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I drove my best friend away

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Relationship advice I'm 38 years old. I was married for near 11 years. I found myself divorced in a college town in Feb. of 2017. I struggled with alcohol addiction as a result and spent the next year trying to get back into an unfamiliar dating world filled with younger women due to the college town I was living in.

In Feb. of 2018, I met an amazing woman who was 24. (I'll call her Helena).
Our foundation was built upon a physical foundation and we quickly became best friends. She is a fire fighter/EMT and thrives on serving others. She was an easy 10 and by far the most beautiful woman I'd ever has the pleasure of being with.

I treated her poorly because I had avoided dealing with my issues from my divorce and numbed my pain with alcohol. I felt deep down that I didn't deserve anything good all the while Helena constantly trying to get me to believe I was a great man.

In Oct. of 2018, Helena asked me to be her boyfriend. I wasn't ready nor did I feel the same way about her for I believed there must be something wrong with her if I was who she wanted to be with. Using dumb guy logic, I tried to explain my views on us and what we were. Sadly, what I communicated is that I didn't live her, I didn't want her,I would never marry her. Needless to say, we broke up but continued to spend time together for she let me know that I was her best friend. (Something no woman has ever said to me.)

3 weeks later, I went to her and said I really did want to be with her. She said that a lot has happened over the last 3 weeks (negative emotion through our conversations) and that she would need to think about it. From Oct. Jan 20th, we became close and distant on and off until the end finally came and she ended all possibility of a romantics relationship. I told her I wanted to remain friends.

A month of no contact went by until she reached out asking how I was. I asked to meet twice and both times felt like the good old days. She let me know I was still her best friend.
I was starting to really become aware of my alcohol addiction and told a lie to my friend about why I called her so late one night. (Drunk dial).
2 weeks later, I finally admitted I had lied and wanted her to know for we both agreed before hand that rebuilding trust was important. I told her of my alcohol addiction. She asked if there was anything else on my mind. I said "yes, I'd like to fix what we had if it can be fixed."
Helena said that we would only be friends from now on. I responded by saying that I didn't want to be just friends. ......I broke her heart again.
A week later I contacted her to apologize. After asking lots of questions to try and help her feel heard and understood about what happened, she said the damage was done and we would never be friends like that again but she would be open to building a new friendship from square one. I said I would like that.

I'm an impatient person and lack emotional self control at times. After 2 months of not hearing from her, and me being too afraid to reach out because I still loved and wanted to be with her but had gotten an ear full for pushing her boundaries to be more, Helena reached out to tell me that I was an amazing guy and that there's a woman somewhere desperately trying to find me. She also said "I don't know if you want to know this, but in the spirit of honesty and friendship, I'm going to tell you. I've been hanging out with a friend from the fire station more and more recently and we've started dating".

My heart was broken.

I communicated that I wasn't ready to hear that and I felt she was rubbing salt in the wound. She responded with that she didn't mean to but wanted to share with her friend (me) something exciting that was happening for her. I tried to be a friend and asked her to tell me about him.

She was falling in love with him.

A week later, I finally broke over my inability to accept our reality and I messaged her saying (in so many words) "I'm not your male girlfriend. My interest in you is romantic , not platonic. If you want to try again with me in the future, then let me know. Otherwise, please don't contact me".

She responded with pain and anger by saying "I do hope you understand that any glimmer of a possibility of rebuilding anything was forever sofocated by your message". She then let me know my number was deleted and then said goodbye.

Just yesterday, I wrote an apology letter of how I had checked myself into an alcoholic treatment center, an account of what I went through emotionally over her "new guy" message, how I still want to try again in the future, followed by a proper goodbye if this really was to be the end of our story. I put the letter in an envelope and left it in her mail box yesterday morning. (July 29th) Yesterday afternoon I found the same envelope on my doorstep with the letter I had written inside. She had written on the back of the first page:

"I am done being emotionally manipulated by you. Get help. Refrain from communicating with me or my family in the future. -Helena-"

I have many lessons to learn over this experience and have committed to learning from my mistakes to be a better person.
I still miss my friend but have destroyed everything. I plan on taking the next year and getting myself healthy mentally, physically, and emotionally. At the end of this year of self improvement, I would like to reach out again somehow with a letter of accountability/ apology, and the request at a chance to make amends to our friendship if possible.

Is this a bad idea.

(Hopefully, the user "Soulmate" is still on this site to give me some very hard Knox advice)

I drove my best friend away

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Good that you have entered treatment.

Hope it wasn’t to get your ex back- that never works.

What other areas of your life has been affected by your alcohol use?

Job, Legal, Health, Family, and Self?

I drove my best friend away

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Legal, health, self.

It's strengthened my bond with my family.

My boss knows about it and has been supportive.

The letter wasn't necessarily an ex back letter. I did mention that the door would always be open.

However, just a few moments ago, I considered the possibility that my indecisiveness, flaky behavior, inability to keep my word, as well as leaving an uninvited un-inquired letter at her house may have frightened her.

What makes me say that is that when she is very much on the defense, her words can sound robotic. She was stalked once by a very dangerous man and doesn't like people stopping by without permission.

Maybe there is no amount of time going by that could repair our friendship if I did in fact frighten her by leaving a letter at her house.

I don't want her to think of me like that. Maybe this really is it.

What do you think?

I drove my best friend away

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I think a lot of “stuff” has happened between you two in less than a year.

She has ended it. You must hear and accept that.

Concentrate on your recovery and give yourself time to discover a new, sober self.

I drove my best friend away

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You're right.
I'm going to take what I've learned from this experience and move forward with things.

I've just never been good at moving on nor have I tried to be friends with an ex a breakup and I just didn't know how to handle myself.

Thanx for the reply

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