Friendships: Broken Friendships with Richard Kneip (cont.)

Richard Kneip, PhD: While certainly your suspicion and disappointment is understandable, you should also appreciate how difficult this information might have been for her to give you while you were together. She was perhaps fearful that it might create a problem in your marriage or in you and your husband's relationship with your friend. As I have said, I would recommend that you talk to your friend about this and try to understand her perspective. If this is the only thing that is causing you to feel that your friend can't be trusted, then you should think whether this is an isolated example, or is it another in a long string of examples of untrustworthiness. If it is an isolated incident, then perhaps you are allowing your anger to over-generalize.

loves2smile19: I am in love with my best friend. What do I do?

Richard Kneip, PhD: As difficult as it will be, you have no choice but to talk to your friend about your feelings. If you have been feeling this way for some time, then your feelings are not likely to change and, therefore, will have some impact on your relationship with your friend. It is very hard for us not to express our feelings, so I suspect that your friend will know or does know already. Talking about it will allow the two of you to work through it together, which may ultimately strengthen the relationship. Whether the two of you decide to pursue a romantic relationship together or not, at least the two of you will have a better understanding of why or why not.

cloundno9: My best friend just got a new boyfriend. Because I don't have a lot of good friends, I do a lot of things with her, but since her new boyfriend came along, she has completely blown me off. She never comes around, never phones, and she never shares things with me anymore. What should I do?

Richard Kneip, PhD: You should tell your friend how happy you are that she has found someone that makes her so happy. You might also tell her that you miss her and the wonderful things the two of you used to do together and hope that you can continue to do things together even though you understand that it won't be as frequent as it used to be. Your friend will be very pleased by your approval of her new relationship and will value your friendship all the more.

ejaustin_07043: Can a friendship ever be the same again after there was a major problem in the past?

Richard Kneip, PhD: All friendships and relationships go through periods of growth, as well as periods of strain and distance. This is a natural thing in the development of relationships. When a problem develops, after that relationship, it never really is the same but in some ways may be better. Sometimes we feel even closer after overcoming obstacles in a friendship. Friendships that have weathered many storms can be very enduring. If the problems are not resolved, then there can be a gradual erosion of the relationship to the point where it dissolves. During periods of stress and crisis, it is most important that an open and honest dialogue be maintained with a focus of solving the problem. If this occurs, then the result might be an even stronger friendship.

Moderator: Thank you, Dr. Kneip. Unfortunately that will have to be our last question for today. Thank you all for joining us.

Richard Kneip, PhD: Thank you for all the great questions.

Moderator: We hope you enjoyed your time with us today and look forward to seeing you again soon.

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