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Friend Breakups

I’m sure all of us have experienced a blowout argument with a friend at least once in our lives. And I’m sure most of us have encountered a friendship that ended up being more of a burden than a benefit. In fact, sometimes our friends can actually become toxic to us, either by their own personal choices or their treatment of those around them.

So many of us are loyal to a fault, but sometimes the best thing we can do for ourselves is break up with those friends. Though "breakup" may seem like a strange term, it’s actually quite on point, as it brings up a lot of the same emotions you’d have during a romantic breakup: despair, guilt, loneliness, anger, hurt, resentment, loss, etc. Have you ever had to confront the difficulties of breaking up with a friend? If so, how did you deal with it?


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viridiana viridiana 9 years
I know you posted this days ago... but I'm just right now going through this... I caught one of my best friends stealing things at a party in January at my house. We were a group of girlfriends since we were early teenagers, we're now in our late 20's almost 30's. We obviously broke up badly, because she denied everything, we didn't catch her in the act... but we were 8 persons at my house... and 5 of us... had missing money from their wallets, and me and my boyfriend as hosts... had our digital photo camera, money, perfume... my mother's Christmas present for me, make up remover, creams, ashtrays which she cynically flattered and asked me where did I buy them... all of these things were stolen. The only persons who weren't missing anything was her boyfriend, the new partner of one of our friends, because it was the second time we saw him, and my "clepto" friend. She has been struggling with drugs and anorexia - bulimia, for the past decade. She had stolen money from our wallets several times, when she was in her worst period with drugs... and we decided not to tell her anything because "it was just money" and it was just affecting ourselves and no other person was involve in a sort of dumbest way ... there's no excuse for that I know we should have told her something... worst mistake ever... but this "robbing thing" stopped five years ago. And suddenly last January she decided to make a "come back" at my place, that nowadays I'm sharing with my boyfriend. Me and my two other girlfriends confronted her two days later but as i said early, she denied everything. It was really sad because we begged her to get some help with doctors , obviously her actions are screaming for help, but she refused it the whole time. I was really clear this time, I told her that I couldn't allow this things to happen at my place, that she wasn't welcome at my house by me and by my fiance, and that we sadly have to "break up". I know she is sick... but honestly... I'm really mad mostly at myself for my coward behavior the first time this thing happened, and with my friend, because she didn't trust us to admit that she has a problem that we already knew for years, that she took things that didn't belong to her, that me and my fiance bought together and the disrespect to my house and our long lasting friendship, instead she became very aggressive with us denying everything when it was pretty obvious and we all knew... was her. I have cut all the links that we had... even at Facebook and msn, and she is constantly sending me e mails, but instead of downing the guard and accepting her fault, she has been ironic about the situation and she is also calling the other girls involved, harassing them all the time... one of the girls is getting married this wknd, and obviously, even though she also was maid of honor, she is not invited. I'm not answering any attempt of her, she could be very manipulative, but now her family, especially her mother is really angry at me, because she is with her daughter as it should be... we have explained to her mother the facts, but she keeps blaming us, and she has a different version that her daughter told her. Even though this happened in January, this have been going on till today!!!! I think that the best medicine for her is for me to back up. I did try my best for get her the help and the trust she needed... I love her but I cannot be part of her game and it hurts me a lot all the damage she has been suffering, but I have always been there in rough and happy times, and I feel really betrayed by her. It's not the stuff she took from my house, or the value of them (nearly US1200)it's what our friendship means after all. Sometimes life takes away people you thought they will be always with you, but I can't see her as I used to anymore... and I'm really sorry about that.
kurniakasih kurniakasih 9 years
I had to break up with a friend who went above and beyond to try to 'ruin' my reputation. The thing was, she was one of my best friends in high school. Her brother wanted to date me so we dated, but she disagreed (although in front of me she was all sweet), then she broke into the teacher's office to see my private files and to see if I was a straight A student or not (I didn't know this at the time, but her bro supposedly only wanted to date 'clever'/smart girl). Then she'd bash me to her brother because I wasn't a straight A student. Whatever. :lol: She then decided to spread rumor about me too and calling me ungrateful for dating her brother (I was like "HUH?") I found out from her own brother and some of my good friends. Geez.
