May is a month of healing. Although we are still in the midst of Eclipse Season, the energy is grounding this month with Taurus Season underway, and some significant changes are happening in the sky. On the 1st of the month, Pluto goes retrograde, and this is the first Pluto retrograde since Pluto entered Aquarius earlier this year. Pluto retrograde is all about finding your power, not letting change intimidate you, and finding the beauty and inspiration within change. Jupiter will be in retrograde until December 30, and many people will be finding their way and soul purpose.
On May 5th, the second eclipse of 2023 happens, and it’s a Full Moon Lunar Eclipse in Scorpio. This is a powerful and impactful eclipse, and its energy overall is about finding your power, allowing breakthroughs, and letting go of the chaos. This eclipse is closing a chapter and creating the space for a new beginning. Venus moves into Cancer a few days later, on May 7th, and over the next few weeks, love takes on a sweeter, more emotional tone, and Venus in Cancer is all about feeling things through. Relationships that are meant to be will be becoming clearer than ever, and Venus in Cancer is not afraid to love, so you can expect more displays of affection, nurturing, and care during this time.
Mercury has been retrograde in Taurus since April 21st and officially goes direct on May 14th. Once Mercury is out of retrograde motion, the latter half of the month will be a more grounded experience, and less communication and financial delays are likely. Mercury retrograde has been highlighting the loose ends within plans and a sense of security in life and allowing more beneficial and stable paths and opportunities to appear. Jupiter also enters Taurus on May 16th but will be here until May 25, 2024. Jupiter in Taurus impacts finances, relationships, love, and value systems. During this transit, stability, logic, patience, and dedication is favored, and Jupiter will be sharing a little more love and financial growth with the world.
Before Gemini Season begins on May 21st, the fixed signs continue their monthly debut, and there is a New Moon in Taurus on May 19th, and Mars enters Leo on May 20th. The universe wants to shed some light on opportunity this month and how much better life can really get. There is passion, growth, and empowerment blooming in May, and it’s not the time to be rigid in perspective or stance. Know that you are worthy of being seen, loved, and valued.
ARIESAriesKyra Jay for xoNecole
In May, you are opening up to love, Aries. This is the month to address any feelings or emotions that you have been putting on the back burner and to not be afraid to open up to others. Love is a strength, not a weakness, don’t ever forget that, Aries. The eclipse at the start of the month will be wrapping things up for you and helping you see clearly what is going to benefit your health, well-being, and heart.
A long-term transit begins for you this month, and that is Jupiter moving into Taurus and into your 2nd house of income on May 16 until May 25, 2024. Jupiter is a benevolent planet, and its influence is a blessing. For you, this means good luck coming in financially, and although you do have to be a little more cautious of overspending or going to the extreme, overall, you are moving into a time of greater wealth and opportunity this month.
TAURUSTaurusKyra Jay for xoNecole
This month is all about using your voice and communicating, Taurus. Your season is here, and it’s your time to show up and express yourself. You are worthy to take up space, and you are getting clarity on what paths and avenues you can do that best. Mercury has been retrograde in your sign since late April and officially goes direct on May 14th, and you can finally take a breath of fresh air this month and move forward.
May overall is about balancing your needs with the needs of those in your life.
The energy is both in your 1st house of self and in your 7th house of relationships, so you are finding the balance here this month. The most significant transit for you of 2023 happens at the end of the month, and that is Jupiter moving into your sign. You are moving into the luckiest time of your life in over a decade in May, enjoy it.
GEMINIGeminiKyra Jay for xoNecole
May is a new beginning for you financially, Gemini. This is a month where you are seeing the intentions you have been setting financially and within your career world come true for you and when new doors of opportunity are opening. Your ruling planet Mercury has been in retrograde since April 21st and will finally be direct on the 14th of this month. You are getting the closure that you need right now to plan your next steps.
As the month moves forward, a New Moon is happening in your 12th house of endings and culminations, and you are healing, accepting what’s been, and letting go of what has been holding you back. Gemini Season officially begins on May 21st, and by the end of May, things are back in full swing, and you are living confidently. It’s about choosing yourself this month, Gemini.
