People who hate you for no discernible reason

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Has anyone else run into this? I certainly hope so, because I have a fairly long list of people who clearly or apparently despise me despite me never having done anything to upset them. I was talking to a friend about this a few weeks ago and started going over it again tonight when a picture of my friend Billy and his wife popped up on Facebook. Billy has long been my brother's best friend. We got to be rather close back in college to the point that, in addition to hanging out with him and my brother regularly, I'd also do things just with Billy, or he'd join me and my friends on a pretty regular basis. He was never what I'd call my best friend, but we were very close. We saw a little less of one another toward the end of college but were still close. That was about the time he met his wife.

I liked Betty well enough from the start. She was friendly and her sense of humor was similar to mine. We had similar tastes in movies and music and I can't recall a single time we were together that wasn't pleasant. The only disagreements I remember related to Betty had to do with drinking. She liked to drink moderately but was opposed to overindulging. This wasn't an issue for me because I had cut way back shortly before meeting her. The only sparks that flew over the issue were between her and others. I'm not saying that has any bearing on anything, but it's the only issue that ever came up that ever caused any consternation with her. Again, though, it was completely unrelated to me.

After a couple years of dating, they got engaged and started planning their wedding. They'd been to mine and my brother's weddings and we were all excited for them. They wanted a small, intimate ceremony and reception, no more than 30-40 people. I naturally assumed I'd be going because Billy told me I'd be invited and I helped with some of the plans. A month or so before the wedding, we still hadn't received our invitation. I was at my parents' house and saw theirs on the counter. I saw Billy a few days later, asked him about it and he apologized saying that finances required them to cut down the list of guests. I later found out that my wife and I were the only two guests cut from the list and it was done so at Betty's behest. She apparently threatened to call off the wedding if I wasn't uninvited. They moved out of town shortly after, and in the years since, if Betty knows that I'll be present when Billy comes to town, she refuses to come. She not only told Billy to cut us from their Christmas card list, but she had him tell me to cut them off ours. I've asked Billy what her problem is but he says he doesn't know what I'm talking about. I'm genuinely flummoxed.

My other friend, Bobby, is a guy I've known since I was a kid. He was a few years older than me but our families were close enough that we consider each other family. Although I was never as close to Bobby as I was to Billy, there's never been a cross word between us. Bobby's wife, also named Betty, is someone I got along with the first few years I knew her. They moved away and we lost touch for a decade or so but then reconnected on Facebook. We struck up an online friendship and commented on each other's posts almost daily. Then one day, out of the blue, not only had she unfriended me but blocked me as well. I figured it was a mistake of some sort so I shot her an email. I got a profanity-laden tirade in response. It was pretty vague but mainly was her calling me a horrible person and ordering me to never speak to her or her husband again. Again, it left me mystified.

I also have a fairly substantial list of people I was friends with back in high school or college but who preemptively blocked me on Facebook. It's not a matter of them having private profiles; I can tell they've blocked me because I can see their profiles from my wife's and daughters' pages. I asked a mutual friend about one of them and he told me that I should keep my distance because this guy hates me with a passion. For the life of me I have no idea what I could have done to draw the ire of this disparate group of people. It's not just that I'm a good guy in general; these are all people I was friends with at some point and whom I have never wronged in any way. My only theory is that I have a doppelganger out there who is going around angering people from my past. It may sound like a nutty theory, but it's the only one that makes sense.
 
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For this to be happening with so many people, there is something you're doing and/or saying that is upsetting them. There just can't be that many coincidences. You may not know what it is, but it's there somewhere. I'd ask this mutual friend you do still talk to if he can elaborate at all, and tell him to be honest and not sugarcoat it.

As for Billy, he's being spineless and not telling you the truth. If his wife cut you alone from their wedding, has stopped communicating with you and demanded the same from you towards them, and Billy doesn't know there's a problem? He's either covering for her, or he's using her to cover for his own feelings so you direct your anger/hurt at her and not him.
 
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For this to be happening with so many people, there is something you're doing and/or saying that is upsetting them. There just can't be that many coincidences. You may not know what it is, but it's there somewhere. I'd ask this mutual friend you do still talk to if he can elaborate at all, and tell him to be honest and not sugarcoat it.

As for Billy, he's being spineless and not telling you the truth. If his wife cut you alone from their wedding, has stopped communicating with you and demanded the same from you towards them, and Billy doesn't know there's a problem? He's either covering for her, or he's using her to cover for his own feelings so you direct your anger/hurt at her and not him.

Bobby and Billy's wives are the only ones that might have a conceivable reason, as far as I can tell, although I can't fathom what it could be. The other people are ones I've not spoken to in 15-25 years and who I was on good to very good terms with the last time I spoke with them. I do know another friend from high school wrote me off years ago because I never showed up to her graduation party that I didn't know about and wasn't invited to, so I have to assume these others are something along those lines.

I agree about Billy. I'm sure he knows what the problem is, or what she claims the problem is, but he doesn't have the cajones to fess up. I've long felt that the fact that he's willing to leave her at home just because there's a chance that I might stop in while they're visiting with a mutual friend is bizarre.
 
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Facebook is really good at making you hate everyone you've ever known. I was on it from 09-13 then off it till 2015 and now have been off since early August. Not being on FB is awesome. ;)

Do you suppose its something you post or like regularly? Do you weigh in on political stuff on fb a lot? I can't describe how many life long friendships I've seen dissolve on there due to opposing political views. It's absurd. Well--I can describe it, its like 3. But these were people that had essentially been friends the last 15 or 20 years that just devolved to screaming matches about who should or shouldn't use which bathroom and other things of that ilk. "You're wrong and horrible because I can't possibly be wrong and you're disagreeing with me" kind of things.
 
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did you have a fight/fued/incident with a mutually-known third party? someone named "Barbara"? (sticking with the B theme?)

--> it sounds like Betty-Squared has 'heard things' which has caused them to pass judgement, even if that judgement was undeserved.. they're probably part of the same sewing circle, and are both working from the same (mis-)information.

ie: you've been condemned by hearsay and gossip.



have you got any ex-GF's with a grudge against you? that would be a good place to start.

or maybe they just think you're a "Bad Influence"? my wife didn't like my friends. most of them are associated with stories of me doing stupid ****.

--> if the biggest thing you have in common with your friends is 'doing stupid ****' then the wives will turn against you pretty quick. easier to blame you for their husbands' past, than to blame their husbands.
 
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re: facebook. it's well-documented that facebook makes people depressed.

why? because facebook users always (and inevitably) compare their own "real life" , to other people's "Sell Job".

it's built-in to the platform.

we can't help it.




ie: when people "post" on facebook, they will intuitively cast their own life in the best possible light, in the same context as 'Media Advertising' (c/w misrepresentation). we "Sell" our lives to the world.

we can't help it. every post is a "Sell Job", showing the world how fabulous our lives are... (and heaven help the next guy, who actually beLIEves it)..

..because when we "Read" posts on facebook , we can't help THAT either: we will always (and intuitively) compare it to our own lives. it's human nature.




