General Question

nayeight's avatar

Should I step in and do something or watch my friend make another mistake?

Asked by nayeight (3353points) May 6th, 2009 from iPhone

My best friend Amanda broke up with her boyfriend Vince a year ago, they were together for 2–3 years. Before they met, she had a drinking problem & was having problems in her sophmore year in college. They fell in love and were kind of addicted to each other (couldn’t sleep without each other, constantly together, etc). Vince is an idiot, he sold drugs & painted houses on the side for a living. He and his idiot friends have also been to jail for drugs, DUI’s, and any other dumb shit they’ve tried to pull off. Basically not a good guy. Their relationship was verbally abusive but never physically abusive and she broke up with him once she realized that he was a bad influence. She dropped out of school, ran up a shitload of debt, and now is trying to pay it all off and get her life together. She has a new boyfriend she’s been with for about 5 months who is very stable. He’s a very nice guy with a good job and a bright future and now they are “in love”. Her old boyfriend won’t leave her alone and as much as she refuses to admit to me, they both still love each other very much. Their relationship is very sexual, although I’m sure there is alot of love there too. I know that she has already cheated once on her current boyfriend with Vince and may do it again, given the opportunity. I feel so bad for her new boyfriend, he is such a nice young man, very calm, never has any drama going on and he really cares for her but she cheated on him and I’m not sure whether or not I should tell him. And if I do tell him, he’ll probably dump her and she’ll probably go back to Vince. She is my best friend and I love her like a sister but she can be so stupid. Can I/should I keep her from making more stupid mistakes?

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20 Answers

Staalesen's avatar

hmm…Tricky one… I would belive that it is best for her if her new BF stays.. but it would be better for him to get rid of her.

jrpowell's avatar

When I was 19 my best friend went off to fight fires for the summer. His girlfriend cheated on him while he was gone. I told him, he didn’t believe me. I have talked to him once since. I am 31 now.

chyna's avatar

It does seem that the messenger gets the raw end of the deal and the cheater gets believed.

nayeight's avatar

@johnpowell Wow, that’s horrible, so I shouldn’t say anything to her boyfriend?

Whenever we go out we see her ex because he follows us and she tells me to keep him away from her. I tell her to just ignore him & that she shouldn’t interact with him at all but as soon as I turn my back, he’s following her to the bathroom & they are either aruging or about to make-out. I know that she doesn’t want to hurt her current boyfriend but I think she let’s her emotions for Vince get the best of her. I’m just worried that she’ll never get over him and that he’s going to ruin her life. I should hire a hitman and have him…eliminated.

cookieman's avatar

If she is truly like a sister to you, I would tell her that she needs to come clean with the nice/new guy.

If she chooses to go back with Vince, what can you do? People are allowed to be stupid.

But if she continues to lie to nice/new guy, how could you (her best friend) continue to respect her at all.

Supacase's avatar

You shouldn’t tell him. You can try talking to her, but she may not be at the point in her life where she appreciates the stable guy as opposed to the “bad boy.” Resisting the temptation for the bad boy and finding the appeal of a good guy requires more maturity than it sounds like she has.

basp's avatar

You can not do anything to stop her from doing what she wants. She is an adult and responsible for her own decisions.
Don’t tell her new boyfriend anything. In fact, steer clear of any conversation about her relationships.
I know it pains you to see a friend make dcisions that you think are not in her best interest. But, good or bad, they are her decisions to make.

reverie's avatar

I personally feel it would be absolutely inappropriate for you to tell the boyfriend of her infidelity.

I mean no offence to you with this, but to view Vince as a “bad guy” and the new boyfriend as a “good guy” seems very black and white to me, and it’s not really something that should guide your actions. As easy as it must be to think that dabbling in drugs and getting in trouble with the law is “bad”, there’s just no need to think that two-dimensionally, although it’s understandable that you do, because you aren’t personally involved in the situation. Your friend won’t see him in that way, so there’s little point for you to think that your intervention is acting in her interests when you both see the situation so differently. I’m not saying that an outside view is unhelpful – but it’s something that you can offer, rather than something you should impose.

Furthermore, your loyalties should lie with her, as she is your friend. Being loyal means standing by someone when they screw up. To tell the boyfriend is to send a clear message that your loyalty isn’t with her – and you can expect her to see that. If you find yourself not wanting to be loyal to her, in your situation, I would step away from the friendship – nothing more, nothing less. It’s not to say that you should condone and support everything that a friend does, but if you find yourself unable to do that, then talk to them personally, or walk away. Telling all is just damaging a relationship that your friend is having with a third party – something that you should never be entitled to do.

