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My friend's new boyfriend seems unstable


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Hello, So this is in continuation of my last post about how my friend's boyfriend treated her over the phone.  So.. anyways they've advanced their relationship and he got a job in our state and he now lives an hour away from us.  Today, I got to meet him and we went to his storage unit to help him unload his stuff to take to his new place. The whole time, he was giving her demands and he never even said "Thank you"  once.  I am starting to think that this won't work out for her. I tried telling her what I think and she says "Let me figure this out on my own"  I'm just really afraid to see her get hurt.  I cherish my friendship and only wish the best for her.  Any advice? I know I have to let her figure this out, but if anything happens, How can I support her? Thanks. 

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His commanding tone of never saying,  "Thank you" not even once to your friend is disrespectful and it is a form of abuse if this is his norm.  It's her fault too if she doesn't mind being a doormat.  He gets to boss her around as if she's his little minion as she does his bidding.  As long as she acquiesces and never speaks up,  it's her problem,  not yours.  You've already forewarned her and she told you that she will figure this out on her own so let her! 😉 She's a grown adult and whatever happens to her is her responsibility,  not yours even though you have good intentions for her well being.  Often times,  the best support is to step back and let people live their own lives even though something doesn't add up.  Do not interfere.  Don't get involved.  Stay out of it. 

Like you,  I was once in hero mode and tried to rescue people but not anymore.  No sense getting yourself sucked into other people's relationship dynamics and burnout even though you don't agree with it.  Let the chips fall where they may. 

I've known people who've never bothered to thank a person with gratitude,  too lazy to write a postal thank you note (or electronic) and simply take others for granted or take advantage of their goodwill.  It's more common than you think,  unfortunately.  ☹️

People only disrespect if it's allowed with granted permission and some people don't mind being subservient. 

Don't fret.  She won't last because eventually no one in their right mind enjoys feeling habitually unappreciated. 

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6 minutes ago, Cherylyn said:

People only disrespect if it's allowed with granted permission and some people don't mind being subservient. 

Yes for the most part in a dating relationship.  I don't think not saying thank you is abusive but it's rude/impolite depending on context.  And for sure some rather perfunctory thank yous don't reflect appreciation in situations where it's warranted.  I'm the "thanks again" type especially in e-mails - just to make sure! Maybe she finds it manly that he orders her around.  But I don't think by itself it's abusive.

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1 minute ago, Batya33 said:

Yes for the most part in a dating relationship.  I don't think not saying thank you is abusive but it's rude/impolite depending on context.  And for sure some rather perfunctory thank yous don't reflect appreciation in situations where it's warranted.  I'm the "thanks again" type especially in e-mails - just to make sure! Maybe she finds it manly that he orders her around.  But I don't think by itself it's abusive.

Being ordered around is a form of abuse;  not just impoliteness.  Any time a person does something for another person and is habitually unappreciated and ignored in that sense,  is indeed a form of abuse.  No sense doing things for others without the other person feeling grateful for it.  As long as the subservient person doesn't mind being a doormat,  go for it.  Haha,  manly for a woman being ordered around.  🤣 If she wants that type of "masculinity,"  hooray! 

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Just now, Cherylyn said:

Being ordered around is a form of abuse;  not just impoliteness.  Any time a person does something for another person and is habitually unappreciated and ignored in that sense,  is indeed a form of abuse.  No sense doing things for others without the other person feeling grateful for it.  As long as the subservient person doesn't mind being a doormat,  go for it.  Haha,  manly for a woman being ordered around.  🤣 If she wants that type of "masculinity,"  hooray! 

We can agree to disagree.  I think people issue orders to other people regularly and some are rude about it and some are not. Before I call it as bad as abuse I'd need to know what was being ordered and in what context and other factors.  In this situation she was helping her boyfriend move stuff.  And being demanding. 

If one person orders another person to do harmful things or keep doing something that they know will harm the person that could be abusive whether the person says thank you or not.   I am only speculating but the question was what should she say - and my line in the sand is if my friend were being abused or assaulted I would say something.  I also was prepared to say something to a friend when I discovered her "boyfriend" wsa also dating another woman I knew and also lying on EHarmony.  But they broke up anyway.  I did report him to Eharmony and he was removed.

