Friends and Friendships

by Sabella Ogbobode Abidde

“Some people come into our lives and quickly go. Some people move our soul to dance. They awaken us to new understanding with the passing whisper of their wisdom. Some people make the sky more beautiful to gaze upon. They stay in our lives for awhile, leave footprints on our hearts, and we are never, ever the same again” (Anon). The aforesaid is basically the story of my friends and me. I am not taking about casual friends. I speak of friends I have had for decades; friends who are not just friends, but blood-friends. And I have about half-a dozen of such men and women in my life — they “move my soul,” interlace my world, sweeten my being and positively impact my life.

Some people find it easy to love and be loved; but for others, love and loving is a task, an unpleasant chore. If loving is cumbersome for you, friendship too might not come easy. Trust, benevolence, forgiveness and honesty are some of the ingredients necessary for love and friendship to blossom. More so in the beginning, none of these imperatives will come easy. So, you work at it. You work at it some more. You learn. You grow. You adjust. However, there are times when you meet someone and everything clicks, everything falls into place as though you’ve been lovers or friends for eternity. In such instances, you thank the Lord for being kind to you. At other times, no matter how much you try, there will always be awkwardness to your friendship or to your relationship.

Some types of friendships are knotty. For instance, how do you tackle a situation where you are best of friends with a woman who is happily married, but you are not friends with her husband? This is a woman you’ve know for ages (long before she met and married her husband). She is your chess and pool partner; she is the one you’ve always enjoyed talking international political economy and military strategies with. With her you can talk about food and wine and Victorian era costumes. In all the years you’ve known her you’ve never kissed her, seen her naked or talked about sex. And in fact, sex never crosses your mind. And as far as you can tell, she doesn’t think of you in sexual terms. It’s all about genuine nonsexual friendship. But her husband doesn’t see it that way.

Should an unmarried man be best friend with a married woman? Put another way: should an unmarried man befriend a married woman if the husband is completely uncomfortable with the situation? In this case, since the friendship predates the marriage, what should be the logical course of action on both sides? But really, why abandon a friendship that has lasted decades simply because of a marriage? And by the way: why is it hard for others to understand and or accept the fact that one can befriend the opposite sex without harboring sexual feeling (and even if the feeling was there, to totally suppress or expel it?)

I recently encountered a bizarre situation (in two households): the husbands get along fine and so does the five children from both households. Somehow, the wives can’t seem to get along. Every so often the husbands and the kids will go to the park, the museum, dinner or other social activities without the wives. Why is this so? Both women married the wrong man. Wife A should have married Wife B’s husband and vice versa. But somehow, the issue of ethnicity came into play leading to both women marrying the “wrong” person. Today, it is too late to make the switch. Or, is it?

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1 comment

Shanky October 20, 2006 - 2:38 pm

This article is excellent as it brings the naked truth about issues. Sabella…………ou are a great writer


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