Fights That Break Up Friendships

September 6, 2019  |  
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friend breakup advice

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Because best friends know each other so well, their fights can cut the deepest. Your friend knows exactly what’s wrong with you. Trust me—she does. Right now, if you asked her, she could tell you exactly what mistakes you are making that are holding you back from having the life you really want and deserve. Of course, most humans don’t communicate like that. Instead, we find subtle (or we think they’re subtle) ways to let you know over a long period of time that you should perhaps make this or that change. Well, that is where best friends again are special: sometimes their patience just runs out for tolerating your BS and they call it like they see it. Some best friendships can survive the honesty and are stronger for it, while others, well, they don’t make it. Here are fights that break up many best friendships.

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Business betrayal

It’s not the best idea to go into business with a friend, but if you do decide to, there is this little dynamic that could pop up: you leave another friend in the dust. You decide to write the book with this friend, and not the other friend. You decide to open the restaurant with this friend, and not the other. Or, you simply decide to work with a stranger, when your good friend is a well-trained professional who would have been right for the job. These types of perceived betrayals can end a friendship.

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A bad boyfriend

Just a dude that nobody likes. He’s annoying. He’s crass. Maybe he’s boring. For whatever reason, your friend finds him insufferable and she really doesn’t think he’s the right guy for you. So she tells you and you…lash out. You cling on tighter to the guy. You choose the dude over your friend. You may later realize that your friend was right, but will your pride allow you to admit that and apologize?

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When success brings ego

It’s common for people to change a little when they become hugely successful, but when someone changes too much, they can leave their friends behind. It can happen in a lot of ways, but overall, you become enchanted by the glitz and glamor that your success can bring, and forget to really cherish the friends who were there for you from the start.

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A controlling husband

Sometimes, a man makes it past the boyfriend phase into the husband phase with the friends’ approval. That’s because he had a plan: the second he put a ring on it, he planned to control his wife. An unfortunate number of men behave like this. And, an even more unfortunate number of women listen to their husbands when they say, “Now that you’re my wife, you’re going to have to act a bit differently.” It’s very hard for a woman’s friends to confront her about this situation, without risking blowing the friendship up entirely.

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Living disputes

Should you live with a friend? Well, perhaps the best situation is living with someone who isn’t really a friend but becomes a friend through the living situation. That way, you start out on more of business terms, comfortable with giving one another feedback as roommates. If you start as besties though, it’s possible to take roommate feedback personally, and that can ruin a friendship.

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Loans gone wrong

Loaning money to a friend is tricky business. You can try to draw up a detailed contract but the reality is, if push comes to shove, you’ll feel very uncomfortable have to enforce said contract. And, even if you tell yourself you don’t mind if your friend takes forever to pay you back…you do. Especially when you see her start spending money on expensive spa days and trips. That’s my money! You think.

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Always choosing love

Be careful not to spend all of your time with your new boyfriend, leaving your friend in the dust. Or, on the flip side, if you’re the single friend, try to have a balanced outlook: is your bestie really neglecting you or are you perhaps a bit codependent on her, and can’t handle her having another significant relationship in her life?

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Favoring a social climb

Social climbing is gross but the siren’s call affects us all at some point. If one friend gets swept up with the cool kids, and starts regularly ditching her good friend in favor of that high-profile party or event, that will certainly sour a friendship.

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Substance abuse confrontation

If you do feel that a friend has an unhealthy relationship with a substance, telling her may be the most generous thing you ever did for her, and the worst thing you did for the friendship. It can be hard for people to admit on the spot that they have a problem. They may just lash out, say terrible things they can’t take back, and ruin the friendship. Later…they’ll realize their friends were right. But it’s hard to go back after all they said.

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Get-your-life-together interventions

Sometimes we just recognize that our friend needs to get her life together. She’s been saying she’ll take that night class or look into that other line of work for years and she never does it. So all she does is complain about her circumstances but she has the power to change them. We get fed up. We tell her. She tells us we’re unsupportive and mean and…there goes the friendship.

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The unsolicited career input

When it comes to friendships and careers, it’s best to adapt the motto: always be positive and supportive. So when your friend invites you to view her painting that she worked very hard to get into a gallery, she doesn’t want you to suggest she put more bright colors in the next one, or find a gallery in a better location. Even if you are “just trying to help.” She feels you’re unsupportive.

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Moving in with the boyfriend

If you’ve been living with your friend and want to move in with your boyfriend, this can cause a lot of big fights. Are you kicking the friend out? Are you moving out, but breaking your lease, and leaving your friend screwed while she searches for another roommate to cover half of the rent? Try to make this move with grace, and try to be as financially fair as possible.

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“I help you more than you help me”

Some friendships can become unbalanced, with one friend always bending over backwards to help the other…only to realize the other doesn’t, and probably wouldn’t, do the same for her. The real question is: who started it? Did the friend receiving all of the favors ask for those? Or did the other friend offer them, stating it, “Just makes her happy to help,” while secretly keeping score?

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When a third best friend shows up

A friend duo can’t always handle a third bestie showing up. But as we get older, we make some new friends. If both people in the original duo aren’t completely confident and secure in themselves, this can blow up the dynamic.

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“He’s leading you on”

Sometimes, we have to tell a friend that she is wasting her time with that guy. That he’s never going to leave his girlfriend for her. That he’s never going to commit. That he’s never going to change. And…if she’s been in that bad relationship for a long time, she can be a bit brainwashed, feel we are a threat, and tell us to hit the road.

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