- 5 years ago
- Wedding: January 2013
This is going to be a little long- just wanting some insight on how to handle this situation.
My best friend of the past 10+ years, we’ll call her L, is in a really really bad marriage. They have been married for 2+ years and her husband, we’ll call him R, has been married before. R’s divorce was really bitter and his ex-wife accused him of some pretty nasty things… forcing her to have sex against her will, being an alcoholic, getting verbally and borderline physically abusive with her. He even lost custody of his daughter based on the supposed “lies” his ex made up. I was never quite sure of R, but when he and L first started dating, and even when they got married, he put on such a good front that we all decided to just accept him… especially since he really made it seem that his ex-wife was just crazy and making things up (she has her own set of problems).
Well, lately things have gotten really bad. R has been drinking a lot more, has been going for two-hour-long “walks” every night (I think he’s going to see another woman- especially since he let it slip to L one night that his female friend cancelled on the 10 p.m. “run” they were supposed to go on together). He’s gotten really distant from L but at the same time really verbally nasty to her. He calls her every name in the book and blames their 2-year-old daugher (born 14 weeks premature) for “ruining” their marriage because she had so many health issues.
R also, for some unknown reason, has a HUGE problem with me. I’ve literally never done anything to make him feel this way, so I’m not sure if he uses me as a “scapegoat” or what, but he apparently hates that L and I are good friends. Lately he’s done everything in his power to try and break up our friendship, including sending me mean messages on facebook and then blocking me & my husband completely, even calling L’s mom and spreading lies about me and even about L to her. (He has gotten her mom to believe that L is “clinically depressed with a chemical imbalance” and R isn’t at fault in any way. This is FAR from the truth but L won’t talk to her mom because she meddles- proven by the fact that R has gotten L’s mom to send me emails telling me to take R’s side in the marriage and make L go to a doctor to get medication.)
L has been going to counseling on her own and she and R have begun counseling together. Seemed like he was *maybe* starting to work on things, though I was VERY skeptical, but last week I got a text from L. She said R is telling her that I email him all the time (which isn’t true, and she didn’t believe him)- but the scary thing is he is able to tell her very specific things that she and I have discussed (saying I’m going behind her back telling him). This means he’s somehow gained access to her email (she has changed her password more than once to prevent it) and is spying on her and lying to her about it. When she asks to see the emails I supposedly have been sending him, he says he “deleted them.”
Everything he does absolutely sends chills down my spine. I feel like he legitimately has a screw loose and will snap at any moment. She has even been told in the past by friends of his that being around him alone wasn’t safe at the time. She thinks this has cleared up a bit now because he’s going to counseling with her. She thinks he intends to change- I think it’s pretty clear he is manipulating her and isn’t changing in any way. I think she’s mostly scared to leave because they have a kid together and she’d be devastated if she even had to share custody.
I’m really at a loss for how to approach this. I’ve never been in this situation, and I’m not a big advocate of divorce, but in this marriage I think it’s pretty clear that he is crazy and manipulative (especially since his ex accused him of all the same things he is doing to L)- and L needs to leave.
Anyone been in this situation? Advice on how to encourage her but kind of make her realize that leaving is her best and only option at this point? Or am I even crazy for thinking that? What makes it more complicated is she lives across the country from me- we talk every day but I only see her a couple times a year.