Post # 1
A couple that has been together for over 13 years ( junior high school sweethearts and it was both their first relationship), that I have known for almost 7 years has called it quits. I am saddened by thoughts of what should have been as they were "supposed" to be the next person in line to get married. As the family tries to come to terms with this, my husband and I are debating about what would be the best approach to try to get them on the right track again. The hardest part is we love them both dearly, but we see the flaws in their relationship…communication being the most obvious and most concerning. So my question to you all is, should we get actively involved in their lives and try to get them to "talk" with us there as mediators, or do we step back and hope for the best? I should preface this by saying that the guy is my husbands oldest cousin and the girl has become one of my very close friends. They are 4 years apart age wise and he is turning 30 this year with high hopes of it to be a big year for him. But at this point, I feel that he has lost hope in everything and will go down a dark path that I don’t agree with. Our hands feel tied, but are they? We love them both equally and are not trying to take any sides in the matter as that will not help the situation, but how do we "help" them? Is there hope? Shockingly, they had broken up a week before our wedding and we had no idea until this past weekend that it happened…so I can’t imagine how the rest of the family is going to react once they hear the news. This is the couple that has been together the longest, were expected to be next to get married, and has been an intricate part of my husband’s family the past 13 years so not having her around at family dinners and functions will definitely be noticed and be different. Any ideas from all you wonderful readers?
Post # 3
while your concern is understandable, stay out of it. i think you’d be most helpful to them by just being there to listen to them vent, if they choose. i’m sure the breakup isn’t easy for them and pushing them to get back together is not going to help matters. they’re both adults, so let them handle it on their own.
Post # 4
I agree with anna…. as much as you want to help, I think it would be best to let them work it out on their own, if they choose to. You need to be a really supportive friend, but avoid taking sides too.
Post # 5
If you can see the flaws in their relationship from where you stand, chances are they must be even more obvious for the ones who were in the relationship. As I’m sure you know, communication is vital for a healthy relationship. That’s nothing you can create or spark between a couple… they need to figure it out.
Post # 6
i’m going through the same thing with a couple of my friends that have been together since high school but the above advice is right, just stay out of it. this is not your relationship to fix nor would you be able to. its hard and sad to experience but all you can do is hope for the best. all you can do is avoid taking sides and just being there for the both of them should they ever want to talk things out.
Post # 7
I agree, stay out of it. One of the reasons that they stayed together so long could have been because other people expected them to. When really they were not right for each other, and therefore spent many years together when they should have been looking for someone else. My nephew spent 10 years of his life like that. Within a year of leaving her, he found a new girl and they will be married in July. You can tell by looking at him how much happier he is. If they were not right for each other, be happy for them that they finally figured it out, and could get on with their lives.
I think the fact the they didn’t tell anyone right away really attests to that.
Unless of course they ask you for your opinion.
Post # 8
STAY OUT! Unless you wanna lose a friend…stay out!
Post # 9
You say she has become a very good friend of yours, but the fact that they didn’t tell you they broke up for over a month is a pretty good indication that they don’t want people’s opinions.
If either one of them seeeks your counsel, then obviously talk to them but be careful in your wording so you don’t come off judgemental. I know it’s easier said than done, but try really hard to listen and be as helpful and impartial as possible.
You cannot fix their issues, no matter how good your intentions are. It’s really up to them and any outside help they determine necessary.
Post # 10
I believe that married couples definately should "mentor" other married or engaged couples. However, I don’t know that you should step in and volunteer to counsel your friends. If they ask for the help, then maybe you and your husband should be willing to do that, with some groundrules of course. If they haven’t asked for your help, even though it’s hard, do the best you can to stay out of it. Sometimes the best counsel comes from a neutral or unbiased party(minister, counselor). If they really cared about staying together and moving forward, then one or both would know that they need outside help and would seek it out for the sake of salvaging the relationship. Just be there as much as you can, but it’s best you and your husband don’t get too involved…..you don’t want to run the risk of wearing down your relationship because of your friends problems.
Post # 11
While I think counseling or a mentorship would be a fantastic option, unless you or your husband are professionals in this field, I would stay out of it. You don’t want to run the risk of ruining your own relationship by trying to save someone else’s. Also, you didn’t mention it, but are they even trying to reconcile? They may not want to be next in line for marriage. A lot can happen between jr. high and 30 yrs old, they’ve probably got baggage you can’t even comprehend and if 13 yrs didn’t make them want to get married maybe nothing will. If it weighs on your heart, recommend professional help and then step back & pray for the best.
Post # 12
I agree that staying out of the middle, and just trying to be supportive to your friends as individuals is the best thing you can do. After all, you have no idea what is going on here, and they don’t seem all that excited to share with you. Any effort to "try to get them to talk" with you there as mediators is probably destined to fail – even if you and your Fiance were trained counselors, it would actually be inappropriate for you to perform that function when you are personally involved.
I previously dated, lived with, and bought a house with a serious boyfriend – we were together seven years. When we broke up, he didn’t tell anyone. As our friends found out, couple after couple suggested counseling. It was not a lot of fun for me to tell them that I wouldn’t even consider counseling, as the reason for our breakup was that he had not only been cheating on me, but had gotten another girl pregnant. My FI’s divorce was under similar circumstances – his wife was cheating on him in their own bedroom while he was at work!
The best thing your can do for your friends is to let them know that you will do your best to remain their friends, whether or not they are together as a couple. Having been together so long, they undoubtedlly have a lot of friends who know them only as a couple, and one or the other of them will lose a lot of friends because of this breakup. If you do love them, try not to be that kind of friends.
Post # 13
it is sad they broke up but i agree with everyone. just bc they were "next in line" to be married the last thing i would be worried about is how his family is going to cope with her not being around anymore or them not getting married. im sure they liked her and will be sad without her around but… oh well, they werent dating her. also, 30 isnt too old to find someone to marry. but if you are worried about him going down a ‘dark path’ sure, make an effort to hang out more but not to mention the ex. keep hanging out with your girlfriend too. just be a positive friend, not an exemplory couple. i could imagine that it might feel to them if you were to extend your offer to "counsel" like you are rubbing in their face that you are married, marriage is fun, why did you fail at their 13 yr relationship… when you have only been married for a few weeks. not to say counseling isnt good but in this situation i feel you should not be the counselors unless you want to lose your friendship. being together so long this is on par with a divorce & you need to respect that they know what is best for them. im sure they both feel pretty bummed & a little lost right now 🙁
Post # 14
agreed that you should stay out of it.
They are young and you become a very different person from 13-30! Being in a relationship with someone for that long during such impressionable years, I’m sure that both of them feel the need to spread their wings on their own. If it’s meant to be, it will be. If nothing else, the breakup will be the best thing that could happen to their own personal growth.
Post # 15
no no no no no and NO! this is not your responsibility nor is it any of your beezwax, no matter how long you’ve known them etc…
my moh is 33 – and just divorced her husband of 14 years – high school sweethearts.. i knew both of them in high school and well, divorce happens, breakups happen…