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Best friends have each other’s back

Best friends have each other’s back. But then, there are times they stab one another on the back. Why? We find out

A Kiswahili proverb goes Kikulacho ki nguoni mwako. Andrew Chepsiya knows this too well. Chepsiya and world champion Asbel Kiprop were best of friends. He has been his training partner and pacesetter.

But just recently, it turns out there was more. A recent raunchy video that went viral showed Kiprop having a good time with his friend’s wife, Nancy Chepsiya.This begs the question; do best friends really exist?

Anthony Mugendi, 35, admits to have fallen into such a temptation. He hated how his best friend treated his girlfriend and how he complained about her.

“At first, I wanted to help her find herself as she was beautiful and a go-getter. My best friend was not allowing her to be herself. We started meeting and one day I felt the urge to kiss her. One thing led to another and we fell in love,” he confesses.

Though he felt guilty for being the reason for their break-up, he feels relieved that he rescued a woman from domestic violence. “She was not the first girlfriend that my best friend had done this to.

I just had to teach him a lesson. Fate always has it that he always got great girls, but he abused them and this time round, I wasn’t going to allow him to continue with the vice,” he says.

Mary Kimani, 38, understands the pain of being backstabbed by a woman she once called a friend. She shared the news of her promotion with her best friend who at that time seemed excited for her. Next thing, her boss called to inform her she was no longer needed in the company.

After investigating the matter, she discovered that her best friend and colleague, whom she trusted, had spread lies to her boss about how she hated her place of work.

“Can you imagine I found out she spread rumours that I hated the job and I never liked the company? I was fired without an opportunity to present my side of the story. I have never felt so betrayed in my life,” she cries.

Researchers say there is a correlation between having one close friend and an increased life expectancy, as well as individuals possessing a better mental health.

It has also been linked to a person having a greater chance of surviving a heart attack or breast cancer. But not all friends have such a salutary effect. Many people have experienced lies, betrayals and insults from the so-called friends. Experts are currently focusing on the negative health effects of bad friends.

Dr George Owino, a sociologist at Kenyatta University, argues that envy, anger, jealousy, as well as a wide range of difficult emotions are some of the main reasons friends turn their backs on each other. Consequently, an individual has to choose whether their friendship is worth it or disband it.  “People are becoming more and more self-centred,” he notes.

There are several psychological factors that might make having an affair with your best friend’s spouse an interesting experience for some. First, knowing that the woman you are with chose to be intimate with you instead of the person she decided to marry can boost your ego. Also, doing something that is forbidden and frowned upon is a kink on itself to others.

And when it comes to forgiving such behaviour, Owino argues that sometimes, when reconciliation isn’t possible, one has to walk away for sanity’s sake. Individuals who have gone through such should also learn from their experience and not waste their time on being bitter.

“Forgiving your betrayer is for your sake, not for your friend’s sake. Try and release the emotions of shame, anger, as well as  fear so, you can find other friends who value your friendship and won’t betray you,” he advises.

What if you are tempted to break the friends’ code? George Maingi, 38, admits that his best friend’s wife once approached him to have an affair. She confessed they were having issues as her hubby was always cheating on her. She wanted to get back at him. He rejected her proposal, simply because he believes in the bro code.

“We had the connection, I liked the girl, but I just couldn’t have an affair with her. Hitting on your friend’s woman, whether he is right or wrong, is unacceptable,” he says.

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