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Posted: 12/27/2003 5:47:31 PM EDT
This season got me to thinking about the whys of families and friends.  One thing that got me thinking about this was a long conversation with a 31 year old friend of mine who has a.... let's say "strained" relationship with his father.  This and my trip to see less than appreciative family and friends got me to wondering.


Let's look at friends first.
Why do we stay friends with people we rarely, if ever, see.  Do we really still have anything in commong with the people we went to highschool with 10+ years ago?  If not, why do we "keep in touch"?  And what't the point in going out of our way to see them once a year, maybe less?  At what point do you just realize that all you ever do when you see them is sit around and have the "remember-whens", and compare notes on how different from one another you've become?

And as for family....
How far do you let family push you before you write them off?  Do they get more latitude than friends?  If so, why?  Why is being related by blood or marriage better than being a friend?  You chose the friends, the family are forced on you.  Do they have to physically abuse you to get written off?  Mentally abuse you?  Screw you in a business deal?  It strikes me that most of the people I know with the strongest ties to their family, get fucked by them worse and more often than those with weak ties.  Why are people so much more loyal to people that fuck them even more?
Link Posted: 12/27/2003 5:51:20 PM EDT
Well, your on the short list yourself.

Link Posted: 12/27/2003 6:04:25 PM EDT
"Friends" get 3 strikes, "Family" gets 5.
Then they are Out.
Link Posted: 12/27/2003 6:19:12 PM EDT
"blood is thicker than water"

"you can choose your friends but not you family"

Sometimes reality and life sucks.

Happy new year!
Link Posted: 12/27/2003 6:20:04 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Hannah_Reitsch:
"Friends" get 3 strikes, "Family" gets 5.
Then they are Out.
View Quote

Does that mean there's no "sin" so great so as to lead to one strike you're out?
Link Posted: 12/27/2003 6:25:09 PM EDT
Well, maybe a One Sin to lead to a few years icy silence.
But no, so far I have given them many chances to redeem themselves.
Link Posted: 12/27/2003 6:25:26 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/27/2003 6:26:03 PM EDT by DK-Prof]
I wrote off my brother many years ago - right around the time I realized he was a selfish asshole who didn't care for his(our) parents' well-being at all.  If he were drowning, I wouldn't throw him a life preserver - even if one was nearby.  I might throw in some chum, though, and try to attract some great whites. [;)]

I've got four really good friends in the world that I would trust my life to.  Old high school friend (in Israel), old army buddy (in Denmark), university buddy (California) and my fiancee (Tenneessee).

Whoa - I just realized I've got no really good friends in the same state I live in.  Maybe it's me!  I need to get out more [:D]
Link Posted: 12/27/2003 6:32:45 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/27/2003 6:34:53 PM EDT by einnor1040]
I never see any of my family except my mom ,dad and sister. All the cousins I knew were losers and I quit dealing with them many years ago. Never had any grandparents and all my aunts and uncles are dead.

I left my hometown a week after I graduated highschool in 1980 and haven't seen anybody from there since. I don't miss any of 'em.

The only true friends I have are my wife and my dog. It works for me.
Link Posted: 12/27/2003 6:53:24 PM EDT
Link Posted: 12/27/2003 6:54:05 PM EDT
started writing friends and realtives off as soon as they started tryin got influence me in negative ways, usually this was with their anti gun liberal leanings, or those who told me not to get married, and mor erecently, those who decided it was a bad time of year to travel to my wedding, and are right this minute on the way to my Uncles wedding....  about equal distance, worse road conditions....

then again, maybe I am vindictive, but as far as I am concerned, I will not tell friends or relatives how to live, and I expect the same courtesy, and if I can not do soemthing they ask of me, I will damn well tell them the truth as to why not

ah well, maybe I am just tired lately, but it is the truth
Link Posted: 12/28/2003 8:47:52 AM EDT
Life-long friends are few and far between.  I have two, plus my wife.  The rest of my friendships are temporary but still strong, like army buddies that I become close to for the time we are together, but then lose contact with once we go our separate ways.  "Temporary" friendships like these can still be very rewarding.  
Link Posted: 12/28/2003 9:17:25 AM EDT
i have kind of a warped sense of family. I consider my close freinds my family. Outside of my mom and dad and a few aunts and uncles i don't hang with much of my FAMILY.

