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What am I watching unfold here?

(122 Posts)
DoormatorDiva Thu 04-Apr-13 17:25:38

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)

DoormatorDiva Thu 04-Apr-13 17:31:39

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)...

TrippleBerryFairy Thu 04-Apr-13 17:41:27

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?

DoormatorDiva Thu 04-Apr-13 17:41:47

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.

DoormatorDiva Thu 04-Apr-13 17:46:57

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.

TrippleBerryFairy Thu 04-Apr-13 18:00:21

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?

Kernowgal Thu 04-Apr-13 18:03:05

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.

TheGoatThatGotAway Thu 04-Apr-13 19:39:02

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 sad

MushroomSoup Thu 04-Apr-13 19:51:09

Any chance you can find his ex wife?

Hissy Thu 04-Apr-13 19:51:54

He is a fucking LOON! She needs to MOVE and change numbers etc. She's in danger.

As are her DC.

DoormatorDiva Thu 04-Apr-13 20:12:40

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.

wordyBird Thu 04-Apr-13 20:16:24

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.

DoormatorDiva Thu 04-Apr-13 20:22:23

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.

Kione Thu 04-Apr-13 20:23:46

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 sad

ImperialBlether Thu 04-Apr-13 20:26:48

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?

DoormatorDiva Thu 04-Apr-13 20:27:29

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.

ZZZenagain Thu 04-Apr-13 20:39:03

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.

carabossse Thu 04-Apr-13 20:50:39

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?

AnyFucker Thu 04-Apr-13 20:54:34

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 ?

Kernowgal Thu 04-Apr-13 20:58:23

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?

carabossse Thu 04-Apr-13 21:00:55

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.

NicholasTeakozy Thu 04-Apr-13 21:51:40

Careful...

pictish Thu 04-Apr-13 22:18:23

Blimey...well obviously he's a total disaster. I don't envy you this one at all.

pictish Thu 04-Apr-13 22:21:35

He sounds like a dangerous, narcissistic drama queen.
Alarm bells going off every fucking where.

scarletforya Thu 04-Apr-13 22:55:56

That post he put on facebook sounds like word salad, I think he is disturbed. His spending sounds manic. There's something amiss with him.

DoormatorDiva Thu 04-Apr-13 23:00:08

carabossse Yes I am in country 1, he was living in country 2 but has now moved to country3 where bff is.

AnyFucker I believe bff - although initially I was shocked and concerned. I don't think it was her beating him and it was a cover-up. I've known her for over 40yrs and it's not like her. And if something like that did happen, our friendship is such that she would tell me.
Whereas he's been on the scene 2mins and I've never had such a bad feeling about any of her bfs before!

Kernowgal No not googled...there's an idea...

DoormatorDiva Thu 04-Apr-13 23:09:07

NicholasTeakozy Careful? Tbh I am a bit scared to talk about it - but what do you do if someone you care about seems to be sleep walking into a scary situation.

AnyFucker Thu 04-Apr-13 23:10:15

no, I didn't agree with those posters on your other thread either, DD

DoormatorDiva Thu 04-Apr-13 23:29:31

carabossse Her exh (who seemed to have a few narcissistic traits too) left her and their ds about 2yrs ago. They had only moved into the country a few mths before he walked out. He relocated to another country too - and now only flies back to visit ds once a month or so. Bff was in a slump for ages - just getting through the days - no dating. She's only recently started getting back on track. This guy has come along like a whirlwind and swept her off her feet. She's been really lonely, and coping with ds's autism on her own has been tough, in a strange country too. She's severely been lacking in fun and attention - which new man has been giving her. So the pull of 'coupledom' must be even stronger.

TrippleBerryFairy Thu 04-Apr-13 23:32:03

I might be totally out of line but here's my version.
He was/is relicating because he is trying to escape things in his previous country. Avoiding child support payments/debtors/illegal stuff that has caught up with him. I'd think he was a liar/gambler/cheat and generally shit so wife threw him out. Why move 1000s of miles away from kids- to spite the wife, escape debts, who knows.

He seems overthinking stuff because he is lying so he's trying to evaluate how all the lies so far will fit in with the future ones. Has to make sure his story seems plausible.

He needs your friend. He's been doing his research about her- him mentioning her fav song is no accident. He's looking for her weak and vulnerable points. Her son is one of them. Does she have any assets/good job that he might see worth using/having?

The story about losing his money in recession is a lie. I bet his drinking/other addictions facilitated that.

He has already cheated on your friend- thats what the cryptic message was about.

His description of himself deciphered: 'high maintenance'- she will walk pn eggshells and things will never be good enough for him, 'energizer bunny'-addictions keep him going, possibly a sex pest, 'not ocd etc'- it's his way or the highway, doesnt suffer fools- well this one sounds like a veiled threat from him.

He is already controlling. Where is he getting his money from, does he have a job? Or maybe sells illegal stuff?

I think your friends son is a tool to control her. I was wondering about worse (paedos on every corner and all) but i now think he wants to become enmeshed in his life so that he van be used to control her.

All very bad news, hope she will wake up to his bullshit and soon!

DoormatorDiva Thu 04-Apr-13 23:43:15

MaggieMaggieMaggieMcGill Difficult - trust in bff's exh is not too high either - he did his share of being emotionally distant, then physically distant. She never found him to be that involved in parenting. He has not shown any interest in custody - he lives tbousands of miles away now. They are going through their divorce.

rockinhippy Fri 05-Apr-13 00:02:15

My first thoughts on reading your OPs were narcissist & child abuser, he is setting her up not to be believed, undermining her in a way that leaves her & her DS very vulnerable indeed - I'd be doing some seroius digging behind his back to de what you can unearth, he sounds dangerous

Yes google him - he sounds an outright liar, attention seeker and potentially dangerous.

rockinhippy Fri 05-Apr-13 00:28:52

& if you meet him, find a jokey way to get a look at his passport - he may not even be who he said he is

The original descriptions of this man and the whirlwind start to the relationship, gives me chills. It sounds like he knew she was there, he researched her on facebook, he knew stuff about her already (like her song) Does she leave her facebook wide open? Did he initially contact her through someone she knows? Did they already know him or just meet him too?
It sounds like he is trying to set her up for something, playing the long game, setting the scene, getting her trust, living in the same building, getting access to her child, taking a picture of the bruise she gave him. Something stinks and I think it's this new guy.
She should get out now before he tries to worm his way in further and make trouble for her and her son. Scary man!

pictish Fri 05-Apr-13 09:00:10

If nothing else, moving into a flat in the same building as her, after suxh a short time, is just fucking weird!!!

Who does that?

appletarts Fri 05-Apr-13 10:12:25

He's got bipolar, is having a manic episode and is alcoholic, could put money on that. Friend sounds like she needs professional help around relationships and maybe consider why you are also all wrapped up in unfolding drama. She needs to leave him now but very very carefully and not see him on her own ever again. First sign of violence/stalking involve police.

DoormatorDiva Fri 05-Apr-13 11:39:08

mozarela - lots of food for thought there. I think you may be on to something regarding there being more to relocating, than merely to follow a job offer - he sounds as if he left a trail of excesses. So over-thinking stuff could well be the effort of, if not juggling lies, then trying to work out how much to tell her.

He's told bff that before he lost everything - he had a property portfolio, of quite a few properties, more than twenty. His parents sound fairly well-off, both educated professionals. This is all background info, coming from him, so who knows. He is/was the revered youngest boy in the family, sounds like his Mum doted on him, was proud of him, although she was apparently concerned about his drinking and womanising. It's only now she's passed away, that the rest of the family, including his Dad, have 'had a go'.

It was almost like they staged a family 'intervention' thing after the funeral they way bff interprets the events. He apparently felt ambushed, hence why he flew back early. Bff told him it was probably down to everyone going through stages of grief etc. and it was just feelings running high.

I'm reluctant to think he is quite as bad as being a possible child abuser, and sells illegal stuff etc. He has a decentish job (GM level) - it's apparently similar to what he did ten yrs ago, but all part of having to start again, and he could do it with his eyes shut etc. Doesn't sound like he is lying about that as he goes to work every day, she was passed to his boss that time, when he asked her to ring him at the works do etc.

SquinkiesRule Thankfully it does seem as though the meeting was a chance thing. They met at a dinner party hosted by mutual friends, whom bff has not known very long, but they have known new man for a few years. Work connections. The only reason bff was invited to the do that night was she happened to contact her friend (the woman) to see if she was doing anything, and the friend said they had a friend in town (nm), and having him round for dinner, would she like to join etc. When they found out that nm had been seeing bff the guy was apparently very protective of bff - telling him not to mess her around. The woman just told bff that they really hadn't been planning to get them together. The fave song thing - bff has her account set to 'friends', and by the time he mentioned it as one of his faves, he was already on her friends list as by then they were talking every day. She doesn't think he saw it because he didn't seem to know she'd posted it on her wall - and it was a few pages back. So yeah - could be coincidence or he could have researched her fb history.

pictish Well yeah it is well weird, right? Bff thinks it seems fairly logical - he was relocating, needed to look for somewhere, she lived in a nice apartment block, why shouldn't he check out places to rent. By then they were speaking for hrs every day, so it felt like they'd known each other for months. Also it was fairly obvious they were getting on great, and maybe the logical thing to do was to live near each other for convenience.