--> NOW you've got millions of people, constantly&continuously comparing their own "real life" , to the next guy's "sell job". (apples-to-0ranges). it's a recipe for depression,

because : one man's "Real Life" , can NEVER measure up , to another person's "Fantasy Life". :p

(and we can't help it , both ways at once: it's human nature, on a two-way-street :p it causes a 'negative feedback loop' :

its built-in to the platform) :p
 
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Screw FB. Get off the site - it's an energy & time drainer, and it is a known fact that it has ruined people's relationships/marriages, friendships, and in some cases their employment.

I have never had a FB page, and never will. I truly despise FB & everything it stands for; and, the FB creator is a P.O.S. and an a-hole.

In fact, I stopped talking to a now-former friend who suggested that I "had" to get a FB page - I really resented the implication that I "needed" to have FB to be like "everyone else". That former friend can go screw themselves.

As far as I'm concerned, anyone that tells anyone else that they "need" to be on FB is a pathetic loser and an *****-wipe.

I truly hope the entire site shuts down at some point; though I don't think that will ever happen. That being said, I have heard that it's not as popular these days as it once was.
 
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If you're truly curious what happened, just ask them. I don't like beating around the bush. It's best to the bottom of things, rather than wonder or let a possible misunderstanding get blown out of proportion. Some people just grow out of each other as the age. And especially when they get married. If the Wife feels that you don't fit in with his new life.

Though it is weird that only you, and not your Wife and kid were blocked.

If they cannot explain to you theri actions, then they do not deserve your on again/off again friendship anyways. Right?
 
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I have a few good friendships that have dissolved over the years. It's always guys I knew before they had met their wives/girlfriends. It seems to me that the ladies see me as a threat, a connection to their man's wild and crazy previous life. One of my best friends from high school got married about 10 years ago. I hardly knew his wife, but if I went there, she'd leave. It was very weird. I hadn't done anything to her (or him for that matter) and my attempts to be friendly failed miserably. I'd sometimes meet my friend for lunch, but it was rare. He divorced her about a year and a half ago, and now we drink a beer at least once a week. She was the same way with all his friends, trying to keep them away from him. It's probably not you, and there's really nothing you can do about it. It is what it is.
 
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I have two examples of this, sort of, because I can discern the reason, but they are reasons not fully in my control.

The first was a friend of some of my friends outright hated me because I'm overweight. In his mind, anyone overweight has no drive to better themselves or make something of their lives, and would not accept me. Yes, I can lose weight and have tried, but in terms of his just random fat hate, nothing I could do about it.

The second was one of my best friends since kindergarten hasn't spoken to me since I've gotten engaged since he' isn't a fan of my fiancé. All my other friends generally like her or are really good friends with her since we met, but he never got along with her and kind of shut himself off. I had to find out about it later from other people, since he kind of stopped talking to me, except apparently ****-talking me behind my back.
 
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No offense meant to anyone on here, but why does anyone remain friends with people who bad-mouth them? I've immediately broken off friendships before from people who have disrespected me in the past - to the point where I have ignored their subsequent phone calls, e-mails, etc. You don't have any obligation to these jerks - and, believe me, these a-holes are definitely NOT your "friends".
 
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Facebook is really good at making you hate everyone you've ever known. I was on it from 09-13 then off it till 2015 and now have been off since early August. Not being on FB is awesome. ;)

Do you suppose its something you post or like regularly? Do you weigh in on political stuff on fb a lot? I can't describe how many life long friendships I've seen dissolve on there due to opposing political views. It's absurd. Well--I can describe it, its like 3. But these were people that had essentially been friends the last 15 or 20 years that just devolved to screaming matches about who should or shouldn't use which bathroom and other things of that ilk. "You're wrong and horrible because I can't possibly be wrong and you're disagreeing with me" kind of things.

I never post anything political although I've had family relationships end because of my assumed political views. It's stuff I never brought up, never weighed in on and was never asked about, but I was cut off from one portion of the family over it. Some people are utterly insane, especially when it comes to politics.

As for Facebook, while I've liked some quasi-political pages, I've never liked the page of a candidate, liked the posts of a candidate or liked the pages/posts of an anti-candidate/party page. I'm about as apolitical as a person can get on there.
 
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did you have a fight/fued/incident with a mutually-known third party? someone named "Barbara"? (sticking with the B theme?)

Never. The mutual friends we do have are all pretty good friends.

--> it sounds like Betty-Squared has 'heard things' which has caused them to pass judgement, even if that judgement was undeserved.. they're probably part of the same sewing circle, and are both working from the same (mis-)information.

ie: you've been condemned by hearsay and gossip.

About the worst thing either of them ever could have heard were drinking stories that took place before I knew them, although any of the things they would have heard were mild in comparison to things their husbands did, and didn't involve their husbands. For the first Betty, that's the only thing I can think of that she could hold against me, but if that were the case she'd absolutely hate every mutual friend we have (and her husband, for that matter). The second Betty drinks a ton so I can't imagine her being bothered by anything I did along those lines 15-25 years ago.


have you got any ex-GF's with a grudge against you? that would be a good place to start.

Yes, but she doesn't know any of the people who've blocked me.

or maybe they just think you're a "Bad Influence"? my wife didn't like my friends. most of them are associated with stories of me doing stupid ****.

--> if the biggest thing you have in common with your friends is 'doing stupid ****' then the wives will turn against you pretty quick. easier to blame you for their husbands' past, than to blame their husbands.

That's ties in to the earlier comments about the first Betty. I seldom did anything that even approached "stupid" with her husband so hating me over that makes no sense. If anything I was a good influence on him.
 
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If you're truly curious what happened, just ask them. I don't like beating around the bush. It's best to the bottom of things, rather than wonder or let a possible misunderstanding get blown out of proportion. Some people just grow out of each other as the age. And especially when they get married. If the Wife feels that you don't fit in with his new life.

Though it is weird that only you, and not your Wife and kid were blocked.

If they cannot explain to you theri actions, then they do not deserve your on again/off again friendship anyways. Right?

Most of these are folks who I could only contact via Facebook so I have no way to get in touch with them. The couple I've asked either deny that it's happened then distance themselves even further, or respond with profanity-laden tirades that don't address anything specific. It would make more sense if I was a real jerk. However, if that were the case, I doubt I'd even notice their absence.
 
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Screw FB. Get off the site - it's an energy & time drainer, and it is a known fact that it has ruined people's relationships/marriages, friendships, and in some cases their employment.

I'm required to have an account for a variety of personal and professional reasons. It's annoying. However, I've unfollowed a vast number of people so that a lot of the negativity no longer shows up.
 
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Suit yourself. You're obviously upset by having the account, especially given that your so-called friends are bad-mouthing you because of it.

Believe me, you'll be miserable until you get rid of it completely. As far as I'm concerned, FB is f$%##%# evil. I despise the site. Anyone that tells me I need to have a FB account can go to hell.

See the links below:

http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20140206-is-facebook-bad-for-you

http://www.cracked.com/blog/6-scientific-reasons-social-networks-are-bad-society/

http://www.economist.com/news/scien...ork-seems-make-people-more-miserable-get-life

http://www.brighthub.com/internet/web-development/articles/92499.aspx

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blo...404/7-ways-facebook-is-bad-your-mental-health
 
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Suit yourself. You're obviously upset by having the account, especially given that your so-called friends are bad-mouthing you because of it.

Believe me, you'll be miserable until you get rid of it completely. As far as I'm concerned, FB is f$%##%# evil. I despise the site. Anyone that tells me I need to have a FB account can go to hell.

Like I said, I'm required to have it for a variety of reasons. However, this whole thing of these people hating me doesn't really upset me so much as it perplexes me. While the circumstances with one or two of them bother me a little, the ones I haven't seen in years or decades who have blocked me for no discernible reason kind of fascinate me. I'd love to find out why, not to allow me to rest easier, but because anything I may have done that caused them to harbor such resentment would have to have been so ridiculously minor or petty that I'd want to hear why they've held onto it for so long. I have a friend who has held a grudge for over thirty years now over an offhand comment another friend made. The person who made the comment didn't intend it in a negative fashion but this guy took it that way and has stewed over it ever since. Whenever he brings it up I can't help being overcome by a macabre fascination. Even if it had been intended in an insulting manner, the comment was so innocuous that one has to wonder what a psychologist would make of this guy having allowed it to negatively impact his entire life to the degree that it has. Even more bizarre is the fact that his best friend is even more hacked off by this thirty year old bit of fluff to the point that he claims it's one of the main reasons he moved out of state, but he's also restructured his life to avoid anyone even remotely tied to the person who made the comment in the first place. He's one of the handful of people who have blocked me and whose reason for blocking me I'm fully aware of. In his case, it's because I told the other guy that I didn't think this matter was that big of a deal. This caused Guy #2 to not only block me but to badmouth me mercilessly to anyone who will listen (he's been doing it for about five years now). It's not upsetting, just bizarrely fascinating.
 
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I have a friend who has held a grudge for over thirty years now over an offhand comment another friend made. The person who made the comment didn't intend it in a negative fashion but this guy took it that way and has stewed over it ever since. Whenever he brings it up I can't help being overcome by a macabre fascination. Even if it had been intended in an insulting manner, the comment was so innocuous that one has to wonder what a psychologist would make of this guy having allowed it to negatively impact his entire life to the degree that it has. Even more bizarre is the fact that his best friend is even more hacked off by this thirty year old bit of fluff to the point that he claims it's one of the main reasons he moved out of state, but he's also restructured his life to avoid anyone even remotely tied to the person who made the comment in the first place. He's one of the handful of people who have blocked me and whose reason for blocking me I'm fully aware of. In his case, it's because I told the other guy that I didn't think this matter was that big of a deal. This caused Guy #2 to not only block me but to badmouth me mercilessly to anyone who will listen (he's been doing it for about five years now). It's not upsetting, just bizarrely fascinating.

Re: what I italicized about, I actually understand why someone would do something like this. Though I've never been in the situation you're describing re: your acquaintance, years ago I did move out of state for a job - though another reason for the move was also because I was trying to get away from a very disturbed stalker ex-girlfriend.

And, specifically related to FB - whatever is going on here, I'm sure FB is responsible for escalating this to the point where people are this angry with each other. If FB didn't exist, no one would be blocking/unfriending anyone & this wouldn't be as much of an issue.
 
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Re: what I italicized about, I actually understand why someone would do something like this. Though I've never been in the situation you're describing re: your acquaintance, years ago I did move out of state for a job - though another reason for the move was also because I was trying to get away from a very disturbed stalker ex-girlfriend.

And, specifically related to FB - whatever is going on here, I'm sure FB is responsible for escalating this to the point where people are this angry with each other. If FB didn't exist, no one would be blocking/unfriending anyone & this wouldn't be as much of an issue.

If the guys I know were dealing with a stalking situation or something similar I wouldn't think much of what they've done. What happened with them was basically this: Back in grade school, Lenny was Corey's pee wee football coach. After not seeing Corey since he took his "extended vacation" at a juvenile detention facility, Lenny ran into Corey sometime in high school. Corey had kicked his drug habit and quit stealing cars. Lenny told him something along the lines of, "Wow! You really cleaned up your act!" Corey somehow took it as an insult. Eddy (who, as you can probably deduce, is not Corey) heard about Lenny's comment and went ballistic. He was so emotionally traumatized by it that he's spent 30 years professing his hatred of Lenny, pee wee football in general, the private school that hired Lenny, the organization behind the school, etc. He eventually moved out of state (about as far away as he could get and still be in the Lower 48), citing his hatred of Lenny, the school, etc. and his fervent desire to avoid contact with anyone related to them as his primary reason for moving. Not only that, but because of his hurt and anger over the misunderstood compliment, he refused to put his kids into any form of private school, refused to let them join pee wee football, campaigned to have his local school district cancel their football program, etc. Not long after I joined Facebook I added Corey and Eddy as friends. Before long I noticed that a disturbingly high percentage of Eddy's comments mentioned his hatred for Lenny and how much time over the last 30 years he has devoted to fantasizing about what he'd have said to Lenny if he'd have been there when Lenny uttered his life-destroying comments. At the time I was completely unaware of the decades old conversation. In a private chat I asked Corey what the deal was. He told me and I said, "That's it?" I told him I didn't think it was a big deal, pointed out how awful a person Corey had been at one point and how proud a lot of people were of him for cleaning up his act. He understood and agreed with what I was saying but got a little angry about me raining on his own ancient grudge. He turned around and told Eddy about it. I woke up the next morning to find a multi-post tirade from Eddy on my timeline (it came out to something like 20 pages when copied into Word), calling me every name in the book and detailing all of mine and Lenny's personal shortcomings. None of it was true but plenty of people had seen it. Eddy had subsequently unfriended me so I couldn't respond to him, even though his comments still showed up on my page. He then joined every group related to our old school and spent months badmouthing me and Lenny in them, and anyone who came to our defense. Right after he started doing this he blocked me so that I would only know he was doing it when others told me about it. He ended up being blocked from each of those groups but created additional Facebook accounts just so he could rejoin them and start slandering us again. It hasn't caused me much of a headache because people can see what a nut he is after a paragraph or so, and several of those pages have even added warnings about him. It's utterly insane but, like I said, rather fascinating at the same time. I suppose whatever is motivating Eddy's anger, hurt and hatred over a not unkind comment made to someone who's totally not him three decades ago could be similar to whatever motivates stalkers, but I'm no professional so I couldn't say for certain.

As far as Facebook goes, I'm sure it and the impersonal nature of the internet in general responsible for a lot of the increased negativity some people deal with. I think the world would be a much better place if people were forced to go without it a few days per week and rely on actual communication instead.
 
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^^ is there a racial component? is corey black? and lenny white?
 
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Obviously, you can't give out too much personal information about these people or events, so it's difficult to offer up anything other than speculation for what might have caused some of these people to "hate" you. However, with the Betty situation, have you considered the fact that she might have been attracted to you? From the way you describe it, it almost seems like you and your friend's fiance were hitting it off a little too well right from the start. I'm not saying that you had any impure motives, but it's possible that her feelings between you and her fiancé were becoming conflicted. People deal with these kinds of emotional conflicts in many ways, but one way would be for Betty to convince herself that you were manipulating her in some way and that you were insidiously making her feel these feelings for you. This would explain the sudden avoidance just before her wedding and the continued avoidance afterwards. She feels that breaking off contact with you completely is the only way to keep you from manipulating her (not saying that you actually were manipulating her, just that she believes that you were). I understand that people don't always like to consider this kind of thing as an explanation, because it seems a bit too conceited, however it wouldn't be the first time that feelings of attraction disguised themselves as hatred.

