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Dear Wendy

Feel let down by best friend

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  • #1099815 Reply
    Missss13
    Guest

    Hello,

    Just after a bit of advice as I don’t know how to feel at the moment.

    To cut a long story short, my long term boyfriend left me for another girl 10 years ago and as a result, we had a very messy break up as we shared a lot of the same friends.

    They have gone on to get married and have a baby together. This led me to many years of comparing myself to her, not feeling good enough and wishing I never had to see them again, but we were always in the same circle of friends.

    I’ve moved on and married since and I’m happy, but I’ve basically not spoken to my ex or his partner since the break up, as the way they treated me was fairly brutal and damaging.

    My best friend always kept them at a distance too, but she recently has had a baby herself. This has led her to become friendly with my ex’s wife as I guess they have motherhood in common now.

    I know it sounds completely childish but this has upset me so much, as my best friend witnessed everything they put me through. I can’t help but feel so let down by her. I know it’s been 10 years but (without wanting to sound dramatic) the level of emotional trauma I endured will probably never fully leave me.

    I’ve kept quiet about it so far, but I can feel it’s pushing me away from my best friend of over 20 years.

    My question is, do I keep quiet and let it eat me away or do I say something and risk a big fall out? We’ve never argued before but I feel like this girl is now trying to take my best friend away from me (as well as my ex).I understand this sounds childish but I can’t help seeing it this way.

    Thanks for any advice

    #1099822 Reply
    LisforLeslie
    Guest

    Well, I can understand that you don’t like the girl – but it has been 10 years and it doesn’t sound like you got over it… at all.

    I mean, are you friends who can talk honestly with one another and tell each other things that you don’t necessarily want to hear but need to hear? Or are you just friends who are there because neither of you has ever done anything egregious?

    And maybe you need to hear from her that your friend isn’t going to stop being your friend unless you force her to choose. Don’t play the game unless you’re willing to lose.

    #1099823 Reply
    Kate
    Keymaster

    I can sympathize with how you feel. I have an ex I broke up with 10 years ago. No cheating was even involved. But I don’t like him, he makes me uncomfortable, and I used to use evite RSVPs to avoid him until people stopped using those. He showed up at a party I was at a few years ago and I felt icky.

    Totally get why you’re uncomfortable with your friend being friends with his wife under the circumstances. But I wouldn’t say anything. It’s not fair to make her choose. She’d also be highly likely to mention it to the wife, and you don’t want that. And finally, if your friend knows the history and is friends with this woman anyway, then what’s the point of saying anything? I would chalk it up to evolving friendships and lifestyles, and just spend quality time with your friend when you can. If applicable, you could say you would like to not hear anything about your ex.

    #1099825 Reply
    Allornone
    Guest

    I would talk to her. But just talk, honestly. Don’t make her choose. And don’t approach it like she’s done anything wrong. Because really, she hasn’t.

    Just a “Hey, given the history, I’m finding myself hurt that you are becoming such good friends with so-and-so. I know it’s entirely stemming from my own issues, and I wouldn’t ever want to keep you from developing a good friendship, but it makes me uneasy. I just want to make sure that our friendship is still on solid ground and remains unaffected. I already lost [ex], I would hate to lose you as well.”

    If you’ve been best friends for 20 years, you should be able to honestly talk about your feelings without getting mad at each other. Just again, stay calm, don’t be accusatory. It stings, yes, rightfully so, but remember- your friend is not your ex. History is not repeating itself. She is not trying to replace you. Your friend and the woman have something in common (motherhood), yes, but you have 20 years in common. She can let this person into her life and still have plenty of room for you in it.

    #1099827 Reply
    CurlyQue
    Participant

    I don’t agree that you should talk to your friend. These are YOUR issues to work through, and to be honest i’m kind of surprised you haven’t tried therapy for what you describe as a “level of emotional trauma…(that) will probably never fully leave” you. That is how you properly deal with this, not forever banning your friend from making a mom friend.

