With friends like these who needs enemies? Folks share the devastating moment a friend stabbed them in the back.
Heartbroken For Homecoming
“I got convinced to go to homecoming without a date by my ‘friends’ in my sophomore year of high school after getting ditched by my homecoming date freshman year. Everyone told me that going with friends would be a lot better than going with a date and that I would have way more fun than last time, so I decided to take a chance and go.
The plan was to get dressed by a specific time, wait until my friends parents come pick me up, go out for a nice dinner, then go to the homecoming dance. I got dressed at the time I was supposed to, let my friends know I was ready, and waited… for hours. I texted and called every single person that was apart of my homecoming group letting them know I was ready and not a single person responded.
I remember sobbing about it in the backseat of my dads car, who took me to McDonald’s 30 minutes before the dance started because he felt bad and didn’t want me to go hungry. After I ate, he drove me to the dance and as I get out of the car and start walking towards the line to get into the building, still wiping tears from my eyes, I see the same group I was supposed to be with right in front of me.
I went up to them and asked why no one bothered to respond to my messages and they pretty much responded with ‘Oh. Sorry.’ And split off from me the second we got inside the building.
That was about five years ago but I still remember it like it was yesterday. People suck.”
So That’s What She Really Thought, Huh?
“This friend, I’ll call her Mary, had kids the same age as mine. We got together for play dates pretty often and our kids would sleepover at each others’ houses for weekends. I liked Mary. We would often visit and talk while our kids were playing. One weekend, her kids had stayed at my house. The older one called her mom to see when she was coming to pick her up. I was in the room, and the kid put the phone on speaker for some reason. Mary told the kid what time she would be there and added, ‘You had better be waiting outside. If I have to go in and spend the next hour talking to that loser, I’m going to be really ticked off.’
We didn’t spend much time together after that.
Did I overreact? Was Mary just having a bad day and not want to talk? And, my personal favorite, ‘hey maybe you’re just insufferable?’
Here’s what happened after I overheard my friend say that to her child:
I simply stopped initiating contact and wasn’t as available to do stuff for her. When we dropped off or picked up the kids, I smiled and waved. I let the kids make the plans for playdates. I no longer had time to help her with her garden or watch her kids while she went out with another friend (they were into long-distance running, which is not my cup of tea). She never contacted me unless she wanted something. This had always been true, but I had not realized it. The ‘friendship’ eventually fizzled out on its own. So, I guess it had never been much of a friendship to begin with. I just didn’t realize it until she opened my eyes.”
Lying Right To Her Face
“This one hurt. When I was married we had a friend group of 3 couples from our street. We went to football games, trips to the beach and spent holidays at each other’s homes. After the divorce I went traveling for a year then moved to a condo downtown in our city. I’d had lunch with the wives after returning from traveling. I thought we were still friends.
I was sitting on the second-floor balcony of my new condo one night about 8PM and saw them walking down the street. I said, ‘Hi! So good to see you!’ They’d all been out to dinner and were headed to another couple’s apartment who had moved downtown while their house was being renovated for a quick drink. I was excited to see them and asked them to stop by on their way back to where they’d parked. I tidied up my place and anxiously awaited seeing my old pals. I was texting with one of the ladies during the wait. About 9PM I saw them walking and chatting back towards my place. They couldn’t see me. When they got close to my balcony they stopped talking and walked quickly and quietly by. Then started laughing and talking after they passed.
The one I’d been texted with while I waited sent me a text an hour later saying they were just now leaving the other friend’s place and it was too late to stop by. I replied that I’d seen them when they left. I never spoke to any of them again even though they tried to be ‘friends’ on Facebook.
I wasn’t hurt that they couldn’t stop by on short notice. It was that they made me a joke and it really hurt.”
She Lost All Respect For Her Husband
“When a couple of my closest friends stopped talking to me when I got divorced from my husband.
