Relationship

Have Relationship Questions? Ask a Counselor for Answers ASAP

Ask an Expert,
Get an Answer ASAP!

Relationship

I have a friend who has been a dear friend for the past 4 years.

Customer Question
We have always been there...
I have a friend who has been a dear friend for the past 4 years. We have always been there for each other through our most difficult times. We have always been accepting of what each other has been through and experienced. My dilemma:
Ever since I've known her, she has been in an on-off unsatisfying relationship with a guy. From nearly our first contact 4 years ago she talked about how the relationship with him is unfulfilling for her in that he does not give affection, doensn't have the capability to give compliments or affection, and typically seems to be indifferent to her needs. She has come to the understanding (as she is an LCSW) that he has a combination of schizoid and antisocial personality traits. She is very affectionate, cuddly, wants an appropriate amount of attention (as I believe all people do in romantic relationships), but at some level knows that this will not come form him. But she keeps trying, and saying, "I need to at least know that I did my best and gave it a chance". my problem is that it is becoming harder for me to watch this happen. It's even harder knowing that this is not a woman who shows any signs of low self-esteem. She's very assertive, has a successful high-level position with a major health insurance company, very efficient and effective, communicates well and tactfully deals with difficult personalities at work, and is probably the most savy woman I've ever met when dealing with the 20-some guys she has dated during the on-off period of dating this other guy. She is somewhat egotistical, and has a difficult time with being wrong. Whenever someone implies that she may have done something careless in a relationship with another guy, she always has, what I see, as a rationalization...a bullet-proof rationalization to justify her fickle behavior that hurts other guys. I care about her, but at the same time it's getting harder to watch her do this. it is affecting my opinion of her...the fact that she keeps trying with this guy and is showing slight signs of being stuck in a neglectful relationship (that she some times recognizes) with a manipulative guy, and also having watched her use other guys to neutralize the stress that the relationship puts on her.
Her come-back to me is that she is fine with what she does with other guys, and if it doesn't have any bearing on my personal life, then so why would it bother me?

Is it possible, and how, to communicate to her in a caring way that it does hurt me to see her almost unknowingly hurt herself, as well as hurt other guys? I've been watching her do this for 4 years. When I met her, She recently came out of an unsatisfying marriage with a guy she fell out of love with because he was "boring" and not meeting a need for excitement and passion. He was very passive and she married him because she knew that he was safe and stable.

I feel like I may want to end the friendship because it is becoming harder to see someone I care about nearly abuse them-self and develop low-self esteem while stuck in a relationship, and even harder to see her use other people to boost her self-esteem. None of what I described to you fits in with what she seems to be like to anyone else (including myself, her closest friend), with how self-assured and confident she appears to be. Any advice?
Submitted: 4 years ago.Category: Relationship
Show More
Show Less
Ask Your Own Relationship Question
Answered in 59 minutes by:
9/6/2013
Counselor: RealSupport, Psychotherapist replied 4 years ago
RealSupport
RealSupport, Psychotherapist
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 3,191
Experience: MHT-MHRS-MS-MA Integral Psychotherapist & Life Coach
Verified

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Hello, I am Rafael. Thanks for asking your question - I'm here to support you. (Information posted here is not private or confidential but public).

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

I am sorry to know about his very frustrating situation.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

It is very sad to know about this person's serious issues around her personal life and relationships.
You are very clear showing how much you care about her but also how conflicted and frustrated, hurt and uncomfortable you feel as a close or best friend of her.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

It is frustrating that regardless your friendship, there has not been this level of openness, honesty and trust, for you to talk about these personal issues, in order to be supportive as a close friend, what has fueled this deeper and overwhelming frustration and hopelessness about your friendship.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

I support your decision to end these friendship based on what you have seen and felt for all these years, since it's not helping you to feel well and has become an unhealthy experience in your life, and whenever that's the case, we all need to assess the pros and cons round a situation and make decisions based on our values, beliefs, core needs and expectations, taking consistent action, for our reality to improve and reflect what we want and deserve.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

What I have seen is that people with these issues do most times only consider reassessing their ways and to work on possible change, when they have to afford further pain and consequences from their own mistakes, otherwise they would continue reinforcing what they feel is right and works for them. Obviously she needs of good psychotherapeutic support, but she would not be able to benefit from it if she does not even acknowledge her core issues and distortions, and her profession appears as a huge limitation used to justify her ways instead of allowing her to have better insight and assertiveness to work on herself with adequate support.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

I would suggest, now that you have come to terms with this painful reality and your need to end the friendship, to leave her a letter where you could assertively tell her what you think, feel and hope for her to consider in her life, to take better care of it, in that way you would know you did your best , being consistent with the friendship and caring you have had for this long.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Does it make sense?

