My friend just got a divorce, and now she’s acting like a maniac. We met at a music class years ago when our kids were babies, and hit it off right away. But since she got a divorce six months ago, it’s like I don’t even know her anymore. I always thought she was a great mom and shared a similar outlook on life, but now all she can talk about are the inappropriate guys she’s hooking up with or the band she just went to see. She always used to talk about what a party girl she was before she had kids, and how much having children calmed her, but now I think the party girl is back, and I don’t like what the party girl is up to. Do I have to be friends with her any more?
No. You don’t have to be friends with anyone. If you’re not that attached to her and the only thing you had in common was your kids, then forget about it. Have you ever been super-tight friends with a co-worker and then stopped working together? That first post-departure get-together can be painfully boring. They’re all like, “Frank did the funniest thing with the copier again the other day…” and you’re like, “Yeah, I quit that job in part because Frank kept photocopying his man-boobs.”
But before you cut her off, seriously think about what she’s going through right now. From the sound of it, she’s not too psyched about being alone and is probably trying to fill all that empty space with as much noise and as many men as possible. This is kind of sad, right? Maybe you can talk to her–in a non-judgey, non-critical way–and see if you can get her to open up about how she’s really feeling. This is when you dig in for the less-fun part of friendship, which is the part where you stick by someone when they’re going through a rough time.
But if you stick it out for a little while longer and she’s still dancing on bars at 3 am while you’re up late getting ready to teach your Sunday School class, just forget about it. Friendships come and go; if you can’t muster up the energy to maintain it, it’s better to just move on.