CANCERCancerKyra Jay for xoNecole
May is all about letting go of the past and allowing love, Cancer. You are seeing chapters close, clarity appearing, and the past being laid to rest. You are recognizing that you can’t always fix what’s broken or what needs to be let go of, and divine intervention is coming into play. At the start of the month, there is a Lunar Eclipse in your 9th house of adventure, and you are feeling free and less restricted right now.
Know that new life comes from endings and that a chapter closing in your life doesn’t mean the end of everything else.
Things are happening for you, and the universe has your back as you process. Before the month ends, lucky Jupiter moves into your 11th house of friendship, and you are entering a time of community, happiness, social life, and fulfillment. Your power of manifestation is especially strong when Jupiter is in the 11th house, and you have some good times coming over the next year.
LEOLeoKyra Jay for xoNecole
May is bringing forth a coming together in your life, Leo. The past, present, and future are coming together as one, and you are feeling a sense of wholeness. This is a month of recognizing some of your long-term dreams and goals in life and in love and making sure your cup is full before pouring onto anyone else’s. This is the month to ask yourself if you are living the life you have envisioned for yourself, Leo.
Jupiter moves into your 10th house on May 16th, and your career life, reputation, and achievements come into clear view over the next year. You are moving into a time of more recognition in your life, but also a time of figuring out how you want to show up, go after goals, and what you want to be known for. On May 20th, Mars moves into your sign until July 10th, and you have extra energy, confidence, and passion within you over the next few months. The power is in your hands right now, Leo. What do you want to do with it?
VIRGOVirgoKyra Jay for xoNecole
May is a successful month for you, Virgo. You are moving into financial blessings and support and feeling like you have everything you need surrounding you this month. This is a good time to value yourself, your people, and how far you have come in life. You are reaching some important goals financially in May, and it’s allowing you to enjoy your life more and figure out where you want to go from here.
The Lunar Eclipse happening at the beginning of the month is when you are starting to see things come to fruition for you.
Not only does your ruling planet Mercury go direct this month after being in retrograde since April, but Jupiter is also entering this same area of your chart in May, and you are moving into a year-long journey of adventure, travel, charisma, inspiration, and direction. Jupiter will be in your 9th house until May 2024, and this is a good time to knock off your bucket list and explore the world.
LIBRALibraKyra Jay for xoNecole
Patience, patience, patience, Libra! This month is about watching out for impulses and thinking things through before continuing forward. Miscommunication or disagreements are more likely in May, and extra precaution is needed. Overall, this month is allowing you to find your sense of freedom without disrupting the things you have going on and the people that are there to support you.
With a Lunar Eclipse happening in the sign just after yours this month, you are moving through some closures in May, but they have been long overdue in your life and are facilitating your healing journey. These culminations you are moving through this month are allowing you to see some things more clearly and to define the person you are or want to be. May is your opportunity to set things straight and to get some things in order.
SCORPIOScorpioKyra Jay for xoNecole
May is a month of deep healing for you, Scorpio. You have been going through a lot over the past year or so, and you are asking yourself now if the light at the end of the tunnel will be appearing anytime soon. In May, you are addressing some more challenges that need to be seen so that you can let go of any resentment or disappointments that have been disrupting your progress and happiness.
The second eclipse of 2023 happens this month, and it’s a Full Moon Lunar Eclipse in your sign.
You are experiencing a big growth moment in May, and it’s overall creating a much-needed breakthrough in your life. Another significant transit is happening this month, and that is Jupiter, the planet of luck, moving into your 7th house of love from May 16th until May 2024. The work you have been doing is finally being recognized, and you enter a time of romance, connection, and commitment.
SAGITTARIUSSagittariusKyra Jay for xoNecole
May is a month of commitment, direction, and beginning something new. You are breaking free from previous miscommunication challenges and removing roadblocks from your life. This is a month where you are seeing things clearly, and ready to communicate what you know. With the Sun in your 6th house for most of May, you are cleaning house, getting things in order, and focusing on your well-being, Sagittarius.
