The Goddess Weighs In

Living Large and Healthy

Knowing Your Worth

on July 12, 2012

A few years ago a friend got married.  She’d been with the guy for years, they were engaged, she was all about wedding plans and I was very excited for them.  We were the best of friends, we saw each other several times a week and we talked about everything, including her future wedding.  Then she called me one night and surprise they had gotten married that day.  I was happy for them, very happy, since I knew that this would make her very happy, but I was bummed about not being let in on the secret.  I had been told that it would be a small wedding.  In case you’re unaware, this is code for “you’re not going to be invited”, and I was ok with that, but there I was hanging out with my bestie, making suggestions about wedding plans, driving her around to find the perfect, non-traditional dress and I wasn’t considered important enough to be let in on the big secret.

I was hurt.  She phoned a few days after the initial phone call and gushed for over an hour about her wedding.  The people, the luncheon, the ceremony, it all sounded wonderful, but I was still hurt and deeply so.   Here was the clearest possible evidence that she was more important to me, than I was to her.  I knew she had an inner circle of family and long time family friends who would be the handful of people invited to the wedding, I knew in that sense that I was in the second class suite, but it turned out that I was in steerage.  It turned out that she was my bestie and I was little better than a casual acquaintance.

To add insult to this injury when I told her that I was happy for her, but that I was disappointed that she didn’t feel we were close enough friends to let me in on the secret, she released some pretty serious wrath on me.  She told me I was ruining her wedding and then went on to justify her behaviour by telling me that she and her now husband had discussed whether or not to tell me and had decided that I couldn’t keep a secret.  When I balked she said that she knew that I would be upset that I wasn’t invited.  When I balked again she told me that other people had been hurt more than me – specifically a man who thought that he and the groom were as close as brothers and that he found out after the fact when they announced their marriage at a subsequent birthday party, and wasn’t it great of them to call me instead of being told of the marriage at a party.  How this was supposed to help her case, I really don’t know as the justification was that she had treated someone else crappier than she had treated me.

We got through this unfortunate situation, and remained friends, but I adjusted my level of friendship to match hers.  If she was going to treat me like a not-so-casual acquaintance then I would adjust my friendship level from bestie to not-so-casual acquaintance as well.  It turned out, however, that she didn’t like this.  She wanted the perks of being my best friend and couldn’t seem to understand that I was no longer willing to offer that level of friendship.  Had she wanted to treat me like a best friend, I would certainly have reciprocated, but an uneven relationship was simply unfair.  Eventually the friendship fell apart because she simply could not tolerate that I refused to be the friend who dropped everything to hang on her every word or take care of her when she was hurting.  I was now the friend to her that she was to me.

In this situation I recognized that I had worth, and that it was unfair for someone who offered less of themselves to expect more from me, but so often this is not the case.  All too often we have people in our lives who we will do anything for and drop anything for and we go about making their lives easier, or helping them out, or just plain loving them but with no real hope of reciprocation. We can attempt to justify the behaviour in some way, but then we also need to accept that there will be times when we will be hurt, and possibly hurt badly and the other person may never understand why we are so upset.

– the Goddess

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