Jump to content

Breaking It Off With A Fundie Friend...


LosingMyReligion
 Share

Recommended Posts

My best friend and I have known each other for the last 10 years. We met while we were in highschool and we hit it off right away. The reason we did was because, at the time, we were both funDUHmentalist Christians. I was heavily involved in youth groups, evangelism, and Sunday school. He was as well. Furthermore, we were both nerds. We loved Star Wars, computers, comic books, and all that other nerdy stuff. So, basically, our entire friendship revolved around church, nerdy things, and talking about how good God was and etc.

 

Flashforward ten years: Not only am I an atheist but also an out gay man(as a fundie I was virulently homophobic, like Ted Haggard), going on dates and everything. My "Best" friend has no idea about any of this. In the past few years we've grown apart tremendously. We used to be so compatible, but now we are diametric opposites.

A few years ago I was already in the deconversion phase. I was growing disillusioned with the whole god thing(which led to me beating myself over the head and praying all the time)and our friendship. My best friend is 29-years-old but you would swear by the way he behaves that he's still 12. He still lives with his parents and all he likes to do is goto church and play video games. He makes his living as a temp, so as long as he's working his parents pretty much don't care. Aside from a 100 pound weight gain he is exactly the same as he was 10 years ago. Me on the otherhand I've moved on with my life in so many ways. Infact, a year ago I got a new apartment and I haven't even given him my address and phone number.

 

The reason I'm posting is because yesterday he came to my job. Right now I still work in the same office that we both worked in for five years. I'll be transferring to a new job in two weeks. He got fired from this one coincidentally(for being habitually late and bad hygeine...don't ask)...Anyway, he comes up here on occasion to pop in to see me. I hate talking to him. All he wants to do is talk about computers and highschool(he is obsessed with highschool). Well, the other day I happened to be browsing EXCHRISTIAN.net, while he was there...Well, he saw me surfing the page(he has this obnoxious habit of standing over me and reading what I browse) and says, "Oh my god do you type there?" I just froze. Really, I did not know what to say because I haven't told anyone close to me that I'm an atheist. I'm not a really confrontational person, and the last thing I want is a religious debate so I replied with, "Uhm, well I just go on and look at what they're typing about..."

 

So I went on browsing like nothing special had happened...

 

After several seconds he says, "Hey, I never told you but my friend's aunt had a real miracle that happened in her life recently!"

 

I rolled my eyes and tried to sound enthused, "Oh really?" I said.

 

"Yeah, she has stage four cancer and she went to the dr. the next day and there was nothing wrong with her!"

 

So I'm trying not to puke, right? So I make a fake smile and say, "Oh...that's really great."

 

Afterwards there was dead silence. I know he only told me the story because he suspects I've deconverted.

 

My question is, is this friendship worth salvaging? Honestly, he's a nice guy, but I don't even like him anymore. We have NOTHING in common...And it would be really awkward to say to a fundie, "Oh by the way...I'm gay and an athiest!" At present when I meet knew people I let them know upfront who I am and what I'm about. But it is weird with someone you've known for a good portion of your life.

 

I'm sorta confused. But I think this friendship is over. What should I do?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Should you "salvage" the friendship?

 

In your words, "but I don't even like him anymore. We have NOTHING in common..."

 

I love the part in Amadeus where Salieri is granting everyone absolution. They all think he is mad... well, he is... but he had a most excellent point. We're not superstars; we're all mediocre. We all have limitations but if we accept absolution we can move on.

 

I know you'd love to have enough love and kindness in your heart to go on being friends with him but you are better off admitting your limitations and moving on.

 

Salieri: "Mediocrities everywhere... I absolve you... I absolve you... I absolve you... I absolve you... I absolve you all."

 

Do yourself a favour and stop feeling guilty about not liking him anymore. People change and drift apart. Unless he keeps pursuing you then there is nothing for you to do. Just keep moving forward in your life and every now and then when you see him, buy him a coffee.

 

Go in peace. I absolve you... I absolve you... I absolve you... I absolve you... :dumbo:

 

Mongo

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My question is, is this friendship worth salvaging?

 

I'm not sure you could even if you wanted to.

 

His first response to seeing a site you visit was to try to evangelize you. How would he react to a confession of atheism? How would he react to a confession of homosexuality? Would he be frightened that you would make a pass at him [all gay guys are looking for a a morbidly obese 29-year-old temp-worker who lives with his parents, plays video games, and has bad personal hygiene, right?]?

 

You moved over a year ago and he doesn't have your address or telephone number and it sounds like you only see him at a job you won't have for much longer. On top of all this, you say you don't even like him any more.

 

I say, let nature take its course. If he contacts you, be nice but non-commital--e.g. Friday night dinner. . . I'm sorry I already have plans and things are pretty hectic for me right now. Maybe next time, k.

