Probably The Most Painful Breakup of All

It could be someone you’ve known all your life, a girl you grew up playing hopscotch with. Or maybe it’s a cool, quirky chick who you hit it off with at college. Either way, your amiga, the girl you called sister, who you’ve laughed, cried, and spent a hell of a lot of time with seems suddenly different.

Maybe she’s sent you a nasty phone message for no good reason. Or you’ve started hearing through the grapevine that your “BFF” has been saying terrible things about you behind your back. Or perhaps it’s a more instinctive reaction that you just can’t put your finger on – you don’t like the way you feel when you are in her company, and when she calls you are sluggish to answer the phone because her vibes have become toxic.

Your friend has morphed into a frenemy and the break-up is imminent and necessary.

Y’all can’t tell me you haven’t been here before. I have been both the breaker-upper and the one broken up with. There is pain on either side of this excruciating situation. The end of a friendship can be more painful than the end of a romance, because of the expectation of sisterhood.

When a woman does you wrong, often it comes out of nowhere. One day everything’s fine, the next she’s giving you the evil eye. Or not returning your phone calls. Friendships can end over money, gossip, and guys. But the most common reason is straight up jealousy.

I found this cute little quiz that helps you identify what kind of bad friend you have. I’ve dealt with the “self-absorbed friend”, the “competitive friend”, and worst of all, the “bitter friend.” How many have you had?

I always assumed that frenemy situations would have ended with high school drama, but no – they persisted in college. And similar situations happen in the workplace. Heck, my mama’s in her sixties and she still has to deal with petty attitudes and inexplicable behavior from women her own age who should really know better.

I wish this could be the kind of post where I end with some kind of helpful conclusion, and tips on how to soothe the sting of a frenemy. Honestly, I believe most everything happens for a reason. Life is just too short to waste on toxic emotions and negative people.

I think Bob Marley’s “Who The Cap Fit” says it best:

Some will hate you, pretend they love you now

Then behind they try to eliminate you

But who Jah bless, no one curse

Thank God we’re past the worse

So how do you get over a frenemy? Knowing inside that you’re a good person helps. Having true friends, family, and the support of a soul mate to remind you of that is essential. Personally, the only things that have really helped to get me through those rough times where a friend has deliberately hurt me, or I have realized that I needed to end a friendship are introspection and time.

Introspection to help me analyze what (if anything) I did to hurt my former friend, or if I had any role to play in ruining the friendship. Introspection to help me grow from the experience. Time to get over the pain that only a so-called sister can cause, and to become a better person because of it.
What feels like a grievious wound today can fade to a barely-noticeable scar in a month or two.

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Comments

  1. Bella, you have touched my heart. i can’t even go into the details but you are amazing. funny how i thought i was over my my girls but just reading this post has reminded me how they really hurt me. i do hope that with age, they as well myself have changed.

  2. Again another great article Bella, i personally believe that you cant change a person and if a person is toxic and is jealous about you then they have no business being your friend in the first place,and as women we do try hard to hang on to our “girlfriends” even the ones from kindergarten when its really time to let go coz youve both outgrown each other.
    Love this site, you still havent told me what a “stan” is

  3. Sorry Tinevimbo! I like this definition from Urban Dictionary – “Based on the central character in the Eminem song of the same name, a “stan” is an overzealous maniacal fan for any celebrity or athlete.”

    Coffy, I always hope that people change. I know I definitely have! I also can’t remember the root of most of my friend breakups in high school. Time has faded my memory of petty fights.

  4. I’ve found that most of my long lasting best friends have been men.

  5. I long for past childhood friendships, it was so simple then. I can only remember two girls in my youth who were catty and to this day they have no real friends.

  6. An excellent post!! I have a frenemy too! The sad thing is she just turned 21 and the club scene in my town is ultra small, so I have a feeling I’m going to run into her over my Christmas break. It’s been stirring up a lot of old angry feelings about her that I thought I had repressed. I truly don’t know what is going to happen if I see her. Normally I would be the bigger person and try to avoid a confrontation. But with a little liquor in the both of us, you never know. It’s terrible really. When you break up with boys, you can look to your girls for strength and guidance. But when you braek up with your girls, it feels like you’re fighting such an internal battle. Great post!

  7. I really needed to read this because my friend who I’ve known since elementary in the islands, who I asked to come live with me up here in the states stayed with me for a year then left to go live with other family…when she lived with me I paid the rent b/c I was making alot more money than her she paid the least amount of bills…(mind u the rent was 3 times what she paid on bills on top of my other bills). She had no car so I let her borrow mines to do what she needed. We went out to the club I paid her way sometimes cause she complained about the price. I brought her clothing sometimes when we were going places if she didn’t have it…I loaned her money if she didn’t have it b.c. she paid me back…late or in installments but, she paid back…I introduced her to my other friends who thought she was rude…She said I changed since back in the day…but, I had to change…I saw alot of things and been through alot since I left the islands to become my own woman…She said she was coming for my birthday but, was actually just coming to pack her stuff up b/c she stayed in the room the whole time…the furniture in her room I provided. She left didn’t say goodbye or thank you…haven’t spoken to her since…and she had the nerve to write something on myspace (yes myspace) about room mates with temper tantrums and people hating on her…Oh my goodness that did it…I thought we were better than that but, I suppose we weren’t…Why would I even hate on a friend If I got my own place and pay my own bills with no ones help…I got a car…I’m going to school while working…Some people I will never understand…so thank you for this article because as much as I say that girl didn’t hurt me it hurts worst than a man breaking my heart.

