Comments on
8 Steps to Closure When a Friendship Ends

By Therese J. Borchard
Associate Editor

Friendships are like marriages. Some evolve to become mutually supportive and life-giving bonds while others grow more and more unhealthy, or even toxic. When a friendship ends—abruptly or subtly; via e-mail, phone conversation, or personal confrontation; with words or silence—I believe it needs to be …

127 Comments to
8 Steps to Closure When a Friendship Ends

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  1. Help, I have a gentleman friend. We may have been moving to more then just a friendship. I am a very private person. I told him at this time I wanted to keep this relationship to ourselves. I had been hurt in past relationships, and wanted to go slow. We had some very personal & private conversation about my life. I found out he shared my private hurts,and fears,with a number of others. This man is on dialysis. His daughter in law can be very angery, and
    jelouce. After many reminders of my request for privisey. I decided to end the relationship. I have had foul emails from the daughter in law, calling me names. And today I rec’d a text message fron his sister. The sister tells me he’s going to stop his dialysis, he could die. I do not wan t this to happen, but I feel his family is not a healthy fir me. Any thought would be helpful.

  2. Very good advice as I as well as all of you had a falling out with a very good friend I thought over my brother. I have known her for years since playpen years. For a very long time her and my brother had a flirtatious thing going which went nowhere for years. Eventually she got married after highschool and the flirtation continued and I did not mind so long it was just flirting but come to find out it was way more than flirting. I did not approve of that at all I knew her husband happened to think the world of her, he’s not only devoted to her but did everything for her. And she continued to sneak around thinking I did not know what was going on my brother tells me everything she should know that and saw them together but the fact that she asks about him as if she never sees him offends me and made me question our friendship. I did not comfront her but she knew I knew what was going on and instead of talking to me she avoided me, thats what hurt, this petty flirtation and sexual relationship she has with him means more to her than our friendship or her husband and family it even caused problems with my brother and myself. It feels like its all messed up I counted on her for things like the truth I looked up to her held her up in a pedastal and unconditional real friendship. I was wrong and it hurts. I feel like I lost a sister.

  3. I could not believe this article when I read it. I have been feeling extremely lonely this last year and dealing with a lot of emotions. I developed a friendship that changed my life. This person showed me a side of me that I never new I had. I found myself totally trying to be her and live her life. In return I lost her and myself. I realize losing her was my fault. I have really struggled giving up this friendship because everything I do or see reminds me of her and the great times we had. She was a real joy in my life. Many times I have tried to reconnect with her but I get rejected every time. You think I would learn and quit disappointing myself. We have many common friends and people ask me about her all the time which is so hard. She knows about many relationships I had in my past that ended badly and made a promise to not do the same thing but it happened again. I know it is me. I have done a lot of healing with lots of help but still really miss this friend. It scares me to every build a good friendship again but I know I will. I am so sorry I hurt my friend and myself.

  4. After reading all the comments this is a comment to my friend. There was a reason why we were in each others lives. I knew God put us together for a reason. I always felt you gave so much and would not let me give in return. You always wanted to take care of me and I took full advantage of it. You say that ending out friendship is best for both of us. That was hard for me to believe. I guess I always kept the hope that I would prove to you I could take care of myself and find peace and contentment in my life then we could be friends again. So, I kept the hope going for a long time even now. I always felt we needed that conversation face to face that you have no intention of every being friends again and then I would know it is over. After reading your comments here it is. This is for you my friend, “Good Bye”.
    I will miss you!

  5. wow what a great article. It is so true. It feels good to heal yourself. Revenge is better once you are healed. In other words, work on you and the world shines with you.

  6. This article is so helpful. I am in a similiar situation with a so called friend. She talks behind my back making up lies about me. The things she tells people are really her problems. She transfers them to me. She has done illegal things that I don’t agree with. She lies no matter what to save herself. The problem is that my daughter and her daughter are the best of friends. I also love this child as if she were my own. I know this sounds bad but I am only friends with her so we can have this wonderful child in our lives. She has done illegal things that will make her lose her children. I know what these things are but am unsure if I should say anything. Again, I don’t really trust this person and I don’t want any harm to come to me or my family. I am confused. I feel morally wrong to know what is going on and not to say anything.

  7. This article was very helpful to me. I found out 4 months ago my husband slept with 3 of my friends over the last 3 years. We are in the process of divorce now and I have lost so much trust in him but am now very careful on who I choose to call my friend. Thoes women were not real friends to me. Its time to move on from toxic friendships and marriage. Starting new is scary as hell but will be worth it when I find happiness in srounding myself with good people that will uplift and support me in the future.

  8. My best friend from college of 25 years decided to help my ex through our breakup relationship breakup. Instead of checking things out with me, she took my ex’s word for everything. Needless to say, I said goodbye to her. That was four years ago and in hindsight, she was dishonest with me in a lot of ways from the beginning

  9. Hi,
    I too enjoyed the article and appreciate everyone sharing their life experiences. I’ve recently been betrayed and am currently going through a loss. I believe this past experience has truly been a blessing in disguise. Please don’t shut yourself off from the world due to the loss of a friend. I have learned to be my own best friend and don’t look outside of myself for validation.