 

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18 minutes ago, Batya33 said:

We can agree to disagree.  I think people issue orders to other people regularly and some are rude about it and some are not. Before I call it as bad as abuse I'd need to know what was being ordered and in what context and other factors.  In this situation she was helping her boyfriend move stuff.  And being demanding. 

If one person orders another person to do harmful things or keep doing something that they know will harm the person that could be abusive whether the person says thank you or not.   I am only speculating but the question was what should she say - and my line in the sand is if my friend were being abused or assaulted I would say something.  I also was prepared to say something to a friend when I discovered her "boyfriend" wsa also dating another woman I knew and also lying on EHarmony.  But they broke up anyway.  I did report him to Eharmony and he was removed.

 

Not thanking someone after they've been good to you is morally wrong which indeed is a form of abuse especially if it's habitual.  It doesn't have to be a person ordering another person to do harmful things.  It can be anything that was done out of kindness yet met with dismissive behavior and not appreciated with what could've otherwise been an expression of a simple:  "Thank you."  It doesn't have to be assault or physical abuse.  It's mental abuse,  lack of empathy and lack of emotional intelligence meaning not placing yourself in other people's shoes;  not feeling for others.   

I've been with people who didn't bother to thank me and the consequence?  I don't want to be with them anymore.  😒 I've lost my desire.   Who enjoys being with an ingrate?  🙄

Yes,  agree to disagree.  That works.  😉

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She asked you to :

13 hours ago, sarafollows said:

"Let me figure this out on my own"

That's all you need to do.

What other time have you spent around this guy? So far, you have only mentioned two very narrow moments; this moving one is honestly the more forgivable of the two. A lot of people get stressed out by moving and don't put their best face forward.

Let her learn, and see how this guy is in a non-high stress environment.

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I agree,  let her figure this out on her own.  Sooner or later,  she will direct her own trajectory whether it's to continue putting up with his _______ or bail.  It's only a matter of time before the light turns on.  🙄  Just you wait and see.   

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She basically told you to mind your own business. It's the only way she's gonna learn about relationships and about herself. With experience comes knowledge, with knowledge comes power....she will get there. 

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20 hours ago, sarafollows said:

 I tried telling her what I think and she says "Let me figure this out on my own"  I'm just really afraid to see her get hurt.  I cherish my friendship and only wish the best for her.  Any advice? I know I have to let her figure this out, but if anything happens, How can I support her? Thanks. 

She doesn't want your input but I understand why you are concerned.  

At this point you cannot say another word about him.  Just hush no matter what.   Also don't drift too far away from her.  She needs to know by your actions that you will be there & she doesn't need you putting her in a tug of war between her & him. 

If you can't hold your tongue the only thing you can do is play arm chair psychologist & ask probing questions in the hopes of getting her to see light.   Ask things like:  "how does it make you feel when he talks to you like that?" "how did it make you feel when you did all that work for him & he didn't say thank you?"  "how do you feel when you are with him?"  You have to let her come to her own conclusions. 

Right now she is so desperate for a relationship she's settling for this garbage.  

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Often times, people have to discover and realize for themselves what a terrible mistake they made in choosing a boyfriend (or partner,  husband,  wife,  friend,  etc).  No amount of forewarning will convince a person to do otherwise because it's their choice and eventually,  they have to learn for themselves.  I agree with @TeeDee

Learning the hard way is the best way even though it is the most painful way.  One day,  she'll have the "live and learn" attitude.  In the meantime,  step back and just wait.  She'll know in due time. 

Most likely,  she's in the "I can change him" mindset and you can never change a man.  She's still in wishful thinking mode.  Someday her naivete will be no more.

You can support her by doing nothing and allowing her to live her own life even if she makes mistakes along the way.  Should her relationship go awry,  give her moral support after the fact but never tell her this:  "I told you so."  No one wants to hear that! ☹️  Just be a good listener.  There is nothing more you can do.

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Sometimes you just gotta have faith. 

