Message Boards

Topic : Ending Toxic Friendships

Number of Replies: 486
New Messages This Week: 0
Last Reply On:
Created on : Thursday, July 07, 2005, 09:20:14 am
Author : dataimport
It can be hard to extricate yourself from a friendship gone bad. Share your stories and strategies for handling this sticky situation.

As of January, 2009, this message board will become "Read Only" and will be closed to further posting. Please join the NEW Dr. Phil Community to continue your discussions, personalize your message board experience, start a blog and meet new friends.

March 24, 2008, 5:32 am CDT

It sounds toxic allright!

Quote From: lucky35

Hi, I have had a friend since my early 20's. I am now in my late 30's. We met in Houston when I moved there when I was still a teenager. I was in her wedding as her only bridesmaid, too. I lived in Houston for 10 years and then I moved back to Florida (where I am originally from) for about 10 years and now I have moved back to Houston (with my new husband). We have been here for about 1 year now.

 

The problem is my friend really did not keep in touch with me that well when I moved from Houston to go back home and now that I am back in town it is even worse. I'm not sure if I should just end this friendship all together.

 

Here are some examples of some things she has done:

 

1-She came to Florida on a business vacation and we almost got into a fist fight over her husband. Her husband runs sound at local bars and has dabbled in the sound studio industry. I, on the other hand, actually have an audio degree and I simply was telling my friend how hard it was to make it in the world of audio engineering and I even said something about them "having that studio". She got really angry at me and I thought she was going to hit me and she just turned around and walked off. That is how that encounter ended with her.

 

2-She gave me and my husband a place to stay when we got back in town while we were waiting for the apartments to open for us to move-in. We stayed approximately 6 hours in her house. When I woke-up she threw this book at me and told me I needed to read it. It was titled, "Get A Life".

 

3-I mentioned to here that we should have a "girls night out" and then I saw on myspace her having "girls nights out" and without me or even inviting me.

 

4-The only time she has really expressed doing anything with me has been with her other girlfriends too (whom I do not really know that well).  We used to go out to dinner just us two and do things together just us, but for some reason she does not want to do anything alone with me.

 

5-She left a message on myspace to me telling me that my husband was anti-social and did not like her and her husband and that is why she did not hang-out with me anymore or very much. I later called her on the telephone and asked her "what did our husbands have to do with our friendship?".

 

6-She is totally pissed at me for not letting her do my hair (she is a hairdresser and I used to go to her when I previously lived here in Houston). My thing is I don't want that to be the only time I see her is when she is making money off of my haircut. I have chosen to choose other hairdressers simply because I don't like some of the people she works with either. (When they were on that business vacation trip, some of her coworkers were telling me where to go in my hometown and they clearly did not know what they were doing). They had all went down to the beach and were sitting several miles down the wrong way (where nobody goes) on rocks. I took them up to the main part of the beach and they had much more fun.

 

7-I did go over to her house on New Years Day and her "other" girlfriends were there, but I kept seeing her whipser in her girlfriend's ear. I totally got the impression that she was talking about me to her friend. She told me they were talking about the kids.  (By the way, this so-called friend knows A LOT of PERSONAL information about me that I now wished I would of never told her!)

 

So...I don't know what to do. I am left feeling really confused over this friendship. She did not even act like she wanted me to move back to Houston. She kept telling me she thought I would get back with my ex-boyfriend. I am married now and have been for five years and there is no way I would do that to my husband.

 

I personally think she is jealous of me. I have totally changed since the last time I lived here. I am now extremely educated and a working professional. I am also a musician and I think she is jealous of my audio degree and my musical talents that compete with her husband's.

 

I'm not sure what to do. I have been back in town almost a year now and we have not gone out at all yet. I'm beginning to think it is better if I just forget about this friendship. What do you think?? Thank you!