However. The other way of looking at it is, if someone knew that they may be embarking on a new relationship with someone they barely knew, the LAST thing they would want is move into the same block. For the sake of not putting undue pressure on anyone, including themselves? Is that the more usual way to behave? But narcissists don't really respect boundaries do they?

Googled him a bit yesterday - but there isn't that much, just some old social media, and networking accs. One twitter profile of his name, shows a list of eight people followed, and they are ALL women with the same name!!! (bff does not have that name). Bit creepy but not sure what it means. If it is him that is...

However, a bit of looking around his fb friends list and I think I found his father's fb account...omg...

DoormatorDiva Fri 05-Apr-13 12:04:35

appletarts - I do wonder myself why I'm so involved and on some level I know it's better for me to walk away - but it would also feel like betrayal or abandonment. I'd feel better if I knew she had other close friends nearby for sure. She is like a sister to me. One that I get on with at that. We have a lot of shared childhood memories, a lot of history.

I have questioned it myself, whether our friendship has an element of co-dependency - but I think we just clicked from when we met as kids, and complement each other's personalities - we celebrate each others differences, I admire things about her, but don't want to be her, as I have a happy life, nice DP who treats me well, lovely kids. I count myself as lucky, but she has much more drama/excitement in her life, and would just find my day to day life utterly boring! lol.

There is genuine concern here - it's not like I disapprove of all her partners or anything. Well, tbh they have never been my 'type' but hey ho. Up until now I've not had any trouble staying on the 'your life, your business' side of the fence.

DoormatorDiva Fri 05-Apr-13 12:19:48

The father's last 12 status updates are full of flowery overblown language about how his wife's death has affected him, how she gave herself unconditionally.

He has even posted up the Eulogy...here is a snippet. "I had the golden last opportunity to take that last journey with my [wife] from the funeral house to the Memorial Gardens and in this hour I silently conversed with her and I felt that she was patiently listening. I poured all my pains and sorrows and asked for forgiveness for any wrongdoing that I may have caused her in our years to fruitful family life. Silence from her side was taken as agreement. I felt so much relieved."

There are videos of the funeral in several parts.

Latest update:

"She was totally committed to my happiness but has now decided to serve me differently".

Well.

NicknameTaken Fri 05-Apr-13 12:22:24

I don't think it's about co-dependency. I would be very alarmed for a friend who seems to be sleepwalking towards disaster, and this is what it looks like to me. I find the whole bruise thing worrying - it seems like a very calculating set-up so that he can inflict bruises on her down the line, and tell her that she's done it to him, and he didn't mind, so how can she?

There's another thread on here atm about "Your abusive ex. Did anyone try to warn you?" and I think there's a lot of overlap - you might find some of the advice helpful.

I think all you can do is make sure you keep the connection. If her emails/phone calls start to tail off, make sure you're keeping up the communication, even if it feels one-sided for a long while. As you said, this is her journey and you can't persuade her not to take it. Just make sure she can turn to you if/when it goes wrong.

NicknameTaken Fri 05-Apr-13 12:23:14

They're certainly a weird lot.

DoormatorDiva Fri 05-Apr-13 12:24:25

Wtf is this family. Bff really has no clue, and if I tell her, she will just go and try and 'talk' to nm about it, to try and get his perspective, gain reassurance. He will HATE me.

Maybe I do need to drop it and just leave her to it.

pigsDOfly Fri 05-Apr-13 13:00:05

Read the whole thread OP and one thing that crossed my mind you've mentioned in your last post; be very careful what you say to her because it sounds as if she will just go back to him with your concerns in a sort of 'Doormator is being so funny, she thinks you're likely to do xz & z', and he will have a further tool with which to isolate her - the fact that you are being disloyal to her in criticising the man she 'loves'.

She's obviously deeply enmeshed with this awful man and not terribly wise. Allowing him to meet her very vulnerable DC so early on speak volumes, I think. Tbh I don't think there is a lot you can do except tread very carefully, keep in regular contact with her and be there to help her pick up the pieces when it all blows up.

ladyjadie Fri 05-Apr-13 13:28:19

This sounds a bit scary and you do have reason to be concerned, a lot of people have made a lot of good points re: her life having some 'spark' now he's in the picture. Unfortunately it also sounds as though there is a silent, tiny 'gas leak' to go with the 'spark' and it could well go off at any time. His enmeshment is worrying as is his possible fleeing of his responsibilities in the other country. Lots of red flags.

However someone mentioned the "your abusive ex-did anyone try to warn you?" thread and I don't think she is ready to listen to you really. Lots of us didn't, even to our closest friends. She doesn't want to believe the blindingly obvious warning signs because she's being treated (materialistically) well and having attention lavished on her which she's been previously starved of - the perfect vulnerable type for him to dig his hooks into. My opinion is that this cannot end well (as seems to be the general consensus)

Sadly though what you say will fall on deaf ears, as she will only go to him (the worst person) for reassurance and of course he will see that you are not as blind on to him and will just turn it on you. He wants to isolate her and getting rid of you will be his number one priority, as you are her number one confidante/friend. I can imagine lines like "you don't need her, I am your best friend and we only need each other and look at her trying to spoil your happiness" being spouted from the classic EA script.

So the only thing you can really do is be there for her when she calls, and try your damnedest to not badmouth him, even if she is (because she inevitably will flip back to forgiving him and then his logic of you being the baddie will be reinforced to her) and just be there for her some more. Keep your friendship lighthearted and as it has always been. But don't let your life become too affected by it as it is your life and she is living hers

Sorry, really long. But this strikes more than one chord in me sad

ladyjadie Fri 05-Apr-13 13:30:03

Or what pigs managed to say in a much more concise way blush
(didn't see her post)

he does sound like he's in a full blown manic episode complete with self medicating with massive amounts of alcohol. if he is full on bipolar then this could tip over into psychotic symptoms.

obviously speculating but so much fits with mania and would explain why some are seeing narc - delusions of grandeur is part of the manic episode.

it's all high drama - you must be really worried about her but i'm really not sure what you can do.

carabossse Fri 05-Apr-13 13:54:30

Some aspects of this guy's behaviour remind me of a friend who has manic depression. During a manic phase actions like emigrating, changing job, rushing into a new relationship are likely. Being consumed by things "it's wonderful! This is how I want to spend the rest of my life" and reckless behavior (sexually, financially, health etc) are as standard. Just another thought as manic phases and narcissistic behaviour have overlaps.

When your friend talks about him (and I imagine she talks of little else) perhaps try the technique of asking "and what do you think / feel about that" rather than offering your opinions. Even if she says little while on the phone it may spark a private train of thought that helps give her some clarity.

carabossse Fri 05-Apr-13 13:57:17

To be clear, manic depression is now commonly referred to as bipolar disorder.

DoormatorDiva Fri 05-Apr-13 14:12:13

Thank you LadyJadie - btw, to you and anyone else - I'm really sorry if any of this has been 'triggering'. Thank you though, for the thoughtful replies - I think yours and pigs predictions of what happens in their conversations are probably right. The more I learn the more creeped out I am, it's an eye opener.

I sort of want to ask her to not speak to him anymore about me, to ask her not to give him any personal information and just leave me out of their conversations. She told me that when he was talking about booking a luxury hol with butlers and maids etc, and saying why not invite some friends along - they were going through a theoretical list - she didn't mention me as she knew my situation would be complicated with childcare, also I really don't mix in those sorts of crowds. (ha! As if it was not bs in the first place!). Apparently he made a point of saying "What about DoormatorDiva?" That just made me shudder when she told me as it feels like he's putting his feelers out to try and suss me out, find out what he can about me.

I will have a look through the 'Your abusive ex, did anyone try to warn you?' thread this evening.

When I initially started posting about it, not here, but in AIBU about the bruise 'joke' - the main thing I felt at the time was a big dose of righteous indignation, mixed with some "Is he a creep or is it my lack of humour?" curiosity. I was actually somewhat surprised that not a single person came back with 'lighten up' type comments. Then I asked about narcissism, and the strength of some answers about being extremely careful was chilling.

I do try my damnedest not to badmouth him - hence venting here. But I think even pointing out a few 'concerns' to her is risky. It's like I'm stuck, if I want to play the long game, as he seems to be doing, then I just have to nod sweetly every time she tells me something else weird, trouble is almost every thing she says about him/their relationship strikes alarm bells. To me that's like leaving her to it.

