Debbie writes, “I take a close look at what’s going on in my relationships and try to evaluate the situations and make the best and healthiest choice for myself but I have two girlfriends that I secretly am at a major crossroads with. I struggle to decide if we can have a meaningful friendship. Will being in contact with these two girl friends affect my life negatively? Because long story short, both of them are completely codependent and cannot go more than one day to a month without being in a relationship with a man. And very unhealthy relationships might I add. Relationships where every free minute they have is spent with that person, choosing that person over friends and family. They are with people who dictate their lives (whether they know it or not) and they continually get with guys that are of bad character, that is, mentally, physically and emotionally abusive people. Guys that are still married, or in the process of a divorce, guys that have children they do not support, take care of or even see, guys that have criminal backgrounds for very serious offenses, one of which was convicted of rape. I do not agree at all with their choices and really don’t enjoy being around them or talking to them like I used to but at the same time I don’t want to be a “cold shoulder” or a “bad friend” but I have continued to give them advice that just falls on deaf ears. Where do I go from here to better my life and relationships with these people? What should I do?”
Regarding those girl friends, my suggestion is that it is OK to spend some time with them occasionally to have a meal together or go shopping, but count them out as your friends. There is no reason to waste your time in trying to change them — it is nearly impossible even for a spouse to change adult behavior. I think eventually they will move on and it will be a polite and amiable end to the friendship with no one hurt since you will cut them off gradually.
Your time is precious and use it wisely.