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Extending a helping hand #SuperBloggingChallenge2018

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.

This article is written as part of the #SuperBloggerChallenge2018 by #Instacuppa conducted by HealthWealthBridge.comFashionableFoodz.com and AllAboutTheWoman.com and should not be re purposed, republished or use otherwise. The content herein is owned by the blogger. SuperBloggerChallenge2018 is not responsible for any infringement caused.

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24 Comments

  1. There are times Varsha [ this is my opinion entirely] that in certain relations how much ever you try to reconcile there seems to be something amiss. In your case you extended a hand to help. As women we always tend to reach out to others. Yet maybe what the other person does or expects during such emotional turmoils is beyond our imagination. I feel whatever you did was right. To find a mid way to reconcile is what relations are all about. As a friend we need to draw a line at some point. At the end whatever happens it does for best.

    1. You said exactly what I was thinking, Sudha. When in emotional distress a person tends to overlook the appropriateness of his actions and unwittingly commits mistakes he didn’t intend to.
      I stepped back because I felt he needed to speak it out with his wife rather than me, for the sake of their marriage and kids. Thanks dear. I’m glad you think I was right.

  2. I dont know Varsh whats right or wrong many a times the situation is such where we chose what we feel is right.

    1. I can understand what you mean, Manisha. Sometimes situations alter our behaviour to right or wrong and we tend to behave differently than we normally would.

      1. True Varsh

  3. I believe in the saying ‘Start as you mean to go’
    This works for Online Friendships as well. We all start off being friends enthusiastically and it either peters off or strengthens, as we get to know the other person better.
    I can imagine the fix you are in mentally at the moment, but then you did what you thought was best at that point of time.
    No point beating yourself over it now. Send a prayer for your friend and wish him peace and let it go.
    That is best, for both.

    1. Thank you so much, Mayuri. I was indeed beating myself up for this because I’m not someone who turns my back to anyone. The thought isn’t easy to accept for me.
      Marital problems can either be discussed with friends, family or a counsellor and with enough information from both sides. I couldn’t just offer advice depending on what he told me.
      Anyway, I did send him a prayer and hope that this phase of positivity stays with him.

  4. Dear friend, there could be zillion different opinions to this situation. What matters is – you chose the one you took with lot of self deliberation. The separation was inevitable, as you mentioned. Such times are tough for those who are facing it, and their friends.
    I won’t say getting too much involved was a bad idea. But again as you clearly stated – we don’t torch our own house, burning someone else’s house.

    As per me, what you did was not being selfish or being a bad friend – but a wise step.

    1. Thanks a lot, dear. I really tried my best but backed out when I felt it was getting too much to take for me. Glad you think it was a wise thing to do.

  5. I am a male and fortunately enjoy a wonderful, happy relationship with a very kind and loving wife. We gel together very well and we have a eleven year old daughter and she is the joy of our lives. Speaking from the perspective from a member of the opposite sex, I would say you did the right thing by extending a helping hand when your friend needed it most. But you should keep in mind that you only know one side of the story. Before stepping into waters you have to judge the depth correctly. You have done your best and I think it would be better if you would let the matter rest.

    1. As a member of the opposite sex your comment supporting me truly means a lot. I know that friendship shouldn’t be gender specific but sometimes we need to be careful so as not to lead to unnecessary confusion.
      Knowing only his side of the story did make me feel like I’m seeing only the black in the picture. It could be white or grey too, who knows. I’m letting it rest, yes. Our best motives aside, some things are best left that way.

  6. For me, good persons are those who knows where to stop. And I believe that you did the right thing at a right time 🙂

    1. Thank you for your kind words, Sachin. 🙂

  7. I think you have your family to look out for and no matter how much you have helped him. He had to go through these things. I feel he had messed up his own life. He needed help but you did what you could have done by keeping your family first. And I don’t think that’s wrong. If your help have caused havoc in your life then who would have helped and understood you. BTW heartfelt post.

    #SuperBloggerChallenge2018

  8. Varsha, I believe that whatever you did, was right…and sufficient. There’s no point feeling guilty for forsaking him when he needed your help. And,most importantly, even if it had been a female, ultimately, it’s they who have to make the decisions because it’s their life.And, however much you think you may know a person, often times we really don’t know them beneath the surface, how they think, or react in their personal space! Each one has to think for himself and decide for himself, is what I have learnt so far in my life. I hope I made some sense here! 🙂

  9. YOU are a good friend Varsh. You were there when he needed you, and as you rightly said, you don’t torch your home to light another’s and LINES must be drawn. Today, you have sent a message which tell your friend that you are still there – and some times, a message is all one needs to boost one’s morale, without the need for an actual conversation in that moment. He may or may not be in the space where he needs or wants to reconnect with you – at some point he may, or may not. But just seeing that message from you, I am sure, must have been a boost to his strength.
    Shine On & frankly, move on now. Some friendships are indeed for a reason, a karmic debt repayment only.

  10. This is a little tricky situation. First I cannot believe anyone and everyone online. For all you know it could have been the other way round too – just saying. But yes marital problems, abuse, emotional torture are things that one needs to deal with earliest and be brave to stand up against it. You are a good friend Varsha, you herd him out, and counselled hi. These are situations wen everyone wants a pair of ears to hear out the pent up stuffs. #Superbloggerchallenge2018

  11. I would do the same, V, for like you have rightly pointed out, it is best that you should steer clear of shouldering the responsibility of guiding him into that. But again, some relationships just will not last, try as they might, they are simply not meant to be. May be it is the best thing for him and he finds happiness soon. Well, he must be a bit miffed about backing out when he needed advice, but may be you should just let it be and let him take his time to heal and find happiness once again.

  12. I think we should go with our gut. It can be wrong or right. But no regrets. Because at that time what seemed right, was probably right.

  13. That is a tough one to answer, but I also understand the rationale behind your thoughts. Make peace with yourself as you did the best you could and let no one judge you on that!

  14. rashimital says:

    I agree, Varsha you did reach a very difficult situation. The will to help yet being scary if you might advice/say something which might further hamper the relationship or the person ahead. However, I feel sometimes all a person needs is a listening ear and for your friend you were the ear, maybe that’s the reason his frequency to contact you increased. but, I also feel after you’d cut off he must have analysed his situation and circumstances without any influence and with an open mind. Probably, what he did was the best for him if not for the kids (divorce is a cruel thing to happen to kids, minor or adults). I hope the mother doesn’t fill the innocent mind poison. My heart really goes out to the kids. May God be with each of them.

    Don’t think much about it. You did everything you could and what you felt was right at that time. God makes us a medium for something and maybe in his case you were this medium to make him realize what he should do/not do.

    Hope you are doing good. Take care 🙂

    sorry for the long comment. Probably I should write a blog post on it. I now have so much to say.

  15. Anagha Yatin says:

    There is a limit to extending the hand of friendship. Sometimes this limit is imposed by our own ‘defined’ life and there is nothing wrong about it. Life runs smoothly if set in the defined limits.
    As I can see, you did your best in helping out a friend. But then room has to be left for breathing too!
    Now that some more facts have come to light, you can always send blessings for your friends well being.

  16. Sometimes the situation demands its own possibilities. We can’t judge you from here because we can’t imagine the emotions between the people at that moment.
    There is always an inner voice that leads you. You did what you felt was right at that time. But yes, today you messaged him as this was right today.

  17. I would tend to agree with your stance when you say that we don’t torch our own house to lighten others’. Do not feel guilty for the past. More strength to you

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