Oh, what a night… :(

posted 3 years ago in Emotional
Post # 3
Member
3394 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: April 2014

@Redroc_13:  This is exactly how my abusive relationship started. Eventually I just had no friends so nobody saw anything. If I tried to keep a friend he didn’t like (which was everybody) he would just cause so many problems I could never get out the door to go visit them (he even did that when I was trying to go visit my own sister) until eventually my friends and I had no relationship at all. He also accused me of being a lesbian with my friend Janet. Then later I overheard him (in my own kitchen) trying to talk Janet into having sex with him or a threesome (which I would never have agreed to). When I freaked out he turned the tables and insisted he never said that, then when I didn’t want to get it on in our livingroom right in front of Janet he started screaming obscenities at me. Janet made the mistake of sticking up for me, which only ended in him threatening her and the police being called. It was a mess and the last time Janet came over.

I will say one thing, she will never leave him until she’s had enough of his shit. Not that you should accept his behavior and say it’s fine, but no matter how many times you tell her to leave she won’t actually do it until she’s had enough.

Post # 5
Member
49 posts
Newbee

@Redroc_13:  Your friend is really fortunate to have you in her life. I appreciate that you’re thinking about what the better approach would be, because you’re right – sometimes when victims of abuse are not ready to process their experience as abuse, hearing people constantly telling them to leave can be internalized as guilt and cause them to withdraw from people for fear that they’ll be judged for staying. The very best thing you can do for your friend is exactly what you are doing – remind her that she always has a place to go if she needs to get away, and help gently guide her to resources she may be able to use to get away from the abuse when she decides the time is right. 

I try to encourage friends and family members who are in the situation you are in to really stay in contact as much as possible. I am very concerned about your friend if her abuser is willing to shove her and punch a wall with other people around within earshot. It is an indication that his behavior at home/in private may be even more violent (the punching and shoving is normalized for them so it doesn’t occur to him to hide it/he knows there will be no consequences for doing that around other people). With abuse already escalating to physical violence, your friend is in very real danger even if she doesn’t feel that way. 

Post # 6
Member
3637 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2015

I think that you just need to continue to be there for her and not let the asshole drive you away. Even if she starts to push you away I would try to find ways to show her that you are always there if she needs you.

 

I would also continue to use language that indicates that his behaviour is NOT normal or ok. Telling her to leave at the moment most likely won’t work, but eventually, getting her to think of his behaviour as not normal will sink in.

 

I’m so sorry that this is happening, you are such a good friend for being so worried. 

 

ETA: I would also make it very clear with your FI that he and any other mutual male friends you have need to make a pact that if they see this guy touching her inappropriately, they need to step in. Not with force per se, but with a tap on a shoulder and a “dude, that’s not ok! Let’s go for a walk and cool down because you just can’t do that!”. He’s getting away with it at the moment and it needs to be shown to him that he’s not going to be able to get away with it anymore. 

Post # 7
Member
5204 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: April 2013

@Redroc_13:  I’m so sorrry. 

I agree with your approach.  Let her know that this is not normal, that she should leave him, and that you’ll help her if she chooses to do so.  You are right that you cannot make her leave him and that it’ll probably take her a while to do so (unfortunately).  Just be there to support her.  She will hopefully come to the healthy conclusion, knowing that she has the support she needs to leave.

Post # 9
Member
49 posts
Newbee

@Redroc_13:  Absolutely. It’s hard to fight the urge to swoop in and save her. I work at a domestic violence agency and many of the hotline calls I receive are from worried friends and family and they all express a lot of the anxieties you have. I agree with a PP that it’s good of you to gently affirm (when you have the opportunity) that what she is dealing with is not normal. For many victims of abuse, the mistreatment happens very gradually, and part of surviving it is normalizing it. While she may seem ok with it right now, internally she is not ok with it. If you continue to be a support for her, it’s likely that you’ll be one of the first people she reaches out to when she is ready to say out loud that it’s not ok. Please keep us updated and feel free to message me any time if you’d like to talk further with someone trained in these issues. 

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