• Resolving Problems

An envious, flirtatious friend

Published: September 8, 2016 | By | 3 Replies Continue Reading
A comment from an envious friend seems to end a relationship.


Hi Dr. Irene,

My best friend was married for three years and is now divorced. I have had a very rocky marriage for over 30 years. She has always been a confidante, however, she can be very envious at times.

She was angry when I retired and she was angry when I moved to a new home. (I admit, I didn’t tell her immediately about my plans to retire or move. She can be pretty self-righteous and would have thought I should have continued to work.) Three years later she retired and I was happy for her.

As I said, we would talk about our marriages, etc. But lately, she has become very bitter. She told me in harsh voice that, “Just because he doesn’t treat you the way you want to be treated…” Then she said nothing further.

Both of us were in verbally and emotionally abusive marriages. I supported her and even went to court with her. Her family (about nine of them) signed a document stating that she was unstable.

The point for me is that she is very flirtatious, and has had emotional affairs with close friend’s and family member’s husbands. I just don’t want her at my home anymore. I have seen her flirt with my husband and other men. I used to try to ignore it, but this last comment put a nail in it for me. Am I right? Am I wrong?

It must have bothered her as well because we rarely talk anymore.

Signed, Amanda


Hi Amanda,

From your letter, it sounds like some of your friend’s personality traits have been bothering you for quite some time. While friends often bond over shared interests and sensibilities, they often commiserate, too, when experiencing similar problems or personal challenges. It sounds like you and your friend supported each other during rocky marriages.

As I understand it, you are still married but your friend has gotten divorced, and you are now both retired. Major life changes like these are bound to have a profound effect on individuals, and may have also affected your friendship.

Perhaps it wasn’t the one comment you mentioned alone that put the kibosh on this friendship. The relationship may have been gradually been growing more tenuous as you felt less comfortable sharing your life with her. Although your friend was envious and flirtatious in the past, those traits may have become more exaggerated after her divorce.

Since you rarely talk any more anyway, I wouldn’t go to great lengths to resurrect a friendship that hasn’t been rewarding to you for some time. If you still feel that your marriage is verbally and emotionally abusive, you may want to speak to a professional counselor.

Hope this is helpful.

Best, Irene

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Comments (3)

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  1. LaTrice says:

    Since your friend is unable to contribute to your life as a whole in the most positive way, it’s best to end the friendship.

  2. Amy F says:

    Sometimes the friendships we develop to help each other through difficult times serve their purpose at the time, but aren’t sustainable. It sounds like you no longer respect or enjoy your friend. I’d let the friendship die out, or at least have a very lengthy break. If she contacts you, tell her you need a breather and ask her to give you space.

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