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How to repair my friendship


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I need advice.


My dearest, best friend is going through a divorce. This is the friend I would do--and have done--anything for. I have known her marriage was in jeopardy and that she was planning on seeking a divorce within the last year.


A few months ago, I met a guy. I was interested. He started coming around, hanging out with me and my friends. At first, I thought that he might be interested in me, but I began to realize that we were simply going to be buddies. Then my best friend started saying things like "he is really weird" and "he has no friends" and "I think you should move on and not be interested in him." I sincerely thought she was trying to comfort me through the "he's just not that in to you" phase.


And then, I noticed that my best friend and I were spending less time together. And when we did hang out, the guy was always there--and very flirtatious with my friend. I did my best to remind her to be careful (at this point, she hadn't filed for divorce). She just said that she thought he liked her, but she thought he was weird.

Then, one night, my friend was supposed to hang out with me. She said she needed to go home and study (she's in graduate school). So she bailed. Another friend sent me a text and asked what was going on between her and the guy. I was immediately sick. Everything clicked. I sent her a text and asked where she was. She called me. She was very intoxicated and said she was not going home that night, that she was staying at a friend's house. I knew who the friend was.


I sent the guy a text and said "please be careful. and be responsible." I never heard back from him.

Here is the kicker: my friend is not from the US. She got her green card when she married her husband. And it was a legitimate marriage. She adored him. He had demons that he could not battle, and the situation became too much for her. She genuinely needed to get out of there. But, this puts her green card in danger.

The next morning, she called to say that she had to take a break from our friendship and that she was sorry if she hurt me. I was devastated. Absolutely broken. And begged her not to do that. She said "I will miss you."

We talked through things over the next week and were able to work things out. I told her that I was super-concerned that she was putting her citizenship status at risk (if her husband found out and mentioned it to anyone, her green card would be revoked). She asked that I keeps things quiet. I did. But our mutual friends quickly caught on. Her coworkers started asking me if there was something going on. People saw her car parked at his place every night. She has an awesome job with a very large clientele (that's how we met) and they were starting to ask me if something was going on. My response was always the same: "she is going through some tough stuff right now and is really counting on her friends for support." Her boss even sat down with her and told her that since the guy is a client, this was a bad idea and she needed to be careful; that we live in a small town and word travels fast and this could be harmful for her career. I told her that people were talking and reminded her that she needed to be careful. I asked her why him--why the guy that I was interested in. She simply said "if it wasn't him, it would be someone else." I asked her if she was trying to talk me out of my interest by saying that he was weird and had no friends. Through a lying smile she said "no! of course not!"


I finally sat down with him one evening and talked with him. It didn't go well. I lost it. I told him that if he truly cared for her, he would wait for her marriage/divorce to be resolved. I told him that their affair could end up in her deportation. I told him that she could lose her clientele and, subsequently, her job. He told me to take a hike.


Over the last few weeks, she only hangs out with him. I've admitted to her that I am jealous and worried about this. She has met me with "you are my best friend and I love you very much" reassurances. Last night, I told her I wanted to talk to her. She lost it. She told me that she knew I didn't like him and that she can't hang out with him and me together, so she needed to find new people to hang out with. I apologized for making her feel that way. She said she didn't want to talk to me. I threw up.


Here is the thing: I'm nearing 40. I'm single and have no children. That is a huge void in my life. I fill that void with friendships. And when there is a problem with a friendship--especially one that I cherish this much--it's like having a central relationship in turmoil. I am utterly devastated.


I don't know what to do. I don't know how to recover from this sort of broken heart. I am a highly-emotional person. I thrive on close relationships and am extremely loyal. People (including doctors) have often told me that I feel emotions much more strongly than most humans--that my empathy is abnormally high and my feeling are incredibly sensitive. This makes this situation incredibly difficult. I am on the verge of tears every minute and can literally feel my heart breaking. I know this sounds codependent or even pseudo-obsessed, and I am at a loss.


I've been through losing a friendship to a man before. And it was brutal. I still mourn that loss. This one seems so much worse. I don't know what to do?

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You can't control what other people do. If she loses her green card, so be it. It's her choice.


What are you doing to advance your social life? You can't just focus on one friend and then try to micromanage her life. Your friend feels smothered. Your being 40 with no boyfriend and children isn't her fault.


You need to refocus your attention on improving your own life, filling it with different friends, activities, etc. You need to go places where you'll meet other people.

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Don't repair the friendship because it isn't worth it. She is the one who told you that she needed a break from her friendship with you so take her up on it and follow suit. Give her what she wants and more. It's time for you to take a hike from her permanently.


Stop being responsible for her. When people ask you about her, you tell them to direct all questions to her, NOT you. She's a big girl and responsible for her own life. Consider her none of your business whenever other people inquire you about her. You are not her spokesperson. Stay out of it and don't get involved with her business, green card, personal life, etc. Stay out of it. This has nothing to do with you so keep it there.


Boundaries have been crossed from both sides and it's time for you to let go of her. She's mentally unhealthy for you.


I was once similar to you and always needed to be in "hero mode." It took me a long time to remove my "caring mode" to indifference in a sanity saving way for myself. You ought to try it. You do not need to take waifs under your wing and fix them. You do not need to rescue anyone. Live your own life. You need to focus and concentrate on your own life first and foremost. Then you will attract mentally stable, normal friends.


Friends or people are very busy with their own lives. Learn to develop individualism and become more dependent. Once you are secure within your own skin, you will be a draw for like minded people. You will also attract those who are secure and don't attach themselves to friends unnaturally. Know your bounds with others.


Look at the silver lining. Perhaps your "friend" did you a favor by stealing "your man." Perhaps he really isn't 'Prince Charming' after all. Your friend most likely was a blessing disguise.


There are other guys out there in this great big world and better ones, too.


Chin up. Pick yourself up, get rid of the friend and start a new life. Be a strong person.

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You are behaving like her mother. She is a grown woman.


She sounds like a crappy friend. She also sound like she has zero common sense. How long have you known her?


She does not value you, or her reputation. Move on and expand your friend circle.

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People going through a divorce are often on emotional roller coasters. Don't try to rescue her from herself. She needs a therapist and an attorney for that. As far as the guy you liked going for her rather than you, just pull way back from this mess. Stop contacting either of them.

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  • 2 weeks later...

First I am not here to rehash my story I posted about that elsewhere on this site but maybe my experience can be of help. I recently lost a friend at work because I could just not leave things alone and things just got worse and worse It was very hard for me just to let go and let things be. In my case I apologized to my friend and I made a promise to leave her alone So now I am moving on with my life. As for her it is up to her whether or not she wants to be friends in the future. If she does not then I just have to accept it, If someday she does well then I would be open to that of course BUT this time I think I would like to discuss healthy boundaries (So that I do not up again in future) The last line on Cherylin's advice (and she was one of those whose advice helped me too) is great advice, I have already started to make a new friend at work and it helps take my mind off the one I lost (not totally of course( but because of my recent experience I am being very careful how I behave

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