to think that maybe he could have/should have done more?

(28 Posts)
possiblyunreasonable Tue 09-Feb-16 17:37:06

Have NC'ed.

The day exH and I broke up was..difficult. Things had been deteriorating for a long time and one day I just couldn't take any more. I decided to spend the night at a friend's house after work because I just couldn't bear to go back home to him. I told him where I was going, that I was safe and I would be home in the morning.

At the time ex was a SAHD and I worked late nights so the dc's were used to me not being there in the evening.

We broke up the following day. Unfortunately we just happened to have a friend and his son staying with us at the time. Now it was never ever my intention to do this while they were with us but as I said things had been awful for a long time and I just had reached breaking point but I was very prepared to do it in a calm way that would be the best for our children.

Unfortunately ex did not think the same way and was immediately furious, assaulted me, screamed at me, called me all sorts of disgusting names etc (not in the house, outside where the dc's didn't see).

When we went inside, obviously dfriend could see that the situation was getting bad so he collected his son and their things and left in a taxi. I completely understand this as he was doing the right thing to protect his son and that was his priority.

However, at the time ex had actually pulled a knife out and was threatening to harm himself (and potentially me?). This was all happening downstairs while the dc's were upstairs playing (so hopefully did not hear or see anything going on). I begged dfriend as he was leaving to help me because I was terrified about what might happen if I was left on my own with him. He refused and left. Tbh I'm not upset at him about that as his priority was to protect his son.

But aibu to think that just maybe, possibly, he was the tiniest bit unreasonable? Not for leaving like that but for not doing anything else? He could have called the Police, called back to check everything was ok, something? Or aibu?

ridemesideways Tue 09-Feb-16 17:42:56

YANBU. I understand his primary concern was for the safety of his child, and getting out of there, but surely as a friend he should have at least asked you and the DC to come with him, asked you what you were going to do or asked if there was anything he could do.

Simply running out without offering assistance either then or later could be cowardly. But fear makes us do strange things.

possiblyunreasonable Tue 09-Feb-16 17:49:57

I've never spoken about the situation with dfriend, in fact I haven't actually spoken to dfriend at all since then but just due to circumstances not because I'm upset with him.

I've been thinking about rekindling our friendship though as I have known him since childhood and we used to be really good friends, I'm also very close with his sister. I have to admit though that this situation has been playing on my mind since it happened, hence me asking about it now!

ridemesideways Tue 09-Feb-16 18:07:45

Hmm... If it were me, I think, all things considered, I wouldn't pursue the friendship if he hasn't made any contact at all since that day, to ask if you are ok. How long does it take to send a quick text or email?

Not following up with you is not the action of a good friend, regardless of the lack of refusing to help during a crisis situation.

possiblyunreasonable Tue 09-Feb-16 18:07:50

I should possibly add that ex is over a foot taller than me and if it became physical I would have had absolutely no chance against him.

possiblyunreasonable Tue 09-Feb-16 18:10:59

I think he may not have contacted me as he might have thought that I was upset about the situation. Or he may have felt awkward about how he handled it and not want to bring it up again. He is also a mutual friend on mine and ex's so I think he also doesn't want to be seen as taking sides.

redexpat Tue 09-Feb-16 18:32:32

I tend to freeze in the moment. Its only later when i think damn i should have done xyz.

Having said that if someone asked me for help im sure i would have done something.

memyselfandaye Tue 09-Feb-16 18:36:52

He should have phoned the police, not to do so was cowardly, if he was too scared to try and diffuse the situation because he wanted to remove his own child first, fair enough.

To not get you and you children help, is unforgivable.

How often do we read in the newspapers about men killing their wives and kids? You could have been one of those stories, no thanks to your "friend"

Why the fuck would you leave anyone in that situation? If you saw a random angry bloke in the street with a knife you would ring 999 right? If its a friend you just fucking run and do nothing?

He isn't a friend.

TendonQueen Tue 09-Feb-16 18:43:08

Even if he was afraid to do anything else, he could have phoned the police. And he could have sent an 'are you ok?' text without 'taking sides' hmm. I'd be disappointed with him as a friend and I don't think this is a friendship worth picking up again. Sadly, while I haven't been exactly in your shoes, I have been in the painful position where a long time friend, who I thought very highly of, revealed through their lack of actions that they were actually a weak and cowardly person. I think this is where you're at.

MissFlight Tue 09-Feb-16 18:46:59

I understand why he wanted to get his ds away as fast as possible, but his next priority should've been to call the police. I know that's what I would do.

possiblyunreasonable Tue 09-Feb-16 19:21:01

I think thia is part of the reason I haven't spoken to him since. Even though I know his ds was his priority at the time, deep down I'm really disappointed he refused to help. Ok, maybe there wasn't much he could have done from a practical standpoint but he could have done something rather than leave me there with the kids and him in an angry, aggresive state branishing a knife. I can't imagine doing that to anyone let alone a friend.

I didn't have a car and lived in a house pretty much in the middle of nowhere, on a road with no pavement and an autistic child that would be incapable of walking far so he knew it would have been difficult for me to leave and at any rate I had very few friends, no family and nowhere else to go. He knew all this.

ohtheholidays Tue 09-Feb-16 19:30:33

What an arse,your ex could have killed you what was he thinking.

No OP honestly I would never want anything to do with him ever again.Yes he had to get his child away but he could have phoned the Police for the sake of your children and you.

BernardlookImaprostituterobotf Tue 09-Feb-16 22:17:23

I'm so sorry that your ex did that to you, it must have been terrifying.

