Wednesday, April 11, 2012

"She's not a friend. She's a hostage."

"People love that cliche, time heals all wounds. But live long enough and you'll realize that most cliches are true. It's amazing what even the smallest passage of time can accomplish, the cuts it can close, the imperfections it can smooth over. But in the end, it comes down to the size of the wound, doesn't it? If the wound is deep enough , there might be no way to keep it from festering, even if you have all the time in the world."
From an intro voice-over on Being Human, US, emphasis mine

I keep finding myself coming back to the same old questions. How do we know when it's time to give up? Where is the line between sticking to your guns and just being stubborn? How long can you ignore the advice of people you do think are wise, wiser than you? How do you figure out if your wound just needs time to heal or if that wound is just festering and will never heal?

Last week, my favorite afternoon dj's had a discussion about staying friends with ex's. (It's the third section down, with the offensive Asian caricature. The first streaming audio is their overall opinion. The rest are discussions with callers, the final caller being the most interesting to me.) Lazlo, the older, more experienced man, who I usually, begrudgingly, agree with, asserts that no one can be friends with their ex because that ex will always have some control over you and your emotions (or vice versa), your current friendship will interfere with one or both of you's current romantic relationships and one of you is always more emotionally involved, (unconsciously) only does it because you still LOVES that person. This is why Lazlo says that an ex is dead to him. Slimfast, the younger, more idealistic of the two, wants people to call in and prove Lazlo wrong. Lazlo makes some exceptions for people in open relationships and people who have children with ex's and keep a cordial relationship with that co-parent. Of course, Lazlo rips all the callers excuses to pieces. The first two callers were men who still hung out with their female ex's and the ex's new boyfriend/husband, men who couldn't say what positives they got from their friendships with their ex's. Lazlo declared that these men were the ones who still cared and that they needed to cut the cord and move on. The last caller was on the opposite end. He was the only close friend that his ex-girlfriend had. She had not had a serious romantic relationship with another man since they'd broke up, though he'd had other girlfriends and even been engaged for a bit of time. The caller was on his way to have an after-work drink with this woman and Lazlo asserted that the best thing the caller could do for this woman was to not show up to it, to, figuratively, kill himself, so she would be forced to move on. "She's not a friend. She's a hostage," was Lazlo's closing salvo.

And I'll be damned if that didn't ring true. One of those harsh truths that you want to deny, deny, deny, but the words get under your skin, play on a loop in your head.

My friends and relatives don't get why I'm still friends with you. They think being friends with you is so hard that it might not be meant to be. They see that we have very very different values systems, goals, and outlooks on life. And for everyone of your friends or relatives who thinks I'm a crazy unstable jealous bitch, I have a friend or relative who thinks you're a moralistic asshole who needs to take the stick out of his ass and live a little. And I'm pretty sure there are times we agree with that assessment. We also have complaints with how the friendship currently is. Ok, well, I know I do and I'm pretty sure you do, though I couldn't say what yours are at this point. You're great in a crisis, but you kinda disappear for the everyday, though you keep saying that isn't how you want to be. In your own words, "A man shows how he feels in his actions." Though I'm trying to get over it, I know that I'm the ex who stayed on, at least in part, because I thought we'd get back together. And I know I'm the person who feels more wounds more acutely, because it's in my nature to do so.

She's not a friend. She's a hostage.

Now I don't feel that with my other bff who's an ex. But our romantic relationship was far from traditional and we both kept our distances, for a variety of reasons. And while neither of us have plans on being in a romantic relationship with the other, we still relate to each other in much the same way as we did when we were involved. I guess neither of us has felt rejection from the other just because we aren't pursuing a romantic relationship with the other. Maybe my parting with him was not as brutal as my parting was from you.

I thought it would be easier than this, you know? But few things are easy, at least not with me. I had lots of reasons for accepting you back. I have lots of reasons for keeping you in my life. But probably none so strong as sheer stubbornness, the idea that this is one thing that I can make work through the sheer force of my will, that the things we do have are stronger than all the obstacles that lay in our way, that I want to see who you'll be and I want you to see who I become.

So I'll find antibiotics for the deep festering wounds. Call it Stockholm syndrome. I'll be your hostage, at least for now. Gods know you've been mine before. And you can be the symbol of my rebellion, even if you never have one of your own.


TyRoy said...

