“This friendship hurts me.” —Q & A

Q—Ok, so I’m reading your book right now (I bought it after hearing you speak at a fireside recently). I wish I had read it *years* ago. Anyway, here’s my question. I have a friend that just recently reentered my life as he was going through a divorce. I know he just needed someone to help him through a hard time, but I fell hard and fast. As I’ve read the book, one key point stood out to me: “Accept that not all men can love, that loving them will hurt you, and that you cannot make someone emotionally mature.” This basically sums up my problem. I hate feeling this way and know that it needs to stop . . . how do I still care for him as a friend but detach my feelings from the situation? Or is it even possible? Is there a nice way to tell him that he needs to learn to help himself and stop putting me through all this? I need this to stop, because it *does* hurt . . .

Thanks so much for any advice,

~Burdened, Salt Lake City

A—The advice I would give any  man or woman in this situation is:

1. If a relationship is toxic, it’s not worth continuing.

2. If the person is burdening you with their problems while doing nothing to resolve their problems, then touch them on the arm and warmly say, “I don’t know what you’re going to do, but I trust you will figure it out. I have faith in you.” Then, smile at them and say you need to go, or state that you really need to talk about something else because the relationship is becoming too weighed down by these issues and can’t progress without having more fun and focusing on other things.

I hope this helps. Good luck,


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