I think it's time to get rid of my best friend for the past 15 years. I don't want to, nor do I know how to, but I think I have to. Messy details within.
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (32 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
So, my best friend and my girlfriend (for convenience I'll call them BF and GF, respectively) have never got along with each other. They have somewhat similar personalities, and each is prone to complain to me about how poorly the other person treats me -- and each of them has treated me pretty poorly at various points. I have spoken with both of them about this, and GF has made considerable efforts to appreciate and respect my friendship with BF and attempt to avoid starting fights with him. BF, in general, has done the same.
A few days ago, the two of them got into a debate over something really unimportant. GF did a very good job not resorting to personal attacks, though I told her a number of times to just avoid the argument entirely. BF, however, escalated it to the point that he sent a series of extremely personal and hurtful emails to GF based on grudges he's held against her for ways she hurt me several years ago, launching her back into a depression she'd managed to stay away from for the past six months or so. And when GF is depressed, she gets angry. And when GF gets angry, I generally become the target of that anger. She's getting better with that, and I can handle it, I am a very patient person, but it is very stressful, nonetheless.
Over the past 15 years, BF has done this sort of thing with other friends of mine, in times when I've had more friends, thinking he's doing me some kind of favor by getting these, in his opinion, "terrible people" out of my life. In reality, however, it just puts me in the position of either ongoing damage control or losing friends. I am a very patient person, and I'm the only longstanding friend BF has failed to alienate through verbal abuse.
And, goddammit, these two people have, on and off, been fighting this protective and jealous fight over me for years. If BF is going to put me in this position where I have to chose one over the other, I think he should be out simply for putting me in that position. But I think that's just the frustration talking.
At any rate, my concerns are:
I am very non-confrontational. I have PTSD, and when I get worked up, it becomes incredibly difficult to communicate clearly and effectively. I have been very, very busy with work lately and am exhausted and stressed out. And BF enjoys pushing people's buttons, holding grudges, and burning bridges -- I don't need that kind of stressful encounter. I'll be less busy in a couple weeks, but he tends to call me at least once or twice a day.
Furthermore, BF and GF are pretty much the only two people I'm close to. I'm not generally comfortable around people and find meeting new people stressful and awkward. I stopped drinking several months ago, and this has only fortified my social anxieties to the point that I'm having trouble convincing myself that meeting and getting to know people is worth the effort required of me to do so.
Is it worth it for me to attempt to salvage this or should I get rid of BF?
What is the least stressful (for me) way to do so?
I guess I can leave off the "How do I make new friends?" question, because I know there are plenty of variants of that in AskMe.