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[INFJ] My friendship is a mess - help me!

Discussion in 'Relationships and Sociology' started by UndercoverINFP, Jan 23, 2020.

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  1. UndercoverINFP

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    I really would like your help on this one.

    This is a follow-up on this topic which unfortunately didn't end well: https://www.infjs.com/threads/is-there-hope-in-this-heartbreaking-infp-infj-lovestory

    This is about a girl I met one year ago and what started off as a typical INFJ-INFP meeting turned into a very intense online friendship with potential for more. However, at the time I liked another girl and was invested in her and I told her that I'd like to be friends first.

    In the months that followed we kept in touch a lot and shared many stories. At one point I went on holiday with another girl which I told my friend. Coming back, however, I knew I wanted to be with my friend but I didn't communicate this with her clearly. I communicated it by spending more time with her, and sending each other audios and just talking all day long. It was truly a spectacular time and after a few weeks, I asked her if she could go on a trip with me. She really liked the idea and we made plans to spend time together.
    We planned it end of August, one week after she would start her internship in another country, but before things would get busy.

    So in July she went on a holiday with a friend and I asked her about it and she said it was just with a friend. We spoke every day in the evening briefly and she sent me some pictures. Fast forward some weeks I started to notice that she was more "away" than normal but I figured this had to do with her moving to a different country, saying goodbye, etc. But one and a half weeks later, before she moved away, she dropped a bomb. She had fallen in love with the person she went on a holiday with and was to afraid to tell me out of fair of losing me (she wasn't sure I liked her since she knew I went on holiday with a different girl). Of course I was completely devastated. I told her how much this hurt me, how much I liked her and looked forward and this made her physically sick and not being able to eat for some days.

    Later she told me she really enjoyed this period but somehow she thought that this would be everything there would be for us. I think mostly because she was still thinking about how I went on this trip with another girl and I think she really would have wanted to be that person. It was very bad but I wanted to be friends and tried. I cut off contact a couple of times, she cut off contact, for me it was all so much. We forgave each other eventually but I still needed time to be "over her".

    Then in October I visited her for a day while I was on holiday to the country where she lived. Prior to meeting her, we talked so much in the days before we met that I thought she didn't have a boyfriend anymore, including some minor online flirting. Meeting her was surreal. We had so much fun and I totally fell in love, and she with me I think. The connection couldn't be more real. But she also still had a boyfriend, it turned out and she said it made her sad to tell me this again. We hugged the entire day and held each other's hands. At the end of the day, we said that we couldn't talk again because of what we mean to each other but I asked her if she'd be willing to reconsider and she said she will give it some time.

    The next day we called for 5 hours and discussed everything there was to discuss about us, how I felt at certain times, the trips with my other friend. We discussed her feelings, for example, she couldn't believe I would be able to love her after what she did to me, and she felt undeserving. I explained what relationships mean to me, what I saw in her and why after two months I still cared so much about her that I would be willing to visit her, even just to see her for one day which was so incredibly intense and personal experience.

    In the days that followed, she told me she needed to think about it and I asked her if she wanted me to be part of it or not and she said she liked it. I felt incredibly close, like a boyfriend and girlfriend - we called all days every day, watched series together and wished each other good night. After a couple of days, however, I found her to be a bit off and I asked her if there was anything I can do to help her with the decision. After prying she told me her boyfriend was visiting her by the end of the week and they would go for a trip. And she wanted to see how she felt about him and then decide. I asked her why she couldn't tell me this much earlier. Why hide? She was scared to tell me this because the last time she spoke about her boyfriend (before our trip) it ended up in so many tears. (This didn't me anger at the time but now I feel like she never learned from the first time, for which she apologized and it hurts me a lot). A continuous thing she told me is how she was terrified of losing me as a friend. I told her it's great that they can meet and that it would be a nice test. She said she was a bit nervous to see him and that we could perhaps talk after a couple of days but that I would leave her for a while.

