[Friendship Gone Wrong] A Tale of Two Friends

Sarah and Kelsey are best friends. A year ago, Kelsey walked into Sarah’s dorm room to borrow a textbook from her roommate and noticed Sarah watching her favorite movie. Forty minutes later, after discussing plots lines and rehearsing favorite scenes from the movie, they became fast friends. Slowly, over time, they did everything together—Bible study, accountability partners, and finally, the Facebook profile picture with the label “Besties” made it official.

Sarah and Kelsey began to see their other friends less and less. The ease at which friendship came to them was convenient and fun. They began talking every day, sharing deep emotions and feelings, even praying for one another. Eventually, a day didn’t feel complete until Sarah had talked to Kelsey. When Kelsey had a hard day, she immediately texted Sarah for consolation. She knew Sarah would pray for her anyway. It was hard for them to imagine what life was like before they were best friends.

As the school year came to a close, Sarah and Kelsey made the obvious decision to be roommates the following year. This would save them a lot of texts and phone calls for sure! And how much fun it would be to live together! Though they had a 2-bedroom apartment, they found they were often up late talking or watching movies. So the decision was made to just share a room. Sarah had a queen bed in her room, so Kelsey just slept with her there. They often fell asleep talking. Conversation was as innocent as what professor to take for calculus or where to eat lunch the next day.

Slowly, falling asleep talking became falling asleep holding hands. Holding hands became cuddling. And the moment when Sarah first kissed Kelsey’s forehead goodnight, a flood of feelings were unleashed with such magnitude that neither one saw it coming. They couldn’t stop themselves, and soon sexual encounters became commonplace. While both still discussed their crushes and their desires to marry one day, being together just felt so right. Kelsey began to wonder if she was a lesbian. What did that mean for her as a Christian? What did this mean for her future? How could so much change through just 1 year of friendship?

This is the story of a friendship gone wrong. Somewhere along the way, Sarah and Kelsey began to look to one another for things only God should give: worth, purpose, belonging, and security. This is the story of a co-dependent friendship infected with idolatry.

Not every unhealthy friendship goes this far. But jealousy, possessiveness, fear of new friendships, and an overall deep need for a BFF are branches of the same tree. Join me as I shed some light on this issue by answering the following questions:

I pray that through it all, you will catch the vision of an all-satisfying God who has more satisfaction and joy to offer us than we would dare think. And of friendship FOR Jesus; Christian camaraderie that is about getting more of God in our friendships not more of each other.

Continue to Part 2

25 Comments

  1. […] Esse artigo foi originalmente publicado no blog KellyNeedham e traduzido sob autorização da […]

  2. Another great resource on this topic is the book “Please Don’t Say You Need Me” by Jan Silvious.
    These posts are so well written Kelly! Thank you for sharing your work!

  3. […] a place that can’t be filled by a girlfriend. Kelly Needham has a great series right now on Friendships Gone Wrong. It’s fantastic. If you’re a woman, you should read it. I want to be dear to my […]

  4. Wow this is amazing! I’m so excited to read more. I’ve had a lot of fallouts with people recently and dependency on one another played a huge role in it.

  5. […] “Friendship Gone Wrong, Part 1” by Kelly Needham […]

  6. Anonymous

    Wow. This post literally took my breath away. It describes my last friendship to a “t” and the fallout of that friendship occurred 5 years ago in college and I am still dealing with the effects today. It’s all consuming. Thank you for starting this blog series; I will read each day’s post.

  7. Thank you for your courage in posting this! I’m amazed at how common this story is, and care deeply about coming alongside those ladies who feel trapped in this struggle. I look forward to learning from the rest of your series.

  8. Katherine Rebekah

    Just wondering if you could answer a quick question. It’s obvious that these two women were seeking their worth from one another. They relied on each other for everything and got so close that they began acting as a married couple would. If that is the case then what makes a relationship like this within a marriage healthy? Please understand I’m not making a case for homosexuality. I just want to know if you think that there can be codependency within a marriage.

    1. Hi Katherine.

      You are right in perceiving that this is not healthy for any relationship. Yes, there can be (and it happens often) codependency in marriages. Codependency (which is idolatry) is not ok in marriage. Of course, the response and treatment of this is different than with friends because a marriage has a different function than two friends. And we should never encourage any separation of spouses, who are to operate like one flesh. But, a wife is still called to find her worth in God alone, not her husband, only then can she be excellent in her role as a wife. I will briefly address this in this series and hope to write specifically about codependency in marriage soon.

      Thank you for your comment!

      1. Katherine Rebekah

        I totally agree and I’m glad to hear that your going to address later on. I think the subject is too often over looked in a romanic relationship and it’s especially a downfall for us girls/woman. It’s so easy to try and find our worth in a man instead of God. Thanks for doing this series Kelly. I’m looking forward to reading every post.

    2. Anonymous

      I hope this helps. I understand what you’re saying, but even in marriage we cannot lift our spouses higher than God in our lives. If we rely on our spouse to fully meet our every need instead of relying on the Lord primarily, then that pressure placed on the spouse will breed a whole different set of problems within marriage. Yes, you depend on your spouse for many things, but our heart’s primary affection must be placed on the Lord. We find our identity and worth primarily in the Lord. If we place anything or anyone before God, then that is idolatry. That applies to everyone. No other human being will complete us like God will. So I think this codependency Kelly writes about is tied to idolatry which is harmful to all interpersonal relationships especially our relationship with the Lord. We have to let God completely satisfy us whether single or married. I hope all of that makes sense and anyone else reading this, please feel free to correct me if something written doesn’t sound right :-). I’m so thankful for Kelly’s blogging ministry!

