This time I want to tackle friendship. Or more importantly the loss of a friendship.
I once had a best friend, who I saw every single day pretty much. We were each others rocks, and then one day it all went wrong.
It all started to go wrong when I met my now fiance, and the then best friend didn’t like it. I know now that it is jealousy, and looking back I do understand where she was coming from, but it was definitely the catalyst. BF (best friend) and I had known each other for many years, had been really best friends in secondary school (went on holidays together, had sleep overs) all that stuff, until we went to different colleges. There we drifted, I went one way and off to uni and she went her way, met a many, got married and all sorts.
During one of my visits home from uni I saw that BF posted on Facebook that she wanted to go and see a certain film that was out and that she was lonely. Obviously not in such a desperate way.
I was a little confused, because although we weren’t super close anymore we had met up a few times, I’d been to a party at her new house with her husband… so I messaged her and said that I was back, would love a catch up was totally free to catch up and I’d like to see the movie too.
We made arrangements to meet for the movie, she picked me up and happily there wasn’t any awkwardness, it was like we had never drifted. But then we got to talking about what had really happened recently and her marriage and everything.
Basically it transpired that after 5 years of dating and less than a year of marriage, BF’s husband had left her for a woman he met at his new work and had been having an affair for a long time, and he ultimately ended up leaving her a month before their 1 year wedding anniversary.
We talked about everything, watched the film, but then after continued to talk for hours after and once home we texted again. Very quickly over the space of a few days our BFF status had been reinstated and we were hanging out a lot and I found myself helping her through her break up. It was still quite new at this point and he was still playing games with her and there was lots to sort out.
I became her shoulder to cry on, her support, she admitted to me that I was all she had and that she relied on me heavily and that she was very grateful. She was a mess, making bad decisions, drinking a lot and just not coping. But slowly over the space of a year or so, I helped he through it all. She’d become happy again, had a new great job, and was on the up. BF and I would see each other 5 days a week probably, maybe more some weeks. And every day we would talk on the phone several times a day. On fag breaks at work she would ring me just to chat, and if we weren’t speaking on the phone we were texting. She would come round on her days off, or on her lunches some times, and hang at my house. Then we would usually meet up in the evening, either chill at hers or go for dinner. In fact we started joking that one night was “date night” and we would always go to the same pub, and all sorts. Looking back on it now it seems very clear that I had become a surrogate. A sort of relationship surrogate if you will. I was the constant love and companionship that she needed.
Then one evening, I went on a night out with some other friends because one of them was going travelling, and it was his leaving do, and by chance I happened to meet Harry. Harry and I hit it off amazingly, obviously we are engaged, but we moved very quickly, it was that kind of relationship, it was natural.
Because of the shifts that Harry used to work, I could only ever see him in the late evenings or one certain days that he had off.
I tried with all my heart to ensure that I didn’t just ditch BF. I made so much effort. I would still see her just as much but I would maybe go home earlier to see him or Harry would pick me up from her’s when he was finished. on numerous occasions I even turned down hanging out with Harry because I was meant to see BF or because I wanted to spend time with her. She started to change though, as Harry and I became more serious BF’s mood and behaviour would change. She would be fine with me until he’d text me or he’d come up and then she would sulk or get annoyed.
There were also times where I had been out with BF, still doing Date Night with her, and got a text off Harry saying that a few were going to a pub and did BF and I want to join them. I asked her and she would say yes, we would drive to the pub or the location and she would suddenly change. She’d be rude or moody towards me and suddenly just decide that she didn’t want to come anymore and would go off home in a strop and would ignore me for a day or so.
It started to really annoy me, because Harry would make the effort to invite her, so would I, I was also very concerned about her thinking that I was dropping her now I had a boyfriend, because, I wasn’t and I wouldn’t. But she ended up pushing me away.
We would hang out still a lot but there as this tension in the air.
After Harry and I had been together for 5 months or so BF met a guy, and got herself a new boyfriend. I was happy for her, worried slightly because of all of the men she had gotten mixed up with after her husband to try to fill a void and wound up being treated really badly, but still happy none the less.
They’d been on one date and suddenly she turned around to me and said she wanted to see Harry, and basically we met up, and she apologised for how she had acted over the past few months. I got it, she was jealous, it had been just her and I for over a year when I met Harry and she wasn’t used to sharing me and was afraid to lose me but claimed that she felt that I had abandoned her a bit. I understand it, I do, well all apart from the abandoning bit, because I made sure that I hadn’t. But then suddenly she began to do exactly what she had feared that I would do to her when I got a boyfriend, she began to abandon me. She stopped calling and texting me as much, she stopped hanging out with me. I know when you start a relationship everything is amazing and you want to spend all your time together, but I felt hurt by her. She had made my life difficult, had been rude and offended my boyfriend, and then as soon as she got a new man, she kicked me to the curb. But I hung around in case she needed me.
Very quickly (the space of a week) her new boyfriend had moved in to her flat. Honestly I worried. I feared that it was happening too fast, I told her so, as we had always prided ourselves on being honest and truthful to each other as BFF’s even if the other person might not like it. She got it, or she told me she understood my concerns. Anyway, a few weeks later after the initial honeymoon stage had ended she was back again to wanting my full attention. She still had a boyfriend but she suddenly realised how much he goes to the gym and see’s his friends etc, and she was left alone, so enter stage right, her BFF… ME.
So we stayed friends, things were different, maybe because now we were both in relationships. But we soon slid in to the endless texting and phone calls, and hanging out, and she would share with me the things that bothered her about her new boyfriend and all the kind of things that girls talk about.
