My best friend just confided that she's in an abusive relationship!!!

posted 3 years ago in Emotional
  • poll: Do you think an abusive relationship can be mended?
    Yes, it can with counseling and anger management. : (18 votes)
    13 %
    No, the abuser will always revert back to the same actions. : (102 votes)
    74 %
    It depends. (Elaborate below.) : (17 votes)
    12 %
  • Post # 3
    Member
    210 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: November 2013

    Abuse usually only escalates. The abusers are so good at being manipulative that they can keep their victims right where they want them. My ex never physically hurt me…but he was emotionally abusive and had made some threats just before I left. Over the time we were together it escalated. After ended things, he stalked me online and harassed me for two years. I kept telling myself that if I loved him, it was enough. The truth is though that no one’s love can change someone else and that you shouldnt remain in a relationship where you feel unsafe emotionally or physically. Loving them isnt a good enough reason…and your friend has a child to think about here. It isnt just about her own well being. Her daughter will grow up watching her daddy hurt her mommy and she will have a whole set of emotional and psychological issues to deal with. Yes he seems to be remorseful…for now. Yes, he promises that he will change, that he will get help….this time. Sometes loving someone just isnt enough…

    Post # 4
    Member
    1253 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: May 2015

    I think most of the time it only escalates, and many abusers are VERY manipulative and smart. That said, people with anger issues do exist. If I were her, I’d give him an ultimatum of anger management and counciling, or I’d be gone. And if those things didn’t work, I’d of course leave as well.

    Post # 5
    Member
    362 posts
    Helper bee

    I agree I think this behavior will only escalate.  She should put her foot down right now before this happens again.  If he doesn’t agree to immediate anger management and counceling and do some serious work trying to change his actions and gain her trust back I would be out of their asap for good.  But it sounds like he has done this repeatedly and is not actively trying to change so I think it’s time to hit the road

    Post # 6
    Member
    2132 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: October 2015

    I don’t want to 100% say they cannot change, but it’s very unlikely and that kind of change cannot happen within the context of an intimate relationship– meaning you cannot just stay with and abusive partner, and you cannot keep a child in that situation. It is so incredibly destructive to their developement, even if the abuse is not against the child and even if it is not physical violence. 

    Post # 7
    Member
    2831 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: September 2014

    please please please please please help her get out. he says he wants counseling now, because he’s afraid she’ll leave. as soon as she calms down, it’ll be bad again. it’s a cycle of lies and manipulation. as someone who survived 5 years of abuse, i know it never changes. as much as she thinks it might, it won’t.

    i speak from personal experience. i was with my ex for five years. he was abusive in every way possible. it doesn’t get better, it just escalates.

    Post # 8
    Member
    5997 posts
    Bee Keeper
    • Wedding: October 2013

    My best friend (and now my MOH) was in an abusive relationship. It didn’t start out that way. At first, he was just verablly aggresive. Then, he would “stop” her from leaving (pinning her down, picking her up, blocking door ways, etc). Then, it got to the point where he would hit her, pull her by her hair, etc. He even burnt her once. This all happened over a period of a couple years. So as you can see, it typically gets worse and not always quickly. I wanted to help her so badly but there really wasn’t anything I could do. She knew how I felt about him and their relationship but it was her choice to make. You can talk to your friend and let her know that just because they have a child together doesn’t mean she’s stuck with him, but ultimately she’s going to have to make the choice. But please don’t give up on her if she chooses to stay for now, because once the shit hits the fan and she decides she’s had enough, she’s going to need you.

    Post # 9
    Member
    1226 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: July 2013

    I can’t speak for all relationships, but in my own experience, the abuse does not end, it gets worse. It’s called the cycle of abuse – the abuse happens, the abuser apologises and says they’ll never do it again, they’re so sorry etc., things are OK for a while, then the abuse happens all over again.

    My ex was verbally abusive at first but said it would never get physical. Then it did. By the end he would force me to leave our bedroom and sleep on the floor because he said if I stayed in the bedroom he wouldn’t be able to prevent himself from raping me. I can’t tell you how many times he said he would “never speak to me that way again”.The emotional stuff is even worse than the physical abuse. I lost all my friends because he wouldn’t let me see them, and the mutual friends we had, he convinced them all I was crazy and making up stories about him.

    I know your friend thinks it’s harder to leave with a child involved, but that should be *more* motivation to leave. Imagine being a child growing up in an abusive home where your mother is scared of your father. Imagine if the father then starts behaving like that with the child, or if the child then grows up thinking that is normal. It may take her a while, but I would offer her support, and I would tell her to leave ASAP.

    Post # 10
    Member
    134 posts
    Blushing bee
    • Wedding: October 2013

    @southern_sweetheart91:  ugh. Sounds like my best friend. And ALL her boyfriends. She always follows the same patterns and when she comes to me to tell me the truth, what does she do? Changes her mind!!! She pretty much just comes to me to vent, and doesnt really want me to help. I tell her things she doesnt want to hear, and she goes on and keeps enduring the awful relationship. Every guy, always wants to change but never does. Counseling wont work because the relationship is already tainted. Why do you have to change someone to be with them?? Not supposed to be like that! A guy who is emotionally or physically abusive has YEARS of therapy and counseling ahead and will only change if he really wants it. Which most of the time, they dont.

    Sorry for my rant! This just brought up my emotions towards my friend and her awful cycling of awful relationships that i have to constantly be her ear and have no input of how i feel. ugh

    Post # 11
    Member
    3598 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: December 2011

    The guy might be able to change his behavior eventually, but not with her.  The two of them will never have a normal relationship because he’s already been abusive to her.