sassy_so_classy sassy_so_classy 9 years
I've had this happen to me once in high school...and it's a whole heidi and lauren (the hills) type of situation...basically my so called best friend let her boyfriend talk smack about me and never said anything to make him stop...when she knew he was making things up, i have no idea why, since all 3 of us did hang out and got along great. We stopped talking because she said I was not a good friend, don't know why since i was always there for her. 1 year later when her jerk of a boyfriend dumped her she called me up and apologized for everything, we still talk but are not as close as we were...which is fine with me because my current best friend is the best!!!!
emalove emalove 9 years
I let an extremely toxic "friend" go last year and I have NO regrets about it.
GlowingMoon GlowingMoon 9 years
Wow, I think we were friends with the same people! :o lmbilello, I particularly relate to your experience. You remind me of my former self, and I had a toxic friend similar to yours.
k-squared k-squared 9 years
I have quite a bit, yeah. High school and friendships sometimes don't go hand in hand. People have moved, or gone onto different schools, or we just never have time for each other anymore or never got along. I had a really messy one a few years ago, where I thought this one girl was my best friend. One of her friends "broke up" with her, and she relied on me a lot. She said she was diabetic, and she never brought any lunch, and being the soft, gullible person I am, I spent nearly $150 in school lunches on her. Then she went back on me, and told me that I was the one who screwed her friendship with that other friend, and the only thing she ever gave me in return was a case of severe depression. She never gave me any of that money back, not a cent. Thank god she moved to another school after that year, because I was such a mess after that episode. I don't know if I've ever really confronted most of my friends and broken up, it seems like most of them just lost contact with me and wandered away. Except for that one episode, where I finally got my "balls" (if that's not an acceptable term, I don't know what is) and told her off later.
Random2 Random2 9 years
I broke up with one friend at Christmas of my first year of university. She had some personal issues, and refused to do anything that might take attention away from her and her problems. Every time I saw her, she would have a new problem or another crisis in her life, and I finally couldn't deal with it. Yeah, I get that people go through tough times and want their friends there, but when those 'tough times' become how she can't go to class because she was turned down by a guy and how she can't possibly be seen because she's having a bad hair day, I call it quits.
sass317 sass317 9 years
I have broken up with several friends. One got her act together (drugs and such) and eventually came back to me and said she was sorry and we are cool now. One I havent spoken to since, she betrayed me and I was willing to forgive her if she would just admit she lied- but she wouldnt, she just wanted to act like nothing ever happened. One I had to actually break up with twice, both times bc her bf(the first time around) and then later husband(after she married the guy) couldnt stop meddling in our friendship and picked fights with me and I finally said I didnt want to deal with it anymore. It was the best thing for me at the time and I dont regret any of them. I miss the friends they used to be, but they changed and werent my friends anymore. I have a feeling that the last friend (or more likely her husband) will contact me again in the future, bc he just cant help himself.
lmbilello lmbilello 9 years
Friendships are just like any other type of relationship and they can be subject to the same problems you would have with you spouse. You have issues of jealously, loyalty, trust, & love and they make everything more complicated. And in the end you can wind up just as miserable as you would with a partner and no one would advise a woman to stay in a bad relationship with her spouse if it isn't fullfilling to her. It does sound weird to say you "broke up" with a friend but I haven't yet found a better term to describe it and every one does seem to know what you are talking about when you say that.
cubadog cubadog 9 years
I have totally done this and I do not think it is middle school to tell people hey I do not want you in my life because you are not a good friend. It is just like any relationship and if it doesn't work it is OK to end it!
lmbilello lmbilello 9 years
I wish I could have talked out our problems as well but my friend would have just seen it as me being critical of her and her feelings would have been hurt and she wouldn't have changed at all because she really did believe that I was the one who wasn't supportive enough of her. I think it goes hand in hand with people who are high-maintenence, they take and take but they just can't give what you need if you are looking for a deeper friendship. It is sad and heartbreakign when you realize that the friendship has gone from one of the best of your life to a person whose phone calls you want to avoid.