Moving further into the month, Jupiter enters your 6th house, where all the energy has been the past month, but this time, Jupiter will be here for a year. Over the next year, your working life, health, and daily routine are moving through a healing journey and are receiving some extra support. You are letting go of what isn’t for your highest good and doing the things that are not only going to benefit you right now but in the long haul as well.
CAPRICORNCapricornKyra Jay for xoNecole
Success is yours, and you are accomplishing goals this month, Capricorn. May is about receiving the recognition you have been looking for, for the work you have been putting in. Even though there are some extra responsibilities on your plate at this time of the year, you are feeling capable of it all and proud of the position you are finding yourself in this month.
Financially, there is a lot of growth occurring for you this month, and some pleasant surprises are in store for you right now.
With the planet of good luck, Jupiter, entering your 5th house of romance for the next year or so, you also enter a new journey of love this month. Jupiter in your 5th house is facilitating happiness in your life, and you can expect to receive a little extra love during this time. You are feeling in tune, prepared, and inspired by what is occurring for you this month, and your energy is grounded enough to receive the blessings that are coming to you.
AQUARIUSAquariusKyra Jay for xoNecole
This is an impactful month for you, Aquarius. Through the ups and downs you have been moving through in life, they have only made you stronger and wiser, and May is a month of reminding yourself that you are enough. Pluto entered your sign this year after being in Capricorn for almost two decades and officially entered your sign this year. On May 1st, Pluto goes retrograde in Aquarius, and you are taking a step back and looking at the path that is opening up to you more clearly.
May is all about seeing your part in what has been playing out for you and also creating necessary boundaries between the people who are making things more difficult for you than they need to be. Choose your battles wisely, and consider making peace with yourself and others this month. Jupiter enters your 4th house before May ends, and a move, family dynamics changing, and emotional growth are all more likely for you over the next year.
PISCESPiscesKyra Jay for xoNecole
May is a pleasant surprise for you, Pisces. Love is taking on a new tone, and new doors are opening for you here. This is the month to take those first steps and welcome a new beginning in your life so that you can move forward into your dreams more freely. The eclipse happening at the beginning of the month on the 5th is happening in a romantic, loving, and joyful area of your chart, and you are feeling the love that you have been looking for in your life.
You have been on a deep healing journey this year, as Saturn entered your sign a few months ago.
More focus has been on you, your personal growth, and your sense of stability in life, and with Jupiter entering your 3rd house in May, you are facilitating communication breakthroughs in your life. If there is anything you have wanted to say to someone, this is the month and the year to do it, as you are especially supported when it comes to self-expression and connection right now.
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Featured image by Kyra Jay/xoNecole
Tayler Barakat is a Mystic who has studied Astrology for over a decade. She does intuitive astrology and tarot readings for people all over the world, and her work focuses on healing and empowering individuals. Follow her on Instagram @taylerbarakat_ and check out her website www.listentothevirgo.com.
This article is in partnership with Sensodyne.
Our teeth are connected to so many things - our nutrition, our confidence, and our overall mood. We often take for granted how important healthy teeth are, until issues like tooth sensitivity or gum recession come to remind us. Like most things related to our bodies, prevention is the best medicine. Here are five things you can do immediately to improve your oral hygiene, prevent tooth sensitivity, and avoid dental issues down the road.
1) Go Easy On the Rough Brushing: Brushing your teeth is and always will be priority number one in the oral hygiene department. No surprises there! However, there is such a thing as applying too much pressure when brushing…and that can lead to problems over time. Use a toothbrush with soft bristles and brush in smooth, circular motions. It may seem counterintuitive, but a gentle approach to brushing is the most effective way to clean those pearly whites without wearing away enamel and exposing sensitive areas of the teeth.
2) Use A Desensitizing Toothpaste: As everyone knows, mouth pain can be highly uncomfortable; but tooth sensitivity is a whole different beast. Hot weather favorites like ice cream and popsicles have the ability to trigger tooth sensitivity, which might make you want to stay away from icy foods altogether. But as always, prevention is the best medicine here. Switching to a toothpaste like Sensodyne’s Sensitivity & Gum toothpaste specifically designed for sensitive teeth will help build a protective layer over sensitive areas of the tooth. Over time, those sharp sensations that occur with extremely cold foods will subside, and you’ll be back to treating yourself to your icy faves like this one!
