Talk

Advanced search

To be hurt my friend returned to her DH?

(149 Posts)
Twatalert Mon 19-Oct-20 21:48:32

My friend is in a dysfunctional marriage (she is being abused in my opinion, verbally and emotionally) and has left her husband many times and got back with him in a matter of days or weeks.

The last time was in September. I had my doubts she would really do it, although she had already resigned from her job to move to another town to stay with her Nan. One day I received a text with 'I left'. I got very emotional with goosebumps and tears and really felt for her. She left her husband and 4 kids (2 young adults, a teen and a primary aged child) so I was happy and sad for her at the same time.

She bought a car and started a new job within days, but less than two weeks later she returned 'home'. She says her husband saw his mistakes and the kids will take the matter into their own hands. In order for their mum to come back they decided/offered that in case one parent verbally hurts the other they will leave with the other parent and stop all contact to one parent left behind.

I find this totally bonkers and sick. But my point is I am so annoyed I spent months listening to her misery and problems at home, got emotional for her when she finally left (for the last time! She will never again set foot into that house she said), was worried for her and tried to give advice and it was all for nothing. AIBU to be annoyed?

OP’s posts: |
Griselda1 Mon 19-Oct-20 21:52:54

How awful for her young children to be shouldering a responsibility for their fathers domestic violence. It's a really shit and damaging way for a child to have to live. As your friend has just proven to you, domestic violence is messy and complicated to escape from. Don't judge her but the pattern won't have been broken,he'll just have more power over her now.

Iloveflowers5 Mon 19-Oct-20 21:53:32

It takes people in abusive relationships many attempts to finally leave, it can be frustrating and repetitive but please dont withdraw your support as she may need you more than ever now. Children will also complicate the situation especially if they are being used to control her. If you suspect abuse always remember if you have concerns for their safety you need to report.

tectonicplates Mon 19-Oct-20 21:53:43

It's often said that abuse victims make around seven attempts to leave before finally managing it permanently.

PolarBearStrength Mon 19-Oct-20 21:53:44

YABU. It’s not about you, so being ‘hurt’ is unproductive. She’s not gone back to him to piss you off. She’s gone back because he’s a manipulator, because she couldn’t leave her children, because it was safer... for any number of reasons.

Halo1234 Mon 19-Oct-20 21:54:35

Stay in your lane. Ita not your life. Not your choice. Give all the advice u like (as a decent friend obviously would) but then leave her to make her own choices. For our nearest and dearest its not our role to control them/judge their choices but to be there for them if they need us.

Twatalert Mon 19-Oct-20 21:54:40

I know Griselda. I tried to get her to see that it is damaging the children but just can't get through to her. She can't see it. I do feel sad for them all except the husband.

OP’s posts: |
Ireallymustgotobed Mon 19-Oct-20 21:54:47

Have you ever tried leaving an abusive partner? Leaving your kids behind with them? It takes months and years to take that step for good. To over-ride all the self doubt and negativity that has been put onto you by the abusive partner and actually get through the tough first few months (or years) to stick to the decision.

It is only because of the friends who stuck with me for years that I managed to leave my ex. I know, and am still heartbroken, that I lost good friends because of staying with him so long.

AIMD Mon 19-Oct-20 21:57:21

YABU - it’s very common for people to attempt to leave an abusive relationship but to go back shortly later. If it was easy to leave then there wouldn’t be so much abuse about.

What you’ve said about the kids is so concerning. That’s the main thing I got from you op. Who knows what is happening in the home for these children, especially the primary age child.

AnneLovesGilbert Mon 19-Oct-20 21:57:32

She left her kids including one young enough time to be in primary with an abusive man and you were happy for her? She couldn’t bear to live with him but thought her dependent kids would fare better?

BelieveInPeople Mon 19-Oct-20 21:57:52

Don’t judge her, it’s not that simple, I ping ponged in and out of my dysfunctional marriage for a year before I left for good, I genuinely thought I was doing the right thing, it’s only in hindsight I can see how messed up it was. As a friend, the best you can do is remind her that she always has options and it would always be okay for her to walk away.

That said, the situation your describing with their children is messed up in the extreme and really damaging. How will they feel if this all falls apart again? Awful for them

Midnightswim Mon 19-Oct-20 22:00:06

I think you're entitled to judge but keep it to yourself and distance yourself. It's her decision and she's an adult. For a those saying she's abused, yes sounds like she is but she also needs to take responsibility and has children so my patience for soemone who puts their kids through this is limited.

Twatalert Mon 19-Oct-20 22:00:11

Of course this isn't about me. But the friendship, the hours of conversations about the issue...this is the part that is about me too. I'm annoyed I put so much energy into it for nothing. No, I can't be annoyed she went back. Its her family and her reasons. Perhaps I just feel a bit used....if that makes any sense... I know it wouldn't have been her intention to use me. I dont know...maybe I should have drawn a line sooner, tell her what I think and leave it at that and not have her cry to me about it again and again.

OP’s posts: |
Twatalert Mon 19-Oct-20 22:04:02

Ireallymustgotobed

Have you ever tried leaving an abusive partner? Leaving your kids behind with them? It takes months and years to take that step for good. To over-ride all the self doubt and negativity that has been put onto you by the abusive partner and actually get through the tough first few months (or years) to stick to the decision.

