Social Question

mazingerz88's avatar

How do you tolerate friends or family who are in a relationship you disagree with?

Asked by mazingerz88 (19058points) December 5th, 2012

What makes you dislike the relationship? Do you tolerate it because you have no choice since its family and friends? Where would you draw the line eventually? Have you ever abandoned a friendship or worse, family because of the complicated nature of their relationship with someone?

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18 Answers

Coloma's avatar

It’s not about whether I “agree” more about whether or not it is healthy and/or how much I have to listen to endless cycles of relationship drama.
I simply won’t.
I let go of a friend last year that was choosing to stay in an abusive marriage along with other reasons, such as being a manipulative and passive aggressive type that had the emotional IQ of a 5 year old. Sorry….ya gotta go.
I have another friend now in a 3 year relationship with a very passive aggressive man and I have told her, straight up, that I am not willing to listen to the drama.

Either shut up and accept this man is not going to change, or break up.
I have zero patience with people and their dysfunctional relationships these days.
I have come far too far in my own development and am very intolerant of endless complaints and no action.

burntbonez's avatar

Once I stopped a friendship with a man I thought was not treating his girlfriend right. I was friends with both of them. Years later I realized it was a stupid move, on my part. I should have been more tolerant. I might still have a friend. You never know when you might need a friend.

wundayatta's avatar

For a couple of years, I was involved with a woman my parents “disagreed” with. They never said a word until a few years after we broke up. Then, in response to a comment I don’t remember, my father said, “Yeah, we never thought she was good for you.”

I’m afraid that if you meddle with someone else’s relationships, you generally drive them closer to that person, just the opposite of what you want. Otherwise, if it is a child you are meddling with, you may earn obedience, but you also build up resentment that could spill out at some point in the future, if they never come to see it your way.

So you tolerate them with politeness. You engage them as little as possible. You chant an internal mantra: “This, too, shall pass. This, too, shall pass.”

Coloma's avatar

@burntbonez Yes, but, if someone is violating your ethics, and are mistreating others then you are not being true to self by looking away from those behaviors that don’t work for you.
If someone mistreats a relationship partner they are also capable of mistreating you.
I could never be friends with someone that exploits animals, a backyard breeder of whatever, that would make me a hypocrite.
Bottom line, we ARE a reflection of the company we keep.

JLeslie's avatar

Generally I would always be welcoming to the SO of any family member or friend. They are immediately accepted into the group as far as I am concerned. If I don’t like them as I get to know them, but they seem to make my friend or family member happy, I would never say anything negative. If I am afraid they are very abusive, I might say something, it would depend on the relationship I have with the particular family member or friend. I still would not likely ostracise them though. Unless they were distruptive at family gatherings, causing a lot of conflict, then maybe I would stop asking them to attend functions. I’ve never had a sitaution so extreme though. If it were my child who was dating someone I did not like, I would do my best to guide them on what to expect in good and healthy relationships. But, again if the person was abusive then I might do something more extreme, it would depend. It’s tricky with teens.

I have never had to actually cut off with a friend or family member because of their choice in SO.

linguaphile's avatar

I’m usually very tolerant of my friends’ relationships, but do ask questions (I don’t say anything directly, but do ask…) if I feel it’s abusive or destructive.

I rarely cut off friendships. Most of the time, they fade out. One friendship I cut off immediately because the woman blatantly abused her 4 kids at a Taco Bell in front of me and told me, in front of them, that she hated them—then yelled at them to go away. She made them sit together at the full opposite corner of the restaurant from us. None of them were over 9. I couldn’t take it, and went to sit with them while she chuckled, then just could not be friends with her ever again.

None of my friends were in relationships as bad as those poor kids were with their mother.

burntbonez's avatar

@Coloma I understand you. Believe me, I do. That’s how I treated my friend. I’m just saying that later on, I came to regret that. I was being too harsh. People change. I should not have dropped him the way I did. Sometimes tolerance has a higher moral value in the long run than being so strict about your values in the short run. Or so I have found. I have done this more than once. I’m a very judgmental person. To my own detriment.

You dropped your friend last year? See how you feel in five years. You don’t have to tell me or anyone else. Just be honest with yourself.

Coloma's avatar

@burntbonez Oh, trust me, I am a brutally honest person, with myself as well.
I have no regrets about dumping any of the people I have dumped in my life. I am easy going and mostly very non-judging, but…if I lose respect for you, it’s over.
My ex friend was a very manipulative type that refused to look at her flaws and chose to play the childish victim of my confrontation.

