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My Friend Is Ruining Her Relationship. Help!!!!!

Updated on May 11, 2011

Is it ever right to give couples unsolicited advice?

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What Do You Do When It Gets Too Much For You?

You have this friend who, despite being a real sweetheart to you, can be a total jerk to her partner. It is uncomfortable for you to be around them because she is always bossing him/her around and, in your opinion, making them feel two inches small. Knowing how fantastic she can be and what she is doing to her relationship, you are tempted to tell her to knock it off. However, something is holding you back. Knowing how I am with my friends, you probably are holding back for one of three reasons.

  1. As you know how wonderful she can be, you are positive that she must be like that with her partner at some point (If she wasn’t, why would they still be together?). For fear of turning their good moments into tense moments (She demands that her partner explain to her what you could’ve seen to have made you say such a thing. She feels mad at herself for treating her partner badly and cries into their shoulder all weekend.), you keep your lips zipped.
  2. You are afraid that she’ll get defensive/mad at you and never speak to you again. No one likes to be criticized (no matter how good intentioned the criticism is) especially by someone they love and trust. Not willing to risk it, you keep these thoughts to yourself.
  3. There are have times in your life when people have given you advice that you neither wanted nor needed. While you knew on some level that they meant well, you didn’t appreciate having your life analyzed. Remembering this, you keep your mouth shut.

While I understand your frustration and your desire to help out, you need to realize one thing. Though her partner may appear the victim in front of you, she may be the victim when they are alone. Many quiet, seemingly loving people are often judgmental and pushy one-on-one. They wait until they have their partner cornered to verbally let them have it. Even though your friend looks to be the loud/dominate one, I wouldn’t be surprised if she was quiet and tame when you’re not around.

I would recommend that you try to stay out of this. As tempted as you are to step in, you really shouldn’t. Couples, regardless of how good or bad they are together, always band together when a third party steps especially when that person is trying to tell them how to act. Unless your friend or your friend’s partner is in danger, try to let them handle it. If it’s working for them, that’s all that matters. If spending time with them as they are bothers you too much, stop spending time with them. Valuable friends are easily missed. If they want to keep you as a friend, they’ll try to figure out what pushed you away and try to work on it.

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