Frank and I were talking about a friendship that has been unraveling for quite a while now. We’ve tried reconciliation with this person, but things continue at status quo. The thing is, we can’t just leave this person and move on. Because of the circumstances, part of our lives are tied to this relationship.

As we were talking, we realized that, though we can’t physically leave the situation, we can begin to detach mentally and emotionally. How can we keep our family safe and build healthy boundaries around conversations related to this situation? When we stopped to think about it, we realized how much time and energy had been devoted to being angry, hurt, and betrayed. Now, we’re committed to only talking about this person when absolutely necessary. Otherwise, we will try to leave this person, this friendship, this circumstance as contained as possible.

Because it's Halloween, I thought I'd break up this heavy post with a cute pic of our purple lion.
Because it’s Halloween, I thought I’d break up this heavy post with a cute pic of our purple lion.

This experience has caused me to reflect on so many uncomfortable and unhealthy situations that I just wanted to leave right away. The reality is that it is rare when I can just pack up and truly leave. Often, I have to work with someone who has a continuing negativity or encounter people I’d rather not. How can I still show love, be light, but leave my emotional investment in check?

Hopefully our goal of leaving this toxic relationship behind will help us love this person better than if we were completely involved.

Please note: I am talking about a toxic friendship. Nothing abusive or mentally damaging. I fully realize some need to leave a relationship quickly and without looking back.

How do you separate negativity in your life? How do you show love to others without draining your own resources?

Linked with Kate Motaung’s Five Minute Friday, a time to write without editing.


Published by

Annie Rim

Welcome! I live in Colorado with my family and have taught in the classroom, at an art museum, and now in the playroom. I reflect about life, faith, and books here on my blog.

6 thoughts on “Leave”

  1. I’ve been there. Sometimes you do have to just let the friendship dissolve. Other times you can place boundaries, and operate within those boundaries. I have done both. The toxic friendships I let go. The time consuming ones I place boundaries. I hope that you will be able to determine which is best for you. There are times that you are called to hang on just a little bit longer, and there are times when you are being released.

    1. Thanks for the encouragement, Latonya! It’s been tough figuring out what the boundaries are and how to best put them in place. I hate giving up on someone… But, you’re absolutely right: I need to recognize when I’m being released. Thanks so much for stopping by!

  2. It’s a difficult situation. The less emotional time and energy you spend on it, the healthier you will become in creating distance and boundaries without including anger into the mix.

  3. It’s always difficult when other people are involved. I’ve had to leave a couple friendships too. It’s painful, especially when there was once closeness. I find that making sure I have healthy boundaries in place helps me to 1) maintain a better perspective, 2) be able to say no when necessary, 3) give me opportunity to reach out to the person in a way that is safe. It’s never easy.

    1. Yes! I’m hoping that with a bit of distance, our perspective will shift to something healthier… Definitely never easy… Thanks for the encouragement!

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