    I also realize the inner self reflects the outer. So, I’m working on becoming the best person that I can be. There are so many great books to read that will help you seek comfort and gain a peaceful mind. Please forgive yourself and those who have wronged you in any way. It’s so liberating!! I’d also like to recommend a wonderful book by Louise Hay -”You Can Heal Your Life”. Wayne Dyer is also an amazing individual with great insight.. He’s written so many fantastic books. “Change Your Thoughts, Change Your Life” is also a very healing book. :)

  10. does this apply to romantic relationships? i just broke up with this guy i’ve been seeing for 3 years and need help on how to get past the pain and move on…

  11. I have been reeling since 2007 when I caught my partner cheating on me @ the job that I got her, she took this girl to our house after we broke up and she played(against me) my bestfriend of 17 yrs. I soon after disappeared off the side of the earth-I hd 2 get away from all the negativity. First step when dealing w my xbf who is into abusive relationship this is what she has seen all her life, why not live it its call conditional learning.I set up my partner to live in one of her rental property and they became close friends over time. My bf and I had a fall out over money-mind you money that I never made nor exchanged hands(before my xgf moved in to her rental unit), she thought I was moving in on her $$$ at my old emplyr I applied cause her boss/drinkgin buddy askd me to apply. I did it as a courtesy. My gf tells me at the time she is (my bf) jealous of me.
    Not that the friendship of 17 yr was going south my XGF egged it on. WE all fell into the xgf’s trapp. I sued her in court. my xbf showed up with her, when I did not return her call 4 mths after my xgf and I broke up. She never called to ck on me to see how I was doing, cause when I confrnt my xbf she denied that she visual would undress my xgf or that her attitude had changed or money, now that I look back she was jealous of me and that relationship I had at the time. She is what is considered a fag hag, she lives with a gay guy and lust after some one she can never have cause of his illness. I missed her but, now that I saw this article I thought to contribute, I have no faghag to run me down, the gay guy tried to out me to my sister, my xgf tried to out me to my sister via email. she did not even know my sister. They were all out to get me they were killing themselves to get to my family to out me, little did they know my family knew, my parents siblings always said thats who you are we love you-but, who you bring home to us should mean the world to you. I wasn’t sure, my xgf she had a family history of mental illness and man I am glad I did not bring her home, bad deal all the way around.I have to be thankful for gods blessings.

  12. Thanks for the advice to read the books for healing. I have enjoyed reading many books on healing and finding peace with in myself. A friend gave me a necklace saying, “Find peace within yourself”. I always wear it to remind me where I need to find happiness and peace. It amazes me when I think of my family and friends that love and support me everyday. I am a very lucky person but I still have that lonely feeling. I try and blame it on my health problems and the changes my body is going through being over 40 but there is some much more to it. Some day I will love myself and realize I am my own best friend.

  13. In December 2008, I reconnected with a friend[K D) through another friend[S B]I have know for 20 years. They knew each other first. I was invited to dinner. Had a great time. They gave me $35.00 gifts (had not been discussed limit before hand)and I could only afford $10 – $20 limit. Then after a few weeks I hadn’t heard from either one. I tried phoning to get together with either one. K D kept having studying come up and was busy. S B had never phoned me once since. I have tried several times leaving messages. Then she changed her phone service. So I asked the other friend to look into it since they have seen each other in recent weeks. She nicely said she would. Then i didn’t hear from her. I then got a hold of SB but she was really rude and all I could do was say”I don’t have time for this” and hung up. Some time went by when next I get a real nasty & blasting email from the other friend [KD] that I “demanded to know what happened”. I’ve never demanded to know what happened. Only inquired as to what was happening because they are friends and I thought she could see what’s up. We’ve never been like this. KD said that she is “surprised how I have dealt with this situation between SB and myself” – yeah like trying to figure out why she wasn’t calling. Then she proceeded to say i downplayed a traumatic event she went through and that I wasn’t sensitive about her situation and thought I was downplaying it. I am the most sensitive person I know and I cared what she said.

    This has all been a nightmare and too incredulous to believe this is happening.

    The funny thing is she goes on to pick on faults she feels I have. I have never once picked on my friends for their faults. That is what friendship is, it is overlooking faults and just enjoying our friends for who they are. Both friends a few times have picked on me for what I said and apparently SB told KD that “I spent $50 for a DVD-Gilmore Girls” – question is what business is it of hers what I do with my money??

    I am really hurt, angry and upset that my longtime friends did this. How does this help me? Not letting me know what is wrong? I know that SB has an eating disorder that has never been corrected, panic attacks and both friends have disabilities. And they have had a lot of problems with their families since way back. So I figured this might have stemmed from that.

    As one person said onetime about her loss of a friendship “Goodbye to old rubbish” and that is about what I feel now.

    I too have had a lot of people who seemed to want to be friends (females) give me their number and ask for mine and then never hear from them. I have had friends leave the school for a different one than mine. I have spent a lifetime constantly having to meet new friends mostly due to them moving to the US. Most in last 4 yrs were through work.

    I say, this is a new beginning for a new era. A New Year and new plan for new friends.

    Good Luck to those experiencing the same!!

  14. I made CDs of songs that reminded me of him then I took a long drive and listened to all the CDs (I used to enjoy road trips with him). I had to pull over several time to cry but by the time I got back home those CDs were in the trash and so were the emotions attached to him.

  15. There are some wonderful tips here for many different situations. Thank you!

  16. I had a childhood friend that was closer to me than my brothers. He died suddenly 11 years ago and there is not a day that has went by that I have not thought of him. I have cried many, many times at the memories.

    That was not the worse thing to happen, more hurt was yet to come. I got involved in a religion that was very strict. I went to seminary and became a Minister. I brought many people to the Lord, then I had a crisis of faith and resigned from the Ministry and the Church. Many of my family members no longer talk to me, actually they are in-laws, I have been shunned, spoken of negativly from the former “Christian” friends and family as well as the from the pulpit by Ministers.
    This all happened 12 years ago and in all that time I haven’t heard one word from many of them.