As for this Eddy person, that just sounds like someone who is seriously mentally unstable and should be avoided at all costs.

When I try to recall times in my life when this has happened, I can only think of a few instances while I was running a professional athlete's websites and had to deal with his fans on a daily basis. During the years that I did this, I ran into a few really psycho fans and even received my fair share of online harrassment and death threats. However, these people only knew me based on what little bit of information I made available over the internet, so their opinions really never mattered and I was able to dismiss it easily. Now this didn't happen very often, I can think of only 2 or 3 individuals during the 8 years that I worked for this athlete and the number of good people that I met far overshadowed these instances. One instance was so bad that we had to get the authorities involved, but that person never resurfaced.

Of course, on the other end of the spectrum, you make a lot of friends with people while in this kind of position that you normally wouldn't be friends with. I've made a lot of really great friends during those years and even remain friends with the athlete and his family (he retired and moved on to other pursuits, so he no longer had a need for a personal website). However, you also occassionally have to deal with those people who simply see you as a stepping stone to the celebrity. I had this happen with one guy who I became really good friends with until I realized that his primary motive for our friendship was the hope that I would pull him into the "inner circle" of this athlete's closest friends. I ended up having to distance myself from the guy, which lead to some hurt feelings and resentment, but we're still friends on Facebook even though we don't really talk all that much.

Speaking of Facebook, I'm not one of these people who post endless updates about every mundane development in my life, but I'm still glad that I have a Facebook account. As someone who spent over ten years in the military, it's helped me to reconnect with several Army buddies that I would likely have never spoken with again otherwise. Plus, I've been able to chat in real time with my brother and other friends while they were deployed in Afghanistan or Iraq. So, for that, I'm grateful for Facebook.

Now that I've mentioned the Army, I can think of a few instances where certain people took an instant dislike to me for no apparent reason. However, most of those instances I believe to have been racially motivated, so that's also something that I can shrug off and not worry about. If someone wants to hate me because they perceive me to be from a certain race, then that really has nothing to do with me at all.
 
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No racial component to any of these.

Obviously, you can't give out too much personal information about these people or events, so it's difficult to offer up anything other than speculation for what might have caused some of these people to "hate" you. However, with the Betty situation, have you considered the fact that she might have been attracted to you?

The idea never crossed my mind. I'm pretty sure it never crossed hers, either. I was a bit of schlub when I first met her and while she was never a 10, she was way out of my league. Our interactions were never the sort that seemed like they could even remotely lead to anything more than just being platonic friends. I've had other situations where I or a potential female friend put an early end to a burgeoning friendship either because she was attracted to me or because I (meaning "my wife") was worried I'd be attracted to her. There was never anything like that with Betty.


As for this Eddy person, that just sounds like someone who is seriously mentally unstable and should be avoided at all costs.

I've suggested that to others, especially after seeing him go nuts over a few unrelated minor issues with other people. Oddly enough, we still have a few mutual friends and they think he's the nicest, sweetest guy in the world. They refuse to talk about his bizarre antics.

However, you also occassionally have to deal with those people who simply see you as a stepping stone to the celebrity. I had this happen with one guy who I became really good friends with until I realized that his primary motive for our friendship was the hope that I would pull him into the "inner circle" of this athlete's closest friends.

I had to distance myself from a few friends, a couple of whom were very old, close friends, because of something similar to this. With these guys, the "inner circle" they were trying to gain entrance to was a handful of my female friends. There was no connection between the three guys so it was kind of odd that all three did the same thing around the same time. It was also way beyond creepy, to the point that I'll avoid any details. Suffice to say, you never really know a person as well as you think you do. I cut ties entirely with two of the guys, mainly because, after some of what they did, I could never feel comfortable having them around or just seeing pictures of my daughters.

Speaking of Facebook, I'm not one of these people who post endless updates about every mundane development in my life, but I'm still glad that I have a Facebook account. As someone who spent over ten years in the military, it's helped me to reconnect with several Army buddies that I would likely have never spoken with again otherwise. Plus, I've been able to chat in real time with my brother and other friends while they were deployed in Afghanistan or Iraq. So, for that, I'm grateful for Facebook.

The positive aspects of Facebook are great. Unfortunately, they don't always outweigh the negatives. I think for every person I've reconnected with in a meaningful way thanks to Facebook, I've cut ties with at least two others, also at least partially due to Facebook (not including any of the folks mentioned in this thread). I'd readily admit to any of those situations being my fault if that were true, but I really haven't played an active role in any of those instances. The bulk of them have been cases of someone's craptacular nature being embiggened by the aforementioned anonymity of the internet (even though it was on social media, people still tend to act as though they're somewhat anonymous or disconnected when posting stuff). A few other cases were people I'd been friends with for years, just never in a real intimate sense, suddenly coming to the realization that I actually valued some aspect of my life that they don't value in any way. It's not that I was hitting them over the head with anything or trying to force my views or lifestyle on them (including such radical things as making the occasional comment about how much I love my wife and kids); I just wouldn't sweep it under the rug or deny it for their sake. Unlike the other folks, these people either told me or made it clear in other ways why they no longer considered themselves friends. It's annoying and occasionally upsetting, even, but I'm not going to dwell long on people like that.
 
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The positive aspects of Facebook are great. Unfortunately, they don't always outweigh the negatives. I think for every person I've reconnected with in a meaningful way thanks to Facebook, I've cut ties with at least two others, also at least partially due to Facebook (not including any of the folks mentioned in this thread).

Well put, well said. This has affected me to some extent as well, and I've never even had a FB page. As I stated earlier, I actually had a falling-out with a former friend indirectly due to FB - not because I had a FB page, but because they were insisting that I get one - which I didn't want to do.

Speaking in more general terms, I definitely think that as you get older it's tough to retain certain friendships; what you once had in common with people when you were younger (elementary/middle/high school, college, etc.) doesn't necessarily hold true once you start working full time, get married, start a family, etc. Physical distance has a lot to do with this as well. I myself moved halfway across the country twenty years ago for a great job opportunity, and since then have lost touch with people I grew up/went to school with - that I had stayed in contact with when we all lived in the same area. And, I really have no interest in keeping up with these people anyway. We've all changed a lot & really don't have anything in common with each other anymore.
 
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Well put, well said. This has affected me to some extent as well, and I've never even had a FB page. As I stated earlier, I actually had a falling-out with a former friend indirectly due to FB - not because I had a FB page, but because they were insisting that I get one - which I didn't want to do.

