When A Friendship Fizzles Out

j0407087 I have come to a conclusion in the past 16 years.  Friendships are awkward and clumsy when the person you are married to has the title of “pastor”.  It’s not him that gets in the way; It’s his title, position, and authority.

Rob and I are a package deal.  His “pastor-ness” is not expendable.  Neither am I able to remove myself from the position of “pastor’s wife” even if and when I want to (which I don’t).   It’s our calling, our passion, our giftedness.  We each serve a different role in this calling, but we are a team.

I am not sure what fizzles out my friendships.  Is it a fear of being found out?  Being asked to serve?  Not being “up” on theology?  Do I just look funny? 

It is heartbreaking to me when I feel a friendship “fizzling out” for one of these, or some unknown reason. 

What do you do when a friendship  “Fizzles Out”?

14 thoughts on “When A Friendship Fizzles Out

  1. Jen Latzke says:

    I can relate, although I’m not a wife, let alone a Pastor’s wife. For me, it’s friends so longer seem to have time for me when they have families. Friendship takes work by both people involved in the friendship. I treasure the times I can get together with a friend who’s a Mom, even if it’s just for an hour for coffee! At least they are making an effort to make me a priority (I know I can’t be at the top of the list). Sure, sometimes it will be 100%/50%. That’s what friends are for. I find that it fizzles out when it’s always 100% given by one person and very little effort made by the other person. It’s sad when they fizzle out, but a true friend will always be a friend, even if they aren’t putting in as much effort as you would have hoped. I’m not afraid of being your friend! I have quite a few friends who are married to Pastors! I would never not be your friend just because you live a busy life as a Pastor’s wife. I do miss seeing you on Tuesday mornings! I can’t even view the Further Up/FI blog b/c it says I need a password. It’s never done that for me before. I’m thankful for your friendship and I miss you!

  2. Cyndi says:

    Marc has been speaking on “seasons” this month. After many years I have come to the conclusion that some people are in your life for a reason and a season. It seems wierd to say that but in my experience some people come into your life for different reasons, at different times. Many of the friends we knew when we were in high school I have not a clue where they are now. Many of the friends we met while in the military have come and gone. Even girlfriends that were like a “sister” to me changed over the years as our life went in different directions. Now that we have left our home church many of the women I stood beside in ministry will become a thing of the past (sad but true). Sometimes you provide a link for someone and sometime they are the link for you. Then there are the friends you can count on through thick and thin. A true friend is there nomatter what (even when your husband is the pastor, if not maybe they never were the “friend” you thought they were).

  3. I think friendships fizzle out when they were based on common interests. I could be completely wrong (and I wouldn’t be surprised) but it seems like my relationships that have stayed are based on pure love….we all change and grow and not at the same time. But just like in a marriage we may not be all into the same ‘stuff’ anymore but we love our spouse just the same. Because we choose to.

  4. caryn says:

    I have some friends that time does not change things – no matter how long it has been we pick right up where we left off – it is great! Then I have others that have fizzled because there was an expectation of cards, letters, phone calls and time spent that was not always easy to achieve. And sometimes I have a freind and our husbands are not really friends so getting the family together does not really work. I am thankful we are friends – our husbands too and our kids seem to like each other also — wow a package deal!!

  5. Anthony Hunt says:

    I used to be good keeping up with friends, but two things happened. One, I moved to a new place, and two, I now have 4 kids.
    So, I have some friends in my “new” home, but no new BFF because I don’t have the time to nurture those relationships (and I haven’t kept up with my other BFF); I’m nurturing my kids instead.
    We live in a nice neighborhood, but most don’t have kids our kids ages. I think we could have many more friends if we lived somewhere else in the same region, but I can’t imagine anyone buying our “lead poisoned house” in the current market.
    Finally, the inertia to transport people fairly long distances beyond what one might otherwise bike is great (and expensive).

