Meli, that was a lovely and very helpful response. It’s something I need to save! Relationships are complicated, especially the ones we care about the most.
A girlfriend I felt very close to, and had known since childhood became distant for about a year. I couldn’t think of anything I’d done, and the last time I’d seen her we parted on a good note. The only thing that bothered me was she was always so busy, and it had always been difficult to get together. However, she had children and I didn’t, and we didn’t live close by (or so I thought).
Things came to a head when I got a letter for my class reunion, and I noticed a return address for a town that was only a 30-minute drive from my home. My girlfriend was on the committee, and had included a short note saying she hoped to see me there.
I can’t tell you how hurt I was to realize she’d been living so close by, and had never contacted me! I found her phone number so I called, but had to leave a message. Of course, I told her how I felt. I few days later I received a letter from her explaining that she felt as though I took no interest in her, and never asked any questions about her family. To be honest, she was right, but my feeling had always been that she didn’t want to share those things with me! I immediately tried calling again, and had to leave another message. This time I apologized profusely, explaining that I WAS interested, etc.
Well, we got together and ended up hugging and apologizing to one another. She told me she had taken her frustrations with family members out on me because she felt none of them ever listened to her; she was always the one doing the listening. It took us awhile to stop apologizing each time we got together, but it’s been years since then, and we have never been closer. We’ve since moved further apart again, but we get together 2-3 times a year now, and have a wonderful time. She still doesn’t like to answer the phone, but I discovered she loves to text! So that’s another great way that we stay in touch.
I guess my point was to say that your response reminds me of this. I don’t think either of us knew how to approach the other person and ask questions or explain our needs. We’ve been friends for over 50 years, and I feel so blessed to have her in my life.