My friend told me that, in the past, her soon-to-be husband has dictated what she can and cannot wear. He's also mentioned he doesn't want her hanging out with her girlfriends because he doesn't think we are a great influence. How do I tell her to dump this loser?
Miss Take, (female, 27)
Dear Miss Take,
How soon is the "soon-to-be" in this equation? If she's getting married this weekend, you probably should have thought about this long ago. Nonetheless, however far or near the nuptials may be, you don't want to regret not having said anything.
Trying to control what your partner wears and who they hang out with is a form of psychological abuse. I doubt you'd hold your tongue if your friend's fiancé were physically abusing her, so you should definitely speak up about this situation. Do a little research first about signs of abuse — learn more at the National Domestic Violence Hotline.
Then find a time to talk to her privately. Be honest about your concerns, but don't be preachy or put the blame on her. Focus on the fiancé's abusive behaviors. Your friend may not realize what his actions look like from the outside. It's also important to make sure you don't do all the talking. Really listen to what she has to say.
Chances are high that she won't "dump this loser" right away, if ever. She's an adult, and you can't tell her what to do. The best thing you can do is let her know you're there to support and help her if she does decide to move on.
Good luck and God bless,