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Sunday Confessional: I Was a Bad Friend, but I'm Ready to Make Amends

Sunday Confessional: I Was a Bad Friend, but I'm Ready to Make Amends

A few years ago, I started a relationship with a very controlling and emotionally abusive man. Obviously this wasn't clear to me at the time, I just knew that I felt happy for the first time in what seemed like ages, and I truly believed that we were in love. My group of friends had immediate reservations about him — they saw something that I couldn't — and my feelings were hurt that they weren't being more supportive.

In less than six months time, my entire world had started to revolve around him. He had begun to effectively convince me to cut off all ties with my friends. I stopped returning phone calls and socializing in any way; I still have heartbreaking emails from my friends begging me to call them. By the time I woke up and realized what was going on, I was too ashamed to call them and ask for help. It took me nearly a year and half to pull myself from that terrible relationship.

After a lot of soul-searching, I've come to realize many of my flaws, and I'm ready to start over. My friends are everything to me and I know that it shouldn't have taken all of this for me to see that, but it did. Unfortunately, they want nothing to do with me. Most of them won't talk to me, and those who do are generally angry and full of resentment. I missed a lot of important things that happened to them, and I wasn't there for them when they needed me, but I'm ready to be there now. Is there any way that I can be forgiven for cutting them out of my life?

