What do you do if a friend’s SO is kind of a jerk?

A friend, not a close friend, but a coworker type relationship, is always talking about her boyfriend. What’s described as a complex relationship with silly little fights by her just sounds like the guy is a douche.

It seems like maybe she doesn’t see that the way he acts, at least in the stories she tells, isn’t cute fighting but kind of dickish.

Her close friend tells her he’s no good unless he starts treating her better. But I don’t have any place saying that, we aren’t that close.

I don’t want to see her get hurt or anything, but is there anything appropriate I can say?

10 thoughts on “What do you do if a friend’s SO is kind of a jerk?

  1. Kelly says:

    [If she asks I think you can say what you think but let’s face it, she’s an adult making her own choice based on the same (and more) information that you have. Your involvement shouldn’t be needed unless she requests it.

  2. Maracuya says:

    [Plenty of people date jerks and don’t realize it until after the fact (I may be included in that category.) If her close friends can’t get her to realize it, then you probably don’t have much hope of doing it either.

  3. Kier says:

    [I don’t know that there is a lot you can say. I mean, look at it this way. Unless the things he is doing are really bad to the point where it is irrefutable by everyone, then you thinking he is being a dick is really just your opinion.

    And if she’s happy in the relationship and doesn’t feel like she’s being treated badly, then maybe in her eyes she isn’t. It’s entirely possible that things look a lot worse from the outside than they really are.

    Either way, getting involved is likely to get the “I’ts really none of your business” response in return, so I’m not sure what you could do.

  4. MargieCharles says:

    [Especially just being a somewhat-close coworker relationship, there’s very little you can actually do or say. My favorite tactic is to not say anything, but instead ask questions. It kind of gets them thinking about it on their own, and it’s a way to get them to (possibly) come to their own conclusions while still keeping your hands relatively clean. After she tells a story about him being a jerk, you can ask questions like, “Does he treat you like this a lot?” or, “What does he say when you talk to him about it?”

    Of course, everyone is different. It works with a lot of people because being able to talk about it is somewhat therapeutic for them, but then at the same time they’re thinking about how their SO is treating them.

  5. Happy Pants says:

    [I think unless she solicits your opinion, or there is physical evidence of his being a jerk (i.e. things to suggest physical or verbal abuse), you really have no grounds to say anything. If you’re really concerned—and I know this is petty and immature—maybe say something to the good friend who has more “sway”. I don’t like talking behind people’s backs, but if you’re not in a position to say anything but really think this guy is bad news, maybe it’ll be better coming from the good friend instead.

    But again, this girl is an adult and capable of making her own decisions, and I think she’s going to do what she wants regardless of what anyone tells her. That’s usually how these things go anyway.

  6. Dave Jag says:

    [Yup. Agreeing with all the above. As long as there is no abuse or outright disrespect going on, it’s not your place to get involved. Even if she DOES solicit an opinion from you, I’d tread carefully. Maybe just say, “He’s not the kind of guy I would go for” and then go on to talk about YOUR preferences.
    You’ve gotta think long term where freinds are concerned. There is always the chance that this relationship becomes more serious and they end up as a happy couple. If you want to have her as a friend in the future, you’d best guard your words right now.

  7. LMcMack says:

    [Yeah, I think that since you’re not close there isn’t much you can do. Margaret probably has recommended the best approach.

    That said – is this someone you can see being better friends with in the future? If so, perhaps do a double date thing one night. Actually spend time with her and her BF to see with your own eyes how they interact. Most people like to express the negative over the positive, so her stories come from a place of frustration and there’s probably a lot you DON’T hear about the good things. If you develop a friendship, you can discover if it’s something worth addressing or not. But until that point, I’d leave it alone.

  8. resullins says:

    [I agree that you probably don’t want to get involved in the relationship, but I would get involved with YOUR end. Because frankly, I would get more annoyed that she keeps telling you these stories that sound a tad whiny. If she’s really happy in the relationship, she wouldn’t be telling you all if these stories that make her sound miserable.

    Stay away from the relationship matters, but you can deal with how she talks to you about it.

  9. lilredbmw says:

    [The way I see it, if she wants to be a relationship with someone who is a douche, let her. If she was a close friend, I would say something. But since you two aren’t very close, better to stay out of it.

  10. Happy Pants says:

    [That’s repetitively redundant.

    Also, I’m not a fan of cherries in my muffins, so your suggestion is rejected. I would have accepted: knish cannoli, poon pancakes, eggs Bennedick, crotch croissant, or, my personal favorite, eggs Florenpeen.


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