• Thu. Mar 30th, 2023

Ask Ashlee: Toxic relationships and draining friendships

Dear Ask Ashlee,

My friend of almost 11 years has been messing with a married man for the last two years. She is always calling me to complain about him and how unhappy he apparently is, but the truth is, she just doesn’t want to face the fact that he is playing her, and he is in a relationship with the both of them and he will probably never ever leave his wife. The problem I am having with this entire situation is that I am pretty much tired of hearing about it. I’m tired of her crying over him, tired of him playing games with her, and more importantly just tired of how she continues to make excuses for him and stands beside him. I don’t know the wife, and I have barely been around this man, but I do know ever since my friend has started seeing him, she has become a very unhappy person who is constantly lowering her standards. How can I help her without draining myself in the process?

Ms. Over It Already

Dear Ms. Over It Already,

So, here’s the thing, we cannot make people do what we want them to do even if we have the best intentions for them. Your friend is clearly head over heels for this man, and unfortunately, she will have to bump her own head, maybe even a few times, before she sees the situation for what it truly is. As her friend, you support her by just listening when you can, allow her to vent and just be there. If and when you feel like it’s too much for you and it is taking a personal toll on you, insert that beautiful “B” word (boundary) and enforce it to the full extent. Everyone has their own path that they must walk, sometimes they are meant to walk the path alone, other times, they are meant to walk it with the right support by their side. You get to make the decision on how you will allow this to affect your own mental health. You unfortunately have no control over how it will affect your friend and/or how it will play out. She has to see herself as a woman deserving of more than another woman’s husband. She has to see herself in the light that you see her in, and until she does, this is the kind of behavior she will attract and accept, but don’t allow it to be your downfall as well. I hope this helps!

Love & Light,