It is only because of the friends who stuck with me for years that I managed to leave my ex. I know, and am still heartbroken, that I lost good friends because of staying with him so long.

I left my abusive home as a teenager. Is that good enough?

I know what abuse entails. That it is very difficult to spot for the abused and even more difficult to end.

But I am talking about the friendship here now. Not her marriage.

OP’s posts: |
PurpleDaisies Mon 19-Oct-20 22:05:00

I'm annoyed I put so much energy into it for nothing.

How do you know it is for nothing? Maybe it will make it easier for her to leave him in the future.

How did she use you? I don’t understand where that is coming from. You gave her advice but it was always her decision.

Twatalert Mon 19-Oct-20 22:08:08

AnneLovesGilbert

She left her kids including one young enough time to be in primary with an abusive man and you were happy for her? She couldn’t bear to live with him but thought her dependent kids would fare better?

Yes I was happy for her to start a new life. She had deteriorated quite quickly into depression so I was glad she was out. Anything else could have been arranged and I was fully prepared to help her there.

OP’s posts: |
CloudsCanLookLikeSheep Mon 19-Oct-20 22:09:31

Twatalert

Of course this isn't about me. But the friendship, the hours of conversations about the issue...this is the part that is about me too. I'm annoyed I put so much energy into it for nothing. No, I can't be annoyed she went back. Its her family and her reasons. Perhaps I just feel a bit used....if that makes any sense... I know it wouldn't have been her intention to use me. I dont know...maybe I should have drawn a line sooner, tell her what I think and leave it at that and not have her cry to me about it again and again.

I had this with a (now ex) friend and it fucking pissed me off after being called yet again for emotional support after she left him then went back a few days later. No different to a junkie going to get a fix we have every right to have a limit to our patience and time an end to our tether.. I too felt used and after the billionth time just lost respect for her basically

lovepickledlimes Mon 19-Oct-20 22:10:50

Please don't give up on her. Often these abusers know just what to say to give their victims enough hope that they will 'change'. Like people said it will often take multiple attempts and children really complicate the whole process too

MirandaGoshawk Mon 19-Oct-20 22:13:42

I do understand why you feel pissed off that you've spent hours listening and being there for her and it's all been for nothing. I've done a similar thing of propping up someone emotionally for weeks, and for nothing. I felt I'd been put through the wringer for nothing. But as others have said, in your friend's case, it's doubtless complicated for her to leave and you could have helped prepare her for when she really does do it.

AIMD Mon 19-Oct-20 22:14:51

Twatalert

Of course this isn't about me. But the friendship, the hours of conversations about the issue...this is the part that is about me too. I'm annoyed I put so much energy into it for nothing. No, I can't be annoyed she went back. Its her family and her reasons. Perhaps I just feel a bit used....if that makes any sense... I know it wouldn't have been her intention to use me. I dont know...maybe I should have drawn a line sooner, tell her what I think and leave it at that and not have her cry to me about it again and again.

I think you maybe gave a bit too much. You need to look after yourself and it can be incredibly draining when you are trying to be there for someone who need a lot of emotional support. I imagine where the bad feeling is coming from.

I think you’re right, in future draw a line so that supporting her doesn’t take so much out of you. You can be there for her, but you don’t have to be available all the time if it lead to you feeling frustrated, upset etc.

Twatalert Mon 19-Oct-20 22:17:03

MirandaGoshawk

I do understand why you feel pissed off that you've spent hours listening and being there for her and it's all been for nothing. I've done a similar thing of propping up someone emotionally for weeks, and for nothing. I felt I'd been put through the wringer for nothing. But as others have said, in your friend's case, it's doubtless complicated for her to leave and you could have helped prepare her for when she really does do it.

I could have helped prepare her? How?

I gave her all advice I could. With all due respect, she did not go back because I didn't help prepare her. What a stupid thing to suggest. She even went to her GP for depression and they advised to see a therapist. She didn't think she needed it. But I sure could have fixed it for her. Get lost.

OP’s posts: |
Twatalert Mon 19-Oct-20 22:20:00

@Cloudscanlooklikesheep I did notice I don't see her with the same eyes since she told me the kids will take it into her own hand. I lost some respect for her there and then. I hope our friendship can survive this.

OP’s posts: |
PurpleDaisies Mon 19-Oct-20 22:21:25

You’re reading that post wrong @twatalert

They’re saying in the future, your advice given now will make her better prepared to leave.

Twatalert Mon 19-Oct-20 22:24:08

Oh God I'm sorry @Mirandagoshawk. I apologise. I misread your post.

OP’s posts: |
yelyah22 Mon 19-Oct-20 22:25:42

The thing is, being in an abusive relationship does make you a 'bad' friend, some of the time. Because you are so trapped in the misery and the half-hope and the fear that you take what emotional support you can get and yet you'd still drop every second of good advice in the blink of an eye when the abuser says the right thing.

If you understand that and you love your friend, remember this is not about you. Not even a tiny bit. She just needs to find her way to the exit for this by herself, really - your support is needed, but it isn't going to be the be-all and end-all, and you're wasting your own time by setting this up as a slight on you. She's just on this track and you can either choose to be there, knowing it will be difficult for her and (to a much lesser, and less important, extent) for you, or you can walk away from the friendship. I know which I'd do, but I understand the frustration all too well - I've been on both sides.

Join the discussion

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.

Join Mumsnet

Already have a Mumsnet account? Log in