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4 Bumps

Is it wrong to tell a friend who is in a situation where they are being mistreated that you don't want to hear about it anymore?

Here is the situation. A friend is in a mentally abusive relationship. She and her partner fight and he tears her down emotionally and mentally in an extremely abusive manner. She comes crying and tells you all the mean things he has said to her. You advise her that after all this time and no change has happened in their relationship except that the abuse is getting more frequent and more vicious..that it might be time to walk away from him forever. He doesn't think he's wrong and will not likely change.
She cools off and goes back to him and tells him what you said, then tells you she can't talk to you because you are coming between them fixing their problems and are trying to ruin their relationship. (Obviously his words in her mouth.) You've never just come out of the blue and told her she should leave, it's only when she comes to you for advice that you tell her she is fighting a losing battle with this guy.
Then a few days later she is back...wanting to cry on your shoulder because he's become abusive again.
Is it wrong to tell her that you don't want to be involved and you don't want to hear about it either because she's going to go back as soon as she cools off? Or do you just stay in the cycle hoping she gets it one day?
Does it make you a bad friend not to want to be taken on the emotional roller-coaster each one of these fights cause?

Answer Question

Asked by CallMeAngie at 1:02 PM on May. 6, 2011 in Relationships

Level 17 (3,297 Credits)
Answers (20)
  • I have been in this situation. Basically I told her that she obviously doesn't want to change the way her life is and that I don't want to hear her complain one more time. Its hard to be that tough on friends but if they are not going to do anything to change their situation then there is nothing you can do to help her and she just needs to drop it.

    Answer by firepony at 1:04 PM on May. 6, 2011

  • I wouldn't abandon her but don't be polite about her situation either. Give it to her between the eyes and if that costs you your friendship than it's her loss. She shouldn't be burning bridges or taking orders from an asshole.

    Answer by Imogine at 1:04 PM on May. 6, 2011

  • Absolutely not. Tell her how you feel too. Let her know that he is changing her from the good friend she once was to this unhappy person you cant relate to. Point out how she herself said that it isnt your business. You can give her advice all day but if she is just going to be with him anyway then you are wasting your breath.

    Answer by amber710 at 1:06 PM on May. 6, 2011

  • my bestfriend was like this with her dh.she found out he was cheating and went thru the hole listen to me whine kinda thing blah blah she leaves and takes the kids..well a few days later she ends up going back and when she has issues shes like oh wah wah all over again and he got pissed bc she told me everything she found out and i gave her my in the end i just tell her not to tell me any more of their crap bc shes not adult enough to handle the situation..i told her that when she was ready for serious help to let me know

    Answer by Anonymous at 1:06 PM on May. 6, 2011

  • I WOULD tell her it's time to leave RIGHT NOW and offer her the spare room. But I would also tell her that if she's not going to take the escape hatch, I CANNOT be her sounding board any more because ALL I will advise her to do is leave. The spare room will always be available when she comes to her senses, but the sounding board is closed if she is going to ask for advice and not take it.

    Maybe it makes me a bad friend. I'm not particularly worried about that. I am worried about a young woman who is being stunningly STUPID.

    Answer by gdiamante at 1:08 PM on May. 6, 2011

  • I don't think you are a bad friend at all, I think you are just sick of hearing about all her drama -- she cries about how mean he is but then keeps going back to him for more-- she does nothing to change the situation. Next time she comes crying I would say "I'm sorry Sally, but I have heard this story 100 times now and it is like a broken record... To be honest with you I really don't care to hear about your relationship and problems, I have enough going on in my own life and I really don't need all your drama. If you would like to still be friends, fine- but relationship talk is off limits". And then if/when she does start in talking about him I would say 'I don't care to hear anymore about it" and change the subject.
    I hope your friend will see the light, realize he is bad news and she will leave him for good!

    Answer by MizLee at 1:11 PM on May. 6, 2011

  • I'm so happy my friends stood by me and listened to me go on and on when I went through it. It takes a long time to cut ties. It's not easy. And a lot of the time the person's self esteem is super low, they are insecure, and have been bound by intimidation. Unless you have really been there, it's not fair to judge. It's so hard! THe person has to be really done, and really tired. Not to mention, feeling very alone. She may have no one else to talk to about it. I'm not saying you have to listen to it all the time. Maybe she doesn't want advice, maybe she just wants to talk about it. I know it's frustrating and it's so hard to watch knowing her life could be so much better, but I would meet in the middle on this one. :) Good Luck.

    Answer by Musicmom80 at 1:11 PM on May. 6, 2011

  • If she's your friend ~ a true friend ~ then you'll understand that she's in an abusive relationship and if you knew anything about being in an abusive relationship, you would understand that she has no self esteem and doesn't think highly of herself. Having someone in her corner to support her while she goes through this maybe the strength she needs to get away from this man. Don't put her down and don't judge her, she's hurting, she's confused and she needs your support. I know its hard watching her go through this and its hard knowing she tells him everything you've said but she's your friend ~ support her and give her the right tools to get away from this man...

    Answer by mom2mybabes at 1:13 PM on May. 6, 2011

  • I don't know about wrong but it's definitely mean and really not necessary to say 'I don't want to hear about it anymore.' Some people think it's easy to break ties when abuse is involved. It should be but it's not. I've seen it from both sides. Just about everyone I knew cut me off when I was being abused and needed help so then all I felt was that I had nowhere to go but a shelter. Thank goodness for my grandparents who were there when I left my abuser. I've also been the one to say 'you need to leave him because he is verbally abusive to you' and it never got through. Eventually she saw the light and left. I can see being frustrated but that is no reason to be cruel. If you can't kindly say please take my advice or leave me out of it until you need help, maybe you should back away entirely.

    Answer by Anonymous at 1:19 PM on May. 6, 2011

  • I had a friend who was like this. Every time he got in a relationship, he would rush into the "I love you's" and crap and then he'd run to me to cry when it was all over. No matter how many times I warned him and expressed concern I heard "But she's different." He would get to where he would threaten to kill himself and he'd start cutting, but honestly, I just told him one day, "Look, I have a son to take care of, a house to keep in order and a husband who's going through his own difficult times right now. I don't have time to worry about the emotional rollercoaster you're putting YOURSELF on. I'm happy to listen when you're upset about a break up but this childish, attention seeking, slit-my-wrists behavior needs to stop. You're a big boy now. Time to deal with your emotions like a grown up." He was mad at me, but once he realized how much it was effecting me emotionally, he backed off with the suicide threats.

    Answer by MamaStuart at 1:27 PM on May. 6, 2011

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