How to Tell Your Best Friend That She's With the Wrong Guy

She deserves a safe and happy romantic relationship.
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You care about your best friend and you want her to be happy, but her boyfriend is all wrong for her in your opinion. She might not want to hear you say that, so you need concrete reasons why she should give him up rather than gut feelings. Be prepared for her possible anger if she doesn’t see it your way. He could also become angry, so stay safe.

1 She's Not Happy

If your friend is often crying, sad, anxious, fearful, disrespected or apologetic, point it out. These are signs that the relationship is unhealthy, according to psychotherapist Jill Murray in her booklet, “Are You in an Unhealthy Relationship?” Explain that if he were right for her, she would not be feeling unhappy or afraid. Agree that sometimes he is wonderful and makes her feel happy but that negative emotions outweigh the positive ones.

2 His Negative Behaviors

If you have observed him doing things that hurt your best friend, talk about them. Let her know if he hit on you or if you saw him cheating on her. Visible proof, such as pictures or someone who can verify your statements, will help your case. Speak up if he’s abusive, controlling, indulges in name-calling or humiliation or threatens her. Remind her that these are also signs of an unhealthy relationship and could result in physical, emotional and mental harm, according to Murray. She should not have to put up with controlling, critical, jealous, possessive and restricting behaviors, according to the Santa Clara University Wellness Center in “20 Relationship Warning Signs.” Help her see that she needs help to stay safe and get out of the relationship.

3 Listen to Her

Your friend could have reasons for staying with her boyfriend, writes Murray. She might say she loves him, and he needs her. She could say that she is afraid he will become violent toward her or her family and friends if she tries to leave. Alternatively, she might be afraid of not having a boyfriend, fearing that she isn’t pretty enough or good enough for someone to love her. Encourage her to believe in herself and to seek a safe and loving relationship. Remind her that you love her and believe in her.

4 Help Her Get Out

If the relationship is abusive, help your best friend to get help from a counselor, law enforcement or a battered women’s center, suggests the American Academy of Pediatrics in “Signs of a Healthy Relationship” on their website. Those resources can help her escape and provide needed resources, such as counseling. If he isn’t a threat, support her as a friend. Continue to remind her that she deserve to be happy, healthy and safe.

Rev. Kathryn Rateliff Barr has taught birth, parenting, vaccinations and alternative medicine classes since 1994. She is a pastoral family counselor and has parented birth, step, adopted and foster children. She holds bachelor's degrees in English and history from Centenary College of Louisiana. Studies include midwifery, naturopathy and other alternative therapies.