the most beautiful landscape in the world

Argh, friendship divorce…I’ve been meaning to write this post for a while and although it might well sound controversial, I don’t mean it to be.

I first read about ‘Friendship Divorce’ in one of the glossies and it really resonated with me at the time. I think once you have a child, you are forced to prioritise, you suddenly have no time for bull****, negativity and clearly friendships which don’t work.

Look, no divorce is pretty but sometimes it’s inevitable and necessary and this year, in particular, has seen me undergo a fair few friendship divorces. Oh it can be hard, especially if children are involved, ‘Mummy can I not play with Adele anymore’ was something I overhead when chatting to a friend about her recent separation. But sometimes a cutting of ties is good for the soul…

Not meaning to sound big headed, but I do have quite a lot of friends. I think this is down to the industry I work in as much as me being such a wonderful mate (hehe!). I’m freelance so I work for a lot of companies whether that’s large companies or small independents, not to count attending film festivals, film events, yada, yada, yada.

You meet people at these functions, especially if you have a film there and likewise when you are enlisted as a writer or director to work for several companies a year… And especially if you are sociable and pretty fun to be around (which is me most of the time I’d like to think).

Now I have boundaries when I’m working and as friendly as I am, I’m always professional with my cast and crew but yes this industry is about relationships and making friends comes hand in hand with that.

Well, this Spring saw an end to a handful of friendships which one of my best friends referred to it as my ‘Friendship Spring Clean’ and I think she was right.

Sometimes you are hanging onto dead wood.

People that you just don’t really click with, are there for the wrong reasons (“Oh but we share so many mutual friends”,  “but all the bitchy remarks are just because of so and so’s had a bad year…”(insert excuses) etc etc.

I’m sure these friends found things wrong with me too and I suppose that’s the thing, no one is perfect and friendships as much as relationships are about compromise but sometimes you have to accept that you and your friend/s just don’t work, will never work and it’s time to call the divorce lawyers in (metaphorically speaking).

Separations need no longer be messy. Yes sometimes they begin with arguments but deleting of profiles, blocking/spamming and the rest can help you to move on. Of course it can take time to get over a break up but it’s possible. Some scientists believe that genetically women are built to be able to move on easily and rebuild ourselves.

That’s not to say there were not a few casualties along the way, friends I’m sad I moved on from, fell out with or grew apart from…

But on the whole, though, I have to say, since most separations, I feel renewed, happier and relieved. I’m not advocating divorcing everyone who annoys you, no. You have to work at friendships and I love my large collection of best friends like family.

No, please admit when you are wrong, say sorry and work hard at those unions. It’s just you know the people that have grated on you for years, the people you excuse all the time, the people who drain your energy like Harry Potter’s ‘dementors’ every time you see them and those you know are secretly jealous of you, don’t want the best for you, bitch about everyone and are clearly not happy in their own lives, the people you know will never be real friends, who only want to be there for the highs and are nowhere to be seen for the lows-yes those. Those are the ones it’s time to say goodbye to. Go on, do it, you’ll feel much better for it.

Photograph ©Vicki Psarias-Broadbent.


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12 Responses

  1. Pen

    This is a really thought provoking post. It is very true though, there are some people / friends who seem to drain your energy, you dread meeting up with them but you feel obliged, you make excuses to leave early.
    I also have very dear friends who I do not see for years but when we catch up it seems like no time has past at all, we immediately click again.
    I wish I had the courage to divorce some of life’s energy sappers the way that you do. I tend to just try to avoid them, I am slow to respond to their messages, I don’t ‘like’ their facebook updates etc. They are really persistent though and I can never seem to make the break. Why are they so persistent? Is it because everyone else has divorced them?


    • honestmum

      Your summation made me laugh, yep most likely they’ve been divorced by everyone else hence the persistence plus like in dating, those that are less keen tend to receive the most interest! I do think cutting the ‘Negs’ out means you have more time for those who matter and you feel better yourself, less drained, more content, empowered, and generally more positive. I don’t think you have to make it really obvious you’re separating (although some friendships need to be nipped in the bud if they’re really not making you happy) otherwise you can gradually phase bad friendships out too x

  2. Karen (@karenjwhitlock)

    Really glad you posted an “archive” link to this. Great to read this – and it’s made me feel better about myself (and less of a bitch!) about wanting to cut people out of my life who have a negative influence on my life. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this x

  3. Pippa

    I was thinking about his only this morning, wanting to apologise to my friend whom I “divorced” a few years back. I now know not to do that because he has shown his real self to me and no matter how good it was to be friends, it was always just a show and not true friendship.

