Exclusive: Woman who 'broke up' with her best friend of 11 years says the breakup was more painful than the end of a romantic relationship

Written by Hannah van de Per and Rachel Summer Small for Dailymail.Com

12:04 04 February 2024, updated 12:31 04 February 2024

A woman said that “breaking up” with her best friend of 11 years was much harder than any romantic breakup, and the process even left her in therapy.

Sabrina Kerberg, 31, had a long-term relationship of over a decade with her former best friend until the friend ended up ghosting Sabrina after an argument.

The mental health counselor in New York City said she went through the “five stages of grief,” and emphasized that it wasn't as easy as “eating ice cream and spending time with your girls,” as with a romantic breakup.

She eventually sought therapy to help her “griev” her friendship and still thinks about her friend every day.

Sabrina Kerberg, 31, a mental health counselor from New York City, admitted she still feels sad about losing her former best friend's presence in her life.

“Breaking up with a friend is like grief. You go through denial. It's much worse than relationship breakups,” Sabrina said.

“You think you're going to be fine and you just need to get through the rough patch – but then depression sets in and you find yourself crying all the time.

“When it comes to a romantic relationship, you're going to be sad, eating ice cream and going out with your girls.

“But losing my best friend was like having my support system taken away from me all at once.”

Sabrina said she met her former best friend at an athletics club when they were both 16 years old.

They've shared a number of “firsts” together over the years, from synchronizing as their first friends, to passing their driving tests at the same time, to being allowed to hang out without parental supervision.

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But as they got older, they started bickering a lot more, Sabrina says, and she felt left out when her friend started spending time with other people.

After Sabrina met her partner, Nathaniel Baker, 29, she said the two became more distant.

Sabrina met her ex-boyfriend when they were both 16 years old, and they remained close for 11 years
Later, Sabrina can see how they were growing apart, as her ex-boyfriend was spending time with other people, and Sabrina got a serious boyfriend.

The couple had a final argument during which they argued about Nathaniel.

Sabrina claimed that the friend “then decided to intimidate me, rather than talk to me about it,” following the fight.

She said: “I contacted her several times trying to convince her to talk to me to explain what was going on between us, but she did not make any effort to do so.”

“I think what hurts me more than the ghosting or anything else is that I wasn't enough for her to reach out and talk to me about it.”

“There was a lot that led up to the breakup — there was a lot of mean words and anger being thrown around,” Sabrina reflected on the rift.

“I wish I could read her mind,” she admitted. “It would have helped a lot.”

She's still coming to terms with the breakup of her friendship five years later – and has gone through the five stages of grief to come to terms with it.

“You absolutely broke my heart and destroyed it,” Sabrina said.

“I never imagined her outside of my life. I imagined her as my bridesmaid when I got married, and I imagined her as the godmother to my children. I imagined growing up with her.”

At first, she was in denial that the breakup had actually happened, believing that the couple would reconcile just like they did before.

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But as time passed without a word from her friend, she became angry and depressed, recalling that she “cried all the time.”

What ultimately divided the friends was a heated argument. Sabrina said she “reached out several times to try to get her to talk to me,” but it didn't work

“All you do is ruminate,” she admitted.

'You are experiencing memories again.

“I spent a lot of time trying to figure out the catalyst for our breakup – everything I could have done better.

“I felt angry and ashamed of myself because I saw the red flags in the relationship and ignored them — and why didn't I end the friendship sooner?”

“You're compromising a lot when you're reminiscing, and it's just like the third stage of grief. I kept thinking, 'If I had done things this way, they would have happened differently this way' — and it got out of hand.”

Sabrina still thinks about her friend on a daily basis, but she has dealt with her feelings during treatment.

“Years later, I still think about her every day,” she said.

“But I think acceptance is happening.”

“Therapy was how I coped – I learned to love myself so much, and not feel like I needed someone else to feel complete.”

I allowed myself to feel it all: anger, rage, sadness. I realized that the further I pushed him away, the longer he would stay.

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