I crashed at my friend’s apartment over the weekend and his girlfriend was also spending the night there. They have been going out for almost a year and say they are deeply in love and talking about getting married. Over the course of their relationship I have become really good friends with the girl, probably the best friend I have made in the last four years.

On Saturday night, after everyone went to bed, they had a full-out yelling fight. Sometimes it seems like they are always having some little tiff, but this was serious. I was lying on the couch in the living room and could hear it coming through the walls from their bedroom. I couldn’t make out most of it, but I knew she eventually started crying. I also knew that quite a bit of the fight was about me. He can be real jealous sometimes and always seems to be keeping an eye on us. Always trying to get physically between me and her, or somehow trying to assert some sort of “claim” on her. It was obvious that he didn’t like the blossoming closeness between the two of us, fearing it would eventually lead to me taking her away. I would never do that to my friend, and she would never cheat on him, but he doesn’t believe us. I tossed and turned and fell asleep before the fight ended.

All day Sunday was tough, everyone putting on a happy face and pretending nothing happened. He did tell me to get my hands off her when she put her feet in my lap while lying on the couch. After the day was over, they kissed and hugged goodbye and she gave me a ride home, I live right on the way back to her place. Like usual we spent most of the ride talking about their relationship. People tend to open up to me and she usually turns to me for insights on the male mind. But this time was so hard, she told me how he doesn’t fight fair, everything is up for grabs. How it often just turns into name-calling and all the horrible things he calls her. Usually I try to explain where he might be coming from, because I’ve known him for eight years and I know I’m only getting her side of the story. But last night I was just appalled, there was no way I could excuse the things he said. She talked about how he thinks that she his hiding her male friends from him, and if she ever does anything wrong he pouts about it all day. And finally after it’s all over he tells her he doesn’t really mean the things he says, but then turns around and does it again. I know that one of her old boyfriends used to hit her, but she was able to get away from him.

When we got to my house I reached out to hug her and she burst into tears in my arms. Wailing into my ear that if he really loves her, why does he call her names that hurt her? I didn’t know what to say, I was completely torn. On one hand I had a friend in a bad situation that needed my help. On the other I didn't know the full story and I knew that my other male friend really loved her.

Finally I told her what I was thinking all along, “If he hurts you so much why don’t you dump him?” After the months of accusations that I was trying to break them up, I guess I had just taken that first step. I felt like I was betraying my friend, telling the girl he told me he loved to get rid of him, but it was the best answer I could come up with. She said she loved him too much and couldn’t do it. I told her maybe talk to him about it and set up ground rules beforehand, but she said that wouldn’t work. I can’t confront him, he already doesn’t like the way she and I talk, if he knows we talk so intensely about him he’ll probably go nuts on me and her and all relationships will be ruined.

After she calmed down I went into my house and she drove off. I don’t know what to do. I know they will be alone together next weekend for Valentine’s Day, and I can’t help but think what he will say to her then and that I won’t be there for her.