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Help me let go of a platonic male friend

(11 Posts)
sharonsays Sat 27-Aug-16 10:53:49

I have what was once a good male friend, been in the same social circle for years, but my self-diagnosis of him is that he's a narcassist and about 3 years ago I became his narcassistic supply. Since then i have been devalued and discarded but i can't get it into my head that the supply stage was unreal and keep trying to get back to that point. I have low self-esteem and feel like a failure because i couldn't maintain the friendship when instead I should be pissed off with him because he has behaved so badly towards me. How do i just get my brain to let go?

tinsheddy Sat 27-Aug-16 11:01:51

How have you been his narcissistic supply?

It is hard letting go. If you have low self esteem, tell yourself your self esteem will really improve if you let go of this relationship, because letting go takes courage!!

sharonsays Sat 27-Aug-16 11:33:49

From what i have read about narcissism, we went through a cycle of supply or idealise: I became the best thing since sliced bread. It was the platonic version of love bombing: I was his best friend ever, everyone else in our social circle was rubbish (he praised me whilst moaning about others) . Then we went through devalue: He was constantly pointing out my flaws, i couldn't work out why i wasn't his greatest friend anymore, he stopped wanting to spend time with me. There was some gaslighting. Finally, discard: he found a new form of supply, and i was cast aside, when out with mutual friends he could barely bring himself to speak to me.

Of course this is only my perception of events but this is how it feels to me that things happened. The problem is that even now, when i have just typed out how badly he behaved, I still want to return to the part where i was the greatest thing ever. I have other friends but obviously none have ever made me feel as great as i felt in the supply stage. Although they also haven't made me feel as shit as i felt in the other 2 stages.

itisi Sat 27-Aug-16 11:43:46

Hi op. My first ever post but I really relate to this. I had a male friend exactly the same. In fact I was actually in love with him for most of our friendship. He constantly came and went in and out my life and every time he came back. (Or sometimes we simply bumped into each other) he was full of "oh you're the only one that can help me get through this crisis cause you know me so well etc etc." The last time was around two years ago when he had split up with yet another girlfriend. He called me day and night pining for her, how will he cope, get her back etc etc. I was always there for him and as I'm now happily married myself, luckily no longer had the desire for him I once did. Anyway With my help he eventually did get the gf back and then he wanted to fly me out to Paris with them so I could be there when he proposed to her. Oh and he also wanted me to be his "best woman"at the wedding! Tellingly he didn't have any male friends) anyway, I declined both for his girlfriends sake. Why on earth would she want me there? Anyway He never did take her to Paris or indeed propose and once he was getting his kicks from an adoring gf again I was phased back out. it was then that I realised what an absolute narcissist he was and that I had just been there to stroke his ego when there was no other adoring female to do it. I haven't heard from him in two years after close to 20 of it all. Thing is I'm not in the slightest bit bothered. He doesn't know that, probably thinks I will be there again but that's ok. I simply won't be. The thing is op you will find your moment when enough is enough and you will act on it. Sounds like you're on the right track. wink

itisi Sat 27-Aug-16 11:56:31

Can I ask op if you're being completely honest about it being platonic? Only in the past I have found it quite easy to let go of friends that disrespect me unless I have romantic feelings towards them.

sharonsays Sat 27-Aug-16 12:18:15

Thanks for your posts itisi. i did have romantic feelings for him at one point, when i was being idealised. I tried to bury them deeply because i also i would be rejected if i made a move. I still have strong feelings for him but they are more about a friend i care about and wouldn't want anything bad to happen to them. They are definitely not romantic as even though i can't let go of him as a friend, I wouldn't trust him as a romantic partner due to the amount of lies he's told me.

sharonsays Sat 27-Aug-16 12:18:47

I also thought i would be rejected

itisi Sat 27-Aug-16 12:41:57

You are extremely similar to the way I was. And I wish I could give you a formula but I was lucky in that during one of my friends absences I met a man that showed me how decent a man can be and how I should be treated. The sexual chemistry was even stronger between us too and lucky for me he proposed! This of course made it a lot easier to deal with my friend. (I use that term very loosely now). Hopefully this will happen to you too, after all it's what we all look for and I think you know you're not going to find it with this guy. The thing is though you have said it yourself, he would make a very bad partner, but don't you see it's for the same reasons he also makes a bad friend? I do actually remember a time when I blocked mine for a period of two years and I managed to do that because I had a very strong and opinionated gf at the time who clearly pointed out to me that the way he was treating me could be interpreted as abusive. I realised after a conversation I had with him that I was afraid to tell her about it because she would be disappointed in me that I had engaged with him. I realised then I was being his victim. Funnily enough it was two years later when I bumped into him again in a coffee shop whilst out with my husband that I let him back into my life with my husbands approval as my husband said if we didn't put up with being jerked around now and then by our friends we'd never have any friends! Thank fully, whilst I do still agree with this sentiment and I tell it to my children there is a point when if it's more grief than fun you simply just have to pull the plaster off so to speak. You simply just have to do it. X

RepentAtLeisure Sat 27-Aug-16 13:04:13

Hmm, always thought my ex was a narcissist - mostly because of the hours he spent staring into the mirror everyday. But he did all that 'lovebombing' and 'discarding' too. Every other week he'd bump into someone who became the Most Amazing Person Ever, and then he'd find out they were normal human beings and drop them like a brick. Nice to have confirmation!

tinsheddy Sat 27-Aug-16 13:06:40

Thanks for the explanation OP, I know a bit about narcissism, but not quite as much as you - you seem to have read more about it. I have had a reasonably similar situation to the one you describe though.

When you're being 'idealised' as you say, it sounds like you're, in his eyes, 'too good to be true'. You know what they say, when something seems too good to be true, it invariably IS. I think you're doing absolutely the right thing distancing yourself.

sharonsays Sat 27-Aug-16 14:13:08

itisi I've been thinking about your comments. Maybe I am still a little bit 'in love' (not sure how to describe it), with the friend i had in the supply stage and somehow that is making me hold on to the idea of being friends with him despite all the crap. You're right that I wouldn't put up with this from others, I've ended friendships for less before now.

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