Speaking in more general terms, I definitely think that as you get older it's tough to retain certain friendships; what you once had in common with people when you were younger (elementary/middle/high school, college, etc.) doesn't necessarily hold true once you start working full time, get married, start a family, etc. Physical distance has a lot to do with this as well. I myself moved halfway across the country twenty years ago for a great job opportunity, and since then have lost touch with people I grew up/went to school with - that I had stayed in contact with when we all lived in the same area. And, I really have no interest in keeping up with these people anyway. We've all changed a lot & really don't have anything in common with each other anymore.

I'm of mixed feelings on that. On the one hand, I do know a few old friends who, when I see them, we have nothing to talk about and don't really enjoy our time together. On the other hand, I reconnected with an old friend recently I hadn't seen in years. When we drifted apart I told myself and others that it was because we no longer had anything in common. To be honest, though, that was just an easy excuse. We still had the same interests and shared experiences; it was mainly just our priorities that had changed. My priorities were my wife, kids and careers. His were the same as they'd been since high school. I think in a situation like that, the biggest problem isn't that two friends suddenly don't have the same interests, but instead aren't willing to compromise their priorities. In other words, we wouldn't have grown apart if either of us had been willing to give in a little bit and keep viewing our friendship as a priority. When we went out again that first time, it was like we hadn't seen each other in a few days as opposed to over a decade. Thankfully, we've both matured to the point that we're able to fit time in for the other on occasion and don't take offense or get hurt feelings if those occasions are only once a month or every few weeks as opposed to every weekend.

That being said, I do know plenty of people who cling to old friends they don't really like anymore, if they ever did in the first place. They get together with them out of loyalty or habit and seem all the more miserable for the effort. I personally can't fathom it. One friend was telling me about seeing her old college roommate. Other than the two grueling years they cohabited, they don't have anything in common. They bicker and one up each other constantly. Each one always feels as though they've "lost" whatever competition they have when they're together, and they immediately take to Facebook to make vague, passive aggressive attacks against one another. It's ridiculous. However, when I told my friend she needed to finally cut the cord she thought I was heartless and insane to suggest she turn her back on such an old friend.
 
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here's my armchair-sociology thesis, I've been pondering for most of my life. (whether its related to your plight, or not, is up to you).




it starts with the baby boomer generation: this is when people first started experiencing life-through-television.. and I'm not talking about weird people who sit glued to it / addicted to it / whatever.. I'm talking about everyone who ever watched TV, even on a casual basis, starting in the 1950's. television became a part of our psyche, as one of the MANY ways that we (as humans) assimilate information about the world around us. it teaches babies the 'laws of the jungle', on an intuitive level.

problem: television is based on the same principles as 'literature' -- (we can all identify the protagonist, antagonist, climax, and denouement) -- which means, without "conflict" then there IS NO STORY. we measure the quality of our entertainment, by the quality of its conflict. and, starting with the baby boomers, we all grew up in this 'environment' --> we NOW have, an entire society, that CRAVES "conflict" in EVERYTHING they do.

because of the "television" environment , in which, we were ALL raised.




I first noticed this when I was in the third grade (late seventies): my cousins moved into my neighborhood, from a different city. at the time, my parents would not pay for cable TV. there were exactly three channels on TV, and at any given time of day, at least two of them were playing M*A*S*H. (to this day I am traumatized by the first four notes of that theme song, as I frantically change the channel, with my hands on my ears, singing "LA LA LA LA" --- but that's another thread).

my cousins, by contrast, were DEFINED by two things: their ravenous consumption of cable TV; and their "scrappy" nature --- the entire family thrived on conflict. it was embarrassing, when they began attending my school, and hanging out in my playground, among my own peers. my girl-cousin (exactly my age, by coincidence) would get a gleam in her eye and an evil grin, as she confronted people on the schoolyard, and went out of her way to 'pick' fights. I'd never seen anything like it. her eyes would glaze over and she would lose herself in a kind of delirium, as she traded barbs with the other kids -- the presence of 'conflict', fulfilled her, in a way that I've never been able to fully explain. and my uncle was the same way: always fighting with the neighbors, and seeming to enjoy it.

the only difference between my family and theirs, was the ever-present "conflict" which played out in their living room, nearly 24/7, by way of "Cable TV".





flash-forward to 2016 :

lets say you want to learn how to bake a cake: it's not enough anymore, to watch Martha Steward "teaching us" how to bake a cake.. oh no.. we need to see a "cutthroat" competition, where people are "sent home" after every round. otherwise, nobody will watch it. and having watched it.. we might actually learn how to bake a cake. (yay!)

but without "conflict", then we would never watch in the first place. the show is "boring" without conflict. (we CRAVE conflict , an a level that we are NOT EVEN CONSCIOUS OF).


-====-


I encounter people like this on a daily basis , and I pity them. people who just want "conflict" in their lives , and they don't even know WHY they want it.

- the neighbor who chides me for the brown spots on my lawn, as he tries his best to make his own lawn green.
(is it because he wants green grass, or simply because he wants to "compete" with me) *yawn*

- children who won't get off their butt for 'physical excercise' , unless it takes the form of a "dance competition" or a "hockey game".
(I thought 'dance' was an artform -- why do we need to introduce a "conflict" element, in the world of 'art'? why does it NEED to be a "competition"...?
.... it's because : children won't EVEN participate, unless they can "win" at something -- unless there is CONFLICT, then they're not even interested to participate).

it's everywhere. it's everything. (( without "CONFLICT" there is NO story, worth watching -- not even YOUR OWN story, the story of your life))






^^^ it could very well be, that Betty-Squared is one of these people. (or rather , two of these people).

--> when they use you as a 'scratching post' to exercise their OWN subconscious-need for conflict , it's actually a form of '*********ion', in a way.

its best that you don't participate. you don't need these people in your life.

(human beings are NOT Klingons -- we don't "NEED" conflict ;

regardless of what the "Disney Princesses" , would have our children beLIEve) *

:p

cheers!

-========-
-========-


* one of each "color" --- clearly intended to "divide" our population, along "racial" lines, at the age of three, and set our children against each other, in lifelong competition for "equal representation" on CNN

--> segue into : "Race Conflict" , the streets of ferguson , and the fact that ... we've ALL been played for FOOLS **


** {" Next Time ... on the Muppet Show!"} :p [/insert theme song]
 
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here's my armchair-sociology thesis, I've been pondering for most of my life.

Very good analysis, and you could be onto something regarding the Bettys. I think it applies in more ways than just conflict, though. I know tons of folks who model their own lives based on their favorite TV and/or movie characters. I know several people (mostly women) who describe themselves and everyone in their circle of friends in that way. "She's our Chrissy Snow! He's our Jack Tripper!" (I always figure I'm these folks' Mr. Roper, by the way, regardless of which show they model their lives on.) I can't fathom being that sort of conformist. And as annoying as that was for the first twenty years or so it was going on, a lot of them are now reaping their unfortunate harvest. Since all entertainment, whether drama, comedy, horror or whatever, requires not just conflict but drama, the bulk of what's on the air features people who at least at some point are pretty wretched beings. They may not be that way for the run of a show, but by necessity, in order to generate viewership you need someone to fill the antagonist role. Inevitably, whether it's at the end of 23 minutes or sometime later in the season, that person's wrongs aren't just forgiven, but they're absolutely forgotten and seldom if ever referenced again. I think that lends itself to a rather narcissistic personality in which one can't see or even acknowledge their own faults and misdeeds.

