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LeavesNoTrace's avatar

Why does my friend think I'm responsible for this?

Asked by LeavesNoTrace (2488 points ) February 4th, 2014 from iPhone

My ex and his long distance girlfriend split due to an irreconcilable argument that had nothing to do with me. In fact she has no idea I exist. My ex and I have feelings for one another which we’ve expressed recently but have had no outlet for. We decided not to pursue anything due to him being tethered to someone else which I respected.

He’s stayed with this person because she’s a nice girl (I truly believe she is) but he’s not in love with her and has mostly felt obligated to stay with her due to her emotional instability and and dependence on him. She has a history of mental illness and is prescribed meds.

Apparently after the breakup she’s in a psych ward on suicide watch. I feel bad for her but I don’t know the girl and also strongly suspect it’s emotional blackmail. While I’m not entirely unsympathetic, I feel like it would be disingenuous to act more upset than i actually am. I don’t know this girl and she doesn’t know me. Hopefully it’s nothing serious but definitely not a healthy situation and strongly smacks of a manipulative move on her part. But please believe me when I say that I take no pleasure in this.

My friend says I’m likely responsible for him wanting to leave her so therefore I’m also responsible for her suicidal thoughts and being in a mental hospital. I don’t know what to think. I don’t think this has anything to do with me and honestly want to distance myself from it

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23 Answers

LeavesNoTrace's avatar

Ugh please excuse the garbled headline. I’m typing on my phone.

gailcalled's avatar

Is your “friend” the same person as your ex? I hope not. With friends like that..

Given the info that you have shared, I agree that you have no (repeat…no…) responsibilty for the g/f’s emotional instability.

Tell your so-called friend to mind his own business. He is spouting rubbish; an interesting question (if you have the energy) is why he is taking this tack.

Cruiser's avatar

This girl is suicidal and on meds and clearly not in command of her own emotions. Do not allow her to get inside your head as to blaming you for anything she is going through.

My ex-wife went bonkers after our divorce and there was nothing I could do other than to stay way out of her life while she crashed and burned. It was hard to do but if I even got remotely involved I am sure I would have paid an even bigger price than I had already paid.

LeavesNoTrace's avatar

@gailcalled The friend isn’t my ex. It’s an actual friend of mine and one I usually trust to tell me the truth. That’s why I usually take what she says seriously.

I told her that I believe his ex is crazy, and I’ll admit it wasn’t probably the most tactful word. She said I was being “unsympathetic”. I honestly feel like too much sympathy from me would be disingenuous. . After all, the breakup was a little bit of wish fulfillment for me. If that makes me a terrible person, so be it. A lot of people would feel the same but few admit it.

However, hearing of her emotional distress brings me no pleasure and I’m certainly not throwing a tickertape parade for another female’s misery.

I’m going to distance myself from my ex for a while until the dust settles on this. What I keep reminding my friend is that this girl has no idea who I am or that her significant other has feelings for me. Whatever reason he had for breaking up with her, are his own and I did not intentionally influence him. And any emotionally stable person wouldn’t threaten suicide. That much I hold true.

I hope I can make my friend realize that I’m not a terrible person nor did I create this. Has anyone else ever been in this situation?

LeavesNoTrace's avatar

@Cruiser

She doesn’t know I exist. As far as she knows, the breakup is due to an irreconcilable argument between them. And I’m hoping it was too.

janbb's avatar

@LeavesNoTrace I think what you’re friend said is cruel and untrue. Ask your friend why she is saying this. However, I do think it would make sense for you to stay away from the ex-boyfriend romantically while he sorts himself out.

Cruiser's avatar

@LeavesNoTrace I understand this but your friend made the comment on how your wish fulfillment came true and could some how be your fault. If you don’t stay on the sidelines this girl more than likely will find out about you and then things could get “interesting”.

LeavesNoTrace's avatar

@Cruiser Yes, I agree. I have no idea whether any of his feelings for me led to the breakup or not. They’ve had a lot of differences in the past but it’s true I may have been the straw that broke the camel’s back unbeknownst to her.

I’ve asked my ex not to discuss this with me any further since I’m not a neutral party and advised him to speak to a counselor or trusted friend. I’m also going to keep my distance. I still have feelings for him but I don’t want to be a vulture. I also fear that he’ll go back to her out of fear since she seems to hold a lot of power with this behavior.

janbb's avatar

@LeavesNoTrace Definitely a good situation for you to stay away from especially as you have plenty of your own things that you are dealing with. If you are going to get back together at some point, it will happen. Btu as others have said in similar situations, he is an ex-boyfriend for a reason. And I would tell your good friend that it is not a topic you want to discuss with her anymore.

KNOWITALL's avatar

Her issues are definately no one’s responsiblity except hers.