    If she brings up the ex or his family, you may definitely set a boundary that you don’t want to hear about them but i don’t think you can do much more than that.

    #1099828 Reply
    Bittergaymark
    Guest

    Yeah. Ten years on — if this is still THIS traumatizing… NEWSFLASH: you have some real and serious issues that need to be worked out with a therapist. Because — yeah – this is really EXTREME when it’s now, well, a whole decade later. Some people love playing the victim a little too much. And make this their entire identity.

    My God, it was TEN years ago.
    You weren’t even married.
    Now — you are! To somebody else!

    Let. It. Go.

    #1099829 Reply
    ron
    Guest

    Your husband may assume that you are still really pining over your ex and that’s the reason you’ve clung to this for so long.

    #1099830 Reply
    ron
    Guest

    I’ll ask: if this still bothers you so much, then why have you stayed in the same circle of friends all this time? And no, you shouldn’t talk to your bf. And, if you really are happily married, you shouldn’t still be thinking ‘she took my ex away from me’. I don’t know what treating you brutally means, but you say your ex also did that to you, so it doesn’t sound like he was a great loss for you. Is this just you are super competitive and can’t stand to ever lose to somebody else?

    #1099835 Reply
    Kate
    Keymaster

    Ron, the others didn’t cheat on her, just her ex did. I don’t think it’s weird to stay friends with these people. I’m still friends with my ex from 10 years ago’s friends even though we had a bad relationship and I don’t like him. Some of them are fun people.

    And being happily married doesn’t change the fact that these people betrayed her. If someone steals my diamond earrings and I get new ones, I’m still holding a grudge against the person who stole them.

    #1099841 Reply
    ron
    Guest

    Kate, I think that LW is being very melodramatic and uses very vague, emotional language:

    “I feel like this girl is now trying to take my best friend away from me (as well as my ex)”

    This woman isn’t trying to steal her friend. The two of them have formed a connection over shared motherhood and the friend has simply stopped carrying on LW’s decade-long feud. LW has no right to control her bf’s interaction with others in the group or to expect her to be a participant in a forever feud.

    I don’t buy your diamond earrings analogy. You own the earrings. They are your property. Neither a best friend nor a boyfriend are property. They get to run their own lives.

    Interestingly, LW never actually says her bf cheated on her. It is very possible that he dumped her prior to getting together with the other woman. LW just writes in a manner that suggests she would take that unreasonably hard.

    Why do I think she should have left a group of ‘fun people’ who didn’t cheat on her (and we don’t know ex cheated, we do know that she thinks she owns the people close to her)? Well, she writes of her great pain and decade-long feud/discomfort of seeing her ex with his new gf, now wife:

    “This led me to many years of comparing myself to her, not feeling good enough and wishing I never had to see them again, but we were always in the same circle of friends.”

    Why stay in the group if being in the group with ex causes her so much pain?

    That you can be friends with your ex’s friends is… a sign of your normalcy. Obviously, she isn’t capable of that, possibly because ex and his wife have always been a part of that group.

    The world isn’t such a small place that she has to stay with the same friend group forever, despite the trauma she says it has caused her.

    It sounds like everyone was very young when her ex chose to leave her for other woman. Not necessarily cheated, left her, and caused her to change the life plan in her mind and question her desirability. Most Americans don’t end up with their first long-term SO. People grow and change. Again, from what she wrote, LW seems clingy and possessive as hell.

    #1099846 Reply
    Kate
    Keymaster

    Nah, her feelings are pretty normal, she just needs to be mature about how she deals with them. You don’t get to tell her how she should feel or who it’s reasonable for her to be friends with or who to be mad at or not. And I don’t think she gets to tell her bestie who else to be friends with or not.

    #1099848 Reply
    Kate
    Keymaster

    I can see how being left for another girl at a young age could mess up your self-esteem, cheating or not. It might be a good idea to consider therapy if you do have feelings of worthlessness and it’s affecting your life. And it’s never a bad idea to try new things, meet new people, even at work. You can and should make new friends as you evolve.

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