Jennifer777 Jennifer777 9 years
I "broke up" with a friend last year. After dealing with her increasinglu negative behavior (under the guise of making sure MY wedding was all I ever dreamed of) for almost a year I finally drew the line when she cancelled on a party with an extremely lame excuse. Other friends had told me for years that she was high-maintenence and they couldn't see why I put up with her. I kept giving her a second chance til I realized that she was never going to grow up. I miss her sometimes but I can see now that her energy was draining (and annoying.) I only wish that I could have sat down and explained to her all of my issues with her behavior, though I honestly don't think it would do any good.
lmbilello lmbilello 9 years
I’ve broken up with a good friend only once in my life. Other friends have just grown apart but this one was a definitely a “break up”. It was really hard to do and I still miss her at times but I am very glad I finally ended the friendship. It was toxic to me, though I think she is a good person, just not the kind of friend I needed and it hurt me too much to remain pretending that things were okay. She was a ton of fun and when we were together we always had a blast. However, the problem was that she was extremely demanding, needy, and constantly had problems dealing with other people, especially other women. I am a pretty low key person, nothing ever seems to change for me, so I never minded listening to her problems and helping find solutions. I even enjoyed our talks and listening to her because her life was always more dramatic and exciting than mine. I always knew she was a tad self-consumed and pretentious but I also knew that came from insecurity and that she could be very kind and giving. I knew this about her fairly soon in our friendship so I was not caught unaware that there could eventually be problems but at the time all the good stuff outweighed the bad. For three years we were great friends but this last year I had an extremely difficult year, a ton of stressful, traumatic things happened in my life that prevented me from being nearly as involved in her life as I normally was. My friend was well aware of all my problems and was not unsympathetic to them, she was just very concerned about her own life, mainly that she was engaged and getting married to a great guy in a few months. I was supposed to be her maid of honor and I was excited about that. However, other things in my life had took a lot of my time and effort away from her and her wedding. She just did not understand why I was not as involved as I had previously been. She wasn’t acting any different, I was acting different and she just could not handle my not being as supportive as I normally was nor could she really sympathize with all the stuff that was going on in my life that took me away from spending so much time with her. In the end it was her total insensitivity to my problems and her outrage that I wasn’t spending enough time with her that made me realize that she was the wrong person to be around while I was already feeling so vulnerable from the other stressors in my life. She rarely wanted to talk about my problems & she loved to obsess about her life and her issues, no matter how inappropriate or insensitive it might be to talk about them at that time. One example would be soon after I quit my job to leave for a year in Europe I found out I couldn’t go and I was left devastated, jobless, and broke. I was under great financial strain and emotional strain because a huge dream of mine was dying and I wound up having to get a job at the mall to support myself until I found another good job. Her solution was to tell me that going to Europe was a bad idea anyway and then proceeded to tell me about her new job where she would be making 3 times as much as my old job and how much money she and her fiancé could now afford to spend on their brand new house and for her upcoming wedding, thousands of which her parents were already paying for. She knew I was broke, came from a poor family who could not help me, and deeply depressed and stressed and it never even occurred to her that finally after 3 years it might be my time to monopolize the conversation. Instead she was mad that I didn’t make enough time to spend with her and her other bridesmaids. I was constantly stressed out when we were together or stressed worrying about telling her that I couldn’t hang out with her. I appreciated that this was an important time in her life but this was crucial time in mine and the fact that she clearly didn’t see or care how much I needed a supportive friend told me that we just viewed our friendship and what it means to be a friend differently. We didn’t fight or anything, I just told her we saw things too differently and we were both needlessly getting hurt. I didn’t want to do it, I would have loved if we could have just grown apart but in her mind if I wasn’t constantly involved in her life then I wasn’t a good friend and I felt that I had been too good of a friend for too long to accept that kind of treatment. I do miss her but I don’t miss the stress or hurt she brought me at all. I wish her nothing but the best but I am glad I have moved on.
Marci Marci 9 years
We all seem to have this idea that our friendships should last forever so we hang in there, even when we're not enjoying the person anymore. In my experience, most friendships that don't last just die a natural death, but I did have to shake loose of two people, one who laid a major guilt trip on me. It wasn't easy and I felt awful, but in the end, I stuck to my guns and was much happier without those people in my life.