I'm wondering why you would even want this person as a friend.  She sounds volatile, immature, and the friendship is definitely in the toxic zone. She sounds controlling;she wants you to be around when she wants it, and she wants to control what you do.  She refuses to be direct with you as evidenced by her  using myspace to communicate things to you. (I'll bet she wanted you to read that she had that girls' night without you)  And she  acts like a junior high kid by leaving you out of things and whispering in front of you.  I would not bother with her at all.  She wants to totally control the relationship, who does what and goes where etc.  She will only bring continued aggravation into your life. I'd kick her to the curb.
 
March 24, 2008, 6:25 am CDT

Thanks for the quick response!

Quote From: juliebgg

I'm wondering why you would even want this person as a friend.  She sounds volatile, immature, and the friendship is definitely in the toxic zone. She sounds controlling;she wants you to be around when she wants it, and she wants to control what you do.  She refuses to be direct with you as evidenced by her  using myspace to communicate things to you. (I'll bet she wanted you to read that she had that girls' night without you)  And she  acts like a junior high kid by leaving you out of things and whispering in front of you.  I would not bother with her at all.  She wants to totally control the relationship, who does what and goes where etc.  She will only bring continued aggravation into your life. I'd kick her to the curb.

Thank you so much for the quick response. I was afraid that it would be weeks before anyone responded and with such a long posting, I wasn't sure if anyone would take the time to read it. Thank you.

 

 

 
March 24, 2008, 6:46 am CDT

Oh! One more thing!

Quote From: juliebgg

I'm wondering why you would even want this person as a friend.  She sounds volatile, immature, and the friendship is definitely in the toxic zone. She sounds controlling;she wants you to be around when she wants it, and she wants to control what you do.  She refuses to be direct with you as evidenced by her  using myspace to communicate things to you. (I'll bet she wanted you to read that she had that girls' night without you)  And she  acts like a junior high kid by leaving you out of things and whispering in front of you.  I would not bother with her at all.  She wants to totally control the relationship, who does what and goes where etc.  She will only bring continued aggravation into your life. I'd kick her to the curb.

Oh! I need your help with one more thing. I started thinking about your question and you wondering why I would even have this friend in my life at all? I think I want to continue some sort of relationship with her (even if it is only posting Happy Easter comments to her on myspace), because I feel like I might possibly one day get back into the music business as a part-time hobby.  I'm scared that since her husband "still" works in the industry, locally, that if I do not remain friends with her that my musical career could possibly cross paths with her husband, and it could be jeopardized by not being her friend in some sort of way. I guess what I'm trying to say is just say I have a gig one night and I show up and the person running sound that night for the club/bar is her husband! How would I react or what could I say to him? I mean he would obvisouly know that I have not spoken to his wife (my flaky friend) in a long, long time. 

 

I need some advice on how to handle this type of situation of running into her husband throughout the music scene. Honestly, I do not know why he scares me. I have more music education than he does and I actually was more popular of a musician than he was in Houston in the 90's. I guess because he is more involved in the music business now than I am that I secretly feel he has some control over my musical future for some reason. Oh! Another reason why I am tired of trying to be friends with her is that she makes fun of my musical talent. She acts as if I am not a good singer. I have won vocal awards and studied music in college. I have been involved in music and singing for a very long time and I have experience working for bands. She makes me feel like I am soooooooo bad. And oh my gosh, if you only heard her sing!! Seriously, she can not carry a tune for nothing! I know everybody is not going to love my voice, but I would at least expect my "friends" to be encouraging.

 

So, I think that is the only reason why I am trying to continue to have some sort of relationship with my friend, because I am scared of what her husband might do to my music career, if and when I decide to get back out there and play (I haven't played since I got married a few years ago). So help me with this situation with her husband, please!!! Thank you so much!!!!!