I know for a fact my FREINDS will be there is TSHTF for me. Most of my family probobly wouldn't be. I will still support members of my family to the end but i really don't expect the same from them. My freinds i tend to expect a lot more of.

Link Posted: 12/28/2003 9:21:29 AM EDT
I trust no one completely. Except myself. Simple as that. Trust my wife 99% but we all know how women are. I would risk my life for any of my family or friends. I have no delusion that the converse is true. None whatsoever.

Keep my circle of friends and family small. Very small. The best friends I ever had were in the Marines and that is the only thing I miss aobut the military.

Many just have poor self esteem, believing that their own self worth is dependent on how many "friends" they have. I have no self esteem problem.
Link Posted: 12/28/2003 9:30:27 AM EDT
Here is a scenario for you:

Have a buddy of mine that would do anything for you... all around GREAT guy. He married a psycho lying story-telling ball cutter. Now ALL his friends are gone. they chose to sever the ties. His friendship with me is hanging on a thread... All due to his wife. AND WORSE IS THAT HE IS TURNING INTO HER!!!

his mannerisms are mimicking hers and instead of him bringing her up, she brought him down.

Shame.... Damn shame.

There are many times I am willing to give chances... but at what point do you say enough is enough?
Link Posted: 12/28/2003 9:35:41 AM EDT
At what point to you simply write off friends? family?
View Quote

when they cease to be useful to you
Link Posted: 12/28/2003 9:37:10 AM EDT
Now on the flipside, about 10 years ago I moved back to NY (for a month) and decided I was going back to CA. Called up my buddy who was in the Marines at the time and told him I was moving back. He asked who was driving back with me, I told him I was going solo. He said "ahh send me a plane ticket, I'll drive with you"

Sent him a plane ticket, picked him up at JFK about 6:00 in the evening and he said "are you packed?" I told him "yeah why?" he said "lets go!".... NO stop at a restaurant to eat or a place to sleep, he was just ready to go and we were off.

It was Memorial Day weekend and he left his wife and 3 kids at home to do this for me. TELL ME that is not a real friend.
Link Posted: 12/28/2003 9:42:29 AM EDT
I would not even want to associate with anybody
I knew back in high school or earlier, I experienced a lot of racial hatred as a kid
where I went to school.

good friends are hard to find.
Link Posted: 12/28/2003 9:45:56 AM EDT
Family is a tough thing, whether it has to do with time or not getting along.

The funny thing with friends is, the ones that I see the least are the ones I like the best.  

When the manufacturing plant that my dad worked at shut down for two weeks in the summers, we would go on a two week vacation.  The people we would camp near and only see a couple weeks a year, but communicate on the phone and via letters the rest of the time, would go on to be our best friends.
Link Posted: 12/28/2003 10:51:38 PM EDT
when i start bitching about my 'friends' a lot i know it's time to cut em off.  done this a couple times.  

i don't have a very big family but there are things about my father that don't sit well.  i don't make trouble..just accept it the way it is and let it be.  why stir the nest if it won't change anything?

i only have a small group of people that i trust.  probably around 3-4.
Link Posted: 12/29/2003 1:10:08 PM EDT
At one time I believed that I had friends, and family that I would have trusted my life to.
I believed that, because we were tight, we backed each other, and that we counted on each other.
I was wrong. When you are down, and/or when they stand to gain enough, no one can be completely trusted.
I learned the had way, and I won't ever forget.