3) Floss, Rinse, Brush. (And In That Order!): Have you ever heard the saying, “It’s not what you do, but how you do it”? Well, the same thing applies to taking care of your teeth. Even if you are flossing and brushing religiously, you could be missing out on some of the benefits simply because you aren’t doing so in the right order. Flossing is best to do before brushing because it removes food particles and plaque from places your toothbrush can’t reach. After a proper flossing sesh, it is important to rinse out your mouth with water after. Finally, you can whip out your toothbrush and get to brushing. Though many of us commonly rinse with water after brushing to remove excess toothpaste, it may not be the best thing for our teeth. That’s because fluoride, the active ingredient in toothpaste that protects your enamel, works best when it gets to sit on the teeth and continue working its magic. Rinsing with water after brushing doesn’t let the toothpaste go to work like it really can. Changing up your order may take some getting used to, but over time, you’ll see the difference.
4) Stay Hydrated: Upping your water supply is a no-fail way to level up your health overall, and your teeth are no exception to this rule. Drinking water not only helps maintain a healthy pH balance in your mouth, but it also washes away residue and acids that can cause enamel erosion. It also helps you steer clear of dry mouth, which is a gateway to bad breath. And who needs that?
5) Show Your Gums Some Love: When it comes to improving your smile, you may be laser-focused on getting your teeth whiter, straighter, and overall healthier. Rightfully so, as these are all attributes of a megawatt smile; but you certainly don’t want to leave gum health out of the equation. If you neglect your gums, you’ll start to notice the effects of plaque buildup, which can irritate the gums and cause gingivitis, the earliest stage of gum disease. Seeing blood while brushing and flossing is a tell-tale sign that your gums are suffering. You may also experience gum recession — a condition where the gum tissue surrounding your teeth pulls back, exposing more of your tooth. Brushing at least twice a day with a gum-protecting toothpaste like Sensodyne Sensitivity and Gum, coupled with regular dentist visits, will keep your gums shining as bright as those pearly whites.
Y’all, I don’t know if now just happens to be a heavy season for this or perhaps it’s just me, but whether it’s been on Facebook, TikTok, Instagram, or “X” (which we all know is still Twitter…LOL), have you noticed that a lot of people have been talking about the pain of going through a friendship break-up? I’ll be the first to raise my hand in this class and say that some of the ones that I’ve personally experienced over the course of my lifetime damn near took my breath away; especially when it comes to the unexpected levels of grief that oftentimes typically follow (check out “How To Heal From A Broken Friendship”).
When I write my next book (that’s currently slated for release in June of 2024; just in time for a big milestone), I’m going to share some of the things that personally caused me to go through the ending of some friendships. For now, I’m going to share a big one: friendship infidelity.
Yeah, I know — oftentimes, whenever the word “infidelity” is used, the main (if not only) thing that comes up in people’s minds is someone cheating on their partner. However, if you’ve read my content for a while now, you already know that an “occupational hazard” of mine is the fact that, as a writer, I’m pretty word-literal. Therefore, when it comes to infidelity, I’m aware that it’s got more than one meaning. And when it comes to friendship (or so-called friendships — check out “Ever Wonder If A Friend Is Just...Not That Into You?” and “7 Signs Your Friendship...Actually Isn't One”), yes, there is a definition that totally applies. Let’s discuss.
What Does Infidelity Literally Mean?Giphy
In order for this to “scratch any itch” that you might have about this particular topic, let’s get into the definition of infidelity that I was referring to. While yes, the most popular one is “marital disloyalty; adultery” (one day, we’ll have to talk about how the Bible doesn’t define adultery in the way that folks think it does (check out Matthew 19 sometime), another definition is “unfaithfulness; disloyalty.” While we’re at it, let me share a few synonyms for the word too: betrayal, falseness, inconstancy (bookmark that), deceit, double-dealing, fraud, breach of trust, violation, dishonesty, and false-heartedness.