You've been very clear in trying to look at your friend's behaviour in a very forgiving and non judgemental way - you understand his priority was his son, you're not upset with him - while that is a credit to you, I don't think you need to be.
It's going to be very taxing to work through your feelings from a place of cognitive dissonance. What he did and how that made you feel cannot marry up with what you are trying to think of him. He let you down, not over a lunch date or a cancelled holiday but when you were genuinely in fear for your life and your children. With deep bonds of friendship we can often over look superficial things because the implication is that when you really need each other you'll be there, but he wasn't. Not only did he fail as friend that day he failed to react as we would wish any human to. It's OK to be angry or hurt about it.
Domestic violence culls the wheat from the chaff friendswise, and family sadly, and unfortunately the most unexpected people can be the ones who let you down, that's without even being in the room with it. I imagine part of the reason he hasn't contacted you is that his actions don't fit his personal identity, his idea of himself as a good man - who wants to confront that they are not the hero of their story? - that it threw some of his unconscious biases into sharp relief and, as he has amply demonstrated, he is not endowed with moral courage. I would not rekindle a relationship with him, I think it has the potential to be very hurtful.

I'm interested in how you feel though, there's obvious conflict here and struggle. The main focus of anger is of course the perpetrator of the violence, he had no right at all to do so, no justification and I hope he was punished. But while the responsibility lies solely with him it is not a blanket absolution for your friend either for not only leaving you but for not even seeking help when he was in comfort and safety. I imagine you judge him by your own standards, I personally couldn't comprehend turning away from anyone in that situation, friend or stranger, and I've been on both sides of it. So I would struggle with processing it. Getting to a point of neutrality, of understanding and forgiveness is laudable and a healthy goal but we get there through all the other feelings, we can't jump right to it because we intellectually know there are reasons we can accept, we have to feel our emotions, observe them, accept them if we can, close the wound and then let our rational intellect take over.
You can think badly of what he did without it betraying your shared history and who you thought he was. We can make bad choices and not be bad people. Equally, if it feels to you that he was not who you thought and your relationship was not what you had believed then you owe him no loyalty, especially not at your own expense.
What do you hope to gain from renewing the friendship? What would you wish for?
What do you honestly actually think might happen if you do? What might possibly happen if you do? Are you prepared for those things and could you cope with them if they were negative? Are you prepared for how it might feel if he is in regular contact with your ex husband but ignored you and your children? Are you content not to seek, or more pertinently, receive answers about that day? Is it going to be good for you? Those would be the questions I'd be really truthfully trying to ask and answer for myself before I made a decision. He doesn't sound like he considers himself your friend though.

MrsTerryPratchett Tue 09-Feb-16 22:23:44

Don't reconnect. 'Taking sides' against violent threatening people is fine. Really. At the very least calling 999 from his car and waiting to see if you needed a lift.

ImperialBlether Tue 09-Feb-16 22:30:35

He should have called the police.

However, are you a couple which has a lot of drama in your life? If someone takes one person's side, do both of you jump on them? I know it's really common if a police officer's breaking up a marital fight for both parties to join together against the police. Is that something you do?

In any case, he should have called the police as soon as he got away.

SaucyJack Tue 09-Feb-16 22:36:21

It's 2016, so I'm presuming he has access to a functioning phone?

If he wanted to maintain your friendship, and he was concerned about how you were doing after the incident with your ex then I'm pretty sure he would have rung himself long before now.

Do you have other people in your life that actually give a shit? Focus on them.

LovelyFriend Wed 10-Feb-16 00:15:53

He should absolutely have called the police.

I would not want to pursue a "friendship" with someone who could leave me alone like that without calling for help. I would not trust him at all.

Sorry you went through this op.

BlueJug Wed 10-Feb-16 00:30:51

I hope that you are ok OP. Don't judge your friend too harshly - he may not have seen everything, may not have realised it was anything more than another row, he was probably embarrassed and waiting for you to get in touch. (If I'd been in your shoes I would have apologised next day to friend for putting him and his child in the miiddle of something when he was a guest at my home). Things are not always how we see them and he could have a different view. Call him to build bridges/ clear the air/put your mind at rest - or don't.

Best wishes for the next stage of your life OP

LalaLyra Wed 10-Feb-16 02:49:23

If he knew what was going on completely and left without calling the police or help for you and your children then he's not a friend imo.

Fair enough getting his child out of there, but to leave other children and yourself there without calling outside help would be a line a friendship couldn't get back over for me.

Aussiemum78 Wed 10-Feb-16 02:59:20

If he could call a cab, he could call police.

Taking sides? He was possibly leaving you to die! In front of your children? Anyone who stays neutral in that situation is condoning violence as far as I'm concerned.

Is he divorced himself? Ever wonder why? Perhaps he's abusive also.

TestingTestingWonTooFree Wed 10-Feb-16 03:30:12

He should have phoned the police. I also think that perhaps he should have taken your children too. He's a shit.

londonrach Wed 10-Feb-16 07:47:46

Tbh i dont understand why he didnt take your children as well as his son out of the house to a place of safety then called the police. However its difficult to know whats you do in that situation especially with a knift out.

londonrach Wed 10-Feb-16 07:48:15

Knife!!!

Guiltypleasures001 Wed 10-Feb-16 10:15:26

Hi op

I've had something similar, I had my ex screaming over me and threatening me whilst I was kneeling over my late disabled daughter, trying to protect to her.

Exh friend had come round to help put some furniture together, they were both a drink as well, I want up stairs to go to bed but friend wouldn't go home. Later exh appeared in bedroom and started, his mate just sat downstairs and did and said nothing, I was seriously scared his mate just let himself out.

I never spoke to him again, this man is not your friend, not following up to see if you were ok even on the quiet is cowardly and awful. Personally it makes him a shit in my opinion. thanks

FeliciaJollygoodfellow Wed 10-Feb-16 12:42:28

I agree with previous posters - I can't imagine just leaving any friend who was in danger without calling the police, even if I was getting my own child out of danger.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now