Post # 1
I was once told that you should NEVER meddle in someone’s marital problems. No Matter What. Not even in cases of abuse. My Maid/Matron of Honor swears by it and I gotta admit, I can’t agree with that.
What do you think? Do you step in? Or would you prefer not to get involved? In what case, would you get involved? What was the result?
Post # 3
I think abuse is the only way I’d get involved, and it would either be in the form of "I’m worried about you" or discreetly calling the cops. I’ve (luckily) never had to do this though. Everything else, I just keep it to myself.
Post # 4
abuse is a sticky situation. you wouldnt want to call the police without the woman knowing. what happens if she doesnt want help (and this is often the case in abusive relationships)? what if calling the police only aggravates the situation? i think it is best to ask if she wants help and just to be supportive.
Post # 5
In an abusive situation, I would let the person that is the victim know that I am there for them unconditionally and that I couldn’t maintain confidentiality if they were being harmed. I would make sure that their family members knew that I was concerned about them… and would never say bad things about the abuser (because that just doesn’t resonate with the victim and only serves to alienate them from you).
I’m pretty frank, and have treated CPS referrals and teen suicidality/abuse in a similarly frank way. I think a key comment is that if someone’s life is in danger, I can’t keep that a secret and must tell appropriate authorities.
*this is not medical advice!
Post # 6
It depends on how well you know the person…
Post # 7
All I can say is I’ve tried to step in and address an unhealty situation with someone closely related to me and they just didn’t want to hear it. We also now no longer speak because of this. Some people just don’t want to admit it and accept help and you can’t do anything for someone who doesnt want it as much as it sucks for you to see it.
Post # 8
I would step in if abuse was involved, but other than that, i’d probably stay out of it.
Post # 9
If the person is a close friend or family member, I don’t think there is anything wrong with saying (once!), “You don’t seem like yourself lately – is there anything you want to talk about? You know I am always here for you, so please let me know if you need anything.” And then you drop it. Period.
That “anything” may be someone to vent to, a shoulder to cry on, or a babysitter while the couple attends counseling or enjoys an evening/weekend reconnecting with each other.
If you say that – and really mean it – that is being a good friend, not meddling.
I think the same works in an abusive situation as well. Often victims of abuse are too embarassed to admit a problem or may feel that asking a friend for help will just make the situation worse. Addressing the problem ONCE, and telling your friend that you are there – no matter what – is really important. You never know when she might be strong enough to take you up on your offer.
Post # 10
@snowpea: In cases of abuse, I’d offer to help but other than that? Not really unless it was to encourage the person to go see a professional counseller.
Post # 11
If the person who is being abused is quite frank with you in regards to telling you about the abuse, then you be frank with them as well and bring them information (i.e. Women’s or Men’s help clinic #s, addresses etc.) Continue to encourage them to seek help and build their confidence. I.e.: “It doesn’t have to be this way! You have this/that option/s!”
If the person is not telling you but you just happen to know because you know them REALLY well or you heard it from a very trusted source, then be discreet and offer help in vague, yet open terms: “I hope everything’s going well with you. You don’t seem yourself lately. If there is anything I can do, and I mean ANYTHING, please don’t think twice about asking me. Hey! That’s what friends/sisters/neighbors/relatives/whatevers, are for!” Look them in the eyes and say it seriously and that is all. Then the ball is in their court.