Hating Your Friend's Boyfriend
Or husband. Or girlfriend. Or whatever.
You've got a great friend that for some stupid reason is with a partner you think is a total ass. Maybe you've seen him flirt with other women. Or maybe you've spotted her pocketing the tip money your friend left the waitress. Maybe your friend pays all the time. Maybe this guy has even hit on you. What do you do?
It's hard to step back and accept the fact that people will make their own choices even if they are bad ones. It's painful to watch someone you care about do something you think isn't wise. But the bottom line is that it is not your decision, it's theirs.
If your friend is in real physical or emotional danger that's one thing. But if it is just a matter of poor choice, the best that you can do is a two-fold approach.
The first part is to put it out there. There really are some people that value the opinions of their friends and family. It would be sad if months from now when she figures out that this guy is a jerk if she had to look at all her friends and think, why didn't any of them say anything.
If you really are tight enough friends, I think you owe it to her to be honest. That doesn't mean make a scene or embarrass anyone. And it doesn't mean to relay your feelings in a dramatic way. When you're alone with her sometime tell her what you feel. It's better if it's supported with facts instead of allegations. For example, saying, "I think he's using you," isn't as clear as saying, "Whenever I see you guys out, you're always paying for everything like at dinner last night or the club on Friday. It's making me concerned." Don't draw conclusions, just tell her what you saw and how it made you feel.
Be delicate but direct. Tell her that when she went to the bathroom you watched him flirt with a woman at the bar. Tell her what you've seen, and that you just want what's best for her and that you hope she knows what she is doing.
She may dismiss your fear or tell you its unfounded. And maybe it is. Maybe you saw a couple of moments where this guy just wasn't his best. Or maybe you didn't see how he paid her rent, and she is actually paying him back by grabbing the tabs when they are out. Maybe you're a little jealous. Maybe there is a private side to him that is what she sees and loves. Who knows.
And even if you do know there really isn't too much you can do about it.
This is your friend, not someone you can control. So there is the second part of that two-fold advice that's the more important half.
1 - Put it out there
2 - And let it go.
Don't call her an idiot for dating this schmuck. Don't fight over this. Don't threaten or "mark my words" or say anything self righteous. Hey, if you're right about this guy you want her to be able to come to you down the road when she needs a friend. Make her feel like you're going to say, "I told you so" and you will be the last person she turns to.
If she defends him or blows off your suspicion, drop it. Smile and say, "I'm sure you know what you're doing. Forget I said anything. I just don't want you to get hurt, that's all. Hey let's go get a cup of coffee." That's it. It's over. You don't bring it up again. Even if you see something else. You told her once and she didn't want to hear it. Or she heard it and didn't want to think about it. That's your cue to shut up. Be her friend, not her judge.
If you don't feel close enough or comfortable enough to say something, that's fine. Proceed directly to step 2.
As time goes on you may find that your friend sees the light. You've been a good friend. You said something. And then you respected her decision.
A lot of the time, people don't actually want your opinion. They just want your support.
Meanwhile, how do you handle hanging out with this guy you don't like? When you have a gathering are you obligated to invite him if you want her there?
This is hard. But there really isn't anything you can do. If she matters to you and you value the friendship, suck it up and take it. Deal with him for her sake, so that you can be with her. If she really feels your judgment she will pull away from you and that's not going to do either of you any good.
You don't have to lie. You can always be honest. You can however hold your tongue and be polite and accepting even when you don't want to be. If you are having a dinner party, yes you do need to invite them both. If you are just arranging a night of hanging out at a club you can be a little more devious and say, "I don't think it's a boyfriend night, I think it's just us chicks."
There is a possibility that she will never wise up. She might see all the things you see and not care. Or she may be delusional, or lying to herself, or really that blinded by love or good sex. Again, who knows. But what are you supposed to do when she asks you to be her maid of honor.
This is a really hard thing. I've been in this situation and I've played it both ways. One friend I warned about how I felt about this guy. When she married him, I warned her again. When their marriage started to fall apart I was very verbal about my hope that she'd leave him. It was hard for me when she didn't. It was hard to watch the person she had become because of him and know there was nothing I could do. We aren't friends anymore.
Another friend I have is still my friend because I hold my tongue when I'm around them. She knows I don't like him. But she knows I respect her choice. Case Closed.
Sometimes you take what you can get. And you give what you're allowed to. And that's all you can do.
Think of it this way. If you are a good friend, than you'd accept a friend's disabilities or challenges. If she went blind you would support her. If she was sick, you'd still be there for her. This is no different. Think of this guy as her disability. It's something you have to deal with if you want her in your life.
All text is original content by Veronica.
All photos are used with permission. All videos are used courtesy of Youtube.