View Full Version : Overstepped My Boundaries with a Friend

Liv Kaymak
04-24-2012, 05:52 PM
So I overstepped my boundaries with one of my closest friends. I have been studying abroad now, for a little more than a year. And I became very close with a girl, lets call her Y. I consider to be one of my best friends and I really love her as a person. However, on Sunday, I overstepped my mark and now I feel a combination of shame, anger, frustration, sadness, and just a lot of anxiety towards myself, her and her boyfriend. I don't know how to make sense of the situation and how to process my feelings.

So on Sunday evening, Y and her boyfriend got into a awful fight. Then I got involved. Y, always tells me about her boyfriend problems. She has been dating this guy for a year, and they have had major problems from day one. She has always been open and honest with me. We both considered each to be each other's family and support systems while we are abroad. So I always wanted to be a good friend and be there for her, and give her support when she needed.

I personally think the boyfriend is a horrible person. I don't like him at all. I can tell you million reasons why, these are just a few: he is selfish; very lazy; narcissistic; he constantly criticizes her; puts her down; tells her she is not sexually attractive enough--that's why he can't perform sexually; her sexual needs are abnormal (which is not true!!!!); calls her a freak; a psycho; purposely flirts with other girls--he's even hit on me!!; doesn't call her regularly; makes inappropriate demands from her; for a couple of months he was emailing another girl on a daily basis--even when Y asked him to stop; he can't keep a job--thus he has no money; he steals a lot; none of our friends like him; he treated one of our mutual friends very poorly; he gets very jealous and possessive of Y.....he is even jealous of my friendship with her! I think he is someone with a lot of problems. However the main issues is that he is constantly mean and critical to Y, and she always gets hurt.

I can't understand why she puts up with it and keeps going back to him!?!??!? It really frustrates me. I don't understand. Personally, I think one year of this kind of relationship, she should cut her losses and move on. But she doesn't. She keeps staying with him and this unhealthy relationship. She accepts all of this crap. She says she wants one something better in her life (a more healthy stable relationship, potentially get married, have kids, build a future, etc....); but then she stays with him (and he can't offer her those things, unless, I believe he does some therapy and major changes). However, she believes all of his manipulations and accepts his lies and truths that he tells her. Every week there are these fights. I can see her self-esteem dropping. She is starting to really believe his lies about her. She doesn't even think it is a problem!?!?!?! As a friend. I don't know what to do anymore?

Anyways, on Sunday, I over-reacted and got involved in their fight. I became way too emotionally involved and I shouldn't have. I feel extremely exposed, embarrassed, ashamed, angry, and frustrated with myself, Y, and her boyfriend. Usually, I keep my personal opinions to myself. I try not to say negative things to other people and I try to treat others with respect. I expressed to Y on a number of occasions my concerns with her bf and her relationship. But I truly kept good boundaries and respected her decisions and her space. However, this most recent altercation, just made me lose my temper and cool. He was particularly nasty to her. Basically, he was gone for two weeks for work, and when he came back, he just verbally attacked her as person. I wound consider it emotional abuse. Anyways, it really hurt me to see her feel this awful, and for him to treat someone that I love and value so much so poorly. Y has been trying so hard to salvage this relationship and work to be with him. And he keeps putting her down.

Maybe it was a culmination of everything and this was the last straw, where I lost my cool. I sent the bf an extremely nasty email. Detailing all of his problems and weaknesses as a person (personal things Y has told me about their relationship...); and all of the wonderful attributes of Y and how he is so lucky to have her. Moreover how he treats her is cruel and insensitive. And stating how I think personally she should break-up with him, cut her losses and move forward with her life. I was extremely mean and my language was pretty inflammatory. Even if this guy is a total jerk, I shouldn't have sent the email. Its none of my business. I felt it was inappropriate of me. It's not my life. It's Y's life and she chooses to be with him. She was just calling me to express and vent. To release her emotional pain. It was not my place to take control and send him that later. I feel so bad about it. I don't know why this is effecting me so much. It really shouldn't. This is Y's problem, not mine. And thus I shouldn't let it personally effect me so much. Like I feel like I am expressing Y's pain and frustration and not her!?!?!! Which is not right, nor is it healthy. It is not characteristic of me to totally lose my cool like that.

