They Do Exist.

When You Are No Longer The “Best Friend”

Editor’s Note: It has been said that the only thing worse than losing your boyfriend is losing your best friend. And from my experience, it’s true. It can be brutal, and embarrassing to admit how deep the ache goes. Merrie Dortignac shares the story of her relationship with her childhood best friend, and what happens when “best friends forever!!!” changes. – Lauren

Photo by Branden Harvey

I met the girl I called my best friend when I was ten years old.  Our family had heard of theirs, and invited them over for dinner.

When I was fifteen, awkward, shy and insecure, I finally clicked with her.  We hit it off over a week long camping trip and became nearly inseparable.  She’s the girl who is full of life.  It dances in her eyes and bubbles over when she laughs.  And she loves to laugh.

She’d always had more than one “best friend,” never limiting herself or excluding anyone, but as long as I was on the list, I was happy.

She held my hand when I got my ears pierced, and I did her hair and make-up for her high school graduation.  I liked her brother and she liked mine.  We planned on raising our kids together, after she got back from her dream trip to Africa.  I would teach her kids how to cook and she would teach mine how to play basketball.

Something changed along the years, and the list of “best friends” shortened until I was the only one left on it, everybody else either moving away or getting married.

She confided in my that her biggest fear in life was that she would be “replaced” and I swore that would never happen between us.

When our church split and her family left, she swore it wouldn’t change anything.

We mirrored each other to the point where it was hard to tell where one left off and the other started.   Cutting bangs, growing out bangs, straightening our hair, matching t-shirts – the works.  I guess we even started making the same facial expressions, because the people who knew us the best were always telling us that we looked alike.

I remember the day my world caved in like it was yesterday.  We were sitting on the couch in my living room after playing volleyball one Sunday.

“Who is your best friend?” I asked, hopeful, needing my ego stroked.

I remember the look on her face when she turned to me, dismay clouding her eyes.  “Um, _______ is.”

My ears were ringing from the shock and pain, my eyes stinging while I offered a controlled response.  “Oh.  Okay.”

What happened to best friends forever?  How could she do that?  Her biggest fear was being replaced, so she should know better than to replace me! What does this other girl have that I don’t have?  I’m I really so worthless?  The questions and memories swirled around and around inside my head until at 3am I couldn’t take it any longer.  Uncontrollable sobbing wracked my body, as I laid there in my bed in the dark, waking my dad who came in and offered comfort without judgement or advice.

I’ve never cried more in my life than I did for the next couple of months.  In my bed, hiding in the bathroom, in the car at a party where she was, even at a stop light on my way to work.

“God, what are you trying to teach me!?  I’m ready to learn the lesson and get on with it, because this hurts too much!”

Life continued as normal, our families meeting up every week or so, only this time my friend had her new best friend in tow.

“Is she trying to rub it in my face!?  God, please, I give the situation to you. Give me grace to deal with it.”

I began to realize that I had put our relationship above my relationship with God, and that it had become unhealthy.  I got to the point where I thanked God for taking my best friend away.  I gave the situation over to Him at least once a week.  I begged Him for grace.  I begged Him to make the pain stop.

I thought I was growing closer to Jesus through that time, but something was still missing – it hurt to see my old friend with her new friend.

We tried to talk it out but I always ended up more angry and hurt than before.  I did my best to make her feel my pain.  I laid the guilt on as thick as I could every chance I got, trying to make her see how lonely I was – how this was all her fault and then I cried some more, because we could never go back to the way it was before.  She wanted us to remain friends, to get past it and hopefully grow closer, but I didn’t see how that was possible.

I mean, hadn’t I tried?  I’d given up my rights and expectations to God a hundred million times already.  I’d asked for grace, so surely He’d granted it.

One Sunday afternoon, a day I can remember just as clearly as the day that my world caved in, I was lying on the bottom bunk-bed by the window, preparing my heart and my attitude for my friend’s arrival, not certain her best friend would be in tow, but preparing myself for the possibility.

“Father, I’m begging you, give me grace.”

I have.  I’ve offered grace each time you asked, but you’ve never picked it up and used it.  You’ve never received it.  It’s a two way street.

It was like a ton of bricks hit me between the eyes and a load of bricks was lifted off of my shoulders at the same time.  I left the room and was able to look my friends in the eye, smile and tell them I was glad that they came.