To illustrate my point, I have a handful of friends who are going through divorces now, all of which were caused by one of the spouses having an affair. When I was younger, this was a much bigger scandal. Sure, it happened, but when it did the wronged party was always viewed as the wronged party. The cheater was almost never painted in a positive light and was never welcomed back with the same sort of trust and admiration we may have had for them beforehand (the only exception being one or two family members whose affairs were covered up and we never learned about until decades later). In these cases, everyone involved on the cheaters' sides of the families are saying that everyone should respect their decisions, not criticize their choices and basically get over it. In other words, even though the sleazy ******* broke up 2, 3 or even 4 families and left his long-suffering, devoted wife a mess in multiple different fashions, he shouldn't be viewed as a bad guy? We're supposed to just forget it a week later? These same people were upset far longer when someone else double dipped a chip several years ago. In one of the cases, someone actually referred to the one guy's several major screw-ups since the news of the divorce/cheating broke as his "latest wacky shenanigans." I'm tempted to strangle these people and tell them that a marriage isn't a coconut radio or science fair volcano.
 
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That being said, I do know plenty of people who cling to old friends they don't really like anymore, if they ever did in the first place. They get together with them out of loyalty or habit and seem all the more miserable for the effort. I personally can't fathom it. One friend was telling me about seeing her old college roommate. Other than the two grueling years they cohabited, they don't have anything in common. They bicker and one up each other constantly. Each one always feels as though they've "lost" whatever competition they have when they're together, and they immediately take to Facebook to make vague, passive aggressive attacks against one another. It's ridiculous. However, when I told my friend she needed to finally cut the cord she thought I was heartless and insane to suggest she turn her back on such an old friend.

I've noticed this as well, and it's very emotionally unhealthy. Years ago, I had a "friend" in which the friendship started out well, then they began to seriously get on my nerves as time went on - this had been gradually building up over the years, and got progressively worse. Eventually, just thinking about this person pi$$ed me off. So, I finally stopped talking to them; I gradually stopped returning phone calls, e-mails, etc. It actually was cathartic! Again, I think that just because you have something in common with people at some point in your lives, you shouldn't feel the need to keep in touch with them just because of some misguided "obligation" on one or both of your parts. People move on, things change, etc. There's nothing wrong with admitting (even if it's just to yourself) that you just have no interest in keeping up the friendship any longer.

To illustrate my point, I have a handful of friends who are going through divorces now, all of which were caused by one of the spouses having an affair. When I was younger, this was a much bigger scandal. Sure, it happened, but when it did the wronged party was always viewed as the wronged party. The cheater was almost never painted in a positive light and was never welcomed back with the same sort of trust and admiration we may have had for them beforehand (the only exception being one or two family members whose affairs were covered up and we never learned about until decades later). In these cases, everyone involved on the cheaters' sides of the families are saying that everyone should respect their decisions, not criticize their choices and basically get over it. In other words, even though the sleazy ******* broke up 2, 3 or even 4 families and left his long-suffering, devoted wife a mess in multiple different fashions, he shouldn't be viewed as a bad guy? We're supposed to just forget it a week later? These same people were upset far longer when someone else double dipped a chip several years ago. In one of the cases, someone actually referred to the one guy's several major screw-ups since the news of the divorce/cheating broke as his "latest wacky shenanigans."

You obviously view marriage/commitment differently than many (maybe even the majority) of others. I myself don't see marriage/commitment as that important, and am honest enough to admit this; I don't believe in monogamy, and never have. I've thankfully never been married because I knew that if I ever did, I would get divorced soon after - especially since I have a "wandering eye" when it comes to women. The few LTR's I've been in with women over the years thankfully ended before they got too serious. I think a lot of people feel the same way I do deep down, but they get married because of family and/or societal pressure - they are then unhappy in the marriage, and screw around as a result.

However, despite my attitude(s), I do agree 100% that divorce is a horrible event for all involved. I've known many people over the years who have gotten divorced, and it is a very serious/severe financial & emotional strain. People I know have lost their homes, the shirts off their backs (in many cases literally), their health, etc. Not worth it!
 
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I've only been in one "LTR" in my entire life. (I've been with the same girl for 31 years; married for 26 years and counting).

I've never really thought about it as a "commitment". (I use that word to describe "obligations" -- things I "have to" follow through on, because I gave my word, whether I really want to do them or not anymore -- like fulfilling a contract -- I have certain "commitments" to my mortgage, for example).

I don't stay in my marriage because I'm somehow "committed" to the institution. (like being "committed" to a mental hospital). :p

I stay in my marriage because it's "good".

if you had my girl, you'd be married too. :p (like water flows downhill -- the water has made no "commitment" to gravity) :rolleyes: (their 'relationship' is effortless).




(I've always maintained: if you're using words like 'work' and 'commitment' to describe a relationship.. then chances are, you're doing it wrong).

((but then again.. I probably wouldn't know -- since I'm still working on my first relationship)). :p (I don't have much experience with them, in general). *shrug*
 
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You obviously view marriage/commitment differently than many (maybe even the majority) of others. I myself don't see marriage/commitment as that important, and am honest enough to admit this; I don't believe in monogamy, and never have. I've thankfully never been married because I knew that if I ever did, I would get divorced soon after - especially since I have a "wandering eye" when it comes to women. The few LTR's I've been in with women over the years thankfully ended before they got too serious. I think a lot of people feel the same way I do deep down, but they get married because of family and/or societal pressure - they are then unhappy in the marriage, and screw around as a result.

I'd argue that most view marriage in much the same vein I do, at least to some degree and especially when they first get married; hence, "'til death do us part." One of the biggest problems in that regard, though, is that too many of them also believe in "happily ever after," or at least a reasonable facsimile thereof. When they don't get their storybook ending, they're not prepared to handle. Couple that with the rampant narcissism that society does it's best to promote now and you have a recipe for disaster. The fact of the matter is that marriage isn't about "you" and it's not about pleasing your friends and family. If a person can't grasp that and isn't willing to give entirely of his or herself to their spouse, they absolutely shouldn't get married.

As far as my recently divorced friends go, they all started out at least ostensibly committed to the idea of a traditional marriage. At least one of them turned his back on that shortly thereafter, while the others became derailed as soon as they had to deal with some actual adversity. One of them was telling me about the "insurmountable" tragedies that led to him deciding he needed to leave his wife (other than his countless affairs, that is). It basically came down to the fact that she's not as interested in his hobbies as he is. It didn't bother me telling him what an immature, self-centered loser he is. My wife and I have faced one hardship and actual tragedy after another pretty much since we started dating. I never saw cheating on or leaving her as an option. I think a successful, meaningful marriage is a matter of being able to put your spouse and children before yourself.

However, despite my attitude(s), I do agree 100% that divorce is a horrible event for all involved. I've known many people over the years who have gotten divorced, and it is a very serious/severe financial & emotional strain. People I know have lost their homes, the shirts off their backs (in many cases literally), their health, etc. Not worth it!