I guess this is why friendships run the risk of not surviving, as it's a fine line, and hard for objective outsiders to watch and grit teeth.

For the long term safety and well being of your friend and her ds, a manic episode would probably be the better option. As in it will hurt when he drops but long term is less likely to have an impact.
If he is a full blown narcissist on the other hand, he won't be likely to go away without a fight sad

Charlesroi Fri 05-Apr-13 14:41:15

I do not like this man at all.

I'd put good money on some of his friends and family being figments of his imagination. He is trying to create a new 'reality' for himself because in his old reality he's a useless, fucked-up waster. He wants to be admired by someone. Anyone. Don't believe a word he says.

I know you love your friend, and I know you want the best for her, but you must protect yourself first. Please, please block this man from Facebook and do not under any circumstances engage with him. Tell your friend why if you have to, but after you have removed any 'hooks' this creep may have in you. It'll make you better placed to help your friend when it (inevitably) goes tits up.

I dated a guy who was a major headfuck and gas lighter. He cancelled a date with me very early on when I first started seeing him as his mum was in hospital, next morning he texted to say she had died.

I carried on dating him and a year later he started talking about his mum as if nothing had happened. She was alive and well. Never underestimate what this type of man will lie about.

ladyjadie Fri 05-Apr-13 14:56:55

I don't think you should ask her to not talk about him or leave you out of their conversations. Not because it's not rational (it totally is) but because to her lovestruck mind it will just push you further onto her list of people who 'don't get it' and it will probably just mean you crop up more in her dialogue with him (*"Doormator is being so funny, she thinks.."* as Pigs said earlier)

You're right, even voicing concerns will come across as badmouthing or vindictive. I'm afraid the 'smile sweetly' option, unsavoury and against your better instinct though it may be, is pretty much the only option. Perhaps the best you can do if she tells you something that sets off massive alarm bells is, in a firm but gentle way, say "that's not right". Then you'll have to sit back and hear her fire off a couple of excuses as to how it's 'not that bad' followed by something 'wonderful' he's done to justify that really, she's fine and making totally fine choices. I was a bit hmm at her saying you "really don't mix in those sort of crowds" hmm and then telling you she said that? It seemed a bit condescending, did you think so? I don't know your friendship, but if it was strange of her to say it then it struck me as classic trying to make herself feel 'better' than you, to make herself feel better (if that makes any sense confused )

You do sort of have to leave her to it, and exactly spot on about the risk of the friendship not surviving bit. I know when I was with my ex I lost one of my bestest friends, ever because of him. I didn't want to but I also didn't like her for essentially screaming the truth in my face trying to make me see. NOTHING could have made me see. Love can make you crazy, but love tied with vulnerability/emotional abuse is the most mind-boggling craziness I've ever experienced. And I can only look back and see that now. You're going to have to wait it out, and respect to you for being prepared to play the 'long game' (long it may well be) knowing you're doing all you can. You're a great friend.

ladyjadie Fri 05-Apr-13 14:58:38

Of course do anything you feel is right to keep yourself safe though.

part of the reason i think manic episode is that his family tried to stage an intervention whilst he was there.

garlicballs Fri 05-Apr-13 15:13:19

OMFG, what a terrifying story!

My first thoughts were also bipolar and manic. Everything you've said matches that theory ... except one or two oddnesses. The two things that made me feel even worse about this chap are his father's staggeringly narcissist remarks on his widowhood, and this: 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".

Is that verbatim? I know all the acronyms are widely used but, honestly, it sounds to me like a Mumsnetter shock

Glorified pomposity about The State Of The Universe is a typical manic characteristic. But it's also a warning sign of psychoses associated with severe personality disorders (my dad used to do it.) It also seems to show a sideways self-awareness - he's one of the dangers in the message, and certain nobody will ever realise he's a "disease" because they're all looking the other way. Again, this echoes my father's style of thinking. My father was a violent psychopath. That type of personality disorder, unlike the others, features incisive self-knowledge and an extraordinarily cold ability to plan ahead with built-in flexibility for psychotic/impulsive episodes.

An uncontrolled manic can do an incredible amount of damage, imagining they're doing everything brilliantly. An extreme sociopath can likewise destroy all around them, with full knowledge of their destructive impact. Given the stories you've posted, it rather sounds as if this guy might be both.

Never mind the amateur diagnoses (I couldn't help myself) but I am practically screaming at you to STEER WELL CLEAR. If you were my RL friend, I'd be urging you to formally separate from your bff, telling her you'll be there for her if things go wrong but need to distance yourself from her relationship.

On the other hand, I'd be fascinated to see where it leads.

HighJinx Fri 05-Apr-13 15:31:21

There is some fantastic advice on this thread.

I posted on your earlier thread about my friend who is in an abusive relationship. At first I was like you and screamed at her to call Women's Aid, to check out some of the forums here, to get the hell out. The evidence against him was huge but I quickly realised that not only was she not listening, she was retreating from me. And that would have made her more vulnerable.

ALL you can do is be there, without judgement and wait until she sees the truth for herself. I know my friend (and yours too probably) knows the truth somewhere inside her but for whatever reason she isn't willing or able to face it at the moment. She wants to believe it will all be ok and trying to force her to see it won't doesn't help.

Remember there are many bits of their relationship that are not reported to you that will make her feel it is good. My friend has fun times with her partner between being used as a punch bag.

Also I am struck by your comments about him showing off his bruise. She is adamant it was a lack of foresight while you are certain that he manipulated the situation. You may very well be right but I could see how she would think 'DDiva wasn't even there. She's never met him - how could she know that? She's never liked him' This plays right into his hands so that when he badmouths you she thinks 'it's true DDiva is really harsh about him and she doesn't trust my instincts. She is trying to control me.'

If you are going to say anything (and I suggest you try not to) pick your battles very very carefully.

Sorry for the essay. I hope your friend sees the light soon. You obviously care very deeply for her.

HighJinx Fri 05-Apr-13 15:34:53

I am not suggesting that you are trying to control your friend btw. I am saying that her new man may well try to use your words to manipulate her into seeing him as a knight in shining armour, rescuing her from everyone else.

I'm sorry you're going through this. It's horrible. sad

What am awful situation OP.

Your friend won't see it. My ex wasnt quite this obvious in his ways , but he was a vile individual who I credit with ruining many years of my life, and a lot of my hope.

What ladyjadie and highjinx say is very true

garlicballs Fri 05-Apr-13 16:24:00

Just going back to one of my own points there: before personality disorders were 'invented', narcissistic personality disorder was called "megalomania": power-crazy. It sometimes helps to remember this when thinking about people with the traits you describe.

I share your opinion that your friend will be glad to have a friend like you one day - hopefully, not too far ahead. Meantime, though, please do all you can to make sure he cannot touch you either materially or emotionally.

DoormatorDiva Fri 05-Apr-13 17:36:04

charlesroi He seems alright on fb - has hundreds of friends, surely they can't all be wrong about him, which makes me think maybe I'm being way too suspicious. It's funny but the 'Dance with My Father' song drew quite a few likes, and 'It'll take time, mate' and 'Oh that's beautiful' type comments. There's me looking at it through narcissistic-traits goggles now, and of course all I see is a guy posting about how much he imagines his young daughter should be missing him! Perhaps I need to be careful I'm not just misinterpreting everything ultra negatively. Also I've restricted him, but if I defriend him altogether, it might just antagonise him.

AKissIsNotAContract - That is a headfuck and a half! To be fair to this guy, it would have to be a really elaborate hoax involving videos and other friends and family, well-wishers etc. if his Mum is alive.

ladyjadie "I was a bit hmm at her saying you "really don't mix in those sort of crowds" hmm and then telling you she said that? It seemed a bit condescending, did you think so? I don't know your friendship, but if it was strange of her to say it then it struck me as classic trying to make herself feel 'better' than you, to make herself feel better (if that makes any sense confused)"

Oops - gawd, sorry that was me not being very clear at all. Bff said she didn't mention me because she knew there'd be childcare problems, and the last part of that sentence was me thinking in my head, NOT her saying it to me!!! I should have put that bit in brackets. To clarify, she would probably love me to go on this fantasy dream holiday, but for my part, there's probably very few situations I'd find LESS comfortable, than to be stuck somewhere for days on end, with a crowd of corporate high-fliers, bossing maids about, all used to the champagne lifestyle! LOL! grin

It would have gone down something like this: New Man realises that bff is gasping for a holiday, as she's not had one in years. Also he knew he had annoyed her with going out drinking, and forgetting he'd made arrangements to take her and her ds out to visit friends the next day, and ended up letting them down. So, he decides to dangle a big carrot. He suggests looking at brochures and picks top-end, butler-laden luxury holidays, all very grandiose. He waves a few lovely pictures at her and suggests they book something amazing. Then suggests inviting friends. She doesn't say me, because she knows I'm suspicious of him, and suspects I'd just say no anyway, cos she knows what I'm like. He notices the absence of my name, and prompts "Why not invite DoormatorDiva?" (not that he really wants her to, but just to suss out the friendship/situation), she'd have said "Oh, DoormatorDiva can't/won't come - childcare would be a bit difficult" Then she recounts the story to me...but part of her is telling me, because she actually hopes that I will say "Yeah of course I'd come!!! Sounds fab!" and it's all hunky dory, because she wants to believe it.

