We all have that friend. The one who has a significant other that you can’t stand. The friend that is so blinded by love that they couldn’t see what truly is right in front of them. It is painful to watch, and even can be heartbreaking when it happens to a close friend. There is nothing you can do when your friend is in a toxic relationship.
Everything starts out great; your friend sends you a text or a phone call telling you about how they met this great person and can’t wait for you to meet them. You become genuinely happy for your friend, and at first you can see the happiness radiate from their face. The future seems bright, and everything seems hopeful. There is a hope deep down that perhaps you can even befriend this new flame and incorporate them into your group of friends.
And then you meet them.
They are the exact opposite of everything that your friend told you they would be. Your friend says they are hard working when in reality they never truly worked a day in their life. They have bad habits that your friend seems to overlook, and if your friend had an application process for significant others they would be severely under qualified. However, your friend seems happy enough so you choose to be happy for them.
As time goes on, you start to notice the cracks in the relationship as they become more apparent. Their significant other’s flaws become clearer; the happiness that you see on their face turns to misery, and at times terror. Their significant other treats your friend wrong repeatedly, but despite that, your friend will go out of their way to justify every wrong. Even when it goes against their own beliefs, they will pull out every excuse in the book to create a false positive image of their significant other.
They will overachieve in an effort to make everyone believe they are happy—posting loving statuses on Facebook daily to give the perception that everything is fine. When you go out in public, you ask how the relationship is going and they say “Great!” however their eyes tell a different story.
Days become weeks, weeks become months, and what at one time created happiness for your friend becomes sadness. Love evolves into depression. What was once the source of their happiness is now the root of all evil. Loving is now loathing, and you realize that the song “Love the Way you Lie” can translate into real life.
They insist that everything is okay, but through casual conversations you learn new information. The significant other suspiciously doesn’t answer their phone for long periods of time, there are inconsistencies in stories told to your friend on where they were, they get easily angry at your friend for situations that don’t call for it.
We have all been put in this position at least once in our lives. What is scary is that some people, myself included, have witnessed these events transpire multiple times with different people. You know the road that they are headed down, but no matter how you try to approach it there is no winning situation.
You try the direct approach, but it only pushes your friend further into their significant other’s arms. They become so obsessed with proving to the world that they are so “in love” that they fail to take a step back and try to remember what love even felt like. They let the relationship destroy them slowly, like cancer it slowly takes over their entire being.
They start to isolate themselves; they start to believe the lie that their significant other is the best thing that ever happened to them. They talk to you less and less, and what was once a close friend starts to feel like a distant acquaintance
If they are the opposite gender of you, their significant other gets jealous easily and throws a fit any time you try to spend time together. They scream and shout, and in worse cases even begin to throw furniture around.
You confront your friends knowing the information that you have been told by them, and perhaps by others as well. Your friend screams at you for being so judgmental. Where do you get off thinking that their significant other is not the greatest person in the universe? How could you not worship the ground they walk on? They accuse you of looking down on their significant other. The significant other may not have any drive in life, and they may treat your friend that great, but your friend is convinced they can change the significant other.
The significant other won’t change, and when your friend realizes it it’s too late. The friend has put so much time and effort into the relationship, but their significant other couldn’t do the same. The significant other walks away, onto a new conquest. Meanwhile, your friend sits there: powerless. Along with so many others, you tried to warn them, but to no avail. Your friend sits there alone, pondering their mistakes.
Why didn’t they listen? What did they see in their significant other? Did your friend truly believe the relationship had a future?
You sit there as your friend breaks the news; they are on the brink of tears. Going into the conversation, all you want to do is say I told you so but instead you can only do one thing.
As tears well up in the eyes of your friend, you grab them and pull them in for a hug. You realize that there was nothing that could’ve been done to prevent this. Perhaps, maybe this relationship had to happen in order for your friend to learn about life and grow as a person.
Your friend has abandoned friends, family members, and anyone else who was critical of the relationship. They start to realize the wrongs they have committed, and just how toxic this supposedly “happy” relationship was to their life.
They pick up the pieces, as they start to recover from the blinding disease that created such an impact. The friend rises from the ashes, changed for the better. An air of maturity and growth surrounds them as they close this chapter and prepare for the next.
One thing is for sure; they will never let something like this happen again.