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Hating Your Friend's Boyfriend

Updated on July 4, 2010

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.


Submit a Comment

  • profile image


    8 years ago

    Great article! I am in a bit of a rut and your article has helped enlightened me a bit on the situation. Thank you for the contribution. Unfortuately, there aren't many articles or forums where I can read even more on people's experiences about this matter because I'm still frustrated...

    I've done all the things you've mentioned and they all happened the way you described - voicing my dislike of her SO, friend gets defensive, sometimes even apologetic for his behavior. I believe she is in denial of certain things and also chooses to ignore some of the things we tell her. She has vented and complained to me over a dozen of times about him and his behavior and i have tried over a dozen times to give her advice and tell her that I'll be there to help if u need me. Unfortunately, whatever i told her she threw out the window and we go back to square one. That to me is like a slap in the face. But who can just idly sit by and watch as ur friend gets hurt and not do anything to help? I realized that perhaps she doesn't wanna do anything to "change" so I told her one day that "if you just want to vent and complain and is not looking for a solution, i am the wrong person to come to." Since then, the venting and complaining has stopped.

    What really bothers and concerns me is her change of character. She has changed dramatically since meeting her SO (now fiancé). She was a very down to earth, caring person before but has now turned into a snobby bitch. She makes errors at work but is not sorry for making them. I hope at least she has learned from her mistakes because her line of work deals with people's health! She has become inconsiderate of other's feelings and has come to admire the behaviors of people who are "demanding" by saying that it's a "strong trait." She doesn't like to be wrong and hates it whenever I'm right about certain things. She even asked me once if her excessive shopping is a result of some underlying cause? I told her that it's to either fill a void or to make an escape. But after I said that, she declined to move more into the discussion...

    There hasn't been any signs of physical abuse... but I have read somewhere that the way my friend has become is more of a sign of being mentally abused. I have also read that physical and mental abuse come hand in hand and that eventually, one or the other is bound to happen. =( I hope it's not any type of abuse. I hope this is just all in my head....

    I have recently been asked to be her MOH but I declined.I gave her an excuse because I didn't have the heart to tell her that "sorry, I cannot give you my blessings because I don't approve of your marriage." So she asked another close mutual friend of ours to be her MOH but she couldn't either due to a hectic work schedule (not to mention because she doesn't approve of her getting married to this man either). After the friend accepted MOH, she realized how hectic it was and wanted to try and tell her first jokingly, trying to hint to her, that she may have to decline being MOH, she replied back with a very snobby face/attitude and said, "You're the MOH, u gotta make the other bridesmaids work for you." The reason that her comment offended me is because I thought that your MOH and your bridesmaids are those who u respect and have respect for you, not your own very personal slaves that u can call on to do your dirty work for you.

    Somehow, I think that the problem does not all entirely lie with her fiancé, but rather with her personally. I've met her fiancé on several occasions and he honestly doesn't seem like a bad person at all. But my friend would sometimes copy and paste certain negative comments he'd make about us for one of us to see and my question is "why?" What purpose does that make? Another thing is, I feel that since her fiancé comes from a wealthy background and she will be marrying into the rich family, she has somehow forgotten to be a humble person......

    Your insights will be greatly appreciated.

  • Veronica profile imageAUTHOR


    8 years ago from NY


    Do you really think you "don't agree" with a part of the article? Do you really think you can invite her and tell her she can't bring her boyfriend, and she's just going to smile and say ok?

    Of course no matter who he is, you shouldn't invite him to your home if he's engaging in that kind of dangerous confrontational behavior. Vomiting, pissing, flashing, instigating fights, - of course you don't want to invite him to your gathering. But the fact remains you can't invite one half of a couple without the other half.

    If you don't want to have this confrontation with your friend, then don't invite her to your party.

    Exactly like you said, if you invite her and tell her not to bring her BF, it's going to be very hard and hurt her. The fact that you said that shows you do "agree" with that part of the article. Which is great because you'd be in for a bad experience if you really believed you can invite one and not the other and that's going to fly.

    By excluding your friend from the party, you're postponing the inevitable for a little while. She may hear of your party, she may figure out why you didn't invite her. She may confront you and ask you why you didn't invite her, at which point you can be very gracious and honest, and say, "I wasn't comfortable with inviting your bf and I didn't want you to feel like you had to choose, I really didn't know what to do or how to have this conversation."

    However, if you decide to tell her she's welcome to come to your party but she can't bring her bf, you're putting her in a defensive position. He sounds like a real ass, an extreme an exceptional case! Why is your friend with someone like that?

    You can't invite just her to your party, and exclude him, unless you are ready to have that confrontation with her. You said you haven't found a way to tell her, maybe the better way is to wait until she asks.

    But if you can't wait, then trust your gut and say what you need to say. Just be prepared that she may choose him.

  • profile image


    8 years ago

    "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."

    I don't agree with this part. I'm having this problem myself at the moment. The last time there was a dinner party at someone's house, our friend brought along her boyfriend of 3 months, uninvited. I wasn't there but apparently he (purposely) got drunk and threw up in my friend's backyard without cleaning it up, threw a bucket of water over the hedge, made racist jokes and pulled down his pants in front of everyone and threatened to pee on my friend cause he thought that was hilarious (he doesn't do much around the house either but as you say, that's really her choice, as she has to put up with it, not me). This was the first time he saw my friend who was the host. He has a history of starting brawls as well. Now I'm having a birthday party in a couple of weeks and I really want my friend to be there, but I really really don't want her boyfriend in my house... I don't want to constantly be worrying about the behaviour of my friend's boyfriend I've never met, on my birthday.

