Social Question

muppetish's avatar

How do I tell my friends I think they should break up?

Asked by muppetish (13987points) August 24th, 2010

*without sounding like an insufferable a-hole?

Before they began dating, I was close friends with both X (she’s practically my older sister) and V (my older brother’s friend and now mine.) They met during my senior year of high school and have been dating since I graduated. Over the past few years, they have had several rough patches (involving both minor and major issues) but have worked through them to maintain what has been a healthy and stable relationship.

Until V said that he wanted to take a break and date other people, but still loves X and wants her to wait for him (what the hell? is this normal?)

They have put off dealing with the situation because they both still care about one another. But I think the main reason they don’t want to make a decision is neither wants to be in a messy relationship. They want to pretend that their issues will resolve themselves over time. They don’t want to let go of their romantic daydreams of getting married and spending their lives together.

Neither has asked my opinion yet. I’m grateful for it. I hate getting involved in this sort of thing. But I can’t listen to X cry herself to sleep. If she tearfully asks me, “What should I do?” I don’t know how to tell her.

Have you ever been in a situation like this, Fluther? How did you handle it? Should I stay out of things (as I have been thus far) unless directly asked?

(I’ve convinced myself I’m going to lose one of them if they break up. I haven’t fully come to terms with this prospect. They’re both like family.)

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16 Answers

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

You don’t.
I’m sorry, but, in my experience, if you jump in on something like this… not only will your friends almost never listen to you, but there is a possibility they will resent you.
If either of them ask you, then yes you should tell them how you honestly feel. I wouldn’t make the first move, though. It usually backfires – good intentions and all.

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

Quietly, only in your own head.

Tuesdays_Child's avatar

You don’t tell them that. Just try and be the best friend that you can be to both of them, don’t take sides, and stay out of it as far as rendering an opinion. If they ask for your opinion tell them that you love both of them and you are staying neutral.
I have been there and really think that any other course will cause hard feelings on one side or the other, so if you want to keep both of them as friends don’t pick sides and don’t offer an opinion.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

I agree with @TheOnlyNeffie

My parents were very wise and refrained from sharing their opinion of any relationship that their children were in unless a.) We asked, which none of us ever did; and b.) Until it was over and the topic came up.

Had our parents told my oldest sister and brother that they saw the ‘divorce’ writing on the wall before they walked down the aisle, it would have done no good, although both marriages ended that way.

My advice would be to keep your opinion to yourself. Sometimes, it truly works out. Of my 3 siblings, I would have placed money on the quickest break-up to be the one sister who is still married after 25 years, and it’s still going strong, albeit in their own quirky way.

And sometimes the lack of gushing on “how perfect you are for each other” can speak volumes.

Scooby's avatar

:-/ mind your own business, keep well away, they need to figure things out together…. If they get hurt just make sure you’re around but stay out of the drama if it kicks off, just help them pick up the pieces but keep your opinions to yourself…………

Cruiser's avatar

People you know and sometimes dearly love will break up, divorce or move and that is just part of life. As painful as it is, you will have to pick sides. Not ever fun.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

I recently had a friend get married on the rebound from a failed marriage. In my humble opinion, he was marrying at the wrong time and for the wrong reasons. But I kept my peace.

In the end, it’s none of my business who other people choose to spend their lives with.

Your situation is difficult, and I don’t envy you one bit.

Akua's avatar

Keep it to yourself. Even people in the worst relationship don’t want to hear that it’s the worst relationship. And they definately don’t want to hear you bad mouth their mates. He/she could be a real dog and they will still defend them.

muppetish's avatar

Thanks everyone. I was hoping to be told to stick my foot in my mouth and keep quiet (moreso out of fear than anything else.) I want their relationship to work as much as they do and sincerely hope they make it over this hurdle. I’ll be around to pick up the pieces should they break up, and offer as much love and support as I can to either person.

@Cruiser Deep down, I think I’ve already chosen sides. I feel guilty about it.

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

This is what I think…
I think it would be interesting to tell them that you want them to keep their drama to themselves.
Try it.I dare ya. :))

muppetish's avatar

@lucillelucillelucille I’ve actually told something along those lines to a girl I knew before. She stopped speaking to me. I was grateful. The world was suddenly quieter.

le_inferno's avatar

The keyword in your question is If. If she asks for your opinion, then tell her the truth. But don’t intervene a moment before that. Unfortunately, as hard as it is to watch your friends suffer, they are ultimately the only ones who can make these kinds of decisions.

Cruiser's avatar

@muppetish I have had 4 now very near and dear friends I went through college with, stood up at their weddings, watched their children grow and when divorce hit I had to chose sides and it was never easy. The bottom line it is harder for them and you can’t be friends with both sides at least not at first.

MissA's avatar

@muppetish You know what to do…you just needed to hear a flutherer or two for confirmation.

Use this chapter as a data point for your future relationships. Hang in there.

flo's avatar

No, don’t share your thoughts about it, even if asked. It is too messy.

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