In my life, I’ve seen more unhealthy relationships than the other way around. It’s just the way it has been for me. Maybe that’s why I never really daydreamed about my wedding day or had my kids name’s picked out.
In the past, when I’d have a friend or family member enter into a bad relationship, I’d try to stop it. I thought it was my responsibility to stop them from making a mistake, or that I owed it to them to tell them what I was seeing. As I’ve gotten older and made (many) mistakes, I’ve come to this conclusion: It’s not my business.
That was a hard realization to come to. Of course, if someone is in an abusive relationship (physically or emotionally), you should absolutely intervene. You have to do it very subtly, but that’s a completely different subject. I’m talking about the unhealthy ones that aren’t necessarily dangerous, but just uncomfortable. These unhealthy relationships are when your best friend starts dating a total douche bag or when your mom starts hanging out with condescendingly religious Larry from down the street. Though you may think your friends sudden interest in cars is annoying or your mom’s new relationship with Jesus is weird, it’s still not your business to say something. Yes, maybe it’s uncomfortable to see your friend/family member acting different around their new found love, but it’s still not a reason to say anything.
I know it’s hard to lose certain qualities of someone you once were effortlessly open with, but that is sometimes the nature of a relationship. When a person enters a relationship, that person becomes the most important person in their life. That is, after all, the person they (usually) plan on spending their whole life with. You can either resent them for this and lose a friend, or you can realize that it’s ok; you shouldn’t rely on someone’s affection that much anyway. You should only rely on yourself. You may have to accept the fact that your relationship will never be exactly the same, but you can still derive the good things out of it, put aside the bad, and learn to accept the new dynamic.
For someone who has entered a healthy, mature relationship, this shouldn’t be a problem. Someone who is confident in themselves and is not searching for someone else to “complete them” should not be changing major aspects of their personality or interests and should be able to maintain good relations with their family and friends. But, like I said, these are not the cases I’m talking about. I’m talking about when you have a friend that enters a shitty relationship, but you still want to keep them in your lives.
It’s hard to watch someone you once knew change drastically, but it’s not a reason enough to lose the friendship. Often times, when people find something new and exciting, they get caught up in the excitement and are extreme about everything. Give this person some time to adjust and they’ll eventually find their way back to a happy medium.
I also know it can be hard to watch someone make a mistake that is obvious to you, but again, you have to let them make their mistakes. If you’re a really down-ass friend, you’ll be with them through the whole process, without judgement, and see them through the whole thing. You are their friend for a reason, and their amazing qualities did not just vanish as soon as Chuck showed up in his car without a muffler.
So my advice to you is this: If you have a friend or family member that has entered a new, uncomfortably unhealthy relationship, don’t say a word. You will very likely lose that person in your life. You don’t have to be over excited about it, but don’t tell them your unwanted opinion. If you care about this person and want them in your life, just support them. Operate on a secret level and make your friend and their significant other feel comfortable. Whatever you’re noticing will eventually come to the surface, and you’ll be there to help them, like a true friend, when they come crashing down from the honeymoon phase.