Even worse (at least in some cases) is how they tend to lose their extended family and friends. I have several family members who we no longer see, or even can't mention to the rest of the family all because someone decided it was necessary to take sides, and they came out on the losing end. I have friends who were completely ostracized because, in the battle over the couple's former friends, they were the losers. In one case, the couple had been together as long as we all could remember. They didn't have his and her friends, just "their" friends. When she decided that their marriage was actually just a "trial" marriage, he lost the battle for their former friends. He didn't have any family left in town to begin with so he went from being a well-liked guy with a ton of friends and active social life, to being a social outcast without any sort of support system. It was horrible. There were rumors he tried to kill himself a couple times but I never got confirmation of that. What I did get was running into him unexpectedly at the grocery store a year or so later, only to have him literally break down, grab me in a big bearhug and cry on my shoulder. He seems to be doing better now (after about 15 years), but his former friends (he was even a groomsman in a couple of their weddings) still won't talk to him. It's tragic and utterly ridiculous.
 
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I've only been in one "LTR" in my entire life. (I've been with the same girl for 31 years; married for 26 years and counting).

I've never really thought about it as a "commitment". (I use that word to describe "obligations" -- things I "have to" follow through on, because I gave my word, whether I really want to do them or not anymore -- like fulfilling a contract -- I have certain "commitments" to my mortgage, for example).

I think you might be misinterpreting what is meant about it being a commitment. When I refer to marriage as a commitment, I mean in the sense that you have to be actively committed to it to make it work. In other words, like I said above, it's not all going to be wine and roses. You're going to have rough spells no matter how perfect your marriage is. If you're not committed to your spouse, you're going to be in pretty sorry shape. Like they say, loving someone isn't a feeling but is an active decision you make every day. Some days it's effortless; others, it takes a great deal of willpower. If you haven't hit any of those days, you're terribly lucky.

I've personally offended a couple of friends by laughing at the life-shattering crises that have nearly ruined their marriages. One good example was the friend who was ready to leave his wife because she neglected to get him one of the gifts on his voluminous Christmas list. This was the year my wife almost died and, thanks to our staggering medical bills and a few other well-timed disasters, we almost couldn't buy food, let alone Christmas gifts. I had a hard time getting past the idea that when this guy was faced with a minor disappointment it nearly split them apart, whereas our whole world was collapsing and it brought us closer together. I just can't fathom that level of self-centeredness.
 
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I'd argue that most view marriage in much the same vein I do, at least to some degree and especially when they first get married; hence, "'til death do us part." One of the biggest problems in that regard, though, is that too many of them also believe in "happily ever after," or at least a reasonable facsimile thereof. When they don't get their storybook ending, they're not prepared to handle. Couple that with the rampant narcissism that society does it's best to promote now and you have a recipe for disaster. The fact of the matter is that marriage isn't about "you" and it's not about pleasing your friends and family. If a person can't grasp that and isn't willing to give entirely of his or herself to their spouse, they absolutely shouldn't get married.

I don't know anyone who's happily married. They're either constantly complaining about their miserable marriage(s), are splitting up/going through a divorce, or have gone through 1-2 divorces so far. I had one former friend who would call me up in the middle of the night to complain about everything his wife was doing that he was angry about. This is the same guy who, before he got married, would always complain about being single. Pathetic! Be careful what you wish for!

In one case, the couple had been together as long as we all could remember. They didn't have his and her friends, just "their" friends. When she decided that their marriage was actually just a "trial" marriage, he lost the battle for their former friends. He didn't have any family left in town to begin with so he went from being a well-liked guy with a ton of friends and active social life, to being a social outcast without any sort of support system. It was horrible. There were rumors he tried to kill himself a couple times but I never got confirmation of that. What I did get was running into him unexpectedly at the grocery store a year or so later, only to have him literally break down, grab me in a big bearhug and cry on my shoulder. He seems to be doing better now (after about 15 years), but his former friends (he was even a groomsman in a couple of their weddings) still won't talk to him. It's tragic and utterly ridiculous.

This is a sad story - the guy is obviously pathetic. It's too bad he didn't have any kind of friends other than the ones he & his wife had mutually. In this case the guy's divorce obviously permanently ruined his life.
 
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I don't know anyone who's happily married. They're either constantly complaining about their miserable marriage(s), are splitting up/going through a divorce, or have gone through 1-2 divorces so far. I had one former friend who would call me up in the middle of the night to complain about everything his wife was doing that he was angry about. This is the same guy who, before he got married, would always complain about being single. Pathetic! Be careful what you wish for!

I'd guess they all fall into the category of folks who don't grasp the concept of marriage. The people I know who are happiest in their marriages are the sort who realize it's not a lifelong honeymoon and put their spouse first. That doesn't mean they don't have problems or lead a fairytale life; it just means they didn't gloss over the whole "for better or worse" portion of their vows. As for your friend who calls to complain about his wife, he really doesn't get it. I'd bet the things he complains about are things she did long before they were married. Unfortunately for him, that magic ring didn't transform her into whatever it was he was hoping she'd be once she changed from girlfriend to wife. He needs to get over himself.

This is a sad story - the guy is obviously pathetic. It's too bad he didn't have any kind of friends other than the ones he & his wife had mutually. In this case the guy's divorce obviously permanently ruined his life.

Since I can't really speak to how he is now (some have said he's doing well), I can't say his life was ruined permanently, but he definitely wasted a big chunk of it wallowing in remorse and self-pity. It's a shame, too, because he was such a great guy before. With the possible exception of some of the folks I know who were in abusive relationship, I don't know anyone who benefited from a divorce.
 
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Since I can't really speak to how he is now (some have said he's doing well), I can't say his life was ruined permanently, but he definitely wasted a big chunk of it wallowing in remorse and self-pity. It's a shame, too, because he was such a great guy before. With the possible exception of some of the folks I know who were in abusive relationship, I don't know anyone who benefited from a divorce.

Don't downplay this guy's situation; by your own admission, he was crying like a little girl who had her toys taken away from her.

I've known people like him - they get divorced & then they fall apart irrevocably. These people have been permanently ruined both financially & emotionally by a divorce.
 
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Don't downplay this guy's situation; by your own admission, he was crying like a little girl who had her toys taken away from her.

I've known people like him - they get divorced & then they fall apart irrevocably. These people have been permanently ruined both financially & emotionally by a divorce.

I'm not downplaying his situation. I can only speak to how he was when I ran into him and that was years ago. Others have said he's doing well now, but if that's truly the case then it took him a good 10-12 years to get to that point. In other words, he spent a good quarter of his life wallowing in misery.

His wife, on the other hand, is someone who most say came out of it well. She kept their friends, his car, etc. The only problem with that assessment is that it ignores the fact that she lost a big chunk of money on the house, she was too old to have kids once she found someone else willing to settle down with her, and permanently lost several friends who weren't as fond of her handling of the situation (those same folks either didn't stay friends with him because of the self-pity, or because of the contingent of former friends who threatened to turn against anyone who stayed friends with him--yes, lovely people indeed). Their situation isn't as bad as some other folks I know, but it's bad enough that it makes me thankful my wife and I have the sense to work through our problems. I figure the only thing in life worse than a divorce is a second set of in-laws.
 
