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Does My Friend Need Therapy?

Group Therapy: Does My Friend Need Therapy?

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

I have a friend who was in an emotionally abusive relationship from late high school throughout the majority of college. He was controlling, manipulative, and made constant disparaging remarks about her. He was the puppet-master in her life for years. When she finally broke free of him, all her friends were so happy, especially since there was a time in college he didn't  allow her to go out at night, and subsequently, we all went months without seeing her.

Once she was single, she became sexually promiscuous, and had casual sex with an array of guys. While we didn't necessarily approve of this behavior, no one said anything, because we all assumed this was her way of taking back control of her life. After a few years, she started talking via Facebook with someone she had a class with in college who was now in the Army. To make it clear, she was not friends with this person beforehand, just acquaintances. They decided to start a long distance relationship, and he was 2 1/2 years younger than her (21 to her 23). After only a few months of dating, he was pressuring her to get married. After entertaining the idea for too long, she broke up with him.


Now, she is in a sexual relationship with someone over a decade older than her, who has a girlfriend. She will go out with us at night, then take the subway to his place. It's essentially a booty call, but she is so smitten with him, she doesn't care/realize it.  After months, we all finally met him. Unfortunately, any doubts about the relationship were NOT alleviated and we are all more concerned that she is losing herself.

I guess the point I'm trying to make is that she's never been in a healthy relationship, and might not realize she deserves better. She isn't treating herself or her body with any respect. It's becoming obvious to her friends and family that she might need to meet with a shrink or go to some type of counseling to deal with unresolved issues from her abusive relationship, because it seems to have impacted her self-esteem and judgement greatly. My friend is incredibly smart, vibrant and strong-willed . . . and no one is sure if we should approach the idea of seeing a therapist/how she would react. Or, are we just too concerned, and making a mountain out of a mole hill? Should we just go with the flow and trust her?

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Join The Conversation
onlysourcherry onlysourcherry 6 years
Ugh, that sucks. Yes, your friend needs therapy. Maybe you could sit down with her and talk to her about her life and gently ask her a question along the lines of "Do you think the choices you are making are making you happy? Are you getting what you want?" Maybe she will open up to you and you could suggest that she talk to someone.
camdenyards camdenyards 6 years
Chill DazzleDe, just because I am asking for IMPARTIAL advice on a subject that I lose sleep over doesn't mean I'm a bad friend. Everyone involved in this situation has very strong feelings toward this man, and I thought some fresh opinions might reinforce or quell the issues.
DazzleDe DazzleDe 6 years
What your friend really needs a new friend. One who is going to post all of her biz on the internets!! NOT COOL.
EvieJ EvieJ 6 years
I agree with Greg and Pax, but OP, once you've mentioned it to her, let it go. It's up to her to decide whether she gets help, and it's not and should never be for YOUR sake, it's for her sake. If you push her on it, you might push her away.
pax4pax pax4pax 6 years
I agree with @GregS -- she needs help. Perhaps, since you are close to her, you can tell her, for your sake, can she talk with a professional.
GregS GregS 6 years
It seems as though her personality was repressed so throuroughly for 2.5 years that she never really made a decision on her own. Sh'es forgotten how to act in company. Maybe can no longer say "no" to a male. These things can happen in a Dom/sub relationship as well as an abusive one. Determining whether her past relationship was one or the other with the brief description you provided would be impossible. However, since this all transpired over a 2.5 year period, I would tend to think of an abusive situation. This would call for a different tact. What you describe would be typical backlash to long term situation like that where she has inadequate guidance - she's rudderless. Being pushed around by the changing winds. Yes, she needs help of a professional type.
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