One of my best friends cannot seem to get away from her jerk boyfriend. They break up at least once every three or four weeks because they simply do not get along. But then a few days later, they’re back together and she acts like he can do no wrong. This has been going on for at least six months.
At first, I was somewhat sympathetic. I’ve stayed in relationships with assholes for far too long before. I felt like that gave me no room to judge. But just last week, she canceled dinner plans with me because she was fighting with her boyfriend. She did the same thing to another friend a few days ago.
All of her girlfriends, including me, are really fed up. We don’t want to write her off, because she really needs friends right now. But at the same time, we’re tired of hearing her whine about how much of a dick her boyfriend can be, only to have her swoon over him a few days later. Is it time for us to stage an intervention?
— Annoyed Friend
We’ve all had at least one friend who can’t seem to get out of a doomed relationship. And while we really care about our friend, it’s easy to become a bit callous when she wants to cry on your shoulder for the umpteenth time. We know she’ll only re-establish the relationship with the same asshole that made her cry the very next day.
But she’s your friend, and you certainly can’t write her off because she makes horrible choices in men. You could try a come-to-Jesus talk/intervention, but having been in her shoes before, I’d bet she’ll probably rebel from your advice.
No woman wants to be told that she makes bad choices. She probably already knows, and she probably has some crazy notion that someday she’ll be able to tame this guy. That’s a common romantic pitfall for many women. She’ll have to learn the hard way that it doesn’t work.
It can’t hurt to mention that you and your friends are concerned about her pattern of leaving the guy, going back to him, and leaving him again, but don’t harp on it. If she rebels from your advice, she may stay with him longer than she should just to spite you. I’ve been there, done that.
You could arrange a friendly meeting between your girlfriend and some nice guys in a group setting. Maybe she needs to see that there are good available men out there. But don’t push it too far. The best advice I can give is to sit back and let your friend’s bad relationship run its course.
Got a problem? E-mail Bianca at firstname.lastname@example.org.