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What am I watching unfold here?(122 Posts)
Please excuse me if this is too long. I'm offloading some worries, that I know I can't do anything about. Here goes:
In late January, my bff went to a dinner party, and met someone. They went for drinks, got on really well, and met again for the following few evenings before he had to leave (he was in the process of relocating, but at that stage was only in the country for a few days). They began texting, Skyping, phoning, for hours every day. He was generous with compliments, telling her she's 'stunning' etc, very polite and chivalrous to the point of being a bit old-fashioned (opening car doors etc). She noticed he seemed "quite anxious and over-thinking" at times, but on the other hand - they seemed to have an amazing amount in common.
He even mentioned liking a favourite song of hers, that she had posted on her fb wall a few months back.
On the surface he seems like her absolute soulmate - more so than anyone else she's ever met. But I'm worried. What do you think:
Within the first week of meeting/Skyping, he was asking when he could he meet her little boy, who has Autism. She told me herself "He is scaring me. He has kids himself and they'll be visiting him eventually. He tells me he hasn't seen his kids for 7mths. He doesn't have custody. That is a red flag. Will need to get to the details later. Anyhoo...I think I just offended him...Will tell you when we speak."
Apparently he would get defensive, whenever she tried to dig. His backstory is that he lost a lot of money a few years ago - mainly property investments that went down in the global recession, and it destroyed his marriage. He became depressed and drank a lot, and when it came to custody, he wasn't strong enough to fight ex-wife...but has since got back on his feet, and now working his way up again. He and his kids talk regularly on the phone - they seem to get on, even though he now lives several thousand miles away from them.
Soon afterwards, bff was helping him view apartments to rent, in the same block as hers. He was asking about them since he was relocating anyway, and she couldn't exactly tell him not to move into her block.
They were also talking so often, that if she didn't reply soon enough to a couple of his texts, due to being busy - he would ring her, to ask if she was alright.
She in turn started to arrange our Skype sessions around his calls. If we were talking on Skype and he phoned, she would arrange to call me back in order to speak to him. (to be continued)
Three weeks in, new man sent her a cryptic text "Got bagged by woman next to me about my presentation. Yup - heaps off fun that was. Lucky she didn't slap me" - she had no idea what this meant. Also around this time he posted on his male friend's fb wall, asking a question about meeting a 'stunning' (yes same word he used for bff) woman on the flight over and "what would you do?" This forced bff to admit she found this confusing and she didn't like it. When she told him, he laughed it off as just joking around.
He described himself to bff as "High maintenance, on the go like an energiser bunny, having a weird sense of humour. Not OCD however particular about things. Don't suffer fools (though I guess you don't either)..."
He spontaneously changed his flight and relocated earlier than planned - because bff was feeling down during a phonecall. He paid hundreds of pounds extra, to change his ticket on a whim. Phoned her from the airport to ask what watches she likes - and bought her a beautiful, expensive designer one, and arranged to take her to a lavish restaurant the first weekend. By now she trusted him enough to introduce him to her ds - they met for a family lunch on his arrival - their fifth face to face meeting.
At this stage, his new apartment was not quite ready, so he was in a hotel. Bff was deliberately trying not to give in to the temptation to invite him to stay at hers, and also not to see him every day. New man (NM) went out by himself to his usual pub, on a 'bender' - and she had to bite her tongue to tell him to stop drinking. She said the temptation was to go with him, or see him, in order to keep him from drinking excessively.
A week or so later he had moved into his new apartment in her block - so now they are neighbours, but in reality see each other every night - and weekends.
During one of his earlier conversations with bff, he was recounting the story of how he and his ex-wife broke the news to their kids, of their separation. The youngest dc didn't really understand but the eldest dc took it very badly and started throwing the furniture around. His ex went to comfort dc, and the dc threw her across the room. He recounted this like a funny anecdote to bff who was disgusted by his apparent lack of empathy for either ex or dc. (Since then, she believes it was a nervous laugh, I'm not so sure)...
I'm sure someone will come and decrypt this situation in a coherrent way. All i can say that i get the impression your friend doesnt know this man at all and has jumped into this relationship despite massive red flags. Why why why?... It doesnt sound good at all, i bet there are heaps of b****t to be discovered about this man, doesnt your friend sense that? What are your thoughts about him?
He sent me a fb friend request a few weeks ago - I added him for bff's sake, though it's not something I usually do with strangers. I was in the middle of writing a polite "hello" type of message, when bff texted me that they'd had some bad news earlier in the day, his mother had died, quite suddenly. I immediately changed tone, and offered my condolences.
In his reply, the only reference he made to his mother's death was it was a "rather sad day", and then went on to say he hoped I had heard only good things about him, and seemed to take offence that I had called him merely "OK"! (Which was a misunderstanding anyway - I had just used 'OK' to signal a change of subject in a new paragraph, and he had misread it...but it's a bit beside the point in the context of the death of a parent).