You and the friend should give it a minute before jumping into anything, rebounds aren’t always the best thing for everyone.

LeavesNoTrace's avatar

@KNOWITALL I’m keeping my distance from my ex for a while. I told him he shouldn’t discuss his former partner’s mental health with me since I’m not a neutral party and I feel wrong expressing an opinion. My only advice for him is to speak to a counselor or trusted friend. I care for him, but I certainly don’t want to be a vulture.

Juels's avatar

You are not responsible for this girl’s decisions. Her mental instability is her problem and she needs to get it together.

That being said, you did play a part in their rocky relationship and should feel some remorse for the situation. Although she doesn’t know about your involvement, you still took something from her.

Once he is completely free of her, I hope you’ll take some time to determine if you should really be with this guy. I don’t believe in going back to an ex. If there was a strong enough link to keep you together, you wouldn’t have broke apart in the first place.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Wait wait wait. Haven’t you posted questions in the past about how horribly abusive your ‘ex’ was, and how you had to leave the country and hide because it got so bad? Isn’t that even the premise for your user name? And now you’re telling me you and your ex “have feelings” for each other again? Or am I missing something.

LeavesNoTrace's avatar

@Dutchess_III This isn’t the same person. He’s no longer in the picture.

Coloma's avatar

You are not responsible for anything, especially not the mental issues of a clearly unstable person. Your ” friend” is full of shit, and to even suggest you are somehow responsible for this girls emotional melt down smacks of sheer ignorance, unkindness and not something a “friend” would try to dump on another “friend.”

bolwerk's avatar

“My friend says I’m likely responsible for him wanting to leave her so therefore I’m also responsible for her suicidal thoughts and being in a mental hospital. I don’t know what to think. I don’t think this has anything to do with me and honestly want to distance myself from it”

Are your friend and your ex the same person? I wasn’t clear. If so, he sounds like a jackass too.

And why do people keep poison friends like this? Let’s say you knowingly copulated with him while he cheated on and she killed herself in a rage of grief. Would you be responsible? Unless you knew she was this fragile and deliberately rubbed her nose in it, no, because she was the one who couldn’t control herself. Her mental state is unfortunate, but not your fault.

janbb's avatar

Edit: “your friend”

marinelife's avatar

You are guilty of prolonging contact with your ex when he was in a relationship he had decided to stay in.

You are not guilty of her reaction to his breaking up with her.

LeavesNoTrace's avatar

@bolwerk The friend is not my ex. Just a friend that I confided in when I heard about this and she kind of lashed out at me and made it out like it was my fault or something that happened due to an intentional action of mine.

GoldieAV16's avatar

First I find it interesting that you refer to him as an “ex” when it sounds like you’re still inextricably involved.

Second, you don’t know what your “ex” (?) has told his other “ex” (?) about you. You have no way of knowing what she knows. Your friend also doesn’t know what she knows, and I question why your friend is in such a hurry to place the blame on you (“with friends like this, who needs enemies” comes to mind.)

Lots of what I call “story telling” here. When bad things happen, our minds rush in to fill in the blanks. Even when we’re not directly involved in something, we like to make sense of things, and explain them. Unfortunately the result is usually just a lot of spun yarns and unnecessary drama. Take a step back. Detach yourself from the fiction, and stick to the facts. It’s okay to “not know” stuff, like why anyone would want kill herself, or why they are in a psych ward. Such stuff is complex, and there is just no need to try to understand something that even trained professionals struggle with.

Follow your inclination to distance yourself, from all of it.

Judi's avatar

It sounds to me like your friend may be projecting something. Has she been the victim of a cheater?
Was your ex basically emotionally cheating with you via correspondence? I think, if I remember correctly your feelings for this guy played a roll in your recent breakup.
For some reason your friend empathizes with this girl and it probably has more to do with a wrong she has suffered in the past rather than the actual situation at hand.
To be clear, you are not responsible for the girls emotional instability but you might be responsible for your ex’s decision to discontinue his commitment to that relationship and that IS pretty sucky in my opinion.

keobooks's avatar

I’d wash my hands of the whole mess and get out of everything. Remember this guy was attracted to someone with these mental problems. They didn’t come out of the blue. Some people choose emotionally fragile people so they can be in control of things in a not so healthy way.

zenvelo's avatar

She is not your friend and she is not interested n your well being. Anyone who would say such a despicable thing is not good for you. De-friend her completely and utterly.

As for the ex, he is embroiled within his own life drama. Leave him alone until he can tell you he is unfettered and has no baggage left from the old girlfriend.

And then ask yourself why you even consider getting back with him, and what has changed and why would it be better now. I’d recommend you do a little introspection about that.

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