    Post # 12
    Member
    3222 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: April 2015

    I’m going to see if my best friend is willing to come here and share her story, but the nutshell is that several years ago, we grew apart and nothing I did or said seemed to get her attention. It turned out that it wasn’t her, but her douchebag boyfriend, who began with controlling behaviours, followed by verbal/emotional abuse. I was let in on the secret at the emotional abuse part, but couldn’t convince her to leave. I spoke with a counsellor friend, who told me to just offer support, so that’s what I did. I spent 6 months listening to her cry and tell me horrific things, but also listened to her rave about how great he was and how happy they were. It was the most manic relationship ever. Finally, when things became much more physically abusive, my SO and I asked her to stay with us NO MATTER WHAT. That meant coming here at 3am, 6am, and having a key made for her to come in while we were out. She’d go back after he tried to choke her, and she’d sit on our couch trying to rationalize what to us was very obviously a bad relationship. We gave her a second home for TWO MONTHS until she got the courage and ambition to actually leave, and finally confide in her family for their help in moving. It took a long time, but my best friend needed that time with all my love and support to make the decision that I knew she would make. 

    She now talks about how she has met some many kickass ladies in her support group who are strong, confident women who are feminists, but just happened to fall in love with broken men. Leaving can be really difficult, but what your friend needs is a solid friend who will provide all the support in the world and not get frustrated. Abusive relationships require a degree of brain washing and interdependence, so all you can so is offer a safe space and your undying support. I just want to add that pushing her for a decision could possibly drive her to stop confiding in you. I’m sorry your friend is going through this!

    Post # 13
    Member
    1696 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: October 2013

    @southern_sweetheart91:  Pinning someone down might not be hitting but that’s still angry touching. And I’m willing to bet he wasn’t gently tossing her onto the bed to do it either.

     

    I think she needs to GET OUT as soon as she can. The fact they have a child is all the more reason. That child will do much better in a broken healthy home than an abusive home with the parents together. As motivation, tell her to imagine him doing something to the child. It shouldn’t be as hard to imagine now unfortunately.

     

    Perhaps this CAN be mended, but any attempts to fix something like this need to be done with distance. If she wants to try and fix it, step one is GET OUT and step two would be getting therapy to work on it. No attempts to fix this should be made while she is still at risk.

     

    Good luck to her. This sucks.

    Post # 14
    Member
    49 posts
    Newbee
    • Wedding: March 2014

    One of my good friends is in a similar situation.  Her boyfriend’s actions have only escalated in violence.  The last time he actually pinned her down and spat in her face.  All of our friends are terrified for her because she keeps excusing his behavior.

    The one thing I would actually advise against for your friend is to go to counseling with her abusive husband.  If their counselor knew of the abuse, they would say the same thing.  Being in the same room as your abuser during a counseling session will only perpetuate the cycle of abuse — abusee is afraid of making abuser mad, so sugar coats everything to counselor, then counselor doesn’t do his/her job correctly because he/she’s getting false information.  Or worse, abusee tells the truth to counselor and abuser gets angry and violent in the privacy of their home.  If they want to do counseling, they should strongly consider doing it individually.

    The sad thing about this situation is that your friend is the one who has to decide to leave him.  The only thing you can really do is encourage her to do so and offer her a safe place to stay if she needs it.  But in terms of actually leaving him and making the right choice for herself, that’s completely up to her.

    I will say one thing based on my own experience with my friend…I was afraid to reach out to people for help/advice on how to keep my friend safe.  I was afraid that if I reached out to her brother and parents that she would resent me for being a snitch.  There are only a handful of us that know, and we’ve all agreed that if she gets back together with him again (they are currently “off” in their on/off relationship) that we would tell her parents.  I’d rather not have her frienship anymore than not have her hurt (or worse, dead).  

    Sorry, that was really rambling.  I have a lot of thoughts/feelings about this and it’s been quite an emotional rollercoaster to watch my friend go through this and I’m sorry your friend is in this situation too.

    Post # 15
    Member
    9137 posts
    Buzzing Beekeeper
    • Wedding: November 2013 - St. Augustine Beach, FL

    Be suppoprtive.  Encourage her to go to individual counseling and couples counseling if she can get him to go.  Also, make sure she knows that if he abuses her in the front of their child that child services may come and remove their child from their home and place her in foster care.  Above all, make sure she knows you support her and will be there for her if she needs an ear or a couch.  Do not confront the spouse because he may inflict more abuse on your friend for telling you about their situation.

    Post # 16
    Member
    742 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: June 2013

    I was in an abusive relationship at a young age (15-19) and I kept a lot of it quiet. It was very verbally and mentally abusive which eventually led to physical abuse. I kept telling myself things would change, he would change, I could change him….in all honesty, I think it takes A LOT of professional help to fix/change a person like that. my ex had a very troubled childhood and past which I feel led him to be the way he was. when things were good, they were great but when they went down hill, I was living in a daily version of hell. I wish I had left a lot sooner than I did, again, I was young and nieve and didn’t know better.

    IMO, if he doesn’t get help now, like right this minute, who is to say what his next actions will be. I never though my ex would put his hands on me like he did, it got to the point where I could hardly breathe and was gasping for air. I never thought he could do that to me, let alone would. But he did and it happened, regardless of what I thought or felt.

    Thoughts and prayers to your friend!

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