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Topic : Ending Toxic Friendships

Number of Replies: 486
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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.

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May 23, 2008, 10:03 am CDT

End Of My Rope...

 This one is really long... Sorry....
    My husband (Burt) has been friends with this couple (Tom and Betty) for 10 years. He has been married to me for 3 years. He is a very wonderful, sweet, loving, caring, kind man. Tom is cool, I like Tom. Betty seemed sweet, and funny. We did things as couples often. We share similar interests and we are all close to the same age. Tom and Burt work for the same company and see each other every day. I would say that Tom is my husband's best friend. About two years ago Tom and Betty started having some personal problems, medical and financial issues that really rocked their lives. Betty started chatting online and texting my husband, confiding in him some of the issues that their family was having. At first I had no problems with this, after all they were friends long before I was in the picture, and I thought if Tom had no issue with it there was not any reason to worry. Beyond that I fully, 100% trust my husband. He tells me everything.
  We made plans with them for an upcoming event.
  AND THEN It wasn't long before I started to notice that it seemed like every night she was initiating conversation with him online. He commented to me that he had to tell her to stop sending him so many text messages while at work because he could not get anything done. She backed off, for a little while. Then, she started back, she wanted Burt to meet her somewhere so they could talk, she wanted to talk to him about Tom. I said RED FLAG. Then she sent him an inappropriate message online. I was furious.
  Burt wasn't sure if we should tell Tom, so we did not tell him. A week went by of him ignoring her messages, and she continued to send things to him. Then she sent him an apology. She said that her and Tom had talked and were going to work things out, and that she was sorry for crossing the boundaries of her friendship with him. That Tom did not know how much she had been talking to Burt, nor the nature of their conversations. Her and Tom were going to take a vacation together and work on things. He told her he was glad that they had worked things out. Everyday for five days after that she blew his phone up with messages. So he sent her a message saying that he was done, boundaries had been crossed, and he felt that it was disrespectful to his wife and his best friend to continue to talk to her via text or IM. She responded that she would not join us on the event that we had planned, she would see if Tom could bring someone else... for three weeks leading up to the event she did not contact my husband.
  The day before the event, Tom called and said that he was very sick and not able to go with us. We told him that we would buy back their tickets and sell them to someone else. He informed us that Betty had decided that she wanted to come without him. WOW, this lady has a pair... Because Tom did not know the situation he did not understand when we said that we would not allow that, after all they were our tickets to begin with. Betty threw a fit and her and Tom came to the event with Tom sick. I had to be nice to her, all day, at this out of town event, they rode with us, because I like Tom, I don't think he deserves this. He has no idea that she did has done this. So after the event, she started sending my husband text messages AGAIN. Things like "Miss talking to you" And here is the best part, She thinks for what ever reason, that I don't know about all of it. I guess because Tom doesn't know. If Tom and Burt are on the phone she tries to get Tom to hang up, and it is almost like she doesn't want them to even be friends anymore. She keeps making comments to me about how they were friends with Burt before he ever knew me. What does that mean? Burt said Betty never came on to him before. I feel like she sized me up and decided that I was not competition for her, so she thought she could steal Burt away.

  So, We are toxic friends to Tom because we are not being honest with him. I don't know what to do to make her stop. I don't think Tom can handle anymore stress, he is on meds right now for all kinds of things, he has been through so much already. Then there is the selfish aspect, it could ruin the friendship between Burt and Tom, and they have to work together every day. Then there is me, I have no question that my husband has been honest with me about this whole situation, he has shown me messages back and forth, he has involved me in this whole process, asked my advice. Honestly if it weren't for Tom and how much concern we have for him, this would be a no brainer, but I feel so torn. What can I do, What can we do to make her stop? She doesn't understand the word STOP, ignoring her isn't working... I am at the end of my rope.
 
June 2, 2008, 4:31 pm CDT

what to do....