 

Good luck.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Your "friend" is frozen in time. Obviously nothing has happened in his life....and it's pretty interesting how religion encourages a lot of "nothing" like that (it really does). You said it...he's a 12 year old in a man's body.

 

You've grown up, he's in stasis. Upon looking over your shoulder, he judged you. Pay attention. A videogamewhorelivingwithmommyanddaddy judged you. He's not qualified to judge you, or anyone else who has joined the real world.

 

What is there for you to be friends with?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well, I wouldn't call this guy a "best friend" even if I had no other friends, which I don't. He doesn't act like a friend. The only "friend-like" thing he does is claim an intimacy you don't want--the right to stand over you as you surf the internet, asking very personal questions. If he wanted to stay best friends he should have thought of this long ago and made some changes to accommodate the friendship. Actually, he could still do it, given that you seem open to it. Obviously, the relationship could not survive your coming out as either gay OR atheist, let alone both of them at the same time.

 

So if you want to be rid of him in a polite way, just inform him that you're a gay atheist--meaning gay as in happily enjoying life, and also as in homosexual. The problem with that approach is that he won't keep the info to himself and I understand that might seriously damage other relationships for you. So long answer short, let him hang around or not, whatever he decides--suggest a hot soapy bath and clean clothes if need be. I wouldn't buy him a coffee or do anything for him.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hey LosingMR,

 

I have agonized over the years over old friends from my True Believin' Days who simply stopped being close friends because I came outta the closet and stopped being a Christian. It is very heart-renching, remembering the good times, the laughs, long distance phone conversations, and then - nothing. Over and done.

 

Some of these friendships ended w/ bitter words, accusations of lack of faith in the Lord, condemnation of my "chosen lifestyle" and all of that crap.

 

Since then, many times I have felt pretty abandoned by them.

 

What can I expect? In their eyes, I'm an apostate homo. And in my eyes, they are deeply involved in a death cult that I feel lucky to have escaped from before it screwed up my life any more than it already had.

 

Doubly difficult is that they were friends in my youth. Emotions run very high when you're in your late teens, early 20s. Not sure why, but the intensity of those relationships have stayed w/ me.

 

Sometimes I get really moody, even shed a coupla tears, with my feelings of loss. I've moved on, but true affection for others never really goes away. There is no way to stop feeling, unless you're truly heartless.

 

I'm not sure of the level of intensity of your friendship w/ this dude - doesn't sound very deep, but I just wanted to write that I can relate, and I know how hard it is to leave relationships be as they are, even if that means they are not what they once were.

 

Take care, man.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

People change and drift apart. Unless he keeps pursuing you then there is nothing for you to do. Just keep moving forward in your life and every now and then when you see him, buy him a coffee.

I would have said something like that, but it looks like Mongo already did.

 

It's perfectly natural to grow apart from some people and make new friends and grow closer to others, whether changes in attitude about religion or matters of sexuality are involved or not.

 

I'd just let nature take its course, remain drifted apart, and focus on friendships with people you have a common bond or connection with now.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

remember folks...if he's not your friend, do let him be someone elses friend..

 

hello friends..

 

Dude,

 

Why are you even on this forum? The description of this explicitly states that it is for ex-Christians. Go to the lion's den or something.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

He reminds me of this character we read about in writing class recently, except he doesn't sound as funny -- Ignatius J. Reilly. (If you've never read A Confederacy of Dunces, Ignatius lives with his mother and basically acts like a kid in an adult body, and is a fundy to boot).

 

Anyway, it sounds to me like your friend has not grown (except physically) in 10 years, but you have. Friends change over time. People come in and out of our lives for different reasons. I would just let those changes happen naturally.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You don't have to hate him.

 

But you don't have to be friends with him anymore.

 

You had some great times together, when the time was right. You've moved on; he hasn't. You don't have to despise him, but if you don't like him, you just don't. That happens.

 

You're not obligated to be friends now just because you were at one time.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My best friend of 20 years is moving away and I wish I could stop him...I can't. He has to move. It's the way it is. I'll be sad but I'll survive.

 

I've also had friends like this where we simply drifted apart (sometimes it had to be "encouraged" like it sounds like you might have to). It happens.

 

But there's no really friendship now is there? There's just "old times."

 

I hate to say it but Shaman is actually right. He can be someone else's friend. Let him go. He's not your responsibility. But you're a good person for considering his feelings nonetheless.

 

mwc

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You asked if this friendship is worth salvaging, and I have to wonder, "what friendship?" You obviously don't like spending time with him, and he just plain rubs you the wrong way, and there's nothing wrong with that. People change, and therefore relationships must change as well. Do you want to spend your time around someone who's completely opposed to your beliefs and your lifestyle? Someone with whom you have little in common anymore? Someone whom you have no respect for, or even hate being around? I wouldn't.

