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losing a really special friend

(26 Posts)
holly456 Thu 21-Sep-17 16:09:36

Has anyone ever parted ways with a best/really close friend? I've come to the end of the road with a really special friend and I feel so sad. We have such a strong emotional bond but just different ideas of what friendship means to each of us on a day-to-day basis, and we just couldn't make it work. It was starting to get really toxic with far too many misunderstandings and miscommunication...almost like being in a really unhealthy relationship. We still have to see each other and be in touch and that will be fine on a surface level, but I know I need to move on emotionally now. We tried to talk it through so many times but the same problems would keep re-occuring and we were both giving up too much headspace to something which shouldn't have been so hard.

Its been coming for a while now so I've been trying to put things in my diary with other friends, and do all the things that people say you should do - go to the gym, keep busy etc. But I just feel such a huge sense of sadness and loss. I've got friends from my childhood, school and University still, and friendship plays such a massively important part in my life. I've never had to let a friendship go before, and this friend was so special to me. I would have done anything for her. I feel like even if I put 1000 coffee dates in my diary it would never fill that gap emotionally.

I keep crying and so many times today I've started a text to her and then deleted it. Its just not the answer anymore. We've tried this before and there's a flurry of reconciliation and then the same old problems resurface. I've also got to keep a brave face on in front of our other mutual friends. None of them knew how emotionally attached we were and all the ups and downs we had. I feel like I'm going through a break up but with no support. I can't tell my husband as I don't think he would understand the emotion that I'm feeling.

I know we both need some time and space to heal, but its so hard. I feel so bereft and tearful.

shaggedthruahedgebackwards Thu 21-Sep-17 16:16:08

Ah that must be really hard OP

Without knowing the details of what has happened to make you decide the friendship needs to end it is difficult to comment on whether you are doing the right thing but I assume you haven't made this decision lightly

Hopefully time will heal x

burntoutmum Thu 21-Sep-17 16:21:23

Me sad, not the same but know what it's like to have that feeling

I fell out with my BF earlier this year. She upset me by saying something about my Son and because I questioned it she shut me off. At the time I was devastated, a massive hole appeared as we spent a lot of time together, but as time has gone on I actually have started to realise that maybe she wasn't a best friend after all. We're now amicable (just) and I've moved on and found other things to fill my time.

Sounds dramatic ( which it is, overly) but I felt like I was grieving! However now I realise that our friendship actually wasn't that healthy, we lived in each other's pockets.

holly456 Thu 21-Sep-17 16:32:41

thank you shaggedthruahedgebackwards (i love your username! Its awesome!)

I suppose - in a nutshell - the problem was that she just couldn't give to our friendship what I could. We're very different - she has a really chaotic, busy life..arranges and cancels things on a whim..is full of good intentions but has so many commitments and plates spinning that she often lets people down. I've got a busy life too but I'm more organised and measured..I like to have things in my diary ahead of time, and if I commit to something then I like to follow through with it. I sometimes felt slightly used - that if she was in the right mood for me then I was expected to be there, but other times, even if I had a problem, I just couldn't count on her. It was a hard friendship to feel relaxed in as I often felt that things could change without warning and that left me feeling edgy. I had faults too - I tended to overreact if she cancelled on me, and take it really personally, and I could have been more flexible at times and just gone with the flow. i think I was probably more emotionally over-invested in our friendship and that wasn't healthy.

I did really try to accept her as she was but I felt increasingly that I was waiting to be let down or hurt. I'm quite a confident and secure person but she really made me feel anxious at times.

Despite all that, we really did love each other. We had such chemistry and some really amazing times together. It was female friendship at its best. But the bad bits were really starting to outweigh the good.

holly456 Thu 21-Sep-17 16:34:48

thank you burnoutmum. I agree about living in each other's pockets and it not being healthy. I don't think I would ever get so close to one friend again. Its just not worth it if things go wrong.

angularmerkel Thu 21-Sep-17 16:44:09

This happened to me. I discovered that my closest friend (shared holidays, child care help, I supported her through her divorce) had slagged me and, worse still, my children to a mutual acquaintance.

I was devastated for ages, felt betrayed but also abandoned. It was horrible so you have my sympathy.

I see her around quite a lot and it's awkward as I am her ds's godparent. However I now (nearly 5 years later) see it as a lucky escape and I'm glad to be out of it.

It's taught me a lesson about trust and friendship and it's made me harder and more cynical which is sad. But I'd rather that than have my children be around someone who didn't think kindly towards them.

