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My best friend separated from her partner and is now turning to anyone for comfort

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Question - (21 March 2019) 3 Answers - (Newest, 21 March 2019)
A female United Kingdom age 26-29, anonymous writes:

hey so two of friend's just separated, one's my best friend (they grew apart). i have tried to be the best possible friend through this and have been happy for this to consume my life basically! always been checking in, trying to plan fun things and all the usuall stuff - of course! also she wasn't happy about me still remaining friends/talking (which happened on 2 occassions) to her husband, so i stopped that and said he's gotta find someone else to help him, it cant be me.

but now i feel she's turning to just about anyone to help and comfort her, including guys on tinder. fine if its just a bit of fun but it doesnt seem that way. she's also said she's seriously considering sleeping with another one of my best friend's, which i said would be uncomfortable but she keeps mentioning it. there's a couple things like this that have happened which make me think "i appreciate this is difficult and i want for you to be okay but don't go around destroying everything for a f*@k"

i feel it's compounded by the fact that i've had a really difficult time recently but haven't felt i've been able to mention it to her, she asks how i am but it feels very surface level and its 90% the case in our friendship that unless i message her, we won't talk.

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A reader, anonymous, writes (21 March 2019):

This is verified as being by the original poster of the question

thank you guys i really appreciate your responses & they will go some way to getting things in my head straightened out.

I have stepped back as of last weekend but it is just playing on my mind whether I will look like i don't care when things are at the worst point.

i've also in the background organised a party & she expects me to tell him he can't come. i feel suffocated by it all.

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A female reader, Honeypie United States + , writes (21 March 2019):

Honeypie agony auntHonestly?

I'd step back from this whole mess. IF she ASKS you for advice, BE honest other then that? IT'S her life to mess up and you are NOT responsible for sorting out her drama, problems and issues FOR her. It's OK to just LISTEN. To NOT judge.

Sometimes people JUST want to vent and will say DUMB shit, that they don't entirely mean.

Other times people DO dumb shit... in order to HURT someone else, but really the only person they hurt... is themselves.

It's the whole “Holding onto anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.”

Right now, SHE is angry. She is working through her loss (of a marriage and partner) and while she THINKS having random sex with random dudes will make HER feel better... she is doing this out of anger, I wager.

If you can (and want to) DO things together with her, POSITIVE things. Take her to a no-kill dog/cat shelter and volunteer with her. Take her out to lunch, go for a hike. Things that can cheer the BOTH of you up.

You mentioned that YOU have some stuff you are trying to work through but you don't feel like bringing it up. I think it COULD be a good idea to do it anyways. So that SHE can see EVERYONE has issues and that GIVING (support) is AS important as RECEIVING.

If you just FEEL like venting... Ask her if she can handle that right now.

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A male reader, WiseOwlE United States + , writes (21 March 2019):

If your friend is rebounding with hookups on Tinder and turning to men for comfort; all you can really do is try to remind her that she's stricken with grief, and overcome with her anger. That's dangerous and self-destructive. Don't expect her to listen; she's trying to hurt her ex, but it's all going to backfire. I hope she's using protection!

You can't be her mother and protector. She's a grown-woman and has chosen sex as her source of solace and comfort. That's risky in so many aspects; and self-destruction is hardly the best road to recovery. You've been a good friend, and you've done your part. The rest is up to her. Back-away!

She's going through that crazy-phase, post-breakup. Some people take drugs, drink too much, go on a social media frenzy, or go on a texting blitz. You eventually come to your senses. She might be a little nuts right-now; she may not be considerate of your problems or feelings. Grief from a separation/breakup or divorce tends to make us self-centered and reckless. You can only be a guard-rail; not the brakes! Don't over-mother her.

At this point, the more you try to stop her, the worse she'll get! She'll even wreck YOUR nerves!

I think you might want to attend to your own problems and leave her to hers.

Take a sanity-break from the friendship; and do follow-up calls to see how she's doing.

I've been in your shoes. It's difficult to stay neutral when the breakup-couple are both your friends; but mainly you're making sure she doesn't hurt herself. I wouldn't try to comfort her husband; you're female, and that just might not go over well at the moment. You can checkup on him time to time; but don't mention her, or get into discussions about their divorce. Keep it short and avoid conversations about what she's up to. You'll get sucked-in!

Since this is a separation and probably leading to a divorce; you may want to stay out of the way. Let them workout their issues.

You don't want to get in the middle of the drama. It can get pretty rough, and you don't want anyone to cast shade or blame onto you. You're just a caring friend looking out for them; but emotions are raw, and they may not appreciate your good-intentions. At the moment, it's not about you. We're talking a pending divorce; and she can't see anything worse than that right-now, despite her recklessness.

She's a big-girl, and she knows what she's doing. Foolishness leads to dire consequences. You can't prevent that. It's up to her to use her common-sense.

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