    When the time came, the days were not good, as you can imagine. I was going cold turkey with the fear of really losing her. On Sunday, this was day 4 for her I think I asked how she was doing and she said they were in the bar, and in the next morning I just had to ask if she made a decision yet - even though she prior said she probably couldn't make that decision unless he had left. And then she told me that she made the decision to stay with him. I thanked her for sharing, she said she was sorry, etc. In the next day I tried texting her in lengthy messages and told her to communicate with him if she wasn't sure, that she probably felt confused and that she can take her time and even ask for a break with him if she needed, that she shouldn't feel pressured. I was under a lot of pressure at the time and my intentions were well because I wanted her to have a relationship of trust and transparency since her holding back information to me hurt me so much.

    Later (in her final message, read below), she called me out for manipulating her, which is something that makes sense but this never was my intention. On the next day, Wednesday, I contacted her, being sick of myself and the whole situation, and told me that I will not be her boyfriend if it goes like this, but that if we ever want to be together it will be through a normal friendship. I just said this for myself, I guess. But of course, this really affected her and she told me to imagine that if I were on a trip with someone and someone would text me all day, how would it be? At this time I really was exhausted mentally and we both agreed that a break would be good.

    So, fast forward to the beginning of December. I thought I was over her and I asked her how she was. She read the message but didn't reply for some days so I started wondering if she had thrown me out of her life. 5 days later I wrote her a small message again that if there is something wrong, she can tell me and I'd understand. She replied quite quickly and said she was on her way to the airport because she was moving back to her home city and we had some fun. I really missed her and she said she missed me too. She told me she would meet her father the next day, her band members and then the day later starting a new job. I asked her if any of them were picking her up, to which she didn't reply, so I asked her if her bf was picking her up and she said yes. Then we spoke briefly after she landed and we would be in contact soon. However, in these days (in which she was silent) I realized that I wasn't over her still, being in love with her as well as not having "forgiven" her what happened. It was all too much. I really missed her: the day I spent with her and the week that followed still so fresh, I still felt in love and sad she had a boyfriend. It was tough mentally and I knew I had to take a break, but you have to understand that taking a break feels like a personal defeat for me since friendship for me is very important :)

    I thought of ways of telling her this. Maybe a short message? Maybe a longer message? In the end, I sent her an audio because it was closest of being personal... and I have to admit that it sucked. For the first five minutes, I told her that I still love her, care so much about her and really miss her and in the final part, I told her that it makes me really sad because I know I have to move on, even though I wish to be her friend, and that the feelings of love are "misplaced" and that I don't want to burden her with it. I think she never even gotten to the second part because her reply was not very positive. Truth be told, I can understand it, I dropped a bomb once again in a time which was for her stressful and it was too much for her to deal with me as well. This is something that happened before and I truly regret because it affected her a lot.

    What I hoped for was a friend who could tell me that she's sorry for it and that she's waiting for me when I'm over her, but instead, she told me that she can't deal with it anymore, I manipulated her during her trip which isn't how friends behave, that we have to let each other go and that we can't be friends, at least not now and that I can't stand her having a boyfriend. I asked her if I could write a reply, she said yes, and I wrote a message in which I apologized for the messages I sent her during that week even though I didn't mean them as manipulation, and that of course I was never against her having a boyfriend, just the way she hid things from me. That was the last time we spoke and this was around 6 weeks ago. I did block her for some days in which she could have written a reply but I don't think this was the case (I blocked her 5 days after I wrote the message for 3 days). She hasn't blocked me on WhatsApp.

    Right now I am sure I am over her but I miss our friendship. However, I realize that a lot has happened in a short time. We have both shown ugly faces but I treasure her as a friend and I am willing to work on being friends again. Despite the hardships, I think it's possible to be good friends.. potentially. But I realize that we are far from there, we both fucked up in our own ways. What I would like is just to talk with her about what happened, listen to how I hurt her and make apologies where necessary, and ideally vice versa. Without expectations, as in don't expect a friendship to return necessarily. I don't know if this will repair the friendship (right away) but at least this will be a good start and a way of giving it a place.

