Friend worries that ghosts may not be enough – The Denver Post

Dear Amy: One of my friends, “Charles,” has just come out of a three-year relationship with his emotionally violent partner, “Anthony.”

Before I realized how violent Anthony had been, I considered us friends, but I’m no longer comfortable with Charles at all.

Usually in this kind of situations where a person’s primary friendship is with one person, the friendship just dissolves naturally when they break up, but Anthony perceives me as his best friend and will probably continue unless I say otherwise.

I do not want to hurt his feelings in his spare time by telling him that I am not comfortable with him anymore (he has a severe depression, and considering that he has lost his relationship, losing a friendship can even easily push him into a dangerous mental state), but it is unlikely that he will stop believing that we are friends unless I tell him directly.

We’ve never talked very much, so it would hardly be likely that it would send the message if we did not talk to him again.

Letting him believe that I still value our friendship, even though I now actively dislike him, seems a lot like the friendship version of leading someone on, but I do not have the first idea of ​​how to tell him that. What should I do?

– Not your best friend

Dear Bestie: Thank you for introducing me to the concept of “recreationally” hurting someone’s feelings. Yikes.

To sum up – “Anthony” has been emotionally violent towards your friend. Even though you and Anthony do not talk that often, you think he sees you as his best friend. You want to abuse him this notion, but you do not want to joke him and you do not want to confront him because you are worried about his mental state.

A middle ground here would be to continue as you are, not to make contact, speak infrequently and let him think what he wants to mean – until more time has passed and you each would have gained some perspective and can back off slowly.

If Anthony is emotionally violent, it is also possible that he would be able to try to control you through a kind of emotional blackmail: “If you leave me, my depression can lead me to spiral into a dangerous state.” But in this case, it looks like you’re delivering Anthony’s manuscript to him.

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