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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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July 15, 2008, 9:15 pm CDT

So Far So Good

Quote From: ranchreader

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.
Betty continued for a while. When Burt stopped responding to messages from her phone number she started sending messages from her husband Tom's phone and ended each message with her initials. When we figured it out, Burt took one of the messages to her husband at work and asked him what the letters meant at the end, he was baffled, of course, because he had not sent the message. Tom went home and asked Betty if she had sent Burt a message from his phone and she denied it, saying that one of the children must have been playing with the phone. We have not heard anything from her since. The damages remained low in the end and that was my desire. The only casualty really was the friendship between Burt and Tom, as they only "hang out" at work now. I just hope that it is all over now. This should make the company Christmas parties interesting though. ha ha  Thank you so much for your words of encouragement, advice and prayers.
 
July 29, 2008, 8:52 am CDT

Ending Toxic Friendships

I have a friend that I have been friends with for four years now.  We met at work and instantly had a special bond.  We were inseperable.  I was always one that had several friends, she was one that was a loaner.  I found myself spending all my time with her. We talked all day at work, had lunch with each other everyday, I would go to her house after work, etc.  When we started becoming friends, I was in a relationship and soon was engaged.  She was single, divorced, mother of one child.  We did everything together, I was with her all the time, more than my fiance.  With time, we controlled each other.  She did not want me to have other friends, we started fighting.  When we would fight, we would make each other sick, physically.  Our friendship started getting worse and worse and we would fight and fight. She then started dating a man that is much like her ex-husband, verbally abusive and an alcoholic.  I wanted nothing to do with it, too many problems for me to deal with.  One day we both decided to part ways.  I left the friendship saying nothing, she left the friendship saying everything mean she knew that would hurt me.  We both took new jobs.  We did not talk for 3 months. I got an email out of the blue.  She missed me, was depressed since we parted ways, but did not know how we could get back on track.  Her boyfriend was jealous of me, did not want me in her life (keep in mind I was pretty rude to him on several occasions).  I invited her to my wedding. She refused to come, wanted nothing to do with me at all, got upset that  I wanted to send her an invitiation.  After I got married, we started emailing, we started to get back on track.  We started to have lunch, would see each other pretty much weekly.  She wanted to jump back into my life full force, I was not ready for her to be back in my life like before and I do not feel I ever will be.  She recently declared her love for me.  I have asked her not to tell me how she feels if it is something like that.  She gets upset with me when I tell her to keep that to herself and that I don't want to talk about it.  As of two weeks ago, she is not not talking to me.  She said that she needs to clear her head and we need to not be close anymore because she gets her emotions confused.  Is this something that can even be fixed?  I miss my best friend but I hate all of the drama.  I am tired of being upset about this friendship and allowing it to bring me down but I feel like I cannot break lose from it no matter what.   Can we even be normal friends after all of this?
 
July 29, 2008, 12:14 pm CDT

Ending Toxic Friendships

Quote From: jaimie1974

Before this friendship can move forward, you have to find the strength within yourself to forgive her. Forgiving her isnt for her benefit, it is for YOU, so that you can heal and, hopefully, move forward to rebuild this friendship, making it a healthy one this time. It would be tragic if the two of you became friends again but went right back to your old, dysfunctional ways. What would be the purpose in going forward with the friendship unless you were going to make it a new and improved friendship? My advice to you is to make that your goal- to not slide into old, toxic habits. When you notice you and your friend having dysfunctional interactions, do not argue; instead, say to her, when you said/did insert what the issue is, it made me feel bad. I want our friendship to be good and healthy, I dont want us to go back into our old habits from the past Her reaction to those words will tell you whether that is a possibility or not. If she reacts in a defensive way, youll know that continuing this friendship wont be possible because she isnt ready for positive, true change in her life. She might react in a calm way; she may take in your words and learn from them, working towards creating a healthy relationship with you. That would be great!
I wish you the best. I know it can be confusing; what to do, what to say? But you can create healthy, positive friendships with or without this person in your life.
Thanks for the response.  I guess there are so many unhealthy issues in this friendship that I have so many doubts.  I am married, my Husband does NOT like her and has ever right to feel that way.  She lives with her boyfriend that despises me.  I don't know how much stress one friendship can take.  She allows her emotions to take control over her and then pushes me away once she cannot control them.  It is very strange to me.  We often have said we are almost addicted to one another.  We would rather be together than be with our men.  I just don't understand why we are this way.
 