Low Laz is a moron!
Although for most of society, he is right his reasoning is wrong. .The reason it doesn’t work is one or both people in the ex-relationship grab at what worked [read: sex, kissing, petting and other wonderfully naughty sex acts] and forget what did not [real life]. Most of the yearning parties [one or both whomever is looking for sex] will use what worked [read: sex] to get the what he/she/they want and it is overwhelmed by what did not work [real life].
The original situation invalidates his whole ridiculous hypothesis. Please listen to attached audio in the original post. The current girlfriend went the bbq at the ex girlfriend’s house. So the current girlfriend wasn’t jealous. The ex invited the current in, so she is: say it with me, not thinking straight. Typified by her shoving a knife into the guy.
I am sure she [ex] thought she was thinking straight and would not end up in jail. That he couldn’t be as happy with the current as he is/was/could be with me- the ex. She was wrong. She isn’t thinking straight. She ended up in jail. Most people don’t. So using an extreme to make a point it wrong. Really wrong. The work of morons.
Low Laz’s main assertion was that an ex should be ‘dead to you’. Why? Dead people don’t make you jealous.
Dead people do make you feel jealous. I would much rather date a girl would is divorced: amicable or otherwise. I can’t compete with someone who is dead. And it is better when there are bad memories that can be talked about. Even better, when I show that frakkin guy up, in person. A hypothetical “See how great I am!” Only thing I have to worry about is a knife coming at me. Actually, coming at my girlfriend.
Low Laz is also wrong about the sex thing too. Some exes can have sex after the relationship and it would be good [great even] and just be friends. But I had a coworker who I saw [three dates] and we had sex and we did not want to after. We worked together, not closely, but amicably. I am not even sure anyone at work knew we dated.
Big surprise I can’t comment to Low Laz’s 96.5 the buzz blog. You can to Afentra’s. But both of them have the same problem. They overtalk when they should listen.
Part of it is because they are in radio. You have to prevent dead air. That is the DJ’s main job. But they are way too used to it. They are so used to screaming over people, they screw themselves out of good, potentially great, radio.
The worst part of War of The Roses is when Afentra overtalks someone [usually a guy] and he or she can’t really talk themselves into a corner. They could go from kind of caught into jailable offense and eventually radio history with a great bit. But Afentra loves the sound of her voice too much to let the guy or girl really get into trouble.
Same thing here. Low Laz just wants to yell at people [once again mostly guys]. He should just let the situation play out a bit. Get a little information and then make a judgment.

TyRoy said...

I wasn't done- Low Laz is really a moron

As I was saying:

The fourth and last call, the actual hostage, Low Laz makes a point the girl he is holding hostage, she is leaning too much on this guy. It would be most interesting to hear her perspective. Remember, it wasn’t that she couldn’t go to the guy, he maybe wanted the baby. But she doesn’t have any girlfriends to go to either.
Also would have been interesting because the guy kind of says he broke it off. She may have agreed but he broke it. He says he isn’t attracted to her. So who initiates? Him because of his ego?
The one question I would ask is; in the four years since, has the hostage ever propositioned him? If so, she is a hostage. If not, still a hostage?
Cause let’s face it, that is all a woman has to do if a guy is at all interested. It has to be the right way. Of course some guys might need a different tactic. But still, if he is ready, it is on.
Well, I am not going to keep ranting. Some exes can be friends. Mainly, they have to be adults. They have to be honest, why lie anyway. They can even have sex, if they are being honest. The real problem is, one or both usually has some or many unrealistic expectations. That is the real problem.

But guess what, that is a problem in every relationship.

AvaAlso said...

Obviously we have different opinions on Lazlo. And yeah if everyone was honest and no one had unrealistic expectations then yeah it'd be great, people wouldn't have many of these problems. But that's not the world we live in.
You might have been able to work with this chick you went on a few dates with & had sex with without problems. But you weren't deply connected like people who've been in a relationship. What you don't say I that you were real friends afterward either.
But I think your rant about Lazlo missed the entire point of my post.

TyRoy said...

Sorry I put my hypothesis at the end. To be clear: No relationship has realistic expectations. None. Not one. So that is the real problem. Managing expectations. Most people need help doing that. Communicating. That is the real problem with any relationship: current, former and even future. And because everyone hides some or all of the truth, no one is good at it. Not women. Not men. Not anyone. Why? Emotions. We don't want to get hurt. We dip our toe in the water because we think it is easier. But if you are going to swim, you are going to get wet. If you want someone to be your partner, don't think being a friend is better, acceptable or whatever. Don't lie to yourself or others. Just say you want the partner. Communicate effectively. Do the scariest thing. That is not realistic though because like my hypothesis says: people are not realistic. Done ranting. Hopefully this is more clear.