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To wonder if a friendship has to end in these circumstances

(31 Posts)
holmes97 Sat 27-Jun-15 08:33:09


I cannot stand my friends abusive husband and the feeling is reciporacted, made obvious by sly digs and various unpleasant comments to me and about me.

I'm thick-skinned but it does get to me.

I certainly don't want to abandon DF but is it reasonable to conclude enough is enough and leave her/them to it, or not?

EuphemiaCoxton Sat 27-Jun-15 08:36:27

Don't abandon her. If he is abusive he will want to cut off all her friendships and he will have won.

PtolemysNeedle Sat 27-Jun-15 08:45:23

It's reasonable for you to decide that you don't want to put yourself in a position where you have to endure some twat's sly digs and unpleasant comments aimed at you, so Ywnbu to end the friendship if you wanted to.

Obviously you don't want to abandon your friend, but you can make it clear to her that you don't want to see her when he's around and that you will always be a friend to her if she needs you. Friendship is a two way thing, and presumably if she is a friend to you as well, she wouldn't expect you to put up with digs and nasty comments from her partner.

confusedandemployed Sat 27-Jun-15 08:48:23

I think YANBU to feel like this, but very possibly your friend will be far worse off because of it. Abusers work to isolate their victims; by deciding you've had enough you're playing into his hands.

mushypeasontoast Sat 27-Jun-15 08:49:14

If you feel he is abusive then he needs to know that someone is there for her. I would be around more rather than less, on the phone every evening to her for a quick chat to say hi. Facebook, text all silly things.
Anytime another male does something twattish then tell her about it and how terrible it is, she may start to relate to it.

Just be a good friend to her.

holmes97 Sat 27-Jun-15 08:52:20

I know abusers work like this and as such am reluctant in a sense to "leave her to it" - however, a source of considerable frustration is that she knows it as well.

To be fair to her, she wouldn't tolerate any explicitly nasty remarks but many are subtle and sly. Sums him up, really.

QuiteLikely5 Sat 27-Jun-15 08:56:18

So does she not realise what he is doing to you then?

Does she know he is abusive?

You do know that if you end your friendship he will feel quite triumphant and smug?

gamerwidow Sat 27-Jun-15 08:57:52

I think it depends on whether you can keep pretending his behaviour is ok or not. I am currently not speaking to my sister because I do not accept her abusive partner and I made the mistake of telling her exactly what I thought of him instead of pretending I was ok with it the last time she went back to him after he treated her like shit (again)
In retrospect this wasn't the best thing to do my part because now his got her isolated which is what he wanted but watching someone you love be so unhappy while you do nothing takes a toll.
I hope you can continue to be there for your friend but it is hard and would be understandable if her inability to see that she is being abused led to the friendship breaking down.

BlinkAndMiss Sat 27-Jun-15 09:02:31

Don't abandon your friendship, can't you just see her without him? I rarely see my friends' husbands - we socialise without them.

holmes97 Sat 27-Jun-15 09:08:10

I can and for the most part do, but that can also end up backfiring, as I know she lies about where she has been and who she has been with which does make me feel as if I'm in the midst of an affair!

QuestioningStuff Sat 27-Jun-15 09:14:38

I have been in a few abusive relationships and have had a good friend be in one too.

With my friend I made it clear that I wouldn't put myself in a position where I was uncomfortable/being bullied so if I was to see her it needed to be without him. I told her I loved her and I was there for her and whatever decisions she made about her relationship were up to her. It did mean we were more distant for a while but now she has left him we are good friends again.

It's perfectly reasonable for you to not want to be around him and put up with his remarks. My abusive exP was great at cutting me off from my friends. He made them the enemy. Now that we've broken up I have nobody. If you don't mind that happening to your friend then by all means cut her off but it's likely there will come a day when she needs you.

holmes97 Sat 27-Jun-15 09:18:13

QuestioningStuff - that implies that if that does happen it will solely be my fault which is somewhat unfair.