    All that has kept me going is my loving wife of 36 years and my family of 2 boys and 6 wonderful grandkids. I do miss the old times we had together at the Church but I have been badly burned and have turned resistant to organized religion of any type.

    Most of all I miss my boyhood friend, Anthony,
    who died at age 40, Bro, I still love you and I miss you everyday, you were a true friend that stuck by me even when the “Christians” turned on me. I know I’ll see you again in the next life but, it sure would have been fun to grow old with you.

    • Your reply made me cry.It’s so beautiful to see another man feel so deeply.Just remember how much h’ll always love you and you him.

  17. This article helped a great deal and the comments after the article were even more therapeutic. I need to move on from this relationship that has been hurting me. I’m not exactly sure why it ended, maybe because I moved away (about 8 miles) and I wasn’t as available to her “beck and call.” For a long time I was aware at how unbalanced this relationship had become, I gave, she took – and I did stop resisting being bossed around. But I think it was mostly envy (on her part), she no longer wanted to keep up a friendship that she felt envious of. Apparently while I was being happy for her, supportive of her, encouraging of her, my happiness and successful circumstances were causing her to become jealous and envious. What is hard is that our husbands continue to be friends, but even that is fading from lack of contact. While we continue as 2 couples to do some things together, it’s becoming less and less all the time. When my husband is ready to let go of the friendship with her husband, it will be easier for me not to have contact with her and feel her negativity. But the hardest thing is not really knowing why she couldn’t make the effort to stay a friend and why she was so jealous.

  18. I apreciate this article very much since I find that giving your all to others rather than your family usually results in the other person taking advantage. I am a very private person and sometimes I let others into my life only to realize that there are people who call themselves friends but are really there to drain you. On the other hand I have friends who e-mail once in a while asking for nothing other than to know how you are and to celebrate the good with you even from a distance. And there are those friends that suck the life out of you and although you are there for them — they never seem to appreciagte when you need some understanding. I recently lost a loved one and the one person I though would understand because they also lost a person close to them and we spent literally lots of time with them, did not even send me a condolence card, word, e-mail or phone call. While I did not expect the same degree of support, I did expect an expression of my pain.

  19. I am going through a relationship ending after 23 yrs. I am struggling everyday because I still deeply love this person. She’s the love of my life. We had no communication and I feel that’s what ended the relationship. I read alot of motivational books. Each day is a struggle but I have my good support group and get through each day. I am looking up to the heavens for help to ease the hurt and pain.

  20. I work with and attend the same church in a town that is “too small” with my former friend. We were friends for 5 years until I woke up to see that not only was she unhealthy, controlling and manipulative, but that I had my own issues that got me into the unhealthy relationship. It has been 4 long years of dealing with the control and manipulation of my former friend, I say that only to point out how much I have grown, healed and learned in the midst of it all. It’s still uncomfortable, but I can say I am grateful for all that came out of it, because I was a benefactor. Trust God and allow the refiners fire to purify and heal you. I am not responsible for what she does only for myself and what I do with the opportunity to grow.

  21. A grade school friend of my sisters was introduced into my life. After the first time I met him we hit it off we have so much in common its scary. He needs to move and I’m going on vacation so I go to his home 2hrs from mine and help move him and his son and his sons girlfriend. Long story short I keep going back to his new home eventually staying over a month. Helping him and his family because his mother had a horrible car accident in Oct she is still in the hospital.I went to take a test for the goverment in our state and prior to it I had asked him on 3 occasions if I could see her, he never respond to the fact I could not so I did and when he entered the room and saw me you would have thought I killed someone his look towards me was ugly and thats a nice way to put it. That day after I left I sent him a text and never heard from him again. The other events I went through while staying with him and the money I put out I would think someone his age and job status would have enough intelligence to respond to me.
    I did write a letter and I have been grieving over the loss my mother thinks I’m crazy but my sisters,nephews,and friends all back me on how I’m handling it. Oh I didnt tell you all he tells me he loves and wouldnt hurt I hate to hear that because no human can keep such a promise and I did love him but I dont think I do anymore I dont think I have the capacity to. Want to say thanks for letting me vent again and for some helpful advice from the article.

  22. I lost of a friendship of 30 years last August. I had gone through a lot of agony with my family and had become dependent on this friendship to vent. She knew the entire story of my family relationships so it was easy to talk through things with her. I also worked for her keeping her business open while she went through treatment for breast cancer. I was not paid enough but the hours fit my schedule for going back to school.I graduated school, found a job. My daughter attended the after school program. One of the employees did something which I thought wrong. He is 19 years old and took four girls into a locked room to take photos. One of the girls was my daughter. When I found out about this (not through) her I was very upset. My husband contacted her to find out what she was going to do with the employee. When she said she was not going to fire him my husband called another girl’s (who was in the room) parents and informed them of the situation. She accused us of trying to ruin her business. She told me my daughter was not allowed to come to the school for a couple of weeks. I stopped teaching classes there and have not spoke to her sense. I have found out her cancer has come back. The boy who brought the children in the room is still there taking care of kids. I think the reason she let him stay on was because she didn’t have to pay him much. Since her cancer has returned our other mutual friends say I owe it to he to make amends. They tell me I should be the one to contact her before anything “happens” to her. I feel terrible about the lose of a meaningful friendship, however, I don’t think the situation was handled correctly. I saw no concern for what happened to my daughter and the other children and all though I honestly don’t think anything happened in the locked room which had a window other than photo taking I still don’t think this person showed good judgment and he should not be taking care children. I did not want him with my daughter again. All this being said I’m sure she has her side of the story and thinks I’m in the wrong or to blame. And with this life threating illness looming over her- I’m afraid if I don’t make amends and contact her I will forever feel guilty. any thoughts would be appreciated.

