Divorcing Friends

July 6, 2010 at 7:46 am | Posted in Friends Then and Now | 18 Comments

You had a fight. A big ugly fight. You don’t even know what it was about in some ways. It was probably brewing for some time. There’s all this yelling and no listening, because there really isn’t anything left to say. The truth is, you haven’t been on the same page for a while. Maybe you’ve been friends since birth, or maybe just a few years. It doesn’t matter. You were close. Closer than blood. And now, there’s nothing left to do but say goodbye.

Breaking up with friends is really really hard, but sometimes, though rarely, it is necessary. You’ve become toxic to each other or perhaps you’ve grown in two opposite directions that don’t mesh.  Perhaps things that person did a few years ago were entertaining at the time, but not so much anymore.  Sometimes life can tear two people apart, people who swore they’d be best friends forever.  Forever is a funny word in that way.

A couple of years ago I broke up with a friend that I described to my best friends as someone we would have hung out with in college. This girl and I just clicked on that level, without trying.  We didn’t meet until we were 24 years old, so there wasn’t any opportunity to grow apart the way teenagers do.  We were both women. We were both our own individual selves.  I liked that she was up for anything.  Later I would learn she was up for anything, as long as it was her idea.

I don’t really know where we went wrong, but we fought for more than ten months.  I was walking on eggshells around her and nothing I did was enough.  I was never good enough for her.  I had a busy life and she needed more of me than I was able to give.  But it never came out that way. She’d say hateful things, then I’d say hateful things and we never got anywhere.  One day, I responded to her last email saying that I couldn’t take it anymore, and then I blocked her emails.  She always liked to get the last word so I’m sure she responded, but I’ll never know.  I just couldn’t let myself be verbally abused any longer, even if she did need me, deep down…somewhere.

No matter the situation, divorcing friends is really hard. It’s not like breaking up with a boyfriend or girlfriend. You can’t say that there’s someone else.  You can’t say I just don’t love you anymore.  You have to carefully examine what it is that happened to such a perfect friendship.

Friendship is work. But friendship is also understanding. We get busy sometimes. We don’t always have time for each other.  We’re not on the same page anymore.

I will never be friends with this girl again.  Too much time has passed. We are different people in some ways, but the same stubborn women in others.  It was a short-lived tight bond and I do have fond memories.  After you end a toxic relationship, it is a lot easier to remember the good times years after the pain has fizzled.  The good times were the times that mattered, even if you can’t continue to make memories together.


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  1. well said

  2. I completely feel ya on this!
    I lost a friend at the end of HS and have lost touch with various college friends that promised they would always stay in touch. I have a bet friend that is moving across the country next month and it’s tearing me apart, but she doesn’t seem to care :/
    Sometimes not all friendships are meant to last forever I guess.

  3. This is definitely interesting. . . Cutting people off has never been my forte but I have manage to do it. I have one friend that I cut off because I was always there for her and she was never there for me. She was jealous and envious ( I don’t say this lightly because I could never understand someone being jealous of me). Just negative energy and one day she took it too far and I gave her the axe, but when she did contact me I would talk to her and agree to meet but like a bad relationship she would play games. But that’s life, people come and go and you need to surround yourself with the best people.

    • Totally agree with you! I’ve gotten better about cutting people all as I’ve gotten older. Life is just too damn short to put up with bullshit. 🙂 Thanks for reading. Love your blog!

  4. I can relate to this. Last year in May, I had a falling out with a “friend”. We had been “friends” for seven years and we were close. I remember how it started to unfold. A year prior to that, I had been less and less close to her, I would find reasons not to hangout with her, I would avoid her phone calls – all because I wasn’t feeling the, what I considered to be a friendship.

    I remember going thru a lot of stress for the next four months. Yes, four months. I eventually deleted her from my phone, got rid of her email address, removed her from facebook (when I had it). It felt good to let go that way but it hurt so bad too. Seven years was a huge investment for me, more so me then her. I was her doormat. I allowed myself to be a pushover.

    It really was like going thru a bitter divorce but the only person who felt the pain, saddness and stress was me. It’s been a year now and she’s fully out of my life. We have a mutual friend whom I’m more closer with on a different level then I was with her. She told me recently that the other girl is getting married this October. I told her and this was hard for me, because I can be bitter in my own way, that for whatever she may be, I wish her the best.

    Toxic or not, she was a big part of my life for seven years. It wasn’t easy letting go.

    Sorry the comment is soooo long. I love your blog, I hope you’ll check mine out and follow me on twitter (& hopefully my blog too) @tashamasc

    take care =)

    • I love this comment! It’s so hard to shed this layer but doing so means you were finally able to stand up for yourself. You should be proud that throug the heartache, you survived and as the years go on, she will get further and further from your memory. Thanks for sharing! I’ll def check out your blog!

  5. OMG!!! I just went through this yesterday…. as Dez said to me breaking up with a friend is harder than a boyfriend you can’t go “There’s someone else” or “Your not good in bed” LOL Sometimes you need to burn bridges to get where you want… LOVE YOU BLOG DANA!!

  6. Finally able to catch up on your blog!

    This was a great post. I’ve cut out friends from my life too. Though, it was for other reasons. For me, a friendship needs to be mutual. Like with any relationship, it shouldn’t be just give and take. Each person has to put in the same amount of effort to make it work. With these girls, I always gave my shoulder to cry on, etc. but never received the same in return. I would always listen but could never be able to vent myself. I don’t do selfishness like that. If I’m going to be your friend, you need to be mine too. If not, see ya. It’s not fair having to do all the work in a relationship.

    • I was wondering where you been! I totally agree with you. A friendship is a partnership like any relationship. There has to be compromise, fairness, understanding and acceptance. You have to be a strong person to realize that these elements are missing, and actually do something about it!

  7. I went through this last year with a friend of mine. It was a difficult decision to make for quite some time. The best thing I could do was distance myself. She eventually figured it out, and we had a huge blow up.
    To this day, I don’t miss her. That is how you can tell if a person is the right friend for you. You actually miss them when they are gone, and they help make you an even better person.

    • great point! If you don’t miss him/her that says a lot. I have found that it takes a whole lot of love to hate someone. I’ll get into that I’m sure on another post.

  8. So true! I have been in two friendships that ended and they hurt at any level. One was on my end to finish it and the other I was on the receiving end. One was necessary and one was not. Long stories:) btw…I came over from SITS girl:) Have a great one!

    • Awesome! Good to see the SITS challenge at work!

  9. Great post!! I’ve dealt with this too, and it’s hard to be the one alwaays giving/forgiving. I agree with Kai – if you can say you honestly don’t miss that person being in your life, they weren’t really your friend, or at least the kind of friend you need. Now I can say that my life is so much better without her bringing drama & toxic energy into my already-crazy life!!

    Aimee @ Justkiddingaroundatlanta

  10. I had to “divorce” a friend of mine a few years ago. She was just toxic to me and it took me a LONG time to really figure it out. I finally realized that though she acted “happy” for me when things went well for me, she was anything but. She just kept doing little things until one day, she did something that almost ruined my life. That was the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back. I broke off our friendship and there are still times when I miss her but I know I am better off without her in my life. She didn’t go quietly though and I have still had a few “run-ins” with her (this is a small town). I do my best to just stay away from her though. I really hate conflict but I’m too old to just let someone run all over me 😉

  11. I totally get you on this, and the funny thing is some people just don’t understand it. It was good to read your post. It gave me a little validation, I am not the only one who thinks that sometimes grown up friends have to part ways.
    I will keep reading!

    • awesome! I try to talk about relative topics, so that’s some validation for me as well!

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