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When do you speak out about someone's relationship?

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by copperpot, Jul 8, 2009.

  1. copperpot

    copperpot Well-Known Member

    I'm in a bind and could use some opinions.

    Had lunch on Thursday with a good friend. His girlfriend of two years had just broken up with him. He was laid off from our paper a couple of months ago and hasn't been able to find a new gig. She said she wants to send her daughter to Catholic school and can't do that and support him. Also, she's tired of shopping and not being able to buy whatever she wants because she has to think of him.

    He goes on with several more stories like this (she recently called his sister's kids bratty, she resents her own daughter and the time my friend spends with her). He feels like she's ashamed of him. She was pissed he was going to put her birthday present on her charge card.

    He said the silver lining in all this is that he really loves kids and wants to have more (he has a teen from a previous relationship), and she is not into that at all.

    So I'm thinking, sounds like this breakup might actually be the best thing that could happen. I mean, I know it's painful, but I'm sure many of us have been in situations where we loved someone but realized the best thing was to get out of the relationship. It seemed clear to me that this was such a situation.

    Well, what do you know. Now they're talking again. He e-mails me today and says they're going to counseling, and he hopes to work through his issues.

    He didn't ask for advice. But part of me really wants to just say something like, Hey, listen. If working things out is what's going to make you happy (and I think it's great you're trying counseling), super. But you told me an awful lot of reasons why there was a silver lining to your breakup. I hope that if you're making sacrifices for love, you're sure it's worth it.

    I was in a not so great relationship once. And my best friend said to me, point blank, "If he loved you, he wouldn't do XXXX" (honestly, at this point I don't even remember what it was). And I've always thought back on that and felt grateful that she valued me and my friendship enough to honestly say that.

    But I don't want to sound condescending or like a jerk or anything like that. I'm just really worried that he's turning a blind eye to all the problems he described to me. On the other hand, if he's going to counseling, maybe I should leave that up to counselor.

    Thoughts? Thanks a lot.
  2. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    Just listen, commiserate and don't say anything bad about the other person if you value the friendship.

    The heart does what it wants. It doesn't listen to advice.
  3. forever_town

    forever_town Active Member

    Unless she's abusive toward him, butt out.
  4. PopeDirkBenedict

    PopeDirkBenedict Active Member

    The only time I would intervene in a friend's relationship is physical abuse. Ace is right.
  5. copperpot

    copperpot Well-Known Member

    I'm not being facetious, but it really sounded like emotional abuse. The guy's having a hard time finding a job, she's telling him she's tired of supporting him, she's annoyed he can't buy her a birthday present, etc.

    That said, I'm still not convinced it's my place to say anything, so again, I appreciate the feedback.
  6. Oggiedoggie

    Oggiedoggie Well-Known Member

    What are the odds of anything good happening if you speak your mind?

    If they get back together, you'll be the friend that doubted that they could do it.

    If they don't get back together and he doesn't find a new relationship, you'll be the friend who pushed into his miserable single life.

    If he finds someone who turns out to be not as good as she was, you'll be the friend who pushed him into that.

    There's a slight chance that he'll move on and be happier.

    I'd say a couple of ears win out over a mouth for the time being.
  7. dooley_womack1

    dooley_womack1 Well-Known Member

    Good advice, and hopefully a good tagline, Oggie
  8. copperpot

    copperpot Well-Known Member

    I'm definitely leaning toward thinking this pretty much sums it up. As much as I want to say something, do I really think he's going to say, "Gee, you're right, I hadn't thought of it like that?" Honestly, no.
  9. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    To be honest, that bit about being tired about the guy being out of work sounds harsh but honest. Who knows how hard he is looking or how high his bar is. So she may be a true bitch or just honest.
  10. qtlaw

    qtlaw Well-Known Member

    If there's one thing I've learned, absolutely never inject yourself into someone else's private life, short of saving their life.

    Most excruciating situation ever in my 40+ years, I'm single and waiting for my BF to got to a Giants game. While waiting for him to get there, his wife calls and says he's pushed her and hurt her. I tell her to go to her parents. I'm torn, "do I tell him or not?" I choose not to and go one with the day as planned. The whole game I'm sitting there knowing she's left and feeling guilty as hell. Finally, after dinner, I tell him, I'm truly heartbroken that I kept it inside as long as I did. Well, we have a heart to heart moment (for guys). They are still married, what 16 or 17 years later, but the wife's never been the same towards me and my BF is still my BF (and Best Man at my wedding) but he's not the same as before. If there is one thing I would do over in my life, I wish I had never received that call.
  11. Buck

    Buck Well-Known Member

    You have to watch out for the life-saving thing, too.
    On the upside, the person has be your servant for the rest of his/her life. On the downside, you assume responsibility for that person for the same duration.

  12. Let me tell you a little story, and I hope this helps you decide.
    Several years ago I had two fraternity brothers who were the best of friends. No secrets between them.
    One had a girlfriend. He dated her for several years and finally popped the question. She, of course, accepted.
    Problem was the girl was not a one-woman guy.
    At one of our formals she gave one of our national reps a hummer in the coatroom.
    One a spring break trip to the beach she managed to sleep with two guys she met down there and hit on one our fraternity brothers.
    She also allegedly hooked up with a few other guys on campus while the were dating.
    Our Frat brother was (willfully) blind to all this.
    Shortly before the wedding, these two close friends went out. My engaged buddy's best friend laid it on the line for him; spelled out all the things that had gone on and were going on. He even told our brother that to ask some other members about his beloved's actions if he didn't believe him.
    Please remember these guys were close.
    Rather than thank his friend for the advice and knowledge the engaged brother erupted. Told his close friend to shut the fuck up and get out. He cut the friend out his wedding completely and the pair did not speak for years - not until the guy got divorced from his wife about three years later - after she had screwed around on him and left him about $50,000 in debt.
    You take that for what it's worth.
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