Tuesday, May 19, 2009

"toxic" friendships.

It doesn't happen often but every now and then you realize that one of your "friends" is actually not that great for you. Maybe it's the two of you together. Whatever the case may be usually some major things have to change in order for the friendship to work out and to not drag one or both of you down.

I grew up with awesome friends. We had disagreements, but nothing big. I pride myself on the fact that I'm still friends with every significant friendship in my life. We're a very close group. I know no matter what that we'll always be able to get together and have a blast, no matter how long it's been since we've seen each other.

In college I dated this guy that I was crazy about. I talked about him all the time. This girl, Jenn, had just recently transferred to our school and we hit it off immediately. I invited her to church with this boy and I and pretty soon we were inseparable. Until I caught her and him *ahem, together. Not cool.

I was devastated. But more for my loss of my friendship with her than anything else. Boys come and go I knew this, but I'd never had a girlfriend screw me over like that. My other girlfriends rallied around me and basically started an "I Hate Jenn" (come on, we were 19!) club. They bad mouthed her up one side and down the other and it killed me.

I learned a lot about myself through all of that. I forgave both of them. Completely. I would never date him again and it took me a long time to fully trust Jenn again, but I did. She sang at my wedding just a few short years later.

None of my other friends could understand it, but I was fine with it. I mean it when I say I'm fiercely loyal and I love completely. I am the girl you get a second chance with.

I met another girl when the hubs and I lived in Missouri that went psycho on me and destroyed our friendship. Months later she came back into my life by way of Myspace and I gave her another shot. She screwed me again. Consider that bridge burned hon.

Mr. Perfect tells me quite often that I am too nice and it lends me too many opportunities to get burned. But I honestly don't see it like that. I do stick up for myself and you will get a piece of my mind if you do something that I don't agree with, but at the same time, something made me choose to start a friendship with these people so I wholeheartedly believe in second chances.

I've mentioned before that my little brother, the Marine, is dating the cousin to a former friend of mine. A former best friend of mine. I've never said before what split us up, but it seriously broke my heart.

This girl, let's call her K, and I met when we were in college at the local university. We hit it off immediately. She has been by my side through literally, some of the worst things I've been through in my life. We've stuck together through some doozies. However, over time, we've also managed to bring out some of the worst qualities in each other. That's not always true, but in recent years, we were bringing out more bad than good. Never a good sign.

I'm not going to bad mouth her because I truly do love her. I can't tell you how many times I've cried on her shoulder or that she's gone to bat for me. She's an amazing person and I truly wish her well.

She Facebooked (can I make that a verb?) me the other day and poured out her heart to me. I just sat there in tears. I don't know what to do. Basically every reason that we are no longer friends, is still there. The Mr. is not a fan at all because of what went down, so our friendship does not have his support. And I will not be involved in something that makes him uncomfortable. But I miss her. I miss laughing with her. Some of the best times I've ever had have been with her. Plus with the Marine and Lora (her cousin) dating, I know there will be run ins and I don't want it to be awkward.

I don't think we'll ever return to how we were, but I don't know what my next step should be.... I know I can be a bit too forgiving, so I'm doing my best to tread carefully, I just don't know what to say to her.. Have any of you dealt with anything like this?

Gah. I hate this.


jlc said...

Facebooked is totally a verb. And yes, my confirmation is all that matters. ;)

Lindsey said...

I loved that you made Facebook a verb!

Lara said...

You have to work out what you want from this. If you want her friendship enough, then your husband will have to respect that. If you don't think she can be truthful and honest friend, then perhaps you should leave her at arms' length.

I had a best friend in school, and when I was 16 I moved away. To cut the long story short, there was a misunderstanding, and we hated one another for about 4 years. I thought enough's enough, and I wrote her a letter explaining everything I'd done wrong, and explaining how her behaviour hurt me.

She replied, telling her side of the story. We eventually chose to move past it and become friends again, but of course it's never the same. We each have our new friends, our new lives, and we don't really "fit" anymore. But we're casual friends. We can chat, but that's about it.

My man's not happy that I'm friends with her, and isn't allowing her to our wedding, but I have to accept that; because he knows what happened, and doesn't agree that I shoudl have forgiven her for how she made me feel.

You just need to be aware that if you let her in again, she could hurt you again. On the other hand, she may genuinely have changed for the better.

I think it's a judgement call only YOU can make. But don't be a doormat; if you see things are going pear-shaped, get out of it.

Saskia said...

I have also gone through 2 'toxic' friendships, one of which I made the first move to end. It hurts when friendships are so negative. Sometimes you have to put yourself first - ending one of my friendships, though it hurt me to do so, was the right thing to do.

I don't think there is any harm in replying to her, if you'd like to, but be careful not to end up in a situation you're not happy with (like agreeing to meet up with her if you don't want too). As bad as you might feel for being unkind to her, you must put yourself, and your husband's feelings first.

Let us know how you get on.


MissJody said...

You are truely an amazing friend and person.What a great person you are. I don't know you, except from your blog, however...don't let people take advantage of you. This has always been my rule..."your friends are your outlet. To vent. To laugh. Get away form everyday hussle and bussle...they are there to make you feel good.About yourself. Life. Everything! That's why we have friends! To share.
If you have a friend who broke your heart...did you wronge.Never was one in the first place. What is so hard about cherishing a dear friend?"
I love my friends so much! For goodness sake!My BFF is a girl whom we have been friends since the 3rd grade...
I've bben screwed over by imposters that say "friends" and I never looked back. Not wasting my time/energy on someone who doesn't deserve it. Life is too short.
You are truely an amazing person to give 2nd and 3rd chances...you are a waaaay better person than me.
Don't get me wrong! I don't Hate anyone. Just no trust anymore and the love is gone.


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