One of the hardest parts of being a friend to someone is actually being a friend to someone.
It’s not like when we were little we were taught how to be a friend outside the realms of “sharing is caring.” There are certain sticky situations, like dealing with a friend in a bad or abusive relationship, where no how-to guide can instruct us how to be a true friend.
Standing by as a friend suffering through an unhealthy relationship can be confusing, frustrating, and often scary. How do you support a friend without doing them an injustice? And at what point do you draw the line between supporting and enabling?
One of my best friends is in a horrible relationship that resembles a really bad re-run episode of Degrassi.
I’ve tried to be there for her through it all. I’ve listened to her, offered advice when she’s asked for it, I’ve been her shoulder to cry on, I’ve been her tough love when she needed a reality check, and I’ve supported her by telling her to make her own decisions.
But nothing has worked and I’m still standing by as I watch her suffer. Her boyfriend is hot and he’s cold (and not in the catchy Katy Perry kind of way) and is all around bad for her.
But after watching her cry and complain so many times, I’m really starting to get sick of it. I want to support her, but I’m tired of having the same conversations with her when she keeps making the same mistakes and refuses to making any changes to get out of the relationship.
If she isn’t willing to leave the relationship (as its way past the point of repair), I don’t know if I can just stand by and watch.
As a friend, I don’t want to just give up on her. But at the same time, shouldn’t I let her make her own decisions and support them? After all, friends are supposed to support one another through everything. Or, in doing that, am I enabling her toxic relationship by letting a boy treat her like she’s worthless and not doing anything about it?
If she won’t take my advice and concern for her seriously, what else is there to do? Anyone else have this problem? Please help!