Instead, I said "Wow... that's just crazy. What a mad thing for him to suggest. Are all these friends he wants to invite, supposed to be paying for themselves - or is he paying for them, too?" So then bff said "I don't know, I guess he's paying for it..." and realises it's a bit outlandish. But the next time new man brings it up, she would probably just say I had said no. And then new man would use it as "Oh. What, she doesn't even want to go on holiday with you? Are you sure she's your friend?"

DoormatorDiva Fri 05-Apr-13 17:43:11

garlicballs I am really, really hoping he's not a mumsnetter! It's far too mundane for the likes of narcissists, surely? I've nc'd for these related threads and deliberately kept the word 'narcissist' out of the thread title.

The status quote was verbatim. I actually don't know all the acronyms apart from Ahole. FW = Fuckwit?? What's DH?

DoormatorDiva Fri 05-Apr-13 17:47:37

I hadn't thought about bipolar or manic, even psychopathic. My ex was bipolar but he wasn't like that.

dick head?

if this guy is bipolar it would be type I (perhaps your ex was type II who tend to have more depression and only small bouts of hypo(lesser)mania) - with type I mania can spill over into psychosis at the far end when things tip too far. my friends mother has it and has had several psychotic episodes bless her.

garlicballs Fri 05-Apr-13 17:52:08

He would probably aim to charm you before trying to silence you. Lots of effective manipulators manage to get all their victims' support networks working for them & against their targets.

This is long, and very good: www.heartless-bitches.com/rants/manipulator/emotional_abuse.shtml

Heartless-Bitches also has a superb red flag list.

garlicballs Fri 05-Apr-13 17:52:40
happyAvocado Fri 05-Apr-13 18:05:38

could he be after your friends passport/residence?
if marries here would he be better of for that ing in her country?
but he builds up story about her violence so he can divorce her very quickly

StephaniePowers Fri 05-Apr-13 18:13:27

His lack of ability to charm seems not to fit - you'd expect him to have charmed the socks off all her friends before/while getting to work on her self esteem.

At this rate she's bound to notice that her friends are keeping quiet, isn't she?

DoormatorDiva Fri 05-Apr-13 20:01:37

swallowedAFly Dick Head. Ohhhh...of course.

Hmm..bipolar does ring a few bells actually. Grandiosity, manic spending, alcohol abuse, insomnia...

He has been in therapy though. Or at least he has told bff this. During his divorce I think, when he was depressed. I think it was one of the first things he told her, when he was saying 'no mindgames, no pretence' etc.

Presumably if bipolar was an issue it would have been diagnosed? Really, bff was so enamoured with him even then, that if he can tell her he's been in therapy, he can tell her he's bipolar and it wouldn't have put her off.

garlicballs thank you for the links. If nothing else - I'm getting an education in what to watch out for!

happyAvocado I'm not sure what he is 'after' - apart from she's lovely of course, and loyal, and attractive, and has a cute young ds. She is separated but not yet divorced, so not technically free to remarry until they sort out the divorce. He has apparently told her he doesn't want to get married again anyway. She's a SAHM atm, ds only goes to school part time, and ex sends money back - it's maintenance for ds and therapies, enough for rent etc. but not really much provision for her (if any). He can't be after her money. And she's an ex-pat too, so if it's a passport/citizenship thing there are easier targets. I think he does genuinely like her, but is not particularly healthy for her.

StephaniePowers Bff thinks he's incredibly charming! It's only me that seems to be very wary - he has a lot of mates at the pub, is seen as a bit of a party animal, life and soul etc. But then, I wonder how well a group of work colleagues, drinking buddies, and business associates really know him - since he's only been passing through before. Bff doesn't have a lot of close friends there, at least, no one she has really talked to about him. Most of her friends are new, made when she came out of marriage break-up 'hibernation'. Apparently he has a reputation as being a bit of ladies man, so he does attract women. I'm not under his spell I suppose, because I'm far away - looking at the actions, rather than hearing the pretty words, excuses and explanations.

amiwhatorhow Fri 05-Apr-13 20:17:35

Op, you are not over-invested here at all. You are concerned for your good friend and her vulnerable child. You are listening to your instincts and you are right to do so.

FWIW I had a very, very good friend for a number of years who had a series of unfortunate relationships with manipulative and, frankly, strange men.

Two of them ended up crossing into DV territory.

A lot of what you've said about your situation reminds me of her with her absusive exes - particularly the sussing out of you, in bff territory.

The later of the two guys did a number of very strange things - including moving in next door to her. I went to visit her once and he insisted on coming to pick me up from the station without her, even though I had never met him before and didn't even know what he looked like.

He was weird from the start - over familiar with me but also weirdly semi-aggressive.

I kept quiet until it got to the point where she was going to move into him and she expressed her doubts and then I told her she'd been in this situation before with previous abusive ex. That she didn't need him or owe him anything. That she was brilliant and better off without him.

She left him, thank fuck. It was only afterwards that she told me she should have told him to sling his hook when he called her a 'fucking slag' on their SECOND DATE.

My friend had everything going for her - intelligence, looks, sense of humour and still ended up with a prick like that who treated her like shit from the very start.

I don't know what I'm saying, really, other than..BE THERE for her, and only her. I think he may be trying to win you over and make you 'his' friend so he can gang up on her with you.

Obviously you won't let that happen. But be warned that he will try to alienate you from her if he sense that you see him for what he is.

OP you say when she first started seeing him the friends who invited her to the dinner party were very protective of her? Could this be because they know so much more about his background and things he's done, having known him for years?
These are the people who your friend should be listening to, especially the Dh as he was the one who got so protective. I wonder what they would have to say about all this.

DoctorAnge Fri 05-Apr-13 20:42:27

He sounds truly awful.

She doesn't need this shit. I hope she sees sense.

FiteFuaite Fri 05-Apr-13 20:55:16

Have you posted about this before,OP? The dc throwing the wife across the room really rings a bell,as do a lot of the other details

DoormatorDiva Fri 05-Apr-13 21:21:52

amiwhatorhow I am fairly certain he will have realised I am not being won over, and am not likely to be at this rate. It will have been fairly obvious from the bruise joke onwards, that he and I don't share the same sense of humour. Then perhaps he will have noticed I have restricted him on fb. He has apparently told bff that he is never going to speak to me again. (good news all round I should think.)

I'm always astounded by the amount of strong, seemingly confident and capable women who end up with awful partners.

From what I gather about the mutual friends hosting the dinner party, they were protective of her, but are also his friends too, so they don't think that badly of him. Just that he has a reputation as a bit of a playboy, loves women etc. Since then, new man has told bff that what he used to do a lot of, was pick up air hostesses from the flight ('hosties' he called them apparently) and take them out. But he said it was all just going for drinks really, and nothing else. He says his reputation as a party animal is because he can drink, and the ladies man thing is bravado, or laddishness - really she is the first since the divorce. Apparently.

He can be very sweet, obviously. One example she's given, which makes me go a bit 'Awww' too, is she said she got bitten by an insect, and it came up in an itchy lump. So she was fiddling at it with her nail, and he asked what she was doing - she showed him the lump, and he said you mustn't scratch, it will get infected etc...and led her over to the fridge, got an ice cube out and rubbed it on the bite, then put some antihistamine cream on it from the first aid box and covered it with a plaster. All the while chatting away about other stuff, like he was so used to looking after other people, he didn't even give it a second thought. So yeah...interspersed with the headfuckery, there is stuff like that.

DoormatorDiva Fri 05-Apr-13 21:30:15

FiteFuaite - yes certain details, I will have mentioned before, in a different thread. However, I felt it was probably better to post here, as there are other issues that are concerning - and that one was supposed to be about one specific incident initially.

rockinhippy Fri 05-Apr-13 21:53:26

I want to write much more, but not able too right now, but THIS stood out...

