a little bit of a stranger, and it’s a little bit awkward.

I certainly don’t think you should present your husband as a complete goober just to spare her feelings about her own husband, especially since you don’t expect her to censor what she says about her kids. To me it would look like you were trying too hard not to offend me or were worried I’d get jealous of your relationship.

Personally, especially at first I’d let her take the lead when mentioning her husband (wouldn’t be nice to ambush her with “so how’s the jerk today” :stuck_out_tongue: ) and figure out from there if she wants a sympathetic ear or advice or whatever. Ditto for your infertility issues; nothing wrong with calling her and saying “I’m really bummed today, can we talk for a while?” or “Sorry, I’d really rather not talk about it today” and steering the conversation towards a more neutral subject.

I hope you two get to be as close as you used to be… if nothing else, you’ve both got a total random stranger pulling for you :smiley:

I think you’ll both probably figure it out as you get to know each other again. I don’t think either of you should censor yourselves in what you talk about, but as the tomato says, let the other take the lead on the subjects that are emotionally-laden. Since you’re both good listeners and empathizers, you’ll probably do well to go with your instincts on those grounds.

Don’t analyze it, enjoy it! Do what comes naturally and you’ll pick up on appropriate boundaries as you go along.

Congrats on re-finding a “new” friend!

Don’t hold back, either of you. You have a lot in common: you both love people you live with. What does it matter she loves her kids and you love your husband?

My best friend wanted desperately to get pregnant, in fact, we tried to get pregnant at the same time, both using my husbands sperm. She was looking for a known donor, and we knew my husband was fertile, because I already got pregnant, bus miscarried. We figured that my husband as donor could stay in her life quite naturally through our friendship, whech had already lasted a few decades at that point.

However, she didn’t get pregnant in the end and has now stopped trying. It isn’t a source of friction at all. She loves her job much more then I do, and does better at then I do at my job. She loves her extended family much more then I do mine and has a lot warmer contact with them then I do. I have a partner and a kid. It is not a problem.

Thank you all so much for your thoughtful and sound advice!

Maastricht, WOW. What a wonderfully kind and generous you and your husband are. It takes my breath away.