  23. An earlier response caught my eye, the woman who had communicated electronically with a man for 13 months, fell in love, only to find that he had been married the whole time. Over the past 10 years I have seen my husband do this to dozens of women, unfortunately even my supervisor and some I considered friends. It is easy to hide behind work, and with a good salary can even maintain a second residence. They are accomplished liars and good at covering their tracks.

    Many are driven by a need to have undivided attention from someone, but a wife, no matter how good and caring has a house to manage, often works, has children and grandchildren. They never intend to leave us, but “accidentally” get caught when it is time to end the secret relationship; counting on me to track down the lover and deliver the bad news. I mourn the loss of a friend in some cases, the betrayal in my life in all cases, sadly, he does not realize that I have committed myself to end that behavior on my part and written the cathartic letter.

    I cannot express how careful one has to be in beginning and committing to E Relationships in particular, but any serious relationship these days. The aftermath is devastating for the victim. Therapy is out of the question for him, you are his therapy. He will take you to meet his children. He will IM you while I am in the next room, call you while I am in the shower, take you to lunch while I am having my hair done. While you are at the concert of the year, I am at home, caring for his 8 dogs.

    It is not wrong to protect yourself with an in depth background check including email addresses, face book and my space pages, utility connections for all his addresses, public records searches for marriage licenses and criminal records. While it takes a little blush off the rose, it is much less painful than the mourning of a relationship loved and lost, and the difficulty of building trust in the next one because there are some great guys out there ladies. Just make sure you are getting the gem you deserve, not the CZ on the lower shelf.

  24. Hi. I’m going through a similar situation. My friend of 7 years whom I have grown to love like a family member, like a mother figure, suddenly doesn’t call and doesn’t show that she cares about me anymore. I so don’t want to let her go. I wish there was a way to resurrect our friendship. I guess I will have to mourn the loss.

  25. one word for this article. Thankyou.
    A very raw loss of a best friend – today in fact as she has moved away and i know ill never really be in touch with her. She just cant stay in touch with the past. Somehow, thanks to this article, i think ill get through it!!
    xxxxxxxx

  26. i have recently learned a new thing and remembered an old thing….after suffering for sooo long.

    the new thing came from a compassionate stranger on a website.The compassionate stranger, hearing my tales of woe about friends said,
    ‘i really sympathise, i too am going thru a clearing out of old lingering feelings around friends….its a fork in the road. when you meet your friend and youre gettin along you its great. then a season comes,sometimes out of the blue…and a fork in the road comes. either you or the friend have grown/matured, or both of you have in new and different ways….the period on the same road is over…and to be true to yourself and the growth…you need to take your fork. If its not you who realises there s been a change you may feel..’left’ when the dynamics change and the friendship inevitably reduces or ceases.

    but its just a fork in the road.’

    when i heard this it helped me greatly. i could accept that it really wasnt to be sooo hurt…i was the one who said ‘no’ to certain repeated emotional disrespect from my friend..despite my asking her to stop and consider how it hurt me. When she arrogantly said it was her right to cancel plans with me if something important came up….(and not ask me..just do it)..i realised we had stopped having the same values.

    i even apologised to her for being mistaken in presuming we had the same values.

    it was a loss to me, i liked a lot about her..but after riding the lonliness a while..i realised even more, just how it was so on her terms…i had just thought i was easy going….no…i needed to do things i wanted to do with my friend…not just her plans…or be cancelled!

    it had become a pressing need for me to have it and to not have abusive refusal to listen or be flexible attitude…frivolous and disrespecting.

    the second thing was what i remembered.

    God is my source.

    Years ago I struggled massively when i moved away to a new town and none of my old friends stayed in touch. i battled with hurt feelings, crying, disbeleif…..i cried to God

    Then i realised i needed to surrender this long established attitude id had of ‘my need for friendship is wrapped in THIS friend’ and i realised thru crying to God as I did..that there was no lack…it was just my perception.

    so..what to remember?

    that each day God will provide warmth and friendship. i need to look to Him, ask Him for it and as i go out into my day…it may come from someone i know…or a stranger..but it will come.
    to think of frindship as ‘daily bread’…it comes on the day youre living in, sometimes from unexpected sources, sometimes not….the the big losing or keeping thing kindv loses its whole hold.

    acceptance can live in that kinda soil…and everyone s a winner

  27. I’ve burned bridges in the past and it still lingers on from time to time..the whole reminder of what went down.

    I very recently ended a friendship with someone I ‘let in’..I messaged her after she messaged me about getting together. I decided I should be honest and not keep trying to evade her. There has been a lot of issues with drama in her life. The drama in her life stemmed from her poor decision making skills as well as her lack of realizing this fatal flaw. I believe we all have our limits and sometimes, friendships change and those limits are crossed…and things change..it’s inevitable, but quite honestly we can’t expect everyone in our lives right now to be there forever. Lately, these updates she’s been giving have generally been it has gotten to the point where it became a burden to listen.

