- 5 years ago
- Wedding: June 2013
Hiya Bees, I’m out of my depth and would love some advice.
I have a co-worker who I’m worried about. A little bit of background: we’re both around the same age, have similar life experiences, and work at this crappy retail job where we typically have 6 hour shifts together. She’s the only one at this job that I’ve wanted to hang out with on my own time and she was new to town, so sometimes we’d meet up at the gym and get food sometimes after. We’ve known each other maybe six months. She’s awesome, really smart, super fun and just an all-around kind, sweet person.
The problem is her boyfriend. He’s kind of notorious for dating women through this job (he works at this same company, although a different branch). They met through her moving to this town and living in a house with multiple rooms (where he had been renting a room for a while). They’re both not super young, she’s late 20’s and he’s mid 30’s, I think, so they’re adults who can take care of themselves for sure but…he sounds emotionally abusive.
They are ALWAYS fighting and the things she relays to me sound pitch perfect like something you’d see in a textbook about manipulation; then whenever they’re in public together they’re super lovey-dovey (on the surface). He tears her down over the stupidest things and then tries (and apparently succeeds) to make it all better with dramatic statements of love/promising to change. He pressured her to sign a lease with him that she was hesitant to; I think she should have trusted her gut and offered multiple times to have her come stay with my fiance and I, even just for a night (they’ve met each other tons and are totally comfortable around each other) while she thought about it. No dice. They apparently didn’t get that apartment because she needed more time to think; he held it over her head and sulked and punished her until that apartment came up again and she signed the lease that time.
Anywho, I may be making it sound petty but pretty much every time I see her, it’s another insidious, self-esteem-eroding thing and frankly, I’m worried about her. I’ve tried asking gentle open-ended questions, divulged how I had to get out of a toxic relationship before and what signs pointed to that, and invite her over constantly for girls’ night and dinner, etc. Can I do anything else – SHOULD I do anything else? I have a history of thinking my girlfriends can find better guys than the ones they pick; another close friend just got married and I was hesitant about her husband…but when she talked about him and I saw them relate more, and he came out of his shell around my Fiance, I could see he was a sweet dude and think they’re great together. (And another old friend totally did choose a nasty leech who sits around doing drugs and playing video games all day while she supports them both – so I was right about that one!) So I don’t think I’m being totally biased here…they just sound toxic for each other. Is there anything I can say/try that I haven’t, that wont alienate her or sound like I’m judging her for her choices or whatever? I think this woman is so awesome and it scares me to think how worn down she could get with this treatment over time! Help me, fellow Bees, please!