Okay, so now do you see how it is totally appropriate to use the word “infidelity” in the realm of friendship if someone has been unfaithful or disloyal to you in any of these ways (that inconstancy one is a mutha!)? Do you also get that there is a huge possibility that, even if you don’t want to admit it to yourself, there are times when you’ve committed some form of infidelity when it comes to one or more of the friends in your life?
Because be real — have you never breached their trust? Have you always been consistent? To violate is to treat someone or something with disrespect. Have you never done that before? Only your ego would tell you that you’ve been a perfect friend — and the ego lies.
That said and with the meanings of a different kind of infidelity established, let’s now talk about how to approach this type of experience…because it ain’t easy.
When It Comes to Faithfulness in Your Friendships, What Should Your Expectations Be?Giphy
As far as having my own accounts, I don’t do social media (still trying to decide if I will, a little bit, around my book release) — and it has been peace, wonderful peace, to live that way. This means that it’s pretty rare that I’ll read comments via any of the platforms I write for (also peaceful). Oh, but a few years ago, when I penned “Why I Prefer My Friends To NOT Be Friends With Each Other,” I did tiptoe out a bit, and boy, some folks were disgruntled with me, chile. I was called petty, problematic, and a host of other stuff.
Uh-huh first, I don’t get how you can be mad at me about what works for me and my life (being controlling manifests in all sorts of cryptic ways) and secondly, time and experience have taught me that it’s a boundary that has served me extremely well. One of the reasons is that, since friendship infidelity is a very real thing, my lines not crossing helps to keep people from betraying my confidence or double-dealing in a way that may not even be intentional.
An example? Say that I have two friends and I tell one of them something in confidence. Then she tells the other friend, assuming that I already had because she thought that the other friend and I had similar discussions. This would be a non-issue if I hadn’t brought them together in the first place.
Another example is, one of my closest friends has some people who I like a lot who live in Nashville (my friend doesn’t). Sometimes, when she comes into town, we’ll all hang out. I don’t do it outside of that, though, because there are things that she shares with me about them on occasion (from a getting a different perspective to make certain decisions angle; especially since I’m a life coach) that I don’t want to make her or them feel awkward about (even if it’s just due to somewhat of a shift in my energy). Plus, everyone just needs to have their own people. This ain’t high school; everyone doesn’t have to be in the same cliques.
If one of my friends wants to vent about me…I don’t care if/when they are talking to someone who I don’t even know…because I’m not friends with that person… because I don’t expect anything from a complete stranger. So again, this type of boundary has served me extremely well over the years — and my friends agree. It has made “faithfulness” so much easier for all parties involved because again, lines don’t cross and things don’t get messy.
Okay. I’ll give you one more example that has to do with one of my male friends and his personal friendship-related preference. Due to his high-profile profession, he doesn’t like to be discussed at all, not even casually (really). He doesn’t want me to bring his name up and, when someone else does, he prefers that I keep the conversation down to an absolute minimum, no matter what the topic is. For him, it works for his close friendships to be somewhat private, so that people don’t know who they can go to in order to get in touch with him or to receive any intel that he hasn’t directly shared — professionally or personally.
Some people may call that “paranoid.” For him, it’s safe to move that way. And so, as his friend, it’s not my job to try and talk him out of his standard. If I value our friendship, I simply need to honor his request — plain and simple. To do otherwise would be an act of unfaithfulness (especially if I agreed to what he asked me to do and then switched up on him).
So, when it comes to you, what are your expectations? What do you need — actually require — of your own friends? Have you stated those things? Because you should never assume that your definition of what a friend should be is exactly the same as someone else’s. Next, have you made it abundantly clear to them that if those expectations are not honored, you will feel some level of betrayal? If you haven’t, you should because, although most of us can agree that a partner sleeping with someone other than their own spouse is a form of infidelity, friendship infidelity isn’t quite so black and white.
If you want your friend(s) to be faithful — “true to one's word, promises, vows, etc.,” “steady in allegiance or affection; loyal; constant” — you need to be upfront with them about what they are vowing to do…what you want them to be constant in? Because, again, how you might roll as a friend may be something different to/for them.
