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Ask Dr. Sherry: My Best Friend Is Way Too Close to My Ex

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Dr Sherry Profile Two

You've seen celebrity clinical psychologist Dr. Sherry Blake, author of The Single Married Woman: True Stories of Why Women Feel All Alone in Their Marriages, keep the Braxton sisters calm on the hit show Braxton Family Values. Now it's your turn to sit in her chair...

Dr. Sherry,

I need your help. My best friend is a very close friend of my ex-boyfriend’s and it is killing me. I love her and she has been there for me more times than I can remember, and at times even more so than I have been for her. She is always encouraging and I honestly am so glad to have her in my life. However, I am beginning to resent her a little and it is eating me up inside. She is my best friend, but she has also become my ex's best friend now that we are broken up. They do all the things we used to do together. They go out to eat, dancing, to bars and even recently exchanged Christmas gifts.

Before I started dating him, I used to encourage her to date him because they seemed like a good match even though she assured me that they were just friends and he told me she was "like a sister" to him. She was even the one that encouraged me to date him and who I confided in about the troubles in our relationship.

Now that we are no longer together, it is killing me to see her replace me in his life. I keep on getting jealous and upset and crying privately about the slightest little things that they do together. I don't know why I’m doing this. I am not the one that ended the relationship five months ago, but I was the one that refused him when he came back several times wanting me back. He is an amazing guy, and he was good to me, but I feel very sure about not wanting to be with him. (He is brilliant but not ambitious, and it drives me crazy!) Yet, I just cannot seem to let him go. What do I do Dr. Sherry? How do I get past this and retain my friendship with my closest friend?

- Confused and Miserable

You may be miserable, but there is no way you should be confused. Confused? Really?  It is highly likely that you were “replaced” by your best friend before your relationship with your ex even ended. It is quite clear that your best friend is more than a best friend to your ex. Your encouragement for your friend to date your ex has worked, and she is. You have made it easy for her by sharing all your personal likes and dislikes about him.  It is easy for your best friend to respond to issues in your relationship with your ex when you have told her what the problems are. In essence, you have hired her to be the fixer. Now, she has no problem meeting his needs based on what you have already shared. It is a real risk when you share your personal relationship issues with someone. This information can be quickly used to their advantage

I hate to say it, but she really was not a best friend to you. It’s clear that she never even considered your feelings. The fact that you are jealous and hurt is understandable. You trusted your best friend as well as your ex and that trust has now been shattered. You are not emotionally over him, but your best friend is likely to know this.

You must accept responsibility for your role in this and prepare to move on. Your relationship with your best friend or your ex will never be what it used to be. Are you ready to accept this? Although I know it’s painful, it reality. Learn from the experience.  The only way you are going to retain any form of a friendship with both of them is to become okay with their relationship. We all live and learn. - Dr. Sherry

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