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Question of the Week: My Friend’s Boyfriend is Controlling and Jealous

Last night I went to the movies with my friend and her boyfriend. He forced her to leave half way through the movie because he thought she talked to another guy on her way to the bathroom (he’s crazy). I’ve told her before she should break up with him, but she doesn’t listen to me. What can I do?

Seeing your friend treated this way sounds very frustrating, especially when it seems she doesn’t care about her happiness as much as you do. And you’re right – there is probably something wrong here. Her boyfriend sounds extremely jealous and controlling, which can be one aspect of an abusive relationship. However, you can’t fix this problem for her. Ordering her to break up with him will probably only push her closer to him and possibly further from you and her other friends.

What you can do:

    • When you are alone with your friend, tell her that the incident at the movie theater bothered you and that you’re worried about her.
    • Tell her you won’t try to make her decisions for her. Tell her you will be there to talk to if she ever decides she needs to talk about her relationship.
    • Try not to say negative things about him – it will only make her feel defensive of the relationship or even feel sorry for him. Instead, focus on the positive things about her and her life.
    • Encourage her to think about adults she could talk to if she ever needed to.
    • Refer her to loveisrespect. Let her know all calls and chats are confidential and anonymous. She may not seem interested, but at least she will have the information if she decides she needs to talk.

Friends and family are welcome to contact us, too, so if you’d like to talk more about your friend, please give us call or chat online with us.

*All of our calls and chats are confidential. This question is a an example of one we get often.

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