    I recently decided to put some space in between us since I realized I should focus on my own life and the things that happen in someone else’s life, i really can’t be bothered with. In retrospect, I see now that by worrying about her and trying to help her solve her issues was not the right way to go…as it ended up affecting my own life and holding my life back in certain aspects. When she responded to my message, I was absolutely shell-shocked. I never pointed any fingers at her or threw anything back in her face, yet she did to me. That was the straw that broke the camel’s back and I ended it.

    It still hurts but I know I’ll get through it. In the end, it’s for the best. I honestly believe, when some things end(and as sad as that can be), other things can begin! I’m determined to take the high road in this one and no matter what, I am happy I met her…cuz she was a friend once, and i’ll remember that always

  28. The best thing about this article is the comment section – so that those of us who have been betrayed can see that we are not alone. Many will tell you that friendships ending is a common experience, but these personal stories really help me.

  29. So good to know that one is not alone in being betrayed by a “friend”.

    I’ve known someone for over 10 years, and was always there for them through difficult times. Now when I have needed her through a very difficult couple of years, she just did not want to know, too busy going on holiday, theatre, etc.

    I have now decided to end it – very painful, but I know I shall be feeling better in the future for doing it. Toxic friends ruin your life.

  30. I recently “lost” my best friend. Although she did not pass away in the normal respect. She is alive and I presume doing well. In order to work through it I have written our friendship an obituary because it did die. It has helped me work through the feelings I had of losing my friend.

    The obituary of our friendship
    On July 20, 2009 a beautiful sunny day our friendship died. After a lengthy illness it finally breathed its last breath. I had tried desperately to bring the friendship back to life, but with being the only one trying I was unsuccessful. Our friendship had become unhealthy and toxic and was bound to end. You became judgmental, unreliable, and jealous. A consent drama queen. I had become tired of being your audience and dumping ground. Gone were the fun times, the beach, dining out, shopping trips and all the laughs. You found others to spend your happy times with while I only got your sorrow. I wondered for months what I had done to lose you as a friend. You had put me down, posted pictures of me you knew I disliked on facebook, and made me feel unworthy of being your friend. I thought back to all the things we had been through together good and bad and wondered what I could have done wrong for you to disrespect me so. Had you ever really been my friend? So on this faithful day in July I had to say our friendship was over. You had once again blew me off. You never tried to explain, call or apology instead I got a text of how yes once again nothing was your fault. I had to make it the last time. I felt like I was losing respect for myself. So the survivor of this friendship is me. I have learned from it and grown, but I will go on and it will make me a stronger person.

    • I love the obit. I may have to try this approach. I have tried everything I know how to deal with the hurt of losing my former best friend. But somehow I keep waking up with hope of a message.

  31. I seem to be back in the same “circle” as my old High School friend from 15 years ago. She and I had some really good times and planned our little futures. It seemed like we were so happy and free. I never have really gotten to the bottom of why she and I got so angry with one another at one point. We exchanged so many mean words and let our vendettas get out of control in High School because of the urging of some ‘mean girls’, of who hated to see us on the same team. Because of this we fell out big time and went our seperate bitter ways. We experienced alot of missed time, marriages, children, and happy events. All of which we witnessed at a distance because we did not live far from one another. There is no doubt that it caused us each tremendous pain and bad decisions. (We were trying to outdo one another.) To this day I regret it tremendously and with like hell we could have had some closure to the situation. It haunts me and I often wonder if she thinks about it too. We still do not talk but we are civil out in public, pretending to be adult now. How I wish I had not let pride get in my way and I would have just apologized.

  32. Someone I considered a true friend and family hurt me by re-gifting a present I had bought. They told me of the re-gifting in an email and when I replied that it had hurt me they ended our friendship. That really hurts. Not only did I lose a friend, but a mentor, and the only real family I had. I asked for forgiveness for causing them strife because that wasn’t my intention but I was not forgiven. Looking at it, the only unconditional love and forgiveness in the friendship was from me. It takes two committed people to make any relationship work. It has been a few months now and no communication from this friend even to say “you are forgiven and I am sorry that I had hurt you.” If a true friend will abandon you over being honest that they hurt you then they were not a true friend. What I did re-learn is that I cannot trust anyone. We come into this world alone and that is where I will always remain. For me, everyone that has come into my life has hurt me physically, emotionally, or abandoned/rejected me. This friend just proved it once again. I for one, am not going to open myself up to being hurt yet again.

  33. very nice advice but I don think the ‘get even’ is very healty ^_^”

  34. I’m so happy I stumbled onto this article because I have been obsessing the past week over the fact that a friend on the West Coast (I am on the East) is not returning any emails or phone messages or texts. I have no way of knowing if she is okay or just blowing me off. Being the paranoid person I am, I am assuming that I’m being blown off. It has been my experience that when people on the West Coast want to end things, they fade away instead of just saying, ‘Hey, it’s not working, let’s not be friends anymore.’ I keep telling myself that I’m the bigger person because I wouldn’t do that to someone and I have a much higher standard for friendship and she is and has always been flaky and never once has initiated a get-together and I know for a fact would never ever come East to visit me. After reading the article, I asked myself what I am getting out of this friendship. She’s there, I’m here, she’s never been proactive in the friendship and has never considered me a priority in her life. As a former co-worker, what I would be losing would be a great job reference but I’m not really losing any friendship at all because she’s just never been a real friend. I have decided to be the bigger person and simply “get my revenge” by sending a Christmas card with some nice words in it, and wait to see how she reacts to it. Then, I’ll know what’s going on. Sounds tricky, but I can’t get through to her any other way, and I still come out on top because my last communication would be one that is nice and favorable. I simply have no respect for a person who lets another person hang in the ether wondering if they are being blown off or if the other person is okay. With friends like that, who needs enemies, right?