I finally stood up for myself in a loveless marriage where I did all the work and handled all responsibilities around the house and kids and later he even admitted to avoiding the house because it was too stressful. The tipping point was when he stopped doing his duties at work for 6 months and got a warning. Then he still didn’t shape up and got fired six more months after that. I didn’t know any of this was going on until he was fired. Then proceeded to lie to me for the next six months about working on ‘new certifications’ for his industry and I found out he was just goofing around online. I lost any remaining love and respect for him after that. Oh, and I found out he made out with a coworker at an office trip to Vegas but stopped himself when she invited him into her hotel room while they groped each other in the hallway.
My one friend still isn’t speaking to me because she thinks I should have stayed for the kids and to help my husband through his life crisis.
The other friend and I are barely friends now and she still says stuff like ‘none of us knew how unhappy you were’ and ‘oh well that’s the difference between us, I don’t mind reminding my husband here and there.’
They know everything now but still act like I’m the crazy person. I feel like all those years of supporting them, when I finally needed it in return, they completely let me down. I didn’t have my ‘girlfriends’ to help me through my divorce. I felt alone and betrayed.
Finally in a better place with my now fiance but that still hurts me to my core finding out my friends weren’t really my friends. I called them sisters.”
“He’s Your Problem Now”
“I think I realized the fake aspect of my old group of friends when life happened to me in a way that didnt fit their narrative, so they blocked me out and continue to do so. Specifically one of my closest friends whom I was constantly hanging with since 3rd grade and also in a band with. I will never deny my fault in the relationship with him/these people, however, I will also not deny their role in the lack of empathy to situations they can’t or don’t want to understand.
The biggest asteroid of realization came when my current, only and actual best friend told me recently that -a friend I was in a band with- said verbatim ‘He can be your problem/responsibility now’ when I was in a psych ward for a manic/ psychotic experience I ended up having several years ago, now. Like, I’m sorry that my mental framework isn’t up to your standards, but didn’t we confide in each. other for no less than a full decade, though? Didn’t we develop as friends over several years with tons of common interests? Didn’t we have tons of fun playing music? It just doesn’t matter because I chose to experiment with drinking and substances and you didn’t? And my brain is wired in a way that couldnt handle it? I never stole from you. I never hit you. I never intentionally harmed you in any way, and if I did unintentionally I apologized immediately or as soon as it was made clear to me from someone.
When I find out he said that and felt that way, it gave a lot of insight as to how this guy really is for the most part. His nonchalant reflection on our days of being in our old band was always ‘yeah we suuuuucked’ with a very condescending and critical attitude whenever our band got brought up in conversation at times we/our group of friends got together for occasions. Like yeah, but wasn’t it fun? Why be so critical and treat it like it was just some stupid ephemeral portion of your life? You probably wouldn’t be teaching music to kids now and having a successful new band had we not done what we did. I get that you’re into prog metal but maybe show some enjoyment in nostalgia here and their dude.
I’ve always had problems with depression, various mental health issues, and so on, so when it really hit me that the choice was ‘Nah im gonna distance’ rather than ‘oh no is there something I can do to help and understand’ during times of great stress and difficulty for me, it definitely continues to have long-lasting damage and impact on how I view the world. I hate it so much, majorly due to the fact that re-reading this particular paragraph makes me feel like I’m seeking pity or then understanding others have flaws, too. Like ‘oh no care about me, why don’t you care, me me me’ It just sucks sometimes. Even on the few days off, I get from work, this junk rockets into my downtime introspection and slaps me right in the face.
I got into substances pretty bad after a bit, and I suppose that was the deciding factor for all of them. It just didn’t fit their narrative. I hold myself accountable for the douchebaggery I put forth in my high school years, for sure, because that type of experimentation among people that don’t have that mentality creates dissonance (and I get that to a point) I am trying to learn to circumvent the guilt into positive and constructive means, so maybe that’s why I’m here saying this stuff.
But my real friend stuck around, the only real friend I ever really had among them. I’ve been sober for almost 4 years now, he supports me even though he’s not into the whole sobriety thing. We still chill even though he also ‘has his own life’ sort of speak. In many ways I’m grateful for the distorted not-friend-friends because I really think that helped me and my best friend to get stronger.