Hang in there, you'll find more friends who deserve you flowers

existentialmoment Thu 21-Sep-17 16:52:43

I suppose - in a nutshell - the problem was that she just couldn't give to our friendship what I could

The way you describe your feelings I'm not sure that anyone could give to the friendship what you did. You sound extremely invested and attached and I'm wondering if your friend just couldn't cope with your level of intensity.

hmmwhatatodo Thu 21-Sep-17 18:23:21

Weirdly op I am going through the exact same scenario (do we share the same friend?!). It's upsetting when you think about all the times you dropped everything to help them out with their life only to discover that they will cancel on you as you are walking out door or not get in touch with you unless they want something. I'm still not sure what to think/do! Totally messed up your head.

MaccaPaccaismyNemesis Thu 21-Sep-17 18:28:48

Me. It absolutely devastated me, and I've still not got over losing my dearest friend. She and I had very different ways of parenting and she was bad mouthing me. We had words and it all fell to bits.

Giggorata Fri 22-Sep-17 07:17:43

I have done this, or rather, I have allowed this to happen.
My friend and I were inseparable and attuned, but it gradually faded, until I realised that it was always me contacting her. From conversations that encompassed everything and went on into the early hours, it ended up as occasional cinema outings, and then even those stopped. We've been friends for thirty years.
I decided that I wouldn't ring her again, and see if/when she rings me. It's been seven months.

LindyHemming Fri 22-Sep-17 07:23:15

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

holly456 Fri 22-Sep-17 12:07:06

Thank you all. I just feel so empty, which in itself should tell me that it wasn't a hugely healthy friendship...the fact that its left such an emotional void. I definitely need to start filling my time with other friends and things.

Another friend of mine, who knows that we've parted ways but doesn't know the whole backstory, gave me a talk on making up with my friend at whatever cost, life's too short, one of you could get run over by a bus tomorrow, you'd always regret it etc etc. I can see some truth in that mindset, but equally I'm not sure that firing off a reconciliatory text is the answer. It's a quick term fix and just means going through all this again further down the line. And my mental wellbeing did feel very messed with at times, dancing to someone else's tune. I did get in a dreadful panic though when she said that...

There's a character in a novel I was reading, and at one point she says something along the lines of 'the thing about going through tough times is that, generally speaking, one survives'. So true. Its just a question of getting through each day when something horrible happens. I just keep hoping that in one week, one month, one year I don't feel as sad as I do now.

velourvoyageur Fri 22-Sep-17 20:28:55

OP I do feel for you and I totally understand how bereft you must feel. I imagine it must be very frustrating to as you can easily imagine it being better and more balanced between you, whereas the reality is that it's not that easy to reconcile two very different ways of operating (you being reliable and more invested and she being less so, is what I'm getting is the major issue). I don't think it is unreasonably intense to expect someone not to cancel on you repeatedly, btw.

Is it possible that you could find other various sources of human contact which give you what she currently gives you in terms of that special connection in very close friendships, so that you could still maintain the relationship with her but just in a different way? E.g. still have regular but relatively infrequent meetups where you have a jolly good in-depth catch up and a laugh, but where she isn't the person who you'd think of first to tell your random thoughts or the person who you're platonically most intimate with etc. She clearly isn't the person who can fulfill this role but others may be & if you find these people, you will probably stop resenting her for not doing so herself and be able to have a different but solid relationship with her. Resentment is always toxic but not always inevitable if you find the right circumstances - sometimes that means cutting someone out entirely, but I don't get the feeling this is the case here.

Its just not worth it if things go wrong.
I know it seems like this is true now when you're hurting so badly, you just want to protect yourself, but I don't agree with this at all. I think you have probably got a lot from this friendship, even if it's now run its course & not always been smooth going, but surely it was worth exploring? It sounds like a really special thing to have had in your life, tbh. And not everyone will be like her, honestly. Please don't close yourself off from opportunities. There are many amazing women out there who I'm sure are better fits for you than she turned out to be.

I really hope you will feel better soon.

thefirstmrsrochester Fri 22-Sep-17 21:06:36

I feel your pain, I am two years down the line from losing the closest friend I ever had. Our families lives were intertwined, even our extended families became friends. There is nothing that I would not have done for my friend. However in the years before it collapsed for us, she pushed me around, didn't respect my points of view, criticised and new relationships I built, in essence, I felt bullied by my oldest friend, and sadly we no longer speak. It is like a divorce when you have so much history. I don't think I will ever get over it. I'm just so sad about it.

gobbin Fri 22-Sep-17 21:17:53

You obviously needed her more than she needed you, sadly. I have two flaky friends (one who lives a long way away so we never meet up now). The other I still make arrangements with but accept that it may not happen - and have occasionally cancelled too when it's suited me in recent times. Neither of us holds a grudge over it.

