You've seen celebrity clinical psychologist Dr. Sherry Blake, author of The Single Married Woman: True Stories of Why Women Feel 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...
My closest friend of around 14 years and I are seeming to be at a crossroads regarding her now complicated relationship status. She is currently "in love" with a young man whom she has only been friends with for the past 7 years. In the many talks that we've had regarding this gentleman, it's apparent to me that she wants the relationship to progress romantically to include marriage. The main issue is that neither she nor this man have taken the step to begin a courtship. In her words, "he's just a good friend"; however, she has brought this person around her family. She has confided that she has revealed her feelings to this man, but states nothing has changed in their status; and the guy hasn't necessarily reciprocated the same emotional attachment. Another key issue that is a concern to myself is the fact that my friend has not really gone to any lengths to allow the chance to get to know him. I personally did not meet this person until some months ago at her mother's birthday gathering. In the moment, my friend didn't even introduce him properly to me; and I get the perception that she doesn't really want me to get to know him better (in their relationship). She has recently confessed on several occasions that she has had conversations with this guy regarding our friendship when we have had disagreements.
During very difficult times with my now husband, I trusted and confided with her my feelings and emotions; and she was there for me through everything. I just wonder why this particular issue has arisen in our friendship? Also, since becoming married; I have noticed a distance between us but I can’t quite decipher where it is coming from. I am currently pregnant with our now third child, and I have seen lackluster attitude from her to even include her stating she wouldn’t be able to attend our baby shower. Is there something that I am missing? I hope to receive some feedback as to how I can break through to my friend and how to keep our relationship on a positive momentum.
You are missing something indeed! You are missing the fact that your friend does not want you in her relationship with her "good friend". She has told you this in many ways. You really do not know the nature of their relationship because she has not shared this with you for whatever reason. Friendships can get tricky. It is easy to over step your bounds and blur boundaries when you have been friends with someone for 14 years. It seems as if that is what has happened. You are way way too involved in your friend's relationship. How she choses to interact and communicate with her "good friend" is her choice. Unless she asks you for your advice or input, don't give it. The fact that she has kept him at a distance from you and has not made any effort for you to get to know him is a clear sign that she does not want you involved. Maintaining distance with you regarding him is her way of nicely telling you to back off and exit from her relationship. You may have shared your challenges you had with your husband with her but it does not mean she has to do the same with you. If your friend's behavior and attitude towards you has changed, maybe you should take the time and talk with her. Tell her your honest feelings about your relationship with her and the changes. If she opens up and tells you something you did not want to hear, you must be willing to listen and respect her decision. Sometimes people just grow apart and when a mate comes along, sometimes they grow apart quicker. This does not mean the friendship must end but it definitely needs to be redefined. I recommend that you refocus your energy on your marriage and being the mother of three children. Allow your friend room and time to appreciate the value of your friendship. --Dr. Sherry
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