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 …

126 Comments to
8 Steps to Closure When a Friendship Ends

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  1. I am so happy I found this site. I to am a person who had a one way friend ship with this person. In the beginning we did so much stuff together and mostly once a week, then she got a DUI and everything fell, I personally tried to help her over the DUI and spent hours away from my own family helping her. Did she never say thanks NO!
    So she is once again on that road of self destruct, drinking driving, and wants to grow the Sacred Weed at her home, in a town that its totally illegal! She is 66 going on 16 yrs of age, she is never there for me, and Tuesday when I called she was to busy with her live some where friend to even talk with me.

    Yet there has been time I talked went over to her house to be hundreds of times.

    I finally realized that I am done with this friendship, I have a new business and family and I cannot be involved in illegal actions of this so called friend.

    I am so glad this is here for people to voice there cries, and reading all the post I know I am not alone.

    I feel sad, hurt and upset, but I know by letting her go I will be a different person, as I will not have to worry about her illegal actions anymore.
    I was going to write her a letter but this is a fine letting the world know about her sick, and selfeish ways about herself.

    I helped with issues all last year and this year and today I am done.
    Should I send her a birthday card? NO, did she call me on my birthday? NO
    I just have to let it go!
    Hard because I feel bad for her and want to help, but I am leaving it to the Universe, saying to myself.

    I am letting “S” go she has to clean up her own messes know!

  2. I lost who I considered a close friend 2-3 yrs ago. There are still days when I wonder what the hell happened. We used to do so much together. I felt I had insulted her or done something wrong. It must be my fault somehow. But then I found out that she had ditched a bunch of other friends. She went back to work fulltime, and pulled out of all her clubs. Now I get the day ones, but there we
    re a couple she could still attend at night. I waited a few months and built up my courage and called to ask her to lunch. Her response was in a cold voice “not at this time”, WTF? None of us can figure her out except that maybe she needed to make a change in her life, and we were casualties. I am not a person who has many people I consider true friends, so this left a big gap. I feel that now I have only 1 good friend, the type you can call, is interested in your life, cares. Through counseling (for many other things) I have decided I may never know what happened, and I need to stop wondering and move on. What else can you do?

  3. H,
    Just thought of something else about my alcoholic mother. My sis and I were discussing our childhood – her preceptions and mine. And she suggested that I could have confronted her on some of the stuff she did to me. But I countered that she would do one of 2 things : denial outright or “I don’t remember” which would made me even madder. By this time she was dead anyway. I have never shed a tear except at the funeral. And I don’t miss her – big surprise there.

    And about writing the letter you never send, my therapist recommended that regarding a doctor whom I considered arrogant and unprofessional. When I told her what he said, she was floored. Anyway, I did feel better, and found another much better and more courteous doc.

  4. This too has helped me. I was blind sided by a friend who abruptly terminated a many year friendship, and I still am not sure why. I only have sketchy info from mutual friends. Her behavior was 100% different from anything I’d ever remember seeing…but actually it hadn’t in hindsight (it just never happened to me). I was hurt, upset at not having a chance to sit down and make it right, and then of course angry that she was holding this dangling carrot and wouldn’t talk to me.
    But I read this, and realized I need to set better critiria for friends, first off. This was confirmed when I tried to write the letter suggested in #1, and there wasn’t much to the relationship that I could thank her for or cherish, for that fact – that action was extremely therapeutic and a pleasant, side result! I feel that true friends both give and take, each getting something positive from the relationship. They get to know each other certainly. And they don’t take their toys and go home, at a minor miscommunication.
    I am sad because I know I was a good friend, and that if things were not so devicive with her, she could be a good friend too. But I am very glad to learn some things about myself and what I need, and to just be …myself.

  5. My friend of 14 years just stopped talking to me for no apparent reason at the beginning of this year. I had invited her to my party she said she could make it then like a week before the party her mother called and said she couldn’t come now. I tried getting in touch with her numerous times. I tried calling her, emailing her, texting and facebook. Never heard from her. I don’t know why and I doubt I ever will. She didn’t even have the guts to tell me herself that she could no longer come to my party.

  6. Hi

    I have a close friend of 8 years.We have been through alot.I’ve always loved talking to him and we laugh so much.However, I’ve always been the one doing all the ‘chasing’.Also, he only really calls me when he has an issue.I’ve let this carry on because i thought he would change.I confronted him 4 times on this issue.He doesn’t see it.I’m older now and he;s still doing the same thing.It really hurts me deep to know that i have to distance myself and let the friendship fade.It hurts me to be his friend and it hurts me to break up.but i love myself more.