August 15, 2008, 3:21 pm CDT

My friend is an love struck idiot

I have been this mans friend for 11 years this youg girl came into his life anddestroyed him ,he has lost all of his friends and even his family hates to see him, he lost his job and his child to th state,which thank the gods his son is living with his parent and now he is losing his home, all because he thinks he can not live without this woman She is very nuts, sphycoti,says she hasevery disease there is, she is a hypercondriact,she has 2 children one has an eating disorder and very  quiet, I personally believe she gave him brain damage when she iolently hit him in the head and him and the high chair went flying across the kitchen and hit his head on the register and there are so many other things tis girla done to both children and my friend but theresto muh to list, he just cant get her out of his head and move on the statetold him what he could do to get his only son back home bu he gave up on him and went for hi caniving tramp i am at my witts end
 
August 18, 2008, 3:13 am CDT

He is addicted to her.

Quote From: tinahub

I have been this mans friend for 11 years this youg girl came into his life anddestroyed him ,he has lost all of his friends and even his family hates to see him, he lost his job and his child to th state,which thank the gods his son is living with his parent and now he is losing his home, all because he thinks he can not live without this woman She is very nuts, sphycoti,says she hasevery disease there is, she is a hypercondriact,she has 2 children one has an eating disorder and very  quiet, I personally believe she gave him brain damage when she iolently hit him in the head and him and the high chair went flying across the kitchen and hit his head on the register and there are so many other things tis girla done to both children and my friend but theresto muh to list, he just cant get her out of his head and move on the statetold him what he could do to get his only son back home bu he gave up on him and went for hi caniving tramp i am at my witts end
I would almost bet that he has a very low self esteem issue and has insecurities. He also probably does not believe he can do better. He is losing everything, his family, friends, home, did you ever think that may be he wants to ?????? I say, stay out of his life. If he hasn't come around and he managed to lose all what you say?????? He orchastrated it to be exactly that way!!!!! Think about. No one is a victim unless we let ourselves be........
 
August 21, 2008, 2:45 am CDT

Why is it difficult to say no to toxic relationships?

It has come to my attention that I have a habit of not being able to say "go away" "stop" to people that are not good for me. Their intentions seem genuine, at first, then sex usually becomes a part of it with the men and even some women, and if sex isn't in the equasion, then its some kind of attachement that they feel towards me that makes them want to be around me. I have no time nor do I want to make time, for people of this sort, yet, on a daily basis I am confronted by men that approach me in sexual ways; even if I am not interested.

 

I go to therapy and she told me its because I am sending out mixed messages. I don't believe there is ever a nice way of rejecting someone, but it seems not doing so creates even more tension.  My  mothers boyfriend made a sexual comment to me (this is after she died last year) and he calls me weekly. I don't know how to deal with my hurt of his ability to see me as a sexual object, even though he has come to terms with it, and I am having a hard time being his friend because underneath I will never be able to forget he violated me and m y mom with his sexual needs. I know people have sexual needs, but how does a girl remain friends with men that she knows are intersted sexually? Is it possible?

 

To the men: Can you be friends with someone that does not want to have sex with you? 

 
August 25, 2008, 9:10 pm CDT

it's rare

as a married man, I formed an attachment with a woman in my office 10 years my junior.  she lavished attention on me, and I returned the favor with much willingness, since my 8 year old marriage had been going stale at the time.  total lack of sex, closeness and intimacy pushed me to this woman who was nothing more than a convenient outlet for my attention.  she did send mixed messages by doing questionable things with a married man, like going lingerie shopping.  she had a boyfriend of her own, and complained about him ad nauseum, which gave me more fantasy material to chew on.  Yes, i was weak and let myself be put in that situation because i thought it could lead to an exciting affair, but now I see that i let myself be the victim.  now that she has left the company we used to work at, we speak or email perhaps once every three months.  any real friendship would have kept up a much more regular pace of communication, but ours doesn't.  I don't even call her anymore, only she calls me and when I see her phone number flash on my caller ID, I cringe.  I tell myself over and over that next time she calls, I'm not going to answer, but I am still weak 18 months later.  I feel this enormous hole in my heart and hope that with time, it will heal.  in the meantime, the marriage at home is no better, and I'm trying to pick up the pieces, whatever that may mean.   
 
August 27, 2008, 2:56 am CDT

It sounds like you were sending mixed messages too.

