Adventures in Divorce

I always wondered why people who murdered their spouses didn't just get a divorce.... I now understand why

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Location: Nap Town, Indie-anne-ahhhhhh!, United States

No, I'm not a prophetess. Cassandra, according to Greek mythology, spurned the advances of the Greek god Apollo and her gift of prophecy was cursed so that her predictions would never be believed. Such is my life. I tend not to think like most people, which is a gift... but also a curse. So step into my mind, take off your shoes and stay for awhile... you're always welcome, loved ones.

September 10, 2008

"I play my (fr)enemies like a game of chess....."

Frenemy.

1. A person who does not treat a friend as friend but more like a enemy.
2. A "friend" who really doesn't like you, nor you like she, yet you are drawn together by some sick dramatic bond.
3. An enemy disguised as a friend.

"What do you think about frenemies?"
"I say, keep your friends close, and your frenemies closer"

During the course of my separation and divorce, I've discovered that many of my so-called friends are not friends at all, but rather frenemies. These are the individuals who are often the most concerned, the most sympathetic, the most willing to be that shoulder to cry on. In reality, though, they are using your pain and turmoil for their own sick amusement, like their own personal reality TV show, and/or so they can be "in the know" and have the most information so they can run back to their circles and have the best "scoop" on your situation, thus increasing their own status amongst their peers (and often yours).

You can detect a friend's frenemy status in a number of ways:

1. You and the person weren't really that close before your personal drama, but then all the sudden they are offering you their phone numbers, e-mail addresses, instant message usernames, MySpace profile names, and inviting you over to their house, telling you to contact them ANYTIME you need to talk.

2. Amongst your group of friends, they are constantly gossiping about the one person who is not present at any given time. Also, they often start conversations with "Have you heard what happened to so-and-so??" Chances are they are talking about you when you are not around, too.

3. The question to listening ratio is disproportionate, and the questions are about details that really aren't critical to what you are talking about. Asking questions is usually a sign that a person is truly interested and concerned and wants to have the most information so that they can help you out the best. Not so with frenemies..... they want the most information so that they are the most "in the know".

The Ex is completely oblivious to the concept of frenemies and will blather on to anyone who will listen every single detail of our relationship, from our first meeting in the high school cafeteria freshman year til the last conversation we had on Monday. (I basically had the woman in the loan department of our credit union repeat back to me my life story on the phone once.) And much to my dismay, the person he chose to confide in and cry to during our divorce is a mutal friend of ours who is one of the most open people in the city (i.e. he tells all his own business so has NO problem telling yours) AND, on top of that, knows damn near everyone in the city, AND has no problem embelishing facts when not enough are provided. *holds head in hands* I tried to tell The Ex that this was not the best idea in the world, and that maybe he should just call a relative (which he was doing as well...... I paid the $1600 cell phone bill to prove it), but he just could not stop calling this man and going to his house and hanging out over drinks crying to him. I count this person amongst my friends, but I also recognize that in this respect, he has frenemy tendencies.

One interesting and unfortunate side effect of confiding in frenemies is that the information starts to flow both ways, and not in a good way. I was constantly getting upset calls from The Ex talking about so-and-so saw me out somewhere with this person doing XYZ, or they heard this or that about me and what I've been doing, and 95% of it was complete speculative inaccurate bullshit. I would just laugh at him, tell him to quit being stupid enough to entertain these fools, and that he needs to find better sources. Frenemies want to seem like they are contributing something to their parasitic relationship, so they come back with this "information" to share like some cat bringing you a dead, mangled bird as thanks for feeding it Fancy Feast every day. Don't fall for it.

In order to compesate for the flood of information that I knew was flowing through the streets like Lake Pontchartrain after Hurricane Katrina, I basically dropped off the face of the Earth for awhile (and really still haven't gotten myself back on). I quit going to functions, quit my involvement in professional organizations, and only hung out in places and with people with no ties to my former life. I basically decided to lay low for awhile. I also adopted a rote answer for when people would ask me about "what happened?" when it came to my divorce: "We just grew apart." I didn't volunteer information or try to put my side of things out there. Whatever people were going to say, they were going to say and there was nothing I could do about it. Trying to state my case would just add more fuel to the fire, so I decided to just let it die out on its own.

However, I wasn't totally passive when it came to these types of frenemies. Sometimes I would share info knowing it was going to get back to a certain person, and therefore would put the spin on it that I wanted (in true lawyer fashion). Thus, I was able to use my frenemies by being cognizant of their nature, and use this to my advantage instead of my detriment by not falling for their false concern. As Lauryn sez, "I play my enemies like a game of chess......."

So, if you are going through a divorce (or any type of major personal drama), be careful about who you let into your life and what you say to these people. That person who tries hardest to be there for you may be the worst person for you.

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5 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I completely agree with the statement "that person who tries hardest to be there for you may be the worst person for you". I completely agree.

When I was going through the divorce process, a fremeny came into my life. Our divorce was uncontested and we just got out paperwork through Joint Divorce Web site. The worst part was dealing with the frenemy.

I completely agree with your comments.

Lori

September 10, 2008 at 10:50 AM  
Anonymous Cheryl said...

People who lead boring lives often look to the drama in other people's lives in order to feel like they are living.

I went through a terrible ordeal that almost led to the breakup of my current relationship, because rumors were being spread about me. They didn't have anything else to do. Either that, or they were miserable and lonely, and wanted everyone else to be too.

September 11, 2008 at 10:34 AM  
Anonymous Sayitisn'tso said...

