Getting Over Being Friend-Dumped

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Getting Over Being Friend-Dumped

Post by BiSian on Mon Jun 22, 2015 10:48 pm

All right, I need advice--specifically on the getting over it front and definitely not on the repairing the relationship front.

Details? Context? Well sure, though it's a fucking long story.

-We met in college and had been friends for about 6 years. He's very capable (mechanic, builder, computer fixer, writer, director, jack of many trades) and funny, smart, and kind. But he's also prickly and hesitant to trust people. I often found myself apologizing to my friends that he'd offended by off-handed remarks.
-I watched him regularly break up with other friends and girlfriends, often for reasons that I considered minor offenses, not worth ending a relationship. I watched him cut off contact with his dad and sisters and mom over the years.
-His ex girlfriend HATED me (apparently, he says) and was super jealous of my presence in his life. Instead of telling her to get over her irrational jealousy, he pulled a fade away on me and then literally told me that he was choosing her over me--which lasted until she eventually dumped him. This happened a couple years ago.
-After, we renewed our friendship and were very close. I forgave him for dumping me for his exGF.
-I moved back Stateside and we started spending tons of time together. He didn't like many of my friends, or the people I dated but usually played nice with them. I still occasionally found myself apologizing to people he'd offended, however we did share a common friend group that included my housemates.
-Last summer he stopped answering my texts. I asked for an explanation once I figured it out (took me a couple weeks to realize I wasn't just being paranoid). He said he wanted to friend break up, that I was selfish and obviously didn't care about him as much as he did me--that he felt taken for granted and ignored. This was done via FB message, and he was very clear that he didn't want to talk or try and work things out. I was determined to respect his wishes.
That hit me very hard and I spent the next couple weeks either sobbing when I was alone or raging, while putting on a "mildly annoyed but ok" face for most of my friends (the ones who knew and liked him) I did have support from some people though, and I was getting on okay. Then he started coming around my house, hanging with my housemates but ignoring me. Eventually my sister (housemate) told him that I was really angry at him, which forced a confrontation--because apparently he couldn't handle ME being angry with HIM--back to the story. We had a great conversation, got tons of things out in the open and then resolved to be more honest with each other in the future and to try harder to communicate, and make the other feel valued.
-Last winter, he got a new girlfriend, she seemed nice and fun and we all got along.
-Two weeks before I was leaving for my job in Asia, he stared the fade away again. He stopped answers my texts asking to hang out, or made vague-sounding excuses. He said he was too busy to come to my going-away party. I asked him way he was avoiding me and he denied it, but didn't make any effort to see me or even explain things. I felt like I was sticking my face out for a door to slam in it, repeatedly. A couple days before my flight, I tried one last time, said i wanted to see him before I left and gave him two different days that I had free as options. No answer. Except a weird non-answer, flaky message that I got 12 hours before I was headed to the airport. At which point I shot back that I was hurt and angry at his behavior, that I needed time to process and would be available in a few weeks if he wanted to talk about things.
So yeah, I left for a foreign country without saying goodbye--symbolically and pragmatically that really hurt.
-Finally, about 3 weeks after leaving I sat down and typed up a FB message. I was calm and pretty over my anger. I wanted to open communication if possible and find out what the fuck was going on. The message I sent was very difficult for me to write and I felt very vulnerable writing it. I got zero answer. That was in March.

Shit that's a long story. Okay, point being: no answer is an answer. Which I've known since about two days after I wrote that message. My problem is that I've been stewing in anger and hurt for the last few months.
I'm trying to distract myself with new friends, new job, new language and culture--which is working pretty well. And I realize that a friend break up is still a break up and it might be a long time before I'm completely over him, if I ever am.
BUT...I would like any advice you have on how to get over him, or how to get my brain out of its endless loop of what-ifs and what-a-fucking-asshole.
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Re: Getting Over Being Friend-Dumped

Post by Hirundo Bos on Tue Jun 23, 2015 6:27 am

Hi. I haven't interacted a lot with you, but I'm sorry to hear about this. It sounds painful.

A while back, I had a friendship ending just as it were about to begin – which makes it very different from the one you are describing. But one similarity was the problems she had with trusting people, and several stories she told of others who had let her down. And then at one point, I was the one who had let her down.

I don't know a lot about getting over people in general (her and me weren't that close yet), but for the what if-loop... might it help to tell it that there probably wasn't specific thing that could have been done differently? If someone is hesitant to trust, is easily offended, then loss of trust and offense is likely to happen at some point. In your story, it looks like it's happened a couple of time already. So for me at least, when my brain starts asking "what if – I had done that thing differently"? Then another thing would have been likely to come up.

I've also experienced how very different emotionthoughtclusters can go together at once. Missing someone, being angry with them – in my case, also understand and sympathize with why they have problems with trust – all at the same time. That's how emotions work, but it can also be very confusing.... when things are confusing to me, it sometimes help to translate them into text. For one thing, text is linear in a way that thoughts are not. For another, having them written down means I don't need to keep them around in my head anymore. That usually slows the loops down a lot. For me at least, other people might of of course work differently.


