Ask Audrey: 'My friends have ditched me for their husbands and babies'

Audrey Griffen
Contributor

Audrey is a mother to a 15-year-old and a newborn baby. She probably should have taken into account who she was marrying (Osher Günsberg) much earlier, as she’s far more comfortable behind the camera as a freelance hair and makeup artist, than a TV host’s wife who doesn’t know how to work her angles for any on-camera duties.

Audrey loves to cook, decorate cakes, gardening, DIY and is very handy with a flat-pack, few of which you would pay her to do for you, but she’d happily give it a shot for free.

Audrey Griffen. Photo: Supplied

Hi Audrey, 

I’m 31 and I’m at the stage in my life when all my friends are either getting married, buying a house or having babies - which is great for them, but I feel like I’m being left behind. 

I’ve been single for the past two years after splitting from my long-term partner and while my friends were all super supportive at first - coming out dancing with me and meeting up for weeknight cocktails - their lives have now moved on and it’s like they’ve forgotten about me. 

Five months ago my best friend had a baby and apart from the initial meet-up in her house after she got back from the hospital, I haven’t heard anything from her since. 

I understand she’s busy now but does that mean she neglects everyone else who was in her life before she became a mum?

Likewise, my Uni mate is getting married in four months and all she talks about when we meet up is problems she’s having with vendors, the drama of finding bridesmaids dresses and how hard it is to find a florist who gets her ‘vision’. 

I want to be happy for them but I can’t help but be jealous of their picture perfect lives and it makes me think I’m going to be single forever. 

How do I get out of this slump?

One woman thinks she's going to be single forever. Photo: Getty Images

 Dear Green-Eyed Friend,

We’ve all been there, watching our friends and family, and the good folks on social media, living their best lives and doing the things that we want for ourselves. Whether it be the European holidays, getting married, starting families or the “perfect” relationship, there are lots of aspects of other people’s lives that we can be envious of. And if we’re not careful, that jealousy easily turns into resentment.

As I read your letter, I feel like you’re sitting in a place of resentment, which surely mustn’t feel great? The best way to get yourself out of there is to give your shoulders a good shake (metaphorically), a bit of a slap to the back of the head (metaphorically), get a grip, and change the way you look at the relationships and lives that you find yourself envious of.

Friendships are a two-way street, they’re meant to be for both parties’ mutual benefit. It seems like you expect a great deal of effort and attention from your friends. Remember that they were there for you when you really needed their support after your breakup. It’s unreasonable to expect your friends to pause their lives and their happiness to suit where you are in your own life. 

If you’re finding that your friend with a new baby isn’t making as much contact with you as she used to, have you been reaching out to her? Keep in mind that having a child can be all-consuming, babies are totally reliant on their parents for survival. She may be having a tough time getting out of pyjamas most days, let alone keeping in touch with all of her friends. I’ve been on both sides of this situation, as a new mum with Georgia at the ripe old age of 23, watching as my friends were living it up and doing what your average 23 year old does.

There were many occasions where I would go a few weeks without chatting to them or having the chance to catch up. I can’t tell you the number of text messages that went unanswered for days, or invitations to meet up that I had to decline, but it didn’t stop me from being their friend.  By the time these same girlfriends were having their kids a decade or so later, I had a teenage daughter and more free time, and I was the one living it up, (albeit with less ability to back up after a night of partying), and it’s now my texts that go unanswered for days.

As for the friend that is on the downhill run towards her wedding, put yourself in her shoes, wouldn’t you want to be able to vent to your friends? Just remember that you are earning brownie points for when it’s your turn to be complaining about vendors who don’t get your vision.

Basically, what I’m trying to say is that your turn will come - to find a partner, to get married and to start a family. In the meantime, try to remind yourself whenever you feel the green-eyed monster coming out to play, that to find happiness for yourself, you need to be able to feel happiness for others. And your friends should be up at the top of the list of people that you are happy for.

All the best! 

Audrey x

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