True friendship sometimes means letting go
May 27, 2012 8:02 PM Subscribe
Tell me about situations where you've reluctantly cut off contact with a close friend, family member, or confidant -- especially those in which the relationship was good to you but you felt that letting go was the best move for *their* sake.
posted by renovatio1 to Human Relations (9 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
I once read something along the lines: "a true friendship sometimes requires letting your friend hit rock bottom".
When is this ever truly the case? Do you have any anecdotes of this from your own experience or that you've heard about in the context of close friends, family, or other significant relationships? How did you feel about it at the time and what happened in the long run?
My own story: I have a very close friend who has been my one real confidant for many years. I've learned a lot from him, we've helped each other through thick and thin, and I very much value his friendship and wish him only the best.
However, we both agree that he's made some very stupid choices in recent years whose consequences he will have to face sooner or later. He's been trying to deal with the situation for quite a while now; I've done just about everything I can to help short of getting involved in a way that would place those consequences on me as well -- something he of course would not want.
His main problem seems to be that he leans on his friends as a way of avoiding the actions that he inevitably must take. He knows this, and we've discussed it at length, but nothing so far tried seems to help him get past the problem.
I've thought a great deal about the situation and I've come to the conclusion that the best thing I can do for him is cut off all interaction -- at least for as long as it takes him to really get past this difficulty. It was very hard for me to make this decision; I even discussed it with him well in advance and he agreed that it would probably be a good thing. Nonetheless, I can't stop thinking that in the long run -- even if, hopefully, things work out -- he will see this in retrospect as my having betrayed him.