He’s controlling, jealous, possessive, rude, and cheap, yet your best friend thinks he’s God’s personal gift to her. Anyone can see he’s a fool, but her rose-colored glasses are keeping her blind. You know that if you say anything to her, you risk losing her friendship—and possibly losing her to that jerk forever. So, how do you stay by your best friend’s side but still letting her know she’s a Bauce and deserves better?
1) If she asks you your opinion, be honest but kind. There’s a difference between being blunt and being truthful. Water down your viewpoint without completely sugarcoating it. Tell her you don’t think he’s 100% evil, but that he has a lot of bad habits he needs to break and she probably won’t be the one to change them.
2) If she doesn’t ask your opinion, don’t force it on her. Chances are though, if he’s really a d-bag, she’s going to ask your opinion. No girl is completely blind, deaf, and dumb to a jerk, no matter how much she loves him. Her instincts will probably be urging her to get outside perspective, so be patient.
3) Let her know you support her, no matter what choice she makes. She’s going to need you through the inevitable battles and frustrations, and as well as her indecisiveness whether to stay or go. Be there for her whether she stays through the war or decides to jump ship, always armed with chocolate, movies, and a listening ear.
4) If there is any sign of physical abuse or violence, speak up and take action. This is the one situation in which you shouldn’t wait or keep your mouth shut. If you’re sure he’s physically abusing her and turning violent, gently warn her that if she doesn’t go to the authorities or seek professional help, then you will. If she doesn’t, then do it for her. Even if you risk losing her friendship, it’s better than losing her permanently.
5) Keep her busy. Invite her out to everything: dinner, drinks, happy hour, etc. Introduce her to groups of people and keep her occupied. Maybe she’ll see how much better life could potentially be without him and leave.
6) Give him a chance. If he’s not abusive or violent and instead just comes off as a jerk, try to give him the benefit of the doubt for the sake of your friend. Double date or third wheel it with them one night and see whether he really is the spawn of Satan or just a little bad mannered. Either way, your friend will appreciate it and know that she can come to you for anything, which is what is most important.
photo credit: Castles of Anger. (Arianna Viola)