The way my friend treats her boyfriend is NOT okay. I’ve watched her relationship go through its ups and downs and I know they’ve been working on things, but I’m pretty disappointed by how I see her talk to and treat him. It’s not really my place, but I seriously wish I could tell her these things:
“YOU’RE BETTER THAN THIS.” She’s always been a fun and bubbly friend that I love to have around. We may have grown apart some since our younger days, but I know who she is as a person — an awesome woman with lots of potential for success and love. I don’t know why she’s straying away from the person I know she can be when it comes to her relationship but I want her to know that as her friend, I expect more from her.
“YOU CAN BE REALLY SELFISH SOMETIMES.” Even though we’ve been friends for a long time, I’ve noticed that she can be very selfish now and again. Sometimes it comes through when a friend needs help but she decides there’s nothing in it for her. Other times, she dismisses opinions because she believes her way is the only way. I truly think that she gets ahead of herself and just doesn’t realize that she’s acting like this, but that still doesn’t make it okay.
“You don’t have to treat people like crap to seem independent.” She and her boyfriend have been together for quite a few years now and I know she wants to marry him and settle down — I also know that she hates feeling dependent on anyone and will go to extremes to make sure she doesn’t look weak or incapable of caring for herself. She lashes out at him for wanting to provide for her, protect her or show her affection in front of other people, but her friends see it as being mean-spirited, not independent.
“HE’S YOUR PARTNER, NOT YOUR CHILD.” She’s a very intelligent woman but he’s also an intelligent guy. She often drags him around like he’s her kid who needs constant supervision and slaps him on the wrist when he doesn’t do what she wants. He’s a college graduate with a job, he pays his own bills and hers as well. He’s a man who’s fully capable of making his own decisions, so why she keeps talking down to him is beyond me.
“If you loved him, you wouldn’t constantly prod at his insecurities.” Sometimes I feel like she’s trying to make her boyfriend into someone other than himself. I don’t know if there are just things she doesn’t like about him or she just has her own insecurities, but she’s always pointing out his flaws and imperfections. If he makes a lame joke, she always makes a point to throw it in his face. If he wears clothes that she doesn’t really like, she tells the whole room that he looks stupid. This doesn’t make her look better and it doesn’t make him want to change. If anything, she’s building resentment from everyone who hears her speak that way.
“Dismissing his thoughts and opinions is so disrespectful.” When we’re sitting around having a mature discussion, she’s often taking the time to call out whatever her boyfriend says and put him down for it. Couples don’t have to agree on everything, but it’s so important to respect your differences. Even if they weren’t together, it’s not okay to belittle or silence someone for what they think, even if she disagrees. If anything, this shows that she doesn’t value his input and doesn’t respect him.
“YOU’RE BECOMING A NEGATIVE PERSON.” For someone with big ideas, dreams, and ambitions, I would expect tons of positive energy and good vibes, but she surrounds herself with the opposite. While she’s constantly throwing negative energy towards her relationship, it trickles over into every other aspect of her life. I’ve started to see her as a negative person because of the constant flow of negative energy. It affects our friendship as well as her relationship.
“If you think that low of him, you shouldn’t be with him.” When you love someone, you respect them and who they are. Not only is he entitled to her respect simply because he’s a human being, but because he does so much for her. He’s invested in her, stayed faithful and showered her with affection for years, even when she didn’t deserve it. She needs to appreciate the sacrifices he makes and show respect for the person she claims to love, even when he isn’t the perfect man. If he can’t do that, she needs to let him go.
“HE NEEDS YOUR SUPPORT.” Relationships aren’t one-sided. Without her love and support, he’ll struggle to live up to her expectations. She needs to take the pressure off him to perform and just be a supportive girlfriend. If she only knew how much power she has to unlock his potential just by being a source of love and encouragement.
“VERBAL ABUSE IS NEVER OKAY.” Male or female, it’s never okay to be abusive towards a partner. Even though it may seem harmless, verbal abuse is very real and can cause real damage to relationships and people. Tearing down your partner, being mean-spirited, taking away their voice and belittling them in an attempt to change them is absolutely unacceptable. I love her as a friend but I’m also not afraid to tell her there are some things that need to change.
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