The damage control took longer.  It was months before trust and camaraderie were restored. The bitterness I’d been harboring was poisoning my family as well as myself.  I had some serious apologies to make, but lucky for me, they were more than willing to forgive.

And I’ve learned so much since that day.  I learned that a best friend doesn’t have to be exclusive.  I learned that God is good.  I learned that I needed to be separated from my friend so that I could grow into me.  I learned that the impossible things are possible.  I learned what it means to be a friend.  I’ve learned that I am loved beyond comprehension and my relationship status or friendship status cannot change that.

That grace you’ve been requesting for so long?  The more you use, the more I give.

Now? I’ve been filled.  I’ve seen what grace is.  I’ve been forgiven and I’ve been healed.  My “ex-best friend” is still one of my best friends in the world, and that girl shook up my life those years ago, my best friend’s best friend?  I’m thankful to be able to count her as one of my close friends today.

All my life I’ve believed in redemption and grace and healing and forgiveness.  I’d been raised with the concepts drilled into me since before I could walk and talk.  But the day I opened my heart to accept the grace that God so freely offers me was the day I started to live.

“You’ve changed, Merrie. You’re happier now than you were two years ago.” A different friend remarked one afternoon.

“I hope so!” I replied.  “I think I finally became a Christian.”


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20 Responses

  1. Katie

    Where was this 10 years ago… lol. It would have made middle school so much more bearable and so much better :) Thanks for sharing!

    October 25, 2012 at 10:33 am

  2. Maria

    Different circumstances, but I totally relate. Thank you.

    October 25, 2012 at 11:34 am

  3. k.

    The link to this extremely relevant post showed up in my Facebook newsfeed at the same moment as I received a message from my used-to-be-best-friends' boyfriend. He basically said, "just forgive each other and be friends again". I wish it were that easy. I wish the hurt would just go away. I wish I could just forgive her. It's an encouragement to know that all of this just doesn't disappear over night. Right now, I'm in the process of learning this:

    "I learned that I needed to be separated from my friend so that I could grow into me."

    It's hard to not rush the healing…gosh, I've tried that so many times. The whole "I forgive you, let's just be friends again" thing that just turns into another argument. Ugh. I'm sick of arguing with someone who I love so much.

    Thank you for sharing this, Merrie.

    October 25, 2012 at 11:51 am

  4. Rebecca

    I know those feelings well. I actually had to go back to the top to make sure it wasn’t my story she was telling. Unfortunately mine does not end with us being friends again. Thanks for sharing!

    October 25, 2012 at 11:57 am

  5. hannahbananalee

    Wow, thank you for sharing!

    October 25, 2012 at 1:51 pm

  6. Kris

    Beautiful, Merrie. Encouraging to see the God-filled person you've become.

    October 26, 2012 at 5:32 pm

  7. Seeker

    I can't believe someone else just wrote my feelings and pain so clearly and exactly! The situations aren't identical but similar enough for me to relate to. I have a best friend who is not exclusive in making good friends and would never "run out of" good friends. She's important to me and I prayed for our relationship I prayed that I would be a better friend and I prayed that she'd be more understanding than she was… but much too often that I feel my love to this friend unreturned and I'm always the one sacrificing for our friendship. Pain leads to anger and leads to uncontrollable insecurity and very negative emotions and bitterness and unworthiness… I've tried more than once to place God above this friendship, by my own power… and I always ended up dropping back into the deep pit of despair and heart-brokenness… Things have improved but not enough to make me a joyous person. Your article came as a great encouragement Merrie.

    October 31, 2012 at 9:53 am

  8. thebiggitybigblog

    This is so beautiful. It's one of those posts that speak to your heart in such a huge, Godly way. My best friend of 18 years decided about six months ago that she was "over" our friendship. I've been dealing with six months of pain, bitterness, and hurt. This helped me to see the bigger picture. I'll miss her forever, but I know that God is blessing the friendships I have now. Thank you for this!

    October 31, 2012 at 4:32 pm

  9. nojo4

    Wow I am just reading this article now but I am going through this same situation right now. God has un-attached me from my best friend since college (the one who we promised "we'd never hurt each other…never marry someone completely wrong for us…never be like the other girls we knew who stabbed each other in the back or lied or avoided telling the truth out of fear…") and I am heartbroken but also heart-awokened because I truly was valuing the people in my physical life sometimes more than God and my spiritual life. My value and approval came from humans instead of only from HIM. My best friend is engaged to an atheist & she is a completely different person now, I practically don't even recognize her texts, phone calls and even some in-person conversations anymore. It is crazy. I NEVER saw or imagined this happening to US. This article really hit home and I believe it is Divine Providence reminding me to stay connected to The Vine and seek love, approval & trust ONLY from The Lord – the only true and real judge and BEST FRIEND we could ever need…ever.