    But this will require her to be vulnerable too and see the past events as something that we can learn from instead of that we should forget as quickly as possible. Because she hurt me a lot with how everything went. But I could never not forgive someone who shows true regret and take it as a lesson. On the other hand, this is not a good chapter in her book either, and I am not sure if she's willing to dig it up so we can bury it together and move on. She "cheated" on her current boyfriend and maybe does not want to be reminded of it.

    I read that most friendships end because nobody is willing to take the first step to reach out so I am planning to do just that - and set my ego aside.

    Since we spoke, I have been visiting a psychologist and I'm set to do my best in making sure it doesn't happen again. I really would like to be friends with her again - I realize the things I wrote above are not placing her in a positive light, but she is funny, intelligent and caring. I want to apologize to her for the things I did wrong and - even though I don't have expectations - also have her opening up to me and listen to my part of the story and the ways in which it hurt me.

    However, I still have questions. Should I contact her? And if so, what do I tell her? I don't want to pressure her. Do I write an apology and just let it rest with her? Do I wait for her to contact me? I am quite sure she will not do this, either because she doesn't trust me, doesn't want to disturb me, think she doesn't deserve my friendship, is angry at me, and many other reasons. A lot of these reasons can be solved by me contacting her, some not.

    Furthermore, I am really appreciative of further comments on the whole story.

    Thanks you very much.
     
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  2. Aneirin

    Aneirin AKA, David
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    Move on. this is a mess, of both of your making. I don't see anything to salvage here.
     
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  3. dragulagu

    dragulagu Galactic Explorer

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    Hmm, yet interesting to why it is a mess and unsalvageable. Could you explain?
     
  4. Hostarius

    Hostarius Scribing Circles

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    This is bananas, my friend. I have to tell you that my instinct in replying to this was to come in with a whole bunch of lines expressing my comic astonishment at this situation, but I'm trying to be kinder and more considerate in general, so here I go.

    I suspect that my initial reaction won't be too unusual, though, because from the outside looking in what you described here is probably very difficult to relate to for most people. Personally, I'm finding it hard to escape the obvious moral transgressions that have taken place here, assuming that you're both operating under a broadly Western cultural framework of what would constitute infidelity, &c.

    The casualisation of infidelity you've managed here is extremely disconcerting. While you mentioned that this doesn't paint her in a good light, you should know that it paints you in an equally poor light, too. You've engaged in what is known as 'orbiting' and 'poaching' - hanging around another person's partner, trying to get them out of the picture so you can be with them yourself. Empirically these behaviours correlate highly with 'actual' cheating, and are just as bad in my opinion since they equally fail to recognise the boundaries inherent in a committed relationship between two people.

    More problematically, I don't detect any concern for your friend's boyfriend, or any guilt at the kind of heartbreak you're setting him up for. I'm assuming the depths of your relationship with your friend aren't known to her boyfriend, but you should know that you've set in motion a chain of events that will wreck him if he should ever find out. I feel sorry for that guy not knowing what's gone on, because he deserves the right to decide if that's the kind of girl he wants to be with. There's a reason that orbiters get their asses kicked when uncovered.

    With all that being the case, I have to tell you - from the position of a male friend, older brother, uncle or father - that you simply cannot be friends with this girl. You represent a serious source of instability and lack of trust in her relationship, and that is not a good sacrifice for her to make in exchange for your friendship, I'm sorry to say, no matter how great of a friend you might be.

    Attempt to maintain this friendship, and you will risk even worse drama in the future. The boyfriend will inevitably find out, and in that case would approach you for a man-to-man. This has the potential to get a whole lot worse, make no mistake.

    Frankly I don't care about your needs; you simply ought to do the right thing and leave it alone for good. If you want to write her that letter explaining why you can never see her again, then by all means do that (except don't proclaim your undying love or anything daft).

    Now, you managed to get yourself into a silly entanglement and an intense situation, but you need to recover from it. Don't scald yourself too badly, but give yourself a metaphorical slap for sure. Take away the lessons and firm up your core operating principles, because this is the stupidest INFP shit I've come across in a long time.
     
