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What do you do if your ex was your best friend/closest person to you?

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This topic contains 14 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by  anita 6 months, 1 week ago.

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  • #314135

    Annie
    Participant

    My boyfriend of 3 years ended our relationship 2 months ago. Since then, I’ve been very depressed. Although there were some good things that happened such as I finally got a job, which would sometimes get my mind off of him, I feel as times goes by I end up thinking and missing him more. I do have 3 other friends I see every once in a while, but I don’t have that close connection with them as I do with my ex. He was my best friend so when we broke up, I feel as if I lost two person: a boyfriend and a best friend. I really miss us sharing with each other things about our day.

    The last time that I met up with my ex, he said that we could still be friends, that he can still be my best friend. I told him I don’t know if we can be friends, which the next day I changed my mind and told him that we can still talk and see each other sometimes. He replied back okay.

    I know a lot of people of would don’t talk to your ex, so I’ve been trying to not text or contact him. And he doesn’t bother to contact me. It hurts. I feel like he never saw me as his best friend. Because he has his own group of best friends, why would he need me as a best friend? And part of the reason for the breakup was because of his best friends. I feel so angry with him and mostly at myself for feeling like this. I’m so frustrated with myself.

    He will always have his best friends. But I feel like I have no one, or anyone that understands.

    I get the thing about loving yourself first and learn to be alone. But I feel so lonely with no emotional connection or social connection to anyone, something that I can’t give to myself. I’ve always struggled with making friends and building strong connections with people so it’s really hard and close to impossible to make and keep friends. It doesn’t help that I have social anxiety. I can’t even make friends online.

    I feel like I’m barely holding on. Most days I don’t want to exist because everything feels too much. I feel like I’m just an empty body with no soul.

    • This topic was modified 6 months, 2 weeks ago by  Annie.
    • This topic was modified 6 months, 2 weeks ago by  Annie.
    • This topic was modified 6 months, 2 weeks ago by  Annie.
    #314277

    anita
    Participant

    Dear Annie:

    Congratulations for finally getting a job!

    September 2017, two years ago, you wrote about you and your now ex boyfriend: “We were fine in the beginning but after almost a year we started fighting a lot. He told me sometimes when I’m like this it’s hard to be around me. But that is also when I need him the most for emotional support”-

    I too used to be a very angry young woman. But I didn’t understand that when I fight with a person, that person is not going to support me. In other words, when you are angry at a person and fight with him, he is not going to feel empathy for you. Instead, he is likely to feel anger back at you. Maybe scared and then angry.

    Like you I also was jealous of others who had friends while I was alone and lonely. My loneliness started very early on at home. I felt very alone and lonely in my own home which didn’t feel like a home, a place of supposed safety and warmth, meaningful conversations and empathy, understanding.

    Is this your experience at home with your family: lonely, cold?

    anita

    • This reply was modified 6 months, 2 weeks ago by  anita.
    #314319

    Lace
    Participant

    Annie,

    know that you are not alone in this experience. My ex/best friend and I broke up recently after being together for 5 years. It’s the weirdest thing not to speak to him or see him. However everyday it gets easier. I have many conversations with myself and with God. I know it’s a hard process and I wish I had magic words to make all your worries go away.  sending you positive energy

    #314367

    Annie
    Participant

    Anita – thank you for your response.

    Thank you! I agree with what you said that he is not going to feel empathy towards me.

    Yes, I believe that growing up I didn’t get much of the emotional connection and bond with my parents as a child and even growing up. So I would feel like my family doesn’t understand how I feel and I would feel lonely. Which makes sense I would then crave/depend a lot on my ex partner for the emotional support and connection but even then, it was not enough.

    #314381

    Emily
    Participant

    Hey girl. I’m going thru the same thing. Idk what to do with myself. I’m so lonely all the time. I don’t have any friends besides him.. I guess my response isn’t very helpful.. I’m just do lonely its nice to try to talk to someone that’s feeling similarly.  I hope life gets better for both of us..  it’s sorts killing me. (Personally) 🙁

    #314429

    anita
    Participant

    Dear Annie:

    I learned that when a child experiences a very lonely childhood, the child grows up to be an adult re-experiencing the same lonely childhood. Just as the lonely child sometimes had company and experienced joy in that company, the lonely adult also enjoys company sometimes, getting a break from the usual, ongoing experience of loneliness.

    You wrote: “my family doesn’t understand how I feel and I would feel lonely”- it is very difficult for a child to be alone with her feelings. Every unpleasant feeling becomes way more intense when she is alone with that feeling, unseen and misunderstood.

    I imagine you were angry then, and probably still, angry at your family for not seeing you and not understanding you. Am I correct?

    anita

    #314485

    Annie
    Participant

    Emily – it just hurts a lot because he’s the first person I’ve felt I can completely be myself with and even act like a complete idiot around him. For some reason, it was just so easy for me to open up to him. Now that’s gone. It feels so empty and I feel so betrayed by him.

    We can talk to each other if you like. It’s always nice to have someone to talk to.