  35. I would like to add my own experience (and a different perspective) to the list of people here. Unlike many of you, I am one of the people who was the one to end a friendship. However, I am not one of those people who betray, use, or refuse to “be there” when someone is in pain or going through difficulties. In fact, I’m the one who’s loyal to the end, and have been dumped in the same fashion most of you have; in this particular case, however, I couldn’t go on with one certain friendship. Indeed, I was the one with many difficulties, and I felt he couldn’t understand.

    Four years ago, I met a man at work. He and I became great friends within two years’ time. In that time, I fell madly in love with him. I badly wanted to tell him, but this was a professional environment, and he already had a lady in his life anyway. It got to the point where I had to physically restrain myself from touching him and telling him. I had to go through this pain all alone. It got to the point where his happiness and his popularity made me very depressed and increased my feelings of loneliness. I even became suicidal. I was very happy around him, unless he mentioned his happy life. I’m not proud of the changes that took place in me afterward; I went from a happy, sweet, humorous woman around him to becoming an angry, bitter, depressed, mean-spirited monster. It was all out of romantic frustration because I couldn’t have him. He was my friend and was confused, but he tried to be empathic despite this; he knew I was depressed but didn’t know why. I simply loved him too much and obsessed over him (still do). I broke off the friendship by simply discarding him, and I let him know that I wanted no part of him anymore. He became angry and disappointed (understandably), but I hurt myself even more. Two years after the fact, he’s no longer at my work and is doing just fine, yet I still miss him and love him. Not a day goes by that I don’t think of him. I also hate myself for even loving him in the first place; if I had been able to push the feeling away, I wouldn’t have changed, and he and I could’ve had a close, platonic friendship for the rest of our lives.

    But in the end, it was for the best. I’m sure he would not have wanted to be friends with a depressed, frustrated, angry woman forever, and I don’t think I would been alive for very long because of the suicidal feelings. I wish I would’ve explained before ending it, so that he’d have known where I was coming from. Also, this weight would’ve lifted off my shoulders. I simply ruined everything because I was stupid enough to fall in love with someone who didn’t love me back. No whining here, just stating facts.

    I ask those who were dumped by a friend not to jump to conclusions or judge us all; some people who do the dumping have their own private hell they’re going through.

  36. Please-someone tell me why some of us feel closure is so important to obtain.

    When someone with whom I was in a romantic relationship betrayed me, harmful lies and having a affairs, it tormented me when that person didn’t acknowledge the hurt or apologize. In fact, that person treated me much more badly in response to my pain. It took me years to get over it.

    Many relationships have problems, whether minor or major, at some point or another, but mutual communication and understanding can lead to closure and resolution of feelings of betrayal…but when a person who clearly has done wrong doesn’t acknowledge any responsibility for the situation, the hurt lingers and lingers…

    This was a very helpful article, but I want to know if anyone has opinions regarding WHY the need for closure is so strong, and why the lack of it is tormenting. ?

  37. its kinda weried but ima guy and my gf left me it and we were friend 4years and couple months but it made me really sad she told me she loved me we stayed up all night texting it was really touching but i go to school and she sits at my table and lives behind my house i mean what r the odds and theres a other guy she likes and he is acully one of my friend i really like this website and step 2 cause i do some of those things to remember her and im only fourteen dealing with this crazy huh

  38. This is a great article. I was betrayed by a friend who was also my employer. E was verbally abusive and really took advantage of me looking back. In some ways she was like a mentor person to me- I am 27 and she is 51. We got really close and at first I thought she was an amazing person. As time went on it got worse and worse. I know that she has problems- like anger management and drinking too much. but I really cared about her. I tried to reach out and talk with her many times. E ended up locking me out of the office and getting a friend to tell me I was no longer welcome. I mailed some work stuff back to her and wrote her a note and received no reply. I know I am better off without this person in my life. This all happened about a month ago. For me, how I deal is by saying this is more HER then ME and this is E’s loss.

  39. I also struggle with the fact that there is lack of closure- that I will never get the opportunity to tell E face to face How could you do what you did, I thought you cared about me, How could you just throw me away! I know there will never be any acknowledgment from her about how badly I was treated or how much she hurt me. That really hurts and what I struggle with on a daily basis. I know I did not deserve what happened and I like to think that karma will catch up with E at some point. Some people truly deserve a taste of their own medicine.

  40. I am praying for everyone going through this torment. I had been friends with my best friend for 8 years. We did everything together and I saw him almost everyday the last 2 years. We had gotten into one big fight before because I was always assuming things that were not true and I was controlling. We stopped talking for about a month and then we decided to give our friendship another shot. After reconciling our friendship grew even stronger to the point where I starting having feelings for him. He knew and he was ok with it. What ended the friendship was that I couldn’t be myself anymore. I was always down, jealous or mad. I would say mean things and I would not even laugh anymore. Finally after a argument that I had started he told me it wasn’t working. He said he had forgiven me and that he needed to move on. At first I thought he just needed space. But then I tried to contact him via email, phone, through friends. He would not talk to me anymore. One day I got a email saying “please do not contact me anymore.” I still tried for so long but it was over. I never heard from him again. As sad as I was I am better now. I gave myself positive affirmations and started making new friends. I have also learned a lesson because now I do not have my friends on a leash.