We’ve been friends for about 24 years now, and even though all of that other garbage is hurtful and sad, and it constantly has me questioning my life and choices, at least I can say Mike stuck around. Thanks for listening/reading if you did.
It All Came Spiraling Down
“As I suspect for a lot of people, getting divorced was a real eye-opener. I started with a core group of close friends who had all met in our late teens/early 20s and one of them introduced me to the woman who I would ultimately marry. Well into our 40s they were what I considered to be my family but when the divorce happened things spiraled.
My best friend stuck with me, but his wife was the one who orchestrated things in our group and she was best friends with my ex. I was expecting the two of them to insulate for a while and I knew it was painful for my ex to be around me, so it was no surprise when I stopped getting invitations to cookouts etc…
But then I noticed that the other members of the group were also avoiding/ignoring me. I’d see on Facebook that one of them came into my town to go to a concert for a band that they knew I liked and hadn’t so much as text. Birthdays rolled around and nobody would call. When my parents both died within a few months of each other and not one of them reached out I knew where I stood.
My best friend needs to get credit though. Alone from all of them he made a consistent effort to stay in touch and see me regularly. He was there when my parents died and through everything else even though his wife clearly disapproved. I think finally after this nonsense had been going on for several years he told her how ridiculous it all seemed and that entire friend group tried to reconcile. I made it clear right from the start that there was no guarantee that I’d ever find space for them in my life again.
This is all very apropos right now because they are having their first big post-covid party in a couple of weeks and I’m invited. People are coming in from all over the country and the only one I give a care about seeing is my buddy.”
When The Party Is Over
“Shortly realized after quitting coke that a majority of my “friends” only kept me around so they could feel better about their own coke habits.
I was heavily addicted and setting myself down a path I never once thought I could or would take. Stopped for my own benefit and health, and was treated like a selfish piece of trash for doing so. The next months ensued and not one of them checked in to see how I was doing, but instead my high school best friend started sleeping with my ex highschool girlfriend (I was with her for 5 years and actually thought I was going to marry her at one point) who dumped me for doing coke and is now an honorary member of the group I was cast out of.
Replaced with the person who partially fueled my substance abuse, who dumped me for substance abuse, by the group that didn’t like me stopping my substance abuse, so they could all abuse substances together.
It’s now been over a year since I quit, and honestly couldnt be happier. Got rid of my addiction and about 1000lbs of dead weight. But it was an eye opener to say the least.”
Just When You Think You Know Somebody
“Accidentally overdosing on pills and ending up in the hospital, I reached out and messaged those friends that said, ‘Message me if you need anything!’ And when I asked them to do something like feed my cat, check the mail, message my family who don’t use internet, or just talk to me, the response was ‘Let me know if you need anything!’ It was as though saying that somehow ignored what I was telling them I need. I learned people say this when they don’t know what to say, or don’t want to actually do something. Like, here I am, in a hospital bed, asking you for that help you said I could ask for. I know that I’ve helped you, but now that I just need this rudimentary help while I’m being treated at the hospital, no one is there. Not even family.
I’ve gone out and visited friends, hosted events for them, helped them in many ways, and it can be for years. And yet if I ask to be visited or for help, there’s nothing. Sometimes they won’t even let me know they can’t show up for things like my birthday until hours into the party starting time. Some people just want to ‘piggybank’ you, dropping figurative social coins into you so that you show up for them, but they may never show up for you. I’ve spent years talking to someone wondering what it would take for them to ever visit me, to have them literally show up once in over 5 years of a friendship. I feel like an idiot for having invested so much of myself, time, money, and genuine love to realize they do not want to invest even a fraction in reciprocation.
‘We’re friends for life now’ some have said to me, and we’ve shared deep things. But it’s always in public chat groups and we never converse in private. I’ve learned some people know how to be emphatic and seem really caring, but often it seems all they really care about is a performative friendship: the sing and dance of a friendship, but when you genuinely want to talk and open up about a conflict, to really ask for help to work through something, it’s not what they’re there for. They’re there for the superficial and entertaining, the positive only, and the negative – whatever it may be – is not what they are there for.