There are two people making active choices in that relationship and I see she chooses to stay with him but that's still a choice she is exercising.

scribblegirl Sat 27-Jun-15 09:23:09

I think the appropriate thing here is to model good behaviour. So letting your friend know that you are absolutely here for her and that you support her entirely, but that you will not spend time with someone who belittles you.

I have had a similar problem with a good friend whose DP repeatedly cheated on her and used prostitutes. She keeps taking him back but I have essentially said that to have any form of relationship with him would feel like I was supporting/condoning his behaviour. That doesn't prevent me from spending time with her, though.

holmes97 Sat 27-Jun-15 09:28:20

Very sensible post and advice scribblegirl. Thank you.

QuestioningStuff Sat 27-Jun-15 09:31:42

Yes but you need to remember if she is in an abusive relationship she won't be herself right now. I do understand how frustrating it is from the outside. But it's much worse from the inside.

holmes97 Sat 27-Jun-15 09:34:49

She's been married to him for ten years, perhaps a little longer.

NRomanoff Sat 27-Jun-15 09:39:04

I am sorry, trying to blame the Op for the whatever the outcome is ridiculous. If you blamed the Df it would be called victim blaming. That's not on, neither is blaming the OP.

There is no right answer here unfortunately.

QuestioningStuff Sat 27-Jun-15 09:43:53

Where did I blame the OP?!

holmes97 Sat 27-Jun-15 09:52:37

I have had some three years of contending with him, admittedly not frequently or for long periods, but just the same his comments are hurtful.

I didn't choose to be with him; she did.

HootyMcTooty Sat 27-Jun-15 09:57:52

I think if you have come to the end of your tether then you have every right to remove yourself from the situation, though you should tell your friend why and explain that you will always be there for her if she leaves him.

If you don't want to walk away you could always try challenging him on his sly digs. MN phrase "did you mean to be so rude" should do the trick.

MasterchefIwish Sat 27-Jun-15 10:14:05

I would chose to still spend time with her but not with him. Go out the house with her or have her over to yours. Be honest with her, tell her you love her and will always be there to support her, that if ever she needs you-even if she feels completely alone- to text and you will be there. But that you can't condone how her husband acts by pretending he's not abusive, nor can you ignore his subtle digs and comments.

If you have to be near him, as in around other mutual friends then I would make it clear to close other friends with the same worries just how you've been and what comments this man makes to you. I'd be civil but very cool and yes, I'd use 'did you mean to be so rude' or to be honest I'd more likely ignore him completely. After all he is the shit beneath your shoe, his opinion matters not.

MasterchefIwish Sat 27-Jun-15 10:15:28

I don't think a friendship has to end, but it does end up changing. So long as your friend knows you are always there for her and that you will take her side always then it's still a friendship. Hopefully, she will one day see what this man is like and know she can call on you.

holmes97 Sat 27-Jun-15 10:24:31

Thanks - I may nickname him 'the shit beneath my shoe' grin a very apt summary of who he is and what he represents.

Comments he makes are almost so sly as to be considered innocuous but they do hurt me, then the annoyance I feel with myself for having let him hurt me.

QuestioningStuff Sat 27-Jun-15 10:35:50

It's most likely that he's targeting you because he knows you see him for what he is and he's trying to seperate you from her. Take it as a huge compliment.

You are not unreasonable at all to not want to be around him and I apologise if I didn't get that across in my previous replies. I would ensure you see her on her own and ensure she knows why.

RoboticSealpup Sat 27-Jun-15 10:37:03

I too have a friend whose partner is emotionally abusive. I've said to her that I don't want to see him and she knows that I think she should leave him, but I make sure to keep in touch with her and invite her to come over by herself. I sometimes wonder if this is the right thing to do, but I also wonder what kind of friend I would be if I just went along with her fantasy that their relationship is OK? Because I feel like that's what I would be doing if I treated him like a friend when I think he's being an absolute bastard.

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