I appreciate that you love your friend very much and want to see her happy, but I think the solution to this is to support her and be there for her as a friend, instead of trying to steer the direction of her life down a path she’s not yet ready to take.

wundayatta's avatar

Your job is to listen non-judgmentally, and only offer an opinion if she asks. You should offer that opinion in a non-judgmental way, too. You don’t tell her that she’s immature. You just point out that boyfriend will be devastated if he finds out, and he will find out if she’s serious about him. People always do. In any case, it isn’t fair to him. If she tells him, at least it will come from her, and he can make his own choice.

That’s all you say, if you say anything. You might not even go that far. What she does is up to her, and you shouldn’t tell her what to do. You just make sure she sees more of the picture.

Life is like this far more often than we wish. Sometimes the only way to learn something is the hard way—through experience. If things do happen as you warn, you never say “I told you so.” It’s hard to see your friend do things that may come crashing down around her, but if she’s your friend, you will be there now, and throughout whatever happens.

cwilbur's avatar

What good do you expect to come of telling him that she cheated?

You phrase this as if you really want to stop her from making another stupid mistake, but telling her boyfriend after the fact won’t stop that. It will only create a great deal of drama, and there’s a reasonable chance he’ll break up with her over it, sending her right back to Vince.

This does not seem like the outcome you claim you want.

For @#$%‘s sake, don’t people get enough relationship drama from watching As the World Turns anymore?

cookieman's avatar

@cwilbur: I just didn’t picture you watching As the World Turns.

flameboi's avatar

slap her until she reacts, if not, she would end up in an episode of COPS and you will feel guilty about it, big time…

FrankHebusSmith's avatar

Be blunt with her, you’re her friend, that’s what you’re for. If you think she’s being stupid, tell her. Maybe that’s what it’ll take to snap her out of it. But either way, you need to get across the point that she needs to choose one guy or the other, cuz cheating on the new guy is extremely wrong.

Whether or not she tells the new guy about the cheating (assuming she goes with him), I would personally say don’t tell him. If it were me and she told me, that would be the end of it. But that’s a person by person thing, and something she’d have to decide.

cwilbur's avatar

@cprevite: I don’t. I outgrew my interest in relationship drama about a decade ago.

May2689's avatar

Talk to her frankly and just tell her everything you think about her situation. Tell her that you dont agree that she’s cheating on her current nice boyfriend, and that Vince is totally wrong for her. If she doesnt listen, well.. you tried. But dont get into her relationship and rat her out. Thats not fair to her, and she is your friend.

Darwin's avatar

I wouldn’t talk to either of the boyfriends. If you find an opening (for example, she asks “What do you think…” about some aspect of either boyfriend) you can give her your opinion. However, if you talk to her she probably won’t want to hear it. She knows what she is doing (well, she thinks she does) and she won’t stop until she grows up enough to realize how much she could be hurting herself and the current boyfriend.

You can’t stop her from cheating. If she wants to cheat she will. You would do best to stay out of it so neither boyfriend will turn on you if things go bad. You should also probably re-evaluate your friendship with her. If she will cheat on a boyfriend what else might she do?

Some people have to learn by doing. She may be one of them.

TitsMcGhee's avatar

You can’t make any decisions for her, but you can be there when she comes to you for advice. Constantly remind her that you’re there and urge her to call you when she’s thinking about doing something like that. You’ll never be able to make her stop if she’s determined, but you can help her figure out what the best thing to do is.

ccbatx's avatar

If this were me in the situation, I would confront my friend. You know that Vince is only doing her wrong, and it would be horrible to see her get hurt. I would want to talk to her about it and tell her to see what she has right in front of her.

bright_eyes00's avatar

sadly, i feel for her new boyfriend. maybe he would be better off without her. if she’s going to cheat on him yet she still “loves” him that isnt fair to him. only puts drama on him. you should talk to her and tell her to man up and quit the games. shes not a kid anymore and playing with peoples hearts is wrong. that she needs to choose one or the other. if she choses the ex then she will go through whatever she goes through with him and thats that. or she can chose the new guy and cut vince off and move on to better things that only this new boyfriend can give her. but her reckless attitude and careless actions scream louder than anything she might say like “i love him”. she needs someone to tell her that she needs to get her act together. all you can do is give her tough love until she pulls her head out of her bum.

i feel strongly for this because i just went through a similar situation. upon giving my friend an ultimatum that she had to chose or i was going to tell her boyfriend she was cheating on him, she did. she chose to stop seeing the other guy and she even told her boyfriend that she had cheated on him. he was forgiving because he loves her and they worked it out. now they are engaged. and they couldnt be happier.

good luck

nayeight's avatar

Thank you to everybody for the advice. I’m going to talk with her tomorrow and just offer her my love & support.

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