(Closed) How do I talk to my best friend about this?

posted 7 years ago in Bridesmaids
Post # 3
Member
2260 posts
Buzzing bee

Well I think it would be a good idea for you to focus on her not being around too much anymore instead of the rushing into her relationship part. You should be honest about your feelings and your relationship with her, and then once you become closer again, if you still feel that way about her Fiance then I might bring it up. I think its great that you have such a close relationship with your Future Sister-In-Law.

Post # 5
Member
43 posts
Newbee

Please, don’t use the word abandoned if/when you talk to her. Just point out that you see her less often lately and say you miss seeing her! That should go over much better. Maybe suggest a standing weekly “date” one night a week (or every other week, or once a month…), ie. every single Tuesday the two of you have dinner together, or every single Sunday morning you get brunch, etc. If she seems uninterested, ask yourself why that might be. Just remember that how often you see someone is not necessarily an accurate reflection of how close or not close you are to them. My best friend and I see each other twice a month at best… but when we do see each other we make it count! 

It would probably be best if you didn’t say anything about her fiance. You don’t know anything about him that she doesn’t already know, right? Assuming you don’t, she’s already made the choice to marry this man knowing everything she knows. It’s her choice to make. As her friend, it’s your job to support her. Nothing you say is going to make her see her fiance differently. If anything, it will just make her see YOU as unsupportive, etc. In My Humble Opinion, the only appropriate reason to interfere at all is if those “dark” things she told you might indicate the potential for emotional or physical abuse.

Post # 7
Member
7975 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

The fact that she doesn’t go out with him + the abuse factor is a big red flag for me. A lot of abusers are extremely controlling, often not letting the abusee have social engagements with out them. Is it possible this is the case for your friend?

If she is being abused, please mentally prepare yourself for this talk to not go very well. Abuse is so messed up and horrible; from the outside it’s so plain to see, but when you’re in the thick of it, it’s very, very, very hard to 1) see clearly, and 2) break away from the situation.

It’s very easy for an abusee to associate the control with love, also very easy to associate their own dependence as love. It’s very hard to separate these things mentally. Your friend could easily get very defensive, angry and hurtful if she feels like she, her Fiance or her relationship are threatened by you (yeah, I know how illogical that sounds – but if she’s in a place of being emotionally abused by this guy, she is probably not thinking logically).

It’s also really hard to walk away from an abusive relationship. There is fear of retaliation, there is a lot of control involved on the part of the abuser (which the abusee labels as something much more appealing, or totally falls for). A lot of abusers will attack the self esteem of the abusee, so she might not realize that she deserves and is capable of having someone better. If the abuser has Narcissitic Personality Disorder, the abusee probably fell for the lies and believes that the abuser is the most awesome thing since sliced bread.

Basically, what it boils down to is that if your friend is in the thick of an abusive relationship, you need to be ready for her to be totally illogical, to resist your help/intervention, to be defensive, to probably attack you in response; for the sake of your friend (hard as it is), you can’t take these things personally – they are the result of the lies she is hearing pounded into her brain every day by her abuser. It is not her talking; it is him talking through her, because he has taken control of her emotions and thoughts through the abuse.

This makes it really hard to be there for someone who is abused, I know, but no matter her reaction when you talk (assuming he doesn’t force her to cancel on you), please continue to be there to support her when she needs you. A lot of abusees need to hit rock bottom with their abuser before they open their eyes and are able to finally run/crawl/sneak away, and even then they still really struggle with it. If she’s not receptive to what you have to say now, she may need to rely on your strength to get out of things later down the line, when she finally sees it.

I realize I’ve projected a LOT based on the small amount you wrote, and I hope hope hope that none of this is the case with your friend, but in case it is, you need to be prepared! (Basically this is the worst case scenario, so don’t get freaked out by it, haha. I’ve always been a “hope for the best, prepare for the worst” person.)

Post # 8
Member
7975 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

woah, sorry, that’s crazy long. If you’re afraid it might be abuse, feel free to PM me. I have a bit of experience on that topic and am happy to talk about it if that helps someone else.