  41. An update to my situation…
    I wrote E a poem that I sent and I tried to call her but she hung up on me. I wrote her a note about half a page long and I addressed exactly what she did and how much she hurt me. I don’t think I will ever get a reply and that is okay- something I have no control over. To look at this on a lighter side I think the U.S Department for Stop Being a Butthead needs to give E a call for her behavior toward me. I really feel like a door closed when I put that letter in the mail. I know a part of me will always feel hurt about what she did and what could have been but this is HER loss more than mine- I really believe that. TO behave as E did shows there is something in her that is very spiteful and cruel- just plain nasty. Whatever happens I know that I can go on and that I will be okay.

  42. I had a friend end our friendship via an email…now that is hard to have closure when all I wanted to do was make peace and she called the police instead. Thankfully I have God and I realise the good that has come out of this. I am taking responsiblity now for my own hurts and not burdening anybody with them. If this all didnt happen I wouldnt have gone to counselling and seek the help I need. My priorities are now straight. God and my family come first. Then friends that want to be in my life and love me for who I am. It is sad though that it took someone to walk out of my life to not be in denial. A huge learning experience not to be taken lightly but I wish I could explain this all to her. I dont see that happening anytime soon as I cannot contact her.

  43. Hi my name is kathy, I’ve lost many friends due
    to my sons actions,I’ve tried to call, text, email try to explain why, but they shut me out, our children go to the same school we have known each other 20years nothing they said if we do anything they will get a restraining letter to keep us away. I’ve lost my best friend too she has taken sides, I feel alone, I cry every nigth, but I have to be strong for my family I was sick ( breast cancer) but that doesn’t make a difference , life is to short, I must learn to move on make new friends,

  44. I wast just searching for an article on healing a broken friendship ran across this one. I had a friend for 11 years now. We become friends when I moved to this neighborhood. Same as everyone’s comments she was the world to me. Went through hard times. Was there when her two youngest were born the last child was premature. Every crisis I was there. When my son came out she was there for me.About 4 years back a new neighbor moved in. Started hanging out with her. The neighbor and I did not get along. She tried everything she could to split me and my friend up and resorting to picking at my daughter. Tried to warn my friend that this friend is not good for her. Needless to say she has never listened to me. We dont really hang out anymore. It has been a friendship that has hurt me the last four years. I kept going back thinking one day she would dump the other friend. My friend said some bad things about my husband and he finally had enough of her hurting me. Big blow up this last week. I have apologized to her other friend which makes me feel better. I have decided to move on. So hard have shed so many tears over her. She just not the close friend she used to be not a true friend. Maybe she never was and I just could not see it. Reading your comments today has been so aspiring. I know she will be back to continue like nothing has happened. I am moving on. A friendship should not be hurtful. I will always cherish the fun times we had tho. I know the other friend wont last. I have seen the friends come and go with her through the years. My friendship lasted the longest. Why? I ask myself I really dont know maybe we just had to help each other for a short time when both of our lives were troubling. As far as friendship goes not going down that road anymore. I know its lonely been burned to many times. Family is my first priority. I think these hurtful times makes us stronger. Hang in there ladies us women we are stronger than we think.

    • I’ve had friends in the past that were good friends and for some reason have moved on with their lives. I didn’t do anything to warrant them moving on with their lives, but I know how it feels losing people you care about. At this point, I have to go to groups which seem like outsiders to meet people. No shoulders to cry on, no one to count on. It gets lonely, but I have to carry on.

  45. Thank you so much. I recently dropped a friend after 29 years because the last 5 years were full of snide comments, passive aggressive behavior and outright theft. It took me that long to come to terms with the fact that my friend was gone and I was dealing with a stranger. Even though I knew it was coming, knew it had to be done and even felt relief that the suffering was over, I’m still hurt. Someone who had been a part of my life for most of it is gone, along with her family with whom I was close even when my relationship with her was imploding.

  46. Reading this article and the comments has been very therapeutic for me.

    A few months ago there was a friend I met three years ago back in college. He always seemed very chill, laid back, and easy to talk to. I went off to Japan for couple years and we reconnected on facebook a year ago. I’d noticed then a change in his tone but put it off, thinking maybe it was just me mistaking his tone since text is not the most reliable means of communication.

    I love debate but I try to be picky and only debate with easygoing people who enjoy it. I thought he was one of those people since when I knew him he was. One day I response to one of his comments and then her replies and a debate starts.

    His tone turns nasty and I ask him “why is he angry?” He goes on a tirade calling me selfish, arrogant, and says he can’t stand the way I express myself. If I want to see arrogance I should look in a mirror. He goes on and on and so I tell him that if he hates me so much then good bye. I cut ties with him on facebook, but it stunned me.

    My memory of him does not match someone who would say such horrible things. He went on how I was a bitter person (which surprised my other friends who regard that more as an antonym for me) and that I always had to have the last word. (I think he was describing himself more).

    I feel relieved to be out of the friendship since I’d noticed his hostility towards me for a while but I was just shocked. I never saw it coming. He never seems like that kind of person. It made me really question my judgement of people.

  47. I have posted on here before. My relationship with E finally came to an end- for good. I stood up to her and told her to f off. She sent me an e-mail that basically said I was dead to her. I tried to reach out and there was no reponse. To me, this was a total betrayal and I am done. There were times things were great and there were times when it was awful- she was very hot and cold and I think has mental problems. She sent me an e-mail saying that I not contact her… despite that I wanted to try and I did. I got nowhere. That was last week. I got nowhere and am not going to try again because it is too draining to reach out to someone and have them not respond and because I don’t want to look like a stalker- which I am so not. I was a great person to her throughout her relationship and she just screwed me over personally and professionally. In the span of less than a week she sent me an e-mail saying I could come as much as I want to the office and then an e-mail saying I not contact her… I think E is bipolar. I am considering tossing all the cards she made for me. When I ran into her in public she snubbed me and that was hard. I am sorry I ever met E. I hope that what goes around comes around with E. She broke me heart and this is coming from someone who is 51! I feel used, discarded, and abused. I think E has issues with women and has mental health issues and has trouble with people getting close to her. I think she couldn’t deal with the fact I cared about her. But in the end it is her loss. I am done with E.

