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Stress of life ruining relationships or do I just not get "real life"(21 Posts)
A few years ago in my mid 30's I have a pretty big health scare and almost died,luckly I recovered from it but which left me with chronic problems with my health which are intermittent but disabling. At the time I stopped working and was on ESA for a time. My husband and I decided that I would not return to work as my health wasn't good enough but that instead I would start a part time at home busines which I did and we also decided not to have children.
All has went well for the first few years but recently as we get closer to 40 and people progress with their careers and have children I feel very much on a different page to my friends. I am happy with things as they are and don't feel I am missing out except on seeing them. One friend my oldest and dearest friend kept putting me off for weeks and weeks and when we finally did meet up she confessed that she found it harder to talk to me, that I couldn't understand her difficulties and the stress she had with her job and baby, she said I lived in a bubble and didn't understand real life. I was really hurt but I think she is under a lot of stress. I notice it with other friends to they are getting squeezed so hard at work and have so much on their plate and I don't think my life quite computes to them. I see it with DH to not that he minds but that work is really taking it out of him so that even those in good health are being worn down.
I just think business expects blood out of people and it is damaging relationships all round, or perhaps I do live in a bubble what do you think?
You're right in our case, I'm a manager my DP is a self employed manual worker and we are too exhausted to want to do anything during the week it's a real effort just to cook dinner/wash up.
When the weekend arrives Saturday is spent relaxing, dozing in front of the TV after doing the housework & laundry & any jobs/errands that need running before the hamster wheel cycle starts again.
I don't think you're living in a bubble, just that your circumstances are different to your friends. When you are that exhausted and worn down by stress meeting up with friends can become an effort especially if you've a home to run and children to look after.
We all live in our own bubbles.
You made your choices, she made hers. Yours were different, no children home job etc. Relationships do get damaged. Some people think the world's against them - I know someone like this. She works, wants to climb the greasdy pole, I don't and like you made my choice not to work for health reason's.
Nobody knows what it's like in anyone else's shoes. Try not to do they deep and meaningful with her, smile and nod in the right places.
My oh is worn down by the grind but I'm isolated from the deal world. I expect she thinks you have it easy.
I think your friend was quite harsh to say that to you. We all have different stresses in our lives and you don't need your friends to be living exactly the same life to get support from them. Maybe she thinks your life is easier than hers and is jealous.
You state in your OP that you see friends getting squeezed hard at work so no, I don't think you live in a bubble - you can obviously empathise with other peoples situations.
Is she sympathetic to your health problems? Does she realise the impact your health has had on your career choice or do you tend to play it down?
I do play my health issues down, I learned very quickly that nobody wants to hear you talk about it too much, I don't even want to hear myself go on about it!
She does however know how serious it was and that is why I gave up my career.
Ouch! Your friend was a bit harsh. I agree with the other posters that it can be an effort to go out and meet up with people sometimes. But it doesn't sound as if you are pestering them to come out every night, just every now and then.
I can see why people would want to spend time with their children and not go out. Is your harsh friend one of those people who always answers 'busy' when you ask her how she is? Some people feel busy or pressured more than others (if that makes sense!)
It is always disappointing to hear that people feel defensive of their own choices, or critical of others. I admit that jealousy sprung to mind, perhaps the friend sees you as having freedom rather than the restrictions and lifestyle of an unpredictable health problem.
One of my closest friends now, is someone who had a very different lifestyle to mine. She couldn't have children and when I had dc she was determined to stay in touch. She did some wonderful kind things, like turn up with a pot of soup, or take my dc out for a couple of hours, or arrange for a home- beauty treatment (understanding that I couldn't just drop everything and go out). She used her extra time and energy to think of ways to really be a friend to me. She would come round with a bottle of wine and pizza if my dp was going out, she even got her dh to re-plant all the pots on my patio with lovely bright and colourful plants.
Having different circumstances doesn't mean you have to be distant.
Then last year my friend had a big health issue. I was glad to be able to support her, and show her kindness and thoughtfulness. Her actions towards me taught me how I could do that for her.
