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You Asked: What Are Friends For?



DearSugar --

A young lady came to work under my supervision for a few months, and we became friends. She began living with a guy she was planning to marry and became pregnant, despite my objections and caution about what the living situation could lead to.

When I realized she was pregnant, I wrote and tried to reach her, asking for a sit-down discussion or an explanation (because on day one she showed up with a Bible on her desk and was talking 'Jesus'). I expressed my disappointment, and that I was handling the incident well (crying and all). She has never responded, but is only sending me forwarded e-mails.

I have a problem continuing the friendship, since I feel...I don't know how to feel. I seem to be more concerned about the morality issue more than she is. Based on what I stand for, I need to know we are on the same page, and that she is simply uncaring about what happened and why. I feel like breaking up with her, as I am upset at her for not caring about how I feel and the emotional upset and disappointment I went through. If I cared enough about her situation, I feel she should care too. -- Disappointed Donna

To see DEARSUGAR's answer

Dear Disappointed Donna --

It is always difficult and painful to watch friends suffer or make choices we know will invite more struggle into their lives. It seems you have a layered relationship to this young woman, as you were a supervisor who became a friend after a short period of time, and you also believed you shared a common religious orientation.

It's my feeling that, fundamentally, a friendship is something that's mutually created and nurtured. I believe we must accept our friends for who they are and share their path with them, if it does us no real personal harm. This means meeting them where they are and helping to shoulder their burdens when we can, even if that burden was preventable or foreseeable.

Life is messy and confusing and imperfect. A friend can be a refuge and a source of solace, and the best friendships are usually exactly that. This young woman's life appears to be full of major change right now, and she is probably doing her best to manage the consequences of her decisions. Like all of us, she is probably seeking happiness and love. She is also about to be a mother for the first time. There is much there to honor and support.

I know you have a great need to communicate your feelings and your values, but the timing may not be ideal for that conversation, Disappointed Donna. I suggest talking to another friend or a church member, and finding the comfort and affirmation you need elsewhere for now. I might also consider accepting that she is not someone with whom you should be friends, for the reasons you stated in your note. I believe it's possible to cease being friends without resenting her for being who she is and where she is.

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vanyvrgs vanyvrgs 9 years
I am with absolutely everyone here. Who are you to judge her at this time? A true friend would just accept her and be there if she needs something despite the fact that you do not approve. Also, you talk about this young lady really wanting to be friendly to you and wanting to "break Up' with her but mention she is not replying to your moral judgment (who would?) and is only forwarding you e-mails she gets. You can rest assured it is likely that she has already been turned off by your antics and is considering whether you are a true friend. Moreover, as a boss, I really think you should not be sending her e-mails about how you dissaprove of her living in sin -- unless you are sending these to her personal address from your personal computer and even at that, it does not look well. Anyway, I digress... If you want to salvage this friendship tell her you want to be there if she needs anything, that you are sorry and knock off the I disapprove of your way of living antics.
grl-in-the-world grl-in-the-world 9 years
Pinkgirl88 you said it all perfectly. Dissapointed Donna, this girl doesn't need your judgement, or your dissapointment and it will do no good to anyone in the situation. I also do not understand why you are making her situation all about you, it seems really self-centred and odd. You and she may share some of the same beliefs but are not clones of each other, she is a seperate person and an adult and she will continue to make the choices she feels are right for her life. If you feel the need to limit your friendship to those who are exactly like you, then I guess your mind is already made up and you should be HAPPY she is avoiding you because it will save you the trouble.
PinkSparkleGrl PinkSparkleGrl 9 years
Well - I flat out a agree with everyone. I felt angered coming into this blog because you seemed to making this all about you!! That is horrible, this other women did not mean to get pregs, and yes you thought there was a certain moral code to live by - but hey, if you are a friend, start acting like one!
kiddylnd kiddylnd 9 years
I agree with everyone here. I think we are all on the same page on this one. What is or isn't right for some is not the same for all of us. Why were you so concerned about the living situation and what it would lead to? If they plan on marrying anyway, what is the real harm to anyone if they are having a child together? Are we missing something here, like the guy is a jerk or cheating on her? Is there more to this than we see? If not, back off and support your friend as it doesn't seem like you have been a very good friend up to this point.
cubadog cubadog 9 years
Amen Marci.
Marci Marci 9 years
It sounds like you made that whole situation about you. You didn't offer any friendship to her, you didn't ask her how she was handling the unexpected events. Instead you told her how it was affecting *you*, how *you* felt, etc. etc. You're preachiness is most likely the biggest turnoff to her. She's pregnant. It's a done deal. What's the point of talking about your morals in this middle of this? If I were her, I'd keep my distance from you too. You're more concerned with yourself and people living life according to your moral structure than with anything else. Who died and made you boss?
vmruby vmruby 9 years
Nobody likes to be lectured about morality.No one person is perfect.She makes her own choices and you make yours.Just because you don't agree doesn't give you the right to stand on moral ground. What she really needs is a friend right now. Be one! Different people ,different choices, is what makes the world go around....
cubadog cubadog 9 years
Put away the bible and learn to be a friend. Lecturing her because you don't agree with her life style choices does not make you a friend it makes you judgemental and bitter. A true friend would look beyond and be accepting of her choices if you can't do that then you need to distance yourself from her. she doesn't need the added stress at this point in her life. I am curious as to what living with someone leads to?
neni neni 9 years
I totally agree with Pink i think you took the whole situation too personally... you are not the one who became pregnant. As a true friend, your priority should be to help her during this trying situation, not to vent about your reaction and disappointment to this news, especially to her. It is her incident to handle, not yours. I understand you feel hurt because she has not replied to your advances. Perhaps a more compassionate approach towards her would do the trick...
Pinkgirl88 Pinkgirl88 9 years
I am confused, are you upset because she is pregnant out of wedlock? If that's the case then i think you should really back off, not everyone has to live the same exact set of values that you do. There are tons of people in my life whose views i differ from and I find my life richer for being exposed to them. I don't think you should be crying to her... I am sure with being pregnant and all - she has enough on her plate. She needs to be able to live her life without someone coming down so hard on her. Jesus taught love and forgiveness. What she did in no way really effects you in the long run (ie your life is not ruined over this baby). If you feel that your lives are on different paths then fine cut her out- but it seams like casting stones to me. I would recommend coming to terms with it and being there for the beautiful baby being brought into the world. If you can't get past that then i would separate myself from her. Because it is honestly not fair to her to have someone in her life judging her and looking down on her life choices at a time when help is most required. TINA!
Jinx Jinx 9 years
You can't steer your friend with your moral compass. A friend doesn't have to agree with you, just be there for you if you're needed. ------------------------------------------------------ I'm so happy cause today I've found my friends, They're in my head - Kurt
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