    #314487

    Annie
    Participant

    Lace – it’s been 2 months, almost 3 months since we broke up. To be honest, it doesn’t feel any easier for me. If anything, I feel it’s the opposite. He’s been the first thing that comes to my mind when I wake up, even though we haven’t spoken to each other for a month. It hurts because I feel if he still cares, he would’ve texted me. But he doesn’t. And it hurts because he always chose his best friends over me.

    #314507

    Annie
    Participant

    Anita – I learned that a person’s relationship with a partner is a reflection of a person’s relationship with their caregiver/parent.

    I don’t feel the anger towards my parents anymore. But I do see the correlation of me trying to get that emotional need from my partner because I didn’t get that as a child or ever from my dad.

    #314511

    anita
    Participant

    Dear Annie:

    That is what happens most often when we experience a significant lack in childhood: we “don’t feel the anger toward (our) parents anymore” but we feel it toward our boyfriends/ partners in each and every relationship. You were jealous from the beginning of your now ex boyfriend’s friendships, expressed in your previous thread and in the post right above your post to me: “He always chose his best friends over me”.

    Problem is that you are likely to feel this kind of jealousy for your next boyfriend and the next (or for this one, if you were to resume the relationship),  until you address the jealousy you felt as a child when one of your parents (or both) seemed to prefer other people over you- other family members, maybe even neighbors or strangers.

    The old jealousy in childhood is likely to disrupt your relationships throughout life, if not addressed and resolved. I experienced a similar kind of jealousy myself and have made significant progress on the matter.

    Do you want to share about this old childhood jealousy?

    (I will soon be away from the computer and back in about 13 hours from now).

    anita

     

    • This reply was modified 6 months, 2 weeks ago by  anita.
    #314757

    Annie
    Participant

    Anita – I’m not sure if jealous is the right word. It was more like disappointment in my boyfriend. That he trust what they say and believe those (bad) things they say about me and I feel betrayed because he should know me better than that. He cared a lot of what they think of him or his relationship.

    But yes, growing up I did feel a lot of jealousy and envy towards my younger sibling because everyone gave her more attention and care and I felt I lacked affection from them.

    But I do understand and realized it could be attachment trauma. The problem is I don’t know what I could do to heal or overcome it. I would prefer not going to a therapist because of financial issue at the moment.

    #314769

    anita
    Participant

    Dear Annie:

    If you want to explore this further, we can:

    1. What bad things did his friends say to him about you and the relationship with you and how did you find out what they said (did he tell you, did you ask him and kept asking him what they said)?

    2. You wrote that everyone in your family gave your younger sibling more attention and care- can you tell me more about it: who  is “everyone”, what attention and care did they give her but not you, is it still the case, to this very day?

    (I will be back in a couple of hours).

    anita

    #314933

    Annie
    Participant

    Anita,

    1. They would constantly say/ask him questions like “does she not like us?” Because I tend to be a quiet person and I always struggled socially since most of the time I don’t know what to say, especially if I’m not close with the person. I found out about it because he told me what they said about me. The thing is, they ask him or only say them when I’m not around. My then boyfriend tells me that initially he did try to explain to them that it’s just my personality and that I’m a quiet person. But they still always ask the same questions and I guess overtime he started to be affected by what they say. They would also say things to him that I’m too clingy or that we hold hands too much. But I don’t really see it as a big deal.. I mean we are dating. And it’s always how we’ve been, we would hold hands when we’re together. We don’t make out in public so it wasn’t like we were displaying extreme PDA. But he would tell me that his friends admit that they are jealous of our relationship. (They are single so they felt jealous we were dating.) also, one of his other friend is also in a relationship but they honestly display way more PDA than we did. They would kiss in front of everyone but it’s never an issue with his other friends. They never mention about them. I just felt like they didn’t like me because I’m not the same race as them.

    It hurts most because he agreed with what they say. A few months ago prior to our breakup, my was heated and angry with me because he felt like I was treating his friends like strangers. For example, there was a time when one of his friend (who’s single) was driving both my then boyfriend and I back home from his other friend’s house. My ex was dropped off first because it was closer, so it was just his friend and I in the car. We started talking about driving and me getting a car, etc. and I felt it was nice. “His friend isn’t as bad as I thought. We talked and he seems nice.” I thought to myself. (It’s one of the friend that I would say things about me when I’m not there.)  But on that day, according to my boyfriend, his friend told him that he asked me a question about my family (“how many siblings do you have?”) and his friend said that I replied with “one sister” and that was all we said, and that after that it was awkward silence. I told my ex that it wasn’t true and that he never asked me anything about my family, so I found it weird. Then after explaining to my ex, he talked to his friend again and then he told me that he actually admitted we did talk a lot that day.

    2. By everyone, I mean parents, grandparents, and parents’ friends. Some of my parents’ friends would compare me to my younger sister about things like my height (which I was always insecure about) and it made me felt self conscious growing up.