 
March 24, 2008, 9:19 am CDT

to lucky35

Quote From: lucky35

Oh! I need your help with one more thing. I started thinking about your question and you wondering why I would even have this friend in my life at all? I think I want to continue some sort of relationship with her (even if it is only posting Happy Easter comments to her on myspace), because I feel like I might possibly one day get back into the music business as a part-time hobby.  I'm scared that since her husband "still" works in the industry, locally, that if I do not remain friends with her that my musical career could possibly cross paths with her husband, and it could be jeopardized by not being her friend in some sort of way. I guess what I'm trying to say is just say I have a gig one night and I show up and the person running sound that night for the club/bar is her husband! How would I react or what could I say to him? I mean he would obvisouly know that I have not spoken to his wife (my flaky friend) in a long, long time. 

 

I need some advice on how to handle this type of situation of running into her husband throughout the music scene. Honestly, I do not know why he scares me. I have more music education than he does and I actually was more popular of a musician than he was in Houston in the 90's. I guess because he is more involved in the music business now than I am that I secretly feel he has some control over my musical future for some reason. Oh! Another reason why I am tired of trying to be friends with her is that she makes fun of my musical talent. She acts as if I am not a good singer. I have won vocal awards and studied music in college. I have been involved in music and singing for a very long time and I have experience working for bands. She makes me feel like I am soooooooo bad. And oh my gosh, if you only heard her sing!! Seriously, she can not carry a tune for nothing! I know everybody is not going to love my voice, but I would at least expect my "friends" to be encouraging.

 

So, I think that is the only reason why I am trying to continue to have some sort of relationship with my friend, because I am scared of what her husband might do to my music career, if and when I decide to get back out there and play (I haven't played since I got married a few years ago). So help me with this situation with her husband, please!!! Thank you so much!!!!!

There is a wonderful "in between stage" that falls between being "friends" with this person (and I don't believe she has been much of a friend) and being enemies with her.  You have to find that middle ground.You can be corial to someone and talk small talk with them without being close to them.  If you run into them be pleasant, chat for a moment about nothing too personal and then say "I have to be going now.  I have .......an appointment, have to pick up the kids, go to the grocery store" anything to make a quick and definite get away..  If you are at a party or a mutual friend's house, just be poilite, then move on to talk to someone else.

I had a neighbor that I was good friends with.  we had a falling out that  started when her son began bullying mine at the bus stop and she didn't want to do anything to help the situation.   She used the "boys will be boys" nonsense cliche and didn't intervene at all even when her son was recruiting all the others at the bus stop to join in.  She did other things too like allowing her daughter to destroy our bushes on the bus stop which is by my house> We had an argument one day and didn't talk for many months.  On Halloween I took my daughter trick or treating at her house and made small talk with her.  Why did I do this?  Because it is much esier and more pleasant to be at that cordial in-between than to be enemies.  To this day (15 years later) we are still cordial to each other when we see each other, but we never resumed the closeness we had before.  The reason why I keep it at that middle stage is because she violated my trust and proved she was no friend of mine.  From what you say YOUR friend violated your trust too, and she is doing many things to demean and belittle you, so she is someone you should not consider as a friend.  So, minimize the time that you are near this person ( to zero if possible) and if you do run into her be polite but not overly friendly and spend as short a time as possible with her.  Hope I have been helpful.

 
March 24, 2008, 12:02 pm CDT

Thanks!

Quote From: juliebgg

There is a wonderful "in between stage" that falls between being "friends" with this person (and I don't believe she has been much of a friend) and being enemies with her.  You have to find that middle ground.You can be corial to someone and talk small talk with them without being close to them.  If you run into them be pleasant, chat for a moment about nothing too personal and then say "I have to be going now.  I have .......an appointment, have to pick up the kids, go to the grocery store" anything to make a quick and definite get away..  If you are at a party or a mutual friend's house, just be poilite, then move on to talk to someone else.

