General Question

peyton_farquhar's avatar

Would you let this person back into your life?

Asked by peyton_farquhar (3741points) July 15th, 2009

Last January I was going through a very rough patch in my life and that is when my best friend at the time, “Anthony,” decided he didn’t want to have anything to do with me anymore. It was a very sudden and unexpected thing, and it hurt me very badly. I was already in a very bad state and his maliciousness about it only made me feel a lot worse. Since that happened, I have temporarily withdrawn from school (his support at that time would have helped me stay there), gone home, and have met, dated, and become engaged to the person who is now my fiancee. Now, with the help of my fiancee and the passage of time, I have been able to forget the shock at Anthony’s betrayal and be happy with life again.
Anthony emailed me out of the blue a couple of days ago. He made a weak apology for the way he treated me but ultimately blamed his actions on his girlfriend, who apparently saw me as a threat and told him to stop talking to me (they were long distance dating and they’ve broken up). He said that he didn’t want to treat me the way he did but trusted his girlfriend so much that he was willing to do anything she told him. Apparently this break up is very recent, though, because I talked to his girlfriend a couple of weeks ago and he was visiting her in her state at the time.
So, get this. I mentioned in email to him that I’m engaged. His response to that was “it must be different for people who believe in divorce.” Now, I think I understand Anthony pretty well, and I think he was honestly trying to just be cute and does not understand that that was incredibly offensive to me. (Just because your relationship failed, doesn’t mean mine will.) I have wanted to respond back telling him that he’s an asshole, but have held my tongue because I know that he’s probably in a really rough spot right now, since in the two years he dated his girlfriend he became very emotionally attached to her. I’m pretty sure he’s depressed right now.
So, what would you do if this person, with whom you were once great buddies but had a nasty parting of ways, showed up in your life again?

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25 Answers

rooeytoo's avatar

I would have trouble trusting him again. So I would probably stay in touch but keep him at arm’s length.

augustlan's avatar

I would have to have several long conversations with him before I’d welcome him back fully, but yes I think I would give him a second chance.

MacBean's avatar

I’d give him a second chance, but I’d be very cautious for quite a while.

chelseababyy's avatar

I agree with @augustlan. To me it’s like this.. If I have friends, they aren’t just going to go away because my SO says so. That’s pretty ridiculous, especially being your best friend. It’s not your fault that she was so insecure that she felt threatened, you know? That’s no reason to throw you under the bus.

But anyway, be careful in whatever decision you make.

Jack79's avatar

Two entirely different things. His comment in the email could have come at any time, and has nothing to do with what went on between you two. I would probably tell you the same thing. Granted, he should have been more careful about such comments right now, but it seems to me that he’s just being honest about his opinion, which can only be a good thing in a friendship.

Now as for his betrayal last year, I personally don’t keep a grudge. I’ve had a lot worse things happen to me, and usually give people a second chance. Though to be honest I’m not as warm the second time around. I think you should let this person back in your life, and also be there for him now that he needs you. If nothing else, it will make you feel better about yourself. And if he proves he’s not worth it, you can always kick him out of your friends’ list.

BBSDTfamily's avatar

He was being an asshole with that comment. He isn’t a friend obviously for the reasons you listed (drops you w/o warning at the request of an insecure girlfriend, gives a half apology, puts you and your engagement down). Don’t let him back in…. you are better where you are in your life now without him in it. You got here without him anyway.

cyndyh's avatar

I think it would depend for me on how he handled telling me when he dumped me as a friend, how he handled the recent apology, and whether there’s anything I truly still missed about being around him or not.

EmpressPixie's avatar

I would give him a second chance. But as I let him back in, I would tell him how badly he hurt me AND explain that his comment was an asshole thing to say. Basically, “look I know you’re in pain and you just got out of a long term relationship, but that was an asshole thing to say and doesn’t really encourage rebuilding our friendship”.

This process would include a long heart-to-heart. You can come out of it two ways: deciding it was good, final closure on the friendship or deciding he was truly sorry and letting him back in.

May2689's avatar

I would not give him a second chance. Dont loose contact, but like other people have said, keep in at arm’s length. If he was willing to give you up because his SO said so, whats going to happen when he meets someone else and that person tells him the same thing again…
Be careful.

marinelife's avatar

I would have a great deal of difficulty giving this person the same level of trust that I had in the past.

I would also ask yourself if you need someone like this in your life. At best, he is shallow, manipulable, and uses other people as excuses for his poor behavior. Blaming his girlfriend for his actions???

I would hold him at arms length. I would not be in any hurry to pursue a reconciliation. If he has changed and if it is important to him to be a part of your life, he needs to work on that and prove it to you through his actions.

