Annie Lane: No-good boyfriend brings down my friend

Published 6:14 pm Friday, March 4, 2022

Dear Annie: I have a friend who my partner and I had a good friendship with until she got back together with her boyfriend. They lived behind us two years ago. We would take care of their little dog while she worked. We love this sweet little girl and treat her like one of our own. Our friend’s boyfriend is scared of dogs after he was bitten by one years ago. It was rare that he would keep the dog during the day. He preferred to sit inside one of the fast-food restaurants or his truck talking to people, women mostly.

One night, they had a high argument, and he kicked her out. She doesn’t drive and had nowhere to go, so she came to us to talk, and we let her stay with us. He was furious. He wanted to control her so much. He expected her to wait on him. As the weeks went by, he would bring women over to spend the night with him, and this hurt our friend so much. But she started to move on.

We found a new place to live, and the three of us and our dogs moved in. We cared about her and helped her out when we could. One of the rules was that no boyfriends could stay for more than a few days. But she started to get lonely, and in time, she and the old boyfriend were talking again.

She came to us and asked if he could spend the weekend with her. Before you know it, he had moved in with her. Because we have small dogs, he wouldn’t come through the front of the house. He uses the back door and complains about it. I don’t pay attention to him. I understand the fear thing, but my dogs were here long before him. Now the two of them are moving out.

So far, she hasn’t told us too much about where they are going. We are still taking care of her little pup. This is the fourth or fifth time they have broken up and gotten back together. She has changed and, to me, not for the better. Before, she was caring and nice. Now, she is slightly mean to us. He is always bad-mouthing us to our neighbors and friends.

My question is, if they break up again, should we let her back in with us? I don’t want to be mean, but I’m tired of feeling used. She has a sister, but they don’t have room for her. Right now, I care more about the dog than her. I know she would never allow anything to happen to the dog. We are enjoying having the house to ourselves.

— In a Pickle in Georgia

Dear Pickle: Your friend is very fortunate to have you and your partner to call friends. It sounds like you two have been a constant source of support and comfort for her over the years and throughout her toxic relationship.

Encourage your friend to walk away from this boyfriend for good. His emotional abuse, manipulation and need for control will only lead to more problems for her the longer she stays with him, and she surely deserves better. If she chooses to continue the relationship, there’s nothing more you and your partner can do. Caring for her dog, which you enjoy, is one thing. Opening your home off and on to someone who hasn’t learned their lesson is another. Your friend needs to be able to stand on her own two feet.

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