Post # 1
I wrote this post several weeks back about my best friend, L, and her abusive husband, R: http://boards.weddingbee.com/topic/best-friend-in-abusive-relationship-1#axzz2md3fspJU
Since then, things have only gotten worse with him- even her parents were encouraging a separation at the very least (if you read my previous post, he had previously convinced them to believe things were all L’s fault). She did spend a night or two away from him but did not leave.
Over the past week now, she has been dealing with a new diagnosis of cancer. Somehow this kicked him in the butt to start being “nice” to her. (This has been a cycle with him, as with most abusers– nice, abusive, nice, abusive, etc.) He has taken this to such a level where (I feel) he is exploiting the entire situation on facebook. He writes multi-paragraph posts about how she is such a wonderful wife and how she is his best friend and how blessed he is to have her, how she is dying (mind you- she doesn’t even want anyone KNOWING she has cancer yet, and they don’t even know what stage it’s in) and how he is fulfilling his vows to her by being as loving, gracious, and supportive as he possibly can.
Pardon the phrase, but he has CONSTANTLY been an attention whore like this– always trying to make himself look like a saint and like the best husband in the world. He uses facebook to do this (he has completely blocked me but for some dumb reason I keep letting other people send me his ridiculous posts!) But with this situation, it’s just making me feel absolutely sick. I know that this “good behavior” facade will only last a short while before he goes back to abusing her, but I REALLY don’t feel like my focus should be on continuing to encourage her to leave now, especially since she has been resistant to that for so long.
I can’t believe my best friend has cancer. She has dealt with so much… a micro-preemie child born 14 weeks early, an abusive husband, and now this. It’s taking all of my energy to not fly out there and deck this guy for trying to turn his wife’s diagnosis into a circus with all attention focused on him.
Any advice on how to get past the anger I have for him, and more importantly, how to support her in all of this?
Post # 3
@kw948103: he’s sounds like a disgusting pig. I don’t know what you can do but be supportive of your friend and be there for her as a shoulder to cry on. I’d also suggest not bringing up the husband anymore. It sucks, but if she can’t see what he’s doing to her, there’s not much you can do. Let him make himself look bad, he seems to be doing pretty great at that already
Post # 4
Oh my. This whole situation is just awful. Definitely be there for her as much as you can but it might not be the right time to talk to her about leaving him. You said her parents were supportive of a separation – does she have a good relationship with them? If she were to leave him, could they support her during this critical time?
Post # 5
@MrsStayPuft: I think they would support her and I know they would let her stay with them if she left (though they are out of state)… they know how bad things can be with him- but at the same time, I can see how they would be quick to believe that he has changed his ways. I also know she WON’T leave him at this point… with a little girl who is frequently in the hospital, and now this diagnosis. I just want to fix it all 🙁
Post # 6
Here are a couple of the things he posted on her facebookl:
“As your husband, I know you are still dealing with the results. I assure you that EVERYONE on here is praying hard and we will celebrate when it is over with. Break? Really? We don’t take brakes. To overcome, we support each other, and thats what we will do! Since this is new, and you may be upset for me posting this on your page… EVERYONE, lets gather together, pray, and overwhelm you with support! You continue to amaze me. Our daughter is sick and so are you. You always put everyone first. It is time for you to put yourself on the top of the list! Get going, get well, and God laying his hand on you! We WILL get through this! I mentioned yesterday one of your many traits. Stuborness! It’s okay to let people help you through this! As I told you earlier when you were stuck in the drift this morning…. I pulled out the truck and yanked you out so you can move on! Love you so much. I wish I could take it from you and have it. I cant. However, the Lord our God is with us always! We need to both accept the help, peace, and grace he is giving us! Love you so much!!!!! Everyone, lets give a shout out to L!!!!!”
“Have you ever been a complete ass to your spouse because you did not understand them? I have, and I now know what it was. This is not a new situation to myself or L. I am so thankful that she went in and got checked out! I ask for forgiveness and mercy.”
Makes me sick.
Post # 7
@kw948103: That makes me want to vomit. He’s absolutely disgusting, oh my god. I am so, so sorry for your friend (and that you are having to deal with this situation second-hand as her friend). Support her by being there for her. Listen to her. Let her vent to you if she needs to – but my word of advice is to omit him out of your conversations with her altogether. Don’t try to tell her how horrible he is (though I’m sure you both are aware of that), because if she turns and takes his side, you will lose a friend and she will lose someone that would truly be there for her in a crisis. Just let her know you are always a shoulder to lean on.
As far as your anger towards him goes, I wouldn’t just ‘let it go’. He’s an asshole, and an abuser, and clearly manipulative. Don’t let your friend know you’re harboring anger, but also do NOT let your walls down around him.
Post # 8
@mrstea83: That’s kind of my plan for now- I’m sure I will travel out there during her treatment, but I plan to NOT stay with them nor be around him if I don’t have to be. I know she’ll support that… she even thinks his facebook posts have gone overboard. I know she’s frustrated, but she won’t tell him (can’t blame him for that. I wouldn’t want to deal with it at this point either.)
Glad I’m not alone in thinking these messages/behaviors are disgusting!! Sometimes I wonder if I should just give him the benefit of the doubt, but I think we moved way past that a LONG time ago.
Post # 9
@kw948103: Ugh. This is quite predictable behavior for an abuser when something like this happens – it’s a way of directing attention and sympathy towards themselves while painting a saintly portrait of themselves. Honestly, it’s abusive and manipulative just to announce this to everyone before she is ok with people knowing – he is taking that control away from her. She will need your support now more than ever. In many cases abuse can actually escalate during these crises because the abuser gets upset when their victim can no longer be victimized in the same way (i.e. a husband who sexually abuses his wife may not be able to do that if she is in the hospital), and as they become more and more anxious about potentially losing the person they have power and control over.
Post # 10
Ugh, what a psycho. It’s hard watching a friend go through a rough time – I would just concentrate on how you can show up for your friend and focus your energy on that, and try not to concentrate on your anger towards him (easier said than done, I know).
Post # 11
Everything about this is so sad. It’s awful all the things this woman’s going through. I feel for you, too, because it must be so painful to see someone you care about going through all this and the sense of helplessness you must feel.
It’ll be good for you to travel out to see her – it’s times like this when people find out who their true friends are and when they need support the most.
God, this guy sounds like SUCH a piece of shit human being.