Quote From: tomlai

as a married man, I formed an attachment with a woman in my office 10 years my junior.  she lavished attention on me, and I returned the favor with much willingness, since my 8 year old marriage had been going stale at the time.  total lack of sex, closeness and intimacy pushed me to this woman who was nothing more than a convenient outlet for my attention.  she did send mixed messages by doing questionable things with a married man, like going lingerie shopping.  she had a boyfriend of her own, and complained about him ad nauseum, which gave me more fantasy material to chew on.  Yes, i was weak and let myself be put in that situation because i thought it could lead to an exciting affair, but now I see that i let myself be the victim.  now that she has left the company we used to work at, we speak or email perhaps once every three months.  any real friendship would have kept up a much more regular pace of communication, but ours doesn't.  I don't even call her anymore, only she calls me and when I see her phone number flash on my caller ID, I cringe.  I tell myself over and over that next time she calls, I'm not going to answer, but I am still weak 18 months later.  I feel this enormous hole in my heart and hope that with time, it will heal.  in the meantime, the marriage at home is no better, and I'm trying to pick up the pieces, whatever that may mean.   

Office romances usually don't become anything unless both people are available, in this case neither of you were. You were married and she was dating but also, she was flirting with a married man, which makes her unavailable. too. Let me explain.

 

Whenever a person goes after a married person, they are in a way, saying they too are not available. Why would someone be interested in a married person unless they didn't want the committment too? I think you need to see that her approach was initially coming from a place of getting certain needs met. I don't know what they are but they could range from needing attention, admiring you for your maturity, financial gain, sex, and as a married man, you were seeking some kind of intimacy that you weren't getting in your marriage. You were both being played but when its fun and it works, then its fine. When it starts to change then its not.

 

Its never the answer to a problem when we look to someone else to fix it or fill a void. If your marriage is truly that bad, then you need to focus on how to make it better, or accept that is stinks and do things to move on. The answer is never going to be to get involved with someone else unless you know for a fact that it is only going to be temporary and any feelings that form need to be put into a perspective.

 

She left and moved on and you are still in your stinky marriage. That is why you are hurt or pissed.

 

You will be "weak" until you get your life in order. What does (your name) want? What does he need? My therapist gave me an analogy one time in regard to "picking up the pieces" as you mentioned......and she asked me what the difference is between "trying real hard" to pick up the pieces, *your words - to "picking up the pieces........the answer lies in = are you trying or doing it??????

 

If you want sex with your wife, then become a sexual being. If you want closeness, become more open and intimate, if you want intimacy, become an intimate person. The answer to your problems are right in your hands........not in someone elses. I hope this helps.

 
September 4, 2008, 7:06 am CDT

Ending Toxic Friendships

Quote From: tomlai

as a married man, I formed an attachment with a woman in my office 10 years my junior.  she lavished attention on me, and I returned the favor with much willingness, since my 8 year old marriage had been going stale at the time.  total lack of sex, closeness and intimacy pushed me to this woman who was nothing more than a convenient outlet for my attention.  she did send mixed messages by doing questionable things with a married man, like going lingerie shopping.  she had a boyfriend of her own, and complained about him ad nauseum, which gave me more fantasy material to chew on.  Yes, i was weak and let myself be put in that situation because i thought it could lead to an exciting affair, but now I see that i let myself be the victim.  now that she has left the company we used to work at, we speak or email perhaps once every three months.  any real friendship would have kept up a much more regular pace of communication, but ours doesn't.  I don't even call her anymore, only she calls me and when I see her phone number flash on my caller ID, I cringe.  I tell myself over and over that next time she calls, I'm not going to answer, but I am still weak 18 months later.  I feel this enormous hole in my heart and hope that with time, it will heal.  in the meantime, the marriage at home is no better, and I'm trying to pick up the pieces, whatever that may mean.   

Did I read that you were a victim? I don't think so.

Sounds like you went all sour grapes because you were not the married man who was taking her shopping for underpants.

Focus on you marrage & it will get better. How is that going to happen when your obessed with some young girl who by your own admission did nothing with you besides talk about the men she was seeing. If you are serious about "picking up the picecs" then get into some therapy.

 
September 4, 2008, 7:59 am CDT

Ending Toxic Friendships

Quote From: kimikomine

It has come to my attention that I have a habit of not being able to say "go away" "stop" to people that are not good for me. Their intentions seem genuine, at first, then sex usually becomes a part of it with the men and even some women, and if sex isn't in the equasion, then its some kind of attachement that they feel towards me that makes them want to be around me. I have no time nor do I want to make time, for people of this sort, yet, on a daily basis I am confronted by men that approach me in sexual ways; even if I am not interested.

