One of my really good friends was in a relationship that I viewed to be borderline abusive. No, he didn’t beat her down or physically cause her harm. Instead, he managed to control her life in a way that I saw–and many agreed with me–to be abusive.
This guy made her de-friend all her male Facebook friends, refused to let her talk to old guy friends, insisted she can only socialize when he was there to escort her and always accused her of cheating. It came to the point where one day she hung up with me because she was afraid her boyfriend would think I was a random guy.
I struggled for a while in deciding how to to tell my friend that she’s with the wrong guy. How could I express my feelings without sounding petty, jealous or as if I’m out to destroy her relationship? After all, she didn’t see any problem in his behavior! If anything, she defended his behavior (which for the record, is a telltale sign).
Over time (and a lot of contemplation), I found the best way to share my feelings. It took me a month to finally get to the point, but I did it! The best part was, she agreed with me and dumped him shortly after!
Here’s 5 quick easy steps–or at least the steps I used–to let your friend realize that she’s (or he) is dating a scumbag!
1. Always ask her if she thinks she’s being treated fairly
The first step I took was to ask her how she felt about his erratic decisions and behavior. Any time he’d do something ridiculous, I’d ask: “Wow, do you think that’s fair?” or just say “Wow, that’s a bit unfair, don’t you think?”
This is an ideal tactic since you’re not flat out bashing the love of her life, instead, you’re asking her to think about how she feels and analyze the situation on her own.
2. Jot down all the “bad times”
This may sound a bit insane and excessive, but often we forget the bad stuff people do to us (let alone to our friends). If you’re really on a mission to enlighten your friend, jot down all the times he/she’s complained and all the major issues they’ve had so that when you do drop the bomb (translation: tell her she needs to dump him), you have solid proof!
3. Add fuel to fire
It’s general knowledge not to add fuel to fire (add more drama to an already bad situation). But if you want your friend to realize what a bad relationship he/she is in, then make sure to point out previous mistakes the bf/gf has made when she’s angry about something in the present!
4. Share a “my friend” story
There’s no better to drop a hint than to share a story of your friend. I always use a “My friend Rachel had a boyfriend who…” and narrate the relationship my friend is in. Then I explain why Rachel decided to leave her boyfriend. This is a neutral way to send a message since it’s not direct.
Sometimes it’s easier to see flaws in a relationship when you see it from outside! Provide your friend that outlet with a fictional story of a friend.
5. Spill your guts
When you decide to open up, make sure of a few things. First off, make sure your timing is right (translation: he didn’t just buy her an expensive gift). Secondly, make sure you’re not offensive. Don’t throw low blows, just focus on the facts, insist your friend can do better and express why you think he/she is in an unhealthy relationship. Wording things politely spares you from any awkwardness if your friend decides not to leave his/her significant other!