One example she's given, which makes me go a bit 'Awww' too, is she said she got bitten by an insect, and it came up in an itchy lump. So she was fiddling at it with her nail, and he asked what she was doing - she showed him the lump, and he said you mustn't scratch, it will get infected etc...and led her over to the fridge, got an ice cube out and rubbed it on the bite, then put some antihistamine cream on it from the first aid box and covered it with a plaster. All the while chatting away about other stuff, like he was so used to looking after other people, he didn't even give it a second thought. So yeah...interspersed with the headfuckery, there is stuff like that

I actually think this ADDS to the headfuckery - think about it - how would a parent threat a child ?? - it's undermining & setting himself up as the one in control - yes it sounds sweet & would be so - in any other circumstances

& I totally agree with those saying be there for her, he will either alienate you all together, lots of ways these sort do this, they manipulate fall outs, or block your calls/attempts at contact until you get fed up with no reply & stop trying - your friend won't know of course, because they'll never get the messages & will also have him feigning disgust at how bad a friend you are, too busy to even call etc -

they do that, or befriend & make you there own allies, they then build wedges between you & these friends by coming back & telling you all the negative stuff that's has supposedly been said about you & how upset he is for you that they could say such things - this changes over time & becomes gloating - by this time you are seeing the cracks yourself of course, but you have been taken over completely by then & you left feeling you have nowhere to turn & he reminds & reminds that it must be you, because everyone else thinks so too - chip chip chipping awaysad
Weirdly these types always do go for strong women - I never did work out if that's because the challenge makes them feel stronger when they win, or because they see a weakness there already

So much more I could add, but yes, be there for your friend, even if you THINK she's dropping you, if it comes to it, find creative ways to keep in touch, ways he can't intervene with

garlicballs Fri 05-Apr-13 21:59:43

Is he a pilot??

garlicballs Fri 05-Apr-13 22:01:45

Sorry, ignore me, that was a daft thought.

amiwhatorhow Fri 05-Apr-13 22:25:24

Be careful then, OP. Now that he knows that you can't be won over he will probably try to alienate you and your friend from each other.

I don't think the insect bite thing is awwww, really. I see it as patronising and controlling.

amiwhatorhow Fri 05-Apr-13 22:26:48

sorry, x post with rockin!

That insect bite, stuff, nuh-uh! Very very infantilising.

DoormatorDiva Fri 05-Apr-13 23:27:16

garlicballs Haha - no!

Oh. I get what you're all saying about the 'insect bite' stuff being infantilising. Yikes, because I'd be quite touched at that too, though. Hasten to add my DP would not do that in a month of sundays! confused

StephaniePowers Fri 05-Apr-13 23:31:29

The insect bite thing is a bit George Clooney in his ER days
ie scripted, cliched

I have never been with a man who would do that, and I did used to go out with two doctors (not at same time).

Hissy Sat 06-Apr-13 10:18:41

Ooh, yes! Infantalising!

I dumped a guy that ran me a bath and fed me yoghurt while in the bath. At the time I was bemused and touched, and he was saying it was me being pampered, but I was ill at ease somehoe and he turned out to be a right nutter!

You need to warn your friend. Really!

Mumsyblouse Sat 06-Apr-13 10:23:20

It is not so much infantalising as acting out a script of what caring people do (as they don't know themselves). Hissy I have a real dislike of people feeding me, I would have spat the yoghurt out! But it's the acting, the fakeness, the lack of being in touch with your real feelings and emotions towards the other person which is the red flag.

DoormatorDiva Sun 07-Apr-13 16:58:17

I've been thinking a lot about 'scripts' and acting out roles...I think bff 'works off a script' too. Considering what she's been through it's not surprising though.

Messed up childhood and adolescence - I witnessed quite a bit of it, as we spent a lot of school holidays at each other's houses, when we were kids. Her Dad had a violent, abusive temper, she was scapegoated a lot, could never do anything right. Her Mum was/is not a particularly great emotional support.

In relationships, it's the 'romantic cliches' that seem to do it for her. So, in some ways, warning her about red flags won't do any good - because she would see those flags through her 'romantic cliche' glasses, and they would look like virtues.

Reading up on narcissism has made me realise that actually it's not just new man, it's exh too - when I told her I noticed similar narcissistic traits - she said it had some merit, as someone else said that her exh was narcissistic and now I was saying it about new man. I suggested she do some googling of the term herself.

She later said "All this is really scaring me now, not sure how I want to handle it with [NM]". And later on: "I can't think anymore. Everything I thought I knew has collapsed. Finding it hard and scary to make any decisions so I don't make any. Crap isn't it."

But later still - she texted me that she and new man has kissed and made up (I knew they would). He apparently apologised dozens of times about the let downs and disappearing on a bender over the weekend, and promised it wouldn't happen again.

I'm sure new man will be actively trying to create distance between us now - especially if she's told him I think he may have narcissistic tendencies. Maybe he'll succeed - he has the advantage of proximity anyway. The way I see it - I can't help her in any other way, apart from maybe giving her a bit of a heads up, and pointing her in the direction of how she might arm herself with a bit of knowledge. She probably won't do much research when things are going well, but if he keeps messing up, she might.

I do wonder though. Mainly, is it possible for people to change their taste in men, at some point? Presumably people can and do, as some of the posters on other threads, say they moved on to better relationships eventually.

Kione Sun 07-Apr-13 19:21:58

Why does she keep telling him what you tell her? I find that really annoying.

starfield Sun 07-Apr-13 19:28:31

How utterly terrifying. I'm the last person to condemn someone or get hysterical but sounds very dangerous.

Surely you can find out something about him that shows him to be false? What about hiring a private investigator? Your friend need never know.

DoormatorDiva Sun 07-Apr-13 23:25:37

kione Yes - It can only be because she trusts him as much as she does me. Must be really confusing. I'm her oldest and closest friend but he is (she thinks) her brightest hope for a happy life.

starfield Don't think I can afford something like that.

Why not let some mnetters loose?
There are some amazing online sniffers dogs on this site. Start a new thread snd pm any offers the details?

HighJinx Mon 08-Apr-13 12:20:08

The way I see it - I can't help her in any other way, apart from maybe giving her a bit of a heads up, and pointing her in the direction of how she might arm herself with a bit of knowledge.

I think you could also ask her how she feels about everything that is going on. Focus on what is scaring her out of making decisions. Talk about her and how she feels about him rather than talking about him and who you are afraid/aware he is. Avoid offering any opinions as to what you think of him though, especially if everything you say is being repeated back.

It sounds as though you are making inroads imo. I think she may be repeating everything back because she is (in a confused, muddled way) trying to make sense of it.

ladyjadie Mon 08-Apr-13 12:22:16

is it possible for people to change their taste in men, at some point?

The only answer I can give is, maybe. After all, lots of these men are very successful in hiding their more unsavoury traits until the lady has been 'reeled in' so to speak. Only speaking from my experience, after the first Bf I carried on to have two more unhealthy relationships. Each one was better than the last, and having had such a terrible first experience anything would seem better. When really they were just slightly-less-shit. However I am now with a truly wonderful man with absolutely no red flags at all. Not sure how that happened (!)

Sorry to hijack with a 'me, me, me' story but it is one which may show hope.

Also thanks for clarifying my mix-up! I was glad to hear she didn't say that to you (the not mixing in those circles thing) because I was afraid his games had been working on her well and that she was developing a false sense of being better than you. Thank God I was wrong!

Re: her calling you to voice her concerns than going back to him (sigh) yes, of course she did. She realllly doesn't want him to be the 'bad man', she'll forgive anything she sees as 'minor'. It probably seems to you that you're watching a car crash in slow motion, and there is nothing really that you can do to help right now. Except listen and be very aware that anything you say will probably be relayed to him. Does she only call you when something's happened? Or do you have say a weekly phone catch-up?

HighJinx Mon 08-Apr-13 15:54:13

lots of these men are very successful in hiding their more unsavoury traits until the lady has been 'reeled in' so to speak.

Yes, I read a great analogy on MN once saying that if someone plunged you into boiling water you would immediately be aware of the danger and get out. However if they slowly increase the temperature bit by bit you don't necessarily notice how hot it's getting.

MummyOfSunbeam Mon 08-Apr-13 17:57:29

It sounds worrying to me.

DoormatorDiva Mon 08-Apr-13 19:17:09

Maggie I don't doubt there may be some very good 'online sniffer dogs' lol. It probably sounds hypocritical, given I've already said so much (feel it's disloyal enough doing this), but I would feel extremely uncomfortable disclosing personal details, even to well-intentioned mners.

At the moment he hasn't really done that much - it's just lots of red flags, and 'possible knobbishness' is hardly a crime. There's been no violent behaviour, no verbal abuse. As far as she's concerned she's really happy and I've got it all wrong - he's immature, a bit full of himself, but essentially good fun, and treats her very well. She feels very safe.

If it wasn't for so many others here, with no agenda, or bias, who also expressed serious concern - and, god forbid, thinks he might actually be dangerous, even I would probably have put it down to me being overly protective (even though I've never been so before).

