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Thread: My best friend might get back with her emotionally manipulative cheater bf

  1. #1

    My best friend might get back with her emotionally manipulative cheater bf

    This is not me, but on behalf of my best friend. Her ex cheated on her multiple times during their relationship when she was too tired to put out, due to her studying. He manipulated her into thinking no one else would find her attractive, so she'd have to settle with him. He also uses his mental illness and fear of abandonment as leverage to manipulate her to stay with him. This isn't just through observation, she has told me this directly. She understands completely how much of an idiot he is, understands that the odds definitely aren't in her favour, yet still hangs on to the 'what if?'.

    She knows how bad of an idea this is, but he keeps talking to her about how he misses her and still loves her, and she is starting to feel compelled to pursue a relationship with him again. I've told her to stop talking to him and his friends, to change her number so he wont call her, and she knows she shouldn't but she feels compelled to know what him and his friends think of her.

    She has never been in a healthy relationship. And whilst there are good times in her relationships, there are also many, many bad ones. I hate seeing her so upset over her ex that clearly doesn't deserve her.

    I don't know what to do. Ideally, I want to stop her from getting back with him, but I know it's her decision and her life. But she is setting herself up for heartbreak AGAIN and I don't know how to stop it, or at the very least understand her point of view.

    How can I help her move on from him?

  2. #2
    Platinum Member Gary Snyder's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Okay, so he's crazy. At least she broke up with him, that's a start.

    She's interested in getting back together with him because she probably still has some feelings for him, and he's very manipulative - crazy people often are. Or, she doe not have another attractive man on her radar yet. People like to be comfortable, and that means running toward that which they know - even if it's bad.

    There is not a whole lot you can do for her except be her friend. You are limited to how much you can counsel her, friends and counselors are two different roles/jobs.

    You could introduce her to a new guy to date/encourage her to date new guys. She could use a replacement man or at least dates, it's good therapy.

    But mostly you just have to be there for her and let her live her own life.

    Edit: also, feelings die a slow death.
    Last edited by Gary Snyder; 04-15-2019 at 05:34 PM.

  3. #3
    Platinum Member reinventmyself's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Not quite as bad as that, but I shudder looking back at my choices and predicaments. Honestly, anyone telling me otherwise didn't help. I had to learn the hard way. ~Where you keep running into that same wall and it isn't until you are wiping the blood off your forehead that it's time you finally say `enough'

    Her attraction to this dynamic runs deep. Just hearing the words from a trusted friend isn't enough, unfortunately.

    She has to learn this in her own way and as her friend you get to choose whether or not you will stand by her.

  4. #4
    Platinum Member bluecastle's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    You really can't do much, save be there and be honest—with yourself—about how much you can even do that. Sadly, some people get into relationships that invariably wear out their friendships, and sometimes it's that—along with the wear and tear of the relationship—that leads them to make some changes.

    You're genuinely concerned, understandably. You're also genuinely fed up with this drama, equally understandable.

    But, alas, it's her life, her choices, her drama.


  6. #5
    oh, for sure she definitely still has feelings for him. Ok then, thank you for your input. I wish there was a quicker, less hurtful way for her to deal with this but at least she'll have my shoulder to cry on. Thanks. Would it be too intrusive to try and encourage her to get counselling?

  7. #6
    Silver Member
    Join Date
    May 2017
    Why not focus on your own life instead of trying to steer the life of someone else?

  8. #7
    Platinum Member Carus's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    I Can See The Sun!
    Yeh I have a friend in a toxic on/off relationship. They've been breaking up, getting back together and abusing each other for around 4 years now!

    After about 2 years I decided I couldn't help him nor did I want to indulge in his diatribe every time they broke up etc....these days we just talk about other stuff and I refrain from asking him anything about his relationship.

    What saddens me a little is that, despite his crappy relationship he DOES get to stay with his girlfriend in some warped way whilst my marriage which was incredibly healthy and productive, especially in comparison to this, had to end and I'll never see her again :(

    Ah well. It's a funny ol' world*


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