Anyone can end up in a forced relationship for a lot of different reasons. It doesn’t matter if it’s the fear of being alone, low self-esteem, or pressure from parents, the point is that these relationships are extremely complicated. So, how to help someone in a forced relationship?
Maybe your friend is stuck in one and you can tell how much she’s struggling. All the signs are there but she’s not doing anything to change her fate. At first, you couldn’t believe that she could be with someone who was clearly not making her happy. But then you’ve realized that those in forced relationships don’t see a way out.
Your friend and many other women out there don’t think they deserve better. They’ve accepted the fact that they will be unhappy for the rest of their lives and they’ve learned to live with it.
However, a part of them would love to break free from the chains of forced relationships. They would love to escape the torture of their everyday life but they simply don’t know where to start. They don’t know what step to take first.
If you know someone who’s stuck in a situation like this then I’m sure you want to give them a helping hand. But how can you do that? What’s the best thing you can do for a person who’s in a relationship with someone she doesn’t love?
How to help someone in a forced relationship?
Before I give you any advice, I first want you to know that this whole process won’t be easy. Don’t assume that getting your friend out of a forced relationship is simple. And don’t be surprised if she gets upset with you at first.
Your friend already knows the situation she’s in but maybe she doesn’t want to say it out loud. She doesn’t want to admit to others that she’s not happy. So, it’s easier for her to stay quiet about it and simply pretend as if everything’s okay.
Forced relationships are a real mess and only those who end up in them know how hard they actually are. Even if your friend rejects your help, you shouldn’t pressure her. Give her some time to think about it. Eventually, she may change her mind and realize that you actually want what’s best for her.
So, here’s how to help someone in a forced relationship change their fate.
1. Be there for them
The first and most important thing is to be there for them. In both good and bad times, whenever they need help. Show your friend that you’re there for her, no matter what.
People stuck in forced relationships often feel like they have no one to talk to. Their family members usually don’t understand the issue while most of their friends can’t figure out why they simply don’t break up or get a divorce.
That’s why those in forced relationships often remain silent. They believe it’s better not to bother anyone with their troubles since no one is going to understand what they’re talking about anyway.
But if you’re sure that your friend is stuck in this kind of relationship, you need to be there for her. Prove to her that she can trust you. Show her that she can share her deepest secrets with you and that you will keep them safe.
Your friend is going to appreciate it, especially because she always felt alone in this relationship. She never had anyone to talk to so your understanding will be of huge help. She will see that you’re trying to understand how to help someone in a forced relationship.
The more time you give her, the more comfortable she’ll feel talking to you. At one point, she’ll probably open her heart and share everything with you. Just be aware that her story can be more complicated than you expected it.
Forced relationships usually go hand in hand with emotional and physical abuse. That’s one more reason why you need to help a person stuck in this kind of relationship. You’re her best chance to change her fate and escape from this horror.
2. Help them raise their confidence
One of the main reasons why people choose to stay in forced relationships is because they don’t think they’re worthy of love. Their partner’s behavior ruins them to the point where they lose even the last bit of confidence they have.
After all of the manipulation or even abuse, these people don’t think they deserve better. They convince themselves that this is the best they can get.
So, when you’re trying to help someone in a forced relationship, you should persistently try to build their confidence. Try to remind them how capable they are. Make them believe that they can do whatever they want.
This is going to take some time since it’s not that easy to boost someone’s confidence after all the trauma and torment they’ve been through. Start with some simple things and don’t give up.
Encourage them to think positively and praise them for everything they do. Keep telling them how amazing and valuable they are. Let your words become their saving grace.
At one point, you’ll notice that they truly believe in what you’re saying. Their confidence will start to grow, and step by step, their mindset will start to change.
It’s not going to be easy, but once you notice the difference, you’ll know that every step of the process was worth it. Your positive attitude can save someone’s life and that’s what matters the most.
3. Remind them that this isn’t real love
As we’ve already mentioned, people stuck in forced relationships truly believe that this is what love should look like. They’ve been manipulated to the point where they don’t believe that they deserve anything better. So, they somehow learn to live with it.
Once you notice that your friend’s confidence is growing, you should slowly start showing her what real love is all about. Remind her that being in an unhappy relationship is not even remotely close to what she deserves.
Deep down, she already knows that what you’re saying is true. She knows that love isn’t about fights that never end and rules that she has to follow if she wants to sleep peacefully at night. She knows that love isn’t walking on eggshells around your partner or losing your friends because he told her they’re not a good influence.
Trust me, she knows what true love feels like but she just needs someone to remind her of that. She’s hidden her idea of love somewhere deep in her mind since she didn’t want to admit to herself that her relationship had nothing to do with love and respect.
So, your task is to help her process her thoughts and accept the fact that she deserves more.
4. Encourage them to talk to a therapist
A person stranded in a forced relationship needs professional help. She needs to talk to someone who’ll listen to her carefully and help her guide her out of it.
However, this is sometimes easier said than done since she may need to get her partner’s approval before going out alone. And the chances are that he’s definitely not going to allow her to visit a therapist.
But if she’s willing to look for help, then there’s always a way out. She can maybe schedule an online call with a therapist and start from there.
Just be aware that this is a delicate topic and a victim of a forced relationship will need a ton of courage to begin this process. She’s aware of the consequences that could happen if her partner finds out about this. So, please don’t judge her if she doesn’t accept your advice. She’s already come a long way.
5. Help them create an exit strategy
If you know someone who’s looking for a way out of their forced relationship, but doesn’t know where to start then the best way to help them is to create an exit strategy with them.
These relationships are fairly similar to toxic and abusive relationships. So, whenever a victim chooses to escape, she first needs to have a foolproof plan on how to do it and where to go.
The most important part is to ensure she has a good support system of people who are going to be there for her once she’s out of the relationship. Her family and friends need to be there for her and protect her in every possible way.
Her manipulative partner will probably try to get to her so that’s why she needs to have a safe place to stay.
Another important thing is to gather enough money to be financially stable for a certain period of time. This can be tricky as women in these kinds of relationships usually don’t have any financial freedom. So, they try to save some money on the side but it’s usually not much since they don’t want their partner to notice anything.
If it’s possible, you and all the other people from her support group could ensure she doesn’t stress about money, at least in the beginning. She’ll surely find a way to provide for herself once everything settles down.
Just know that this whole process is going to be a jumpy one with many obstacles to avoid. But if you’re sure that this person is looking for your help, then please don’t give up on them. They’ve been abandoned many times before and they need someone to stand next to them. At least this one time.