I will try to make this long story short for the sake of those who read this.I am getting married this fall to my HS sweetheart and we are very excited to finally get to be together after being apart for 27 years.I have been single for a long time ( divorced 25 years) and so to me this is a huge thing.I am however having issues with family and friends.My brother did not want us to marry on the day that we are due to a football game that he did not want to miss, and we tried to work around it...but it had to be then due to work and schedules.SO he got over that, then I have a mother who has to be the center of attention at all times, pouting cause this is not about her.But what really bothers me most of all is that my best friend ( of 16 years) is no longer speaking to me over the time of the wedding! her husband is working that day and does not get off work until 30 minutes before the wedding.I was not even aware that he had to work let alone what time he was getting off work! She even asked me to change the time of the wedding, and I told her that I could not because we already had the invitations and the time booked at the church.So because of that, she is no longer speaking to me.She had been the best friend I ever had for a long time.Imean we were like family, but I can not fathom why she feels justified to be so angry over the time of my wedding! I mean it is not like I did this on purpose, I had no clue that he was working.I have written to her and told her that I was sorry that she was upset , got no reply.My mother seems to think that all I need to do to fix this is to cross out the time of the wedding on the invites to accomodate her husband.I disagree with this for several reasons.I thought that the wedding was about the bride and groom? Also I am not willing to ruin my invites, and we picked the time we did because we do not have a lot of time to honeymoon and we wanted an earlier wedding to get going on our honeymoon.Am I being wrong about this??
 
June 10, 2008, 8:59 am CDT

Friends who don't want to share you

Quick question.  Got a friend who is no longer going to be my friend shortly.  All I want to know is "why do some friends don't share other friends?"

 

I have a toxic friend who is angry at her sister because we are friends.  Point blank told her "she is my friend not yours" and she knows darn well that I am her sisters friend.

 
June 10, 2008, 10:50 pm CDT

Don't know what to do??

Hi,

 

My (recently made) former best friend and I met like 9 years ago, and both seemed to have alot of similarities than differences in qualities, both caring, empathetic, etc. And we had fun together, kept in touch when I moved far away,and now back (w/o family around) and I am at the hardest point in my life right now without family support around,etc finding out how competitive and jealous she can be. She is very insecure and sends numerous emails, most of which are her being insecure when I don't call  or email her right away sending me pics of things I was not invited to with her other friends tagging photos as great times with good friends, etc and constantly sending bragging about her young child, when I never do it to her and she is aware I am sure that I love mine just as much. I feel she has been very wrong and mean to me (obviously) and she sees me as negative always complaining, etc and I am realizing part of the root to my unhappiness is her behavior, jealousy (I don't think she is happy in marraige and may be jealous of my relationship (even though mine is NOT perfect, if in fact a real friend would feel bad about some of the things I have gone through in it, and not envy mine) But overall I feel mine is much healthier with a more involved partner, etc and she always brings up my career that I should be grateful for, and I should be more grateful for my house, my life, which only makes me blow my top! Anyways, I need to get her away from me, but know deep down she cares? and is a good person, but now sending me wierd emails to my other email account stating that her family website is now finished, etc when just yesterday she told me I am never happy with my life, no matter how good it is, that negativity only brings more negativity, etc the whole fight was that she pointed out in a painful way I should be more grateful of family I have around (THAT IS 1300 miles away and I never see, or hear from really since I moved!) to which I replied with alot of what I cannot say here, lol ANyways, just wondered what anyone thought s about this? I have tried to be a better friend I feel and alot harder than she has also. I tried hard to turn my cheek, and kept quiet about her ( I feel selfish, ? husband) So sorry so long! But thanks :")

 
June 10, 2008, 11:08 pm CDT

can't share sisters friend..

Quote From: h722cpe

Quick question.  Got a friend who is no longer going to be my friend shortly.  All I want to know is "why do some friends don't share other friends?"

 

I have a toxic friend who is angry at her sister because we are friends.  Point blank told her "she is my friend not yours" and she knows darn well that I am her sisters friend.

I ( just posted here myself about something else with friends) but sounds like the Toxic friend is kind of posessive, and no one should be able to posess you I think..You are most likely an adult? and I am sure you know who you want to be friends with..I think your friend is wrong for obvious reasons to be that way, how insecure. She/ he should be more secure in your friendship I think One of my sisters can be jealous etc at times, but we ( I was kind of surprised too) share her best friend, cause her friend now has a baby and I am also a mother, my sister is not and I think cannot relate anymore, etc or won't? But we still love her and invite her to everything..and you know what? if she did have a problem I would confront it anyways, *with my sister cause that is stupid I think, childish. But I also have friend problems too, lol but jus thought I might be of some help for you I hope :") Good luck! :")
 
June 15, 2008, 2:21 pm CDT

toxic friend?