Hijinx
In my initial pissed off reaction to the bruise joke - I did go as far as saying "I think you're in too deep at the moment, to see the wood for the trees." (ugh! Awful mixed metaphors - what was I thinking) She replied that she doesn't want to see the wood. She said "'The wood' is Divorce and Autism". So new man provides escape from that.

She's very hung up about the divorce, and ds' autism - it came up a lot in her conversations, in the last couple of years, in a 'life is completely shit' type context. The inability to make decisions/trust her own judgement probably stems from that period.

However, she was/is starting to pick herself up - only in the past 6mths, but she started sounding noticably stronger, making new friends, settling into life over there, got ds settled into a nice school - then met this man. Hate to see her risk it all, without due care. I reminded her (when she was still mad at him over the messed up weekend) that she was picking up her life again before he came along, not because of...hope she remembers that, at least!

DoormatorDiva Mon 08-Apr-13 19:19:27

ladyjadie Tbh - I've started to realise, gradually over the last few years, that she is far, far more affected by her messed up childhood than I ever knew. She's always been outwardly strong and a 'survivor', but jeez, underneath she's really susceptible to narcissistic men. Her first serious bf committed suicide when she broke up with him - she and I were in our late teens and I was with her through a lot of the aftermath of that too. I thought he was depressed, and tragically killed himself. Obviously that put her off relationships altogether, for a good many years, until she met exh.

However, over our recent conversations, she actually told me her first bf used to have 'a shit temper' and drove very recklessly when in a mood. A few times she was afraid for both their lives. Now, I vaguely remember that she did mention one or two things at the time (though I was so young and naive myself then, it didn't register!).

So when she mentioned this recently, I pointed out how strange, that her first serious bf should have a shit temper, just like her Dad. She just replied "I'm so screwed!!!" Of course I said no she isn't, though IF it doesn't work out with this guy, maybe she does need to do some soul-searching around all that...which then became the chat about narcissists/abusive relationships...and how someone else had said her exh was narcissitic, and now there I was saying it about new man...Gawd - I really wish she would think about getting some professional help...

It does feel like watching a car crash in slow motion - but I suppose the difference is that it's not one continuous 'disastrous' event. It's broken up by really good times I'm sure! I've noticed that nm posted up a fb status that they were both "enjoying Saturday drinks" - and I got an alert that bff posted a pic, but when I clicked it had gone - I think maybe she has 'downgraded' me on her privacy settings - perhaps it was a photo of them in a bar and she thought I'd disapprove...

It'll be interesting what happens, as we usually have a catch-up chat once a week, unless something's happens, i.e. the weekend he messed up, and she was pissed off with him - she contacted me to chat. So it's a flexible weekly thing.

DoormatorDiva Mon 08-Apr-13 19:31:00

P.s. ladyjadie - no don't apologise for your story! It does give hope. So glad you're with someone nice now! smile

Yes you reminded me about her first relationship - he sounds like a right nutter now. At the time I thought he was 'flashy' (again not my type) - but 'OK'. They were together for about 2-3yrs. And omg that was quick involvement too...She finished with him when she went to collage (now it makes sense why she waited til she left town). Looking back he could've been the worst one of the lot - then exh probably looked like a saint in comparison - and now this guy...

DoormatorDiva Mon 08-Apr-13 19:41:55

collage? college!

HighJinx Tue 09-Apr-13 11:01:24

Do you think that your friend knows this new man is far from ideal but she doesn't want to go back to being on her own again (at least not yet) ans she feels confident that she can handle the situation. Or do you feel that she just can't see the red flags waving in every direction and thinks he is her knight in shining armour?

I echo what others have said earlier - you are a very good friend.

DoormatorDiva Tue 09-Apr-13 22:52:41

Highjinx (finally spells name right! blush) Thanks, I hope so - not that it seems to help.

Hmmm...it's a bit of both I reckon. She knows he has a drink issue, and is 'flawed' - but thinks it's no wonder because he's "been through so much. He's lost everything...he's lost his kids, his house, his marriage..." so the fact that he seems a bit lost, a bit emotionally battered, makes him a kindred spirit. He has told her the wife is the one who wanted out. She kept the house, kids - he still pays for everything and bff has seen the emails from his ex demanding money each week for one thing after another - and he apparently just sends her money for everything she asks. Also compared to the loneliness of before - now is infinitely better, he cooks, does the dishes, is great company - it's "really lovely".

Knight in shining armour? She's said before it's not what she wants at all. In fact it makes her shudder.

Yet she told me today that her pc broke down - and nm has offered to see if he can fix it. He is also helping her to finally tread her way through the divorce process. Previously she had been burying her head in the sand and not dealing with it whilst exh dictated terms. Now nm is helping her compose 'more assertive' emails. They're thinking of going away for a short break as well - her, nm and ds. My cynical self is thinking now nm is going to find a way to go through her emails, divorce docs, etc - and spend time with her ds!

She skyped me from his apartment today - great. She went to a separate room but I doubt it's that secure. Sigh.

She said "he's really scared of you now." Yeah right! Apparently he was asking who she was calling and when she said "who do you think?" he went "Ooooh..." I said "Well IF he is a narcissist he'll be subtlety trying to create a distance between us now." I don't care if she repeats that back to him!

DoormatorDiva Tue 09-Apr-13 23:49:14

And we talked more about him going awol the other weekend. Bff said he had a works bbq on the sunday - she didn't really want him to go as she knew he'd drink too much. He said he had to make an appearance but wouldn't stay, asked bff to call him after 10-15mins so he could make excuses and leave. This is when she ended up looking like an idiot, as first time he didn't answer, second time, he got his boss to. His story is it was snatched by his boss. He texted her late afternoon, 4ish saying he was in a cab on his way back, did she want to go out for dinner later? Then - nothing for hrs. She called and left message - no reply. 11pm that night he texted "Hi" no apology or explanation. She was furious - plus, she said she is beginning to feel like his 'booty call', after a drinking session, so ignored it. The next morning he texted asking what happened, claimed he'd passed out - no memory etc. So she didn't speak to him for a couple of days, but then bumped into him - he was very apologetic and said it wouldn't happen again. Since then he's been on his 'best behaviour'.

He is also covered in bruises from his awol night - elbows, arm, shoulder, arse. She says one bruised bit on his arm looks like finger marks. He says he did go home in the cab, passed out, security had to help him in. But he ended up gate crashing a party downstairs and doesn't remember what happened - says he fell in his apartment as he woke up on the tiled floor.

Talk about spinning a yarn! He's not even a very good liar! Luckily for him bff "doesn't fully believe him", but is overlooking it because she genuinely thinks they're good for each other. He drinks less since he met her, and she loves the domestic bliss moments.

DoormatorDiva Wed 10-Apr-13 10:03:41

Oh and now that they've made up - she says he keeps bringing the subject of their falling out up. "So how mad were you?" etc.

She had deleted a photo that she posted on fb, that he was in. He found out and was "really hurt". He said to her "don't ever shut me out like that again ok?" She told me this in a 'isn't he sweet/funny' tone. Why can't she see???? I know why - she doesn't want to. He is adamant he's never lied to her, and if she doesn't believe he did go home in a cab that night - why not ask security as it will be on their cameras. She won't take him up on it because it would seem silly. Plus if she finds out he lied - I think, she would turn a blind eye anyway and so she would rather not know.

Hah - he may be moving out soon. He has been having lots of problems in his flat including strange sewage type smells. Bff says it stinks - but only at certain times - she can smell it too. Weird as he's quite high up in the block. He's had people in looking at the pipes etc but can't find the cause. Neighbours flats are ok.

So whatever - he's thinking of leaving his apartment soon. Which bff said would be "very inconvenient". When she told me I just thought I wonder if it's some very, very, calculated, seemingly innocent way of upping the ante. Next thing she'll be offering him to move in with her and ds.

You couldn't make this stuff up could you - it's like reading a film script! Except I seem to be seeing a psychological horror and she's seeing Disney?!

DoormatorDiva Wed 10-Apr-13 10:06:46

Anyway it helps me to vent...

rockinhippy Wed 10-Apr-13 10:23:26

Door I think your last post hit the nail on the head, I suspect him even moving into the block in the first place was a very calculated ploy to move in with your friend, the smells are probably his own doing too.

I've had a few exes like this in my time, but the last one mentioned above was off the scale ,the sort of stuff you read about in magazines & think unbelievable, no one is that stupid - he did almost exactly the same thing, - culminating in him trying to sell MY home for cash - I kid you not - he was a real mental case.

