Post # 1
Not sure if this is the right spot to post this, but it is an emotional issue so here we go:
My friend is recently engaged to a man that she has dated for about a year. During this year they have had fight after fight after fight. These fights are about all different issues, so it isn’t the same argument each time, but most boil down to her feeling disrespected by him in some way. And he does disrespect her – he says things to her that I would never let a stranger say to me, let alone someone that is supposed to be in love with me! He also drinks too much (like a vodka bottle all by himself on a Sunday afternoon). They are both nasty fighters where they pick apart the other person and say things that I’m sure they both regret (like calling eachother “whore” and “asshole”).
So why is she with him? Why are they engaged to get married now? Why are they planning on having a baby ASAP? I HAVE NO FREAKING CLUE!!!! They have been in therapy for months and are working on communicating better – but obviously there hasn’t been much in the way of progress there. I want her to be happy, and she claims to be happy most of the time – you know, except for whatever vicious weekly fight they have. She has told me what is going on with her relationship and expressed some doubts about it, and I have told her the standard advice: People don’t change and you need to be OK with what you have and not think he is going to be different after the wedding. I’ve also told her that I don’t think relationships should be this difficult (hint hint). But I have NOT told her that she should just leave. What do you bees think I should do?
Post # 3
If she’s going to step into a bear trap, you oughta let her do it….friends don’t stop you from living your life, they show up with a trash bag and a shop vac when it all goes to hell….
Post # 4
@Nona99: Yeah – I agree that it is best to just let people live their life and be there to help with the aftermath. But what about when she asks you what you think of it all? Straight out says “What do you think? Is this crazy?” I’ve hemmed and hawed and said that I think things look kind of tough, but I haven’t said what I’ve really thought. I guess I’m having some guilt that I see the writing on the wall so clearly but I’m staying silent.
Post # 5
I see too much of this. Honestly, the only thing you can do is step back, distance yourself and let her make this mistake. I’ve been through this with people, before. It doesn’t matter how logical your argument/perspective, she’s going to marry him and very possibly have a child with him (let’s hope not!). Eventually, she’ll recognize her mistake. But, for now, whenever you try talking sense into her, all she is thinking is, “La la la la la la…”
Everybody is so obsessed with the idea of a wedding and baby. You know, attention, praise, showers, gifts, decor, photo-worthy moments. Most people do not see the “behind the scenes” reality of all of that until it’s too late.
Post # 6
@cali_cat: I have the same problem with a gf from work and the things she tells me are hair raising. I went from gentle hinting to now flat out telling her that he is not going to change and she is too good for him. Even when she found out he’d been cheating on her with both sexes it wasn’t enough. (Not that I have a problem with anyone’s sexual preference- it was the cheating that sucked!)
Unfortunately of course they have to want to leave and so I said my piece and now just look at her with raised eyebrows when she tells me what a jerk he is.
Horrible twist I only just found out is, she’s actually turned abuser in the relationship. He cheats, she beats him up and has once tried to kill him. Most of their bad behaviour is drug and alcohol fueled. Sooo you don’t know what goes on behind closed doors. I’d say your bit and then say no more.
Also, don’t do meth, people.
Post # 7
@cali_cat: Tell her how you feel. She probably won’t appreciate it but sometimes stuff like this has to be said. Let her know she is supported but If she gets really mad at you then I suggest cutting her out of your life. It’s hard but no good ever comes with being involved with people like that.
Post # 8
I guess this is similar to the Bees that post here who talk about some horrible relationship they are in and ask for advice. Seems like most don’t want to hear anything bad and just wanted validation. I remember one or two though that seemed to “wake up” and realize that all the posters giving them the same advice must be right. (sigh). I’m at the point now where I wish she had never told me any of this negative stuff. Most of our friends only hear the good and think that these two are soulmates. I have to pinch myself to not roll my eyes!
Post # 9
@cali_cat: When people ask me what I think, I take a moment to consider who I am talking to….there are people who can genuinely take constructive and valid criticism and apply it to their plans and ideas without getting defensive or contrary…those people are limited to:
Everyone else falls into the category of, “I know I say I want the truth, but I really just want you to validate my completely wrong and baseless fantasy.”
….so when she asks, reply with questions and don’t really answer anything, just repeat what she says and ask her how she feels about it…she’ll never notice.
Post # 10
If you really feel like you need to say something, and you think you’re close enough friends to be able to say it, then go for it. IF – you tell her “this is how I feel – BUT I will stand by you no matter what you choose to do”. Be constructive in what you say, and then if shit hits the fan, be there for her because she’ll need you. And no I told you so’s.