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I will admit that I did not read all of this thread, but my advice is to go see a therapist. I don't know you. I don't know if anyone in this cyberspace knows you, but you can get an honest assessment of yourself from someone that is there to listen and help you mentally. That does not mean I think you are mentally challenged or that I think you need mental help. Going to a therapist (or life coach) can be greatly rewarding.

You may find that you have certain 'ticks' or bad habits that turn people off. You may come to learn that your personality needs to be toned down or your tendency to take over a room is annoying to others. Perhaps you are a "one-upper" or a "close talker" or have body odor or just are socially awkward enough to be off-putting to others in a variety of ways.

I have a friend that was Awkward (capital A). Super nice guy, but shy around anyone he didn't know, talked way too loud when he got comfortable, had a HEE-HAW type laugh that was startling, and generally didn't dress or take care of his hygiene to the level that many would expect. (nice way of saying he wore dirty t-shirts and smelled a bit).

Life Coach at the request of some friends that really cared about the guy (I wasn't in on this convo not living nearby at the time). You would not even know this person today. He lost some weight, wears nicer (washed) clothes, looks you in the eye, and carries a conversation quite well in any situation. He admits to not being comfortable all the time and being OK with that instead of painfully shy. He understands personal space and has even toned down his laugh... although you can still get him going in friendly company. Has a wife now and daughter and seems very happy.

Perhaps you do not need this... I don't know you. But perhaps if you have some good friends, they might be able to give you a truthful loving assessment and help you NOT have more of these friendship losses.

OR maybe your friends and their wives suck..... and you need new ones.
 
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I will admit that I did not read all of this thread, but my advice is to go see a therapist. I don't know you. I don't know if anyone in this cyberspace knows you, but you can get an honest assessment of yourself from someone that is there to listen and help you mentally. That does not mean I think you are mentally challenged or that I think you need mental help. Going to a therapist (or life coach) can be greatly rewarding.

I actually saw a therapist for a year or so. Her evaluation of me was that I was, and I quote, "awesome." :D

Honestly, her main advice was to thin the herd, so to speak. She gave me high marks all around, as do most of the people I know, which is why it boggles and befuddles me when someone acts differently. One thing I'd note, regarding the ones I haven't seen in 10-20 years, is that most of them are female friends. It's reasonable to guess that there could be some sort of jealous significant other impacting some of the situations. I personally know several people who hold a tight rein over their SO's social media interactions. I'm not sure I see the value in that. For one, if you can't trust your SO, micromanaging their Facebook account isn't going to solve that problem. Secondly, if you're going through reading their private messages and unfriending or blocking people behind their back, I'm guessing they'd expect to be able to do the same in return.

As far as the Betties go, I'm guessing I'm never going to be told what turned them sour. My wife asked me once if it really matters why they did. I told her no, but I'd rather know than not. I have a fair number of people who now fall into the "former friend" category, all for really petty reasons. I'm talking pretty much entirely things like differences in opinion, whether over politics, religion, child-rearing, sports or whatever. To be clear, as I think I stated above, in all those cases it's not a matter of me being overbearing or trying to force any of my opinions; it's just people who have become so committed to their cause that they view anyone who thinks or behaves differently as someone deserving of their hatred (I could go on and on, but that's a pretty fair, concise summary). Even when that someone is a loyal friend who has selflessly offered you their time, support, help and money countless times over the years. As regrettable as those people may be, the rifts with them are far less annoying, at least in some respect, than those who don't give a reason. At least in those cases I can chalk it up to something concrete, no matter how asinine and petty it might be.

I do have one friend who's been plagued with a similar conundrum. He has a few competing, contrary groups of friends. Group A hates everyone in Group B, who hates everyone in Group C, who hates Groups A and B. He's stuck in the middle and gets beat up from all sides. Recently, people from each of the varying groups have taken to telling him that unless he unfriends/blocks Tom, **** or Harry, they're going to unfriend him both online and in real life. I've had one or two people pull that on me on the odd occasion, but he's apparently getting it daily at this point. He has an elaborate plan to make a bogus announcement on Facebook that he's shutting down his account, then setting up a variety of groups and post everything in triplicate so that he can keep all his friends without them knowing about each other. I told him he'd be better off going into the witness protection program.
 
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I do have one friend who's been plagued with a similar conundrum. He has a few competing, contrary groups of friends. Group A hates everyone in Group B, who hates everyone in Group C, who hates Groups A and B. He's stuck in the middle and gets beat up from all sides. Recently, people from each of the varying groups have taken to telling him that unless he unfriends/blocks Tom, **** or Harry, they're going to unfriend him both online and in real life. I've had one or two people pull that on me on the odd occasion, but he's apparently getting it daily at this point. He has an elaborate plan to make a bogus announcement on Facebook that he's shutting down his account, then setting up a variety of groups and post everything in triplicate so that he can keep all his friends without them knowing about each other. I told him he'd be better off going into the witness protection program.

Honestly, your friends sound like they're teens in high school, instead of being in their 30's & 40's - very immature & childish. I'm thinking they may be close to my age (I'm in my mid-40's).

Again, a lot of the problem here is Facebook & other social media sites. If it weren't for this site, I'm sure many/most of these issues wouldn't be happening. As far as I'm concerned, FB is evil - there's no other way to describe the site. And, no, I'm NOT kidding.
 
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Honestly, your friends sound like they're teens in high school, instead of being in their 30's & 40's - very immature & childish. I'm thinking they may be close to my age (I'm in my mid-40's).

Again, a lot of the problem here is Facebook & other social media sites. If it weren't for this site, I'm sure many/most of these issues wouldn't be happening. As far as I'm concerned, FB is evil - there's no other way to describe the site. And, no, I'm NOT kidding.

They're all in their very late 30's to mid-40's. I know a lot of people blame Facebook, but I think in a lot of instances it's just a matter of their true natures being only slightly amplified. We were in one ridiculous predicament for a while and a whole host of people kept telling me that the idiots causing all the problems weren't as horrible as they came across online and that it was just Facebook causing them to act that way, or a misunderstanding on a whole bunch of people's parts. The problem with that interpretation was that they were just as horrible face to face as they were on Facebook. The only difference was that they were more duplicitous and two-faced in person. Naturally, when we cast them aside, we were portrayed negatively. It reminds me of a quote from ****nic and Old Lace.
 
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One thing that surprised the snot out of me was that nobody unfriended me last week. I had a few friends who set their Facebook accounts to inactive, thereby unfriending the world, but nobody actually targeted me specifically which, considering the amped up level of hatred (for whatever reason), was awfully surprising. For the record, I took no part in whatever nebulous turn of events caused the spike in hatred, but I saw (and am still seeing) a really ridiculous degree of venom and animosity, and lots of people publicly outing the old friends they now despise to the point of unfriending and/or blocking. A few friends are really despondent over the number of people who have cut ties with them, some in extremely nasty ways. On the real life side of the fence, I do have one close family member who hasn't spoken to anyone else in the family in the last eight days, but I'm guessing that will eventually pass, otherwise Thanksgiving will be really awkward. Oddly enough, one mega-pararnoid family member finally started talking to the rest of the family again on Monday. To be honest, I'd have been okay if he'd kept shunning us.
 
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