Come to think of it, love languages in friendships is a good example of this. One of my close friends is a quality time person; I’m not. On the other hand, I am a words of affirmation person; she isn’t. She used to think that it was a given that I should want to hang out at least once a month and I used to get irritated that she wasn’t big on words. When we had a talk about our individual expectations, we found a “middle ground” and that made things so much easier…on both sides. Indeed, in order to be faithful (or unfaithful), you first gotta know what you’ve agreed to be faithful to. It’s not fair to expect someone to honor you and what you bring to a friendship if you’re not communicating your expectations on the front end.
So, what should your expectations in your friendships be? That, I can’t answer for you, because even when it comes to across-the-board traits like support, availability, and communication, honestly, even those are gonna manifest differently for different people.
All I’m saying is make sure that you share what your expectations are as you listen to theirs as well. That way, you both can move forward in your friendship knowing what you have mutually agreed to actually be faithful to.
What Should You Do If a Friend “Cheats on You”?Giphy
Okay, so what if, after you have established what you need/expect from your friend, they are unfaithful or disloyal? That’s kind of a loaded question because there are a lot of different ways that this box can get checked. For instance, I once had a friend who kept trying to put me in touch with someone who I knew was unsafe (on a lot of levels). She kept asking and I kept telling her “no.” One day, she called me and then handed that person the phone — she was disloyal because she dishonored my boundary.
Back in the day, I used to write devotionals and I shared the story (sans her name) in it. All of a sudden, she thought that she was the victim (gaslighting friends are something else). So wait — you put me in harm’s way and I need to apologize to you for it? If her identity was obvious (I didn’t even say “she”), I get it — it wasn’t. She just felt guilty and didn’t want to take accountability. As a result, she weaponized our friendship by going ghost for like a year and then tried to come back as if nothing had ever happened. Chile.
For me, there was no coming back. The way she handled that, on a few different levels, was emotionally draining and I honestly didn’t have the stamina for it. So, I ended the relationship officially. Years later, we saw each other and made our peace. I’m fine with it being just that (check out “Why I Don't 'Cut People Off' Anymore, I Release Them Instead”).
That’s kind of an extreme example. Still, the reason why I brought it up is because I wanted you to see how I handled one form of friendship infidelity: I thought about what happened, I pondered what I was getting (and not getting) from the friendship, I thought about how she handles things when she is in the wrong and I focused on what would be the benefits and challenges of keeping her in my life. The conclusion that I came to is I care enough about her that we’re not rolling our eyes in the mall or sucking our teeth whenever one of our names comes up to the other yet I don’t want her to continue walking closely to me in my journey. I’m good.
For you, it might be a bit different. What if one of your friends betrays you in some way? Is it fair to take a “one-and-done” approach? I dunno. Is that how you would want your friends to handle you? Do you want to feel like, no matter what, after you make one mistake (or poor choice; not everything is a mistake…some things are intentional), there’s no coming back? If so, you might not want to have relationships at all because humans are fallible, INCLUDING YOU. You might as well settle in with that fact now or you’re about to be triggered, irritated, or angry for most of your life, chile.
What Should You Do If YOU’RE the One Who Cheats?Giphy
Over the weekend, I watched a movie where a woman cheated during a long-distance relationship and then claimed that her boyfriend was “punishing her” because he wasn’t over it a month later. The first thing that came to my mind? A lack of accountability. Why? Because I’m pretty sure that if the shoe had been on the other foot, she wouldn’t be all rainbows and sunshine four weeks later…either.
Being that I grew up in an environment (pretty much everywhere, including church) where folks absolutely sucked at taking personal responsibility for their actions without trying to make excuses, using justifications, deflecting, or gaslighting, I am almost violent about making sure that I don’t follow suit. And because I’ve had times when I’ve violated someone’s boundaries (I used to be more controlling than I should’ve ever been) and/or betrayed their trust (just because I’m basically an open book, that doesn’t mean that I should assume that everyone is the same way) — I’ve had to learn how to take full ownership for my actions. Then, if the person is open to accepting my apology, I would take things up a notch by making amends (check out “Heads Up: It's NOT An Apology If An Amends Isn't Made”).