He flew back early after arranging his mother's funeral - apparently the rest of the family ganged up on him, and told him that his Mum's death was his fault.
A couple of weeks ago, I got a private message on fb from him. There'd been nothing since our initial exchange. He was asking if bff had a history of domestic violence - followed by a picture of a horrible bruise on his arm. It turned out to be a 'joke' - of sorts, although the bruise was very real. I have posted about it in AIBU, but the short version is they were play-fighting, drunk, he got her to hit him on the arm, said it didn't hurt, and ended up with a massive bruise.
He was going to post it on his fb wall - but when bff objected, he decided to post it to me instead. It caused some friction as I was upset that they were so childish, (didn't realise initially, that it was all mainly his instigation). She was upset that I could even begin to take it seriously and think she was capable of domestic violence.
The latest thing, is he has now 'accidentally' shown this bruise to acquaintances at the pub, and when they all asked how he got it, he didn't answer but it obviously looked as though it was bff, who was humiliated and embarrassed. The same weekend, he made arrangements to take her and her ds, to a friend's house for a play/visit, and it didn't happen, because he went out drinking and forgot/too hung over the next day. And again, on the Sunday he went out saying he'd be back in an hr or so, to drop off something at a work's do. Bff had asked him not to drink. He asked bff to do him a favour, call him every 10-15mins to help him make his excuses to leave. She called him once, he didn't answer, she called him again, and he got his boss to answer! So now she looks like a stalker, as well as physically abusive!!
Oh and he spend hundreds of pounds on these benders - buying bottles of whisky etc - they are in a country where alcohol is very expensive.
He comes out with these fantastical plans - like booking luxury, high-end holidays (ones that include exclusive villas and butlers etc), and suggesting that she invites friends/family along. Presumably offering to pay for it all. It's very weird.
She is in too deep, to see what I think are very, very big warning signs. I hear all this from her, and find it unbelievable that she isn't running for the hills. I've told her what I think, but she is very happy with him at the moment, and already trusting him like she's known him all her life, with her ds, etc - her ds is quite vulnerable as he can't speak. Yet, every so often she will come out with something else that has happened, or he has said/done, as if it's the first time. They've only been together 10wks or so.
I think from what I can read up on, he sounds like a raging narcissist. I know there isn't a lot I can do, as it's her journey, and right now, she wants to stay with him. Just need to vent/air my concerns somewhere, I suppose.
mozarela I feel frustrated. So frustrated.
He gives me the creeps, yet I've never met him. I've restricted him on my fb list ever since the 'joke' as it rang so many 'weirdo' alarm bells.
Bff just thinks it was an immature incident, of which she was partly to blame, but in general, they have a lot of fun, she gets a lot of support from him and she bloody LOVES him. I'm kinda annoyed with her in a way, for being so fucking gullible.
I think that he is a liar, i think he lies to people as sees fit, e.g. the story about his mothers death and family turning on him doesnt ring true. It's more likely that making her feel sorry/compationate towards him is a part of his plan. Family turning on him because of mothers death would serve as an explanation should she come into contact with any of them at some point. To me it sounds like he has a plan and your friend is part of it. Creepy plan. I cant quite work out what it might be but i feel your friend should be extra careful when with him. The way he exposed bruising to everyone and made your friend look like an abuser is not normal and actually a bit scary. He did it deliberately. It's like he is setting up the scene where he can later control your friend. Or worse. E.g. what if after a year or so he will call police in a similar situation? Your friend is putting herself AND her son at risk by being with this man. Also, why did he want to meet her son so soon?... All very weird! Is there any way you can find out more about him?
He sounds quite unhinged. The bruise thing is totally bizarre. Why on earth would he send that to you?
Her twat radar obviously needs some serious work.
OP, I read this and thought narcissist straight away too. Whatever the label, he sounds like really bad news in all kinds of ways. So sorry you're having to watch this happen
Any chance you can find his ex wife?
He is a fucking LOON! She needs to MOVE and change numbers etc. She's in danger.
As are her DC.
mozarela his mum's death was strange in itself - the initial message bff got was, she had passed away. Then it turned out that she was in a coma and on life support, so not technically dead. I had sent my condolences on the basis of thinking she had actually died, and he didn't correct me!? Although they turned off the life support a couple of days later - but it was after he'd flown back. I suppose he may have just thought why go into it with someone he hardly knew...but it's just another tiny detail, that seems a bit 'odd'.
I told her to be careful and it seemed to be going a bit fast - that it might burn out just as quickly. She said "I know...I know.." and told him about my concerns! He said I was being judgemental, and started to refer to me as 'Crash 'n' Burn' apparently. And also made fun of my fb profile pic (childish). This was before I had even heard half the stuff, and before the bruise thing! So...I reckon he ticks the 'hypersensitivity' box. Surely most people would at least understand why a friend may express concerns, rather than just call them judgemental and start making fun of them. I know he might try and distance her from me, as he knows we're close. But - I couldn't stand by and not say anything. She has no other family over there, and a single mum of a vulnerable child!