  8. friendship is such a complicate topic. what you say is true, but isn’t is also true that we all are at times needy or jealous. The thing that works for me is to try to let some time go by and then just talk about it. close friendships won’t work without discussing – getting problems solved is what makes them strong. love your website…keep up the good work and let us all share your insides of women!

  9. MC – I had someone I thought was a good friend (and neighbor) end the friendship over money I had loaned her as well. Some people are just shady, some people don’t know how to apologize, some people seem to just be hollow inside. She was all three. And Lou, I certainly do agree that sometimes we are needy, jealous, bitter, bad… but the most important thing is to learn from the experience. For my fractured friendships, “talking things over” hasn’t helped one bit. Moving on was my only recourse. But I definitely agree with you – if the friendship is worth saving.

  10. i really don’t have too many “friends” for that reason…i have very little tolerance for b.s. and have a very busy life…children, work, school, no man, (but that cuts down on drama/b.s. TREMENDOUSLY!)
    i was very much a loner all my life…i have one brother and we aren’t close…sometimes i wonder why i am this way, not wanting to get too close to people..yes, i have been hurt in the past but not extremely…i just like solitude…all you other bellas…do your thang…i will remain solo.

  11. i got into trouble trying to make a seasonal friend a life long friend. all though in non verbal ways they told me, “i’m going to screw you over”, i held on.

  12. I’m new to your blog, and I got this link by way of Nappturality.com. I went through a friend break-up last year, and I’m going through it again this year. You’re so right in that trying to talk through it does not help. If anything, it makes it worse. I won’t go into details about what happened, but I am hurting a bit right now, not only about this most recent breakup between me and an ex-friends, but yesterday’s blog entry has brought up feelings about the friendship that ended between me and another woman last year.

    I have been trying to move on by making new friends and but every now and then, I still need to vent about it. Thanks for the blog:)

  13. When the season is over for some friendships, you have to let it go. When they insist that you act, behave or have the life that they have you have to let it go. If they turn away every time you are going thru some type of confusion, it is time to let it go. I am facing that with a friend. This is hard to write, because it hurts, but it is also very true. Either the friendship will change or you will move on. People forget who you are, they forget where you have been and that you have faithfully remained a friend, even when they walked away from you, you kept the door open. They will miss it one day, but let those folks go. I am struggling a lil’ with this, but I am getting there. Great post.

  14. sometimes it’s not the breakup, but the things that happen after that really hurt. no matter how nasty a relationship ends i pride myself on not buying into the idea that, now i have the right to air your dirty laundry. i think what people forget is that relationships go two ways, and what you know about me i also know things about you. why can’t people just break up cleanly, without the gossip and backstabbing. another good thing to remember is no matter how awful that person was, there was something about that that attracted you to them. i use the onld standby, we just grew apart, and keep it moving.

  15. waaaaay late on this post! lol but afrobella i’ve JUST stumbled across this site and been reading it from latest to oldest post for the last two days… ADDICTED =)))

    nehoot,
    this issue definitely prompted a response. in my few years i’ve fallen into the trap (twice) of denying all signs to see the best in people, against the protests of that little jiminy(sp) cricket voice. my lesson learned the second time around (when i did take note of the signs and begin to distance myself) was that as painful as it is we have to be honest about outgrowing toxic relationships. the longer you stay and fake it – the bigger and badder it will end. the good {and bad} news though is that those relationships will end.

    again, thank you soooooo much for this blog!

  16. This is a talk that many women should be honest about. I had a major falling out with my best friend from the time I was 3 months old until I was 11. It hurt me so bad but from that experience I have made a conscious effort not to allow another female to be that close to me. That even goes the same with guys. I just can’t take that pettiness from either side if they decide to go down that negative route. My best friend is myself and my family.

    Excellent observations, afrobella. I appreciate your honesty here.

  17. interesting read. I have lost many friends throughout the years. I have so given up on calling people who do not call back or worst only want you to call.
    thanks for highlighting this post on twitter

  18. AnnellaBella says:

    Great post, Bella! I agree with you on the jealousy thing. I think some people are jealous without even being aware they are! Hence, their insecurity starts up all kinds of toxic mess. Remember Monica Lewinsky & Linda Tripp? Classic!

  19. Just saw you post this via Facebook. You have no idea how much I needed this.

    Thank you so much!

  20. I too just saw this on Facebook. I went through one of these breakups a few years ago. I felt it was necessary to move on. If a future linking up is in order only time will tell. For now, “doing me” suits me just fine.

  21. Its like you read my mind! You seem to know a lot about this, like you wrote the book in it or something. I think that you can do with a few pics to drive the message home a bit, but instead of that, this is fantastic blog. An excellent read. I’ll definitely be back.

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