I am friends with a woman who took up with a bad guy.  When she 1st told me she was dating him she didn't know I knew him & I was friends with his Ex-wife.  I told her to be careful because he was bad guy who beat the snot out of his Ex-wife on more than one occasion & lost a million dollar business over his violent drunken shenanigans.   My friend couldn't square that with the "great guy" she knew. 

A few weeks my friend told me he told her to stay away from me because I was always jealous & that is why I was lying to her about him. I laughed & showed her some police reports & lawsuits. 

She dated him anyway.  He never hit my friend but he was abusive in other ways.  Whenever she came to me crying I always said the same thing to her, "what advice would you give your daughter or granddaughter if they told you the story you just told me?"  She always admitted she'd tell them to leave but for whatever reason it took over a year for my friend to finally come to her senses & dump his sorry cheating butt.  

These kind of guys never change.  You simply have to hope your friend figures it out before it's too late.  

 

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@sarafollowsmy advice is to say nothing and leave it alone.  He's her boyfriend, not yours... It's her life.

You don't know their dynamic, perhaps it's a Dom/Sub (Dominant/Submissive) type of dynamic and they like it that way!  It's not for everyone, but who cares, it's their dynamic and their relationship.

As long as whatever he's doing isn't hurting her and it's mutually agreed upon, it's not your business.

It may NOT be your cuppa tea, but again it's not your RL.

I don't think this makes her a "doormat" as some others suggested, it simply makes her a person who enjoys a particular type of dynamic that's different from what you enjoy.

Abuse is subjective.  Meaning what may be considered abuse to YOU may not be considered abuse to her, as long as she is agreeable to it.

Like in BDSM relationships.  Abuse to some but not to those involved in that type of relationship/dynamic. 

It's not for anyone else to judge IMO.  There is a lid for every pot as they say.

That said, should she start complaining to you about feeling controlled, dominated or abused and she's feeling hurt by it and is unhappy, at that point you can step in and offer support and suggest she leave.  

But not saying "thank you" and giving her demands?  That would hardly be considered "abuse."

So as others have suggested, leave them alone and let them carry on as they wish.  You don't have to like him.

In essence that is what I think she was trying to tell you as well.

P.S.  You're a good friend for worrying about her though. 😀 

 

 

 

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4 hours ago, catfeeder said:

Did the guy ever thank you for your help? Before leaving I’d have told him cheerfully, “It was nice to meet you, and you’re welcome—from the both of us.”

 

He ended up saying Thank you but only after my friend told him to. 

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You can't do anything about this, OP. 

She knows you are concerned and that you don't like him (understandably) But she has told you essentially to back off. Listen to her. You can be there to listen when she needs it, but she is going to have to learn the hard way that this is not a healthy relationship. 

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5 hours ago, rainbowsandroses said:

Abuse is subjective.  Meaning what may be considered abuse to YOU may not be considered abuse to her, as long as she is agreeable to it.

Not really. There is a clear standard what may or may not be abuse. Person may not consider to be abused and stay in the relationship. But that doesnt mean its not abuse. It has a clear distinction from BDSM as BDSM people derive pleasure from abuse. But its still abuse and its not a subjective. Meaning even they know its a form of abuse but they are complied with it. 

I do agree this is not abuse from what OP said. It may be, as we dont know if he is more harsh with her. But being bossy and not saying “thank you” and only saying it after you are reminded, is not an abuse. Just not polite. Lots of people read popular psychology so they use terms like “abuse”, “gaslighting” and others without having a clear distinction what that is.

To OP, even if your friend is in abusive relationship, there is nothing you can do. She clearly likes the guy and wants to figure it out and make it work. You may not like him and thats fine. But, until your friend realize herself some stuff, she wont listen to you. Even less will listen if you are not approving of her relationship and tell her that she is being abused. So, just be there for her without too much meddling.

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4 hours ago, Kwothe28 said:

There is a clear standard what may or may not be abuse. Person may not consider to be abused and stay in the relationship. But that doesnt mean its not abuse. It has a clear distinction from BDSM as BDSM people derive pleasure from abuse. But its still abuse and its not a subjective. Meaning even they know its a form of abuse but they are complied with it. 

^^After reading this, I take back, in part, what I wrote in my previous.

I agree with you @Kwothe28.

 

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