I have known my best friend for over 25 years. We met in the 10th grade. We went to university together, even shared an apartment for a couple of years as "young adults", were a part of each others weddings, baby births, etc, etc. You get the point. And even though I know we're not exactly the same, we are so similar that when there is a difference in thought or attitude, it shakes me up quite a bit.
Unfortunately, for the last few years, her marriage has been hard and she is going through quite a bit. As someone who was divorced and then remarried, I can totally relate to marriage woes. Lately she has been thinking about leaving the marriage. Just thinking mind you. But we were talking about it this weekend, our families spent the long weekend together at my mother's cottage. She has one child so naturally we were wondering about him and the effects.
Then she said that if she left the marriage she wouldn't take her son with her. He's eight.
My heart dropped.
I can't wrap my head around that. I REALLY tried, I am still trying.
She said that since her husband was such a good father they would probably have joint custody. I completely concur. Children need both of their parents. They would probably have a "half the week with mom and half the week with dad" arrangement. Although I don't personally agree with that set-up, I know it works for many families and it is not up to me anyway. But I said, "wouldn't you want to have him with you, you know "based" out of your house (the "primary residence" is the term I'm familiar with).
She said "no". "It would be too hard".
I don't get that. Who doesn't want their child? Who could leave their child? Who said parenting was going to be easy/not hard?
Who doesn't want their child?
I feel that this is a fundamental difference now, underlying the make-up of who we are. I almost felt that she was like a stranger to me. It's all I can think about. I know that will fade, I'm sort of in shock. I know it doesn't change our history but now when I look at her it's all I see. She is a mom who could leave her child. You couldn't pry mine out of my cold dead hands.
So...Quandary...How can I let this revelation not ruin our friendship? How can I not obsess about this? How can I see her and love her as I have always done and not let this affect how I see her?
I know that this is not an immediate situation. But I know she was being honest and telling the truth - even though telling the truth makes her sound like less than the truly loving mother she is.
But your close friends are people you usually share the fundamental concepts - morals and values, faith, general attitudes - things you have in common.
I wonder what else we don't have in common? Maybe our history is what we have in common? It's almost irrelevant since it may never happen, but that fact she could think it and mean it and voice it really unnerves me.
Maybe I hang on too tight.
Does anyone have any thoughts?