• Keeping Friends

A friend’s unexpected move

Published: November 11, 2009 | Last Updated: June 15, 2015 By | Reply Continue Reading
A woman feels jolted by her close friend’s unexpected move.


Dear Dr. Levine,

I’ve had a roller coaster relationship with my BF for the past eight years. We both hit it off when our oldest kids (we have 7 in total) met in first grade. What began as a “play date” with children grew into a friendship that involved couples weekends, family trips, dinners out, BBQ’s, etc. Basically we were inseparable.

The friendship has not been without emotional turmoil, however. My BF is the most incredible woman when she is “on”. However, she is moody, explosive, jealous and extremely insecure. She has had very few women friendships in her life. I have always been extremely social with lots of friends but only a handful of close ones.

Because I have no family living nearby (other than my immediate family), I deeply value my close friends and put a lot of effort into maintaining those relationships. My BF was constantly jealous and bitter about whomever else I would chose to spend time. To avoid her wrath, I began including her in every plan or not going out as often for coffee or lunch with others. She was never there for me if I was conflicted, concerned or stressed about family, health, or school, etc. I realized those areas of my life were simply not important to her.

I realized that my BF controlled our friendship and decided when she wanted to share information. When she became moody or angry, she just slipped into silence and would need me to pull her out of it with attention. I still forged forward because when she was “on,” she was really great. It was usually fun to be with my BF.

Recently she and her husband decided to move their family away. I only learned about their big decision when the sign went up in front of their home, at the same time when random neighbors and associates found out. Their home sold within a month and they had made offers on homes in other communities. I had learned all this from other friends she spoke to about four times a year.

We live in a small community; gossip and speculation were rampant. Because my BF and her husband did not share much with the outside world, people were constantly asking my family and me about their decision to move and about the whereabouts. They assumed that her BF would know. I felt so embarrassed, stunned and hurt that I had no answers. Often I would learn more from casual comments in the grocery store than my own friend had bothered to share with me.

The friendship had always been one-sided; I always forgave her. This time I think there was just too much water under the bridge-too much hurt. After she sold her house, she never spoke to me again. Our husbands stopped golfing and watching football games; our kids stopped texting and arranging playtime. I just sat, feeling hurt as her family packed up and moved away. I never said goodbye.

It has been three months and I still think of her every day. I have gone under the radar and kept to myself about what I truly feel about what transpired. I know my reality and sleep soundly at night knowing in my heart that I couldn’t have done anything different. But I miss her. I miss the “fun” and laughing at silly stuff and relaxing over drinks and dinner with our husbands.

How much longer do I have to feel like I am getting over a bad break-up? There was truly more bad than good in this friendship but it still feels like such a loss. Advice???



Dear Heartbroken,

I’m so sorry for your loss. Whatever your friend’s faults, she was still your BF. You enjoyed the time you spent with her and her family and made sacrifices to maintain the friendship. Yes, she was always a private person—but not telling you about moving is over the top. There must be some secret she is hiding that she isn’t comfortable telling you. I can only speculate: perhaps, the couple is separating, or having financial or employment problems. Whatever the details, she simply doesn’t feel comfortable sharing the information with you or anyone else. That’s her loss because I’m sure you would be supportive of her situation.

As you describe it, your BF was a moody, jealous, self-centered and possessive woman and you felt ambivalent about the relationship. I give you credit for being flexible enough to adapt to her idiosyncrasies but you really deserve more. Use her move as an opportunity to make other friends. You have nothing to feel embarrassed about. If anyone asks what happened, be frank; you have no idea about the circumstances surrounding their move.

I know it’s particularly difficult for you because you lost what felt like part of your family. They may contact you again when the dust has settled but you need to move forward with your own life and your friendships. This is also a teachable moment for your kids because they will learn that not all friendships last forever.


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