A Punch in the Face

by Heligirl on July 22, 2012

in Beyond Mommyhood,Relationships

I’m at a complete loss. In fact, I can’t even think of a snarky diatribe to accurately illustrate what I’m feeling. I’ve never encountered this before. I have heard a few somewhat similar stories from friends, but I figured I was rather selective in my closest friends so this would never happen to me.

Welcome to the world of f-ed up control freak cowardom Jen. Here’s your t-shirt. Note that the knife in your back and hand print on your face may fade, but they’ll never go away. You’ll now live in fear of this happening again. Forever. Enjoy.

What the heck am I talking about? Let me tell you.

I had this, let’s call him a friend, once. A fellow helicopter pilot who I met eight and a half years ago, when we were both single. I thought he was cute, we had a good rapport, but it soon became apparent we weren’t compatible, as a couple. But we were great pals. (At least at the time I thought so, I question this now.) We had no kind of dating relationship. Nothing physical at all, not even a kiss. Just friends. He was still 50 shades over his ex and another 50 in being a short, federal law enforcement officer divorcee.

But he had a good sense of humor and offered me some really great advice, insight, friendship and whatnot as I struggled through my dating life. And I thought I was the same for him, listening to him tell stories of his dates and offering support. He called me a lot too, it wasn’t just me calling him. I remember the conversations he had with me about the woman he was dating (who he’d eventually marry). I was encouraging while at the same time wondered if she had any idea what she was getting herself into.

By the way, I met and married my husband first. I told him all about Hubby in emails and calls. My “friend” was very supportive and sounded genuinely happy for me. We swapped Christmas cards. In fact, it was in one of his I learned he’d gone to city hall and ended up marrying afore mentioned woman.

I included him in my announcement email about being pregnant and I remember his funny emails as I shared the joys of pregnancy. He received a birth announcement. And he knew of my second child too.

Yet, after the kids came along, our correspondence slowed down as I was getting so bogged down with life, and he had his own marriage and her kids to manage. But real friends are always in each other’s hearts even when not in touch (I thought).

I’d been wondering for a while how he was and finally broke down and called last week. He sounded thrilled to hear my voice and we got caught up. He’d moved, gave me his new address and talked about his new job. I told him about my work, family, life, etc. He was animated, told me many times it was great to hear from me, and we slipped into that comfortable rapport old friends can pick up. In fact (this is important here) I had to end the conversation after 40 minutes because I needed to pick up the kids. He would have kept talking. He asked me to shoot him an email with a photo so he could see the kids.

Well, I sent the email the next day. It was pretty short. Thanking him for the chat, mentioning the photo was attached and said I hoped he’d be at an upcoming helicopter event as it would be great to see him (something we discussed on the phone). Then I went about my business.

Five days after I sent the note I received a short response telling me that now that he’s married and has moved on, he is no longer interested in maintaining any contact with me. He wished me the best then signed his name.

I felt completely blindsided. I obsessed over anything I could have said or done to deserve this treatment. He’s someone I held in high regard. We were never in a relationship. Moved on from what? From your friend? I made no innuendos or presented any suggestion of intimacy. I talked about my family and how happy I was. What. The. Hell.

Now, friends have since suggested he has a psycho wife who is jealous and demanded he cut the friendship off (this I’ve heard of before). He did mention they’d been through a rough patch 18 months or so ago and it did sound as if his wife’s child puts a lot of pressure on the relationship, but he played it down saying things were going really well now. So if this first suggestion is the case, Angry Jen says he deserves the cold, lifeless bed he made and has to sleep in for cowering to that crap.

Another friend suggested he is unhappy and hearing from me made him think of me in ways that made him uncomfortable so he cut me off to keep away from temptation. While I’d love to think he’s afraid of his love for me, my general lack of self-worth tells me this is crap.

Regardless, the issue is totally with him. His issues. Whether they be memories of a time when he was dating, jealousy from his wife, fear of dwelling on what he can’t have, or whatever.

My mind keeps playing everything over and over. If he really wasn’t happy to hear from me, why did he give me his new address and ask me to email? Why did he stay on the phone so long?

