There’s a lot Abby Gilmore has learnt in the last few years.
The ex-fiancé of AFL Western Bulldogs forward Jake Stringer says as she’s gotten older, she’s become more selective of who she calls her friends and who she actively cuts out of her life.
Writing for Kidspot, she says, “There comes a point in your life when you need to prioritise yourself and your family and let go of toxic relationships.”
At just 24, Abby found herself at the centre of a national scandal, after discovering her then-fiance had cheated on her with multiple partners – the first of which took place just six weeks after giving birth to their second daughter.
“In those early days, I really relied on my friends to fill a void. To love me back together again,” she says. But, gradually, she realised this was leading her to be taken advantage of.
“I got so sick of always being the ‘yes girl’, particularly when bad things started happening to me,” she says.
“I was always sticking out my neck for people, but sometimes people don’t realise or know what you for them. They don’t know what the hours before seeing them look like.”
Why friendship break ups might be worse than romantic ones: the Mamamia Out Loud team discuss. Post continues after audio.
However, there’s also another trap that Abby sees ‘yes girls’ falling into, and to an extent, something she blames herself for.
“There are people missing in my life right now who used to make me feel uneasy, who have done things to hurt me or try and make me look silly,” she says, adding that “the ‘yes girl’ [she] use to be allowed it to happen.”
“I’m still not a fan of making people feel uncomfortable, but I am a fan of leaving people out of my life now who makes me feel that way.”
Despite this, it hasn’t always been an easy process – like anyone who’s undergone a friend break-up will know.
“It’s always heartbreaking when you lose people from your life, whether you didn’t think they treated you great or not, it’s still quite hard to finally let go,” says Abby.
At the end of the day, however, she has a piece of advice.
“The people who are there for you when you’re suffering are everything and you will never forget those people and how they made you feel, but the people who are still there with you when you finally find your feet are everything and more,” she writes.
“Find them. Hold on to them and love them. There won’t be many, but the quality far outweighs the quantity.
And she just may have a point.