Friendship, Interrupted

By Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

My friend and I are close, but I do think our friendship is coming to an end. I don’t want it to, but then again I do.

He kills animals; I only LOVE them to death… and since he got his underaged girlfriend pregnant (baby is now a couple months old), he’s been acting like he knows everything. He thinks now that he’s a father, he’s suddenly more intelligent and experienced when it comes to life… It really does get annoying, since we’re both such stubborn people! We’re always having little tiffs about each other being the dumber one, or the more immature one (which I’ll admit, we’re both pretty stupid and immature).

Anyway, we’ve been in so many fights and arguments. Some have been serious and some not so serious. We even had a really ridiculous fight over how I like to punch in the buttons on the lids of fountain drinks – because he hates it. That one turned physical, even though he said he’d never hit a girl – and I said I’d never hit a guy.

For the most part, we do get along. We have some common interests, and despite our more severe differences, we’ve lasted as friends for nearly 10 years.

My issue is that he’s done so many things to intentionally irritate me — he even made a disparaging comment about an old pet cat who accidentally “hung” itself in a bush. He taunts me with the abuse of his pets, and when I don’t show any concern (fake apathy), he gets upset. For instance, after having an argument over his mistreatment of animals, he went into his room and did /something/, then came out bragging about having to throw his dog across the room.

Through these ten years, I know he only said it to bug me, but I’ve learned to ignore his jabs most of the time. Anyway, I faked apathy, and said his dog was dumb, and obviously deserved it.This upset him – he was upset that I wasn’t upset. So, he called me out on an old incident where a feline friend of mine had gotten snagged on a loose string from a scratching post outside, and had been hung from a bush.

I was quite ready to shred him to pieces, but I didn’t show it. It was pretty hard for me to brush that jab off, because my mother was horrified when she found the cat, and he knew it.

A: I’m not sure what your question is but I have to tell you: I wonder why you want this guy for a friend. He is cruel to animals. He picks fights with you. He seems to want to control your emotions. What on earth makes it worth it to hang out with him?

Going only on what you wrote, I think you need to take your distance and find yourself a better class of friend. Length of a “friendship” isn’t enough to justify keeping it. Voluntee

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 11 Feb 2011

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2011). Friendship, Interrupted. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 27, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2011/02/11/friendship-interrupted/