I have a problem. I don't know if anyone here will be able to help, but I at least need to vent.
How do you keep people you care about from making terrible choices? I have a friend, we've been friends since we were kids. She's bigger and has really bad self-esteem, which I think is the problem. A couple years ago she started dating this guy. He was absolutely horrendous: he was total white trash; he treated her like dirt; and he constantly fought with her, her family, and her friends. She insists he's never actually hit her, but he was emotionally abusive. When she met him she had been dieting, and was losing a lot of weight. He used to tease her for it and tell her she was doomed to fail. He refused to eat anything healthy and threw a fit if she didn't eat what he did (junk food). She went off her diet, and she later found out he was trying to make her gain weight so she wouldn't leave him. He was scum. She broke up with him several times and always went back to him. A few months ago she broke up with him again (his instigation of a huge fight in front of her friend's parents was the catalyst this time) and it seemed like it was going to stick. She was finally open with all of us about all of his bad points (we knew about a lot of them, but she had kept some things from us because she was so embarrassed of him), she blocked him on facebook, and she made a long list of all the things she hated about him (it was over 200 items long!).
Three months go by and things are good, she's back on her diet and is doing well. Then out of the blue, a few days ago he texts her (she wanted to block him from her phone, but apparently AT&T doesn't do that except in extreme situations). I told her not to respond but she did. She told me responding was a mistake, because, even though he was being nice (trying to prove to her that he's changed) just talking to him makes her feel like crap. But she assured me she wasn't going to get back together with him, be friends with him, or meet up with him in person again. I told her to stop responding but she won't. And now she just texted me, hinting but not outright admitting that she has slept with him. I am so tired of being lied to. We've been friends for so long I don't want to end the friendship, especially since she isn't the most stable person in the world and she really needs support. But I'm getting tired of her ignoring my advice and lying to me. This guy also said some awful things about her friends, myself included, so I feel like she is betraying her friends by going back to him.I'm tired of dealing with the drama that this piece of crap guy always brings. I want to help her, but she just can't remain strong and keep this guy out of her life. She's the kind of girl who feels like she needs a guy in order to be happy, it doesn't matter who that guy is, or that she's actually happier without him. I've told her several times that I think she should see a counselor or a therapist, but she refuses. I feel like there's nothing I can do to prevent this trainwreck, and it's so frustrating.
Last edited by dramaqueen; 08-17-2011 at 06:39 PM.
The only thing that you can really do is be there for her, no matter what. She really needs a good friend, not just now, but always. However if it starts affecting you in some way then the best thing is to just not be as close anymore.
That said - I know from experience. My first cousin and I used to be the best of best friends. Then she started dating this guy, he was emotionally abusive and physcially, on a couple of occasions. If she asked my opinion, I gave it. I was there to listen to her, b/c I didn't want to lose her close friendship. They started to live together.
Awhile later, he was throwing things around when he would get angry - she called me crying and asked my opinion. I told her, if it were me, I'd get out now. She kept saying I don't know, I don't know, what do you think. I guess I pushed my opinion on her, and she finally said ok, come get me. So my husband and I borrowed a truck at midnight, and went get her and her stuff. I gave her my daughter's room for her and her cats.
The next morning, she went back to him, and our friendship has NEVER been the same. I don't think she wants to admit to me that that is the reason. I think that he, although a better person now (I think anyway, I'll get to that in a bit), doesn't really want her hanging around me anymore b/c of it. I don't think he outright has told her not to hang with me but has expressed an opinion here or there, and b/c she is faithful to him, goes with that.
They are now married, and he has really cleaned up his act as far as I can tell. He still has a temper but controls it better, and things are great for them now.
I really wish I could go back in time and not have pushed her to get out so much ... maybe things would be different and we'd be close again.
Now, my sob story told - if it starts affecting you emotionally or whatever, I would flat out say that you can't remain close to her if she continues on with this guy. You know she is lying and can't deal with it, and when she is better you'll be glad to be back in her life.
On the flip side, if you can handle it, just be there for her. Give her your opinions gently, plant seeds in her head. Do things with her that will help her see her worth.
I think a lot of people who go through this kind of stuff think that they deserve to be treated like that, like it's their fault, even though it's not. Maybe she feels like no other guy would want her, she's too fat, ugly or whatever. And he might be filling her head with that kind of stuff. My dad pulled that crap on my mom. You're fat, ugly, blah, blah, blah.
I agree with Amy. The cycle probley will repeat itself and she is going to need someone strong to lean on. Keep in mind though that he did play head games with her so she make think she cannot get anyone else, and she shares something special with him that she could not get from her other friends (if you know what I mean). People take abuse because that is all they know. Although it is bad attention they seek it out. For right now she has to live and learn, but everyone does have their breaking point where they will say enough is enough. If you are comfortable tell her how you feel, and that you do not accept her decision, but you will be there for her.