Dear Mouthy Housewives,
I have a friend who has a knack for picking horrible men. I know I’ve had doozies in my life, but dude, it’s like she’s a Lifetime movie marathon. There has been 4 relationships in the past 13 years or so.
They’ve all been alcoholics, emotionally abusive, (though I have a feeling that she has issues in being abusive toward them also) some physically abusive, some addicts of various drugs…you get the picture.
She sucks at choosing men. She just got rid of one and I can see that she’s beginning to cave. Even if she doesn’t , she’ll start dating the first loser who shows her some attention anyway. How do I keep her from going into her usual self destructive path? I don’t want to watch it again. It sucks.
Help Me Help Her
Dear Help Me Help Her,
Yes, I do get the picture, but then again I’m a Lifetime Movieaholic.
Oh, if I had a dollar for every time a friend of mine dated someone I didn’t approve of, I’d probably have a private island by now. And not many friends. Because for some reason people don’t like to hear that they’re dating losers, abusers, morons and other undesirables in Rush Limbaugh t-shirts.
If your friend continuously dates men who don’t treat her well, it has as much to do with her as with them. Chances are she has low self-esteem, fear of being alone or something else that draws her to these people. And whereas you can give her the “You Can Do Better” talk, her issues are deeper than a pep talk from you can address.
But that doesn’t mean that you should be silent. Let her know that you are concerned about her physical safety and emotional health. Talk to her about what qualities her ideal man would have (but remind her that I am the first in line for Brad Pitt. With a bottle of shampoo and some deodorant). Ask if the men that she is dating are meeting her needs.
At the end of the day, if she is engaging in destructive behavior, you don’t have to watch. Tell her that you love her (or like her a lot), but that you simply can’t endure seeing her endanger herself repeatedly with men who treat her badly. Remove yourself from the situation.
It’s definitely easier said than done, but sometimes you have to save your own sanity first.