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calli-gurl calli-gurl 7 years
not forgive. no wait, never forgive. i would never let a bitch like u be my friend. u were in an abusive relationship, so u cut ure friends off? thats bullshit. total bullshit. u should never let a guy get in between ure friends. never. bros before hoes. lol. u gave up ure friends who were always there for u for a guy u knew obviously for a lesser while than ure friends. sorry, but if i were ure friend, i wouldnt forgive u for what u did. maybe i would, but i wouldnt consider u a close friend. u would be just a hi bye friend. because u just aint worth it. a girl who makes her guy important is a bitch
thelorax thelorax 8 years
I've been there honey, and I'm so sorry for your heartache; I feel your pain. You are blessed to have such caring friends, and I believe that if they sent you sincere e-mails begging you to call them back because they CARE ABOUT YOU, they will be overjoyed to have you back and know that you're OK. Call them!
Danielle970 Danielle970 8 years
I don't want to try and pretend I know exactly what happened in this situation, but having been in a similar relationship, I feel the need to explain something: it was not that my boyfriend outright TOLD me to stop hanging out with my friends, or DEMANDED that I cut off all ties. What it came down to was that my friends, as awesome as they are, didn't approve of my boyfriend. (And boy were they right!) He was quiet and didn't open up to people very easily, probably because he had self-esteem issues himself. The few times he did meet them and hang out with them, he always thought they didn't like him. But it was his own fault for not making more of an effort. And as a result, I felt the need to side with him and spend all my time with him and not put myself in a situation where he and my friends would be together. And of course, I was young--we've all been there, when we start dating a guy and the world revolves around him. Bottom line: as controlling as he was, it was MY decision to cut of ties with my friends, I was the one who stopped calling them and making plans with him. He never suggested I stop seeing them, but I knew how he felt about them and I felt bad, so I spent all my time with him. So maybe I didn't miss my best friend having her first child or my other best friend getting engaged because of how long I cut my friends off, but I DID miss out on being young and crazy having wild nights out in the city with my girls. And now that I'm free to do all that stuff, my best friends have in fact started having babies and getting married and can't meet for happy hour on a whim anymore. Let this be a lesson to all you girls who are in relationships that your friends don't approve of: if a majority of your best friends, the people that have been in your life for years and years and years and who know you the best, are telling you your man isn't good to you, or that you've become a different person around him, LISTEN TO THEM!! If they're truly your friends, then they only have your happiness and best interest in mind. And if you do end up cutting them off and realize your mistake, they'll forgive you if they love you. That old corny saying is so true: men come and go, but your best friends will last forever.
Fallen85 Fallen85 8 years
Snowbunny, while my situation isnt the same as hers, the bottom line is my friend stopped talking to me for a reason that was not my fault just like the OP's friends. Over time, I learned to live without my friend and stop wanting to talk to her on a daily basis etc. which is how the OP's friends will be now. While the OP may want to continue the friendship where it left off nothing will ever be the same. I understand she was in an abusive relationship but she allowed herself to be manipulated by that guy and the friends tried to help. When help was refused the friends moved on.. it's no one's fault except the OP's. She shouldnt expect an apology from her friends and they have no reason to forgive her except that they used to be friends. Bottom line: things will never be the same as they were before she blew them off for a loser boyfriend.
RockAndRepublic RockAndRepublic 8 years
It's not exactly something you can pat someone on the back over.
snowbunny11 snowbunny11 8 years
And, you seem a little obsessed with the fact that she "wronged" her friends. Don't you ever just get over things? Like, seriously, with all the bad things that people do to each other, treating your friends poorly when you are in an abusive situation is a relationship ender for you?
snowbunny11 snowbunny11 8 years
Glowing- the OP was in an abusive situation. Everyone would like to say they wouldn't have done the same thing in her position, that they would have immediately left their bfs, but no one is perfect. I hope I can learn from experiences like hers, and the things my friends have gone through, but having empathy is never a bad thing. I'm not saying her friends should have kept pursuing the friendship after the first unsuccessful phone calls and emails, and some may have moved on with their lives, and that's fine. People do change and get too busy to keep in touch with someone who dropped them a year ago and I do understand that! But still, I would think she will have friends who will empathize with her situation, and be in the position to let her back in their lives, and in my opinion those really are great friends. They were friends with her for a reason in the first place, and I would assume many of those reasons still remain. You seriously expect that everyone on this board just completely drops people who have went through a rough time?
GlowingMoon GlowingMoon 8 years
There are some posts I find questionable. Specifically, I'm referring to posts that imply those who do "not forgive" are not true friends. I find that laughable. Also, I find those posts somewhat self-absorbed. To my understanding, the OP abandoned her friends. It took her at least over a year and a half before she considered contacting them again. To me, abandoning her friends is a form of mistreatment. Again, to my understanding, the OP emotionally AND physically abandoned them. In my opinion, the friends had no choice, but to move on without her. And they did. Some of you may find the OP's action forgivable (and reconciliable). That's fine, and rather benevolent. However, I don't think her former friends are "untrue" friends for not making room in their lives for her, just because she's ready to come back. She's NOT entitled to re-enter into their lives, especially after abandoning them. If her former friends made a cautious decision to keep her out, they are not "untrue friends." They're being SELF-PROTECTIVE, againsts someone that abandoned them. It's a moral behavior, and perhaps even ethical, it's not about being an "untrue friend." Overall, I find those who criticize her former friends who do no forgive to be inaccurately harsh.
snowbunny11 snowbunny11 8 years
Fallen-your situation doesn't sound like hers.
MartiniLush MartiniLush 8 years
I would forgive you, but it would take some time for you to win back my trust. Just because you say you are sorry, don't expect the people you hurt to act as if nothing has happened. They can't just forget the pain you caused them. I really hope that you are getting some type of therapy, because anyone whose self-esteem low enough to get caught up in such an abusive situation with a guy has some issues to work out. As your old friends see you changing and really putting in an effort, they will be more ready to accept you again. There may be some that you will have to write off completely, since you may have hurt them so badly they can't accept your apology. Learn from the experience and move on.
