Thursday, June 14, 2012

She's Rihanna, I'm Jay-Z.

So, you all know the story of Rihanna and Jay-Z, right?  Not Chris Brown, Jay-Z.

Let me enlighten you.

Eight years ago, Rihanna was just a 16-year-old with a demo tape when Jay-Z came across her music.  Rumor has it, he loved her so much that she auditioned soon after.... and she was signed and a part of Def Jam records ever since.

Fast forward to 2009.  The night before the Grammys, Chris Brown violently attacked Rihanna.  He slammed her head into the car door, shook her until she lost consciousness, and left her broken and bleeding.

Jay-Z finds out about this and he is livid.  In the days following the attack, Rihanna allegedly sought refuge and advice with her mentor, Jay-Z.  Jay-Z is furious and vows never to forgive Chris Brown.

Rihanna pulls herself back together, pushes her career higher than before... and then proceeds to be rumored to be cavorting with Chris Brown again.

Jay-Z is, allegedly, disappointed and upset.  He feels strongly that Rihanna should be watching out for herself - and should have NEVER forgiven Chris Brown.

Ok, did you follow that?  Good.

So I have a friend.  The best friend, really.  I have loved her for as long as I can remember.  I can literally barely remember the number of men she has brought into our lives over the years.  But men can come and go - I will remain constant.

I humor her by accepting these men into my life, although I secretly harbor the notion that she could benefit from talk therapy.  I feel that the reason she allows so many unsuitable men into her life is that because she is deeply unhappy within herself.

I have shared this with her and she seems to agree in some ways... but the pattern continues.

She meets a guy (can't say man, it wouldn't be appropriate), falls fast and hard, and he uses her, then discards her like yesterday's newspaper.

Each time, it chips away at MY own heart.  I can't imagine how it must feel to be her, but, even as a friend, it stings.

This time last summer, as I was falling in love with Mr. RH, she met a guy.  Let's call him Carleton.

Carleton is, for a lot of reasons, an appealing catch.  He's attractive, has a very macho-manly job that is steady, and did I mention he's attractive?  Tan, white teeth, fit body.

I remember the only time Mr. RH met Carleton.  He remarked, after the fact, that the guy was certainly nice enough.

Nice enough.  Doesn't cut it.

Carleton is a flawed person.  He carried a lot of baggage from previous relationships.  Said he couldn't do this or think that or be this way because of his Ex.  Ok, fine.

My friend.... she fell fast and hard.  Imagined their babies.  Planned out their future, their perfect life together.

I wanted it to be true.  Wanted it more for her than I wanted it for myself... which, as you know, is A LOT.

The thing is.... Carleton sucks.  He can't say I love you.  Although he CAN reply with a "me too" if she says it first.

He ALLOWS my friend into his life.  As in, "oh, I have 2 hours before I have to be doing something, I can fit you in there"... as opposed to setting aside his own personal time to fit her in, you know, because he is excited about her and wants to see her.

He treats her as an afterthought.  She dotes on him, obsesses over him, and treats him like a damn king.  She tries to make herself a part of his life... by tidying up his house or inserting herself in some other way... but I suspect he barely notices.

In September(ish, I can't remember exactly when), Carleton broke my friend's heart.  She called me around midnight and told me everything.  Was hysterically sobbing on the phone. I literally thought something had happened to one of her parents.

I offered to come to her, but I didn't follow through.  I feel like a bitch for that now.

Of course, they got back together.  Carleton ONLY releases nuggets of affection when it can get him what he wants... and boy is he SKILLED at getting what he wants.

They've gotten back together and broken up twice since then, I believe.  After one of the reconciliations, she told me that she enjoys the sex too much to leave him.

I would bet all my future orgasms that the sex is NOT worth the emotional trauma, but that's just me.

During the Vera Bradley sale in May, she told me that she was done with him.  Capital D.  I was thrilled, relieved, can't even describe the feelings.  Ecstatic.

I think that breakup lasted less than a month (and she had dates with a kind, handsome man in between breakup and reconciliation).

Now they're back together.  How did I find out?

A text.  "You guys are going to be really mad at me...."

My response?  "I can't possibly hate you as much as you hate yourself right now."


I don't know what to do.  My heart is in tatters.  Since then, I have not spoken or communicated with my friend.  Our group of 4 BFFs is suddenly a group of 3.

The 3 of us are keenly aware of the loss.  I don't know what to do.  One friend says to stop supporting her, reasoning that we can't care for her enough to make up for her own carelessness with her heart.  The other friend maintains that cutting her out only makes us like him.  The fucking bastard.

My friend seems happy.  She has a new roommate, bible study friends, and work friends filling up her time.   I used to have 4 limbs, each one representing one of my BFF's... and now I've lost an arm.

The thing is, I'm not even sure she notices we're gone.  She has other friends and family to soak up her time.  Plenty of fun in the sun without us.

What should I do?  Reach out to her and let her know I support her, even in the midst of her continually poor decision-making?  Drop the whole thing and pretend it never happened?  (It seems that it may be too late for that).  Wait for her heart to get smashed again? (I'm not sure I would even find out about it, at this point.)

She's Rihanna, I'm Jay-Z, and I have no freaking clue what to do anymore.  My heart is broken.

What should I do?

31 Classy Comments:

anna said...

I think I would let her know I'll be there for her - I'd answer her questions honestly if she asked for views on her relationship, but let her know my love is unconditional. If you follow that course, maybe your heart will hurt a little less - you've done the best for her you can but stayed true to yourself?

Sounds like you do still love her, and will still be there when it crumbles, so it can't hurt to reach out and let her know, right? Even if she alienates you in the interim, keep the door cracked.

Not sure any advice will make this easier though hon - I've been in the same position myself and because the friend knows we don't love her serial relationship with the wrong guy, she's tended to be a little strained with the rest of us. Best of luck!

CaseyinTO said...

Oh Ive been there! I have a friend who is constantly getting back to together with a physically and emotionally abusive person. Its terrifying, but slowly and surely we have grown apart because she knows I dont approve. It is so hard to "be there" even though you KNOW you cant just abandon this person.

I think all you can do is be there for her and try to build her self esteem so she has the power to leave this guy.

Its so hard when you yourself are a stable person who has no issues being single and confident. You cant imagine her reality.

so just be there. tell her you disapprove, but let her know she isnt alone if she needs help

The Pink Growl said...

oh that is such a terrible situation to be in! I've had some friends go through similar relationship problems, and they want to tell me all about the horrible things their boyfriends do to them but yet they want me to accept and want to be friends with them. I just don't work like that. The best thing you can do for her is just let her know that you will be there for her. You know it won't last, it just can't and she will need you then for sure.

K said...

I'm going through a similar thing right now. She was my best friend. My maid of honor. And now we don't even talk. She will not be at my wedding. It is all torn into pieces. I hate to cut her off, but honestly it had gotten to the point that she was dragging me down with her. I was abolustely miserable. I couldn't deal with it anymore. I was just enabling it but continuing on. I say let her go. If it is meant to work out, then it will. And you will know. Until then, focus on you and your relationships and making YOU happy.

Cheerful Homemaker said...

She has a dirtbag boyfriend that hurts her and her 3 best friends cut her out? That's super nice. I had a similar boyfriend in high school. If it weren't for my best friend, I doubt I would have had the guts to break up with him. I gave him 2 years of my life. He broke up with me several times during that time, only spent time w/ me when he wasn't busy drinking w/ his buddies, and rarely told me how he felt about me. Thanks to the support of my close friends, I kicked his ass to the curb and started dating the man I would eventually marry.

Maybe your friend needs you in her life to remind her that this boy sucks. What if she's surrounded by people who lie and tell her how awesome he is? What if he gets her pregnant? She could be stuck with him FOREVER!

Patience said...

I have been through this many times with my bestie, but the best advice I can give is this, sure you may not make the same choices as your friend and you certainly don't agree with her relationship, but the thing is you have to support HER. You have to be there for her and let her know no matter what, at the end of the day, your friendship is worth fighting for. There is nothing worse than being at your lowest of lows and know you can't reach out to those you once were close with. I could/would never turn my back on my bestie. There are times when I want to shake her, but I can't. I let her know I support any and every decision she makes. Good luck girl, I hope everything works out.

Kelly B. said...

Hmm..I truly believe people never do the "final" kicking until you were ready. As someone who has recently been in BOTH roles, I can attest to that.

I had a best friend..she was dating a sleezebag. Well, not even dating, he "didn't want a girlfriend" but would tell her what she needed to hear every time she had the guts to tell him to F$&%^ off..and she'd be right back in there. I remained constant in my "he is a SHITTY person and you deserve better.." line, and you know where that got me? Excommunicated. She had 3 other friends who were just delusional enough to mark ME as the bad person... and I got left out. Months later when she snapped out of it and realized it wasn't ME who was the issue, kicked him to the curb, and we reconciled.

Role reversal: I dated a guy in college for a year and a half. He was insecure and emotionally absent (when I needed him) but took for granted all the love I poured on when he needed it himself. We broke up 4 times (fourth being the last) and it gave me chills to read that "you're going to hate me" text..because I sent those. I HATED sending those but I did, because I wanted my friends to understand. Fourth and final time he ended it, the day before thanksgiving in 2009..I called those friends, they listened to me cry and cry. 4 days later came "the call" begging for me back. I'd be lying if I said the thought of having to tell those friends "we're on" and facing the shame of having to tell them when I realized..."I shouldn't have to feel this way about telling my friends about it. I feel this way because this is NOT normal"...and after a combination of my OWN exhaustion and their support that I could do better.. I finally had the guts to say "no" the 4th time.

My point is... those friends were there the first 3 breakups too, giving me support, and while I didn't listen to them, and arguably only listened to them to an EXTENT the 4th time..they were a part of the equation that pushed me beyond the cycle. SO, without you guys? WITH all the "new" friends? She'll have nobody who's been through the first howevermany breakups, and will think she can get away with going back again and again. I'd say stay in her life, make an effort, and as much as you hate him... be a part of HER life as best you can to the extent that DOESN'T involve him. One day the exhaustion of the rollercoaster will hit her and you, and she, will both be happy you're there.

Kelly B. said...

Holy snot that was long. My bad.

Jamie said...

I'm a new reader! You HAVE to stay by her side!!!! My best friend in the whole entire world saw me through the worst relationship imaginable! We even discussed it this weekend YEARS later. If it wouldn't have been for her and a few other close friends I would have NEVER gotten out of the relationship if it wasn't for them. Build up her self esteem in a positive light while still letting her know that you disapprove!

Sara said...

YOu still support her. And, here's why. Eventually, she WILL wiseup and know that this guy is not right for her. It might take a very, very long time, but when she does, it will be so important for her to have her friends. And, that's what true friends do for each other. It's not easy and it's not fun, but she will need you.

However, you need to take care of you in this relationship as well. So, my suggestion is to tell her you are still her friend, but you cannot be her sounding board for this relationship. Period. And, stick to it to protect your heart from feeling her hurt. Good luck.

Samantha said...

Been there and done that. It's really hard and is very trying at times because you can see she knows better, but her actions are something completely different.

I say go with your gut and be completely honest with her. Tell her what you just wrote about to all of us. I know you're a believer, so we are compelled to love one another because Christ loved us first. So love her, pray for her, let her know that you'll be there for her when she needs you, but also let her know that you don't agree with her poor choices because she deserves better.

I'm so sorry you're going through this. I know it's hard and it sucks. Feel free to email if you have further questions. Remember that we're all here for you.

Kristin said...

i emailed you the longest response ever :-) From reading all these comments, sounds like everyone has been in this situation before.

Meg @ write meg! said...

I think you hit the nail on the head when you commented along the lines of, "I'll still be here after he's gone..." because, if you want to, you will be. A good friend of my sister's has been "dating" a total jerk for years now -- and I say "dating," of course, because it's the same sort of thing... won't say "I love you," makes plans without her, seems to be living a double life.

Whenever my sister laments her friend's relationship, I make comments along the lines of, "I don't know how you can listen to her hurt herself again and again." Because really? I can't. I've been in some sucky relationships, let me tell you, and I eventually got wise enough to get out. But every time my sister and I talk about it, she says, "I care enough about her to be there through this, knowing eventually he will be gone -- and I'll still be here. And then she'll really need me."

And then I think, "Wow, my sister is a really good friend"... and I know you are, too. It's frustrating and annoying and you do have to protect yourself sometimes, but I'd say try to reach out to her as much as you're comfortable doing.. and try to steer clear of discussing him. Ever. Even if you just send a "Thinking of you, how are you?" sort of text, I agree with others: might be good to keep the door cracked. Especially since she's so important to you.

(And this was long, too -- sorry!)

Anonymous said...


~Haley~ said...

Don't cut her out. Let her know that you're here, and will continue to be here, even if/when he's gone!

My best friend did something similar, then moved across the country and married this "man". Now, she's been back home for a year, he's never been here. She has a heroin addiction. She has a child who has never met his father. She has nothing. Because I decided I should leave her go and not stand by her no matter her decision. I don't think everyone would go that far down the path, but my best friend was a hard worker, a college educated girl, an amazing mother, and now she's just a junkie on her way to killing herself.

Good luck babes, you need it with this situation. Just be the best friend you can be, no matter how much it hurts you, it's hurting her more if you guys desert her.


Sarah said...

I've been there a few times and it is truly hard and emotionally draining. After years of the so called friends bringing me down, I just had to cut them out of my life. Some I had known since I was 3. It was a hard decision but I decision I had to go with. If I wanted happiness for myself and wanted a healthy life (physically and emotionally) I had to cut the waste. It's unfortunate but it something that had to happen.

You'll have to make that decision. Only you can decide but it sounds like you're ready to be released from it.

Good Luck. We are all here for you in the blogosphere! Love ya!

Annabel Manners said...

Awww. Reach out to her, and try to keep your friendship and her love life separate. Life is too short to fight over boys. Also, the only people who truly understand the dynamics of a relationship are the two people in it. Everyone else is a spectator. Sounds like you two need each other as friends!

Lisa D. said...

I've been following along for years, but I don't think I've left a comment in forever. I had to leave you one on this, though. I used to have a friend who did the same thing. We live in different cities, but we were pretty close before she started dating this ridiculously awful person about 8 years ago. On again, off again, on again, off again. She would be with him for months, and I wouldn't hear from her, but then they would break up, and she would call me sobbing. She would call over and over during the tumultuous stuff, and then they'd reconcile, and I wouldn't hear from her until the next breakup. Sometimes the breakups would last longer than others...and sometimes they were just a few days. I gradually distanced myself from the whole situation, changing the subject when we talked, or just listening and never offering up any advice. She'd say, "Why aren't you saying anything?" And I'd say, "There's really nothing I can say. You know what I think, and you don't listen."

She eventually figured it out. It took close to five years. I feel bad for her that she wasted so much time, but it was her decision, and she learned from it. She and I catch up on the phone every few weeks now, and really enjoy talking to her again. It's nice to know she's happy now, and she always says, "Thanks for always being there when I needed you even though I was SO SUPER ANNOYING FOR SO LONG." =)

I hope things get better for your friend soon!!

Aly said...

I know exactly what you are going through. I think the only thing you can do is support her. It's her life, and she is going to do what she wants to do whether you all are okay with it. You don't have to approve of the situation, just be there. She will get hurt again...but hopefully in the end she will make the right decision on her own. Good luck!

ginastorm said...

I have a friend that has been dating this loser for over 5 years; I cannot stand him and he treats her horribly. The sad thing with my friend is that she's always dated guys that I don't like, she just makes different choices about her dating life. After being torn for many years about how to deal with all of her relationship drama and how to be a good friend, I just decided to listen to her. Sometimes I offer advice, which I know she won't take, but mostly I try to listen. I can't change her and she won't leave him. I think ultimately that's what being a good friend is, listening and being there.

Angie said...

She can only be done with him when she's ready. You really need to stay by her side. It is hard, but someday she will realize what a dirtball he might take a while, but eventually she will kick him to the curb.

Jeanie said...

She is still your friend. Just hang loose until she comes around. It will happen. You don't want to end a long friendship over a guy.

Allison said...

It sucks. I think you have to support your friend and let her figure it out when she's ready. Therapists don't give advice often bc ppl dont respond well to it. Try asking her questions like "what evidence do you have that he's different this time?" rather than " I don't approve, and I think you're going to get hurt again." the questions allow her to analyze the situation and come up with idea on her own.

Deals, Steals and Heels said...

i full-well know this sort of situation...except the guy in question is my LITTLE SISTER'S boyfriend. and in december, when they broke up AGAIN and my mom and my husband and i busted our asses to get her out of his house, and she then turned around TWO DAYS later saying she made a mistake...i lost it. i called her, yelled, and said every. single. thing. i thought of him. she was mad, i was mad...but it was done. and they're still together, and i don't regret getting it out...if nothing else, to know I have nothing i'm holding on to anymore.

and i know sisters are different than friends, and sometimes it's easier to be that blunt with family...but i think you did the right thing saying something. and i think staying away for now is good...because yes, you love this girl...BUT do you love the person she is with him? gotta cut ties, even with your oldest friends. i'm in the middle of it right now and it's SO hard. and it eats me up when she doesn't realize she's the reason why we aren't close.

just be strong lady!!