The only peson that you can almost trust  is the one looking back at you from the mirror.
All others are suspect. Some no doubt can be trusted, most can't. And you would be surprised at the one's that will do you for personal gain.
Link Posted: 12/29/2003 1:16:42 PM EDT
Write off enough people and you'll be alone. Live your life the way you want.
Link Posted: 12/29/2003 1:25:40 PM EDT
Here's my story -

My wifes parents had hurt her SO MANY times, beginning with throwing her out of their house on the day of her graduation from high school, under the pretense that "it was time she be on her own."

Again and again they belittled her, ignored her, and made her life miserable (too many stories to count)

I "wrote them off" as being beyond help.

But she kept praying for them and loving them, tho it was tought to "like" them.

In the last two years (after some 15 years ofm hurt and neglect) they both received Jesus Christ as Savior and the change in them has been amazing.

True healing of the relationship has begun.

My wife taught me the meaning of unconditional love.


Link Posted: 12/29/2003 1:33:48 PM EDT
My sister took 10k from me to buy a car. For awhile, I wrote her off. My brother, the Catholic, told me to forgive and forget. Funny thing, he converted her to Catholism (sp?) and she's since paid me back.
Link Posted: 12/29/2003 2:03:50 PM EDT
I think what is wrong is that you confuse the terms of friends and family.

Your idea of what family members should be like is not all together what they think. Family has to be nurtured from the begining to realize what the word "family" really is supposed to mean.

Most people treat family much like friends. They use them for what they can get and family becomes  just a personal selfish gain. We become the people they turn to when they have screwed all their friends.

Your friends (in true terms it would be people you are associated with) say "make me feel important" and in return I will call you friend (to your face).

Link Posted: 12/29/2003 3:17:21 PM EDT
I guess I’m very fortunate because…

My wife and I trust each other 110% and we have no reservation about it.  Basically we put each other’s needs and wants ahead of our own.  9 years of happy marriage and getting stronger everyday.  

My parents and I have a strong relationship and I would do anything and everything they ask of me… and they would do same for me anyplace, anytime.  Their relationship with my wife is same and they see her as their daughter.

My brother and sister and I get along well and while we have our disagreements about some issues we always know we can depend on each other.

My in-laws and I get along very well.  I have come to see them as my second parents.  I know I can trust them with everything I have and they do trust me with everything they have.  They lived with us for about a year while their new house was being built and I missed them when they left.  We have a bedroom set aside for them so they have a place to call their own when they come to visit (every week).  

My sister in-law and brother in-law are my new little siblings and they come to see me as their older brother.  They come to me with their personal problems that they can’t talk to their parents about and they help me in time of need.

My uncles, cousins and other extended family members are very close.  In my family (and my Asian culture) we were always taught the importance of family.  They are mostly back in the old country but I know they will be there for me.
I don’t have many “close” friends (5 or 6) but they are all like members of my own family.  We have known each other 20 or more years and grew up together.  We don’t necessarily spend a lot of time together but when we are together we talk about everything… good and bad.  These are people I would give my last piece of food in time of need even without being asked.

The way we treat other members of family and friends is something we learn as child and as adults the way we treat others reflects our up-bringing by our parents.  I always treat other people in the same way I would want them to treat me and I expect very little in return.  

I’m a lucky guy.    
Link Posted: 12/29/2003 4:06:27 PM EDT
Friends or family, I'll bail you out ONCE. After that, I'll drop you off on your doorstep (or at the mission) and I don't want to see you again until you get your shit together.

Helping people with their problems is one thing.

Making their problems YOUR problems is just stupid.
Link Posted: 12/29/2003 4:37:50 PM EDT
Originally Posted By tomegunn:
I think what is wrong is that you confuse the terms of friends and family.

Your idea of what family members should be like is not all together what they think. Family has to be nurtured from the begining to realize what the word "family" really is supposed to mean.

Most people treat family much like friends. They use them for what they can get and family becomes  just a personal selfish gain. We become the people they turn to when they have screwed all their friends.

Your friends (in true terms it would be people you are associated with) say "make me feel important" and in return I will call you friend (to your face).

