Girlfriend has Man trouble

If you have one or more girlfriends you spend time with, chances are, you talk about your relationships when you get together. It is wonderful to have someone with whom you can share your joys and troubles. If you have a girlfriend who is in a particularly difficult relationship, you may feel sorry for her, exasperated by her behavior, and even want to give her significant other a piece of your mind at times.

Before you jump on the bandwagon to support her story without reservations, remember there are always (at least) two sides to every story. Some people are very good at convincing you they are in the victim role. They will not tell you how they contribute to the problem. They may not even recognize it themselves. Worse, they may want to get you to support their cause.

What happens when you get all riled up in defense of your girlfriend after she tells you how bad her husband treats her? You tell her vehemently, “You should leave that SOB.” Then a few days later they are lovey-dovey again and you get mad at your friend for being so stupid and staying with that jerk.

What should you do to avoid getting caught up in this roller coaster ride your girlfriend has decided to involve you in?

Empathize without taking sides. Take a step back, listen to your girlfriend vent, and resist the temptation to become emotionally involved in her story. As a good friend, you want to be there when your girlfriend is in pain. Remember you are not a professional; you are her friend. As a friend, you can offer a shoulder to cry on without agreeing that her husband is a scumbag. Practice being there for her without the need to fix anything.

Use your best listening skills. If you want to be there for your girlfriend, you can encourage her to talk about what is bothering her. Listen actively, with eye contact and expressions such as “I am so sorry this is happening” and “Wow, you are going through a lot right now.” Keep your comments neutral. If she wants to talk about how rotten her husband is, you do not have to agree, but you can say, “You are really upset. Tell me more.”

Resist giving advice. This is especially important if your girlfriend has ignored your unsolicited advice in the past. When you give advice that is not asked for and it is not followed, you risk becoming angry and resentful. Even if it is asked for and not heeded, the two of you are now angry with each other. If she says, “I don’t know what to do” you could ask, “What do you want to do?” That way, you resist telling her what to do and you get her to voice her own thoughts which help her to figure it out herself.

This way, you preserve your friendship and you have less stress about what your girlfriend does or does not do regarding her crazy relationship. You can always tell her to get my free report on creating healthier marriages by letting go of the 7 deadly habits at on the right side of this page.

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