I don’t know anymore what a real friendship is. I’m left really wondering if I’m the problem. The proverb ‘if everyone is the problem, then it’s you’ rings in my head: I must be the problem, because every relationship has similar issues: lack of genuine connection. If I start to open up and share genuine feelings, it’s a burden. And most of the time I’m just asking to be heard, nothing more, and I really only do this when it feels like it could be accepted. I’m not opening up relationships like this. You have to wait till rapport feels like it’s acceptable to be vulnerable and authentic. But, even when you do, there’s the risk that you’re not compatible. Or.. maybe I’m completely wrong and I have a massive issue I need to address that I’m just not seeing. I’ve been in therapy for a while and my consistent issue is that I’m emotionally confused about my own self.”
Trust Your Instincts
“Hindsight is 20/20 with this situation but I was very naive at the time.
Had just been broken up with and was feeling the lowest I’d felt in my life. I started going out with who I thought were my closest friends at the time and we were getting wasted. This evolved over time to just smoking weed all the time at either my house or another one of the guys houses. One day we decided to trip together at my house (my house because my mum was out) and they came over. After we had all taken it, one of the guys started being really weird and was hiding from us, we looked all over my house for him and he texted us to say he’d got his gran to pick him up. Me and the other guys decided to go for a walk, then when we’re passing my house the guy that said he’d left hops over my fence and we’re all like ‘What?’ I was getting in my head and feeling like I wanted them all to go. I started to realise that these guys were just using me for my house, I said I’d like them to go cos I’m gonna just stay on my own, they were like ‘nah man let’s go back to yours it’s fine’ and I put my foot down and said no I’m going back on my own. The guy who was being weird walked past me and was like ‘f*** you’ and I just went home.
I called one of my other friends (who is still my friend to this day) and asked if he could come up cos I was having a bit of a hard time on my own. He came up and I felt so much better, then I got a call from one of the guys that left and I said to my other friend ‘I guarantee he’s gonna ask if I have weed’, I pick up the phone and he’s like ‘hey man you alright’ I’m like ‘yeah’ then he’s like ‘you got any weed left?’ I was like ‘nah man’. And it had solidified in my head that these guys were just using me.
I stopped talking to those guys for a while, then I told one of them about how I felt and he was like nah man you’re my closest friend. Legit like two weeks later he was shagging my ex behind my back and I called him out on it and he was like waffling about how he felt terrible etc. I didn’t speak to him for over a year, then he kept messaging me trying to say sorry. I eventually gave in because I was over it, now that I’ve forgiven him he has no interest in talking to me. He’s a massive loser anyway so it’s worked out for the best.
Trust your instincts on people.”
“Made Me Feel Like Trash”
“I had a group of friends in my mid-20s that I had considered close. These were people who were going to be a part of my wedding when it eventually happened and were gonna be aunts and uncles to my future kids and our kids were gonna grow up together. Then I realized in the summer of 2014 that they didn’t feel the same way about me. There were a bunch of little things leading up to it and a bunch of little things that happened after, but two big things were a local wedding that I wasn’t invited to and an apparently kickass weekend at a cabin in the mountains that I also wasn’t invited to. I was feeling depressed because of the wedding and all of the aforementioned little things and some other personal stuff going on in my life, so I had begged the organizer of the cabin if I could join. It was pathetic. I said that I can sleep on the floor; I can come for just one night; just anything as long as I can come over. I was told very firmly, ‘No. There’s no more room.’ Oh yeah, my birthday was also that weekend, and literally, all of my friends that I would have asked to spend my birthday with me were already out of town or at that cabin.
No exaggeration, for a year after these events, whenever I spent time with these ‘friends’, the conversation would somehow gravitate to how awesome these events were. Like during a board game night, someone would bring a board game and go, ‘This is the game that we played that one night at the cabin, remember? Bob got really lucky with those dice rolls, didn’t he?’ and that would trigger a full-blown conversation about how awesome that weekend was. Or we’d be at a dinner and someone would go, ‘Where’s Frank and Lindsey?’ and someone else would go, ‘They’re finally on their honeymoon. Man, remember the awesome wedding they had?’
Made me feel like trash.”