Perfectly Imperfect said...

first of all, trust me; she misses y'all. she just won't tell you.

my bff and i went through the exact same thing not too long ago. and we both cut each other out. and shocker, the guy left her high and dry again just as i knew he would. we ran into each other one day and just did the small chit chat but the minute we separated, i sent her a text just letting her know i was thinking of her and was there if she needed. she responded and we've been building our friendship back slowly.

you're both hurt, but you can't make decisions for her. she's got to figure it out on her own. but be there for her if (when) she needs you.

Girl in Carolina said...

The best thing I can tell you is to let her know you still love her, care about her and you wish her the best. But you have to step back from it because it's affecting you emotionally as well. And let life play things out from there. In the end, if she truly is meant to be a part of your "wolf pack" (sorry to use a Hangover quote ha!) then eventually things will right themselves. But for now, I'd just stay in touch occasionally but step back and let her figure this all out. It's hard though, I know.


The Lovely One said...

To me, it sounds like she needs you as a friend, now more than ever. My best friend does not agree with everything I do, and that's why she's always there for me-- she helps me pick up the pieces after I realize I've screwed up....and I would do the same for her.

Leslie said...

You know how you hate her less than she probably hates herself? You also have to love her more than she loves herself. In fact, see her more. Do more double dates. Keep ensuring she sees how RH treats you so that she sees how she should be getting treated. She will eventually get jealous of all the little things RH does for you and think "I want that too". And decide to leave for good.

Unfortunately the more you tell her she shouldn't be with him, the more she is going to try to prove she can make it work. So keep your lips zipped and talk about your own relationship without being condescending and maybe she will come around. Then be there to pick up the pieces. Good luck!

Andie said...

I say just be there for her. It's hard, but sometimes you have to just be there!

justrealhappy said...

I work with survivors of domestic violence and it's a really rough population to deal with. In our minds, it seems like such a logical decision for her to leave him and move on because she's so awesome and deserves that, right? Well, this guy is soooo good at manipulating her and making her feel like she's not worth and awesome life. It may take a LONG time before she is able to move on from him. He has her and she's just not ready to leave. It's gonna take something major or a long time of being treated shitty before something changes. That is something you, as her friend, will need to accept.

Be her friend. Don't support her decision to be with him, necessarily. And that will be a hard line to find. Also, don't love her at the expense of yourself. But be there. If you love her, make it known. Don't let your anger or disgust get in the way of you two. That's my advice. See, he's done such a good job at messing up her life...and alienating her. What she needs more than anything is to not be alienated. Your friendship won't look the same as before, but as long as she knows she doesn't have to be alone, I think you're good. As good as you can be.

I'd suggest you get some counseling or something as well. And if there are DV organizations in your area, maybe you could pass along their info to her as well. She needs support and love. She needs to believe she's awesome again. To the extent that you can continue to care for yourself, I think you should try to help her with that as much as possible.

ariaxami said...

This is one of the hardest decisions possible. I can't possibly say what you should do, or should not do. I will say this - when I was in your position, I was there for my friend when the police showed up to her apartment after her and her boyfriend caught, after he abused her, tried to strangle her, and cornered her in the bathroom. The neighbors called the police. I held her while she cried. I watched the bruises form on her body. I stayed with her that night, trying to be a good friend. Then I watched her go back to him. I listened to her say that she loved him, and she had to support him while he tried to change to become a better man for her, that she couldn't abandon him, that I couldn't possibly understand because I didn't have love. So I made my choice. I cut her out of my life. I lost all respect for her, and couldn't watch her go back to him. I also knew I couldn't be the friend she needed me to be, to provide the support and love that she would need during that time. So, for her sake and for mine, I quietly walked away from that friendship. I feel guilty about it every day because I abandoned one of my best friends. 5 years have passed since that time, and while I sometimes look back, I know it was the best thing for her and I. No matter what others say. All you can do is what you believe to be best. For you, and for her. It's difficult to be around someone that you can't support, to listen to things that may disgust you, that make you want to shake them until something makes sense in them. And when you get to that point, sometimes the best thing you can do is walk away. It's hard, but as long as you make the decision that you can stand by, that you can live with, then there is no better choice for you. Because in the end, it's your life and what is best for you. Good luck with all of this. No matter what, you've been a great friend.

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