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...
Dear Dr. Sherry,
I'm hoping you will help me out here. My best friend of 16 years and I have known each other since we were 13. Now, she is married with a child, and I am single. Ever since she had her baby, who is now one, I just don't feel like we have much in common anymore. I feel guilty and find myself talking or meeting with her because I feel like I have to. We have spoken about this, because at times she gets upset if I don't talk to her for few days and I mean she gets really upset. It seems like she has become needy and insecure and her behavior is only making me run away from her even more. When I brought all of this to her attention, she didn't respond to what I was saying positively but instead brought up other petty issues in our friendship and started crying. I just feel like we have drifted so much, I hardly confide in her any more. I sometimes don't want to talk to her which makes me feel guilty but I force myself to because we have been through thick and thin together. I am 29 and I want positive people around me who will push me and inspire me. I sometimes feel like she lives in the past, like we are 15 again. I don't want to live in the past, How do I deal with this guilt? Should I walk away?
Fed up in friendship
Friends are in your life for a reason, a season, or a lifetime. Maybe your friend has been in your life for a season and now it has come to an end. It is time to move on with your life and for your friend to get one! Your choice of friends is an option not an obligation. Regardless how long you may have been friends, it is not your responsibility to entertain her with conversation and be her only friend. Life happens and things change. Sometimes friends grow apart and that is ok and even expected and times. It is clear that while you may care for your friend, you have outgrown her emotionally. There is nothing to feel guilty or bad about. Simply stated, she is stuck and clings on to you because of familiarity which makes you safe to be around. Seems as if she has not grown in the area of friends despite the fact that she is married and has a child. You would think she would be pulling away from you and bonding with people who have things in common. I am sure she is boring. How many times can you talk about old times without yawning? As a friend, it is only so long you want to hear about someone's lifestyle that is different from yours. When I say move on, it doesn't mean that you should not have contact with her. It means that you don't make yourself available as frequently as you have been. If she asked why, be very honest about how you feel. She may become angry but that is not your issue. Do not allow her neediness to become your issue. If she can not handle new boundaries in the friendship, maybe the season of your friendship has indeed come to an end. Life is too short to be with people you don't enjoy being around. -- Dr Sherry
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