Why Your Friends’ Toxic Relationship Is A Big Fat Do Not Enter Sign
By Joey Macari
If you’ve gone through life without having one friend clearly in a toxic relationship, fantastic, your friend group seems really healthy and sure of themselves and I’m about it.
More often than not though, you’ve held witness to your couple friend’s absolute shitstorm of negativity and put-downs and UGH…it’s a modern day greek tragedy.
Brutal to watch your friends struggle. Brutal to be caught in their crossfires and feign attempts to lighten up the room once they’re done scolding each other because one of them wasn’t a mindreader—and even more brutal to watch their personalities change while they’re with that other person.
I’ve had my fair share of toxic couple friends. I’ve seen the physically violent partner, the narcissistic judgey partner, the pouring an ashtray over the guy’s bed partner…(don’t ask).
And in only one of those scenarios did I say something outright…and it cost me that friend.
I’m 27 years old, and I have made an executive decision to never get involved in other people’s relationships ever again. I’ve renounced my savior complex for good, and here’s why…
1. Loyalty Is Not A Two-Way Street
Just when you think your advice is sound and will be well-received, you’d be surprised how often your friend picks their partner over you. Doesn’t matter if you’ve been childhood best friends for 20 years, or roommates for four, your friend will immediately be on the defensive once you pass any sort of judgment on their relationship. “Love” (*cough* sex) is stupidly powerful. You can’t love your friendships the same way you love your partners, or else it would be a full-blown free–love commune up in this bish. Unless the toxic relationship is abusive, in which you should ALWAYS confront your friend and get help for them, it’s better to have them figure it out then you force the truth on them.
2. You Could Be Wrong
There’s that saying, “you don’t know what it’s like behind closed doors,” or something to that effect anyway. Even though I’d like to think that what quacks like a duck, probably is a duck (okay sorry too many metaphors here) you could potentially be seeing only one side to a many sided, often private relationship. There’s so many cliches in movies and films of a girl screaming at her father in the pouring rain or some shit, “YOU DON’T KNOW HIM LIKE I DO!”...and there’s some truth in that. I would be egotistical to think I know better than the people actually IN the relationship. Sometimes, it could be that social settings bring the worst out of couples. I am biting my tongue to say that if partners can’t hang with their significant other's friends, there’s a big problem there…but sometimes, the relationship’s foundation just IS more private than public.
3. Put Yourself First
This is the most important factoid here. All that energy you’ve depleted from whispers and the backdoor texts and the mental-gruntwork you’ve exhausted yourself doing by trying to solve other people’s problems, is simply taking away from your own positivity and happiness. You don’t benefit from involving yourself in the issues of a toxic couple—otherwise, they wouldn’t call it toxic! Wouldn’t you rather spend your time glowing up and keeping things light and optimistic instead? At the end of the day, you gotta’ worry about you, more than you can worry about them. You might find yourself being more toxic than the toxic couple by letting it consume your headspace.
Every situation is different, but if you’re on the fringes of confronting your friend vs. staying idle…maybe think of the reason you want to say something in the first place. If it’s not about you, let it be about them and have them put on their big-boy/girl panties and figure it out.