I think you need some new friends. I have a friend in a somewhat similar position to you (we met at choir). I have a busy job and toddler. I find her restful company (friend not toddler) and I don't mind listening about her latest run-in with the medical profession. I would find it v boring if all my friends were just like me!
Your friend was harsh. However, I will say I make a conscious effort to not talk loads about my son to my childless friends. Partly because they wouldn't understand, partly because I'm sure it is boring for them!
" I just think business expects blood out of people and it is damaging relationships all round" - I disagree. A lot of people have to work and I think this doesn't have to damage relationships. We still have the power to choose how we treat the people in our lives and how we react to things. I have a 7 month old and my partner and I both have stressful jobs but we just manage our feelings and relationships with each other and others.
The fact that you posted shows you are not living n a bubble.
I am a single parent and personally I find working hard and raising a boistrous 10 year lively boy alone without family support and a rubbish ex exhausting enough without the additional burden of dealing with all housework gardening and DIY. I would agree with you op life can be very draining and if you do not feel you can hack children on top of your responsibilites then do not go down that road as it can be a very stressful and exhausting experience.
I think it depends on people's circumstances however - certainly age and health come into it too. I am 51 and have a few health issues which constantly get in the way of daily life also. Single parenting is also very hard too without family support and that is my situation so c'est la vie ......
I like your bubble, it sounds nice. I don't work either, I can't handle the "real world" and have decided I'm not getting a job until the kids leave home. And I don't give a shit what people think. I want a happy life and I want my family to be happy, that's all that matters. If strangers or friends don't like it then fine, they don't have to live my life but I sure won't be living their lives either.
Other peoples expectations matter less than your own.
Blimey. I clicked on this thinking that it was going to be that the stress of your life has ruined your relationships with your friends/husband as was astonished and angry to read what it really turned out to be.
So your "friend" has a career, good health and a baby, and she also wants sympathy for her terrible stress from you, who almost lost your life, has lost your good health and had to give up your career and chance of a family?
Fucking diddums! What a cow she is.
I think you sound like a lovely friend. I have no answers to your question though, but hope you are OK and don't take what she said too much to heart.
I don't think it's that you 'don't get it', I think your friend sounds like she's really struggling with her life and wishes she could also step off the treadmill.
I think your friend is being really quite harsh. What she should have said is that she's knackered and stressed and wants to use what little free time she has to chill at weekends and that perhaps she's struggling a bit. She didn't need to tell you you live in a bubble and it doesn't sound like you do, your life has been very tough of late.
I'd ask her if she is coping as she may be miserable and looking for support. If she is I'd perhaps take a bit of a breather from her. If she is not depressed she sounds quite nasty tbh.
I don't think your friend is harsh so much as narrow & self-absorbed.
You've experienced 'real life' in a way she hasn't. Does she know what it's like to nearly die, have to give up your career and on having children?
That's a lot more real life than many people get in their whole lives.
She can't relate to you and she is minimising the hand you've been dealt and thinking hers is much more 'real'. Which is totally lacking in understanding and really quite offensive.
There's no one version of reality you've both got your shit to deal with, she's just saying she won't deal with yours.
Your friend sounds rather rude. Your life is different and you have your trials as well, I expect. She sounds envious of your life and forgetting why you have made the choices you have, and perhaps she is struggling.
Let her be the one to make arrangements in future and don't be surprised if she doesn't. Perhaps you need to make new friends and make sure you and your dh have lots to look forward to, and enjoy in your situation.
Your friend sounds harsh to echo others. And you're dealing with the ongoing consequences of a life changing illness. The honest question you need to ask yourself is: Is this totally defining you as a person and ruling every aspect of your life to the point where you're unable to relate to others? It's difficult. You have to be a bit self centred because of your lifestyle as a result of illness and you should never apologise for that. But maybe you're allowing your experience to be all consuming which can be difficult for others but more so for you. Only you know the answer though. I hope you find resolution.
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