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Best friend treats her husband like a child

(12 Posts)
Latetotheparty26 Sun 22-May-16 21:14:36

My best friend of over 20 years speaks to and about her husband as though he is one of their kids.
She is feisty, particular, has strong opinions and is extremely careful with money. He is the complete opposite and she has confided in me that she doesn't know why she married him (5 years ago). They have 2 young children.
He IS frustrating, but in my opinion no worse than many other men! when she speaks about him, she really lays into him. She's patronising, curt, snipey and very bossy.
But it's when we are together as couples (with other mutual friends), she speaks to him and about him like this, in front him and in front of us all and it's really, really uncomfortable.
It makes my DH want to stick up for him, it makes me want to speak to her about it and it's made some of our friends make excuses to not be around them.
I'm really worried not just for him (because the last time we saw him, he looked tired, drawn and was really quiet. Plus she's told me he's not been taking care of himself - hygiene wise, so I'm hoping there's not a depression related issue) but for her, because I think one day, he may snap and leave her taking the kids.
I know as much as she's told me about their relationship and issues, she has recently lost a family member and I realise there may be more going on I don't know about.
We've always been close friends able to talk about absolutely anything but, when comes to her marriage, I'm out of my comfort zone.
Should I talk to her?

RosieandJim89 Sun 22-May-16 21:22:04

I would simply say something like "if you think so badly of him why are you with him. I want you to be happy and you don't seem to be." Make it sound like you are concerned rather than judging but yes I think you should say something.

PovertyPain Sun 22-May-16 21:24:04

I feel sorry for the poor chap. It sounds as if she is EA towards him.

Xmasbaby11 Sun 22-May-16 21:30:07

I'd try not to be judgemental but encourage her to be positive and look at his good points, or try to give a different perspective when she complains about him.

Between my friends we've all had minor moans about partners. Anything bigger than that is usually a concern eg friend concerned that her Dh is is stressed / depressed? / unhappy.

Queenoftheblues Sun 22-May-16 21:30:39

As a long term friend you have the right to pull her up as well as letting her know other people feel uncomfortable. She sounds awful.

SandyY2K Sun 22-May-16 21:39:06

It's a difficult one isn't it. Does she know why the other couples have pulled away?

So often I hear the other side of this.. where a MM talks about his wife speaking horribly to him and that being the reason he pulled away and had an affair.

I usually don't believe it, but here I see it's possible.

What's the point in being married to a man she has so little regard for?

If it was my close friend I'd say something like "My DH would not tolerate being spoken to the way you talk to yours. Does he ever respond to you at all?" and see what she says.

It's exceedingly uncomfortable to be in that situation.

TheNaze73 Sun 22-May-16 22:48:03

It's a real tough one. I think you'll potentially get the backlash from her, however well meaning you're trying to be. The guy, must be a fool or have self estate issues to put up with her

HeddaGarbled Sun 22-May-16 23:11:27

Why do you think he will take the children? Is he the primary carer?

TheSockGoblin Mon 23-May-16 00:20:03

She sounds abusive. Would you say sometihng if it was him speaking to her that way?

I've witnessed this sort of behaviour before and kept quiet for a couple of months before saying something to both parties. they are no longer together and I dunno about her but he is WAY happier without the constant belittling, demanding and criticism.

I asked her why she was with him as she didn't seem to even like him and she only had responses of examples of all the reasons why he pretty much deserved whatever treatment she chose to dish out. But him? Actually having someone talk to him and affirm this was not ok and he wasn't deserving of this treatment helped him to leave what was undeniably a toxic and abusive relationship.

I couldn't continue to be friends with someone who thinks it's ok to do this to their spouse. It really horrible and says a lot about who they really are. The fact that she does it in front of others makes it worse..how humiliating for him, no wonder he is quiet and looking tired.

there's a possibility she hasn't fully realised just how bad her behaviour is and so a gentle but firm word telling her the truth - that it's abusive and it's making others uncomfortable might help. But probably the best you can do is support him in getting the strength to deal with wbhat sounds like years of abuse.

amroc18 Mon 23-May-16 08:00:03

Whilst I in no way condone the way she is speaking to him, you may want to consider speaking to her gently about whether she is happy in the marriage.

This may be her (albeit wrong) way of dealing with frustration married to someone who from your initial post acts a bit like a child and as such they have formed a parent-child kind of relationship.

claraschu Mon 23-May-16 08:04:26

I agree she sounds abusive.

You say she treats him like a child. This is no way to treat a chid (or another adult): She's patronising, curt, snipey and very bossy.

Latetotheparty26 Mon 23-May-16 10:25:42

Thanks everyone. I think I will speak to her. I keep wanting to give her the benefit of the doubt because, well you do when you've known someone so long, but it's been going on for years and has got much worse recently. I'm dreading it but I need to do it, I don't know if anyone else will! Wish me luck! X

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