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?


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.