- 3 years ago
- Wedding: May 2015
OK, this is mostly a vent, but there are a couple things that I would love some advice about, too. I know that my friend’s love life is none of my business really, but things she has been telling me are really upsetting and it needs to go somewhere.
My friend and roommate is currently in a very messy relationship with an extremely odd, socially inept, highly selfish guy. There are many convolutions to the story, but basically he does not pay enough attention to her, doesn’t listen when she asks him for what she needs, doesn’t listen and doesn’t hear when she breaks up with him(which has happened several times; the last time, she has decided they are broken up, but he refuses to let her go). He calls her, writes to her, and texts her all the time, even though she has told him many times that she wants to be broken up. He insists they are only on a break, and does things (such as promising to visit her once in a month, to “show her how much he cares”) that emotionally manipulate her and make her feel constantly mixed up about what she wants, should do, and where their relationship stands. Part of the problem is that even though she knows it’s not good, and it’s very frustrating for her, she just can’t seem to quite let him go, so she allows contact frequently, and would not be able to cut off contact at this point.
She just told me a lot about it, and it is becoming ever more clear to me that he is emotionally manipulating and abusing her, and taking advantage of her overly flexible and accomodating nature (she is a very flexible, free-spirit person). Apparently he enjoys it when relationships are a struggle, so it seems that her trying to break up with him make him enjoy it more and want to keep it going even more. It is sick!
And she cares about him and likes some things about him, and she is so easily pushed around, that she keeps kind of giving in.
(Eating disorder possible trigger warning) The worst and most scary thing about this is that, because she feels so terribly out of control of her own life through this guy’s manipulations and her submittal to them, she has been obsessively controlling what she eats. My friend used to greatly enjoy lots of beautiful Italian pasta dishes and cheese and meats, which she cooks expertly; in recent months, she has pretty much given up all those things and eats very little. She has become far thinner than she used to be (and she was never anywhere close to overweight), over the course of the last few months, to the point where she no longer looks quite healthy. Apparently, she had a relationship that kind of slowly and painfully ended like this before, and in that, she controlled her food so that she lost her menstrual cycle and became thin in an anorexic way. She is well aware that this is happening again, and she wants to try and eat more, but I am concerned that she will have difficulty changing that scary pattern as well as the pattern of the horrible relationship she’s in.
OK, bees. I know that was a lot. But I would really appreciate some advice on how to handle this– I am always supportive of her, and I know that she won’t change the relationship thing until she really wants to, but the dysfunctionality of it worries me a LOT. What worries me even more is her apparent eating disorder. Can anyone help me understand how to approach that in particular? She knows it’s not good, she wants to change, but she clearly has difficulty doing so, and I want to be able to help her, not hinder her, with what I say and do, and I absolutely don’t want to do or say things by mistake that trigger the control and food issue.
Sorry that was so long!! Thanks for reading it!