You can get over it though, you can see why you attract them & change that relationship pattern - did, though I do think in someways all people, men & women have it in them to be controlling, if you have it in you to allow it & it is your norm due to parental issues - your boundaries are skewed & you let things go that you shouldn't - though my last XDP was another story, serious personality disorder stuff

my DH is a very strong minded person, very masculine & he could if let away with it also be bossy & controlling, the difference being that I put him straight, my boundaries are set in stone these days & I taje no crap, he knows that & respects me more for it, consequently we have a fantastic relationship.

Your friend is very lucky to have you looking out for her

rockinhippy Wed 10-Apr-13 10:23:45

& vent away smile

HighJinx Wed 10-Apr-13 10:28:29

Interesting to hear that he sends his ex money every time she asks. I wonder what the real story there is. Does he love being in control of his ex and so rather than just sending her an amount each month that she can live on, she has to ask for every loaf of bread or tin of beans?

Very strange that he is covered in bruises. And very worrying too. I do wonder what really happened there as well. I am beginning to suspect he may have (or be getting) a reputation locally.

And now the whole thing with him moving out of his apartment so soon. I suppose i am at it gets to the point with someone like him where you think nothing is as it seems and everything has an ulterior motive, but that does strike me as odd. No idea which country they are in but most places I have been you are tied to a lease for months.

Has your friend ever had counselling? Sorry if you've covered that already and I've missed it. Certainly it sounds like she could benefit from finding out why she is attracted to men like this.

HighJinx Wed 10-Apr-13 10:35:35

rockinhippy that is an interesting point that everyone has it in them to be controlling.

I would totally agree. In my experience this is ok as long as it is balanced with self awareness and respect for others. It's when those other traits are missing that it becomes dangerous.

culminating in him trying to sell MY home for cash shock angry shock So glad to hear your DH is fantastic.

Snorbs Wed 10-Apr-13 11:45:19

The "covered in bruises" thing could well be a result of his drinking. My alcoholic ex has caused some quite appalling injuries as a result of falling down stairs while drunk, to the extent of a fractured skull on one memorable occasion. Or he might've ended up in a fight of course.

The relationship between him and your BFF is a very new one. They're still in the honeymoon period and he's going all-out to impress her. Yet his drinking is already at an extent he's blowing off plans, going incommunicado, getting black-out drunk and suffering injuries he has no recollection of receiving.

I absolutely agree with everyone here that there are lots of massive red flags about his behaviour entirely aside from his drinking. But it might be worth thinking about, if you're going to talk to your BFF about him, concentrating on his alcohol abuse as that's something relatively concrete.

How creepy it is that he moved into your BFF's apartment building so soon is a difficult thing to get across to someone who's infatuated. Pointing out that he freely admits he got so pissed at a work event that he couldn't walk into the building unaided and then gate-crashed a party to continue drinking, that is something that might make her stop and think.

DoormatorDiva Wed 10-Apr-13 14:14:32

rockinhippy I've had a few exes like this in my time, but the last one mentioned above was off the scale ,the sort of stuff you read about in magazines & think unbelievable, no one is that stupid - he did almost exactly the same thing, - culminating in him trying to sell MY home for cash - I kid you not - he was a real mental case. Omg what a bloody nightmare! shock I guess that comes with thinking of others as commodities or objects, to be used or exploited for their own benefit and gratification. No real guilt, just use and abuse and move on when goodies run out!

Yes I agree everyone has it in them to be controlling too - maybe even abusive or violent. That's why bff initially got quite upset with me, when nm sent me the 'bruise joke' and I didn't immediately call her, but was asking him what happened. She thought I should have known it wasn't true, knowing her so long. But my belief is that everyone is capable of abusive behaviours given certain triggers. Maybe she'd caught him in bed with someone else and went nuts!?

I have to try and stop myself from being controlling, by telling bff what to do. (Not that she'd listen anyway! lol). I want to scream at her "Ffs, what are you thinking?! Do NOT let him, a tech geek no less, anywhere near your pc, DON'T keep telling him everything, DON'T let him have so much information about your divorce, DON'T put your small, vulnerable ds in this man's path until you know a LOT more about him!"...etc.). But it's all a smile and nod here, a gritting of teeth there, the odd 'observation' or interpretation about his behaviour, the odd suggestion to look up some terms...aaaargh.

The dangerous ones are the ones who do something abusive, but don't see a problem, or if they do, think they have no responsibility to manage or avoid what pushes their buttons. How it's always other people who are stupid or causing the problem. That's when they repeat the same abusive behaviours over and over again...time will tell with him I suppose.

DoormatorDiva Wed 10-Apr-13 18:08:00

HighJinx Interesting to hear that he sends his ex money every time she asks. I wonder what the real story there is. Does he love being in control of his ex and so rather than just sending her an amount each month that she can live on, she has to ask for every loaf of bread or tin of beans?

How astute of you. I never thought of it like that. Bff did mention that his ex seems to email him for "every little thing, like their ds needs a new pair of swimming trunks"...hmmm...Dunno.

His awol/bruises story doesn't add up. If he did go home at 4ish when he said he did, and texted her "I'm in the cab", asking if she wanted to go out for dinner etc...then how, during the journey home did he somehow became so incapacitated, he passed out and the taxi driver had to get security to help him in?

Then strangely, they deemed him OK enough again, to leave him to gatecrash another resident's party downstairs?

He was also awake enough to text bff "Hi" at 11pm, for what felt suspiciously like a 'booty call'.

I think, he just went on a bender, arrived back home 11pm, wanting company/sex. Texted bff "Hi" to try his luck - she didn't answer. He went out again as no bff to go to bed with, and got absolutely hammered, behaved obnoxiously - and got chucked out by bouncers. The bruises are from being restrained by his arms and shoulders, as he was dragged/frogmarched to the exit, possibly backwards. The ones on this elbows and arse are where he literally bounced off the pavement when they threw him out. (Bff found that mental image quite funny actually).

Or maybe he was chucked out of the party he gatecrashed. Maybe the 'moving out of his apartment' story might be because it's a matter of time before he is 'asked to leave'...

Bff has had a bit of counselling before, but it was very disjointed, and not specifically about her, but around her and exh's marriage. It was very rocky and more an attempt to examine what was going on (he was cheating, that's what). Then it all got shelved because they got the news that ds had autism, which had added to the stress. Exh pretty much left her to deal with the shock, as he dealt with it by worked away a lot...she was left to find therapists, find out about autism, make decisons about the next step...the counselling never got picked up again, as too much going on.

DoormatorDiva Wed 10-Apr-13 18:11:31

Snorbs Good point that maybe talking to her about the alcohol might be a way in - yes, I will try and focus on that.

DoormatorDiva Wed 10-Apr-13 18:43:20

Highjinx Certainly it sounds like she could benefit from finding out why she is attracted to men like this.

Oh I couldn't agree more.

I think bff's messed up twat radar and trouble with trust, intimacy and relationships with men, is a legacy from childhood.

When she was 18mths, her Mum sent her abroad, to live with her gran. She (bff's dm) obviously had her reasons, maybe because of domestic violence in the home from bff's Dad. I think i recall my mum (who was friends with bff's mum) mentioned bff's dm was pushed down the stairs at one point, and had a busted lip on another occasion. Or maybe it was a practical thing, to enable them to build their business etc.

So bff - as a toddler, was plucked from home, flown thousands of miles to live with her gran. I think she has happy memories though, she remembers her gran as a kind influence, "really sweet old lady", whom she absolutely loved. Then, when she got to jr school age (7) - her dm took her back, so kind of wrenched again, from settled life abroad with gran, back to parents who were virtual stangers, in a strange country again.

As mentioned before, bff's Dad had a really shit temper - she was scapegoated and could do nothing right. Trod on eggshells. I was staying with them once, we were still kids, and her Dad held a knife to her throat. While I was standing right there! We just avoided him when he was in the house. He died when she was in her late teens. She says even today, she is terrified of anyone with a temper. Yet how strange about her first bf having scary one too...

Bff has never found much emotional support from her Mum - they rub along OK, and then something flares up and it's all very painful and hurtful.

She told me fairly recently - she discovered a letter, during a visit/stay, she wrote to her gran, after she'd been taken back by her parents, tucked away in one of her Mum's drawers. It was just this letter she wrote as a kid, when she was 7yrs old - telling her gran she missed her, but settling in, how she was finding school etc. Her Mum had never fucking sent it. Oooh...<wells up> Just thinking of her gran/that little girl, always makes me cry.

So yeah - I love my friend. I'm a 'good' friend to her, but she's easy to love. She was like my big sister when I was little - I once had a big crying fit because we both had these dolls and my doll lost its eye. I was heartbroken!! lol. She just swapped them, gave me hers. Bless. (OK maybe it was to shut me up).