    January 10, 2013 at 2:22 pm

  10. It was interesting to read about the personal experiences you had with your best friend. I have been an avid follower of your posts and like your way of writing. The fact that you finally realized the meaning of best friend does not have to be exclusive explains a lot about relations.

    June 4, 2013 at 7:44 am

  11. Amna

    That same thing just happened to me

    June 7, 2013 at 4:57 pm

  12. xlucettax

    Wow, good article. I've been struggling with something similar and I'm trying to figure out what it is God's trying to teach me because it's been so long and I can't seem to figure out why I have this issue. I haven't had a best friend, or friends to hang out with regularly for almost 7 years.
    At this point I want to bang my head against a wall because I've tried to initiate so many friendships, they've either moved away, got married, or are best friends with someone else. So right at the tipping point of them finally being friends that I can hang out with regularly, they disappear in one way or another. It's so painful! My original best friends became distant and betrayed me.
    I have a few online friends, but it's not the same as hanging out with people. I miss it so much now. I've been trying not to notice it…but it's just in my face and it hurts so much.
    I try to fill my time with other things, I do have a better relationship with God, I've learned to forgive…..but I'm wondering what else I need to learn if that's all I can think of? I don't know what else he wants me to learn, why I keep having this issue.
    I keep enduring….but sometimes it feels like too much.
    I'm still waiting for my sun after the storm.
    a 7 year storm is really difficult.

    praying for God's help.

    July 31, 2013 at 12:15 pm

  13. Alison

    i can totally relate.. it did comfort me a bit.. learned that a bestfriend doesn't have to be exclusive ..and…………….the only bestfriend you can assure who won't ever replace and leave you is God :))) thank u so much for this article..thank God found this :))) PTL :)))

    December 10, 2013 at 10:05 am

  14. LEILA

    i really need help :'( my best friend and i am so happy when were together, we hate this other girl and even my best friend talks s**t about her. but you know what i just dont get? every time the girl that we dont like comes to us my best friend just sucks up too her, talks like a baby and hugs her every 2 seconds :"( now there like besties and the whole day i would just be at the back secretly rubbing the tears of my face while i watch my best friend leave me behind and hug and say i love you to the girl she says she regrets meeting… i honestly hate my life right now. i try to suck it up but this same girl aways takes my best friend away. she desroyed 2 of my very close relationships and i cant let this happe again! PLEASE HELP ME I CANT STOP CRYING

    February 12, 2014 at 12:13 am

  15. BRUNELDANATO11

    Probably all this testimony you read about spell casting online are spam right?And yeah some are spam some think all of them are spam which is totally not bad and i also know some believe spell casting really works but have not been able to find the right one. Well i think i found the right spell caster Metodo. I know he is real not cos he helped me but because i was there in his temple i Have seen him and his temple and i tell you it can't get more really that what am writing now. I know you may want to know why and what lead me to contact a spell caster i am a south African woman here in south African as a matter of fact in Africa having a male child is like the most important thing in a marriage and it turned out that i am married to a very traditional man as in a he believes the male child carry the family name on and on but the females get married and change there name which is true. I were married for six years and i had no male child for him. Maybe friends and family filled his head with a lot of things like i don't have a male child for him and as a result he need to get a divorce and get another wife that can bear him a male child. I always thought the people that filled his head with this ideas where is family and friends the people that i smile and dine with. The very people who ought to have advice him rightly. I never found out if they where involved in wanting to ruin life and my marriage. Not because i could not find out but cost i didn't want to develop hatred for them cos i will always get to see them and it is not really healthy seeing the faces of people you hate. At that time, i mean before i knew my husband got himself a lover i was paranoid about him having a lover cos our lives changed a lot he starting coming home late he wouldn't touch me any more and even he started avoiding me in our home making up excuses to stay all day in his study room doing nothing and telling me his need something off to clear his head. We had fights all the time i brought up the matter if he was see someone else. Maybe he got tired of lying i don't know he finally asked for a divorce. A divorce my family saw him through his university and got him a got job i told myself and now he's asking me for a divorce cos i don't a male child yet for him. He was ready to let go of his three beautiful daughters he asked that i take them along. Maybe he was a real f**l and didn't know what he had and maybe he didn't deserve someone like me but one thing was crystal clear to me i was still in love with him and i wanted a complete family for my kid that and the fact that i raised him from the gutter i didn't care about any of his problem when i married him and i forgot to say my father never approved our marriage but still i jumped into it thinking we are going to have each other forever. Though we are still together now but its cos of the spell i had metodo cast on him to make him see how much he needs me in this life. When i contacted metodo he asked that i get the materials for the spell which i did and delivered the materials to him in person that is to say i came in contact with him. I was to return in to his temple in 7 seven day and within those seven day he gave me a blessed a red candle asking that i command and say whatever i wanted every night within those seven days which i did on the seventh day when i returned to metodo temple he gave a harmless powerful substance with instruction on how to use it. This might seem like fiction or lie or what ever you lucky reads may think but deep down you know it true you just looking for a way not to get involved. I ve got my husband back and my family life couldn't be better thanks to the spell though i don't have a male child for him at least his them lover bore him one. contact him with his email if you want his help metodoacamufortress @ yahoo. com