I had a neighbor that I was good friends with.  we had a falling out that  started when her son began bullying mine at the bus stop and she didn't want to do anything to help the situation.   She used the "boys will be boys" nonsense cliche and didn't intervene at all even when her son was recruiting all the others at the bus stop to join in.  She did other things too like allowing her daughter to destroy our bushes on the bus stop which is by my house> We had an argument one day and didn't talk for many months.  On Halloween I took my daughter trick or treating at her house and made small talk with her.  Why did I do this?  Because it is much esier and more pleasant to be at that cordial in-between than to be enemies.  To this day (15 years later) we are still cordial to each other when we see each other, but we never resumed the closeness we had before.  The reason why I keep it at that middle stage is because she violated my trust and proved she was no friend of mine.  From what you say YOUR friend violated your trust too, and she is doing many things to demean and belittle you, so she is someone you should not consider as a friend.  So, minimize the time that you are near this person ( to zero if possible) and if you do run into her be polite but not overly friendly and spend as short a time as possible with her.  Hope I have been helpful.

You are oh so right! I don't have kids and I think she even judges me for that. I have often thought she quit being my friend because I have chosen to live childless and she hasn't. She has asked me many times about my desire to want or not want children. So, it has just been soooo many things that have happened between us and I definitely agree with the fact you mentioned that it is much easier to be cordial than to be enemies. Thank you so much!

 
March 25, 2008, 3:56 am CDT

controlling!!!!!!

Quote From: lucky35

You are oh so right! I don't have kids and I think she even judges me for that. I have often thought she quit being my friend because I have chosen to live childless and she hasn't. She has asked me many times about my desire to want or not want children. So, it has just been soooo many things that have happened between us and I definitely agree with the fact you mentioned that it is much easier to be cordial than to be enemies. Thank you so much!

She sounds controlling and seems to want to run your life.  But then gets angry or catty with you when you don't do what she wants you to.  She is manipulative and I don't think you will ever be happy with that friendship.  So play it cool and just be cordial with her, but back off from the friendship. She may be envious of you ; whatever it is, she sounds really toxic.  GOOD LUCK to you, Lucky!!!!!

 

 
April 15, 2008, 11:30 am CDT

Question of privacy

Hi all! It's been a long time since I've been on here. If you remember me, my marriage is still not where is should be. The last time I was on I talked about the amount of time my wife spends on the phone with this guy. This is still going on but I am still in a position not to say anything with out it coming back on me and making me the bad guy.

Here's the deal. Back in January we had a discussion about her talking and what my fears were. She got angry and accused me of wanting to take more away from her, referring to her friend and there daily conversations. I brought up all the information about emotional affairs and that  how destructive it is and that those involved don't realize it. She completely denies it and that she knows that is not what's happening. So anyway, she said that she would cut back and for me not to worry. Well, I'm still worried. After she gets off the phone she will have a different attitude towards me. Before she talks she may be joking around or be more talkative around me but after she gets off the phone it's like a switch has been flipped.

Just recently I talked to her about it and she said that she doesn't have that much time to talk to him anymore because she's going to school and has to study so it may only be 5 to 10 min. But it's still every day. So that brings me to my question. I have gained access to her cell phone account. She did not give me the password though. I just needed to know what was really going on. I've gone back to January to see just how much she is talking. In Jan she talked for 27 hrs, Feb 33 hrs, march 21 hrs and April it's at 10 hrs. A total of 461 calls in less than 4 months. Now what I am worried about is that if I bring this to her attention she will accuse me of invasion of privacy. Is looking at her phone record invading her privacy? Am I justified in doing this? I am going to be made out to be the bad guy and she's going to blame me for her behavior. It will be turned into an issue of me offending her and trying to take away from her rather than focusing on what's really going on.

Does anyone have any advice?

 
April 17, 2008, 7:08 pm CDT

RE: Question of Privacy

Quote From: Iguy72

Hi all! It's been a long time since I've been on here. If you remember me, my marriage is still not where is should be. The last time I was on I talked about the amount of time my wife spends on the phone with this guy. This is still going on but I am still in a position not to say anything with out it coming back on me and making me the bad guy.

