It is hard to tell the truth to a friend, if the friend does not like the truth. It carries great risk. But it is worth searching for a way to do it, without ego or judgement. Then the truth can come through to that friend and he can see your love, literally. You are not out to hurt him. You are there to help.
I will tell him what I think when it is the right time, if I think something I can tell him is the best.
That could even be, however awkwardly, to tell him to admit that he has lost his footing and pull the plug in some way and go to a summer house on a distant coast to find the energy again.
But I don't think it will come to that. Because for all my doubts I know him well enough to be able to think of better advice and action, like suggesting that we go both to that summer house to discuss the plot of a new role-playing game. Purely recreational, of course. Nothing to do with his actual need to go there.
I never expected JN to be so communicative as myself, esp. on social matters, emotional matters.
And yet today he just did, in a very personal way, in a very trusting way. He may have done it in his usual dry, somewhat professorial manner, without overt display of emotion. But that doesn't masque what was underneath, and what kind of trust it took for him to confide this matter to us - about himself.
And that is what matters. Not the diagnosis. In fact, I'd say the diagnosis that supposedly describes 'why' he is socially introvert or whatever just gave an opening for us to have a closer and deeper friendship.
Speaking from experience, back when I still thought we could conceive normally, I can tell you that it quickly destroys your sex life - and peace of mind - trying to have sex by the clock each month to have a child. Maybe you can do it less ... strained. But as time wears on and if you feel you are already 'behind' ... well, that's just not going to end good.
So my friends, MRN and L, made, as far as I can tell (I have never asked directly), a measured choice: Live their lives and see what happens, even if chances diminish the more time passes. Even if 3 months pass and they don't have sex at the right dates, I suppose. Or a year. Or ...
I'm pretty sure that's the deal they have come up with, no matter how hard that choice was.
So I see the uncertainty in their eyes when they see Jay, hold him, smile at him: "What's going to happen for us? Did we make the right choice?"
I did see that today. No surprise, but still ...
For I was afraid, I'd not see happiness - for us. Deep and honest happiness.
But I did see that.
I was afraid I would see too much doubt, when their own pain clouded things too much, and it would hurt me - and Char - too, even if understandable.
But I saw nothing like that.
I saw a glimmer of sadness and of that pain, later when we walked home and talked about a extra room they are building in their house and what it might be used for. Guests or ...
But I never saw their honest sadness at their own situation overshadow their happiness for our situation. Not once.
I may be imagining things, but I really felt it energized them to see Jay - gave them some of that undefinable happiness, too, that babies tend shine into the hearts of people, even if they are not your own.
I really felt that. I hope that it was so.
Which means, I guess, that the most precious thing is still more than intact - our friendship.
Just a few hours talking about the world and everything reminded me of why friendships give you just that extra quality in life that doesn't need anything but itself.
The experience of the quality of friendship is its value. It is not an instrument for something else.
More often than not, I fear, we tend to forget that - perhaps in more than just the relation of friendship.
Fuck the role. Admit that you don't have any good role to play in this situation, but that it is okay.
That is difficult. Extremely difficult. But it's something I want more of. And I want to be with more people who want more of it.
Sometimes you have to make some categorical decisions about friendships, or what was like that but now only seems like. Sometimes you have to do that and then face the truth about what is real between you and another person now. Not what you hope for. Doesn't matter if it's guy or girl, friendship or romantic relation, colleague or some other relation of substance.
You have to evaluate it, have to see what's there and decide, if it's not there, what you are willing to invest to maybe upgrade the relation to that level you want.
The past stuff doesn't give you anything in the present. You have learned those lessons, moved on. You no longer care about certain topics. And good for that.
In what ways does this relate to existing relationships?
I think it is relevant if your 'friendship' exists mostly because of some intense experiences you have had in the past: Some stuff that happened in the past, which may have been good and all but which is no longer relevant. And nothing new has taken its place.
No new common interests, shared values, mutual projects or the like.
I've had friendships like that, where we kept seeing each other for years - not even realizing how much we had drifted apart on all accounts. But we kept seeing each other, going to the movies together, sending out birthday invites etc.
Because ending a friendship more or less formally - or informally by letting contact wind down ... that is a hard thing to do. In many ways there is probably more taboo around this than ending a romantic relationship.