I want to know if I should repair a friendship or leave it.
I have a friend, I'll call him Arctic, and he came into my life about a year ago. We quickly became best friends and did basically everything together. We both had extremely similar backgrounds except for some preferences in music. It was good. Then I made the mistake of introducing him to another friend. I'll call that one Timber.
Timber and I also used to be good friends, but a large part of that was I looked up to him as a spiritual mentor. I went on a church mission for two years and then when I came back he told me he had left the faith. We kept the friendship and hung out a lot. Even though I was emotionally devastated that he was no longer the same person I used to look up to. In fact, before I introduced them, Arctic used to help me a ton getting over that depression.
The problems started shortly after introducing Arctic and Timber. At first the three of us became close together, but then slowly I was becoming excluded from everything. I thought they just we're hanging out a lot. I became college roommates with Arctic and noticed changing behaviors. He would skip work (a Job I got for him) stay out and up to extreme hours, and wasn't dependable. This made a lot of tension between us. It took nine months and me accidentally discovering gay porn of them that I discovered the reason they were pushing me away. During that time I was trying to get my friends back and hang out, have fun, but I suppose I pushed more than got close. I was often upset at Arctic, who used to be so close, for spending so little time with me, and skipping church and work all the time. After I discovered why (my church is against gay relationships. I apologize to those who think differently, I have nothing against gay people, but am very religious. All our families were from the same church) I was devastated and felt betrayed again by both of them. They tried to be nice, and so did I, but the rift was getting bigger and bigger. I revealed their relationship to their families out of my pain and wish I hadn't. I essentially broke trust after feeling my trust was shattered, after feeling pushed away for so long. I should not have, but I was hurt and lashed out. Up until then, I did not see how much Arctic was trying, but now they both have written me off. Lots of drama roller coaster of both sides being at fault, trying to make up. Arctic caught in the middle most of the time torn between relationships. Me with some trust related PTSD caused by what happened with Timber and depression and them with lots of lies and excuses about why it was okay for them and why they couldn't trust me when they first wanted to date. I feel like if they told me I could have trusted them and let it be instead of how this all blew up.
What I wanted so badly this whole time was to have my good friend Arctic back. I believe Timber will never forgive me, nor should I be around him because of who he is now and the PTSD I got from him when he left the faith and emotionally devastated me, but I wanted to know if it was a good idea to try and make friends with Arctic again, to give up for a while and try later, or to write him off? I suppose I feel badly and at the least don't want our last words to each other to be so full of hate.
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Hi, Fellow Furry,
Thanks for your letter. A quick question, if you don't mind: you say you are very religious and your church disapproves of gay people. Do you feel you can accept Arctic in your life even though he is gay? And what if this meant you would have problems with your church because they would not agree with your accepting him?
This will help with my reply.
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My church is the kind of "hate the sin love the sinner" church, so for me I want my friend to stop, especially with Timber, but I can accept Arctic for who he is. I think the church would accept him too as long as he is willing.
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Hello again, and thanks for answering that question. (Quick note: you are misusing “PTSD.” Post-traumatic Stress Disorder comes about when you have suffered grievous physical harm or threat of physical harm, such as being a combat soldier or surviving a tsunami. Having difficulty with a friendship doesn’t qualify.)
I hear a lot in your letter about what you miss about your friendship with Arctic and Timber, but I don’t really hear anything about what you contributed to it. And, while you acknowledge that your outing of them to family was wrong, the fact that you did so is very disturbing and is a much deeper betrayal than anything Arctic or Timber did or are perceived to have done to you. Finally, although you say you can accept them for being gay, your church mindset of “hate the sin, love the sinner” means you will never fully accept them for who they are. Just by saying “hate the sin” means you cannot accept gay people and consider being gay to be a moral failing, which it is not. Being gay is not the same as committing a sin, such as murder or stealing. It is simply a state of being, and until you can accept that fully you will never be able to have a healthy relationship with anyone who is a homosexual.
I’m actually impressed by Arctic and Timber for putting forth the effort for so long to be your friend. A real friend would be supportive and not so judgmental. For example, when Arctic was having those behavior problems it was likely because he was struggling tremendously with his sexuality and perhaps also your friendship difficulties. Instead of trying to find out the cause of his missing work etc., it sounds as if you just got angry at him for being unreliable. Arctic needed your support at that time, not your anger.
Until you can learn to be a better friend and to accept homosexuals for who they are and not consider them to be innately sinful, your desire to be friends with Arctic and Timber is contraindicated.
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