RealSupport
RealSupport, Psychotherapist
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 3,191
Experience: MHT-MHRS-MS-MA Integral Psychotherapist & Life Coach
Verified
RealSupport and 87 other Relationship Specialists are ready to help you
Ask your own question now
Counselor: RealSupport, Psychotherapist replied 4 years ago
Rafael M.T.Therapist says:
9/6/13 4:46 AM
Hello, I am Rafael. Thanks for asking your question - I'm here to support you. (Information posted here is not private or confidential but public).
9/6/13 4:47 AM
I am sorry to know about his very frustrating situation.
9/6/13 4:53 AM
It is very sad to know about this person's serious issues around her personal life and relationships.
You are very clear showing how much you care about her but also how conflicted and frustrated, hurt and uncomfortable you feel as a close or best friend of her.
9/6/13 4:57 AM
It is frustrating that regardless your friendship, there has not been this level of openness, honesty and trust, for you to talk about these personal issues, in order to be supportive as a close friend, what has fueled this deeper and overwhelming frustration and hopelessness about your friendship.
9/6/13 5:02 AM
I support your decision to end these friendship based on what you have seen and felt for all these years, since it's not helping you to feel well and has become an unhealthy experience in your life, and whenever that's the case, we all need to assess the pros and cons round a situation and make decisions based on our values, beliefs, core needs and expectations, taking consistent action, for our reality to improve and reflect what we want and deserve.
9/6/13 5:07 AM
What I have seen is that people with these issues do most times only consider reassessing their ways and to work on possible change, when they have to afford further pain and consequences from their own mistakes, otherwise they would continue reinforcing what they feel is right and works for them. Obviously she needs of good psychotherapeutic support, but she would not be able to benefit from it if she does not even acknowledge her core issues and distortions, and her profession appears as a huge limitation used to justify her ways instead of allowing her to have better insight and assertiveness to work on herself with adequate support.
9/6/13 5:10 AM
I would suggest, now that you have come to terms with this painful reality and your need to end the friendship, to leave her a letter where you could assertively tell her what you think, feel and hope for her to consider in her life, to take better care of it, in that way you would know you did your best , being consistent with the friendship and caring you have had for this long.
9/6/13 5:10 AM
Does it make sense?
Ask Your Own Relationship Question
Customer reply replied 4 years ago
We've been spending time together over the past couple of days and she has recently started to work on issues regarding her habit of keeping old boyfriends around, as well as ending the emotionally neglectful relationship she was in when I sent you my initial question. The last 2 times we spent time together, her phone didn't go off a single time. When I pointed out that I noticed she wasn't getting any texts, she said "yeah, that's because I don't want old boyfriends calling me anymore". She went on to talk about how she was realizing that keeping them around was preventing her from spending quality time with herself. She also said that she has been reevaluating her relationships with men. Even though she became defensive in the past when I brought it up, she also must have thought about it and internalized the message I was sending her.

She left the emotionally neglectful relationship she was in. We talked about it last night, and she told me that she finds herself feeling worse about herself when she is involved with that guy. She said that she was attached to him and that she has given in to him when she would try to break up in the past, but knew that he (as a narcissist, and as someone who can not genuinely understand or care about the feelings of others) could never provide her with a fulfilling relationship. It was hard for her because she felt they were such good friends and she was attracted to a lot of his better qualities, but she ended it today. She texted me and said that he had just left her house after a long discussion, and that she felt very sad, but also relieved.

When I initially contacted you, I was feeling a lot of distress. Things about her were starting to affect me deeply because they were touching upon my own relationship issues with women. Your response makes a lot of sense, in that people typically don't work on change until a pattern of behavior that initially gave them pleasure starts to cause them more pain, and also that they have to become cognizant of how they are hurting, rather than helping them self. Just like when people slip into drug addiction is what I think.