Kernowgal The bruise thing - ugh. I think he was trying to stir up trouble betweein bff and myself. I just knew that somehow or other, he would find a way to show it in public or to other people too, it seems to be what he wanted to do in the first place. And surprise surprise - now he has. Bff is convinced it was a genuine accident - "he was wearing a short-sleeved polo shirt, leaning over the bar, and the sleeve rose up...we're in a hot country." It sounds like manipulative grooming to me, but she's adamant that it was just lack of foresight.
His fb page is all very pleasant-seeming...lots of condolence messages from friends re his mum, and making a 'new start' after his move etc. He has a pic of him with his kids on his profile, so giving off a very family-man image. Oh, he posted up a song "Dance With My Father" and wrote 'For my baby' - presumably for his 5yo dd. How nice, except he has moved thousands of miles away - and the song is all about a child missing their father, not how a father misses their child. How narcissistic! Yesterday he posted on his status - "There is one born and in existence every minute and one on every corner, an idiot, a DH, a FW & an AHole. The multiplier effect is exponential. The world focusses on finding a cure for everything, yet such key ailments is not on the radar". Clearly he is superior to the vast majority of idiots.
It seems odd to me that he wants to ingratiate himself so soon with bff's son, as even he and bff haven't known each other that long. I would have thought most people would consider the interests of the child and not want to impose until the relationship is established. It's almost like he messed up his original family, and now wants to move on and play happy families with a new one, with undue haste, regardless of the interests of the child/children involved.
Bff's twat radar is not in great shape, it must be said. Thing is she is a strong, intelligent woman in all other aspects - but when it comes to men...yeesh. It's like despite herself, she is looking for a fairytale romance. She does seem to confuse material gifts, grand gestures, and almost stalkery behaviour as proof of how much a person cares.
What the others said. He is a bad liar and looks like a psychopath too.
Bottom line: Tell her to get away, if you can, or there may be serious consequences.
But I know that is much easier said than done.
MushroomSoup Not much chance of finding his ex - unless I started digging around his fb friends - and I don't know him or his friends. I wouldn't want to elicit his wrath anyway (anymore than I already have, just by existing and caring about bff). I'm thousands of miles away from both of them.
Almost sounds like a film script, like "sleeping with my enemy" or somerhing like that? he sounds really creepy and I also think trying to get in touch with exwife is a good idea.
And he totally sounds like he is setting her up for something
I would tell her he is far too strange and she should run for the hills. He sounds crazy, to be honest.
I agree there could be really serious consequences. She could be charged with assault, for one thing. The other thing is he has that over her with photos and witnesses so she may be persuaded to do something she wouldn't normally do in exchange.
Where does he get his money from? It's hard to think he can concentrate on work enough to earn anything. I would imagine that he's lied about it somehow. What's the betting he has power of attorney over his parents' money and he's been spending it?
Apparently his ex is the one who broke up the marriage, by having an affair with his best friend. However she is still very angry and bitter 3yrs on, and still sends him angry emails, which he shows bff. He doesn't trust his brother either, because he sided with his ex. So lots of broken/messed up relationships all over the place. None of which are probably his fault of course.
Are they in a country with a reliable legal system?
I think she should block him entirely and keep her distance, including moving if she has to but if her emotions are tied up with him, she will probably not do this.
How old are they?
Which country are they in, and is it culturally and legally similar to the uk?
Is your friend in the middle east?
It sounds like you live in country 1, he lived in country 2 but now lives in country 3 along with your friend.
I know you're focusing on his odd behavior but the set-up is unclear.
What's your friends previous relationship history? Do you have any mutual friends who've experienced controlling or otherwise abusive relationships that may have her inner alarm bells ringing?
On your other thread about this, some people thought your friend may have been the instigator of domestic violence against him
What do you think ?
Ah, blaming the ex too. Yep, I fell for that one. I should think she's angry and bitter because this man's an arsehole and has treated her abysmally and fucked off to the other side of the world leaving her with kids to raise. I'm willing to bet she doesn't see a great deal of maintenance from him yet he's living the life of riley. I too worry about what kind of blackmail opportunities she's given him.
Unfortunately I don't think there's anything you can do. Your bff has already expressed concern about his behaviour yet for whatever reason she doesn't think his astonishing behaviour is grounds for dumping his revolting arse. Whether that's naivety or just plain looking the other way, who knows. When this does all come crashing down around her please encourage her to spend some time working on her self-esteem.
Out of interest, have you googled him OP?
He sounds totally and utterly vile. I feel sorry for your bff's son. Is there any chance you could give his dad a heads up or is he not involved in his life?
Is your friend desperate to be in a relationship?
What's her response if you suggest caution due to her son or asking how her son is generally? I imagine this sudden change in his routine with the new guy being on the scene almost daily could be unsettling for her son.
Blimey...well obviously he's a total disaster. I don't envy you this one at all.
He sounds like a dangerous, narcissistic drama queen.
Alarm bells going off every fucking where.
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