    I think it is so difficult not to forgive and forget, as school, sitcoms and religion teaches us. It is not a simple two step process at all! But I find it goes more like: forgive and forget, realise you haven’t really forgiven them, reflect, reflect, forgive, make up, break up, hate, forget, forget but eventually forgive.

    • honestmum

      Wow Pippa I think you’ve nailed it on the head but I suppose you have to assess whether you want to salvage the relationship to begin with. Thanks for your great comments.

  4. ebabee likes

    Loving the post idea… think friendship divorce is not only difficult to do but it’s also very difficult to accept it needs doing. And what happens in a couple situation… been in one where my then partner got on with the guy very, very well and so did I but I thought the woman was poison. And there was all that jealousy, negativity, never happy for anything good in my life type of things going on with her. Eventually relocations saved us but wonder what would’ve happened otherwise. I believe that I love my friends, faults and all but when there is jealousy and negativity directed at you then it’s better to end the relationship… easier said than done though.

    • honestmum

      @Ebabee thank you and wow that is difficult. I’ve not personally been in that situation with a couple and I suppose, breaking off from one partner means breaking off from both which can’t be easy. I agree, I love my friends-faults and all but I think a divorce is neccessary when after a good while, you find that person is toxic and really doesn’t want the best for you or makes you feel good. I call these people ‘Negs’. If they’re a Neg, get rid.

  5. Jessica

    I really like the subject of this post as I have been through a few friendship divorces. I understand the need to get rid of people that are dragging you down or don’t make your friendship a priority. Here’s my question: did you let these friends know you are done or did you just cut off communication?
    Last year a very good friend of mine quit talking to me with no explanation. If she didn’t want to be my friend anymore I wish she would have told me that. Instead I spend many months wondering what I did wrong. I even went so far as to ask her and she didn’t have an answer. I think divorcing your friends is fine but letting the other person know you are out is something that may be warranted. I was very hurt by just being cut out. I wish I had been given the opportunity to fix things or just know she didn’t want to be friends anymore.
    Great post!

    • honestmum

      Hi Jess, thank you for your comment and so pleased you liked the post. I definately think you need to tell the other person you don’t think things are working and why, as you would in a relationship- but I know this is often not easy as you don’t wish to upset the other person. One of the divorces with me, happened after I felt unhappy and was arguing on and off for years until finally I’d had enough, it came to a head and I said I could no longer be friends. With someone else (more of an aquiantance really) where I felt going into details might be upsetting, I simply emailed and explained I couldn’t be in touch anymore as we’d not really gotten on for a while. It’s a personal thing but of course just being cut off without explanation is upsetting and it’s an immature way of handling things. Sounds like you are better off without your friend.

  6. Sharcasm

    Great post V, frank and actually I don’t think this is controversial or it shouldn’t be because it takes more guts to realise something isn’t working than to drag it on because you can’t bring yourself to end it. It’s very sad when friendships end but sometimes inevitable.

    Some years ago I had to ‘divorce’ I really, really close friend I’d known half my life. Shit always seemed to be happening to her, she was very insecure about who she was and projected that onto me. I dealt with it because deep down I knew she was a lovely girl. Until one day, shit had happened to her again and she decided to do a disappearing act for months, ignoring my calls, emails etc.. Untill I finally decided to call from another number and she picked up, only to tell me that she was not in a good place and that she’d explain once she felt up to it. No apology nothing. So i just told her not to bother.

    Recently she tried to get in touch with me again through Linkedin but i ignored it, I did feel bad but then again, you don’t take the decision to divorce a friend lightly, espcially not one you once considered to be one of your best friends, so sometimes there’s just no going back.

    Sorry for the long story, there is a point to all this…i really do think it’s much better to make a clean break when things are not working. You do feel better for it and it’s the honest thing to do for all parties involved.

    Not just an honest mummy but also an honest friend -;)


    • honestmum

      Thanks Shar for your lovely words. Friendship divorce is never easy but sometimes it’s for the best. Maybe see what this friend has to say, sometimes people go through hard times and shut themselves away/change etc. Only you know how you feel about the situation and if this friendship can be salvagable. Sometimes it’s best to give a person a chance though-meet up and then if things seem too far gone, admit defeat.

      I believe wasting time on negative energy generally and people that don’t make you happy, is not good for anyone and divorces can lead to new marriages and space for new friendships. Of course all friendships go through rough patches and you must work at them but some are just never going to work. Vx


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