  7. It’s beginning to look as if I’ve lost my best and only friend. I sort of feel like laughing because it’s such an ironic thing to say. Don’t they always say, “You look like you’ve lost your best friend,”? Well, it’s looking like I have. We’ve been best friends for 43 years. By friends, I mean very, very, very good friends. I don’t think there is anything we haven’t told each other. In the days before computers were common we’d write back and forth (when physically separated). Since we’ve had computers we’ve emailed every day.

    We both believed this friendship would never end, not before death at least. I would look ahead and dread those days when one of us became ill, suddenly died, or one of us lost their significant other and had to help the other one through it. Now it’s looking like that will not be necessary.

    What’s the issue? Well my friend, who had a very abusive childhood, is starting to deal with an issue from the past; and projecting unresolved feelings of anger on me is a lot safer than confronting the person really responsible. I understand what’s happening, but nevertheless, I don’t deserve it; and if I were to just put up with it I would be disrespecting my friend by assuming a patronizing attitude. A friendship is between equals, and can’t survive without certain things like trust, respect, and integrity.
    So today I am :’(

  8. Thank you. I needed that. Letter written, ritual in planning stages.

    I’ll never know why the friendship failed, only that it did.

    /(v_v,)\

  9. This isn’t a helpful way to end a friendship. Looking at the past and thinking or viewing photo’s only makes you cling to your past.

  10. Well I seem to have lost a friend after incredibly 45 years! We were so close, lots happened over the years-I did one major thing wrong fooling around with his girl back 9in 1981 or so-anyway he reunited with her after 30 years about a year ago but told me after they were dating again for 9 months-anyway I got into business in 1983 he followed same business at times he seemed very competitive anyway after my parents died who really were like his and after we lost our vacation house the rift started and he got divorced and my marriage crumbled although still in it, he just won’t retrun phone calls and I tried to help him get a job very much and felt I was alwaays there for him-anyway I sent a couple texts since he won’t call like can’t beleieve you won’t call after 44 years and the other day Christmas-nice to hear from you- and he sent back don’t send these anymore i am in a good place and want to stay there..It’s really incredible never thought this could happen but clearly he has written me off-what can I say?

  11. I was friends with someone for white some time, roughly 3-4 years. We had a lot of fun when we hung out. I could talk to her about anything, we did almost everything together for a while, and I was even in her wedding. However as time went on, I realized that she was changing into someone I didn’t like and she was making some decisions that probably weren’t the best. They weren’t terrible decisions, but they weren’t good for her in the long run. On top of that I realised that I realized that she was driving me nuts because of those decisions and because of the person she had turned into. She also seemed Luke she didn’t care about anything going on in my life, and she never talked to m-online or through the phone. Not very long ago my gramps died, he was very close to me, and it made me realize that life is too short to deal with people who make you unhappy. Rather than dealing with people who create drama, and drive you crazy and irritate you, you should surround yourself with people who make you laugh and make you happy. So I deleted her from fb and from my life. It hasbeenhard moving on though. I miss having the friend I used to have and the person she used to be. But I can’t so anything about it I guess. This posting has helped a lot though. They are great tips and they do help. So I thank you for posting this :)

  12. One of my friends for about the past 5 years just told me that she decided not to be friends with me anymore. This last Dec. I went to her house for dinner and to exchange gifts with her and her hubby. She got drunk (not the first time) started getting angry, I asked what was wrong she said nothing, but it went on then I started to ignore it, but she got worse her hubby didnt say a word to her about her behavior she got so bad I got up in middle of dinner and told them I think I should leave. Well the next morning she txt’d me with a sort of a apology, I didnt respond I thought I deserved at least a phone call so I could hear it…well I did later than night after all the things that I had been there for her death of her father, help her and hubby get their house ready for a hurricane, helped with cat and list goes on. She told me that I wasn’t good enough to be her friend and that we are from two different classes. She went out of town for couple of weeks this bothered me alot and wonder where all of this anger came from..well today she said nothing other than we are no longer friends..I decided I am ok with it because her drinking has cause her a list of problems now she’s lost a dear friends who will never forgive her for the terrible things she said.

  13. Me and my buddy used to hangout, call each others all the time. But the relationship is always one sided, where he complains about his dating dramas, work, career, etc etc and me being a good friend listening to all his issues. While he dating someone, he completely ignore all my calls, text and when the relationship ended he made as it was all my fault. Its amazing how much you see the other ugly sides of your friend when you are no longer friend with them. In the end, Im glad I nolonger have to deals with the sinking ship and the constant narcisistic remarks. Its unfortunate but i guess some friendship are not meant to be forever.