I know her life sounds like this massive tragedy, but you would never know just meeting her. She seems quite formidable in some ways, go-getting, assertive, beautiful etc. It's amazing she's not more screwed up than she is (though I do think she is pretty screwed up), and stayed fun, funny, got an amazing career going, achieved loads, travelled the world etc. I do admire her. If only she could just see that she doesn't need knobbish men to make her feel special - and appreciate some 'nicer' ones.

DoormatorDiva Thu 11-Apr-13 19:50:22

So our last conversation was a couple of days ago - when bff skyped me from new man's apartment. We agreed on a provisional day next week that would be a good time to catch-up again.

Then this morning I got a text from bff asking if I'm usually home between such and such time. I said yes. She asked how about today? I said sure. Our arrangement is, catch-up once a week, but if something comes up, then impromptu calls are fine (within reason).

So something must've come up that she wanted to sound out. When we talked, she said it's been really good. New man was very inquisitive about her call to me the other night, asking what we talk about. She told him "everything." He asked her if she'd told me about the bruises and she said yes. She said he gave her this 'look' - like he wished she hadn't, and said "I bet she thinks I'm such an idiot!" (I didn't say anything at this point, to deny or confirm). She repeated he has said that he is never, ever, going to speak to me again. I asked her if she tells him stuff that I say, in a "DoormatorDiva is so funny...she said..." and she said yes. (Good call, ladyjadie, PigsDOFlyand lots of others!)

But she hasn't told him that I think he's a narcissist. I asked her please not to, because if it does work out and they spend years and years together, he would really dislike me! She said she hasn't, so at least I'm safe on that front, so far.

The situation now is they are virtually like a live-in partnership, she and ds go up to his place in the evenings, she feeds ds, and new man cooks for himself and bff - she said "you can't imagine how nice that is", but I think I can. Then when it gets to ds's bedtime they go back to hers, and new man joins her there after ds has gone to bed. Weekends, they do family stuff. She 'needs' him to help her with dealing with the lawyers re. the divorce.

Then, it got to the nitty gritty - she and new man had a "tiff". She says new man is always very 'open' about how he feels about her, and is starting to show signs of wanting more of an emotional commitment. She can feel it hanging in the air, even though they have already used the "L-word" (yes - it's a bit telling that she can't say it in conversation).

She says she is more reticent about things, and sometimes he will come out with something, and she is still not quite ready to reciprocate, and there is a pregnant pause. He says she is being very "coy", but will "wait" etc. She said last night she suddenly had a feeling that she is going to screw this relationship up.

I asked her if she is tempted to ask him to move in with her - she said she already did, because of the problems in his flat, but he said no - as she is still not tecknically divorced yet. He is wanting a key though!

She said he was out at a works do, and it would be interesting this time, if he would give her the 'booty call' at the end of the evening, or stay out on a bender. Apparently while we were talking, he texted her and said he wouldn't be staying out, was she going to be up later? She said for a bit, but not too long. He replied if only he had a key - "I could let myself in, and give you a snuggle while you're asleep." At the moment she is not giving him a key, but I think he is going to keep on at her until she does.

I told her I don't think she is being coy at all, after all it's only been 3mths, since she first clapped eyes on him, and before then she was only just starting to come out of her shell after her marriage. Plus they're virtually living together now, and she introduced her vulnerable ds to him by their fifth meeting - that's not being coy at all, she's already been far more open with him than usual.

Oh thank you Snorbs, I pretty much paraphrased your words when I said to her "The relationship between him and you is a very new one. You're still in the honeymoon period, and he's going all-out to impress. Yet he's already been blowing off plans, going incommunicado, getting black-outs while drunk, and getting bruises that he has no recollection of. That's a real concern. Also you need to be careful, because you needs to think of your ds too.

So she was saying "Hmmm..." and sort of listening, but I think he will get a key, simply because he will be hinting, cajoling etc, until he gets one.

In her mind though, she must know it's not quite right, or she wouldn't call me to sound it out before our catch-up. She says she just doesn't trust her own judgement anymore.

We're not due to speak until next week - I'm glad for a break as I need to protect my own sanity lol.

DoormatorDiva Thu 11-Apr-13 23:59:17

Oh dear just read my post above - "tecknically"??? And I sound completely obsessed (wrote it in a hurry as getting ready to go out, and it turned into a 'flow of consciousness' exercise).

Right, off to get a grip. She's a grown woman and is responsible for her own decisions. I'm her friend not her saviour - and need to stop fretting over every little development!

Mumsyblouse Fri 12-Apr-13 00:06:08

Doormator I really agree with your last post, sorry! Not because you are not a lovely friend, you are, and there are red flags waving in the wind, but I really think from your perspective it will be better not to be too involved, otherwise you are a) going to get emotionally through the wringer yourself vicariously through her but getting none of the fun times b) she may turn on you as you know too much.

i would keep it light and breezy from now on, you have issued your warning, she is going to completely ignore it. I would perfect some non-committal phrases 'oh dear' 'mmm' 'did he?' (in an undramatic voice) which shows that whilst caring about your friend, you trust her judgment and don't want to get too involved in the drama. your friend will do what the heck she likes, and seems to like the drama, so best to stay a tiny bit distanced for your own protection.

HighJinx Fri 12-Apr-13 08:44:41

I agree with Mumsyblouse

I can understand why you feel so invested in this and it is clear you love your friend dearly, but I think you need to take a step back. Also that is quite a lot of personal information about your friend's situation and her thoughts that you have posted (albeit anonymously) without her knowledge or permission.

FWIW the biggest red flag of all for me is this:
She says she just doesn't trust her own judgement anymore.

This is what she needs to focus on regaining so that she can make her own choices and avoid any later regret or resentment at having been 'led' where she didn't want to go.

I would be urging her to get counselling to address this regardless of how great her new man may seem. Could you suggest that she needs to address this for her son's benefit if not just for herself?

She sounds tortured as she doesn't know what to do for the best. Focus your efforts on her. The constant calls to you to discuss her relationship with him is just a symptom of her feeling she cannot trust her judgement.

topsyandturvy Fri 12-Apr-13 09:05:53

In your place I would try to find out more about his ex and his relationship with her and its breakdown, without him or your friend knowing you have done this.

You do know dont you that whatever you find out about him, your friend is not going to listen to a word you say?

DoormatorDiva Fri 12-Apr-13 11:59:16

Thank you topsyandturvy - exactly, so not much point really. Also what am I going to do, vet every man she sees? The actions and decisions have to come from her.

Mumsyblouse and HighJinx - you're SO right. It's taken me 120 messages to finally feel I'm ready to take the advice given in the first few replies!

Still, I think I needed to offload various doubts about new man and check my instincts - which is more than done now. (Eeeeek.)

The thing that gets me, is the thought that IF in 6mths, 2yrs, 3yrs...she is in a situation where she is actually in danger, or her ds is affected in any way, or if they have to move, ds has to leave his nice school etc. - I'm afraid she will take it really badly, quite worried that she might not even be able to get through it. Knowing myself, I'll wonder if I could have said or done more, to prevent it going further right at the beginning. Perhaps she would even lash out and say "why didn't you tell me?" Perhaps I will look back at this thread and remind myself.

Right now, the reality is - I've already said enough concerns, that if she really wanted to hear, she could take steps to protect herself or at least look up signs of potentially abusive relationships, and relate it to what has gone on, for herself. The fact is, she's not ready to let him go, and will absolutely hang on until there is either a long history, or something major happens, that even she can't dismiss as "he's not perfect, but is alright really."

Anyway...he could be 'alright' - I'm looking at all the red flags and thinking of worst case scenarios, but maybe it will turn out OK after all!? I can't be worrying this much over something that might not even happen, because yes - I'm getting emotionally drawn in with none of the fun times. Got my own life to be getting on with, nice dp, dcs - don't need to be spending this much time/energy feeling sad and worried about someone else's.

I have mentioned to her about counselling - and she said she was also thinking about it, so hopefully it might happen. I am also going to try and put some boundaries in place, so I don't end up being called, over every little development in their relationship. Once a week I can cope with. I'll just say I'm busy/out other times.

Obviously I do want to 'be there' for her, but I need space from it too. I mean, going into this relationship was not MY choice, and right now I feel like the reluctant third wheel! It's not my relationship and I don't want to be a part of it.

Right so that is my last post on the matter. Thank you to everyone who has replied in this thread, it really has been very helpful, enlightening, supportive.

But, as I'm sure everyone has already realised (way before me), I can't keep posting or it will turn into a blow by blow account of "My bff's life and latest relationship" which isn't exactly nice, nor was my intention. Thank you all so much for your wisdom, and benefit of experience.

HighJinx Fri 12-Apr-13 12:08:54

Glad to hear that you feel able to take a step back now DoormatorDiva

I'm the same I have to talk everything through, over and over until as my DH puts it 'you start to bore yourself with it' grin

Go and do something really fun with your DP and DCs and forget all about red flags for a bit grin

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