It also makes sense that I would end the friendship being that it started to cause me great discomfort at times. Her and I have been friends for 4 years now, and over the last few months I started to have issues with her behavior, feel uncomfortable, and at the same time, not want to acknowledge what I was feeling. I developed some unhealthy feelings for her around the same time that we started to occasionally have sexually intimate experiences together. They were very occasional, but left me feeling a certain way. It was around that time that her behavior with other men started to cause me to become judgmental and uncomfortably angry with her. Given that her and I were so close, it would have been better for me to address my feelings with her at that time, but I ignored and hid them from her.

Since I last wrote you, I decided to address with her some of my personal feelings and how some "mishaps" between her and I left me feeling. She took her end of the responsibility and said that she would never want to do anything hurtful to me, and that she had no idea that her behavior was touching upon personal issues of mine. We agreed that for the sanctity of a friendship that we both would maintain appropriate boundaries. I decided for myself that i would be more mindful of my feelings when they arise, and appropriately address them with her at any expense. Our friendship is very deep and complex. We both agree that neither of us have experienced such a deep friendship before (and we're both in our 40's). Given that we are both close to the same age, single, and both have issues with romantic relationships, it adds some complication. But we both felt it was worth trying to untangle, and have successfully done so through being open and true.
Counselor: RealSupport, Psychotherapist replied 4 years ago
This answer is protected
Would you like to ask this question?
If you've already paid for this answer, simply Login.
Ask RealSupport Your Own Question
RealSupport
RealSupport
RealSupport, Psychotherapist
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 3,191
3,191 Satisfied Customers
Experience: MHT-MHRS-MS-MA Integral Psychotherapist & Life Coach

RealSupport is online now

A new question is answered every 9 seconds

How JustAnswer works:

  • Ask an ExpertExperts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional AnswerVia email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction GuaranteeRate the answer you receive.

JustAnswer in the News:

Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.

What Customers are Saying:

Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help.

Mary C.Freshfield, Liverpool, UK

This expert is wonderful. They truly know what they are talking about, and they actually care about you. They really helped put my nerves at ease. Thank you so much!!!!

AlexLos Angeles, CA

Thank you for all your help. It is nice to know that this service is here for people like myself, who need answers fast and are not sure who to consult.

GPHesperia, CA

I couldn't be more satisfied! This is the site I will always come to when I need a second opinion.

JustinKernersville, NC

Just let me say that this encounter has been entirely professional and most helpful. I liked that I could ask additional questions and get answered in a very short turn around.

EstherWoodstock, NY

Thank you so much for taking your time and knowledge to support my concerns. Not only did you answer my questions, you even took it a step further with replying with more pertinent information I needed to know.

RobinElkton, Maryland

He answered my question promptly and gave me accurate, detailed information. If all of your experts are half as good, you have a great thing going here.

DianeDallas, TX

< Previous | Next >

Meet the Experts:

TherapistMaryAnn

TherapistMaryAnn

Counselor

1,720 satisfied customers

Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues

Ms Chase

Ms Chase

Life Coach

853 satisfied customers

Over 20 yrs experience with Relationships, Sexuality, Friendship, and Family Issues

Alicia_MSW

Alicia_MSW

Psychotherapist

468 satisfied customers

Specializing in relationship/family counseling

Dr. Norman Brown

Dr. Norman Brown

Marriage Therapist

427 satisfied customers

Family Therapist & teacher 35+ yrs; PhD research in couples

Dr. L

Dr. L

Psychologist

366 satisfied customers

Licensed as a Psychologist and Marriage & Family Therapist.

Suzanne

Suzanne

Therapist, LCSW

338 satisfied customers

Experienced in treating trauma, relationship issues, co-dependency

DrJackiePhD

DrJackiePhD

Doctor

338 satisfied customers

I have been doing research in relational/interpersonal communication since 1998. My Ph.D. is in interpersonal communication.