 

There's two ways you can break this off:

 

1) Let the relationship run its natural course by avoiding contact with him. Hopefully it won't be long before your relationship just fades away. When you make contact, you can try to passive-aggressively brush him off by making excuses for the lack of contact. On the other hand, if he can't take a hint, and keeps trying to call you or keeps acting like you guys are best buds, then you'll need to take more drastic action. Also, this strategy can be stressful over the long term.

 

2) Tell him how things are, to a certain extent anyways. Say that you've changed a lot and that you don't really share the same interests or values. Say that you've grown apart, and you don't really see what benefit your next-to-non-existent relationship has for either of you, and you wonder if it's worth working on anymore. You don't need to get specific about your sexual orientation or (lack of) religion unless he asks, and if he does, you can be as vague as you please to avoid any messy arguments, if that's what you want. You may even want to give him some gentle criticism, e.g. "I think you have some maturing to do." Remember, rule#1 for confrontation: use "I/me" statements whenever possible. So don't say "you're always preaching at me," say "I feel degraded (or whatever) when you try to sell me your beliefs."

 

3) Tell him you're gay and want to screw his brains out. This could potentially backfire if he also turns out to be a closet homosexual. (I'm kidding, don't do this).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hmmm, I think it's always good to keep friendships if you can, but like if you said you don't like him anymore, maybe it's good to just be honest with him and stuff. But don't do what an EX-friend of mine did, calling me insulting and self-centred. That was a prime example of how not to end a friendship.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

In all honesty, it sounds as if the friendship has already pretty much fizzled out. I suspect that you don't want to hurt his feelings or have a conflict with him at this point and prefer to just move on. (he hasn't had your address or number in the past year)

 

I think many longtime friendships go through this even when it doesn't have to do with religious reasons/differences. Many people just plain change in so many ways that the reasons the friendship started and thrived are no longer there. It's often sad when this happens and usually someone or the other feels a little guilty about it even though they really don't wish to persue the friendship any longer. (and there is no reason to..)

 

You certainly don't owe the guy any explanations...but on the other hand, he may always wonder why you don't contact him anymore. I'm sure he feels some sort of change with you even if he doesn't know WHY.

 

It may help you to put some type of closure on this friendship...or at least let him know that you have gone through some changes and see how he reacts to that. This must bother you to some extent or you woudn't have brought it up here. I would look inward and make a decision to either tell him the truth or just move on the rest of the way. You are taking steps to move on from the friendship already...but it feels to me like something is stopping you from being able to do that completely.

 

Just my opinion... :shrug:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Several years ago we were very tight, practically joined at the hip. We were so close that people even called us by each other's names(accidentally most of the time). We went to the movies every weekend; hung out at comic book stores; worked on the same summer jobs; and did everything else together. And we were ALWAYS in church together. My first few years out of highschool he was a very intricate part of my life. But, most of the time it was a mercy friendship. He was always a computer whiz, and thanks to him I am too. That is, initially, how we befriended one another.

He also has attention deficit disorder and takes medication for it. Moreover, he has alot of insecurities and inadequecies and during the latter part of our relationship, I spent more time being his therapist rather than his friend. Once, a girl gave him a kiss and he totally spazzed out. I found him in a room sobbing because he thought he had committed a grave sin...So I had to sit there consoling him until he stopped crying. Yet, whenever I was having a difficult time I had to go it alone. He was completely inept at offering me ANY kind of advice that could have helped me aside from the obligatory, "Just pray about it..." Whenever he wasn't crying on my shoulder about something he was either talking about anime on TOONAMI or what happened at church. At onepoint he was, literally, calling my house seven or eight times a day just to talk about nothing...

 

During the last few years of our friendship he was sorta like an energy vampire. I could be having the best day of my life, but after talking to him I'd walk away feeling depressed. That is when I officially began to sorta resent him. I was moving on with my life and trying to become an adult whereas he is still EXACTLY the same.

 

I think it has been more guilt than anything else. I feel sorry for him because I am his only friend outside of his family. His younger brothers have all gone off and gotten married and he's still pretty much stuck in neutral. I feel like I've totally outgrown him and we can't be friends anymore.

I think I've been his friend mainly out of pity, and I don't want to have to pity someone...Furthermore, I sometimes get stuck on when our friendship was new.

 

So I guess when I start my new job I'll just let him go...just let the friendship fade out, because it really isn't going to work.

 

Thanks everybody.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Good luck, LMR. I've been in the same place you are and yeah, it's really best you just let him fade to the background. And absolve yourself of the guilt. We can only do so much for people. His lifestyle is not your problem.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think you've made a right choice. You clearly have not been getting anything out of the relationship despite everything you've put into it. He owes you, not vice versa. You shouldn't feel obliged to befriend every lonely maladjusted person. Sticking with him thus far seems to have done nothing for him, and continuing to stick with him will probably be the same.

 

Good luck!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Guidelines.