Done, no looking back, no regrets.
People may change, but usually they do not.
I am the type that speaks up once and only once, and on the rare occasions I do, if you dismiss my concerns or disrespect my feelings, or, worse yet, resort to childish emotional arguing, you’re history, end of story.

burntbonez's avatar

I hope you are as happy with your choice in five years as you are now. I made my choice for pretty much the same reasons you made yours, and as I said, I came to regret it. Of course, our situations are different.

All I’m saying is that it is possible to make a mistake, even if you are as sure as you can be at the time. And believe me, I was very sure and very righteous.

KNOWITALL's avatar

I have family that I was very close to and we no longer talk because of his wife.

She is mentally ill (undiagnosed by a professional btw, so there’s no meds) and hides in her house, doesn’t work, hates everyone in our family and talks about everyone behind their back, lives for her only child (unhealthily) and is just awful.

My uncle married her and since then has undergone radical changes in his personality. She’s told our family to shut up at the table while arguing politics, she’s screamed at my uncle not to sing (his fave activity) and is just downright ugly.

My mom got cancer and since she’s (my uncles wife) the only one who didn’t work in the family I though, ok she’ll offer to help mom. Well she didn’t. My mom had to ask her friends and coworkers to drive her to her cancer appts for 2 months. I cleaned her house, did her laundry, took our her trash, did all her meds in the daily boxes, picked up prescriptions, bought her food, paid her bills, and that beeyotch got pissed because I asked why she didn’t take mom to any appts instead of sitting on her arse. (Oh yeah I did and I was not nice about it, that’s MY MOM!)

So I am the confrontational one in our family and chose to talk to my uncle about it privately. He got very mad and kept asking why I felt like that and was shocked. I listed all the things she’d said and done and he started bashing the family, like “I know you all go out to the bars after we leave.”, and I’m like “That never happened, you’re making stuff up now”, so it got worse and I ended it by calling him a hypocrit, he said they were done.

So now it’s been over a year since I’ve seen them and life is pretty good. I do miss my uncle, but he had changed into someone I no longer knew or care to know anyway. It’s hurtful a little bit, but I’m glad there’s no more superficial politeness.

Coloma's avatar

@burntbonez Well…seeing as how I don’t regret any of the others I doubt I will regret this one. haha
I’m a firm believer in the “reasons & seasons” mantra of all relationship.
I don’t keep people around in case I need them, I want genuine relationships with mature people that can handle open and honest discussion, even if uncomfortable.
At 53 I simply do not do 5 year old emotions in other “adults” anymore.

Ron_C's avatar

My family is o.k. there are no real problems with them. I have friends that have had one or two divorces that seem to attract women that are drama queens. I tolerate my friends quite well and stay away from their current significant other. There is nothing I hate more than family drama.

Bellatrix's avatar

I am thinking about a particular friend and his then new partner. My husband and I did not like her at all. She is quite needy and tries to control everything. She has no self-edit switch and says terribly inappropriate things to people. She drinks and is not a nice drunk. We avoided having to spend time with her. Then we realised that meant not seeing the friend that we love and really, it’s his choice. Not ours. Who are we to say who he should be with? So now we see them both. She is growing on us and absolutely loves him – and what more can you want for your friend. So, mostly my feeling is ‘it isn’t my business’ and I just have to suck it up and let me friends make their own lives and be there to pick up the pieces if it all goes pear-shaped.

livelaughlove21's avatar

I mind my own business. I’m not in a relationship with that person, so I have no place to say anything about it.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

Depends on how close we are and depends on what’s going on. Generally, if we are close, they will know why I dislike the relationship. Generally, I dislike a friend’s relationship if they’re not equal with their partners, if they’re being hurt emotionally or physically, etc.

rooeytoo's avatar

I guess I just figure it is not my business to tell others how they should run their life. You know the old people in glass houses thing. I have more than enough work keeping myself in line without trying to tell someone else how to do it.

OpryLeigh's avatar

As long as there was no obvious abuse involved that was causing me to dislike the relationship I would tolerate it. It’s none of my business and I know full well what it feels like to have others judge your relationship based on their own prejudices and ignorance.

I would be civil and try not to let my relative know that their relationship made me feel uncomfortable in any way. If they asked for my opinion, I would try to tell them the truth tactfully but let them know that, ultimately, if they feel it’s right then it is none of my business or anyone elses.

Coloma's avatar

@Leanne1986 Agreed, I just refuse to look away from any sort of abuse too, the rest is none of my biz.

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