Knowing How and When to Let Go

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    Rt Pat

    About ten years ago, I met a girlfriend through other similar friends who I formed a close relationship with. A few years later, I met my now husband, who I will call B, at her place. I asked her if she was ok with my dating him or getting involved with him and she said she was ok with it. I asked her to let me know if she wasn’t and why she is not ok with and that I would understand because I know she has had a history of not liking her friends’ boyfriends and there were resulting arguments with her close girlfriends because of it. On one particular weekend during the first few months of our dating cycle, she heard that I was going to visit B and voluntarily messaged him online, asked him if I was indeed visiting him this weekend, and stated to him that there are some things he should know about her. He was on his way out of the apartment so B said he would call her once he was out. He calls her in response to her instant message and she tells him all kinds of things about me like I drops guys and that I would drop him, that I am emotionally unstable, etc. and various other negative things. She volunteered this information to him, supposedly to protect him. I understand the need to protect a friend, but there is a tactful way to handle the situation, which would have been to talk to me about her concerns, rather than bad-mouthing me. Over the next few months, her and I were having a tough relationship where she was treating me horribly for one reason or another and I was praising her to my then boyfriend, B, for all her good qualities because I was the type to stand up for a friend no matter what their flaws were. In an effort to convey to me that I should not be putting so much energy into my relationship with this girl, B told me all the horrible things she said about me. I almost could’ve believe it, but despite the 6-9 months we had been together, I 100% trusted him with my life. She got wind that he told me what she said about me and feels he betrayed her by telling me all the information she had conveyed to him and furthermore kept insisting that he reached out to her and asked her about me and whether I was a good person to date, which was all a lie. B is not the type to solicit opinions from other people; he is the type to form his own opinions based on first-hand experience. She communicated to me that she thought I knew he was a closer friend to her than I was, to which I had not made that assumption since we never really discussed her and B’s level of friendship before.

    Due to this situation, over the past 7 years, she has refused to make up with him, despite his many attempts to do so and despite them having being very close during college and beyond and despite her previous statement that she does not let her close friends go no matter what happens. She never gave B a chance to tell his side of the story because in her mind, he had chosen me over her. After the situation happened, she and I agreed to be civil and she and my husband decided they were not friends anymore. Throughout the following years, a few situations happened where I felt my relationship with her was ok but of course I wanted B and her to make up, as she is the one who introduced me to him and to clear the air once and for all. I mentioned it and she got explosively angry for bringing it up at all. The second outburst happened a year later where she burst out while she was inebriated yelling out to B that she does not like him anymore over and over. A few years later, he and I got engaged and were to be married. She also was to be married and believes she was the “bigger man” by inviting me and my husband to her wedding; she to this date does not know the full story and refuses to hear it.

    I believed we were once very close girlfriends so betrayal is the feeling I initially experienced, followed by utter disbelief that a good friend could do that to me, and shocked that one of my supposed friends does not care to plough through this bump in the road by talking about it. The reason it is difficult to completely let go of the friendship is because we share a similar group of girlfriends and a similar group of friends from my husband’s side so there is frequent interaction. I am also excluded from random group events, which is very difficult for me to come to terms with. I do understand everyone has their flaws, as I try to accept my own flaws, but she does not know the full story and is so stubborn that she will never want to hear it from B. I try to keep my separate relationships with my girlfriends who are part of our shared circle. It is difficult to do so because there are many stories that are shared and it hurts to be excluded. She has definitely accepted this situation earlier on, while I am still coming to terms with it, especially as I see her every few months and her and B do not talk at all.

    She and I never properly talked about the situation in a manner where a resolution was made or where we agreed to disagree and be friends again, as she was/is not receptive to that. She and B have also never talked, as she refused to hear it. My problem is forgiving, letting go of the old friendship, relinquishing the power I give her, letting go of the guilt of B having lost a good friend, and understanding that this relationship triangle will never be the same again. How do I accept the situation for what it is to allow myself to move on and grow in a positive direction?


    Hello RT Pat,

    Oh wow. This sounds like a whole lot of drama no one needs! Friends should never try to ruin something that fills you with happiness and makes your life positive. Friends should be supportive always, and I can guarantee that if I ever had a friend talk badly about me to the person I wanted to be with, she’d be out the door so fast! Friends should always make you feel good and you shouldn’t have to win their friendship. The only time you can intervene on a situation is if it is actually truly hurting someone (physically, mentally, emotionally) to a point where it is detrimental to that life. If it isn’t, and it’s something that makes someone happy, excited, joyous about life – then a friend would never try to make that different for you. What she did was not out of a place of concern for you. It was sneaky. And deliberately hurtful. The people you should surround yourself with should be people who are positive and enrich your life in all aspects. I understand friendships can go through bumps in the road, just like any relationship. But if you ask yourself if this situation made things better, stronger, took you to a positive place – and the answer is no – it may be time to do a little spring cleaning in that area of your life. Take your life and whom you share it with to a better place; one beyond negative attitudes and toxic behaviour. Maybe your friend will be able to make a positive change for herself, but in the meantime until that happens, I think you could have many more enriching relationships than one that is a source of worry/stress. I hope you find a happy solution:)

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