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Friendship Question *Do Not Quote*


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Are you close enough that you could contact other people in her life?  Parents?  Pastor?  A Therapist?  Her soon to be ex?  Given that this is a best friend for many years...  I think I might try to do some sort of intervention, and see how it shakes out.


I've had something similar happen with a couple different women, neither of which was anything approaching a best friend.  When they went crazy, I decided we should slowly drift apart. Now I would only call them a facebook friend.


ETA:  if it turned out she was bipolar or something, I'd want to do what I could to get her some help.  But no, I'd never trust her the same way again. We would never be best friends again. It would start to become more of a sympathy relationship than an equal friendship.

Edited by Katy
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3-4 years ago, I was in a similar position. My friend did not go around with married men or do all this in the span of a month but post-divorce, she made some bad choices. It's hard to watch and sometimes any comments or displays of concern are misunderstood.

She seems to have needed something, affirmation? that she was not getting from her dh and she looked for it elsewhere. That she blatantly disregarded the fact that she was harming other marriages is sad. It would bother me very much as well.

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Is your friend a Christian? If she is, I think you have a responsibility as a sister in Christ to gently confront her with her sin (Galatians 6:1). I would let her know that you love her but you disagree with the things she's doing. I absolutely could not continue to have a close relationship with her, because she will want to talk about her new hookups and her new life.



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What's the expression? Hurting people hurt people? That sounds like what may be happening now. I wouldn't drop her but I would distance myself. These situations can turn into HUGE time and emotional energy drains. If you choose to keep in touch, Id try to remember to "put your oxygen mask on first before helping others." Make sure you are in a good place and are getting all of your stuff done before dealing with her stuff. It's easy to take on those burdens and get sucked in while trying to be a good friend.

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One of my closest friends went through a period where she behaved this way.  I distanced myself from her, I just couldn't be around that kind of behavior. I didn't preach at her, but when she would talk to me, I would just have less and less to say until finally she understood that I was really uncomfortable with the whole thing and couldn't relate to the choices she was making.  


Later, when she came out of that phase, she sought me out again and we resumed our friendship.  


This is exactly what happened with me and a close friend many years ago.  

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I don't see why you should have to act like you think it's all fine just because she's acting like she thinks it's all fine.


Wouldn't it make more sense to treat her behavior like some sort of an emotional breakdown or midlife crisis, and stand by for awhile, as her friend, in hopes that she comes to her senses? This is the approach I've decided to take and pray for the best outcome for our friendship and her marriage, even if that's divorce.


But if she doesn't, if she never even cares how many people she hurts, then it also makes sense that your relationship will probably have to change. Because how can anyone intimately support and agree with such decisions? 


When you inevitably have to step back, she will probably cut you off first. You probably won't have to be the one to make the decision, if you are speaking truth she doesn't want to hear. This is my fear. She's the one and only close friend I have in this town. It's scary and it hurts that it might end over this.



Also, it may be a phase and she may come out of it.  Or, it may be the beginning of a new way of life for her, where she puts herself first and screw everything else.  I've seen it go both ways.  The outcome will dictate if your relationship can be salvaged or not. I totally agree. I'm kind of taking a wait and see approach for now, but it's hard.



Not that you asked, but as a friend, I would warn your friend about her upcoming custody battle (because there will be one) and how her actions might affect that. Nothing ruins one's life like a custody battle. This is a good point that I hadn't even thought about. Right now her and her dh are dividing assets and custody amicably,. She thinks it will continue that way, but he's already shown some signs of trying to push her into dividing things in a way that is detrimental to her. It could definitely get ugly as time goes on.



She's your friend - so the particulars are your business by virtue of your relationship.  But people are flawed and fallible, even the ones we seem to have so much in common with.  If I were in your shoes and was friends before these incidents (actually, I have been there), I would continue the relationship; no one is perfect.  OTOH, you can't force a friendship, so if you drift away because of this, then you do.  I wouldn't intentionally cut ties because of this problem, though. I would never cut ties with her over this, but I can't support things she does that I feel are dangerous and dishonest either. Unless things change, drifting away from each other might be what happens. That possibility makes me extremely sad. It would be like the losing a family member; we were that close.



Your friend is making bad choices and behaving in a way which is not healthy for her.


That does not make her a terrible person.  Be compassionate.  You don't have to validate her poor decisions nor do you need to castigate her and shame her. I would never shame her or castigate her. Not in my nature. I would just not be able to pretend like the stories she tells me are funny or normal. I'm not that good of a poker face, nor am I going to support her in behavior that could be dangerous or damaging. I love her too much to do that.



Do you think she was trying to blow up the marriage so her dh would reject her and just straight up file for divorce? You mention above that he wishes to stay separated for a period before filing. 100% this is the case. She told me that herself. She was trying to force her dh to fish or cut bait. She was shocked that when she confessed her behavior he didn't seem to care and just wanted to work through it. She realized then that she didn't want to work through it and was hoping he'd have become so angry he would have filed for divorce the next day.



My responses to certain answers are in red above.


Thanks everyone for helping me realize this is a relatively normal reaction for some people. Some of you mentioned mental illness and she is going to a therapist to deal with marital issues and unresolved issues from her childhood.


All of your comments helped me think through my own thoughts and feelings. It really boils down to being frightened that I'll lose the only close friend I have here and a little shell-shocked that being as close to each other as I thought we were, that I didn't know she would behave this way. I'm hoping it's just her acting out until her new normal has set in, and she goes back to normal as well.  

Edited by Chelli
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