Leslie Adler: What do you do if you're caught in the middle of a rift between two of your closest besties?
Dear Friendship Court: What if the saddest friendship thing that ever "happened to you" didn't actually happen to you at all? What if it involved the breakup of two of your mutual best friends? Because that's what has happened to me, and I can't seem to recover from it.
We were a team. My greatest memories involve Jen and Grace, and I actually have no real memory of the fight or reason that caused their rift. I just know that the rift got deeper and deeper -- and then it suddenly felt like a canyon divided them. Now even my pleas for peace can't bridge the divide.
Every occasion is now marred by their behavior. I have to make choices, and I have a bad feeling in the pit of my stomach every time something happens that I really want to share with both of them (together and at the same time). This even impacts my kids and our spouses, because even our family events -- which used to include both of their families -- are adversely affected.
I have obviously tried talking to them. I have tried to mediate, but their strange need to keep the feud going astounds me. Now I am at the point of anger, and want to make entirely new friends rather than being stuck in this situation.
I am sad, too. Please help.
In the Middle
Dear In the Middle: This is heartwrenching -- and I think the first thing I might do is forward this to Jen and Grace, in case you haven't already successfully communicated how they are making you feel. One would think that their mutual feelings for you would help them find a way to get along.
You can't force BFF feelings, but you can force civility and a certain amount of kindness. In other words, you can at least "drag the horses to water." To "make them drink" -- if this is important enough to all of you -- can you all chip in and visit a professional therapist to see if this is fixable? I know that sounds "out there," but it seems like this is impacting a lot of people -- and resigning yourself to life without these friends is an unacceptable option.
Friendship Court readers, what do you think?