I was in a similar situation with a friend once Theo. You can't tell them. They won't listen. It's one of those things where you have to just make it clear that you're their friend no matter what and they will eventually come to their senses. Unfortunately it's a hard lesson to learn but they will learn it. My friend did. I was in a situation myself a little similar. Controling other person. I learned. I just finally had to make up my mind that enough was enough.
That stinks theo sounds like he is kinda whiped by this girl.. Prob because it's his first real relationship in a long time.. Sounds like shes a bit of a control freak type.. I personally can't stand them types maybe that's why I find that I'm quite happy being single now adays.. I have friends that sound exactly like yours..And it's sickening to watch but if he's ok with her and how she acts/treats him.. Then you might as well step back and watch the show.. And just be there for him when and if it all comes undone..
Well you can see the edges to the relationship, the places where it's a little bit raw. For example, she wants him to move to the UK and he's having to go through the pain in the arse process of looking for a job while not in the country and I pointed out that taxes in the UK are twice what they are where he lives, he's also concerned about the quality of life.
So while he clearly does love her, I think that moving to the UK (especially seeing as he's only been seeing her for like 8 months) might be a difficult move for him. There's also talk of the fact that she wants kids and he doesn't , which is always an explosive and paranoia-inducing situation to be in.
I can't see him putting up with the power imbalance if he's living with her because at the moment it's just weekends. It's one thing not being able to do what you want on weekends because then you think it's an occasion but when it's all the time... I can't see it working but I guess it'll be his mistake to make.
Well if the walls went up then there is nothing more you can do. If you try anything else and he catches it thats all its going to do is start a fight between you two. Thats all you can do now is let it ride. If you are bothered that much by it the only other thing you can do is remove yourself from the situation. Chances are, she has him wrapped up tight and he wont see any different until he's fed up with it.
That is a tough one...especially it being his first relationship
Doing what you are doing is best...planting seeds subtly and being there for him
The walls are probably up because he already knows what he needs to know...just doesn't want the confirmation
I do hope he eventually tires of her and leaves her for a healthier relationship...i know the fear of lonliness is strong but it isn't nearly as bad as being in a bad relationship
As to your original question...think you already have your answer...to which i agree with everyone else
I did see him and speak to him but the walls have gone up... you essentially can't say anything to him about her. But I tried to plant the seed in more subtle ways rather than coing at the issue head on.
Ok Theo, I know how you love my opinions, so here goes. It has been my experience that you will stay in an unhealthy relationship rather than be alone only when you are not happy with yourself. I would imagine that sometime the subject of his g/f will come up when you two are talking. I don't think that it would be a good idea just to blurt out what you think about her, but if you said nicely to him, "she comes across as a little controlling to me, is she always that way?" chances are it will plant the seed of thought in his head.
Theo, you have my sympathy. It's so hard to see a friend allow their significant other to do this to them. I've been through this. From experience-- NOT talking about your friend's girlfriend might get better results. Instead of saying "Why won't she let you see a friend?" try saying "It's a shame you can't arrange to meet me, I'd really like to see you." Every time he brings up that he can't because of HER, don't even acknowledge it--just go back to something along the lines of, "It makes me sad that you won't meet me/it's too bad that you're unwilling to meet me."
And he will probably say she won't let him--he's either trying to absolve himself of any control in the matter, or trying to get you to say something negative about her so he can use being upset with your comment to cancel the plans--instead of real reason which is he allows her to control him. I realize I don't know your friend & am presuming a lot, but there are just too many things in common with this situation and those I'm all too familiar with.
This is a rotton position to be in. I'm sending good thoughts your way.
I'm not sure how blunt you should be with him...maybe a few well-placed hints. But in the end, he needs to learn how to stand up for himself. He may be really afraid of losing her since it's his first real relationship. In that case, it might be a nasty little learning experience for him. And I know that for you, being his best friend, it'll be a huge pain to deal with.
this is a very hard call for you, i sympathise but in my opinion, you should mention your concerns to your friend. Say it one time only to him as diplomatically as you can and then its up to him whether or not he takes it on board. Love is blind and he seems too wrapped up in having a relationship to notice the control issue...or..on the other hand, he may like the control - there are some submissive males who prefer a dom/sub relationship. All you can do is be there as a friend if all this goes wrong. Good luck! :)
Theo he is your friend so you are justified in giving your opinion. However as we all know they will do what they want, at least you may have planted the seed. No a messed up relationship is not better than no relationship, but you already know all this.
