No matter how well-meaning our intentions and actions might be, sometimes even a slight error in judgement on our part can sour relationships and deter us from extending a helping hand to someone who could really use it at that point of time. Feeling remorse probably isn’t enough, yet I’m hoping a heartfelt apology would suffice for now.
For fear of revealing too much with the back story, let’s just say this is regarding a male acquaintance of mine. We met online a couple of years ago and developed a healthy friendship over time. Reading each other’s writings regularly had introduced us to many similarities in each other’s lives and we intended to extend this relationship to our respective families too.
However, the ease with which we interacted gradually led him to confess some harsh realities about his marital life. His passive aggressive wife had him by his throat and crushed his self-confidence at every opportunity. Although he loved his kids to death, his unresolved issues with his own father had left him bitter. He felt helpless, isolated and victimised. (Mind you, this was his version.)
I empathised and tried my best to counsel him, but being a married lady and a mother of two young kids the frequency with which he started seeking me out unnerved me. He was contemplating divorce by then.
We don’t torch our home to light up other’s houses, right? Also, they were parents and I didn’t want to influence any possibility of their reconciliation even with my earnest advice. With all the politeness I could muster I requested him to get on with his life and let me alone with mine. I wasn’t sure if it was right but that was the best I could think of then. He agreed, and we parted ways.
Suddenly, yesterday I found him on an online platform and read his entries for the last few months out of curiosity. What I read made my heart sink. He has indeed filed for divorce and a petition for the custody of his minor kids. He has mentally broken away from his abusive father while his wife is living with him for the legal separation term and feeding his kids enough negativity about him to have them join her at her mother’s house later.
Alternatively, I appreciated the self-love and shift in his attitude recently and couldn’t help myself from sending him a message. He hasn’t reverted yet. I’m left wondering though.
Was I the bad friend here?
Did I turn my back to him when he was going through an emotional crisis and needed nothing more than positivity and motivation?
Would I have done the same thing if it was a woman?
Should we let others fill our mind space so much?
What do you think? Would love to know your thoughts.
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