DEAR HARRIETTE: My friend finally broke up with her neglectful boyfriend, but now she is fully leaning on me for emotional support.
I have never known my friend when she was not in a relationship with her now-ex-boyfriend. They were incredibly codependent and toxic. I was pleading with her to leave the relationship for many years, and she finally did it.
I thought she would be happier and freer now that it is over, but I feel that the emotional support that she relied on her ex for, she is now relying on me for.
I can’t handle the pressure, and I’m exhausted. How do I tell her this?
DEAR CO-DEPENDENT: You have to speak up and point out to your friend what she is doing.
She probably doesn’t realize that she has transferred all of her clinginess from her boyfriend to you. You cannot and should not accept it. Instead, redirect your friend to professional help.
She needs to process her life, her relationship with her ex and her path forward with someone who is trained to guide her steps.