My best friend’s boyfriend is really controlling. He won’t let her do anything without him. She hasn’t been to my house since before they started dating and sometimes he forbids her to talk to me. I miss my friend and more importantly, I’m afraid that he’ll become abusive. She’s even thinking about moving in with him. I hate this guy! What do I do, Heather?!
Whoa. If this is really the way this guy is treating your best friend, that’s totally uncool. And what’s even more uncool is that she’s letting him get away with it. I can completely understand why you dislike him – this dude is obviously monopolizing your BFF, and that’s not fair to anyone.
But before you do anything, make sure you’re absolutely positive that her boyfriend really is that controlling. I’m not doubting your story, but it’s possible that your BFF just wants to spend all of her time with her boyfriend, and she’s making these excuses so that it seems like it’s not her fault. If that’s the case, that stinks, and that’s another issue you need to talk to her about.
However, if her BF really is trying to control her and you honestly think he could potentially be abusive, you need to say something to her. Pull her aside when you know he’s not going to be around and tell her how worried you are. Explain how much you care about her and tell her that you don’t think she’s in a healthy relationship.
Don’t say things like, “I hate your boyfriend” or “You’re stupid for staying with him.” That’s only going to make her defensive and will probably create a greater distance between you two. Just let her know how much you miss her and explain that you don’t think he treats her the way she deserves to be treated.
If that talk doesn’t work and you truly think your friend is in danger, you should seriously considering telling an adult like her parents, a school counselor or even her older sister or brother. If more than one person says these things to your friend, she might take them more seriously.
Unfortunately, it’s possible that none of these things will work. Your friend may have to figure this one out for herself. If she feels like she loves this guy, then she might not listen to anyone else and it might take her a while to snap out of it. But if you really think she’s in some kind of abusive relationship, you need to try to stick by her side as much as possible. Hopefully, she’ll eventually realize that her boyfriend is no good and then things can go back to normal.
What’s on your mind? Heather can help! Send her your question at firstname.lastname@example.org