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Supporting friend getting back with abusive man

(18 Posts)
FusionChefGeoff Fri 18-Sep-15 22:08:52

I am very worried about a friend who left an abusive partner earlier this year when emotional abuse finally turned physical. After a court case which fell apart, she is now back in contact with him 'to get some answers' and has met him recently and admits she would consider getting back into a relationship with him.

I have no experience myself but spend a lot of time on these boards

FusionChefGeoff Fri 18-Sep-15 22:16:24

Posted too soon!!

And know that this is very dangerous and that after a short time on 'best behaviour' he is likely to ramp up the abuse if they do get back together. I tried staying the bloody obvious by pointing out that this is a man who attacked her - it wasn't a single punch or shove but lasted several minutes - but she got very defensive and tried to tell me that she was in control, had him over a barrel and that 'bad people do bad things but good people can make bad decisions'.

I was simultaneously fucking furious with her for being so stupid and terrified about what could happen. I am also so, so sad for her that she has such rock bottom self esteem that this vicious, nasty, controlling and manipulative bell end is viable relationship material.

I don't want to alienate her as I want to make sure she will always be able to call me from wherever if she needs help. But I can't just let this happen - can I???? Telling her to contact Woman's Aid etc would be pointless at the moment as she is in denial but is there anything I could say or do that could help?

brokenhearted55a Fri 18-Sep-15 22:19:02

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

DaisyChain87 Fri 18-Sep-15 22:23:49

We've watched my aunt go through this for nearly 20 years: I think that this time she might have LTB for good. But I've thought that before and been wrong.

All you can do is try to keep the lines of communication open I think, make sure she knows that she can come to you. I know how you feel, it is beyond terrifying to watch.

FusionChefGeoff Fri 18-Sep-15 22:47:34

Oh no. I had a feeling that might be the verdict so I'm not surprised but I am sad sad

Definitely will keep friendly, avoid any lectures or confrontation and focus on keeping her as safe as possible.

20 years, Daisy God that must be hard.

brokenhearted55a Fri 18-Sep-15 23:09:27

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

OneDay103 Fri 18-Sep-15 23:14:20

She is stupid and she will learn unfortunately.
Let her come to that realization. You won't be able to help her right now.

TopOfTheCliff Fri 18-Sep-15 23:26:14

I know the feeling Geoff as I got involved with a friend who asked for help to leave an abusive man and I went with DP to get her and all her stuff. We took her in for a week and helped her move abroad. A month later she went back to him, then after 2 days appeared tearfully on the doorstep saying it was all a mistake. Take two - we retrieve her and bring her home for another week and send her back abroad to family.
Will she stay or will she come back again for round three?
She has been to WA and had counselling from an organisation that helps women stay away from abusers. But she gets so anxious and panicky and thinks she will feel better if she goes back to him. I can't get through to her, just keep patiently offering help and support and a place to stay.

Parsley1234 Fri 18-Sep-15 23:28:14

I've had several friends stay/ go back to abusive men 1st time he had a knife to her thoat and her son was in the house she was convinced had her son aged 5 woken up he wd have killed them both she stayed for 18 months after that incident until she met new partner this one isn't much better, second friend filming tv show in my home kept having to stop in pain told me afterwards she had a broken rib after that she told me she tripped and after that she told me her bf had pushed her hard again. Both friends I've had to let go of its too painful for me to carry on being there as I kept telling them both two women a week in the uk die each week from domestic violence I can't do anything I felt I did my best. Lending friend a a lot of cash to stabilise herself and friend b a place to live. Don't think either helped x

brokenhearted55a Fri 18-Sep-15 23:37:04

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MatrixReloaded Sat 19-Sep-15 01:31:01

I'm with Broken. I've sadly had to let go of a family member for this reason. You cannot help them and often they don't want help. I couldn't cope with the constant stress and drama they brought into my life.

SomeonesRealName Sat 19-Sep-15 06:37:17

People who are trapped in horrifically abusive domestic situations are not stupid and they do not have the same amount of agency that you and I have, because it is eroded by the abuse. I agree that there is very little you can do and if you become too involved with telling her to get out of the relationship and challenging her, you might just be putting more pressure on her so she will push you away, or it might antagonise her partner. Also be careful not to give more of yourself than you can afford - you matter here as well. Just make sure she knows you care about her and will be there for her on the outside.

SomeonesRealName Sat 19-Sep-15 06:41:05

Not sure I would want a friend who described the impact on them of systematic mental abuse and violence I was experiencing as "drama". Walk a mile in her shoes and say that. Just lovingly withdraw.

FusionChefGeoff Sat 19-Sep-15 09:46:15

Thank you ladies flowers

I feel a lot more peaceful now about the inevitable course of action which will be to back off but stay friendly.

You have saved me a lot of pain and I thank you sincerely for taking the time and sharing your own experiences.

MatrixReloaded Sat 19-Sep-15 12:23:49

I resent that someone. And I have walked in those shoes. I didn't dump it on my friends.

I've had repetitive phone calls pleading for rescue in the middle of the night. I've dutifully done that only for them to go straight back. I've had endless disturbed nights and so have my children. I've listened patiently for hundreds of hours. I've done this despite caring for a parent at the end of their life.

When your getting pleas for rescue while your at the hospital it IS drama. And as broken says it's not my job to safeguard an adult.

Getuhda348 Sat 19-Sep-15 13:09:00

Oh how sad! Feel for you and your friend because nothing good will come from her going back to that. I would say you can't stand around and watch her get hurt but the door is always open if she decided to leave him but only if she was leaving him for good. Sometimes people lose everybody and think they have nowhere to go so just stay and put up with the abuse. I would never want to see a friend in that position but totally understand you don't want that drama in your life flowers

SomeonesRealName Sun 20-Sep-15 07:48:21

It sounds like you gave more than you could afford to give - so perhaps it was your inability to enforce boundaries and lovingly withdraw that ended up causing you to feel that way? Either way it is unhelpful on a forum where we are daily trying to support vulnerable people in dangerous and abusive situations to describe typical behaviour (taking several attempts to leave) as drama, or refer to victims' stupidity (this was another poster). There is at least one thread running currently where the OP is apologising repeatedly for asking for more help after returning to her abusive partner.

MatrixReloaded Sun 20-Sep-15 13:05:06

I didn't describe typical behaviour as drama. I described someone ringing you at the hospital while your with a dying relative as drama.

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