Post # 1
This is from a more anonymous & separate account b/c there will be some identifying info in this post.
First: I have made up my own mind that I’m not going to talk to her about this, but my SO was shocked when I told him I wasn’t and he thinks I should. So I’m looking for your opinions on the matter as well. Some background, my SO & I are both therapists, & most of our friends who are involved in this matter are too. Many of us have experience with couples counseling.
The dilemma: We all cannot stand my friend’s Fiance and their relationship is really not healthy. He has such control over her and she just suppresses her needs and wants so that he is happy. It’s kind of like he’s a whinny spoiled King and she is his servant and has to make him happy, which is honestly pretty darn near impossible. Basically everyone who knows him doesn’t like him and feels really uncomfortable and sad about their impending marriage.
Recently my friend told me about something that happened 4 mo into their relationship that I see as setting up this horrible dynamic of her trying to please his every whim and him being a controlling jerk. I didn’t say anything to her about it because I didn’t want to upset her, but when I told my SO about the reason for their dynamic he got really animated and asked “did you tell her you think that!?” and was shocked when he heard I didn’t. Many other people think she should know about this as this dynamic is just so unhealthy and unfair for her.
So what do you all think? Would you want to know from a therapist friend(s) if your relationship had a bad dynamic that could be explained (and therefore dealt with) a few months before your wedding?
Post # 3
Situations like this can be so hard to deal with. I have had friends where I knew about things that were going on in their relationships that I never said anything about and then wondered later down the line if I should have. I’m the friend you can tell anything to and I will never repeat it. So I know when one member of a pair is cheating, some instances when both sides are, I know when she went off birth control and didn’t tell him, etc. I never say anything. I stay out of it. I never want to betray someone. This is obviously a little different, but I think it could still be a “kill the messenger” situation
Post # 4
Keeping in mind that you haven’t really given enough information for me to give advice at my most confident, in situations like this I usually suggest that you tell her ONCE (as a friend, not a therapist), promise you’ll be there to support her if she ever needs it, and then leave it alone.
I find that a woman in the type of situation I think you’re describing already knows the problem, and has her reasons (be they good or bad) for not getting out of it. What you have to tell her probably won’t be a surprise, even if she acts like it is. It will help her to know you care about her, and that you’ll be there for her, but pushing it will only make her more determined to stay in a bad situation and prove you wrong. She might be pissed at you for telling her the truth, but isn’t that better than having her pissed at you five years from now for not telling it?
Post # 5
I’m of the opinion that anybody who is NOT in the relationship doesn’t truly knows what the relationship is like. I have couple-friends whom I judged horribly, because they have a bipolar/depressant relationship — but over the years I’ve learned that they know one another much more than I know them as a couple, and they are so in love and happy with their life the way it is.
If I were approached the way you are suggesting, it would be secretly offended and probably change my behavior around you. I think that just casually asking how things are going and casually saying you’re there for her if she needs anything – that’s the best you can do as a friend. I don’t think your position as therapist is going to make her see things differently…just be a friend.
Post # 6
I’m in the same boat with a friend in a very co-dependent relationship. She calls him her man-baby and its just insanity. Basically the other night myself and another girl kind of had a “this isn’t okay” intervention over dinner, because she’s gone down this road before and it always ends with her life in shambles. She ended up deciding to break up with him that night (sometihng she had been considering a long time) and took him back the next day. Basically my opinion is that it’s my responsibility to her to be honest with her about it if she asks. If she doesn’t ask I will say something about it once and then drop it. She has asked this of me before so I try to always do it. But basically she never listens and then I end up frustrated, so I support your decision to just leave it alone. If she didn’t ask for you advice then she doesn’t want it.