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  5. slant

    slant Fairly Tragic

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    I relate to the intense feelings of being hung up on one person.

    This is a trap when the other person is unable or unwilling to be with you.

    You have to let it go, no matter how strong your emotions are.

    For myself, it's been important to understand that I deserve love and healthy love and recognizing situations that are unhealthy and leaving them. Almost certainly you are clinging to her out of fear you will not find another connection as strong.

    You will. You will also be fine without her.

    You could try dating other people until you feel distance from this.

    You could also try focusing on yourself, build a skill or hobby.

    What's happening here is that you're stuck. You know you're stuck, too. Out of fear you keep racing back to the situation thinking if you just say or do the right thing you can fix it.

    Let go. Surrender control. You never had control, anyway.

    Ultimately though, you gotta figure out why you want to continue with this situation despite the pain and lack of resolution you are getting.

    Problems are gifts; what lesson are you trying to learn from this? Why are you doing what you're doing? It has nothing to do with her.

    She is not responsible for your feelings and on the same vein you can't influence hers.

    Why do you want what you want, and what is the real desire you have? I promise you that you're not in love with this woman. When you're in love, you let people go to where they will be most happy, which is this case is with her boyfriend.
     
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  6. Aneirin

    Aneirin AKA, David
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    eloquently put, as always
     
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  7. OP
    UndercoverINFP

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    First of all, I'd like to thank you all for taking the time to read and answer my enquiry. It's incredibly appreciated. I gave myself a few days for the comments to land and write a short reply.

    @Hostarius No offense taken, and I appreciate you writing your lengthy reply to me. You are right; I behaved badly. I was too blinded by love to realize that I had a big part in it too. I decided not to write her anything. It's time to let go and move on, right now I don't deem it necessary to write her anything (good or bad). Thank you for your reply, I learned a lot about myself and I take it in my journey to become a better person.

    @slant It's no excuse but I felt such pressure to remain friends (and hereby maintain and fostering a mental connection) that I never allowed myself to get over her - after she dropped me the bomb in August. She was terrified of losing me as a friend but I never saw letting her go as a viable option. I didn't want to be one of these guys who eaves a girl, she was always my friend first and a potential lover second. I want to thank you for your reply, it has been very enlightening, especially with control. For example, I really told her in September that I needed an apology from her for me to forgive her (after she kept me in the dark for like a month). I desperately wanted to forgive her. But I realize that you can't make someone an apology. You can tell a person how much they hurt you but if they deny it, or apologize with the purpose of getting back together (so more in a functional way), it is not a real apology. And I felt so much (internal) pressure to forgive her that I tried forcing it.

    And I guess the same goes for the current situation. I think I wanted her forgiveness above all, so I can ultimately forgive myself. But this is outside my control, as you say. I can apologize to her, which I did, but if she doesn't want to see or fails to see her part in it, then it's not my control. I think the goal of my apology would be that she accepted it and also make an apology herself. And this is not the right way of doing things. Also thanks to your reply I made myself the following "goal"/truths:

    1. I fucked up, and it's okay. Time to forgive myself for making mistakes
    1a. I have to start to love myself
    2. I can't make her a certain way, she has to learn her own lessons
    3. Moving on and letting go is a part of life (and a form of love in itself) and one I should master better
    4. Work on the things you can control, don't bother about the things that are outside your circle (https://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2013/10/07/how-big-is-your-circle-of-control/)
    5. I am not going to block her but I won't also write her. If she wants to contact me, she is free to. I will always listen to what she says. Forgiveness is also part of life (that doesn't imply we will be friends again).
     
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  8. Aneirin

    Aneirin AKA, David
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    valuable life lessons my friend. We get ourselves into unhealthy relationships all the time, well I do anyway. It took me 64 years to learn this. trust me, you will heal and come out stronger on the other side
     
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  9. Hostarius

    Hostarius Scribing Circles

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    Good man.

    Because you were her 'backup'.
     
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