I feel you...I put myself in a self impossed witness potection program from my frienimies...In divorce (Who gets the friends)

September 11, 2008 at 1:55 PM  
Anonymous Kela P said...

I COMPLETELY AGREE!! I have certainly had my fair share of frenemies AND I CUT THEM ALL OFF!! I, too, stopped going to functions and stopped talking to most of them completely. The ones I do talk to every now and then because we just happen to run into each other or she gives you that once in a while phone call to get new information; I only tell what I don't mind her telling.

Do you know that I STILL get people calling me telling me or asking me about my ex? We haven't been together for almost 8 years! Are you serious?

I am a no nonsense kind of girl. I hate DRAMA. I also respect the individuals who don't bullshit. If you want to know something, just ask. I might not tell you, but I certainly don't mind you asking. But, don't pretend to me by friend to get information.

September 12, 2008 at 8:30 AM  
Anonymous IntrospectiveGoddess said...

I concur...went through this myself in college and they did all the signs that you speak of....you have to just be watchful and pay attention....its hard when you are hurting and vulnerable...but you have to focus on self preservation..

September 14, 2008 at 7:44 PM  

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Adventures in Divorce: "I play my (fr)enemies like a game of chess....."

"I play my (fr)enemies like a game of chess....."

Frenemy.

1. A person who does not treat a friend as friend but more like a enemy.
2. A "friend" who really doesn't like you, nor you like she, yet you are drawn together by some sick dramatic bond.
3. An enemy disguised as a friend.

"What do you think about frenemies?"
"I say, keep your friends close, and your frenemies closer"

During the course of my separation and divorce, I've discovered that many of my so-called friends are not friends at all, but rather frenemies. These are the individuals who are often the most concerned, the most sympathetic, the most willing to be that shoulder to cry on. In reality, though, they are using your pain and turmoil for their own sick amusement, like their own personal reality TV show, and/or so they can be "in the know" and have the most information so they can run back to their circles and have the best "scoop" on your situation, thus increasing their own status amongst their peers (and often yours).

You can detect a friend's frenemy status in a number of ways:

1. You and the person weren't really that close before your personal drama, but then all the sudden they are offering you their phone numbers, e-mail addresses, instant message usernames, MySpace profile names, and inviting you over to their house, telling you to contact them ANYTIME you need to talk.

2. Amongst your group of friends, they are constantly gossiping about the one person who is not present at any given time. Also, they often start conversations with "Have you heard what happened to so-and-so??" Chances are they are talking about you when you are not around, too.

3. The question to listening ratio is disproportionate, and the questions are about details that really aren't critical to what you are talking about. Asking questions is usually a sign that a person is truly interested and concerned and wants to have the most information so that they can help you out the best. Not so with frenemies..... they want the most information so that they are the most "in the know".

The Ex is completely oblivious to the concept of frenemies and will blather on to anyone who will listen every single detail of our relationship, from our first meeting in the high school cafeteria freshman year til the last conversation we had on Monday. (I basically had the woman in the loan department of our credit union repeat back to me my life story on the phone once.) And much to my dismay, the person he chose to confide in and cry to during our divorce is a mutal friend of ours who is one of the most open people in the city (i.e. he tells all his own business so has NO problem telling yours) AND, on top of that, knows damn near everyone in the city, AND has no problem embelishing facts when not enough are provided. *holds head in hands* I tried to tell The Ex that this was not the best idea in the world, and that maybe he should just call a relative (which he was doing as well...... I paid the $1600 cell phone bill to prove it), but he just could not stop calling this man and going to his house and hanging out over drinks crying to him. I count this person amongst my friends, but I also recognize that in this respect, he has frenemy tendencies.

One interesting and unfortunate side effect of confiding in frenemies is that the information starts to flow both ways, and not in a good way. I was constantly getting upset calls from The Ex talking about so-and-so saw me out somewhere with this person doing XYZ, or they heard this or that about me and what I've been doing, and 95% of it was complete speculative inaccurate bullshit. I would just laugh at him, tell him to quit being stupid enough to entertain these fools, and that he needs to find better sources. Frenemies want to seem like they are contributing something to their parasitic relationship, so they come back with this "information" to share like some cat bringing you a dead, mangled bird as thanks for feeding it Fancy Feast every day. Don't fall for it.

In order to compesate for the flood of information that I knew was flowing through the streets like Lake Pontchartrain after Hurricane Katrina, I basically dropped off the face of the Earth for awhile (and really still haven't gotten myself back on). I quit going to functions, quit my involvement in professional organizations, and only hung out in places and with people with no ties to my former life. I basically decided to lay low for awhile. I also adopted a rote answer for when people would ask me about "what happened?" when it came to my divorce: "We just grew apart." I didn't volunteer information or try to put my side of things out there. Whatever people were going to say, they were going to say and there was nothing I could do about it. Trying to state my case would just add more fuel to the fire, so I decided to just let it die out on its own.

However, I wasn't totally passive when it came to these types of frenemies. Sometimes I would share info knowing it was going to get back to a certain person, and therefore would put the spin on it that I wanted (in true lawyer fashion). Thus, I was able to use my frenemies by being cognizant of their nature, and use this to my advantage instead of my detriment by not falling for their false concern. As Lauryn sez, "I play my enemies like a game of chess......."

So, if you are going through a divorce (or any type of major personal drama), be careful about who you let into your life and what you say to these people. That person who tries hardest to be there for you may be the worst person for you.

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