How Do You Comfort A Friend Who Lost The Love Of Her Life When The Love Of Her Life Happens To Be Married?
By Lana Moline
I heard two ladies talking at the beauty salon about a seriously complicated issue. It turns out that another friend of theirs had lost someone special to her. I was not intentionally listening but their voices rose to the high volume that was necessary under the dryer and everybody there heard the story. It made me think about how I would handle this same situation. The story went something like this:
“Yes, I remember “her guy” and how much they loved one another. He lost his fight with cancer and she was understandably in a bad place. They were in sync. It was as if he sensed when she was down and needed him. Remember all those “just thinking about you” texts? That was so sweet! I felt like he really got her. They had that “it” thing that everyone wants in relationships and so much history. They were like that couple on tv that you want to hear about. But something kept them from totally committing. You are right, turns out after all the trips, dinner dates, nights on the town and quality time spent, he was married with kids. Are you serious?”
It was right about there that I drifted into my own series of “what if this had been my friend.” I would like to think that I could remain sensitive but as a married woman I wondered how I would comfort her. Quite honestly, I was offended. I know we share each other’s secrets but I would not want to be a part of this type of deception. I searched for the logic in understanding the need to lie to me thinking maybe a twisted attempt to protect me. That would satisfy her heart’s intent towards me but I don’t think protection quite describes how I might feel. I am sure that his rationale was typical with the notion that things at home were not good and that he was there only for the kids but that does not make infidelity acceptable.
This is a mess whether imagined or real. It just made me think about my circle of friends and how well I know them. Yet still today their is a deeper issue of how to comfort someone in the midst of loss despite the fact that I am conflicted. I love strong and realize that when people have a myriad of empty places in their lives to fill, they truly need friendships. This is one of those situations that would cause anyone to do some soul-searching to understand what this friend means in our lives.
I’m sure we all reach that point although it may not always be for such a drastic reason. In friendships, just like any relationships, there are ups and downs and in the end we must decide if the people in our lives are worth the fight. I haven’t always done everything right so it would be great to understand that I am a keeper. My friends sure are. This is an issue of accountability. We each deserve the best and should remind each other of that daily.
Lana Moline is an integral part of the Blackloveandmarriage.com writing team, freelance writer and poet who lives in Ft. Worth with her three kids and husband Emile. Married 11 years, both media professionals have vowed to maintain integrity in all aspects of print and broadcast journalism.Visit her atLana Moline Speaks.
There is a term for this kinda grief and it's called disenfranchised grief. Disenfranchised grief is the pain of a significant loss that is not openly acknowledged or socially supported. To me pain is pain, but the worst type of pain is the kind you can't openly acknowledge and mourn. I'm not sure that I could be a great comfort to a friend like this, but I would suggest that she research the term, because there is a wealth of information on it, as well as support groups online for folks who are suffering from disenfranchised grief. I figure talking to others who are going through similar situations is the best kind of support.
Great advice Yana! You are right, pain is pain. Thanks for checking us out!
I think if I were in this situation I would express sorrow for her pain. I don't think I would use it as a teachable moment….but it's kinda hard not to. Considering the fact she should of never been in this relationship in the first place.
I totally understand Cora. Thank you so much for your comment.