If I ask someone for the truth, I expect it. I’d rather someone tell me now that I’m not seeing things clearly (and then make my own decision) than to have someone tell me they think things are ok and find out after I’ve wasted years of my life that they thought the guy was a dick the whole time but didn’t want to hurt my feelings.
She may not listen (chances are good that she won’t) but at least you were honest to your friend and you tried to help her see the reality of her relationship issues. Making sure she understands that you’re on her side no matter what will be key.
Post # 11
Hmm, I think that this is one of the toughest issues to deal with. I think it all boils down to your friendship with her, and how comfortable you are with being honest with each other. However, I’ve learnt from experience that the best thing to do is to let them learn from experience, and be there for them when everything crumbles. I have a friend who is constantly picking jerk boyfriends, who call her every name under the sun, tell her to kill herself, and beat the crap out of her. Once her ex boyfriend hit on me when we were all out clubbing, and he groped my ass and started rubbing my lower back and side!!! FI ended up telling her about it, and she still stayed with him after that!
We rescued her from his house at 4 in the morning on numerous occasions, I helped her put concealer over a black eye and a few really bad scratches he caused on her arm, and I comforted her after she miscarried after he punched her in the stomach and threw her down the stairs. In the end, I distanced myself from her a bit as it was really stressing me out, and she left him and got herself together. Now, she’s picked another asshole boyfriend, who has also beat her and sworn at her, and who broke all of her belongings and was sent back to prison when they first started dating. They broke up for a couple of weeks, but now she is living with him!
I think that our friends have some emotional issues, and sadly they might be clinging on to the person they first fell in love with, and will be hoping for change. I think it’s best to be there for your friend, but not to get too involved, because she will do what she wants, and she wont think logically at all and you’re getting hurt. She needs to reach rock bottom and realise for herself that her FI is an ass and isn’t going to change. I hope that your friend will be able to see clearly soon because her relationship does not sound happy, and marriage wont fix it. She might also be thinking that if they’re married with children that he will magically change, but it’ll just worsen. If you feel like telling her how you feel let her know, and also tell her that it is her choice, but if she needs help that you’ll be there.
Good luck OP!
Post # 12
@MissMfutureMrsB: OMG that is so horrible!!! I’m glad my friend isn’t dealing with physical abuse – but she still isn’t anywhere near to having a good relationship. The consenus has been to just let her see the light on her own and be supportive along the way. Maybe I should get her on weddingbee so she can post some of the stuff that goes down and see how many people would tell her she is in a bad spot. The more I think about it though, I know she won’t leave. She wants a baby more than anything and she just turned 35 – she might think this is her last chance. :/
Post # 13
@cali_cat: wow. i could have written that first post – i have a friend who is also engaged, having doubts, having fights and being spoken to disrespectfully by her fi. she also wants a baby asap
ive never stated that i think she should leave him, or even answered directly when shes asked me. Like you, ive pointed out that people don’t change and you need to be prepared to marry someone as they are. And i asked if she can imagine having the same sorts of fights in 20-30 years. Ive also gently pointed out certain things that are bad signs (eg in her case he is controlling and very posessive)
i dont think saying “ditch him” is ever a good idea. as if they stay together, its you as the friend who will get edged out because youre ‘unsupportive’.
It does baffle me when people really can’t see major red flags/problems and think entering a life long commitment with someone despite these red flags is a good idea. I try to be supportive…but detached. as i find myself having the same conversation with her over and over, and being too involved just stresses me out
Post # 14
I think it really depends on your relationship with your friend.
My cousin is in a shitty relationship, but when I asked her about it she said she knows it and puts up with it. I told her I thought she deserves better and she should move on, but she decided to stay with him. I then told her that no matter what, I would always be there for her, which I will.
I have another friend who is also in a bad relationship, but she doesn’t see it that way. Every time I ask about her man’s poor behavior she makes an excuse for him, so ireally just leave her be. When she comes to me to bitch and complain, I listen and if she ever needed me to help her leave or whatever, I would be there for her in a heartbeat. I know that if I tried to step into her relationship, he would start manipulating her to stay out of my life and I definitely don’t want that to happen.
If either were in physically abusive relationship I would be keeping a VERY watchful eye on what was happening, including calling the police if necessary. Either of my girls may hate me after that but I can not do nothing while someone gets physically abused.
Post # 16
I think that if she asks you, you should be honest with her. But be prepared to support her even if she doesn’t take your advice. The fact that she asks you for advice, repeatedly, tells me that she knows on some level that her relationship is not healthy, and she’s looking for support from you.
ETA: I chose “other” in the poll because even though I think you should tell her you think this relationship is toxic and she should leave, if she chooses to stay I absolutely think you should support her and go to the wedding, etc.