View Quote

You're missing the point.  The question here is why.
Why is family more important than friends?  Why, if all they cause you is headaches and heartache, should you continue to support or even associate with them?  What's the point?  What is the reward to family?
Link Posted: 12/29/2003 4:55:43 PM EDT
They all get the same treatment.

I about ready to cast off my brother and father since they pissing me off so much. Nothing I do is good enough and my father is still trying to control my life at age 32. Anything I do they take credit for. For example, I have lost 50 pounds, but my brother said the day after Christmas, "You see Jason, I told you, you should lose weight and you did! Aren't you glad you listen to me. Same thing about getting the eye surgery; now you don't look so dorky."
Yes, John, it takes a genius to figure out that being fat with four eyes is really unattractive.

I think you should figure out how much trouble a person is worth and how they benefit you and go from there. If someone is nothing but trouble, then bail them no matter who they are. If they help you a lot, then you can put up with crap from them; up to a point.
Link Posted: 12/29/2003 8:04:25 PM EDT
One of the few times I wrote off a friend was with a high school friend I thought would be a lifetime buddy.  We used to go fishing, camping, and hunting, and generally hang out and have a good time.  His older brother was a major drughead, and introduced him to drugs.  I thought "no problem, it doesn't involve me."  Eventually, it became a problem for me.  I never did any illegal drugs and never really cared to, but my friend was also selling drugs, and looked alot like his older brother and sometimes people would mistake him for his brother.  When I was in college I was still living at home, there were people calling my parent's house, looking for him.  He gave them my parent's number!  Last thing I'd want to happen was get them involved in his drug dealing BS.  Another problem with him looking like his older brother was when we'd go to a bar to play darts, shoot pool, or pick up girls.  Some a-hole would come up to us, was really sure he was his brother, and wanted to kick his ass because his older brother screwed the guy over or owed him money.  He was pretty careless regarding who he sold drugs to as well.  At this point, my radar was going off, but still it was "not my problem, he
s still a friend."  I let him know I felt uncomfortable when that kind of stuff happened, because I didnt' feel like getting beaten, shot, or stabbed because of something he or his brother did.  The idea of getting pulled over leaving a bar and having drugs found in my car didn't appeal to me either.  I told him if we're going to hang out, I dont' want the stuff near me.

I stopped hanging around with him, then he comes over saying he's stopped selling drugs and has cut down on the weed, and there shouldn't be any further problems.  The next day I head out to the bar, then find him in the parking lot "sampling" the product with a coule customers, same shit, different day.  I let it go, no big deal.  Then I ask him if he wants to tag along when I was going to the mall.  He tells me he's avoiding that area, because someone there gave him some money to buy some drugs, then the guys he was buying from stuck a gun to his head and took his money.  Again, not another time I'd want him riding with me.

Last straw:  I get a call from him at another high school buddy's house.  They're hainging out, talking about the good old days, and thought about me.  I head over there, and as soon as I entered the door, I'm looking down the barrel of an H&R 12guage.  Another guy there was f'd up really bad, paranoid, and was playing with a shotgun.  My friend was pretty wasted too, but told me the gun wasn't loaded.  When the guy put the shotgun down and left the room, I took the gun and broke open the barrel.  The damn gun was loaded!  Turns out they were dropping acid, and they were all out of their minds.  Right then I said, "that's it, I'm tired of this f*cking bullshit."  I took the shotgun with me left.  A couple days later my friend calls and asks me if I seen his shotgun.  He didn't recall anything that happened that night.  I told him what happened, and how that was the scariest day in my life, and I was tired of this bullshit.  Our friendship has ended.  I told him not to come by or call me again unless he gets his act together.  It's been about 8-9 years, and I've run into him maybe twice, and he's pretty much gone downhill since.  He has to ride a bicycle to work because he was DUI with a big bag of weed sitting on his truck seat.  I have no regrets keeping my distance from him.
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