Over time, her boyfriend became more controlling, and he was acting shady. He had met a girl whilst he was working somewhere and they had forme quite a close friendship. Don’t get me wrong, boys can have female friends and all that… but there are lines. And BF believed that line had been crossed between her boyfriend and this new woman. BF had developed a very jealous streak after her ex husband cheated on her, understandably, so one evening, whilst her boyfriend was in the shower BF checked his phone. She’d been texting me saying that he’d been texting all night and when she asked who to he had become shady. So… she looked. She found hundreds of messages to her, from al kinds of day and night, some during times he had told BF he had been busy so couldn’t reply. She read through and some of them she said were bad. They were flirty and they crossed a line for her. I talked to her and calmed her down and we worked out a way for her to talk to him. So she mentioned it to him and tried to ask subtly about this new girl at work and all of that. But he didn’t bite, didn’t talk about her much other than to say “she’s alright” or words to that effect. BF was devastated, but she decided to wait and do nothing.
Over a few weeks, maybe a month or so, the texting between her boyfriend and this new girl carried on and they had even started asking to work shifts together. BF would continue to check his phone on the sly and would find messages that were flirty, some were inappropriate. So we talked again and worked out a way for her to bring it up to him calmly. It didn’t go very well and they had a big argument. It even spilled over into the next day and she went to work.
She was texting and calling me to talk to me about it, whilst at the same time, arguing with him. She basically told him that due to her past she has worries and does now get jealous, and she told him she had seen some of their messages, and BF said she would be happier if her boyfriend and this other woman didn’t talk anymore for anything other than work. He broke up with her. He told her he wouldn’t be told who he could or couldn’t be friends with and what he spoke to those friends about was his business and that he wasn’t prepared to be with anyone who isn’t ok with him flirting with someone else and things along those lines… and things so much worse.
She was on the phone to me hardly able to speak she was so devastated. I told her to stay strong and not to beg him back. I told her if he wasn’t willing to take her feelings and past in to consideration and he could say those things to her he wasn’t worth it. I said she deserved better… everything that any one wants to hear after they’ve been dumped.
We spoke for a while longer and then she sad she was going to call him. I urged her to stay calm and not beg him back, but to text me later if she needed me. I heard nothing.
I wated for the rest of the day and all night, and then by lunch time the next day I still hadn’t heard anything. I’d been texting her but got nothing. I was worried…Then a bit later I got a text from her saying “Boyfriend and I, have decided that if you can’t support our relationship, they don’t want a friendship with me.” I was a cross between livid, heartbroken, angry, hurt, confused but also amused. After the message had sunk in, I laughed, it was hilarious. I messaged her back and said that if that’s what she wanted fine, but I had only been supporting her and had only been looking out for her. That she deserved to be treated better than to have been dumped via whatsapp message because she wanted him to stop his out of line behaviour with another woman. But I got nothing.
6 months or so must have passed and I got a message out of the blue, it ws BF. She was pregnant and she wanted me to be part of its life as we had been best friends.
I congratulated her, obviously I was thrilled for her, even if I wasn’t a fan of him. I told her that I would love to be part of her baby’s life, but that as her best friend I still wasn’t ok with how her boyfriend had treated her. I was very protective of BF because of everything she had been through with her ex husband and the way he treated her, and I was worried that the new boyfriend was showing similar traits. I told BF this, and that it would take time for me to trust him again and be 100% fine, but that ultimately it was amazing news and wold love to be there for her and the baby, and that I would work on the boyfriend. But again I heard nothing for a few days, so I text her again, and I got a disgusting reply, along the lines that I was jealous, and that I had to get used to her boyfriend because they were having the baby. I tried to explain to her calmly it’s not like I want her to dump him, just that I want her to know that I won’t sit there like his best friend. He would have to prove to me that he wouldn’t hurt you again or behave in such a way with other women.
I thought that this what having a best friend was for? To stand by you and to want the best for you and to tell someone off when they hurt your friend? Apparently I was wrong.
So we exchanged some heated words, and I do regret a lot of what I said to her and about her boyfriend. And we haven’t spoken since then.
I do know that she married the guy, she had a little boy. I do wonder if she is happy with him, and I wonder if he is treating her well still.
It makes me sad to think of all these things, and I do miss her. Part of me wanted to message her out of the blue… But another part of me thinks that I deserve the apology and she is the one who should message me. I was supporting her and I was trying to support her relationship I was just saying that I wasn’t cool with the guys behaviour and it would take me some time to like him again.
But I do miss her and our friendship. Because when we were good we were really good, and it’s a shame that we are where we are today, but I do believe that I did everything that I could for her, and was looking out for her, and that she was either scared of ending up alone again, or was being controlled – which I think is part a big part of it. She changed a lot when they met. If he didn’t like something she did, she stopped it, she got rid of her pets, she changed. I witnessed him speaking to her in ways that weren’t acceptable and the old her wouldn’t have accepted it. Once, Harry and I went for dinner with BF and her man, and even Harry commented to me about how badly he spoke to her and treated her. He couldn’t believe that someone would talk the person they claim to love like that. And if someone who didn’t like BF much because of the way he was treated by her and how she treated me, then something must be wrong right?
Friends that know us both still do make the odd comment about things, about how they don’t think she is really that happy in her marriage again, but that she feels that she has to make it work.
Who knows, I cant comment I am not there, but I do hope she is ok and one day I hope we might be in touch again.