(frěn'ə-mē) n. pl. fren·e·mies Informal A person who is ostensibly friendly or collegial with someone but who is actually antagonistic or competitive.//-->[Blend of fr(iend) + enemy.]
When I first saw and started hearing the word, I figured some gossip magazine coined it to describe Hollywood rivalries. How clever-one word that everyone understands. I didn't expect to find an actual definition (http://www.dictionary.com/). I also didn't expect to find it so close to me!
Recently, I was expressing my frustration to a neutral party and the word "frenemy " came out of my mouth without hesitation...hmmm...that was the first time I had said it out loud and knew instantly it described what I've been experiencing for the past few years with someone I had considered a close friend.
Wow, what a great 'light bulb' moment! I finally knew that it "wasn't my imagination" nor "a personality flaw" nor "you misunderstood me." The snide comments, subtle put downs, passive-aggressive behaviors and creepy competitiveness over the years were all very real.
The old adage, "Keep your friends close and your enemies closer" no longer works for me! This is not how I operate (nor will I put up with it) in true friendships. Even though until recently, I hadn't put it into words, I had been pulling away and mourning the loss of this "friendship" for a long time. Thankfully, I finally learned the lesson hard and strong enough in December that I was able to leave it all behind with the old decade, the old year, my old attitudes.
I don't hate this person, I'm just DONE. What a relief!