The Trouble with Bridges (and Losing a Friend)

Written by Mom Babble's MK

I have “a thing” with bridges.

A few years back, a Washington bridge collapsed on national television and cars–with actual people in them–dropped into the river like matchbox toys.

Driving over a bridge nowadays, I feel like a feral cat trapped in a metal box. All I can see are tiny cars: Falling, falling, falling.

A bridge is a thing of beauty. A trophy of modern engineering. But I don’t have to trust one–and I never will.

And that is my thing with bridges.

Then, not long ago, a bridge I was driving on collapsed.

No, not literally. Actually, it was a friendship that I valued. It failed, crumbled, and collapsed with a quickness. And as my little car was nose-diving for the river, I couldn’t help but wonder:

What just happened?

I loved this person. I really did. But the friendship was in rubbles and love wasn’t enough to fix it.

I’ve heard it said (and sung) that “love can build a bridge.” And perhaps that is true. But why, then, do so many marriages, friendships, and partnerships fall apart?

Because without a reliable foundation and infrastructure, relationships are destined for failure.

Love can most certainly build a bridge. But as it turns out, Love is a crappy engineer.

If you’ve ever seen or experienced a whirlwind romance, you know what Im talking about.

Built so quickly. So excitedly. But when it experiences actual weight–that’s when the implosion occurs. And by then it’s too late.

We are human. Wrecks happen. Sometimes, if we are lucky, a wreck can reveal the weakness before a collapse has occurred.


And that’s when we have two choices:

1) Grab a hammer, say a prayer, and get to work repairing the weaker parts.

2) Assess the damage. Say, “This has gotten bad enough,” and find another road.

Either way, it’s painful when things break. Both parties are left there, mending wounds and wondering how they never saw it coming.

So what do you do—when it’s you standing there, confused in the rubble?

Give it time. And when the dust finally settles…go find the point of failure. Study it. Take responsibility for your part in it. Forgive the other person’s part in it.

And the next time you find yourself building something great, be careful not to repeat the mistake.

Building new relationships can be hard. Scary, even. Especially if you’ve experienced the pain of previous failures.

But we all have our failed bridges. It’s how we learn from those failures that define us.

And today I’m beginning that process.

About The Author


Mary Katherine is a southerner, born and raised. Growing up in Alabama, she developed an affinity for lightning bugs, sweet tea, playing guitar, and having strong opinions. She's happily married with a son (Nugget) and two fur babies. Fun facts: MK is a living kidney donor, speaks a little Thai, and has written two novels.


  1. This was lovely.

    I typed this big long response and then deleted it because you don’t need to hear the details about how I have experienced exactly three times in my life and now I struggle with trusting friends because I almost expect rejection to come.

    In my instances, the bridges were permanently burnt down. I know I could see them again and move past the intense feelings but I don’t think I would ever be able to trust them again.

    Thanks for sharing.

    1. Hi Mary Katharine. I’ve learned over the years and a few losses that these are walk-away friends. Unfortunately I don’t find you can trust a walk-away because a good friend is there through thick and thin. The walk-always aren’t. 🤷‍♀️

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