My dear Jack, if you want to survive in this world you need to know the way of the world, how the world functions. The reason you’re disappointed with what has happened is because you failed to properly evaluate the world. The first lesson you have to learn is to properly discriminate friendship. And there are different types of friendships in this world. (We’ve discussed this before). True friendships are rare. That’s because people are fickle, and people will relate to you only as long as you’re relevant. Didn’t King Solomon tell you a friend is born for adversity? And doesn’t that tell you, you ought to have an adversity test for friendship? You need to ask yourself, if I run into trouble would this person be there for me? You need to ask yourself, if everybody turns against me would this person stand up for me?
Loyalty is a test of true friendship. If you’re wise you’ll watch out for disloyalty markers. You’ll often find them in conversations. Your expectations are disappointed because you’re mistaken about true friendship. If you’re in trouble and your “friend” throws you under the bus, surely you know you have no friend. If the world turns on you and your so-called friend joins the melee, that is no friend! If you’re going through a tough time and your “friend” goes about gossiping about your condition that’s no friend either. If you don’t discriminate these types of friendship, you’ll be deeply hurt in life. And your expectations are out of whack with reality. You’re naïve about life and the way it works.
A true friend keeps your secret. A true friend is there for you when things go bad. A true friend does not join the company of those trying to pull you down. Be careful about one-way friendship. A one-way friendship is one that functions only because you’re making all the effort. A one-way friendship is one that is sustained based on what you give and contribute. A one-way friendship is one based on what people can get from you not what they contribute to your life. You ought to be wise in this world.
That said, maintain a policy of malice toward none, charity towards all. The structure of life is such that you can only count your true friends on your fingertips. And once people start contesting with you or you can sense envy, you better be careful about those types of “friends”. Given opportunity these “friends” of yours will do you in. You’ll be shocked what they really think of you. It’s not wise to prioritize these kinds of “friendship” over relationship with your wife. Your friendship with your wife must be real and deep. That type of friendship is critical towards the success of your marriage. It makes you one. In that kind of friendship you and your wife are somewhat interchangeable with each other. She’s you, you’re her. It’s a dynamic scissors configuration in which you rally round each other by “taking up” each other. It’s like you switch bodies and spirits, taking up positions as each other.
It’s advisable to see the feasibility of true friendship before committing to the prospect of marriage. If someone is treating you at emotional arm’s length you should be wary about the weight you attach to the relationship. A spouse who’s a true friend identifies with you. It’s not a negotiable quantity. She won’t treat you like a third party pronoun – won’t call you “him” outside. She’ll talk about “us.” There’s no tactical dissociation. You can tell she’s identified with you in all sincerity. And that’s something you ought to watch out for – sincerity of heart. If there’s no sincerity in a relationship, it becomes all contrived and simulated. Such relationship is like being in a video game console. It’s real but it’s not real. And if someone doesn’t want to invest in a relationship you ought to be careful about committing massively. She may just want to use you. You can tell by the way she measures affection in millimeters in order not to be sucked in. I doubt if such a person loves you. The attraction is likely based on other factors. May be your success.
There’s an unvarnished simplicity about sincerity of heart, a rawness and exposure of emotions. Sincerity of heart is what makes relationships simple and uncomplicated. There’s no one playing each other, there are no insane calculations going on; just trueness of heart. In a good relationship you’re both exposed to each other in nakedness and raw sincerity. In a good relationship there’s commitment. There are no contingency plans. There’s no avoidance of identification in order to create room for plausible deniability if something goes wrong. Learn to identify true friends. Marry one. You don’t want to marry someone who’s not your friend. If someone doesn’t even like you the claim of love has to be questioned. Life will illustrate your folly if you go into marital commitment with someone who doesn’t even like you.
I’m just saying understand the way of the world. It’s a fickle world. It’s why they can be your friend in one situation and turn against you in another.