Life Advice

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Health & Spirit

Best friend is addicted to male attention

Carolyn Hax on

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Hi, Carolyn:

I've had a crush on my brother's friend for years. I invited him to the birthday party I threw for my brother, and I also invited my best friend. Bestie had never met Crush before, but she knew of my crush. They spent the evening together, flirting and getting more touchy-feely the more they drank. She was grinding on him by the end of the night.

Bestie is married with kids but has a desperate need for male attention and has cheated several times. Putting a man in front of her is like putting a drink in front of an alcoholic.

Toward the end of the party when I finally got Bestie alone, I reminded her of my crush and asked her to stop flirting. She apologized and that was that. But the next day I saw that they are now friends on Facebook and feel she might still be overstepping. Now I'm wondering if I can trust her. Could they be talking behind my back? Would she do this with someone I was dating or even married to? And it isn't the first time this has happened.

I can't stop her from doing these things (and probably don't even have the right to tell her not to flirt with my crush) so I'm wondering if I should step back from this friendship. We've been friends since childhood and she's been a great friend otherwise.

-- Crushed

Of course you can't trust her -- to be anyone except who she has always been. Though that's a kind of trust, I suppose: You can trust her to choose cocktails and tail-chasing over you or anyone else.

And I think you're onto a lot more than you realize with the drink-in-front-of-an-alcoholic analogy.

She grabs at male attention even when she knows it hurts her best friend, not to mention, presumably, her husband and kids. That's the stuff addicts do -- prioritize the satisfaction of their physical and emotional cravings above the consequences to themselves and others.

...continued

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