Q: My best friend has started seeing her ex-boyfriend. Again. She has a history of not being able to make a clean break. For five years, she was on and off with a sexist pig who would make her take off her pants for his friends so they could see how hot she was. Then she dated a man for 2 1/2 years who married someone else while they were together, the whole time hoping he'd leave his wife to be with her.
This guy she's with now spent their first two months together prowling for other women. She dumped him, but they continued talking. He kept telling her he wanted to be together, all the while still trying to sleep with other women, which she would find out about. He lied to her about why he and his ex-wife split up (he cheated on the ex).
The other day, she posted pictures online of them when they went on a day trip. I can only imagine she didn't tell me beforehand because she knew what I would say. Can I say something, and what?
When to Speak Up?
A: If "she knew what I would say," then you've said something — many times, no doubt. Now, it's time to get at the bigger problem: "I cannot bear to watch you treat yourself so poorly anymore, and cannot talk to you about this boyfriend — or any other who helps you mistreat yourself — as if it's a typical, healthy relationship. I hope you'll get help. If you're not ready, then I will be at your side whenever you are, at every step." The specifics of these men only distract from the fact that she's the common denominator. Unless she tends to her own emotional health, any breakup will only bring up the next guy in her disastrous choices.