Hello there! I got part 2 of this message by the way, but I’ll respond to this part. :)
I think you’re a really good friend for worrying about her happiness and reaching out to someone to help you help your good friend! :)
In part 2 you wrote, “Her parents check her cell phone constantly, block his numbers, disabled her wifi, and are constantly monitoring her. Thing is, she’s 18 years old. After this summer they’re going to separate colleges and now is the only time they get to spend together. She’s miserable and I don’t know how to help.”
This is a bit difficult to answer without knowing how bad the stuff he said on FB chat was. I hate to be this person, but if it was bad or really hurtful or something that could be damaging to her view of herself, then I’d likely do the same if I had a daughter.
What you can do, and probably the ONLY thing you can do at this point (because her parents seem to be adamant, and they aren’t going to budge) is suggest that—if she can contact him for a few minutes somehow—she asks him to apologize directly to her parents. To be a man and fess up to them, tell them he was having a rough day and that he loves and respects their daughter to the ends of the Earth and ask for their forgiveness.
They are feeling protective and insulted that someone would speak to their daughter—who they love more than their own lives—in such a way.
Now, couples fight and argue, and that’s perfectly normal … but if this was just him being mean for nothing, then it’s different. Again, this is really hard to weigh in on without knowing how mean the stuff he said was, what provoked it, if they were BOTH saying mean things or not, if it was an attack on something she can’t help, etc. It also depends on if it’s true or not that it’s not like him to normally act this way.
When she says, “That totally isn’t like him to say those things,” all her parents hear is her saying anything to coverup for him so they can hang out together.
You also wrote: “It’s very clear that they’re in love.” So that sounds like he might be a decent guy—if you, her good friend, can see this. So assuming what he said was just a little snarky, then yes, I agree that her parents need to ease off and that they’re being unfair. But, some parents are SUPER strict and nothing you can say will do anything. Her only options are:
1. Get him to apologize to them directly, to show that he’s a nice guy who had a bad day.
2. Have her talk with her parents maturely, explain everything in detail, be open and honest with them about what happened. The worst thing she can do is lose her temper at them (even though I know it’s hard when you’re young and feel like your parents are being completely unfair—trust me, I know). But words get drowned out in lost tempers, you know? No one hears anyone; everyone is just trying to get their point across and everyone gets stubborn—losing your temper is a waste of time when you truly need to get somewhere with someone.
I wish your friend the best. This will be a VERY hard time for her relationship, a true test. If they’re really in love, they will find a way to stay together through it all.