Fallen85 Fallen85 8 years
Forgive but will never forget. You f*cked up and now things will never be the same. A couple years ago my best friend in the entire world started a huge fight with me over a choice I made in my life that had nothing to do with her at all and decided she didnt want to talk to me anymore. I was shocked. I had been best friends with her for over 7 years and we had very rarely been apart for longer than a couple of weeks since that day we met in highschool but over something that in my mind was completely miniscule she threw away our entire friendship. I sent those heartbreaking emails trying to get her to come to her senses, I called and left tons of unanswered phone messages. I was heartbroken that I had lost my best friend over nothing, that she had turned into a completely different person overnight and that I was losing her over something I didnt understand. I tried for months to get her to talk to me and to make her realize what she was doing but eventually I gave up, realized she was gone and moved on. Over a year later she messaged me and apologised for everything. She apologised over and over again and made it clear to me that she realized what a stupid thing she had done and that she had ruined our very strong friendship over something trivial. I forgave her but things have never been the same. We act now like old friends who are no longer connected and while I'm not mad at her anymore I still dont think of her like the best friend she used to be. Your friends may forgive you but things will never be the same. I hope you learned a very good lesson from this... friends before men, every time.
RustyAngel73 RustyAngel73 8 years
Forgive. I can see why your friends would be annoyed, but you were well and truly manipulated and put in a horrible position of being in an abusive relationship, which nobody should have to go through. They'll move on from their anger eventually. Congratulations to you for getting out of there.
kiwitwist kiwitwist 8 years
I think you should be forgiven but it might take time. Another point of view is what kind of friend doesn't understand that you were being controlled and lacked self esteem. This situation happens to a lot of females. Heck it could have happened to them.
fleurfairy fleurfairy 8 years
Not forgive. I have had friends do this to me and it destroys the friendship. You cna never back back to where you were. I have fogiven them, but they will never be friends again.
drhotie92 drhotie92 8 years
I would truly forgive you because i always try to put myself in my friends shoes when listening to their problems. Your true friends will be there for you just give them some time and the wounds will heal.
italianblonde italianblonde 8 years
Wow, I feel like my two best friends got together and wrote this letter. It was VERY hard to cut them out of our lives when they were in the same situation (at different times), but we couldn't save them from themselves as they let their boyfriends beat them up and cut them off from us (their friends) and their families! They didn't do anything but drop out of school/work, sit around with their boyfriends and fight with them all day and do drugs. It was terrible and heartbreaking. It took them both over a year to step back from their relationships and realize they needed a change. They broke up with the boys and of course I cared so much for them originally, that I forgave them pending their knowledge of what to look for in the next guy. So basically if they truly care for you and can take awhile to get over this hurt and distance, I think it should all be forgiven!!
nutmeg84 nutmeg84 8 years
sorry, I totally missed the "emotionally" before it said abusive, which was mainly what my comment was about. Guess I should read it better before I comment! But it's still abuse, and I would still forgive her.
nutmeg84 nutmeg84 8 years
I chose forgive, because I was in this situation, and I found that only the friends who really cared about me and are true friends forgave me. Some of my friends forgave, some didn't. I admit that I should have opened up more to the friends who didn't, and told them the whole story. But I didn't want to play the "victim" card. Those of you who find this poor girl selfish have never been in this situation, and it's impossible to understand what she has been going through. I never thought I would be an abusive relationship, and never thought I would have ever treated my friends and family this way, especially for a man who treated me so terribly. It's so hard to explain, but when you're so deep in a situation like that, you don't see things how they actually are.
kurniakasih kurniakasih 8 years
I have many friends who acted like the OP did. And I always forgive each one of them, chalk it up to low self-esteem and such. But you need to really apologize to them if you've ignored them for so long. I'm sure that they will most likely forgive you, but forget about it or become friends again, it'll be up to them.
Meike Meike 8 years
Your behavior is something I cannot truly comprehend. I don't know how poor one's self esteem must be for a person to cut ties with all her friends just because a boyfriend tells her to. I guess I've just never let myself be abused like that and I pity all the women who have let it happen to them. That said, I think you need to apologize to all the friends you've hurt and accept that some of them just might not forgive you ever. You can forgive yourself and move on.
Le-Luxe Le-Luxe 8 years
Forgive. Even though you should have never cut them off, you know what you did was wrong. Unfortunately you might have lost them forever.
MindayH MindayH 8 years
I would forgive you - but things wouldn't be the same. I think you will be better off learning from this experience and meeting new people to be friends with.
josephine88 josephine88 8 years
I understand how you would get into a situation like that - it wasn't great but it is forgivable. I think these so-called "friends" are being pretty harsh. If they actually cared about you enough, they would make the effort to understand what goes on in such a horribly controlling relationship. You've obviously had a very traumatic time and you've learned your lesson. Picking up that friendship with you again would be of no personal cost to them - they are just being proud and spiteful about the whole thing. Quite frankly, I wouldn't want to be friends with people who aren't prepared to look at things from your perspective. If you extend the hand of friendship and they reject it again, I'd cool off, go out and meet some new people and start over! It will be tough in the beginning but better than being friends with such sour lemons. You seem like a very conscientious lady, you deserve some happiness and some new, more perceptive friends to make you smile again.
sundaygreen sundaygreen 8 years
I've been in this situation - watching one of my best friends being jerked around for years by a guy no one liked (who turned out to be physically abusing her) all the while alienating everyone around her. Now, I can understand your side of the story because I was there for my friend when she finally came round and we reconciled. But I can tell you this much - our friendship hasn't been the same since and won't ever recover fully. And I think that if any of your friends are willing to hear you out and be friends again, you have to bear in mind that a lot of damage has been done.
RockAndRepublic RockAndRepublic 8 years
Would you be able to reassure them that this wouldn't happen again? That guy clearly had control issues. Next time, don't let him exert them over you.
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