      1. Katherine Rebekah

        I agree. Thank you for your well thought out response. 🙂 I’m looking forward to seeing what Kelly says about this kind of codependency later on in the series.

  9. Anonomous

    Thank you for posting this. I have just had to have a discussion with a close friend in regards to this topic. I am a newly married almost 40 year old woman and my friend is a little older. She has never had a boyfriend and is really struggling with singledom. I’ve recently felt quite uncomfortable (as has my husband) with the way she has expressed her affection. Holding my hand, patting or stroking my back and hugging in a way that left me feeling creepy. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a hugger but I have felt for a long time that I feel like she is using me to fulfil emotional needs that only a partner and God should fill. I have had numerous times where I’ve had to either pull back from the friendship or a regular outing has turned into her crying because she has admitted she’s jealous of my husband and I. I have directly confronted her that I feel this is unhealthy and harmful to herself now and a future relationship. She has denied it is an issue then retreats into self pity. In recent days, I have had to bring up the topic of inappropriate touch again. It’s really awful as I value her friendship. She is a faithful friend and a beautiful person who’s heart for God is true but I’m afraid she is subconsciously using me as a psuedo partner. Do you have any advice? Please pray for my friend and that God would give me wisdom and sensitivity to handle this situation well. Thank you.

  10. Anonymous

    Wow thanks for posting this. It’s something I’ve never heard or read about. I guess it isn’t something that’s addressed very often so that’s why so many people slip up. It’s definitely an eye opener to some things in my life as well.

    And thank you MyExposedHeart for posting the link. A lot of great insight there as well!

    Excited to read future posts. May God bless you Kelly!

  11. Rach

    I found is really confronting eye opening and true.
    My husband really appreciated the message and wants to forward most of it on but as a man said that the imagery from “Slowly” onwards that was built upon was a little unhelpful to his guy mind. Thought I might mention that.
    Thanks for being faithful to the truth and putting it out there!
    Love from Australia!

  12. This is excellent, Kelly. Thank you so much for taking the time to dive into this topic. I’m praying it does a great deal to help many guard against unhealthy relationships, and exchanges confusion and shame for freedom and victory for those currently in them. Thankful for you!

  13. MyExposedHeart

    WHOA. Kelly, you never cease to have relevant topics on your blog! This issue of emotional dependency or co-dependency has been something I’ve been working through over the past 2 years and it’s so much more commonplace than I ever realized! Thank you for posting this! (Not sure if you’ve seen this, but it’s what got the healing started on my life: http://www.sloppynoodle.com/wp/emotional-dependency-a-threat-to-close-friendships-by-lori-thorkelson/)

    1. Marie

      That link was what helped me too!

    2. Maria

      This text opened my eyes a couple of months ago, too. And I’m so happy to be able to read more about the topic in this blog!

  14. Alaina Harrelson

    Relevant & challenging. The Lord gives clear instruction in 2 Corinthians, and temptations are cleverly disguised by the Devil. Thank you for boldly speaking in a modern world of hushed complacency. (P.S. Paige Harrelson is my twin and truly grows in your lifegroup!)

  15. This really provides a new and interesting perspective on how people can enter into same-sex relationships. I’ve been watching a show online called Chasing Life, and one of the girls ends up in a co-dependent same-sex relationship with another girl through a friendship.

  16. Ella

    This post was very helpful to me, Kelly. I’m a college student and my relationship with my roommate has been damaged because she became co-dependent with another friend. We are still roommates and friends but I have been very concerned about how obsessed and dependent she is on her new best friend. They literally snapchat, text, or talk on the phone all day and often go see eachother over the weekends. They also sleep together in a twin bed and have reached a level of comfort with eachother that my roommate had never experienced before with anyone. I have never heard someone address this issue so I am looking forward to your next post!

  17. Unknown

    Wow, Kelly, as I read this a flood of emotions hit. About four years ago this December my mom, a very strong Christan, started going down this path in a friendship. She and my dad were struggling in their marriage as the time neared for me to go away for college. This friendship that she had almost tore our family a part. The sad thing is that the devil had blinded her eyes so much that she was literally blindsided by this relationship. This affected all of us in so many ways. For a while I analyzed every friendship I had to the point I had panic attacks from the thought that I was going to fail just like my mom. God’s word is truth and in my time of fear I spoke His words over myself. So amazing how powerful that is. Because I did turn to Him those panic attacks fled. What a marvelous Savior we have! Thankfully, God has restored my parents’ relationship and they are daily seeking to grow deeper in Him. You’re so right, God is the key. When He isn’t in the center or the one we run to then we will begin to worship idols. Just like Jimmy’s song says, “Anything I put before my God is an idol, anything I give all my love is an idol.” The devil is crafty and is looking for anything that will discourage us in our faith in Christ. We must be watchful and in constant prayer to stand against his attacks.

    1. Yes amen!! Speak the word of God into our lives! 🙂

  18. Thank you for this post Ms. Kelly Needham. Once again, I am reminded, rebuked tho. I can relate to this story and I can really see myself ..

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s