I'm not sure if my friends is toxic or not.  I should say former friend, as we have not really had contact in awhile.  We became friends through our church.  She and her husband were in ministry and led a bible study.  My brother and sister in law moved to our community and she struck  up a friendship with my very difficult SIL.  I explained to her very clearly how tense the relationship with her (the SIL) was and how difficult it was for us to share a close friend.  She lectured me on how Christians need to show each other love, no matter how difficult and that she would help to heal the relationship.  Long story short, she ends up going after my brother, which obviously ends the relationship with my SIL.  They both ended up divorced ( me getting very much caught in the middle, her husband calling me sobbing, etc.) and started "secretly" dating.  This has been going on for 3 years.  I felt that I could no longer trust my friend (there was a lot more that happened, which I won't go into) and essentially ended the friendship, although quite wimpily.  (Mostly by avoiding her).   I tried to communicate with her civily, but I was very confused and didn't know what to do.  This infuriated her.  Finally we sat down to talk and she pointed out what a failure I was as a sister (my brother and I have a very tense relationship because of this relationship and he hates my parents), a friend and a Christian (inability to forgive).   She did apologize for hurting me.   She said she had no idea that I was hurt  and assumed I was judging her for getting divorced.  She said she was not willing to have a superficial, cordial relationship with me.  We have to be either close friends or nothing at all.  That was six months ago, and we've had essentially no contact.  I ran into her once and she was perfectly friendly.  This last week I saw her twice, once by herself and once with my brother (awkward!).  Both times she gave me the cruelest iciest glare and would not speak to me.  Am I the "toxic" one for avoiding her and ending the friendship?  Many people seem to think so.  This is killing me!!
 
June 16, 2008, 8:19 am CDT

Ending Toxic Friendships

Quote From: katiekaboom

 This one is really long... Sorry....
    My husband (Burt) has been friends with this couple (Tom and Betty) for 10 years. He has been married to me for 3 years. He is a very wonderful, sweet, loving, caring, kind man. Tom is cool, I like Tom. Betty seemed sweet, and funny. We did things as couples often. We share similar interests and we are all close to the same age. Tom and Burt work for the same company and see each other every day. I would say that Tom is my husband's best friend. About two years ago Tom and Betty started having some personal problems, medical and financial issues that really rocked their lives. Betty started chatting online and texting my husband, confiding in him some of the issues that their family was having. At first I had no problems with this, after all they were friends long before I was in the picture, and I thought if Tom had no issue with it there was not any reason to worry. Beyond that I fully, 100% trust my husband. He tells me everything.
  We made plans with them for an upcoming event.
  AND THEN It wasn't long before I started to notice that it seemed like every night she was initiating conversation with him online. He commented to me that he had to tell her to stop sending him so many text messages while at work because he could not get anything done. She backed off, for a little while. Then, she started back, she wanted Burt to meet her somewhere so they could talk, she wanted to talk to him about Tom. I said RED FLAG. Then she sent him an inappropriate message online. I was furious.
  Burt wasn't sure if we should tell Tom, so we did not tell him. A week went by of him ignoring her messages, and she continued to send things to him. Then she sent him an apology. She said that her and Tom had talked and were going to work things out, and that she was sorry for crossing the boundaries of her friendship with him. That Tom did not know how much she had been talking to Burt, nor the nature of their conversations. Her and Tom were going to take a vacation together and work on things. He told her he was glad that they had worked things out. Everyday for five days after that she blew his phone up with messages. So he sent her a message saying that he was done, boundaries had been crossed, and he felt that it was disrespectful to his wife and his best friend to continue to talk to her via text or IM. She responded that she would not join us on the event that we had planned, she would see if Tom could bring someone else... for three weeks leading up to the event she did not contact my husband.
  The day before the event, Tom called and said that he was very sick and not able to go with us. We told him that we would buy back their tickets and sell them to someone else. He informed us that Betty had decided that she wanted to come without him. WOW, this lady has a pair... Because Tom did not know the situation he did not understand when we said that we would not allow that, after all they were our tickets to begin with. Betty threw a fit and her and Tom came to the event with Tom sick. I had to be nice to her, all day, at this out of town event, they rode with us, because I like Tom, I don't think he deserves this. He has no idea that she did has done this. So after the event, she started sending my husband text messages AGAIN. Things like "Miss talking to you" And here is the best part, She thinks for what ever reason, that I don't know about all of it. I guess because Tom doesn't know. If Tom and Burt are on the phone she tries to get Tom to hang up, and it is almost like she doesn't want them to even be friends anymore. She keeps making comments to me about how they were friends with Burt before he ever knew me. What does that mean? Burt said Betty never came on to him before. I feel like she sized me up and decided that I was not competition for her, so she thought she could steal Burt away.