GlowingMoon GlowingMoon 9 years
I've had a few close friend break-ups. It was difficult, as I don't like confrontation, but it was the right decision for me. They were toxic for me. I am better off in the long run without them in my life. Because of my experience with them, I'm wiser and more selective about making friends. It's similar to dating -- once a person has some experience, and learned some lessons, they know the type of person that's more suitable for them.
rpenner rpenner 9 years
i've broken up with friends before, but not in a too confrontational way. i just kind of stopped hanging out with them. i do have a couple of friends right now though that i should break up with. i find it difficult though when you're part of a large group of friends.
melizzle melizzle 9 years
I'm with controlledspin... as the relationship goes sour, I begin distancing myself and ultimately stop all contact.
aimeeb aimeeb 9 years
I've surely cut ties with people, about two yrs ago I had to drop two close friends due to some really harsh and inconsiderate things they had done.
j2e1n9 j2e1n9 9 years
I think its important to get toxic people out of your life for your own mental health. Even if you dont "breakup" with them, but just distance yourself if you can. I also think that its only natural to lose touch with some friends, and that a lot of our friends turn into acquaintances after awhile. Think about it, as you grow older you change and your friends are changing too. And if you guys arent changing along the same lines, then all those things that made you compatible before just arent there anymore. I think its important to always strive to make new friends and meet as many people as you can to keep it interesting ;)
sunshowers83 sunshowers83 9 years
I haven't "broken up" with a friend since high school. I seem to have learned enough from those experiences to have a better idea of which people are good friends and which people are toxic and never become friends with in the first place. There was a girl friend who was absolutely the most evil, two-faced, manipulative bitch I've ever met. She tried to steal my best friend's boyfriend (she finally got sloppy seconds long after my bff dumped him), she'd always morph into a completely different person any time there was a guy around, and she'd do anything for attention. She had delusions that she was going to become a famous actress... yeah, she was *that* girl. Then there was a guy friend who was only ever around if he needed something. I'd spend hours listening to his stories of woe and being his shoulder to cry on, but god forbid I ever needed someone to vent to. After he brushed me off one too many times, that was it.
almost-famous almost-famous 9 years
Yeah Nina I understand. Good you left her alone.
nina24 nina24 9 years
I felt amazing after I did it! I was unhappy with the friendship with my friend of 7yrs for weeks and weeks before hand and it was just building and building. Our friendship has always been shaky. My friend stressed me out daily and I couldnt stand it! She was such a bad friend to me, she gossiped about me all the time and said rude things. Basically, she wasnt a real friend to me. So i built up my courage and had a talk with her about everything that was upsetting me. It helps to actually write it down before you do it so you keep your thoughts straight. After i unleashed a sea of feelings I felt great after. Granted we dont talk anymore because she got really offended and denied everything, but I like that I dont have to put up w/ her bs again! YAY!
bellaressa bellaressa 9 years
So, good that most of you handle the break-ups with a mature attitude. I have heard stories of women going off and just saying all types of words that you were hidden in them. It's amazing how people hide thing.
yadiet yadiet 9 years
I had a friend that i considered the "bestest in the world" till one day she just stop calling. She started chilling with a whole new group of people. and leaving me out of the picture. I am a more down to earth person. And my definition of a fun night is not going to a club and not remembering how i got home. That does not flow with me. Eventually she just eliminated me in total from her life. and she started showing the way she felt on her Myspace page and when she directed emails. However, I didn't let that get to me. I just figured that I didn't need all the negativity from people. So I stop calling her too. I told myself"if she doesn't care about our friendship why should i? even after i tried in multiple occasion to speak to her..
InfernalMari InfernalMari 9 years
Oh, I've had friend breakups. One of my oldest friends and I just grew apart--I went off to university, she didn't get into any, I'm very with it, and she...not so much. I just got so frustrated with her constantly forgetting things, like to the extent that she forgot our orders and plowed into my portion of food which was put in front of her by mistake. Not that we friend broke up after that, but it didn't help. The other was last summer, I invited my friend to check out a local band playing at the Wired Monk--she stood me up, sent a text message that said she was in the hospital, and when I phoned the house the next day to ask if there was anything I could do, her mother said, confused, 'No, she's out with friends'--four months later, I ran into her on campus, said, 'WTF?', and found out she blew me off to get high. I haven't spoken to her since. She actually thought I'd forgive her for that...Nope.
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