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Friend is Blindly in Love with Wrong Guy

Friend is Blindly in Love with Wrong Guy

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Dear Rachel,

My close friend is seriously dating a man that she is thinking of marrying. She is incredibly happy yet I think she has fallen blindly in love. Granted, he treats her well, but she seems to be the only one. He is rude to me, insensitive to others, has a quick temper and needless to say, doesn't have a good reputation. I have tried to subtly talk to her about his behavior, but she brushes it off and has even accused me of just being jealous. Is there anything I can do or do I just step aside and be a supportive friend?

Concerned,
LA, CA

Dear Concerned,

It sounds like you have been trying to be an incredibly supportive friend and yet your friend is not currently interested in your support. There is no question that watching someone make what could be a huge mistake in their life is incredibly painful and worrisome. Yet, being that they are not yet married or even engaged, hopefully it is something that you can help prevent.

I am not sure how you approached your friend in the past, but try to find some quality time that you can spend together, and when things are calm, start by explaining how much she means to you and how much you care about her and that you are concerned for her. Make sure you keep the conversation focused on her and that you only want what is best for her and you worry that while she is presently happy, if he begins to treat her like he is treating others, she will not be in the future.

It sounds like she is quite defensive and not necessarily so open to negative feedback about this man, but if he is indeed someone with a negative reputation that he has truly earned, then it is important that she knows this.

Since you write that you are not the only one that feels this way, try to speak to your other friends who know her or family members who might also be able to influence her. If others share this concern, and if she doesn't respond to you directly, you might need to take a stronger approach by sitting her down with a group and sharing your concerns. I would simultaneously try to do some more research on him and see what more you can find out. It is important to see if he is rude, or if it goes beyond someone with bad manners, and is someone who is violent or has an abusive past.

You write that he treats her well but not others. If this is the case, then try to spend time with them as a couple. It might be hard for your friend to visualize or believe that he is not nice to you when he is so kind to her. Let her see for herself how he is around other people. Invite them to a restaurant (ideally one that is known to have slow service) and see how he reacts to the long wait and to being with you and other people.

Chances are he is not that good of an actor. If he really is someone who has the negative traits that you mention, then sooner or later these should come out for her to see. And if she is turning a blind eye, then if enough other people see them who care about her, hopefully your collective voice will be strong enough to show her an objective truth to counter her subjective view.

And always remember that while it may be hard to have a friend mad at you for trying to intervene or "ruin" her happiness, you are being just that, a true friend, who is more concerned with her future and her well-being than how uncomfortable her being upset with you might be. This is the best support you can give her. Hopefully she will come to recognize that you are doing this because you love her and she will open her eyes and really evaluate this man and determine if this is the future she really wants.

Rachel

"Dear Rachel" is a bi-weekly column that is answered by a rotating group of experts. This question was answered by Sara Esther Crispe.

Sara Esther Crispe, a writer, inspirational speaker and mother of four, is the Co-Director of Interinclusion, a non-profit multi-layered educational initiative celebrating the convergence between contemporary arts and sciences and timeless Jewish wisdom. Prior to that she was the editor of TheJewishWoman.org and wrote the popular weekly blog, Musing for Meaning. To book Sara Esther for a speaking engagement, please click here.
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Anonymous hyd February 20, 2013

my sister thinks she is in love my sister is 17 non studying types, no goal no hardwork just likes to chitchat and will die to have some one talk and praise her, she met a boy who dumped her friend for her ( she says he was not serious in that relationship), and is thinking of marrying him. he is a mechanic and i did not meet him. i think she is waiting to turn 18 just to elope with him.... i am unable to decide what to do
she will not talk on this topic and is exxxtremely stubborn pls help Reply

Anonymous ny, NY May 5, 2011

my daughter is involved with a bpd She is 28 and he is her first real boyfriend. He moved into her apt rather quickly and showered her with gifts (expensive watches purses) He is 33 without a job history. Through research I found he has a criminal past. He self medicates and smokes pot all day long. He gets money from stolen goods, by selling drugs, and from his parents. He lies constantly. We recently told her we will always be there for her but do not condone a marriage and will not pay for one either. I am considering hiring a detective to build a case against him. She has a good job but is resistant to my fears; I also think she is now on amphetamines because she lost a lot of weight and acts "speedy". Suggestions please? Reply

Anonymous February 11, 2009

there's not much you can do what others have written is true - even though I was warned against my marriage, I wouldn't listen, blinded as I was by his charm. Stay by her side now and also if and when she wakes up to her mistake. Meanwhile, pray for her welfare. Reply

Billy LA, CA February 7, 2009

Bad Advice Let your friend make her own mistakes and hopefully learn and grow from them. Be there for her when and if she wakes up, but you can't control her or him. She is grown woman, is she not? Let go of the need to control other people. Reply

Anonymous stamford, ct September 15, 2008

Similar situation I am facing a similar situation where the woman in question is my younger sister. The guy has a dubious past, was perhaps married, had abused another girl but my sis is smitten with him and is cutting herself off from famiyl and friends and wants to marry him ASAP. Reply

Anonymous l.a., ca September 4, 2008

friend it's tough for a friend to help in a situation like this. I have been at the other end (the woman in love with a guy like this, and much worse) and the more my best friend got onto this subject, the less I liked her and thought she is out to sabotage my relationship. I really thought I could make it work, and fix all the things that were seriously off from the beginning. And maybe I could/ can, but what part of yourself do you lose in the process?

Who knows?maybe they are the perfect match; or maybe it's a bridge relationship. let the two of them figure it out.

You can't do anything at all. Tell her how you feel a few times, then back off, and let her discover for herself. Occupy your time with other friends and activities meanwhile.

Say how you really feel (e-mail may be best) and then, let it go & pray for her. Reply

Lisa Providence, RI August 5, 2007

Blind Love Concerned from LA, CA, this is a dangerous situation, and you're right to be worried about your friend's safety. Do you know if this guy has been abusive towards her?

You need to take immediate action by confiding in someone you trust and even going as far as to look into his life history to see if he has a criminal background.

I wish you luck and hope your friend gets out of her engagement before it's too late! Reply

Elia via chabadbrisbane.com July 27, 2007

Blindly in Love With The Wrong Guy Suggestion: Give her a copy of a book on relationships that deals with this. If she questions why this book, tell her it's highly recommended by psychologists for women in love and those contemplating marriage. From time to time ask her how the reading is coming along, what she thinks about the content, etc. If nothing works, use "strategic therapy" techniques in which you talk about somebody else's situation similar to hers and the negative outcome, so her brain will record the information for future reference. Do this without making reference to HER situation, and show concern about the characters in the story and maybe even say something like "I'd feel terrible if such a thing to happen to my good friends....("and I'd hate for them to suffer as a result...."). Reply

Anonymous July 17, 2007

in this story the friend has already seen that her friend's boyfriend is a control freak, with abusive tendencies...a very dangerous mixture and not at all recommended for marriage relationship. I hope she wakes up before it is too late.

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Anonymous July 15, 2007

abusive husbands Even better than sitting down to talk with her may be to ask her to visit a shelter for abused women together and ask the women there how their husband acted when they were first married or engaged. I wish someone had been aware and caring enough to have opened my eyes to this failing years ago. Reply

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