After this happened. I have been keeping a distance from Y and her bf. Just to give myself some space from the situation. I talked to Y and owned up to what I did. I apologized for being out of line. I told her where I was coming from, and that I truly value my friendship; and that I totally overstepped my boundaries and it was wrong of me. She accepted my apology and we are still friends. However, she is still with her bf.....She has since out of her own initiative called me a couple of times to talk about things. But the energy has been different, and one of those times, it was for her to vent about her bf and this time the bf's family (but she didn't go into to much detail about the bf and then later talked about how he promised to change...)!!!....I feel very convoluted. I feel so bad and distraught. My stomach is a ton of nuts. I feel extremely anxious and sad. And I do feel angry with Y and her bf, as well as myself. I can't understand these feelings. I don't know how to cope with this situation. How can I release it and move on. Not let it consume me SO much. I feel extremely bad. Why did cross those boundaries? I can't understand how I lost my cool like that. Moreover, and more importantly, How can I be a good friend to Y, but not take Y's problems so personally? How can I separate myself from her problems and just be a friend.

However, I can't go back to the old format. I can't listen to her and all of these problems with her bf, if she refuses to make any changes. But saying that makes me feel like a horrible friend and person. And I am also just very afraid my friendship with Y has changed irrecoverable. Moreover she is still with her bf and I am not sure what that means for our friendship....Can she not trust me? Will she not feel safe? Maybe she feels like she cannot open up to me anymore? Will she feel torn, or like she has to pick sides? (honestly I can't stand the bf, and none of mutual friends like him either....) Will her bf not want her to be friends with me--thus she won't....because she tends to listen to him. I don't know.... I love her so much. I don't want her to completely alone and isolated. She is an amazing person and friend. But I can't go back to the way it was before; it's too hard for me to watch her in such an unhealthy and dysfunctional relationship, that causes her so much sadness and pain (--that she will express to me; but won't fully acknowledge in herself, when I repeat the things she has told me, she just shrugs her shoulders, like its no big deal......but yet again these are my onions not hers. something must keep her tied to him that she keeps returning. it is her life and her relationship and her problems...).....I am not sure of what the next step will be. How can I feel OK again with myself...when I just feel so terrible and so anxious. How can I be OK with Y and for us to maintain our friendship (especially with her still dating the bf). And how can I maintain my boundaries and not lose my cool like that.

Honestly, all of this stress and drama makes me want to b/p so badly!!!!!! However, I have been working to try to keep my behaviors at bay and not use them as a coping mechanism...I'm not always one hundred perfect at it. But I'm doing better than in the past.

So this is a long post!!! It was good for me to write all of this out. A kind of catharsis, as I don't have too many close friends at my school. For everyone who read it, thank you for bearing with me and taking the time to read through the whole thing!!! I would appreciate anyone comments, inputs, advice. Anything really.

:gimmehug :gimmehug :gimmehug

Much Love,


04-24-2012, 07:24 PM
Wow Liv... what an awful situation to be in! It's so hard to stand by and watch a good friend get hurt yet have her continue to put herself in that situation :sad

I know you feel you overstepped your boundaries... but in all honesty - I think you were in fact being a good friend. You were acting as her voice because she is unable to for herself. Ideally she'd be able to be honest with him rather than complain to you... but right now she's unable to do that.

And while this may change your friendship while she stays with this guy - if in time she is able to admit to herself how dysfunctional and destructive this relationship is - she's going to know that you advocated on her behalf - and you stood by her.

It feels icky right now because she's still choosing hurt and harm - and you are unable to understand why. But hang on to the fact that what you did came from an honest and caring place. You've apologised for getting involved in their argument - and that's all you need to do. You are still friends with her which suggests to me that she values your friendship - but at the moment her loyalties are torn. She wants you to stay friends - and she might need you to just hang in with her and be patient with her as she struggles to admit how crappy this guy really is.

