Have you ever said to yourself after have dried the tears of your girlfriend, "Omfg why did/does she put up with shit like that?"
If you are a non-shit taking woman, realize right now that you are not the majority. From where you sit, things are mostly very clear. You will do this, or you won't do that. You like him, or "ah heeeell no."
You probably started hearing your gut at an early stage and never allowed failures to discredit it. Maybe you used any small failures as a way to validate what your gut did tell you, and that you chose not to listen to it.
Maybe you had a good and healthy childhood, maybe not normal or typical, but good & safe. You may have had strong, happy, resilient adults in your life as helpers & role models.
Regardless of how, you held onto your personal foundation, you did.
Now, go back to the last time you left your girlfriend thinking what the hell was she thinking?
I am not saying turn into a know it all and nit pick the hell out of your girl friend's life, but I am asking that you remember that your voice of reason may be the only one she has to hear. Many of the rules and checklist you use to maneuver through your difficult times may be unknown to her.
You may have assumed that she was just choosing to ignore the signs, but I ask you to consider that she might not be seeing the signs at all, because they don't stand out in her life. Some women grow up not ever knowing what that feeling in their belly means.
If she grew up neglected, abused, with parents who were addicted, was over protected and controlled, she may never have had the small safe opportunities to learn to trust herself.
It also skews how normal and acceptable behavior looks to her.
So, dear strong girlfriend, please never stop telling her that she deserves more. That she doesn't have to settle for less than. Remind her that she is worthy of stable & normal love. Whisper to her that she is deserving of being wanted and desired. Buy her books and sit them on her bedside table for the nights she can't sleep.
Introduce her to women you meet who don't settle and don't put up with games, but who much like her keep looking & redefining their boundaries. Remind her that even though you are a take no shit kinda gal, that even you have fallen for the song & dance.
Be her bull-shit meter when she is deep in denial. Stand firm on throwing down the bull-shit card, then hug her & tell her to just listen for a moment. Remind her that although she comes with a ton of baggage, she is a good person who doesn't always protect herself.
Point out when you notice she is setting healthy boundaries and being true to herself. Help her recognize when she heard her gut and followed through on what it told her.
Remind her that she has permission to end a relationship before it starts or 11 months into it, without having to explain & discuss the reasons why. Repeatedly tell her that some things are "discussions" and some things are just "telling" and that she gets to decide which are which.
Dear strong girl friends,
I am so grateful that you have been in my life and have not given up on me. I am so blessed to have you to share my ups and downs with. Each time you have reached down to offer me a hand up or when you have gently pushed me forward have been important in helping me to create my own tool box from which I reach into now all on my own.
Thank you for the unconditional love that only a girlfriend who has ridden the roller coaster with you can provide. Thank you for rolling your eyes at me and raising your voice to that high squeaky place when you yell "really" and "bull-shit sister."
Thank you for teaching me skills I didn't have, because they are what I will pass down to my children.
For every girl friend who takes the time to invest in helping another sister stand on her own, thank you! Your investment helps cycles be broken!