As for the gratuitous remark, that is not helping. I would be honest about that, “Anthony, what you did at the beginning of the year really hurt me. To have you make a crack like you just did tells me that we are not on the same wavelength right now about life, relationships or friendship.”

SuperMouse's avatar

I’m with those who say stay away – at least for now. It feels selfish that now that he is hurting he reaches out and expects you to be there for him. I say tread lightly.

CMaz's avatar

That is a line to get in your pants.
“If”, he is truly honest. He lost his chance and it is not worth taking the risk.

Plenty of fish in the Sea. You can find one that does not stink as much.

veronasgirl's avatar

A situation very similar to this happened to me a couple of months ago. I had a long conversation with my old best friend and told him how much he had hurt me and he apologized and seemed very sincere. He wanted to be friends again, but I didn’t. I decided that I didn’t want to move backwards, I knew that if he had left me once, he would most likely do it again. I am in a good place in my life right now, I got this far without him and I can continue on without him. It will be hard at first, because of all the memories you have with him. But you need to do what is best for you and not live in the past. I would talk to him, so you can make a final decision yourself. But keep in mind that you were happy without him, and would bringing him back into your life potentially add to that happiness? Or spoil it?

cwilbur's avatar

I don’t think I would. A friend who abandons you when you need him, on the insistence of a significant other, has shown his character. And then to insult you in an email?

You’re not on the same wavelength. You aren’t even in the same part of the spectrum.

Judi's avatar

I would ask your fiance how he feels about it. Go with his recommendation. I have a sneaky feeling that the girlfriend may have detected a little more than a friendly intent from him towards you. He may just be being nice to you to get back at her in some way. I would really trust your fiances gut on this. His opinion means more than ours does. If he’s OK with it, then cautiously let him back into your life.

jamielynn2328's avatar

If you do give him a second chance, you would need to understand that he could do that again to you at any time. It is a risk, and I personally wouldn’t trust him. He let someone else dictate his relationship with you. That is not a best friend at all.

galileogirl's avatar

Look honestly at your prior relationship and figure out why he was your best friend. Was he always a smart-ass and you have grown beyond that phase?

There is no reason you can’t have him in your life as a friend, just not a best friend. You probably won’t be spending the same amont of time together and you will have less when you get married. If he is not cool with that then you have to let him fall away. If he can adjust to the change in your relationship, he may become your best guy friend again.

Lupin's avatar

Do you really need that complication in your life? Clearly he does not act in your best interest. Fuhgetaboud Tony.
Make the relationship with your fiance your priority.

Resonantscythe's avatar

People like to say it’s not good to hold a grudge, which I suppose it isn’t, but honestly i take up issue with the “forgive and forget” camp due to the fact that uh-oh here comes another quote those who do know learn from history are doomed to repeat it or something like that I’m not feeling that great today

Honestly if he were a good friend he would have at least told you why you couldn’t talk anymore, but to just be like “oh, hey what’s up never speak to me again bye!” does not a compassionate , caring person make. So not to say he doesn’t deserve a second chance, but take what he says and does “with a grain of salt” whatever that means and only show him the trust that he earns. Keep him at arms length till he shows he really wants to be friends again.

augustlan's avatar

How old were the two of you when this happened? Youth is responsible for a lot of mistakes, most of them forgivable. As we age, we grow and we learn.

PandoraBoxx's avatar

I think your first reaction is correct, he’s an asshole. First of all, he’s blaming hurting you on his ex-girlfriend. It doesn’t sound like he’s owning up to be a jerk to you and hurting your feelings bad enough that you left school because of it. Second of all, what’s the crack about it “being different for people who believe in divorce” mean? Does he think that some how you left the relationship with HIM? Emotionally abandoned HIM?

Run, Toto, Run!!!

Resonantscythe's avatar

holy crap I just now spotted the horrendous error in my previous post it should say “those who do not learn from history” sometimes i tell my fingers to type and they, feeling lazy, just randomly slam on the keyboard and hope for the best.

peyton_farquhar's avatar

Ha, I didn’t even catch that. Thanks for all your answers, guys!

Jeruba's avatar

I would say exactly what @Marina said. If you were my son or daughter telling me this story, my maternal alarms would be sounding like crazy. I’d be saying, “Honey, what do you want to start up with him again for? What kind of definition of friendship are you using that lets you still think this guy could really be your friend?”

Depending on how the conversation went, I might also ask, “Suppose you put yourself in his place. What do you think might have motivated this sudden contact? What do you think he’s looking for? And is that something you want to give him? How much of a risk is he worth to you?””

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