< Previous | Next >

Related Relationship Questions
I need some advice on whether on not to contact my ex. We
Hello, I need some advice on whether on not to contact my ex. We broke up in Nov after a year and a half. We had some ups and downs and were also doing long distance. In the end, poor communication di… read more
Therapist Leslie
Therapist Leslie
Masters, Professional Psychology
5 satisfied customers
Hypothetical but it happens: I see this all the time, what
Hypothetical but it happens: I see this all the time, what to do in this situation? Husband has not had sex with wife in over 10 years but keeps track of any potential romantic behavior and interferes… read more
llw26
llw26
Private Practice
Doctoral Degree
11 satisfied customers
It's been 4 days now without contact. During the night I
It's been 4 days now without contact. During the night I began to realise that K will never change her mind. She broke with an email and said in it that if I cared for her I would respect her decision… read more
TherapistJen
TherapistJen
Licensed Clinical Social Worker
Master\u0027s Degree
953 satisfied customers
I'm really hurted actually and just looking for advices
Hello, I'm really hurted actually and just looking for advices about what to do while so confuse once I already was betrayed in my past relationship. My English is not so good I'm sorry. Well, 3 month… read more
JohnMichaels,MS,LPC
JohnMichaels,MS,LPC
Counselor
Master\u0027s Degree
171 satisfied customers
I just got back recently with my ex girlfriend... we been
I just got back recently with my ex girlfriend... we been back together for 2 weeks now and in the middle had one serious argument. After the argument i apologized cuz it was my misjudgement. She acce… read more
JohnMichaels,MS,LPC
JohnMichaels,MS,LPC
Counselor
Master\u0027s Degree
171 satisfied customers
I ONLY WANT THERAPIST Oh Boy Again! Wait til you hear this
I ONLY WANT THERAPIST JENOh Boy Again! Wait til you hear this one.... it's back to Darcy my favorite ...So last night I stopped by a local sports bar for a beer... I've been taking a “Heart Break” and… read more
TherapistJen
TherapistJen
Licensed Clinical Social Worker
Master\u0027s Degree
953 satisfied customers
My husband flirts with women on FB. He will friend women
My husband flirts with women on FB. He will friend women from far away who pose sexy selfies and he comemets on their beauty and so forth. I feel this is cheating. Now there is messages going on in hi… read more
TherapistJen
TherapistJen
Licensed Clinical Social Worker
Master\u0027s Degree
953 satisfied customers
I started talking to a girl on a dating website about three
Hi. I started talking to a girl on a dating website about three weeks ago, and we've been on 2 dates so far. I REALLY like her - she's sweet, cute, fun...but last week, after our second date, I went t… read more
TherapistJen
TherapistJen
Licensed Clinical Social Worker
Master\u0027s Degree
953 satisfied customers
My boyfriend and I decided to mutually path ways 4 days ago
My boyfriend and I decided to mutually path ways 4 days ago because of his career choices and my family issues. 2 days after the pathing, he visited me at my house and we agreed that all we experienci… read more
TherapistJen
TherapistJen
Licensed Clinical Social Worker
Master\u0027s Degree
953 satisfied customers
For expert: today I am arriving at his city and stay for two
For expert Martin: Hi today I am arriving at his city and stay for two weeks. I haven't contacted him since that grumpy message probably because I m not happy that he was avoiding me. Now can you give… read more
Martin
Martin
Electrical engineer
Bachelor's Degree
486 satisfied customers
I was only conceived for the mental health of my elder
I was only conceived for the mental health of my elder sister who was a mistake. Is this a reasonably normal background please?… read more
JohnMichaels,MS,LPC
JohnMichaels,MS,LPC
Counselor
Master\u0027s Degree
171 satisfied customers
I went though my girlfriends phone and she was watching me
I went though my girlfriends phone and she was watching me to see what I was going through and looking at and was wondering if that's a red flag .She said she just wanted to see what I was looking at … read more
S. August Abbott
S. August Abbott
Etiquette consultant
Doctoral Degree
260 satisfied customers
I am looking for some unbiased help on my relationship. She
i am looking for some unbiased help on my relationship … read more
TherapistJen
TherapistJen
Licensed Clinical Social Worker
Master\u0027s Degree
953 satisfied customers
My wife and I have been married 40 years. In sorting photos
My wife and I have been married 40 years. In sorting photos I noticed while organizing our old photos that she kept a number of photos (7 or 8) of an old boy friend. She dated him off and on for about… read more
Dr.G.
Dr.G.
Counseling Psychologist
Doctoral Degree
446 satisfied customers
I am a 38-year-old male and work full-time in