    I do agree it's a very hard subject and I still haven't found a way to tell my friend that her boyfriend's not welcome, without hurting her. Ahhh, love & friendship, why does it have to be this complicated? :)

  • Veronica profile imageAUTHOR


    8 years ago from NY


    Well if you're seeing physical violence that's a danger, that's not just your not liking this guy, that's a big deal.

    You know that whatever you say to your friend, no matter how well intended and smart it is, you are aware that your friend may block you out of her life because of it. This is a very hard thing. I applaud your not wanting to be her maid of honor, as it does mean you'd be part of the wedding of the two of them and insinuates approval. I think you should tell her as directly as you can.

    Making overall comments isn't as helpful as specifics. If you say, "I just don't like the way he is physically," it just isn't effective. However, saying, "On such a date, he broke this thing, when he was mad over this situation, and on this day he smashed this, and this time he did this..." with specific examples, this is much more powerful. It proves there's not just a feeling or opinion here, it proves there are facts. Even if she gets upset and denies, and turns away from you, you've planted seeds and given facts, and she will think about them later on.

    Good luck to you.

  • profile image


    8 years ago

    Great article. I have two friends now that I've been struggling with on this topic and didn't know how to approach it in an honest way. One asked me to be her maid of honor but I don't want to. Her fiancé has shown abusive behavior; not hitting her but breaking things in front of her. I don't know how to tell her I don't want to be her maid of honor. Have any ideas?

  • Veronica profile imageAUTHOR


    8 years ago from NY

    Thanks so much Sue! I appreciate your comments always.

  • profile image


    8 years ago


    You hit the nail on the head in your sentence that you've highlighted about not wanting opinion just support. I think you summed up quite a bit in one sentence. Good hub.

  • profile image


    8 years ago

    Thank YOU Veronica! Your advice is always amazing.

    Have a great weekend!!!!



  • Veronica profile imageAUTHOR


    8 years ago from NY

    I'll finish that sentence-

    I'm a .... lucky person to have a commenter like you ;)

    Thanks Michelle. I don't know why your comments keep getting cut off. I apologize, I don't know what's going on with that.

    I reported the IP, blocked it, and I also subscribe to a fairly expensive service for background checks. So don't worry, it's all good. There's no reason to get upset over the idiots, Michelle. It's easier to let go. Their punishment is having to live with themselves.

    Thanks again for your comments.

  • profile image


    8 years ago

    Wow you comment! That's so cool!

    You're kind of understanding about that person. I know people like that. I don't see what was so hard to comprehend in this article. You say in plain English if it's a danger that's one thing. And if it's not, that's what the article is about. And you really stress the person may be right not to like the bf or husband, but how hard it is to tell the friend that and how it's really not their business. You're right. Unless it's a danger, it's not their business. I don't think I could do what you do. If I got some rude bitch's comments when they didn't even understand what I wrote, I'd go off on their sorry stupid ass!

    You're the best Veronica!

    I love your articles and your writing.

    You're very understanding!

    Your a

  • Veronica profile imageAUTHOR


    8 years ago from NY

    Thanks Michelle!

    Exactly. I'm smiling here, very glad you read the article and commented. Sorry your message looks like it got cut off. I really do appreciate your posting.

    It's just so funny, this absolute moron commented on here from IP Qwest Communications, Denver Colorado, (reported as harassing) with such a nasty comment and then a disgusting hubrequest saying "Sometimes there's a reason."

    I guess not everybody has the mental capacity to comprehend what they read. That's sad, but that's the way it is. However, to leave a nasty message when clearly she wasn't capable of understanding what the article says, well that's just pathetic.

  • profile image


    8 years ago

    Such a great article. I really liked how you wrote this in a way that validates what you're feeling as that friend. You're coming right out and saying you may be totally right to hate this guy, but you just give advice on how to deal with that. I have been in this situation. I hate my friend's bf because I knew for a fact he had raped someone. And exactly as you advise%20here, "If your friend is real physical or emotional danger, that's one thing." And I did follow that and I told her. She didn't believe me and we weren't friends for a long time, but eventually everything worked out. Your advice is so

  • profile image


    8 years ago

    yeah im in this situation now. i told her how i felt and she got mad at me. i only just told her cuz he yelled at me using HER phone. and she thinks he did it for a reason. he's just a person that puts up a red flag in my head. shes upset at me now though

  • profile image


    8 years ago

    great advice thanks for your help!

  • profile image


    9 years ago

    Very thoughtful and sage advice - if a little hard to admit you are right with the whole put up with it for the sake of your friendship. I really want to say something to my best girl friend and have come close today but managed to hold back we he was being a total jerk to her. I decided to be the bigger man and back away from a situation where i may have ended up saying something that would have ruined my friendship with her. I have know her twice as long as he has but as you say it is her choice even though it breaks my heart to think she could do so much better and be treated so much better. Thank you for the great advice, i will keep your comments with me and care for me friends 'disability!'

  • profile image


    10 years ago

    Thanks for that my friend is seeing this boy who is a complete pillock and i have been extremely verbal about my dislike of him in all fairness he was a friend not mine but of my 2 housemates so i tried to make an effort but discovered his was an even bigger moron than when i didn't know him that well and now she's all upset i dnt like him but there is no way my feelings are gonna change. I have chosen to not be around when he is because he is really very rude and insulting.

  • profile image


    11 years ago

    I can totally relate to all that. My mate Laura is 18 and dating a guy who noone likes. the more we said originally, the more she would be on his site. Then oneday she ends up in tears at our house and split up. Now back with him. arrgghhh! heh doh!

  • Angela Harris profile image

    Angela Harris 

    11 years ago from Around the USA

    Excellent advice for a very delicate situation

  • Veronica profile imageAUTHOR


    11 years ago from NY

    Thank you very much Ms. Snow!

  • Isabella Snow profile image

    Isabella Snow 

    11 years ago

    Very good advice Ms. Veronica!


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