Post # 9
Member
43 posts
Newbee

@ThePrincessMaggie Lack of communication with friends/family and spending excessive time with a significant other are both common signs of abuse (not always indicative of abuse, but often!) Are other people feeling the same way in regards to communicating with her? Is your Fiance close with his sister? Would it be more appropriate for him to voice these concerns? As for whatever else is going on that you want to keep private… if it makes you uncomfortable, if it seems like it’s abusive… well, it probably is. Suspicions of abuse should not be taken lightly. No amount of abusive behavior is acceptable. If you truly think she’s in an abusive relationship, then you should not be supporting the relationship. Supporting her, in that case, is entirely different than supporting the relationship.

There are a lot of resources out there to help people in these situations as well as to help people help their friends in these situations. I’m no expert, but please PM me if you’d like more information. Good luck. 

 

 

Post # 11
Member
1109 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

I agree, she’s not going to say “ohhh you miss me? I miss you too! We can hang out more!”

This conversation is not going to go over well at all, but I was in an abusive relationship before I met Fiance and I wish someone would have told me they were worried. Everyone liked him and I thought no one would believe me about what was going on. If he’s abusive towards her she’s got no self esteem of her own. He’s taken it away and can withold it from her or give it back to her in small doses whenever he wants. That’s the best way to explain why I let my ex walk all over me. He robbed me of my self esteem but at the same time, that made him the only person with any control over how I felt about myself. I think you should let her know you’re worried, that’s not destroying her happiness, he’s already got that covered.

If you aren’t very careful, you may make her feel like you’re critisizing what kind of friend she is, and that may feel like an attack to her. Just pump her up, tell her all the things you love and miss about her, she needs to hear that right now. Don’t say “why don’t you ever call me?” instead try something like “your phone calls always make my day”, in a less cheesy way than that. Then gently say you’re worried that this relationship may not be healthy for her, which is why she can call you anytime she needs to, even if you haven’t been talking much lately. I agree that you shouldn’t have a big serious talk about how he’s a jerk, just let her know you’re there no matter what. She needs people to help her regain her self esteem right now, so focus on that.

She’s in a tough spot right now, and probably can’t make more plans with you, and even if she does she’ll break them. So instead of focusing on how you miss her and want to see her more, just let her know you love her. I took this exact approach with my best friend, it had gotten really bad though, I told her I couldn’t support her relationship anymore and that even though we’re distant right now she can call me any time she needs me. After weeks without talking she called saying she just broke up with him. She’s going to feel like she has no where else to go, so give her somewhere.

That being said, I’ve also had a friend accuse my Fiance of hitting me. She was bailing on my birthday party to hang out with a guy and when another friend confronted her so she lied and said she’s not comfortable around him because he hits me. She knew our friend would believe that because of my past abusive ex, and although I don’t talk to the girl who started the rumor, my other friend STILL has a hard time trusting Fiance. I understand that you’re coming from a good place with this, and the friend I mentioned wasn’t, but still be very sure that something is going on before you say anything, false accusations like that are hard to take back.

 

Post # 15
Member
1109 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

Okay this is sounding like an isolative relationship. He wants her at home all to himself, pregnant so then she’s really his, and then he wants to move her away from everyone because then she’ll have nowhere to go to leave him. Are you close with her parents? Maybe try telling your future in-laws once you have more information about it? It sounds bad, not to be grim. I’m never one to use the term “red flag”, but this is like a flashing neon sign.

Abuse always escalates and typically gets worse after marriage, pregnancy and moving away from family.

Do you have access to abuse counselors? I know we had them at my college… Maybe speaking to one of them could help you to approach this the best way? I would just be sooo worried that once she’s married to him and has his baby she’s locked down and won’t be able to get away easily. I’m more aggressive about these things, but once you have solid proof this is happening, let her know you know what’s going on and tell her you’ll help her leave if she ever wants to. She sounds like she’s on a short leash.

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