Hello I am a 38-year-old male and work full-time in law-enforcement. Over five years ago I met a woman through my work and her daughter was 11 at the time. She was with somebody then so I thought noth… read more
TherapistJen
TherapistJen
Licensed Clinical Social Worker
Master\u0027s Degree
953 satisfied customers
My girlfriend and I were dating for around a year and we
my girlfriend and I were dating for around a year and we attend the same church . We had both been out of long term relationships and healed each other before forming our own relationship. We were going great and madly Inlove .her behavior was amazing towards me with no signs of changing for the worse up until November 2017 we were having these tiny but annoying arguments mostly caused by me and my trust issues I will admit . So I called her one morning to make up for an argument we had the night before and she suddenly tells me she doesn't love me anymore and she does not want the relationship anymore . I freeze but go about the usual desperate plead and beg route which made her even more upset . We attend church that Sunday and when she sees me she feels the love again and we speak normal for 2 weeks not officially together yet but making moves she evens sends me a detailed email telling me how impressed she is and it will help us going forward . I push to hard the next day of this email and upset her all over again. That weekend before Christmas 2017 she goes totally cold towards me and destroys me in a phone call and tells me I am obsessed with her etc. she drops me a further bombshell the week of Christmas by telling me she is going to meet her ex for breakfast and I need to be mature about it . I decide then and there I am done with this and I cut off all contact with her . No calls or texts and emails . So about 2 weeks go by and she sends me a text ‘hey you have just crossed my mind hope you are well' I respond 5 hours later with ‘I am well . Hope you well,take care' the next week she sends me a pointless text to which I just respond with thank you and this week she sends me a long detailed apology email informing me that she is sorry for pain she had caused me and I am truly a great guy and she doesn't understand why she had so much built up anger toward me and till this day she can't seem to know why she got so upset with me and she doesn't deserve me etc . I responded with a simple thanks for the apology and she said she does not know why she took so long to apologize something just held her back . I don't hate her at all it not in my nature to hold grudges but this girl ruined my holidays and told me really hurtful stuff while she was out having a blast . And now suddenly she feels apologetic. Please advise … read more
JohnMichaels,MS,LPC
JohnMichaels,MS,LPC
Counselor
Master\u0027s Degree
171 satisfied customers
Whenever I'm talking to a girl, I get incredibly jealous
Whenever I'm talking to a girl, I get incredibly jealous when they mention or are with hanging other guys. (I'm a 20 year old guy) I don't know why though, I don't like getting jealous but I can't hel… read more
JohnMichaels,MS,LPC
JohnMichaels,MS,LPC
Counselor
Master\u0027s Degree
171 satisfied customers
If he doesnt want to be in a relationship with me, why
If he doesnt want to be in a relationship with me, why doesnt he leave instead of giving me false hope?… read more
JohnMichaels,MS,LPC
JohnMichaels,MS,LPC
Counselor
Master\u0027s Degree
171 satisfied customers
Disclaimer: Information in questions, answers, and other posts on this site ("Posts") comes from individual users, not JustAnswer; JustAnswer is not responsible for Posts. Posts are for general information, are not intended to substitute for informed professional advice (medical, legal, veterinary, financial, etc.), or to establish a professional-client relationship. The site and services are provided "as is" with no warranty or representations by JustAnswer regarding the qualifications of Experts. To see what credentials have been verified by a third-party service, please click on the "Verified" symbol in some Experts' profiles. JustAnswer is not intended or designed for EMERGENCY questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals.

Disclaimer: Information in questions, answers, and other posts on this site ("Posts") comes from individual users, not JustAnswer; JustAnswer is not responsible for Posts. Posts are for general information, are not intended to substitute for informed professional advice (medical, legal, veterinary, financial, etc.), or to establish a professional-client relationship. The site and services are provided "as is" with no warranty or representations by JustAnswer regarding the qualifications of Experts. To see what credentials have been verified by a third-party service, please click on the "Verified" symbol in some Experts' profiles. JustAnswer is not intended or designed for EMERGENCY questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals.

Show MoreShow Less

Ask Your Question

x