  So, We are toxic friends to Tom because we are not being honest with him. I don't know what to do to make her stop. I don't think Tom can handle anymore stress, he is on meds right now for all kinds of things, he has been through so much already. Then there is the selfish aspect, it could ruin the friendship between Burt and Tom, and they have to work together every day. Then there is me, I have no question that my husband has been honest with me about this whole situation, he has shown me messages back and forth, he has involved me in this whole process, asked my advice. Honestly if it weren't for Tom and how much concern we have for him, this would be a no brainer, but I feel so torn. What can I do, What can we do to make her stop? She doesn't understand the word STOP, ignoring her isn't working... I am at the end of my rope.
wow!  You are in  a really tough situation.  I'm sorry.  The good news is you have a strong marriage, for which you should be quite proud.  The fact that you and your husband have such an open level of communication and trust speaks very well of you.  Try focusing on that.  There is no doubt, from what you have written, that Betty needs to be out of your lives, at least for awhile.  The awkwardness with your husbands working together certainly makes that a challenge.  She has completely broken the bounds of trust, which was her choice not yours.  Do not feel guilty for what she has done. Remember, just because your husband knew these people first, does not mean he should be more loyal to them than you.  Marriage is a much higher priority relationship than friendship (at least it should be).   If you are unable to physically extricate yourself from this relationship, then you can still do it emotionally.  You know you cannot trust this woman, so keep her at arm's length.   Part of the problem is that your husband is really the one who needs to take care of this, not you.  These are his friends and he is the one being hit on.  The best you can do is be a supportive, loving wife, keep distance from Betty and try to take the high road.  (Not easy, I know!!)  I will be praying for you.
 
June 21, 2008, 4:03 am CDT

I am in love with Mr. Toxic

I have had a male best friend for more than six years. He knows that I am in love with him. I am ashamed to admit that I ended a 15 year marriage to be with him. We have never slept and remain "best friends". We spend most of our free time together. He has expressed to me that he wanted to be w/ me, in the past. Now we seem to be in a rut and I don't know how to bring the subject to the table for discussion. Most of the time I feel sad. He treats everyone, including his dog better than me. My issue is .......do I forget it all together or just keep our friendship? I don't want to lose my best friend.
 
June 21, 2008, 4:03 am CDT

I am in love with Mr. Toxic

I have had a male best friend for more than six years. He knows that I am in love with him. I am ashamed to admit that I ended a 15 year marriage to be with him. We have never slept and remain "best friends". We spend most of our free time together. He has expressed to me that he wanted to be w/ me, in the past. Now we seem to be in a rut and I don't know how to bring the subject to the table for discussion. Most of the time I feel sad. He treats everyone, including his dog better than me. My issue is .......do I forget it all together or just keep our friendship? I don't want to lose my best friend.
 
June 27, 2008, 11:53 am CDT

Up and down Friendship

I been friends with this girl name Kathy on and off for years.How do I walk away from trying to be her friend and stop  talking to her all together?I really need  someone to talk to.I feel so alone some days and I try and talk to her out of the blue online.Please email me at rkjm00@yhaoo.com if you have any advice on this.
 
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