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How to Tell a Friend to Break Up

"Should I Tell My Friends to Break Up?"

This question is from a Group Therapy post in our TrèsSugar Community. Add your advice in the comments!

So about a year ago, I invited this guy to come to dinner with me, my friend (a girl), and another friend (a girl). I didn't know these girls or the guy very well, but we got along so I ate with them after practice. The guy hit it off with one of my friends and eventually they started dating.

During their relationship, I first became best friends with the guy — we talked on the phone every day and we got along better than anyone else I knew. He was the sweetest, funniest, most awesome guy that I'd ever known. His girlfriend would get jealous, which would make him question whether he should still be my friend or not. He ended up changing a lot after the first few months and I know the person that he is now is not the real him. All the fun times we shared just went away, but he's just acting like that to make sure he doesn't fight with his girlfriend — which they do anyways.

After he started changing, I ended up becoming friends with his girlfriend. Eventually, we became really close. But I never really approved of their relationship because they're bad for each other. She made him change because of me, and now that he's changed, he's making her even more sad in the relationship.

I feel like I'm the reason for their problems. They ask me for advice every time they get into a fight — about once a week — and I really, really want to tell them to just break up, but I'm afraid that I'll lose one of them in the process. I have no idea what I should do. Should I help them by telling them to get out of the relationship altogether? Or should I just let them keep doing what they're doing so that they figure it out on their own?

Have a dilemma of your own? Post it anonymously in Group Therapy for advice, and check out what else is happening in the TrèsSugar Community.

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Bruce3261959 Bruce3261959 3 years
Well you have a conflict of interest. Not only are you friends with both but you have a desire to be with one intimately. Its best to remain neutral or even walk away and let things run their course on their own without your influence.
ChrissyLee ChrissyLee 3 years
Tell them they need to figure it out on their own and that you refuse to listen to either one of them complain about it anymore.  It's not your place to tell them whether or not to be together but they need to know they have to stop leaning on you.  When they run out of people to complain to they'll be forced to deal with the relationship and figure it out.  It may suck to not communicate with them for a bit but they need to do this on their own.  
matoad matoad 3 years
There seems to be a good bit of confusion and indecision going on on all sides involved that doesn't even make sense disentangling on the spot cos it probably just needs some 'living and growing' to sort itself out. However, here is what you can do, right now: Stop advising them altogether. You clearly have a vested interest in their story so there is no way you will see it objectively. Case in point - the fact that the boyfriend's behaviour towards you changed doesn't mean either that he's changed in general or that the person you got to know was the 'real ' him. I can see why you would be tempted to see it that way, but this may or may not be true, and with the emotional stakes you have in all this you are unlikely to find out. So, stay friends if you like, but if you want to be a real friend, keep your mouth shut, and make sure you deal with your feelings (hopes?) for the bf.
BiWife BiWife 3 years
Ditto on getting out of the middle of them. Tell them to work it out between themselves and don't let your personal opinion of their relationship become something you're trying to convince either person of. Let them make their own decisions and if it doesn't match what you think they should do, then realize that they are human beings with unique desires and perspectives - respect that in them. Would you want them telling you how to do things all the time? I understand that it can be very frustrating to deal with friends that are drama-queens/kings, but with those people, enjoy the good moments and walk away from the bad ones as soon as you can. Don't let them suck you into their drama. You might also want to consider changing friends so that you're with people you actually like being around and vice versa, rather than these faux friendships with people who irritate you and (in your opinion) make stupid decisions that cause unnecessary complication in their lives.
henna-red henna-red 3 years
First, she didn't make him change. No one makes someone else change. He chooses to change his behavior to try to get along with her. It's his choice, not her fault. Second, you are not the reason for their troubles. They are the reason for their troubles. I agree with the above, don't get in the middle. It's very, very difficult when you're friends with a couple and the couple is having trouble, or is breaking up. And I agree, they will break up. It's Ok, that's what dating is....finding out if you are compatible, and if you're not, then you date someone else, and learn who and what you like in a person along the way. When they ask you for advice, tell them you are friend to them both and you won't be in the middle of their issues, or of their relationship. If you want to keep them both as friends, you can't talk about either of them to the other. You can't take sides. You can say things like I'm sorry you're upset, and I love you, I hope you do whatever will make you feel happy. And I totally agree with justfriends, you don't want to be around them when they're fighting, because they will each want to hear from a friend what to do, and that they are right and the other partner is wrong. You don't want to in the middle of that. I wonder if your school has any kind of mediation between students program. If it does, that might be somewhere to point your friends when they ask for advice. Otherwise, suggest they talk to their parents....I know that at 14, that's not always where you look first for romantic advice...but parents have been through what you're going through now, and can help. So might a class counselor....when you need to ask a flesh and blood person. best of luck to girl.
Aquadave Aquadave 3 years
don't get in the middle. They'll break it off soon enough. you know what you shouldn't let others decide who are your friends and when you can talk or see them. I know it's tough, I have a friend and I know her boyfriend is cheating on her, I can't tell her because it will cause more drama and it backfire on me. Yet I hold her while she cries on my shoulder telling me she's unhappy. i can't buy her a new place to live cause that'll backfire. It's hard on me and I'm old I know it's hard on you. Trust me don't get in the middle
justfriends14 justfriends14 3 years
I'm glad you mentioned how young you are 'cause that makes a world of difference. I would say that you need to at least not be around them when they are fighting and make it clear that you don't want anything to do with their arguements. Eventually they will figure out that they are both un-happy and if you want to keep them as friends then you don't want to be the one who encouraged them to break up. I know it is tempting to try and help, but in my experience the best bet is to be their friend without getting in the middle of their disputes. If they fight all the time you may just need to distance yourself for awhile & hang out with other people who make you happy.
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