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Relationships

Female Friendships in Midlife

Friendships are one of the most important parts of a woman’s life. They bring richness and depth to our lives, create a support network when things get tough, and as research has shown are even vitally important for our health!

Yet, sadly, many women in midlife experience difficulties in establishing new friendships or staying connected to old friends. Many have been hurt by one-sided friendships, betrayal at the actions of a friend, have been undermined by friends or simply don’t know how to navigate the changing dynamics of friendship in middle age.

This is an issue I hear over and over again from middle-aged women in private and yet no one really talks about how really painful this issue can be. I have heard it expressed by some women that it can be as painful if not more so than the breakup of an intimate relationship. It can take a lot to get over.

If any of this sounds familiar, you are not alone!

As we go through midlife our priorities in life can change, we may change jobs, retire or perhaps have grandkids we want to spend more time with. These changes alone can change the dynamics of how we used to manage our friendships. But one of the biggest challenges to friendships can be that as we come into our own in middle age, we no longer want to settle for unhealthy relational patterns. We are searching for something deeper, respectful and authentic. When we change the way we relate it can upset what used to be, leaving the relationship feeling unsettled and confusing to navigate.

If you are experiencing challenges in midlife with female friendships, it can be helpful to consult a therapist to help you navigate through this. Friendships are precious and you deserve to have healthy supportive friendships.

Any information in this article is for informational purposes only. Please seek professional support when considering the use of this information  in your individual circumstances.