  14. I had been subconsciously trying to detach from a friend whose son and my son had been friends. But their friendship was becoming unhealthy in which her boy was bullying my son. Long story short, my son defended himself one day and punched her son. She took flight with me and accused my son of being the problem. I was calm in her face, never raised my voice and just let her go off. I really liked this friend and we had some fun times and had a lot in common. Now I see her at our school and I can’t even mumble a “hello.” I am just so disgusted and disappointed in myself that I let this friendship continue when it should have been ended sooner. There is no graceful way to back out or end a friendship and in this case, my son did it for us. And himself. I can only deal with this situation by not even acknowledging her because I have such disdain for her and I am not a phony and cannot pretend or make small talk with someone that I loathe. So, I choose to ignore and dismiss. Perhaps not the best way, but it is the only way I know how at this point. But it is something that I encounter nearly ever week at this point and I am trying to find a place for the disappointment I feel.

  15. Just ended a toxic friendship. Had to do this afew times in the last 5 years. Now understand what standards mean. We have to have standards to safe guard ourselves from toxic people. You can’t always be easy going and please others before yourself. You have to be the star of your own life and when you are you will not get taken advantage of. Just try to stay calm and one day you wake up and the pain is gone. Meanwhile, try to enjoy something every day no matter how small it may be. Everyone is struggling in their own way. You are not alone.

  16. My heart is literally broken from a narcisstic woman who came into my life three years ago and lifted me higher than I’ve ever been lifted before!! I fell into her web of dependency and when she had used all my strengths to fill her she dumped me with no remorse and no looking back. She is sick, yet she accused me of needing professional help. I got it, but I’m the normal one….loyal, loving, giving, empathetic. If this sounds familiar to anyone do some research on Narcisstic Personality Disorder. This was a revelation to me. Although my friend’s personality has a name, it hasn’t made it any easier to heal from the devastation she has caused me. I continually think about our good times and what I thought was a soul to soul friendship. I will never get over it….ever!!!! I am just trying to cope right now. It’s been over a year and a half. I loved her like I love my own children. She will not speak to me or respond to me in any way. I do not understand how another human being can be so cruel.

    • Your comment sounds like a situation I have been suffering with. 8 years of friendship, I bent over backwards, helped with medical crisis, loaned money, you name it I was there. When my world crashed the friend was gone.
      My mom died, I got sick, everything went wrong. Now she is all big into attending church but can’t find it in her christian heart, to forgive or respond to messages. How does a christian do that? I’m going to look up NPD.

  17. A few months ago, I moved in together with one of my closest friends. We weren’t much more than a year out of college and it was the first lease for both of us. I thought everything was going just fine, and I was totally open and honest about everything. When she confronted me about things that bothered her, I changed my behavior. I made concessions. I tried to be the best, most accommodating roommate I could think to be. Then, six weeks in, she just up and tells me she can’t live with me and she’s leaving the next day. I can’t afford the place alone, so I got financially and emotionally thrown overboard at the same time.

    I find out through Facebook that, two weeks later, when I’m still an emotional wreck and crying every day about our broken friendship, she’s feeling happy and relieved.

    I’ll admit I don’t know how to deal with that kind of rejection. Maybe, hopefully, the letter and ritual things will help me separate myself from this enough to stop taking it personally. I know I did everything I could, and she refused to talk to me about what went wrong, but I still keep blaming myself and then getting angry at her in turns.

    Christ, it hurts. And it hurts even more to know it didn’t hurt her at all. I guess I’m just relieved to know it’s not weird to be going through what I can only describe as grieving from the loss of a platonic friendship. Sounds horrible but I’m genuinely glad I’m not alone in this.

  18. There are so many comments on here i can relate to. Its good to know one is not crazy because the mourn the loss of a friendship. Many just do not understand what a loss it can be. I have lost my BF of 20 years and BF of 8 years all in a matter of months. It sucks!

  19. I am having difficulties getting past a broken friendship that I place the majority of the blame on myself. My downfall is that my mind primarily works off emperical and tangible evidence. To make a long story short, I need closure, but at this time it I have been advised to not not wise to seek it due to the nature of the termination. How do I tell my mind what my heart already knows, that it is time to move on and in the words of Henry Nouwen “You have to own your loneliness and trust that it will not always be there. The pain you suffer now is meant to put you in touch with the place where you most need healing, your very heart….Dare to stay with your pain, and trust in God’s promise to you.” It’s been 3 1/2 months since my friend and I have parted ways. How long is too long to be sad, even just a little bit?

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