I’m 49, an idiot, and I hurt. My “best friend “ of 12 years duration blew me off. Why? I’m still not sure. She met a new friend. One can have as many friends as one can handle, but you don’t neglect the care and nurture of the tried and true. Shortly after they met, I could see the signs. She always wanted to include her new friend in our plans. Okay, I love my friend so whatever she wanted I went for. But when they had plans together, do you think I got ONE call inviting me? Nada. Zip. She began coming over less and less. Then she had the cojones to ask me to record her fave show while she was partying at her new friend’s house. Calls got rarer and rarer. Everyone has noticed because we were joined at the hip for years. She shredded a book I value months ago and a replacement cost $7.99. She claims poverty but can spend $50 to go see Cats with her new friend. Something stinks. Her friend takes her to titty bars to meet men for sex (friend is married). My friend claims to want to remain friends (she offers me crumbs) but her every action says something else. All I do is cry. She is the only person I love besides my husband. I would give my life for her. I can’t eat, forget sleep, I break into tears in public. My pants are falling right off me. She says she wants to see me and changes her mind hours later. Mixed messages. So, Lou, do I listen to what she half-heartedly says or do I go by her actions? How do I quit hurting? My life feels so empty, like I got a divorce. Why why why? I thought we would be friends til one of us died. I don’t listen to your show so if you answer, it must be here. Please help. Actions or Words? Dear Actions or Words,
Your letter actually makes my heart hurt, and this is hard for me to say. Continue to grab whatever alms of friendship she happens to toss your way, and the two of you could lurch along for years. Your “friendship” is like having a lousy relationship with a guy, which is why you were so right to characterize this as a divorce. She’s interested in her own needs, and makes a minimal effort only when necessary to avoid conflict. Friendship is supposed to be a MUTUALLY sustaining and nurturing part of our lives. She only hurts you. I know you have a tremendous emotional investment in this woman, but it’s time to withdraw. You’ve told her how you feel, and that doesn’t seem to matter to her, else her behavior would have changed. Barring some drastic turnaround on her part, I see no reason to keep in contact at all. Letting go seems like a worse alternative than chasing her around, but this will not always be the case. Yeah, you’ll want to backhand me…but time heals. Seek help if this mourning process renders you incapable of living daily life, but if you’re grieving (or enraged) for a while, that is natural and it will, naturally, fade. Let yourself feel it. Don’t forget your husband, and the supportive friendship you have there. That’s your home base, and should always be (hence the vows). Gradually, you’ll notice you also have other people around you who are caring and loyal, just like you. Develop those relationships, live a rich, full life, and eventually you’ll be able to reclaim the best part of your old friend, memories. P.S. You are NOT an idiot. I think you’re wonderful.