Why should a friend lie

Lies: That's how hard it burdens a friendship

by Kirstin Bock
The friend of our author is not really into the truth. She whispers and lies so consistently that she no longer notices it herself.

The party

"You didn't know," said Erik. He looked questioningly and I didn't understand anything. I had only just got there, he had opened the door - and what else said? "Welcome to the breakup party! The house is sold!" What did he mean? I tried to add one and one together. When Erik greeted me at such a theme party, it meant that his wife, one of my best friends ... "Martha and I have been separated for half a year," he crossed my mind. And then he said again: "You didn't know."

The first hammer

Correct. This information did not reach me. But how could my girlfriend keep that from me? That's what they say! I stood there in the entrance, looked at the wine bottle in my hand and felt incredibly stupid. Martha appeared next to him, clearly surprised to see me. Tears welled up in my eyes, I wordlessly pressed the bottle into her hand and left. A tsunami of emotions raged inside me, a chaos of thoughts.

Of course Martha was surprised to see me. She hadn't invited me at all, Erik had sent a circular email, obviously without her knowledge. And she certainly didn't want me there, otherwise she would have had to tell me about the breakup at all. And hadn't she raved about their great, stable relationship just last week?

Limitless disappointment

In the subway on the way home, I felt ripped off, much more than that: cheated. Up until now only men had been able to do this. But you take that into account for them; Fraud is possible, it is written in the small print of every relationship terms and conditions. But among girlfriends? For the next few days I immersed myself in a hot cocktail of anger, indignation and hurt, with a dash of self-pity it was really enjoyable. I kept chewing on this one question: "How could she betray me like that?" I got stuck in the wrong place. The approach would have been better: "Why did she do that?"

How it started with us

Martha came into my life ten years ago, at a point in time that couldn't have been more shitty. After a terrible breakup, I was staying with a friend who traveled a lot. I had stored my things, I lived in strange men’s stuff, I was emotionally homeless. Until I met Martha at an event, the perfect rubble woman to work on my inner battlefield: eleven years older, rich in life experience, good humor, an open heart. We were in constant contact and even put each other's appointments in the calendar, Dental prophylaxis, business travel, family events. We were like sisters. She's the big one I've always wanted, me the little one, because her real sister had moved to Australia years ago. So sorry.

A few weeks after the party drama, Martha sent me a very sensitive email for my birthday, apologizing that she had been overwhelmed, she would miss me, if we didn't want to meet. I was reconciled right away, so glad I had my big sister back. Without a clarifying discussion that was totally naive, but it fit with my family motto: If you don't talk about it, the conflict never happened.

Martha said that she and Erik had agreed to take some time off to think about it. They wanted to restructure their relationship, work on a new us. Erik planned to travel through South America for a while, she wanted to clear her head in Morocco.

Happy in Marrakech?

From there she invited me: If I shouldn't visit her in Marrakech, it would be so nice if I came, but unfortunately there was no place in her host family, I would have to look for my own accommodation. Very much! It was a great moment when Martha and I fell into each other's arms in front of an oriental backdrop. And the best at this time. From then on it got strange. Immediately upon arrival she instructed me: she had done her resume a bit, passed herself off as happily married and Erik's daughter as her own. In Marrakech she was doing research for a newspaper article. The latter sounded more like my life, namely, she is an audio book author, but I thought the rest was clever. Perhaps I would have made it to avoid stupid remarks or even advances.

However, she had also told the host family with the big house something strange about me: I would have invited myself because I missed her so much. In addition, my health is in poor health, I need rest and would therefore live in a hotel. Uh No. At first I left the lying trivialities like that, I just didn't take them seriously. Nevertheless, there was this unpleasant feeling. Like a stone in a shoe. Not a big deal, but always present.But can such a harmless twisting of facts be called a lie? Was my lovable girlfriend just a little tired? Martha clearly had memory lapses.

My inner lie detector failed several times a day, for example when she told a guide that we were invited to good friends in the medina in the evening. "What's that supposed to mean?" I snapped at her later. "We don't know anyone in the whole city!" Martha shrugged. "So what. He shouldn't think we couldn't cope on our own." Aha. So was that your motivation? The impression of the other? Maybe the embellished facts were like a filter on a selfie: you just looked better with it.

Always this DOUBT

Martha always found it difficult to explain because I put every word on the gold scales and if I didn't like it, I went on a confrontation. I must have been incredibly exhausting for her in Marrakech. To this day I see her waving goodbye, the relief at my departure in capital letters on her face. After landing I had doubts. Were my memories correct, or had I gotten into something while hunting for discrepancies? But no.

All the misunderstandings between us, confused looks from listeners when I told something that was already in circulation in Martha's version, polite enough not to correct me. Why also, was mostly just small talk anyway. In this genre, a story doesn't have to be true, the main thing is that it is likely. And entertaining. Martha knew her way around this professionally, she was constantly inventing settings, decorating roles, and was always mistress of history. Perhaps she had become used to it. But what did I do with this knowledge now?

The catastrophe

Days later a message from her popped into my indecision: "Are you still awake?" Middle of the night. I called her, she was crying. She and Erik had expressly agreed to take a break so that everyone could relax. But now he has a new girlfriend. Who had even been to South America with him. And he already lives with the. It is the worst betrayal she has ever seen. We talked on the phone until she fell asleep, exhausted from crying.

In the weeks that followed, I did everything I could to stand by her after the ravages of the emotional impact. It was definitely not the time to address my problem with her. Then I met Erik on the street: "How could you do that to Martha, she's finished!" Erik hissed back: "We have been separated for a year! You remember: the farewell party ?! After that everyone went their own way. That was clearly communicated." But Martha had clearly declared the "off" to me afterwards as a "break". Apparently her inner firewall had automatically relabeled the event, four letters more and - wham! - Averted disaster. For psychologists, such a denial is a classic defense measure of the subconscious. That's why Martha was so convincing in everything she did: she believed herself.

That's it

When the worst was over months after this incident, Martha began to write down what had happened with her words, but from Erik's perspective - for processing. At first I found it strange, then logical. So she had control over his point of view and again a certain say. I don't know whether there was any self-reflection on this, I didn't ask. Instead, I wondered if I couldn't just accept her behavior. Now that I knew what it was like, I might find a way to deal with it.But if Martha lived in another reality, where should we meet in all friendship?

I didn't want to go into her world, she couldn't go into mine. Besides, my confidence was gone, and I was sure I was tired of it all. Martha probably felt the same way with me. My know-it-all sophistication was just as much a stone in the shoe for her as her nonchalant handling of facts for me. Our contact fell asleep without big words. The silence between us to this day has something very amicable and truthful about it.

True is: Kirstin Bock has changed the names of those involved and some facts in order not to embarrass anyone.

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