    August 18, 2014 at 9:49 am

  16. Friendship is the support in the bad times. I am very thankful to God who give me caring best friend.

    September 23, 2014 at 6:44 am

  17. PrincessLuna

    I can relate! My best friend is hanging out with someone else, and it's like I don't exist!

    May 2, 2015 at 9:35 pm

  18. Susan

    This comment i Susan is placing is not like the day by day advert you read online before!! Its a comment that you must read to avoid been ripped off and know the real spell caster on earth God sent to change and turn lives around without any harm / side effect.
    I am so over joyful as my month can not start to say all that really happened, It happened when i saw Ajayi advert online talking about been the best when there are so many spell casters online that i have used that has failed me.I spent almost close to $8000 dollars online for those spell casters that ripped me off my money without any result. But when i saw Dr Ajayi advert online saying that there is no spell caster like him and so many other testimonies about him from various people and from various countries in the world were it was written that ololo spell temple is the best that there is non to be compared to his work, Already i have personally take a decision never to apply to any spell caster online again after loosing such amount of funds on line to those scammers.But i don't really know what drew my spirit / attention to that advert online that faithful afternoon, { I call it a faithful afternoon because all i desire was granted to me. } There was an email at the end of his advert and on the good comment from the FBI and various people about him, I decided to send him an email telling him my problem about my lost job, money that i have lost to scammers and also having problems with the love of my life that i want to get married to. After some few minutes i received an email from him that contain the spell application form that i filled out and he told me that to get my spell casted that i will have to get some items that i could not get here when i went in-search for it. He said if i can not get the items, That is going to cost me an amount of just $390 dollars for my kind of case that i told him about which i doubted to be another scam online, As i have read so many tips online that money should not be sent to someone you do not know via western union / money gram payment information's. And Dr Ajayi insisted that i will be sending money to his messenger via this wire means. I was so skeptical because i was scammed in such a way of $700 dollars before,But this same spirits that attracted me to his advert told me inside again that this spell caster is real and noting but real that i should go ahead and send him the amount since i know that there is no how i can get the items that he told me that will be needed for my case. I sent him the charges through his messenger to please help me get the item with the money to get my spell casted.He promised me that in the next 5 to 7 hours that i will start to see results after the spell has been casted to get the love of my life back and others. I could not believe this because i have really been scammed and ripped off too many times for me to just believe till it works. To be sincere i almost faint as i was filled with so much excitement and happiness when my lost lover for over almost 9 months call was entering my phone and i picked the call were he ask if we can see to take things over and also my boss called me to tell me to come for training on my terminated job also due to too many thinking that in the office that result to it. Then in the next 2 days the FBI called to tell me that they have been able to get the scammer that is with my money. I am so proud and happy to spread the good-news about this man because he surprised me in his wonderful and powerfully work that restored back to me my heart desires. One thing that i also loved about this man is that he is understandable and he reduce or negotiate how much you can get for the work you want him to help you with. You want to meet with this great,most powerful spell caster that is 100% scam free,Just send your emails to this email: ajayiololo @ yahoo . com as you will get help from him without any disappointment.

    November 1, 2015 at 10:46 am

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