  6. Heather Merrill says:

    Interesting question! I think that this idea of friendship fizzling out is true in everyones life. I won’t pretend to be an expert, but i agree with an early reader when she said there is great purpose in “Seasons”. God uses his people in meeting the needs of others as well as bringing fellowship to our lives, as well iron sharpening iron, and the list could go on. But with each of these truths a season can be attached. Our life on this earth is a season and i have a feeling our relationships do also. Side note: I find that if your husband is your best friend, the girlfriend season is shorter!!! Hmmmm any thoughts?

  7. Dan Clark says:

    agree that friendships based on love are the ones that last. Cherish your friendship with your spouse. When I lost my wife, I lost my best friend and there is no substitute for that…So cherish the friendships you have with those you love as they are hard to replace.

  8. Brenda Marquis says:

    If a person cools to your friendship due to your role as a minister’s wife and mom you just need to pray for them and concentrate on the loving relationships you have. My BFF pastors wife used to tell me all the time she loved how open and honest she could be with me as a Christian sister not in her congregation. Her friends from church seemed to always expect perfection and as we all strive for holiness none of us have arrived. We live in different parts of the country now and don’t communicate as often, but the love will always be strong between us.

  9. Amy says:

    I am really discovering that friendships seem to float in and out of my life right now. It seems people are there for different stages, but rarely there through everything. I guess I am trying to learn to not take that personally and understand that people are there for a reason and then maybe those reasons aren’t there anymore. It is tough to see them come and go like that, but it is good to have a few true blue friends that are there all the time.

  10. Sherry Ingle says:

    When my husband was a worship leader in a church I discovered that sometimes people wanted to be my friend because they thought that through me they could influence him. Those friendships fizzled due to being built on “sinking sand”. It hurt but they needed to go.

  11. Amy Storms says:

    I can relate, Michelle. Sometimes I wonder how close a pastor’s wife can really be to church members, as awful as that sounds. And it isn’t about “authenticity”–you can still be completely yourself, and yet, still have to maintain a certain level of distance, simply because you can’t share your opinions/feelings on every single church member, etc. Plus, church members often distance themselves from us, too, although I don’t know why, because I’ve never been on their end. 🙂 I’m a pastor’s wife and a pastor’s kid, too, so I’ve battled this friendship thing (and watched my mom battle it) for years. It is definitely a struggle. 🙁
    Well, I said nothing but rambling and I certainly didn’t encourage you one bit! 🙂 I just said, “Yep, it’s hard to be you…” Ha!
    Always the encourager :),

  12. Rindy Walton says:

    Unfortunately, moving has made me face this in a huge way! At 1st I took it all very personally (ok, still do a bit), then decided to attempt to re-connect. Now have come to the realization that it won’t happen.
    Some friends are for a season, some for a lifetime…I just have to remember that.

  13. charity says:

    hi. I’m not sure how to answer your question. I’m newer to the pw scene. My hubby was a childrens pastor at the church where I grew up so although I was a pw there it was different because of the childhood connections. However now I’m trying to figure out the balances and DNa of these new friendships. How much do you share. Who’s being genuine. Etc. Anyways. I’m sorry I dont know.
    Ps. We will be in your area for a conference next week I’m really excited for a night away and the opportunity for a recharge. Stephen has been there once before but itll be my first time at gcc.

  14. Julie Chaisson says:

    What I do once I get over the shock of a lost friendship is thank God because obviously it wasn’t a real relationship. I tend to be shocked and hurt because I try to be real. Friendships are relationships and relationships require work, forgiveness and grace. It is a two way relationship. For some reason we are living in an era where we are just added to a list of facebook friends or text message addresses and the era of friends through thick and thin seems to be gone. Be my friend but don’t disagree with me. Be my friend but don’t ask me anything. Be my friend but don’t go beyond the surface. Be my friend but don’t get so close to God that you make me feel uncomfortable. Can you tell I’ve been burned myself! Don’t change Michelle you are an awesome wife and an awesome Mom and thank God that He removes people from our lives that are not the best for us. What do I do when a friendship fizzles out – Thank God.

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