If there was sometime of dangerous behavior involved, ie. physical abuse or something like that, then I would have to speak up, otherwise I would just bite my tongue.I wouldn't inter fer in their relationship. I have found no matter how much we complain to our friends about our partners we usually don't want to hear anything bad said about them. Often a friend can see the problems in a relationship long before the people involved in it can, but as they say love is blind, and you just might end up losing a good friend. I think the best you can do is be there for him if the relationship ends. And as has been mentioned, you only know his side of the story, so if he seems happy, I'd stay mum.
unhealthy relationships are much more damaging. loneliness can be repaired eventually, but negative associations/conditions are much harder. You start to avoid things that even REMIND you of the relationship and then the loneliness is harder the next time around. I would speak up. Not just like "mate, thats worrying", but "you need to open your eyes cause thats wrong. on every level. period." You shouldnt have to apologise for someone, or make theyre excuses, OR have to keep things in your life secret from the SO.
Im sure you know this so ill shush up now ;)
Theophrastus write: I'm also now torn as to whether or not to intervene.
Is an unhealthy relationship better than being lonely?
Is it morally right that I should make that decision for him by wading in and giving my honest rather than diplomatically neutered opinion?
You, my dear Theo, are in between the proverbial rock and the hard place. Yes, it is morally right to tell your friend your concerns and opinions. But, having been in that type of relationship, be prepared for the fact that he will not be ready to listen. That his gut reaction will be "you don't know her like I do". Make it clear that no matter what he takes from your words, you will always be there for him.
No, Theo... an unhealthy relationship is NOT better than being lonely. I was married to a very controlling man, although I didn't see his controllingness (I know that is not a word, but oh well! lol) until it was almost too late. My family tried to tell me about it but I wouldn't listen. I had to see it for myself and I eventually did. My advice would be to simply share your concerns with your friend but let him decide what to do. He will eventually see it.
Relationships are tricky things because most of the time, there's only so much advice you can give. Ultimately all you can do is say "well I wouldn't put up with that" whereas in truth... just like 'Nam... you don't know if you're not there.
I wanted to check that I'm not missing some obvious justification for her behaviour. My intuitions for what is and isn't fair tends to be pretty good, but I wanted to be sure :-) Thank you all.
I'm concerned that his inexperience, lonelyness and desire for a quiet life is resulting in his sleep-walking his way into a relationship that doesn't suit him... and really shouldn't suit anyone.
If this was a one off, I wouldn't have been worried but in truth it's kind of the tip of the iceberg... and that's just the stuff I've been told.
For example, she doesn't like the idea of dating someone who plays videogames. So she has baned him from playing more than a few hours a week. One timem she spent the weekend with him and went back home, when she called him that evening he said that he'd been playing videogames and she threw a tantrum.
She once shouted at him for not knowing where some kitchen equipment was in her house, despite it being the first time he'd visited.
They made a cake together to take to someone's party and ate the left-overs. My friend said that the cake needed cream because it tasted a bit funny. She threw a tantrum again.
She lies about him to her friends and family. Saying that he's much older (she's 8 years older than him).
I've also noticed that he deals with her by avoiding the things that make her angry and then apologising for her. This is pretty close to the way people who are victims of bullying behave.
My knee-jerk reaction? Yes, she's being selfish and unfair. However, I find that rarely do you get the whole story on these kinds of issues, and when I make a snap decision, it usually comes back to bite me in the butt, because there were other things my friend didn't tell me about.
If that's really all there is to it, then she's being a selfish control freak.
It does sound like something is funky there, Theo. It sounds like you and your friend have a good relationship, and it would be ok to bring this up. I agree though e-mail is not the way to go... I'd do it in person (or if absolutely necessary over the phone). Just approach it carefully, and more that you're looking out for your mate, versus sticking your nose in his business. If he is receptive in the beginning of the conversation, then proceed.. carefully... If he starts getting edgy, then you just might have to let him work thorough this issue for better or for worse.
It sounds like this chick definitely has some control issues. Your friend may be aware of them, or might be ignoring them just because he's enamoured at being in a relationship after all this time. My sis deals with a similar situation with my hyper controlling brother-in-law just because she's terrified of being on her own.
Personally I don't get the whole control issue thing. A relationship is a partnership, and yes, you should love spending time together, however you need to be able to go do things, and see friends without the other freaking out. How is your joint life as a couple ever going to succeed if you can't have at least a little bit of a life of your own?