I don't know if this helps at all? But from what am reading here - you've done everything a good friend would do for another good friend. Even if it has stirred up and changed the status quo of your relationship - it was still the caring and human thing to do as far as I'm concerned anyway!

Take care,


04-24-2012, 07:28 PM
you've done everything a good friend would do for another good friend.

Sometimes as a friend I have found it best to tell it
like I see it even if a friend doesnt want to hear it.

Being a true friend to me means letting someone know
when you believe they are doing something harmful.

god bless.

04-24-2012, 08:02 PM
I've been on both sides of this drama. I've lost of friend for standing up for her to an abusive boyfriend and I've lost a friend because of an abusive boyfriend. The good news....the one I lost came back when she broke up with him, got over the loss and came to her senses. The bad news...I might not be able to reclaim the friend I lost after for awhile until I am ready to apologize for being such an ass for dealing with years of abuse from my ex. The thing is...when I was in the relationship, I didn't need to hear what a jerk he was...I already knew...but I loved him. I needed my best friend's support. And the fact she was against him and our relationship made me feel she was against me. In reality, she was all for me and my emotional health.

Here's the reality.....it might be easier if you back off a bit. Be her friend but perhaps not one who has to see him so often. Esp since your feelings for him are well known and you owe it to yourself to be authentic. She might come to her senses or she might marry him someday. If she breaks it off, she will want your support. If she marries him, you won't be able to stand by and pretend you like him enough to be a part of their daily life. But you can't let her life cause you stress.

04-26-2012, 08:49 AM
I don't think you did anything wrong. It's hard watching a close friend get hurt. If she values your friendship nothing will change.
you could maybe suggest counselling for her....
I had a friend date a real asshole and the bf ended up making her choose between us and she choose him.... we didn't talk for a few years but they split and now were friends again and he's still a looser praying on someother poor girl.
My advice would be to be there for her and maybe just back off a bit and just let it blow over.

04-27-2012, 06:21 PM
Unfortunately your friend is involved in an abusive relationship. Having been in one myself, I know how trapped your friend is. But you have to step back. For as much as you want to save your friend and jump to her defense, she is picking this man and she is picking this man for a reason. This is her life, and for some reason she cannot and will not leave. That being said, for as much as you want to rescue her, you cannot. Getting even with this fucker, because that is what he is, will make you even sicker. Keep your distance and set up a boundary. Talk about everything else except this guy.

In the end it will just make you crazy, and she won't leave him

Liv Kaymak
04-30-2012, 07:14 AM
Rafferty, Ducksquak, Sflathinker, Cuddy, and MemorableBabyDolly,

Thank you so much for your responses!!!!! It means so much to me. I am very sorry that I have been unable to reply earlier. I have been working on two huge papers for school, and it has been incredibly stressful and exhausting.

Reading all of your responses and thoughts really helped me feel so much better and more sane about myself. In general, asserting myself is very hard, and I have improved a lot in T, but sometimes, in cases like this where I feel like I exceeded my boundaries, it makes me feel like I am totally out of control.

I still want to keep my friendship with Y. I really love her as a person. I am glad I stuck up for my friend, but like many of you said, I need to just take a step back. (which I have been doing this past week).

I think in order for me to stay friends with her, I need some space. Obviously she is still with the bf. However at this point in time, as a person and friend, I can't listen to her vent. I feel too emotionally involved and charged. It hurts me to see her in this kind of relationship. However, I need to accept that she is with this bf, as horrible as he is, this is her life (not mine!!) and I can't control her decisions.

I believe some distance will cool down some of my frustrations, and help me separate myself from all of this stress and Y's issues. And maybe with time, I can be there for her in the way she needs. But right now I recognize that I just can't.

Thank you all again. :gimmehug :gimmehug :gimmehug :gimmehug :gimmehug