Being indifferent towards or even straight up hating a friend’s significant other is bound to happen to most people at some point. Because you have an outside perspective on your friend’s relationship, you’ll likely notice unhealthy things that she either doesn’t notice or refuses to acknowledge. You don’t want to back her into a corner and make her feel like she’s gotta choose between her friend and her boyfriend, but you do want to let her know how you feel. Despite being awkward and frustrating, the situation can be handled gracefully.
- Be honest, not judgmental. If you open the conversation with “Your boyfriend is more of a disappointment than stale Count Chocula,” you’re not going to get anywhere. Being openly judgmental towards the worthless POS is going to make her go on the defensive and shut down. Judging her taste in boyfriends might make her think that you’re judging her as a person. If you want her to listen to your concerns, choose your next words carefully.
- Refuse to hang out when her boyfriend is around. If the mere thought of the guy gives you chest pains and makes your eyes twitch uncontrollably, there’s no reason to subject yourself to him in person. It would be incredibly difficult to cover that with a convincing poker face anyway. You don’t have to directly tell your friend that you don’t want to be around her man – that’ll sound harsh no matter how you word it. Your constant absence from their insufferable activities will probably make your negative feelings towards the human skid mark very obvious. Hopefully she’ll recognize your “chronic explosive diarrhea” as a red flag and pay closer attention to who her partner really is.
- Don’t get too friendly with him. Being blatantly rude isn’t necessary, but willingly communicating with him through texts or social media will send a message to your friend that you approve of him (or that you’re cheating with him). His presence in your life should be minimal or completely nonexistent. Don’t invite him anywhere or reach out to him asking his advice on Pokémon strategies. You don’t want him or your friend getting mixed signals about your feelings towards him. It should be made clear that you want nothing to do with the bozo.
- Get some advice from other friends in your circle. See if your other buddies feel the same dislike towards your friend’s boyfriend. It will make you feel much better to know that you’re not alone with your feelings and you can fantasize about the intolerable butt slug getting carried off into the night by an angry ovarian mob. If your friend continues to live in an obnoxious state of douchebag boyfriend denial, having a bigger rescue team will be more effective in making her open her eyes. It might be easy to ignore one person’s view, but it’s much more difficult to blow off an entire torch-and-pitchfork-wielding mob that feels the same way.
- Make sure her family is aware of any abuse. Sometimes abuse isn’t readily apparent unless there’s a visible bruise or a cut. Abuse victims will often blame themselves or convince themselves that they deserved it and they can’t do any better. If your friend’s partner is being violent towards her, she might say something to you but hide it from her family. Regardless of how she views the situation or the excuses she makes, someone needs to tell her family. Having them on your side will benefit your friend in the long run. If they’re made aware of her partner’s true nature, they’ll likely voice their concerns as well. The more support your friend has, the better.
- Be there for her when it all falls apart. Unhealthy relationships have a tendency to crash and burn in a glorious, messy, and sometimes hilarious fashion. When the dysfunctional breakup fireworks start flying, save the “I told you so” speech for your own secret enjoyment and be a sympathetic shoulder to cry on. Who your friend dates is ultimately her choice and you can choose to be there for her when she realizes that her choice was a bad one that will be fodder for mockery for years to come. Give her some time to heal and share some laughs about the ordeal down the road.