'My friend is engaged to a man that I think is bad for her. Here is how I'm going to tell her.'

It's usually first thing in the morning that Amy will text me. 

Over the past year and a half, she's reached out at least ten times expressing strife over her boyfriend's behaviour. 

I'll wake up to long paragraphs like little digital bricks of frustration. I comb through the phrases he used, the repulsive behaviours, the red flags so large he could wear one to dinner. All I can think to myself during these micro-therapy sessions is — why?

Why are you still with him?

I've voiced my concerns in coded ways as to not stir the volatile pot. I don't want to alienate her, but I care about her. This makes phrasing become a balancing act.

Watch: The Mamamia team shares the biggest lie they've ever told someone. Post continues after video.

Video via Mamamia.

I was dealing with my relationship drama about a year ago, and at the time issues in our respective relationships were mutual. I was a mirror of her and her boyfriend's dynamic, and though both of us knew her boyfriend's behaviour was wrong, the pendulum was equal, and there was no urgency for her to leave him.

Not that my relationship is stable, the contrast is stark.


Her boyfriend breaks the promises he makes to her. When they started dating, they were both sober after long respective bouts of addiction. She has been steadfast in her sobriety journey, yet her boyfriend, after a time, wanted to start smoking weed.

It might sound silly to those who are not against the occasional joint, but for a person who is on a serious path of sobriety, this could really throw a wrench in the lifestyle machine.

To compromise, he assured her he would only smoke twice a month.

He has continually broken that promise, and when confronted with that fact, he pegs her as controlling and manipulative.

He often has no regard for what she wants in bed, and guilts her into sleeping with him more than she feels comfortable with given the current state of their relationship.

He is the anti-partner.

The most disturbing aspect of all unfolded this past Christmas. I awoke from a turkey coma to unlock a video she had sent that morning. A video of his proposal to her (which, not that it matters, was terrible). 

The sirens in my head were like an ambulance going down an avenue in my mind, and at the end of the avenue waited catastrophe.

I wanted to be happy because she was happy. I wanted to call her and shout "Congratulations!" at the top of my lungs and really mean it. But all I could do was form a frown, and levitate my fingers above the screen while I waited for a balanced response to come to me.


You can't necessarily, right off the bat, tell your friend she is making a huge mistake when in theory she is at the height of the euphoria of a proposal. But it also felt wrong to pretend to be excited for her.

It's not like he forgot to buy her flowers for Valentine's Day. This guy is actually in all probability a very bad person.

I sent her a message with no soul. I congratulated her, but it was stiff. I honestly wasn't sure how to handle this.

After some thought, I knew I had to hypothesise a way to tell her how I really felt, because I love her. I do want her to be happy. It is so clear to me, and everyone we know, that being with him is a mistake. Marrying him would be the death at any chance of a peaceful life.

This calls into question what the role of a friend really is in your life. 

There are things that are no one's business but yours (or yours and your partner's). However, I do believe our friends' happiness is our business. If you believe your friend is engaging in behaviour or a part of a dynamic that is making them unhappy, it is your responsibility to infiltrate. You can still do this at a distance. 

For a while, I was unsure, but eventually, I knew that's what I had to do. I need to have her back. 

I need to start by assuring her that I love her. And while I generally trust her judgement, sometimes our perception of relationships becomes distorted when we are under the spell of a toxic cycle. It can be hard to see the truth. 

I need to make it clear that no matter what she chooses, I will be there. Threatening to end our friendship if she doesn't leave him would be the cruellest of all, and it would be leaving someone in their true time of need. That is not an option. 


After this, I'll site specific reasons for why I believe her relationship is toxic, and perhaps she should reconsider marriage. I'll have examples ready. 

This is essentially my step-by-step action plan for confronting my friend about her engagement. At the end of the day, I have to accept that this is the only thing I can do.

Listen to The Undone where the hosts breaks down the three types of people you'll definitely end up dating sooner than later. Post continues below.

If I say nothing, I will feel culpable. Even though I've voiced my concerns in the past, she had no legal attachment to him. Marriage changes everything.

I would rather risk alienating her by voicing my concern than saying nothing and watching her suffer later. When all is said and done, I want friends who support me even when it makes me feel like I've made foolish choices. I want friends who hold me accountable and have my best interest at heart. 

That's exactly what I'm doing to do with her. 

If she ends up getting married to him, I'm sure I'll continue to receive long texts about his abhorrent behaviour. If that's the case, I may have to start charging by the hour.

Feature Image: Supplied.

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