    • This reply was modified 6 months, 1 week ago by  Annie.
    #314979

    anita
    Participant

    Dear Annie:

    I re-read your previous threads regarding this relationship that ended a couple of months ago. The first thread is from September 2017. In that thread you wrote:

    “Recently I’ve been feeling jealous and envious of my boyfriend’s social life. It just seems he meets the right kind of people and hit things off well, while for me it’s hard to meet people.. We talked into his old dance building and saw some people who  know him and were happy to see him… In class, we had to do measurement lab and I was hoping to work with him alone, but he ended up  working and talking mostly with another guy in class. I felt lonely because again I had no other friend and it just seems he already made a new friend there. After class, we went to my house and I still felt upset… His coworkers and manager are always nice to him, giving him free food every break time.. I do feel a  little jealous of him. It just seems he has a lot of people there for him while I don’t”-

    – you see: you were angry at him for talking to a guy he just met and jealous of him because his co workers and manager were nice to him two years ago. Fast forward to your most recent post, regarding friends he knows for a longer time: “They would constantly say/ask him questions like ‘does she not like us?’ Because I tend to be a quiet person”-

    – not because you tend to be a quiet person, but because you tend to be jealous of your boyfriend for having anyone nice and friendly to him, and you get angry when that happens. It is true that you didn’t like his friends.

    Two years ago, you wrote: “Sometimes I’m afraid of losing him because how I am… I have a big reaction to something most people find small or insignificant.. We talked about this many times before and thought about how to deal with it but when I get like this, sometimes it’s like we forget we had that conversation… We were fine in the beginning but after almost a year we started fighting a lot. He told me sometimes when I’m like this it’s hard to be around me”.

    Like you feared, you did lose him because of your ongoing jealousy and anger. April 2019, your relationship with him was “emotionally distant”, the relationship by that point was “on and off”, you spent a little time together, “once a week”, and “When we do spend time together, we would have sex and then he sleeps… We hardly ever talk to each other anymore”- the relationship was on its way to the ending.

    The reason the relationship ended was not his friends were bad people who said bad things about you. The reason it ended is that you experienced valid jealousy and anger when you were a child, month after month, year after year, as “growing up I did feel a lot of jealousy and envy towards my younger sibling because everyone gave her more attention and care and I felt I lacked affection from them… parents, grandparents, and parents’ friends.. would compare me to my younger sister”.

    Your parents and the others really did give your sister way more attention and care than they gave you. It wasn’t fair and you felt intense hurt and anger. Fast forward, you kept feeling that same hurt and same anger in the context  of your relationship with your boyfriend. That led to fights and distance and he eventually broke up with you.

    It is very uncomfortable for you,  isn’t it, to think of your childhood experience and you prefer, don’t  you, to lay the blame on your ex boyfriend’s friends. But if you don’t address your childhood experience and resolve- over time and work- that hurt and anger, you will continue to re-experience it with any man you get involved with.

    (The only exception may be if you lived on an island with a boyfriend, only the two  of you, and if on that island he would never think or talk about any person who was nice to him before ending up on the island).

    anita

     

     

    • This reply was modified 6 months, 1 week ago by  anita.
    #314953

    Anushree
    Participant

    Dear Annie. I am sorry you have been going through so much hurt. I have been through something similar. I was a very closed person and my boyfriend was the first person I opened up to. So the break up was the greatest loss I suffered.

    Reading your words I can understand that there is a strong connection between being lonely in your childhood and feeling the same as an adult. Anita rightly says you need to solve this in your heart because the lessons we don’t learn, keep repeating themselves. See, all things in the world are lessons and nothing. I believe this guy in your life has come as a lesson that you need to get over your fear of not being able to have intimacy. Because you were able to have one with him, you can have it with your other friends too. And inherent in this lesson is the letting go of the fear of losing the only person you are close to. How do you let go of this fear? Because you are going through it and whatever has hurt us ones, can’t hurt as again. That’s what experience is all about.

    Coming to this guy, I think what’s most hurtful is that he believed his friends more than he believed you, not even equal to that. I don’t think you should be in a relationship where the person can get swayed with what someone else says and where you are not given the love and trust you so truly deserve. You told him you wanted to be friends with him after the breakup. And although the guy seems ok with the idea, he seems to be putting no effort in the direction, making you feel unloved and needy. No person who truly loves you, would put you in such a situation of being apologetic and weak.

    I think this comes as a lesson to you about how much you need to love and respect yourself like the guy and everyone else does. I am not asking you to despise him because everyone is at a different level of evolution and his lessons will come to him when they have to. Thank him instead, really. For now, you need to understand that the guy doesn’t see you the way you see him. Perhaps, he loves you, but that is different from the way you love him. And we truly have a choice about how we want to love and how we want to be loved- both of you have this choice. So don’t compromise and shy away from the fact that you need security and trust in your relationship. At the same time, work on yourself by finding a hobby or a passion, making new friends, trust people who deserve your trust. There are people in this world who can be trusted. Look and you will find. Resonate at that energy level and people will come to you. And if nothing, God has your back, no matter what. You truly deserve all the love and respect in the world. May God bless you.

    Love,

    Anu

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