Then I shift back to what I must have done in his past that makes him unhappy being in touch with me today. What negative actions or impressions did I make in him to make him reject me so?

Back and forth, back and forth I go, feeling filthy, rejected, unworthy, heartbroken, sad and then angry. I honestly loved my friend. I thought highly of him. His short cop control tendencies would have made me kill him if we were in a relationship so there was never that temptation. He made it clear when we met he wasn’t interested in dating me. I never once considered the issue.

And what the hell with this “now that I’m married crap?” We were in touch while we’ve both been married.

I don’t know. Maybe I’ll never know. I erased all my contact info for him, deleted all emails, threw out the couple of gifts he ever gave me, and destroyed old photos I took of him (the later two took some time because I had to find them). I was pissed.

Right now I’m a little afraid to reach out to old male friends. I miss some of my old helicopter pals, but I don’t want to go through this again. It’s a lonely, painful, very hurtful feeling to be rejected without explanation so coldly and thoughtlessly. I know I’m wrong to give him so much power. It still hurts. Part of me wants him to suffer. But a bigger part is sad to learn he’s suffering.

It’ll take a few weeks, but soon I know I’ll move into indifference. I deserve friends who aren’t filled with unhappiness and fear, refusing to see friendship for what it is, a gift.

Yup, still angry.


Erin July 22, 2012 at 5:18 pm

Was the response from his wife? I know crazy jealous women who read their husbands’ emails and take matters into their own hands. Like telling a friend that he no longer wants to hear from them. Just a thought.
Erin recently posted: Let the Fun Begin!

Twitter: Heligirl
July 22, 2012 at 5:58 pm

Thanks Erin. I did think of that, but in the email he named my husband, which I’d not done in my email. That’s something he would know. Unless he talked at length about me and mentioned my husband’s name, I don’t know if she’d know that. But not really knowing her, you never can tell.

Liz F July 23, 2012 at 9:53 am

I would go with the “it’s a response from the jealous wife” angle. Still, it’s upsetting 🙁 I guess that’s what your FB post was from earlier in the week?

You know the saying…: “Friends are there for you when someone stabs you in the back; best friends dance around you gleefully while singing ‘Somebody’s gonna get it!'” 😉

kt moxie July 23, 2012 at 2:05 pm

I would really not worry yourself too much on this one. I think we have a very jealous wife here. I’m going to “fill in the blanks” here. (all guesses, but I’ve know this exact thing to happen) ….I bet he mentioned to his wife that he had a nice talk with you, an old friend, on the phone, and then you both exchanged contact info. And then you sent pictures… and then SHE FREAKED OUT. “WHO? WHAT WOMAN? AN ‘OLD FRIEND’??? WHY DID SHE WANT TO TALK TO YOU??? A fight ensued… and she said that he was not to speak with you ever, ever again. And no excuse he came up with about “just friends” was going to cut it. So, he sent you the short email. Yep, he sided with his wife over you. I don’t think we can think *too* badly of the guy for that. Probably was trying to make the best out of a bad situation. I could be wrong, and the guy has just gone crazy, but I think the jealous wife angle is much more likely!

Twitter: TheJenLars
July 23, 2012 at 3:44 pm

I have to concur with the previous ladies, and think this is more about the wife than anything. Something happened that you’re not privy to after that phone call. I’d bet she was standing over him while he wrote that email.

Susan July 24, 2012 at 6:06 pm

I agree. And still, it will take a while for you to process it all. Perhaps in a few years, their marriage will fall apart, and he’ll tell you what really happened. For now, consider yourself better off without such craziness in your life.
Susan recently posted: Vacation Interlude

Twitter: rachael1013
August 6, 2012 at 9:14 pm

In the grand scheme of things, of course this won’t affect your life that much. But I am a person who gets VERY attached to people and I have a lot of trouble leaving anyone behind, but even more trouble being left behind or dismissed as a friend or a part of someone’s life. This would have really, really messed me up. I’m sorry it happened, and I hope that you can find some peace with it.
Rachael recently posted: Ball of Confusion

Previous post:

Next post: