[00:00:05] Kim Ades:
Hello, hello. My name is Kim Ades, I'm the President and Founder of Frame of Mind Coaching™ and you have just joined The Frame of Mind Coaching™ Podcast. Today is Fridays with Ferne and Ferne's here. She's my daughter and she's here to share a case with us.
[00:00:22] Ferne Kotlyar:
Hello! Thank you so much. It's always a pleasure to be here. Are you ready for your case today?
[00:00:27] Kim Ades:
[00:00:29] Ferne Kotlyar:
All right, here it goes. So today's case is about two best friends called Alex and Boris.
[00:00:36] Kim Ades:
Are they men?
[00:00:38] Ferne Kotlyar:
[00:00:40] Kim Ades:
[00:00:41] Ferne Kotlyar:
And so they're best friends, they've been best friends ever since they were like six years old, you know, and they did everything together. They cheated on their first test together, went to their first party together, drank for the first time, met girls for the first time, you know, experimented, tried all the things.
And so Alex has been dating this girl for three years now and she's very friendly with Boris and they all got along. And so now they're in their late 20s or so. And so Alex and his girlfriend are heading to the cottage for the weekend to spend with Alex's family.
And the night before they go he gets a call, Alex gets a call from his best friend, Boris. And as I said, they've been best friends since they were six years old. Super super close. And he says "you know, like, I've been super stressed at work and this, this, and this happened" and, you know, he gives him a whole laundry list about all the reasons why he's stressed and upset.
And Alex says "well, you know, like, I totally get that. Come to the cottage with us this weekend. You'll have some time to relax, de-stress, breathe a little and then you can go back and maybe you'll get to clear your head and take some time off". And so of course, Boris accepts gratefully, and they go to the cottage, all the three of them to visit Alex's family.
And so when they get there, you know, they hang out and Alex is talking with his family and he notices that both Boris and his girlfriend are gone. So he goes to look for them and he finds them in another room, and he finds them in a very compromising position, having sex at his parents' cottage while all he was trying to do was support both of them.
And so his girlfriend and his best friend, they were together, you know, his girlfriend cheated, his best friend lied and Alex was devastated, very, very devastated. And he didn't know what to do because he felt like literally two of his closest people, you know, his best friend and his girlfriend of three years screwed him over, you know? Stabbed him in the back.
And he feels very betrayed and doesn't know kinda what to do, how to move on. Like, does he just cut them out and what kind of his next steps are?
[00:03:04] Kim Ades:
Yeah, he definitely moves forward. He definitely... you know, there are some betrayals that are kind of deal breakers and Alex has to decide if this is one of them. It sounds like for him, it's a hundred percent a deal breaker and I could see that. Right?
So for Alex, yes, he needs to move on, he needs to cut them out, he needs to move forward and he needs to decide at what point... we teach people how to treat us. And so when two of the people we love most cross a line, then we have to say "Hey, this is not right. This doesn't work for me".
And so for Alex, yes, he has to move forward. And at the same time, you know, at some point down the road, what does forgiveness look like? Forgiveness looks like "you've done what you've done. Can't turn back history, but I'm done. Like, this friendship can't really be resumed the way it was, and certainly this relationship with my girlfriend can't pick up where it left off, but I'm okay for you to be the way you are and how you are and who you are, but I'm done with you". Right?
So how does Alex-- yeah, what's the question?
[00:04:32] Ferne Kotlyar:
He cuts them out completely? Both of them, just like that, cold turkey?
[00:04:36] Kim Ades:
[00:04:39] Ferne Kotlyar:
How does he do that? I mean, he was living with his girlfriend. Like, these two people were his whole life, basically.
[00:04:46] Kim Ades:
Yeah, and sometimes that happens, right? Our whole life gets turned upside down. Many of us have experienced a form of that, one way or another. Through a divorce, through a death of a loved one, through an illness, through... you know, we lose our jobs or our companies explode. We have that. We've experienced that. Our whole lives get turned upside down.
And the thing is for Alex, it's very important for him to take the time to recover, to talk things through, to kind of look back at what happened. And at the same time, it's very important for him to kind of get to a place of "okay. Wow. I didn't see that coming and there's a bit of a silver lining in this. She was my girlfriend, not my wife. This happened before marriage, before kids. I got off lucky".
And so we want Alex to start thinking that way. Obviously that's not going to happen immediately, but it's important for him to understand that this happened, and in a way it was a saving grace for him to learn about this in advance. You know, one of my concerns for Alex is, will he beat himself up? Will he feel like you know, people don't care about him, people don't love him and people treat him poorly?
Will he feel like, you know, "oh, she likes Boris better". And you know, will he use this to run himself into the ground, to beat himself up? And I think that's very important for us to circumvent or prevent. So for Alex, he has to realize he deserves better, both from his friend and his girlfriend. And he needs to go find better.
[00:06:47] Ferne Kotlyar:
Yeah. But I definitely think it will be a shot to his confidence. The two people that loved him most didn't treat him well, and his girlfriend went for his best friend. Like, maybe he would've felt like he wasn't good enough or that maybe there was a reason, you know, they did that or...
[00:07:05] Kim Ades:
A reason? No, no reason. There is no acceptable reason. And I'll even go one step further. There is no acceptable reason, especially at Alex's parents cottage with his parents around!