ThePonderer Fri 22-Sep-17 21:29:17

Yes, I finished a friendship I'd had for twenty years and even now, several years later, I wonder whether things could have been different. I agree that it's like a divorce - at one point in my life I'd have talked to her about anything, but by the end I felt so let down. Our lives went in very different directions and we had less and less in common, and, I think, less interest in bridging the gap.

It was very sad but it's certainly less frustrating and disappointing now that I've detached completely.

Reluctant2ndtimer Fri 22-Sep-17 21:33:30

Urgh I'm going through something very similar myself and my 'friend' sounds very like yours. Always arranging to meet up then letting me down. Our relashionship is further complicated by our sons being best friends too and they used to come to our house every Friday after school. She would get drunk and tell me how much she loved me and how I was her best friend even if she wasn't mine (which she was). They moved away a year ago so now she plans a visit, my DS gets excited thinking his best pal is coming to stay, then we get let down again. I just can't do it anymore. I felt more comfortable with her, and found her easier to get along with than anyone I've ever met but it's just too hard to maintain. I've often felt that it was similar to a doomed toxic romance, without the sexual feelings, that level of head Fuck and so so hard to give up on.

homeworkinghubbard Fri 22-Sep-17 21:39:38

OP, really feel for you. I've got this in both directions: a friend I constantly feel guilty about because I think she wants more from our long-running friendship than I am able to give, and a relative whom I'm extremely close to but never quite makes time for me the way I do for her, so our relationship is slowly dissolving, and it feels very much like a horrible grief I'm carrying over it. Sadly, the pain the latter is causing me doesn't stop my behaviour with the former.

And yes, I've also thought about that "could be hit by a bus tomorrow" thing, and I agree with you that being friendly with everyone is a short term fix that doesn't help any long term suffering in an uneven, unequal relationship.

flowers to all. x

loveisevol Fri 22-Sep-17 21:51:21

I've gone through this with 2 friends recently. The first just cut me off. No answers, no explanation, I kept messaging her wishing her happy birthday/Christmas/anniversary etc she ignored the messages. So I eventually said enough is enough told her I wouldn't contact her again. I haven't.
The 2nd was my best friend of 20+ years. She likes to drink heavily and would slag me off on nights out and generally suck the life out of everyone and anyone around her. I got fed up and decided to stop contacting her. The odd like on Facebook etc.
A group went out for a friends hen do and she came and we ended up rowing as she was shit-faced as usual and I've decided I'm done. I don't feel sad. I feel almost happy that I'm not there having the life and happiness sucked away every time we met up.

ButterflyOfFreedom Fri 22-Sep-17 22:04:15

Place marking for now as I have been through this...

NoMudNoLotus Fri 22-Sep-17 22:12:14

Wow.

I could have written your post OP.

This happened to me. I thought we would be old ladies together ... our daughters were bridesmaids at each others weddings , we were godmothers to each others children ....

But it ended so horribly. I still miss her so very much , and it hurt so much that i havent wanted to make another friend since.

NoMudNoLotus Fri 22-Sep-17 22:13:52

And i like you , felt bereft .

MadMags Fri 22-Sep-17 22:17:58

The way you describe your feelings I'm not sure that anyone could give to the friendship what you did. You sound extremely invested and attached and I'm wondering if your friend just couldn't cope with your level of intensity.

I actually agree with this. Are you ok, generally?

NoMudNoLotus Fri 22-Sep-17 22:24:43

I dont think OPs posts suggest she has unhealthy attachments ... ( which i know a lot about as a mental health nurse )

I think if you havent been through it , it's difficult for people to understand.

To me it sounds as though OP was more of a loyal friend , whereas the other person , was not .

IdontlooklikeEmmaWatson Fri 22-Sep-17 22:30:02

"The other I still make arrangements with but accept that it may not happen - and have occasionally cancelled too when it's suited me in recent times. Neither of us holds a grudge over it."

One of my oldest and most reliable friendships is with a friend who has cancelled on me a lot even last minute and I on her. Neither of us minds, even if it is a bit inconvenient at times. I see her about 6 times a year, and she has been there for my landmarks and I hopefully for her.

The reason this friendship works is that wer are both very independent and accept that in each other. I have had other girl friends who were much more 'bff' the of relationships but they nearly all fizzled out, mostly to one of us moving way but also such intensity is not healthy. I couldn't stand it.
For me it's my husband and dc (and parents) who I like to spend intensive time with. With friends I prefer space.

OP losing a friend hurts thanks. If you really like her and want the friendship to survive, take the intensity out of it, it sound emotionally far too draining.

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