 

I go to therapy and she told me its because I am sending out mixed messages. I don't believe there is ever a nice way of rejecting someone, but it seems not doing so creates even more tension.  My  mothers boyfriend made a sexual comment to me (this is after she died last year) and he calls me weekly. I don't know how to deal with my hurt of his ability to see me as a sexual object, even though he has come to terms with it, and I am having a hard time being his friend because underneath I will never be able to forget he violated me and m y mom with his sexual needs. I know people have sexual needs, but how does a girl remain friends with men that she knows are intersted sexually? Is it possible?

 

To the men: Can you be friends with someone that does not want to have sex with you? 

I feel really sad for you because the way you have worded this post is really telling. Everything is happening to you, you are not an active particapant in any of your relashionships it seems. You see your self as a victimwhere sex in concerned. You have had some sexual abuse/abandentment issues in the past? You can't deal with what in the present if you are still living in past.

 

you say

". Their intentions seem genuine, at first, then sex usually becomes a part of it with the men and even some women, and if sex isn't in the equasion, then its some kind of attachement that they feel towards me that makes them want to be around me. I have no time nor do I want to make time, for people of this sort, yet, on a daily basis I am confronted by men that approach me in sexual ways; even if I am not interested."

 

You very well may be sending mixed mesages.

 It's one thing to get alot of catcalls on the walk to work, those people can't tell if your interested or not. Something you might not know, & I don't mean to talk down to you at all, is: men are attracted to women.

Hetro men love women, saggy chest, wobbly bum, old, young, ugly, smelly, pretty, bitchy, men just love women.

If a man can hit on you & thinks he will get a response he will...& even if he thinks he wont he will just in case. A man is always ready to flirt even without the hopes he could ever date or bed the girl. Try to think of it as love & admeration for women & their sexual attraction, not agression. If a man wanted to be agressive sexualy he could do more then come on to you if he wanted to. 

 

But every friend you have, male & female, trying to sleep with you, you have to take responablity for at the least the choices in friends you are making. If you find that you can not get away from the victim/predtor issue, even with friends, you need to address that issue of feeling helpless with your doctor.

 

As far as your mothers boyfriend making a sexual comment to you after your mothers death says a few things. & looking at the way you worded thisreally has me worried for you,

Your dead mothers boyfriend makes a sexual comment to you. What this comment was I don't know. You are hypersexulized it seems because of some bad stuff that went down so did he tell you that you have nice legs & if he was 30 yeas younger he would be your sweetheart or did he ask you if he could come over to your home & have sex with you?

 

Being sexual is not a light bulb that flotes behind us, only turning on & off at certen times. Our sexualy  is a fluid part of us that can not be taken away  if you want to be a healthy person. Someone can be attracted to you & still love & respect you.

Now can your mothers boyfriend let you know of his attraction & still be showing you love & respect? No. His calling is abusive if he pushes the attraction issue. If he is being abusive & you are still taking his calls then you need to talk to your doctor about finding the guts to stop picking up the phone, & if need be get a restraining order.

 

"I don't know how to deal with my hurt of his ability to see me as a sexual object, even though he has come to terms with it, and I am having a hard time being his friend because underneath I will never be able to forget he violated me and m y mom with his sexual needs"

 

Please tell me you are not still taking calls from a man that molested you & abused your mother. If he did that to you then you NEVER have to talk to him again. You have no oblagation to make someone feel good that treats you bad. As soon as someone treats you bad they  brake the contract that is a relashionship. It's now null & void. You own them nothing.

 

"I know people have sexual needs, but how does a girl remain friends with men that she knows are intersted sexually? Is it possible?"

 

It is possible, but at this time in your life I don't think it's healthy for you to be around people that are expressing sexual intrest in you. You are having a hard time with choosing the right people to be friends with & sending mixed messages. At the moment you need to worry about you. Put the peoplein your life on the back burner. Some day it will be possible for you to have frendships but not right now.

 

"To the men: Can you be friends with someone that does not want to have sex with"

 

Again, Yes, men can be friends with someone who dosnt want to sleep with them. If they are sane they wont be angry or weird. Take it as a rule for the next year: anyone who express an interest in sleeping with you in a way that makes you feel bad, even if it's the smallest thing, let them know that you need a break from the friendship for your health, or heck, just dont tell them anything, you can always make new friends. Think of your city or town. Well there are more of them out there then you could go through in one lifetime.

 

get well

 

 
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