Dear Father Tony,
[....]and then as soon as I let everyone know that we split up, all my friends are like "We never liked him. We always hated him. We knew he was a jerk. We knew it wouldn't last"[....]So my question is why didn't my friends, my REAL friends, tell me all this before I wasted two years with this jerk? Shouldn't real friends speak up and keep you from doing something stupid?
Stupid in Steubenville.
What Your Friends Will Never Tell You
It's really hard to tell a friend that you think his new lover is a mistake. In fact, even if it were easier, I would not do it. Here are ten reasons why:
1) You could be wrong.
2) You don't want to jinx something that could work. You don't want to be the spoiler.
3) You don't want to plant seeds of distrust at the onset.
4) People don't really change, but some learn to improve their behavior. Some acquire skills that make them less repulsive. Your friends want to hope for this.
5) Your motivation for telling your friend the facts might be questioned and misconstrued. You could lose your friend in the process. He could think you are meddlesome or jealous.
6) We all want to see our friends smiling, even when we know it won't last. Who knows? They could get hit by a bus before the relationship sours.
7) You don't get many points for being right and saying "I told you so", but being wrong can be as bad as a bad tattoo.
8) If you keep your mouth shut, both parties will still be friendly with you even after the break-up. Why should your friends needlessly earn enemy clans?
9) Sometimes our friends know in their hearts that they are getting into a bad relationship but do it anyway for a variety of reasons, the most obvious being "port in a storm" or horniness. Your friends can only guess at your real motivations for a dumb move. Rest assured they will discuss it among themselves but never to your face because they respect you.
10) The most challenging aspect of this is when you know something really bad about the new lover that your friend does not know. Maybe you know he is a liar and that the person he is presenting is a fraud. Maybe he sleeps around. Maybe he hides an addiction or a past. These are things that friends probably should tell you, but because no one wants to be the messenger of bad news, your friends should find some way of anonymously tipping you off.
Oh and by the way, if you meet another loser and fall for him, don't expect your friends to warn you. Don't expect them to tell you that you are repeating your stupidity. They will talk about it among themselves, but even when you ask them for their honest opinion, they will hug you and say "Are you happy? If you are happy, then we are happy."
If that is what they say, drop the guy immediately.