If you’re not sure what an "amends" is, basically, when you’ve done something that has offended someone or caused them some type of harm if you’re truly remorseful, it’s not enough to flippantly toss a “my bad” in their direction. No, when you really get the magnitude of what has transpired — and if you want to restore the damage that was caused — you need to be intentional about doing something that will help with the healing process. This can happen with a simple, “What can I do to make things better?” People who apologize and then ask something along those lines show that they really get what they did; not only that but they are displaying that they want to humble themselves enough to help the person they hurt to “recover” in any way that they can.
So, if you are the one who was unfaithful or disloyal — own it, address it, apologize (without any unnecessary extra-ness, make amends, and then give your friend space to heal…however they need to do so. Infidelity hurts in any kind of relationship dynamic yet when two people — BOTH INDIVIDUALS — really want to make things work, they can come back from it. Oftentimes better than they were before.
How to Heal from Friendship InfidelityGiphy
It really can’t be said enough that humans are fallible. In fact, it is my belief, that if more of us said that as a mantra, five times a day, we’d probably be a lot more merciful than we tend to be. Because since none of us are perfect — INCLUDING OURSELVES — it really is pretty ridiculous to expect to be in relationships with folks and have them never disappoint you (where they do that at?!). The reality is sometimes a friend may be disloyal — not in a malicious or redundant kind of way (another message, another time) but just…they didn’t meet your requirements, they hurt your feelings (even if not intentionally) or they simply made a poor decision. Just like you have before — and at some point, will again.
Yes, it can hurt; trust me, I’ve been there. At the same time, you can heal from the pain and your friendship can survive too. The key is to really process the character of your friend, the track record of your friend, and if the benefits far outweigh the challenges with them. If everything is on the upswing, talk to your friend about how you are feeling, pay close attention to how they respond (if there is remorse, compassion, and patience), and then make the decision that you want to move forward. And then move in a way that shows that you’ve learned from it all.
For instance, say that you told one of your friends something in confidence and they repeated it. After getting context, if it was reckless chatter, healing begins with forgiving them, them trying to make things right and then you easing into sharing anything else. No, it’s not about keeping the door shut forever — it’s more like, telling them something that you don’t really mind if it gets out. If it does, although that’s not a big deal, you will now see that yapping is a pattern for them and so, although you like having them in your life, being a “confidant space” is not where they need to be — at least not for quite some time.
And what if, in your opinion, there is no coming back from friendship infidelity? How do you heal from that? Well, you need to grieve it like you would grieve anything else. Go through the five stages: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. The key is to not stay stuck; especially in anger. Because really, how is that gonna help or change anything?
I’ve gone through some acts of extreme infidelity that took me a while to move to acceptance — really accepting that it happened and fully accepting that I had to let the relationship go. Yet once I got there, healing was waiting for me. Because I wasn’t beating myself up trying to read someone else’s mind or motive or exhausting myself by wishing things were different. No one can change the past. Even accepting that can restore you to some pretty unexpected levels.
This is the kind of topic that I really could write an entire book about. For now, I just hope that this article provides some clarity that, if you wonder if unfaithfulness is a real thing as far as friendship is concerned, it most certainly is. It’s also not automatically unforgivable either.
Last example: I’ve got a friend of decades who prioritized a woman that he barely knew over our friendship. Meaning, she was threatened by me being around and so he did whatever to make her happy even at the expense of what we agreed to do and be to each other, as friends. Friendship infidelity. He has since apologized and I told him what I am a firm believer in: the apology needs to breathe. I need to take some time, he needs to take some time and, in time, either we will still see value in our dynamic or, because an apology was made and then accepted, peace will always remain between us.
Infidelity is something that none of us want to experience — oh, but we probably will. When it comes to your friendships, perhaps you’ve got a (better) grasp on how to handle it.
Whether you’re on the giving or receiving end. Live long enough, chile, for better or for worse, you will know about both. I can almost guarantee it.
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