[00:07:20] Ferne Kotlyar:
[00:07:21] Kim Ades:
No acceptable reason.
[00:07:24] Ferne Kotlyar:
That maybe he wasn't being a good boyfriend?
[00:07:27] Kim Ades:
No, even so. Even if he wasn't being a good boyfriend. If that's the case after three years, the girlfriend should say "I don't want this relationship anymore". Right?
[00:07:42] Ferne Kotlyar:
[00:07:43] Kim Ades:
So on any level, there is no level on which that behavior was acceptable.
[00:07:52] Ferne Kotlyar:
But I mean, when it happens to you for the first time, I think it's hard to kind of reconcile. You don't understand how these people could do that to you, how they could betray you like that. So you kind of come up with reasons as to why.
[00:08:07] Kim Ades:
Well, we can help him understand why, you know, Boris was struggling, he was having a hard time, the girlfriend comforted him, you know, she meant well, she got in over her head. We can give him all kinds of reasons. It doesn't really matter, it's still not acceptable.
And so for him, it's, you know, he has to prevent himself from A) taking the blame or blaming himself for this happening. And B) he has to watch out feeling so desperate to be in a relationship with these people that he comes back and accepts a relationship of betrayal.
So those are the two things that are at play here. He either feels like he's responsible for this outcome. "I shouldn't have invited Boris. I should have seen the signs. Why doesn't she love me?" All those things. Right? So that's part A, that self berating, beating up part. The other possibility is he says " okay, I forgive you", but then he lives with this discomfort, this uneasiness throughout the lifetime of this relationship. And so, you know, none of those scenarios are good.
[00:09:27] Ferne Kotlyar:
[00:09:29] Kim Ades:
So we have to help Alex not take responsibility and really be sure about what he wants moving forward and understand what he deserves, because he might say "I deserved it".
[00:09:44] Ferne Kotlyar:
And then what would you tell him?
[00:09:46] Kim Ades:
Well, I would say, you know what? Even if you were the lousiest boyfriend in the world, you know, imagine that that's the case, what you deserved is a breakup in that case, not a betrayal.
[00:10:02] Ferne Kotlyar:
[00:10:03] Kim Ades:
Right? So, we have to help Alex process and make sure that he doesn't take on, what's not his to take on. And make sure that he comes to a place of relief over the turning of events, over the outcome. And we also have to help Alex, point him in the direction of "so what do I want now? What kinds of relationships do I want? Who do I want in my life? How do I find those people?"
[00:10:34] Ferne Kotlyar:
And how does he find those people?
[00:10:36] Kim Ades:
Well, for starters, you know, we always find people around us that match what we believe we deserve. So the first work that he has to do is really try to understand and describe and come to peace with what he really thinks he deserves. So that has to be cleaned up first. And once that's clear, and once he feels better about himself, those people will naturally migrate to him.
[00:11:05] Ferne Kotlyar:
So, if you were to give Alex one last piece of advice, what would it be?
[00:11:10] Kim Ades:
My one last piece of advice is I would say that really sucks and count your blessings. In other words, sometimes we have to go through a very dark period before we are able to see the light, and before we're able to look at that dark period as actually a gift.
And so for Alex, the gift is "I didn't commit a lifetime to this person. I only committed three years and I was relieved of this relationship before it was too late. And it gave me the opportunity to move on to other better things". It's hard for him to see that now, he'll see it later.
[00:11:54] Ferne Kotlyar:
Yeah. But I'd say he committed almost a lifetime to his best friend.
[00:12:00] Kim Ades:
Well, and it was good for the whole period of time. Right? And so at this point, you know, best friend maybe was desperate, maybe, you know, he was at his wit's end, still doesn't make what he did correct or right. And it doesn't mean that Alex has to erase his whole lifetime of friendship, but at the same time, it doesn't mean he has to carry on. Right?
There's a saying, right? "People are there for a reason, a season or a lifetime". So it sounds like perhaps the season's over.
[00:12:34] Ferne Kotlyar:
Sounds like it. Well, thank you so much! This has been maybe not helpful to me, but hopefully any of the Alexes out there.
[00:12:42] Kim Ades:
Yeah. You know, sometimes things are a little black and white. They're not so shades of grey. We feel internally a sense of turmoil for the things we are experiencing. But when we think about what's important to us, who do we want in our lives, what's okay, what's not okay, where is the line completely crossed, then it's easier to make decisions based on that. And in this case, the line was completely crossed. So it's easier to make a decision about what's right and wrong for you.
Thank you for yet another case that was interesting. That was challenging. For those of you who are listening, if you have a case that you want to share with us, please reach out to us.
Ferne, how do they find you?
[00:13:33] Ferne Kotlyar:
Please email me email@example.com. And I'll add it to the show notes.
[00:13:45] Kim Ades:
Yes. And Ferne will take your cases and create podcasts out of them. So please send them her way. And if you want to reach me, it's firstname.lastname@example.org.
For those of you who are listening, please like, please share, please comment. Please give us feedback, do the thing you do on Google or YouTube or Apple Podcasts or wherever you do it. But please, we're looking for feedback. We love to hear from you and we will see you next week. Have a great week!