Dear Carolyn: My best friend has started seeing her ex-boyfriend. Again.
She has a history of not being able to make a clean break.
This guy spent their first two months together prowling for other women. She dumped him, but they continued talking. He kept telling her he wanted to be together, all the while still trying to sleep with other women, which she would find out about. He lied to her about why he and his ex-wife split up (he cheated on the ex).
The other day, she posted pictures of them on Facebook. They went on a day trip together. I can only imagine she didn't tell me beforehand because she knew what I would say. Every single fiber of my being wants to slap her upside the head. Can I say something, and what?
When to Speak Up?
It's time to get at the bigger problem than these men: "I cannot bear to watch you treat yourself so poorly anymore, and cannot talk to you about this boyfriend — or any other who helps you mistreat yourself. I hope you'll get help. If you're not ready, then I will be at your side whenever you are, at every step."
Hold that line. The specifics of these men only distract from the fact that she's the common denominator, and unless she tends to her own emotional health, any breakup will only bring up the next guy in her Pez dispenser of disastrous choices.
So, be clear: you are not her shoulder for incremental weepings, you're there only for the big cry that moves her to change. Until then, "I've said my piece on this. Can we please talk about something else?"