Following my separation and divorce, I clung to a woman named Debbie who quickly became my best friend. We hadn’t known each other for long, but during the roughest period of my life, she had been my rock, my voice of reason, and my shoulder to cry on.
The problem, though, was that there were issues in our relationship that were apparent from the beginning, yet I’d been so focused on the wreckage of my marriage, I hadn’t been aware of them and addressed them until it was too late.
The end of our relationship came swiftly. As soon as I started standing up for myself and pushing back, she got more defiant and… mean. I told her I needed some space, and I reached back out to her less than a week later. She told me then that we could never go back to being friends, and she blocked me.
WATCH: Mamamia confessions – relationship dealbreakers. Post continues below.
I felt blindsided and sad by the loss of her friendship. I hadn’t expected it to end; I’d just expected that we’d have to work through some things. As more time passed though, I realised that maybe it’d been for the best that our friendship had ended.
It’s important for me to mention that Debbie is not a “toxic” person, and neither am I. Our relationship was toxic, and that was likely due to both of us exhibiting toxic behaviours.
We all make mistakes and lack self-awareness, even on our best days, and we all need grace around that.
It’d be easy for me to just blame Debbie for the state of that relationship, but she made up only 50 per cent of it. Often if a friendship has become toxic, it’s a sign that we have a part too. I know, for myself, I didn’t stand up for myself and set healthy boundaries early enough.
You’ve likely experienced a toxic friendship at one point, and it rattled you until you finally realised something was majorly wrong. It may have been with a friend you’d had for a while, or one you’d just met. Either way, these relationships are often painful and confusing, and they usually end without much resolved.
Here are the signs to look for if one of your friendships is toxic: