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Have I Formed a Toxic Friendship?


Astrogirl
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we became friends earlier this year. Yes, like a brother as in he confided in me and trusts me. I've never broken the trust.

 

No, I do not have a crush on him. I just feel something is off. My SO also feels the same. He has also become off with my SO, like he doesn't react to him anymore if my SO posts photos.

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Hi Holly,

 

No, we have not met in person. We have had video calls, etc., and share a lot of friends. His bad behaviour is the way in which he know chooses to talk. Sometimes it is a bit 'street', if you get what I mean. He never did this before. It's like he's getting involved with a bad crowd, but not saying.

 

I would pull back, and respond with short comments once a week. It will dwindle away to nothing. it sounds like it has become a burden.

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So why not just end things now? Looks like you don't want to, yet he seems to be causing you so much anguish/anxiety and stress. I don't get it. Just tell him "sorry, it's not working for me" and get on with your life.

 

I agree... Just move on with your life. Who needs drama?

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You consider him a brother, but you've never met the guy?

 

You continue to allow him to contact you with more-than-friends messages, and yet, you are married?

 

Girl. What.

 

I'm going to be blunt: you seem to like the attention and flattery that comes with knowing someone has a crush on you. I don't think you would care this much about why he doesn't message you back sooner if he was just any old friend. So while I agree that his behaviour seems off, so does yours. You can and should be doing to more to draw boundaries, and ceasing communication if he's disrespectful of your marriage and causing you this much distress.

 

You are getting something out of this friendship. You need to figure out what that is.

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OP, I've just had a look at your previous thread about the significant problems in your marriage.

 

Do you suppose you've been looking to this online guy for comfort and attention in light of the state of your marriage? Is that why you're more emotionally-invested in this person than your average friendship?

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We actually accepted this man's friendship as he has gone through bad experiences. That is why me and SO have taken this man on board. He really needed friends. At first, he did not know I was taken. Then he accepted it with grace and was respectful. Then overnight his attitude had changed.

 

I don't think I've made it clear enough: my problem isn't him messaging me like he used to do. I am grown up enough to live without someone sending me messages. That isn't the problem. The problem is that when he doesn't message so I have no reason to message him, he then begins to bombard me and like my posts and photos. It's like he is playing games.

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When is the last time you saw your estranged husband in person? Clearly neither of you know this troll so why bother with it?

 

Wouldn't it be better to spend your time making money, taking classes getting involved locally in groups clubs sports interests,etc.

 

And last but not least finding an attorney who can annual your marriage or pursue a divorce in absentia.

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We actually accepted this man's friendship as he has gone through bad experiences. That is why me and SO have taken this man on board. He really needed friends. At first, he did not know I was taken. Then he accepted it with grace and was respectful. Then overnight his attitude had changed.

 

Taken him on board...how? You've never met this person.

 

You all have unhealthy relationships with one another. You're all over-complicating it, too. You don't like the way he speaks to you? Block and delete.

 

It's not hard. You need to think carefully about why you are hanging on to this. This isn't what a normal friendship looks like, and you're just as much a part of the problem as this man is.

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Wiseman, I do find that a very unnecessary thing to say. We are working on our marriage and things are going good between us. My husband actually does know this person on a better scale than myself. He too wanted to take him in as a friend and pick him up off the ground.

 

We both agree our friend has begun to act off and maybe got caught up with some bad people. While we wish to support him, we don't agree with his sudden strange moods. I am willing to continue being his friend, but I do feel he is playing games. This post is about a toxic friendship not my marriage.

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I realise my actions may be aggravating the situation. I know I am not helping myself by becoming involved with someone who may have mental and emotional complications. I can tell you that my intentions for befriending him were all done out of good intentions. Please do not read into the fact I am enjoying it. Trust me: I enjoyed our friendship when things were normal. I can accept when people can't message. It is my instincts that are telling me he is now taking advantage of the friendship and playing me.

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I have decided to steer clear of social media as much as possible. I do have lots of interests I can get back to grips with. This man needed help, I gave it, and now I feel emotionally drained and perhaps used for something I never intended. I do appreciate all advice given, but please do not read I am investing in it because I am crushing on him. This man has a bit of a past, and not the type of man anyone would want to take home to meet their parents. All I did was invest in a friendship. Something feels very off now.

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but please do not read I am investing in it because I am crushing on him.

 

I don't necessarily think you have a crush on him, but I do think you have enjoyed knowing he was interested in you. Hence why it bugs you when he goes silent or doesn't speak to you the way he once did. We don't normally think of platonic friends as "playing" us or get upset when they take a couple days to respond. The fact that you seem reluctant to block this weirdo, especially after he still made advances and thus disrespected your marriage, is very telling.

 

Keep in mind you have no idea if what he tells you about himself is true. You have no clue how much he might have manipulated you into feeling sorry for him so you'd continue talking to him. You need to be more wary and sensible if you are going to try to befriend internet strangers, Astrogirl.

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Batya33 and LikeWater:

 

 

I hear what you say. It's not healthy for any of us. I do thinks he's playing and I've allowed it. I really liked him as a friend and considered him as a brother. I forgot to mention he evens calls me during early hours, on occasions.

 

I do need take control of myself as this situation is weighing me down.

 

Yes. I think the way you speak about him is VERY concerning - friend and brother??? How do you even know that the person using slang now is the same person who was messaging you before? You have no idea actually. Could be anyone. Could be his wife, his friend, a hacker. Yes, you need to take control of you. Yes, you need to be part of the real world. No, social media is not all a fantasy at all. I am regularly on social media -I keep in touch with my friends and yes I interact with people I've never met- yes I've formed close online friendships over the years and yes those are real friendships. And I practice safe boundaries. All those friendships are platonic - they happen to be all with women. I would interact with a man but it would be very dependent on context -for example if it was a friend of a friend, there was a specific purpose for the interaction, and I most likely would not be "close" online with a male unless he was gay because the risks are far too great for misunderstanding or misimpressions. Not worth it.

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You two are not social workers, particularly with someone who has suddenly resorted to "talking like a sailor". This is indeed related to your estranged marriage in that happily married couples who live together do not seek out internet people to "rescue".

 

Redirect your energy to more productive activities.

My husband actually does know this person on a better scale than myself. He too wanted to take him in as a friend and pick him up off the ground. While we wish to support him, we don't agree with his sudden strange moods.
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