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Friendship-being in the middle -guilty

I’m sorry, it might be long, but i need to vent to someone and if you could also give some advice please.
I’m trying to do what’s right but somene will be hurt and was hurt by my choices.
I’m gonna make a resume: i have two online friends S. and W. At some point we had a group chat but they had some misunderstandings and then while angry, S said some rude things about W to some other people that they both knew. W found out and W’s trust broke and got hurt pretty bad and their friendship ended there, but still W chose to remain friend with me even though I was still friends with S, and W has other past broken friendships and i get that it was hard to still trust me but did it anyway.
And then i wasn’t expecting also for S to say those things and i was disappointed but i talked to S and made things clear and i made them realized that what they did was wrong and apologized to me and to W. And it wasn’t just to say it like that, but we were in call and S was crying while apologizing, so i know it was real and they regreted it, so i forgave S bc i know also they didn’t mean it, but it was an impulse while being angry and when we are angry we say things like that unfortunately.
After we got over it somehow, i was still friends with both even though they stopped talking. But after every time at few weeks W got those flashbacks about what happened and how S could to that to them. And we had a lot of arguments like: how could I forgave S for what they did and still be friends with them bc i was not allowed to forgive bc W was the one hurt by S, and if i would have cared enough for W then i would have broken the friendship with S right then, and recently it was that i am selfish for keeping the “fake” peace with S for my good, bc i chose to look at the good side and “you don’t think daily about what they did to me” well ofc i don’t think daily about that, and i tried to explain how what it would be if everytime we point to someone all the wrongs that we’re supposed to get over, “where’s your humanity?” And put me to choose between them two, “as long as you don’t choose one, it will be like this” how to do that, when I care about both of them and with S now i didn’t even have any arguments and we’re good, it’s just normal. I can’t leave someone like that just bc someone else wants to, i do care for people that i get attached to, and even if we didn’t meet irl, they’re still my friends. And I’m pretty careful with who i talk to online and they’re safe yk.
Besides those bad days when W is in this state, we have a nice time and just normal talking about things, but when it comes to this idk how to talk with them anymore, bc they think too much and just keeps getting more questions of why am I still friends with S. And i understand that if i was in W’s place i wouldn’t like it either to be close with someone who is also close to the person that hurt me.
But if i would have known them separately, there wouldn’t have been this problem… At some point S asked if they both can make things right again. And they both agreed but then W brought up back the past and found that the reason why S said that was also bc of jealousy, and being scared that i might be more friends with W and forget about S.
And that added more and that was the last chance for them to repair things. And i say about forgiving people if they apologize, but W doesn’t want to hear about that, and it’s not even healthy if they won’t forgive bc it will always make them feel this poison in the heart. But also when W is like this my mood also goes low and i cry a lot bc in trying to do what’s good but idk how
And also it might bc W doesn’t have any siblings so can’t understand that thing with just forgiving after a fight.
I feel guilty bc of me it happened everything , i wish i met them separately, to not be in the middle.
And i can’t choose between them. I won’t. I won’t leave any of them, but if W decides to leave then i did what i could, bc fr i tried to make it right so many times, but it always goes into this point and literally i even let them on read once for many hours bc i didn’t know what to answer anymore.

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@thelight . choice and forgiving.i think ur on the right thinking when it comes to having them work it out.but from my understanding your powerless over someone else’s decision to become friends,forgive,and move forward.the fact your tried is a valiant effort and codos to you because u care.when pointing fingers,the person pointing has three fingers pointed back.
You hurt by this and that’s ok,on the flip side it sounds ,to me again,w is the aggressor .but maybe some time and patients it will mend and I hope it does,and u feel better because there’s a lot you wrote.this platform is so perfect for what u did.and that’s what I got.much love ry

It’s a definite hard place to be in when it comes to being a “middle man”.
I can totally empathise with your concerns and your feelings. Some people like your friend W find it very had to let things go. They allow things to play around and around like a tape. Even when they think they are okay, they allow those feelings to seep back in.
Now the fact that S made a genuine apology should seem like the opportunity for W to find peace. Even if it were to be “thank you for apologising, this is where the friendship ends”.
You can’t be expected to drop friends all the time just because one person says you have to. I’ve been in a friendship where this person didn’t like someone so I wasn’t allowed to. This person was mad about something so we weren’t allowed to enjoy our day. Every emotion they experienced had to dictate everyone else around them, mostly me.
This is where boundaries come in. Unfortunately sometimes these people don’t respond too kindly to boundaries. It came to a point for me where I had to say “just because you are in a bad mood, doesn’t mean you have to ruin my day. You agreed to hang out with me, and I’m happy to listen, but stop trying to drag me into your drama”. Now this is perhaps a bit harsher than the boundaries you need to set, but the principle applies.

Even if you need to write it all out for them so you can make sure that you are as gentle and kind as you need to be. All it takes is to “I’m sorry for the hurt you are feeling and that was caused to you. Please understand that in matters of S being brought up, I think it’s safest if maybe you don’t talk about them with me at least until things calm down”. You can explain that it’s causing more harm every time W mentions them and that it is also hurting you.
At the end of the day, we can’t get along with everyone, but we can’t expect that nobody else is allowed to.

I hope that sort of helps.

Thank you for your response, Ryan! Yes, i hope time will make things better. And indeed it’s good to let things out. I’m greatful for this platform :heart:

Yes, i will set some boundaries with W. And i will try to keep it normal but if again we come to that situation, i think i will avoid the topic.
Thank you Bimini, it helped! :heart:

1 Like

From: Micro

Hey there @thelight,

Wow, it sounds that you’ve been put into quite a storm happening with your friends. It is so hard to be in the middle of that kind of situation, to try to be the peacemaker as well. As you’ve said and acknowledged so very well, when people are hurt they can also say hurtful things because they expect others to feel the same way as they do. The world around becomes binary - it’s either all black and white, good or bad, and there’s no space anymore for a middle ground, grey areas, relativism. W. seems to hold resentment and has not gotten over the situation. They need time, inner reflection as well to navigate those emotions, and that is a work that will be done mostly between them and themselves. As much as you would like this situation to be resolved and for everyone to come to forgiveness, that is not something you can force. Forgiveness has been your way to move on from what happened, but still your relationship with each of them is different from the one they also have together, and with you as well. Relationships are always unique, even if you all know each other and have been used to interact together. On your end, it is of course unfair of W. to expect you to align with their emotions and decisions. In this situation, it’s all about each of you to come to terms with the fact that you are all different and deal with things differently - and that is okay. The way you behave is not contradictory, the relationship you maintain with S. is not a betrayal. But it also makes sense for W. to see it as such if they have still strong emotions and hurt attached to this past argument. I’ve seen what you responded about setting boundaries with W., and this sounds like a good move. Not telling you what to do, although if these conversations make you cry repeatedly, then it’s more than okay to prioritize your peace. W. seems to need time to handle their own emotions, and you don’t need to be the person who endures it.

There is a lot of strength in your words and the way you see this situation. A lot of wisdom and thoughtfulness as well. You see the situation from a more distant perspective, and I hope your friends will learn to see it as you do. In the meantime, make sure to protect yourself/your emotional space as much as needed. You are a good friend, even if your friends may not be aware of it right now because of the emotions they’re dealing with. Thank you for reaching out, friend. Hold Fast. :hrtlegolove: