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The Friendship Court: 'You Can Lead the Horse to Water ... '

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Leslie Adler: What do you do if you're caught in the middle of a rift between two of your closest besties?

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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.

Signed,

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?


next: Diving In after Divorce
5 comments so far | Post a comment now
Louise April 25, 2010, 5:39 AM

It’s obvious you’ve done everything you can think of and it’s great you’re asking for help, that’s what I love most about Momlogic, we’re really here for each other.

Have you tried putting your feelings in a letter to each of them? TELL THEM, LET THEM KNOW HOW MUCH THIS FEUD IS AFFECTING YOU AND PROBABLY OTHERS.

Let them each know how much you care deeply for each of them and miss the “three of you”, nothing is going to happen until these two get together and talk it out, suggest a neutral place, where no shouting is allowed, just to talk things out, suggest you be a mediator and have another trusted friend their who can also mediate.

If they’re not open minded enough to go for it, then theirs not much else you can do, but LET THEM KNOW “YOU WILL NO LONGER BE PITTED ONE AGAINST THE OTHER” ANYMORE, AND STOP BEING SO HARD ON YOURSELF, YOU SOUND LIKE A REALLY WONDERFUL, CARING PERSON, YOU’VE DONE EVERYTHING YOU CAN, NOW IT’S UP TO THEM.

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scarves December 20, 2010, 9:56 PM

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stivenlarson April 8, 2011, 6:30 AM

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