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Re: Getting Over Being Friend-Dumped

Post by reboot on Tue Jun 23, 2015 9:27 am

Bisian, maybe try thinking of it as a break up and treating it accordingly? If this was a romantic/sexual relationship and ended like this, how would you feel? What would you do?

I do not see intimate friendships as much different than relationships when they end. Someone who was important to you, that you cared for, is now not a part of your life and that hurts and is a loss. You are supposed to be upset and morn it.
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Re: Getting Over Being Friend-Dumped

Post by Enail on Tue Jun 23, 2015 2:34 pm

BiSian, I'm in a somewhat similar situation myself, with a friendship that has long been difficult and that is probably now over and I'm not sure if that's a good thing or a devastating one. Probably a little of both. So, much sympathy and fistbumps of friend-losing-feelings to you.

I definitely second Hirundo's advice. This is the end of something that has long been veering towards this kind of end. When you're wishing on what-ifs and if-onlys, it's easy to think it's "if only you'd said or done that one thing differently," or maybe to wish that's what kind of problem this was, because that's simpler in a way to get out of your head. But really, it sounds like a problem of "if only he wasn't the person he was, and if only our friendship wasn't the friendship it was." It could have gone a million different ways, but they would likely all have had the same result in the end.

If you're anything like me, you're going to need a lot of ranting on the "what an asshole" part before you can let it go, though :\
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Re: Getting Over Being Friend-Dumped

Post by jcorozza on Tue Jun 23, 2015 11:35 pm

Does he have...a history of being abandoned by anyone? It seems a bit like he was trying to cut you out before you left because then he could pretend it wouldn't be painful. He may be pretending like he's not hurt by it, but he probably is.

That being said...none of that is your responsibility/problem/etc. And I think reboot's suggestion of treating it like a regular break up is solid - so whatever works well for you there, do that. And lots of it. Preferably with ice cream and lots and lots of venting and/or looking at pictures of baby animals.
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Re: Getting Over Being Friend-Dumped

Post by BiSian on Wed Jun 24, 2015 12:00 am

jcorozza wrote:Does he have...a history of being abandoned by anyone?  It seems a bit like he was trying to cut you out before you left because then he could pretend it wouldn't be painful.  He may be pretending like he's not hurt by it, but he probably is.

Well he would say yes, definitely. But in my experience, the people who "abandoned" him were often shoved out by him as well. But yeah, he totally has abandonment issues.
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Re: Getting Over Being Friend-Dumped

Post by Fraulein42 on Wed Jun 24, 2015 12:57 am

Whoo boy. This is a rough one.

First off ::MASSIVE HUGS::

I honestly feel like sometimes, friend breakups can be more devastating than romantic partner breakups (Divorce/LONG term relationships aside) because we consider our friends our rocks, even when they're rocks that shift.

It gets easier. It takes so much time but it gets easier.

You may always have little pangs of "oh man I miss X" because there WERE good times, and those are going to be bittersweet to remember.

But you also need to remember that if he was really your friend, he would not have treated you that way. He would have talked to you and worked through it with you.
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Re: Getting Over Being Friend-Dumped

Post by BiSian on Thu Jun 25, 2015 9:01 pm

Had a realization last night that I don't want to be angry at him anymore. I'm okay with hurting and taking the time to process that--break ups normally require a long time of processing. But I feel this anger, this "what a fucking asshole" rage that I don't like. If I saw him today, I'd have to fight the urge to scream and spit in his face--which in reality would result in me utterly shutting down emotionally and reacting like a robot...And I'm not okay with this place I'm at. It's not an okay thing to feel--I need to figure out how to let go of this anger at least.
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Re: Getting Over Being Friend-Dumped

Post by Guest on Fri Jun 26, 2015 3:40 pm

Being the kind of person who instinctively ruins friendships this exact way, the abandonment thing sounds very likely.

Me personally, I get so scared that something bad is going to happen that I do that exact bad thing just to get it over with. Maybe he did this with you, maybe he got so scared that things were going so well that he just cut you off so that he'd have control over the interaction.

I wish I could say more, but that's my attempt.

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Re: Getting Over Being Friend-Dumped

Post by Mimi4848 on Mon Feb 01, 2016 2:02 pm

Hey there. Sorry to hear what happened. When I went through my own friend breakup, my playlist was Adia by Sarah McLachlan and 7 years by Natalie Merchant. YMMV, but I found that having the songs helped. I was the initiator in my friend break up, but it was still really hurtful and in response to some painful actions from my friend. How to save a life and Over My Head by The Fray both deal with friend breakups too. Our Haunt by Palomar might be good. Tango Shoes by Bif Naked is about a romantic break up but I find it generally life affirming. And maybe Backstabber by the Dresden dolls.

As for the anger, I found that saying "I hope he drowns to death in a bucket of elephant semen" to be really cathartic for a few years when thinking of a particular person. Maybe putting something like that in one of those offensive desktop wallpapers that you could print out and keep in a journal? My case was more of a sexual harassment situation but it might help. The anger did fade with time.

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