This article is going to cover a complicated situation: you love your friend, but she’s dating an asshole. Someone that you know beyond a shadow of a doubt is poisonous to her health. Several factors complicate this situation, including the fact that even though you’re not the one dating the asshole, it WILL usually have a direct impact on you.
So, what do you do? Keep your opinions to yourself? Tell her how you really feel? Let’s take a look at the options you have and maybe it will help you determine exactly which course of action, or inaction, you should choose when your friend is dating an asshole.
“It’s not my problem.”
“She’ll figure it out sooner or later.”
In other words, you either want to forego any confrontation with her or you don’t think you have a right to say anything because it’s not your relationship. Sure, you can indeed opt to stay silent and watch from the “bleachers” while it goes sideways, but there’s definitely something you should know: If you make this choice, she WILL hold you accountable when the shit hits the fan.
“You SHOULD HAVE said something.”
So, while you may safely avoid an initial confrontation over your opinion, you definitely run the risk of being accused later of not being there for her.
The Trouble with Meddling
Virtually everyone gets protective over their choice for a significant other. Love is indeed blind after all and while his assholeness is crystal clear to you, if she feels that you’re meddling too deeply, things can get ugly fast.
You have to remember that in most cases, you’re only seeing / hearing one side of the relationship and that you’ll know the real ins-and-outs of their relationship. No matter how close you two are. If you’re constantly dogging him and repeatedly saying how much you dislike him, it can be more of a slap at her ego as opposed to suggesting that she allowed someone toxic into her life. Of course, this can lead to her instinctively striking back.
“You think YOUR man is better?”
“You think I’m too stupid to pick a good man?”
It can be a tricky mine field to navigate.
Aim for the Middle Ground
Having friends isn’t always easy. In fact, there are often times that it can be downright complicated. While you’re expected to be loving and supportive, you’re also supposed to protect and challenge. It’s your job to make sure they don’t make life altering mistakes and if they do, it’s your job to be there for them.
However, if she feels that you’re being too harsh or judgmental about her life choices, especially when it comes to “her man,” meeting those expectations can be a tricky slope to navigate. Staying silent isn’t a viable option and meddling too deep can have long-term repercussions. Therefore, you have to speak up, but know where to stop.
Stay away from what she may perceive as a personal attack on her choices or her inability to see what you do. Focus on how he is treating her, not how it affects you, and don’t keep bringing the subject up every time you’re together. No, it won’t be easy, especially if she is dating a particularly ass-ified asshole. Like I said earlier, it’s a complicated situation. Be there for her, speak your piece, and then back off and let her absorb what you’ve said.
Hopefully, she will start looking at the relationship in a different light.
You May Just Have to Walk Away
Sometimes, these things go much deeper than, “Girl, he’s an asshole. You know he cheated on the last girl he dated.” Sometimes, there’s a personal reason, sometimes things are much more serious, and sometimes it simply just hurts to watch your friend to experience pain. Sometimes, you have to walk away.
I know this is a solution that some of you may find inconceivable. There’ll likely be plenty of you to say that a real friend would stick by her side no matter what, but I don’t think that’s always true. In my opinion, there are times when friendship can downright make your heart hurt, and that’s not fair. Especially when she is ignoring everything right in front of her and dismissing the effort that you’re going through for her. I truly think that there are times where you just have to cut your losses and walk away.
You have to remember… you have your own life worth living and enjoying to the fullest. Keeping her toxic relationship in your life is like having your own toxic relationship.
If you’re certain that your view of him as an asshole isn’t due to jealousy or some selfish reason, you do need to talk to her. If he is causing your friend to lose herself, then you stand to lose your friend and of course the friendship is worth fighting for. Just remember: pick your battles and know when to walk away.
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