DEAR ABBY: I have a very close cousin (and friend) who is in a toxic relationship with a man who breaks up with her repeatedly, manipulates and abuses her emotionally, and probably cheats. It has made me sad to see her go through the same pattern with him for so many years.
They were supposed to be married soon, but are having the same problems again. She's unsure what steps to take, even though family and friends are advising her against marrying him. I don't support the idea either, but I don't want to create a rift with my cousin.
If the wedding takes place, can I decline to be part of the wedding party? Is there anything I can do to make her "see the light"? It's hard to watch a good person go through this. I know it's her choice, but it's wearing on our relationship as well. -- CONCERNED COUSIN IN WYOMING
DEAR COUSIN: Have you been asked to be in the wedding party? If it hasn't happened yet, you may be putting the cart before the horse.
Because you haven't been able to get your cousin to see the light before this, I doubt anything you can say will accomplish it now because love is blind and often deaf. This doesn't mean you shouldn't tell her you think she deserves better than what she's getting, and that it pains you to see her hurt the way she has been. However, at the same time, let her know that whatever she decides, you love and support her and will be there for her, because if he actually marries her -- which he may not -- she's going to need it.