  48. Sometimes people betray us
    or we betray them
    or we outgrow one another
    but, can we make room for dignity
    and grace
    and later, when we are ready, forgiveness?
    I think they are there, waiting for us,
    in between the hurt feelings
    the bitter scars
    and terse rebuttals.
    let us build an alliance!
    starting with ourselves
    piece, by tiny piece.

    • This is beautiful, thank you for posting

  49. When my husband died I was devastated & my bro-inlaw was by my side through his death & all the funeral arrangements. My brother-inlaw. He & I were always friends. I always loved him & was so proud of him. On top of it he is 12 years younger, married, 3 kids. I watched him grow up, he spent alot of time with my husband & I. He was my husband’s best friend, he even felt my husband to be a father figure. He truly loved me like a big sis, had a little crush on me when he was a boy. In the beginning bro-inlaw texted me & checked on me everyday, consoled me. It started as the sweetest friendship I have ever known. He was so supportive. He was mourning my husband too. He was having trouble in his marriage, he confided in me. He would have confided in his best friend but he was dead. We helped each other as friends do. . Then it started getting more emotionally charged. Alot of sweet things said, compliments, very loving & affectionate. I knew I was falling in love with him, I believed he loved me too. I could not let him go. He was trying to make me feel better, he had feelings for me too. I took it to heart. I loved & missed my husband. I was torn, ashamed, confused. Then when I was at an emotional all time low during the holidays,sexting started.I wanted him. I realized how I felt. It scared me, but, I was in so much pain. He did not want to lose his family. I started resenting everything. I Didn’t want to depend on him. He tried to gently tell me to stop texting & email, it was causing him trouble at work & in his marriage. I had transfered my emotions from my husband to him. He had strong emotions for me, even attracted to me. Until recently when he told me to google “emotional affair” I, in my 22 years of marriage had become naive & never heard of that.. I never wanted to hurt his marriage, never wanted any of this, never would have an affair with anyone, never have. It was grief ridden, emotional heartache. I believe he loved me & always did since he was a boy, as his big sis, now there was tension. I know I have to let him go, but now I feel angry. I dearly loved my husband. Resented feeling this way towards bro-inlaw. Everything I read said to discontinue the relationship, end it. Would be easy if he wasnt family, if he wasnt someone I have always loved. Now I have to face losing him & his family (my neices & nephew which I’m close to, his wife who was my friend at one time) & ruin our family bond. My heart is broken & I can barely function. He won’t reply to my text so I sent some mean text messages to him & his wife. I think out of anger for the whole situtation & also to burn the bridge. I’m sure that wasn’t a good idea, but being ignored angers me, I also blame him for letting this happen, he was in control & knew how vulnerable I was. I just want to move past it all. I will dearly miss him & his family. I have mourned my husband’s death for 11 months, he was the only man I have ever truly loved & who truly loved me.. I lost my mom 6 months ago too & now to lose my bro-inlaw is like another death. Another part of the anger is so many things were said to me that were lies..”you are my soulmate”, “you will never lose me”, “nothing you can do or say will ever make me leave”, on & on. Now he won’t even reply. In my volatile state I took everything to heart. I know it was all lies. I cannot appologize for what I had no control over, only can appologize for any pain any of this has caused & my angry outbursts. I had no idea why I was angry UNTIL I wrote this. Writing is my therapy. Now that I understand it, hopefully I can get past it. I know our relationship & family ties are broken. I know you never intended to hurt anyone. I never did either.

  50. I met a guy last spring and we quickly became friends. He was funny, athletic and good-looking, but I had a gut-feeling about him that just wasn’t right.
    Every story he told me of past relationships and friendships turned out badly for him, people who he thought loved him, ended up hating him. He told me about his “mean, psycho baby mama” who would throw away dishes when she was angry, but how he still supported his daughter.
    I had invited him over to my home and during the conversation I asked when I could see his house, he told me never. I didn’t question any further.
    Two months into our friendship, I knew it had to end. At an event he was competing in, he brought his daughter along, being cared for by a woman he called “his friend” however I could see she thought she meant something more.
    I invited him to meet my husband and family, but he refused, however he still wanted to be friends.
    When I found out that he had been living with the mother of his child (since “hooking-up” with her during her divorce) in the house she owns, and sleeping with her – I asked to meet her. He refused, saying she was crazy and mean and he only stayed with her because he didn’t have the money for child-support and couldn’t afford a place of his own. He told me he was only staying for the love of his child.
    I ended the friendship – it wasn’t pretty – I told him to never contact me again. The next day I received an email from his child’s mother, she called me every name possible and threatened me to stay away and that she was “with him” now. She also commented about her past violent record, but she wasn’t like that any longer.
    Her police record was impressive – restraining orders, violation of restraining orders, domestic violence, small claims and the list continued.
    After all that drama, I still mourned the loss of the friendship. I foolishly tried to contact him to explain my reasons for leaving, but he threatened me with a restraining order – go figure.
    You can learn alot about a person by the friends they keep – true friends are a reflection of ourselves.

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