Backstabbing Friends: Britney, Ashley

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"I want my best friend out of my life," says Britney, 20. "Ashley is irrational, delusional, selfish, stubborn. The tension started when I got married and had a baby. Ashley told me that she wanted my life."

"My best friend stabbed me in the back," says Ashley, 20. "I completely feel that I did nothing to deserve this. Britney completely cut me off from her life."

"My son was in the NICU [Neonatal Intensive Care Unit] sick, and I did not want to talk to anybody. It upset Ashley that my son was a higher priority," Britney says.

"She didn't even talk to me for over a month. I didn't even know if he was even alive," Ashley says. "I was asked to be the baby's godmother. She announced it at her baby shower. I was very excited, but she lied to me, and she asked somebody else to be the godmother."

"Ashley is immature. I did not want Ashley to be the godmother anymore," Britney says. "She flipped her lid. I wrote her a letter, and I told her I was done."

"I was heartbroken," Ashley says. "It was at that moment when I realized I lost my best friend."

Ashley reads from the letter she received. "‘Ashley, I'm done trying with you. It's not fair for you to act like a spoiled brat. Hopefully one day, you will realize there's more to life in this world than yourself. Britney. Goodbye.' After reading the letter, I cried probably for three hours," she says. "I called Britney a hundred times. I tried texting her and e-mailing her because I didn't know why she would be doing this to me."

[AD]"Ashley started to harass me by continuously calling, texting and e-mailing," Britney says. "Ashley's messages would refer to what a terrible mother I was." Growing emotional, she says, "Ashley is giving me a bad name around town. Ashley says that I am sleeping around, that my son is not my husband's."

"I am hurt, frustrated and angry. She was my family, and I miss her very much," Ashley says. "I feel completely alone. I want Britney back."

"I just want Ashley out of my life," Britney says.

Dr. Phil asks Ashley, "Why would you want to be friends with somebody who doesn't want you as a friend?"

"After hearing that, I kind of don't, but it's just that she meant a lot to me, and she wasn't just my best friend, she was family, and I cared about her family very much, so I didn't just lose one person, I lost a whole bunch of people," she says.

"You say, ‘After hearing that, I kind of don't,' like this is a revelation to you," Dr. Phil says. "Haven't you been pursuing this friendship pretty diligently?"

"The only time I called her a bunch of times was after she left me that three-page letter, because half of it wasn't true, and I felt like I needed to at least say my side of the story," Ashley explains. "Since then, I probably sent her three e-mails in the past three months."

Dr. Phil asks Britney, "Did you ask her to be the godmother to your baby?"

"When I was pregnant, yes," Britney says. She explains that she changed her mind after getting into a huge argument with Ashley after she had her son. "I decided to have my husband's aunt be the godmother, and she got upset about that. I understand why she was upset, but I figured because we weren't friends at that time, she would understand I didn't want her to be a godmother."

"And what did she do that upset you to the point that you fired her from this godmother job?"

"To me, it felt like she got very upset that my son became my higher priority, because I was not talking to her every day the way I used to," she says. "I was in the NICU for six weeks, day and night." Britney tearfully explains that she didn't talk to anyone while she was in the hospital with her son; she was focused on her baby, who is now very healthy.

[AD]Dr. Phil turns to Ashley. "And you got upset with that because you wanted to support her, you wanted to help her."

"I didn't expect Britney to contact me every day. I just wanted just once to know that he was OK. I mean, when you go for months without hearing a word, when I knew that he was sick " "

"Did you withhold that from her for some reason?" Dr. Phil asks Britney.

"No, I made the statement clear online. I said if anyone wants to know how Wyatt or I are doing, you can call my husband or you can call my mother. I do not want to speak to anybody," she says.

In a previous taped interview, Britney's mom, Tamy, says, "Ashley is harassing my daughter. If Ashley was a boy, Britney could actually press stalking charges. I would like to tell Ashley to just back off. If someone doesn't want to be your friend, you can't make them be your friend. As a mom, I want to fix this. It hurts because there's nothing I can do."

Back in the studio, Tamy tearfully tells Dr. Phil, "I think it's really sad. Ashley was part of our family, but for her to be such a good friend and to know intimate details about Britney's life, and when Britney doesn't do what she wants her to do, she throws all of it back in her face. I don't think Ashley actually sees everything that she's doing. I mean, it's kind of obvious to me."


Ashley defends herself from the accusations.

 

Dr. Phil goes over the signs that a friendship has turned toxic, including when you feel bad about yourself after contact and if the relationship is draining, unsatisfying and stifling.

"So, if you graded your paper on this test, you would say this relationship had lived out its usefulness," Dr. Phil says to Britney.

"Yes," she says.

"I'm sorry that she felt that way, and I'm sorry if I made it seem that way," Ashley says.

"That doesn't mean there's anything wrong with who you are and what you do, it just means that the fit is not there," Dr. Phil tells Ashley. "There is a formula for a successful relationship, and it's this: The quality of a relationship is a function of the extent to which it is based on a solid underlying friendship and meets the needs of the two people involved."

Ashley wipes away a tear.

[AD]"So, if you're in a relationship, the quality is going to depend on whether there is a solid, underlying friendship. And what do friends do? They share, they trust, they laugh, they have common interests. And if you're not sharing, trusting, laughing and having common interests, then you don't have a solid, underlying friendship," Dr. Phil says.

He explains that they each have different needs and are in different chapters in their lives. "You had a conflict. You had a problem. I hope at some point you can work this out and maybe at least be pen pals or something, but if that's not where you are, that's not where you are. Things have moved on, and you need to move on, right?"

Ashley nods. "Right," she says.

"Do you feel differently about that than when you got here?" Dr. Phil asks Ashley.

With tears in her eyes, Ashley says, "I guess. There was just one main reason why I held on so close, because I don't get close to people very often, and that's why I kind of held onto the relationship."

"It's painful that there's a breakup here, right?"

Ashley nods.

"You don't wish her ill, do you?" he asks Britney. "You want her to be happy in her life, right?"

"Yeah," Britney says, looking to Ashley. "I stated in the hand-written letter I wrote you. I wish you … " she pauses as she grows tearful, " … happiness and health, because you are really sick."

"Thank you," Ashley says.

"It's not that I hated you or anything. I just felt that I was in a different place," Britney says. "Who knows? Five years down the road, it could be different. It's just that right now, I have different needs, and we're not in the same place we were before."

Ashley responds. "And I understand a lot of other people played a role, and you know, catty girls, things get said from this person and that person, and we ended up outside, and other people are fighting our battle, our fight, and it just got completely blown up."

"Hopefully, you two can rise above that and find some common ground, because there are parts of this relationship you miss, right?" Dr. Phil asks. 

"Yes, there is," Britney says.

[AD]"And I'm sure there are parts that you miss," he says to Ashley. "Sometimes you've got to put everybody else out of it, and maybe you start again, and if there's a basis for something there, it will catch on. You have to try to be a good giver and see if there's something here that can rekindle. Let's just relax this situation and see what happens."

 

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