Here's the deal. Back in January we had a discussion about her talking and what my fears were. She got angry and accused me of wanting to take more away from her, referring to her friend and there daily conversations. I brought up all the information about emotional affairs and that  how destructive it is and that those involved don't realize it. She completely denies it and that she knows that is not what's happening. So anyway, she said that she would cut back and for me not to worry. Well, I'm still worried. After she gets off the phone she will have a different attitude towards me. Before she talks she may be joking around or be more talkative around me but after she gets off the phone it's like a switch has been flipped.

Just recently I talked to her about it and she said that she doesn't have that much time to talk to him anymore because she's going to school and has to study so it may only be 5 to 10 min. But it's still every day. So that brings me to my question. I have gained access to her cell phone account. She did not give me the password though. I just needed to know what was really going on. I've gone back to January to see just how much she is talking. In Jan she talked for 27 hrs, Feb 33 hrs, march 21 hrs and April it's at 10 hrs. A total of 461 calls in less than 4 months. Now what I am worried about is that if I bring this to her attention she will accuse me of invasion of privacy. Is looking at her phone record invading her privacy? Am I justified in doing this? I am going to be made out to be the bad guy and she's going to blame me for her behavior. It will be turned into an issue of me offending her and trying to take away from her rather than focusing on what's really going on.

Does anyone have any advice?

Hello,

 

In answer to your question... hell yes... it is an invasion of her privacy!!! 

 

I don't care if she is carrying on an emotional affair or what, it does not give you the right to snoop!!!.

 

Look at it this way... how would you feel if your wife wanted to snoop in your business?  I don't think you would like it.  So don't do it to her!!

 

Anyway... it seems to me that your behavior is driving her away. 

 

I am not saying that she is perfect or that she is not responsible for her own choices and actions.... but getting on her case about who she talks with, rightly or wrongly is pushing her to this guy. 

Also if there is an emotional affair that is going on between these two, perhaps it is because this guy is providing something that you are not providing to your wife!

 

Please don't think that I am criticizing you, because I am not,  but just keep in mind that affairs usually don't just happen... there is some unhappiness in a marrage that drives one of the parties to seek attention elsewhere.

 

Anyway.... is you truly, truly  want to save this marriage, then you need to find a different approach to dealing with your wife. 

For starters, you need to stop with the criticizing and just be more loving, patient and kind. 

You can do that by learning to communicate better.  

 

BTW -- communication is NOT just something that is reserved for the bedroom, it something that you  need to do everyday with your wife about just plain old ordinary stuff.

How do you communicate better? 


Well... dont just talk about yourself, your job, your opinions, etc..  but encourage her to open up as well.  Ask your wife questions about her day, ask her opinions or her thoughts on this thing or that thing, be encouraging and positive, be kind, be attentive, REALLY, REALLY LISTEN to what she has to say... rather than listening and criticizing or just flat out ignoring what she has to say about things. 

Also seek out a marriage counselor... if she won't go, that doesn't mean you can't go on your own.

 

Good Luck,

 

Cricket

 
April 18, 2008, 8:23 am CDT

Privacy

Quote From: llyr8007

Hello,

 

In answer to your question... hell yes... it is an invasion of her privacy!!! 

 

I don't care if she is carrying on an emotional affair or what, it does not give you the right to snoop!!!.

 

Look at it this way... how would you feel if your wife wanted to snoop in your business?  I don't think you would like it.  So don't do it to her!!

 

Anyway... it seems to me that your behavior is driving her away. 

 

I am not saying that she is perfect or that she is not responsible for her own choices and actions.... but getting on her case about who she talks with, rightly or wrongly is pushing her to this guy. 

Also if there is an emotional affair that is going on between these two, perhaps it is because this guy is providing something that you are not providing to your wife!

 

Please don't think that I am criticizing you, because I am not,  but just keep in mind that affairs usually don't just happen... there is some unhappiness in a marrage that drives one of the parties to seek attention elsewhere.

 

Anyway.... is you truly, truly  want to save this marriage, then you need to find a different approach to dealing with your wife. 

For starters, you need to stop with the criticizing and just be more loving, patient and kind. 

You can do that by learning to communicate better.  

 

BTW -- communication is NOT just something that is reserved for the bedroom, it something that you  need to do everyday with your wife about just plain old ordinary stuff.

How do you communicate better? 


Well... dont just talk about yourself, your job, your opinions, etc..  but encourage her to open up as well.  Ask your wife questions about her day, ask her opinions or her thoughts on this thing or that thing, be encouraging and positive, be kind, be attentive, REALLY, REALLY LISTEN to what she has to say... rather than listening and criticizing or just flat out ignoring what she has to say about things. 

Also seek out a marriage counselor... if she won't go, that doesn't mean you can't go on your own.

 

Good Luck,

 

Cricket

You are correct in saying that I drove her away. I know and understand that. I am now doing what I am supposed to do. It's a long story but I've posted on here a lot so if you get a chance you can read it. So, here's my situation, I know she is doing this, I do not know what they are talking about but at this point it doesn't matter. All I know is that they are talking for way too many hours. She is lying to me about how much they are talking. She says 5 - 10 min a day but it's an average of about 50 min a day.  She is not willing to go to counseling and I can't bring up the amount of time she is talking because I'm not supposed to know. I just want her to stop giving away her emotions to him and start focusing on fixing our marriage. I am going to counseling on my own, I have changed my ways and how I treat her and I'm doing it., it's just not doing any good as long as this hurdle is in the way. So the question is, if I don't snoop and let her know that I know how does the behavior stop? It is a catch 22 situation. The other issue is that she doesn't think she is doing anything wrong. There are so many studies and information about emotional affairs that describe exactly what she is doing and I've brought this up to her and she thinks she is immune to it because it doesn't involve sex. well that's why it's called an "emotional affair". Anyway, I'm stuck on this. Thank you for you input I need as much as I can get.

 
April 18, 2008, 9:01 am CDT

privacy

Quote From: llyr8007

Hello,

 

In answer to your question... hell yes... it is an invasion of her privacy!!! 

 

I don't care if she is carrying on an emotional affair or what, it does not give you the right to snoop!!!.

 

Look at it this way... how would you feel if your wife wanted to snoop in your business?  I don't think you would like it.  So don't do it to her!!

 

Anyway... it seems to me that your behavior is driving her away. 

 

I am not saying that she is perfect or that she is not responsible for her own choices and actions.... but getting on her case about who she talks with, rightly or wrongly is pushing her to this guy. 

Also if there is an emotional affair that is going on between these two, perhaps it is because this guy is providing something that you are not providing to your wife!

 

Please don't think that I am criticizing you, because I am not,  but just keep in mind that affairs usually don't just happen... there is some unhappiness in a marrage that drives one of the parties to seek attention elsewhere.

 

Anyway.... is you truly, truly  want to save this marriage, then you need to find a different approach to dealing with your wife. 

For starters, you need to stop with the criticizing and just be more loving, patient and kind. 

You can do that by learning to communicate better.  

 

BTW -- communication is NOT just something that is reserved for the bedroom, it something that you  need to do everyday with your wife about just plain old ordinary stuff.

How do you communicate better? 


Well... dont just talk about yourself, your job, your opinions, etc..  but encourage her to open up as well.  Ask your wife questions about her day, ask her opinions or her thoughts on this thing or that thing, be encouraging and positive, be kind, be attentive, REALLY, REALLY LISTEN to what she has to say... rather than listening and criticizing or just flat out ignoring what she has to say about things. 

Also seek out a marriage counselor... if she won't go, that doesn't mean you can't go on your own.

 

Good Luck,

 

Cricket

Oh one more thing. You asked,"  how would you feel if your wife wanted to snoop in your business?  I don't think you would like it."  I did find that she was snooping a while back and she said that she accidentally came across the information. I really had no problem with it. In fact I invited her to do it. I want to do everything I can to help her gain trust in me. I don't want there to be any secrets if it's going to hinder her trusting me.
 
First | Prev | 39 | 40 | 41 | 42 | 43 | 44 | 45 | 46 | 47 | 48 | Next | Last