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Friend's DP walked out - they're in Italy

(10 Posts)
Meita Sat 30-Jul-11 13:10:01

Hi, perhaps some of you wise ladies can give me some advice?

My friend is not particularly close, we never met up apart from seeing each other at work, but we have had some quite deep going online chats and there is kind of a feeling of 'we're there for each other when needed' without seeing each other regularly.

She moved back to Italy last October, with her DP, to the city his parents live in, as she doesn't get along too well with her own family. She was pregnant then, baby was born in January.

Now recently we have been in touch by e-mail and she told me that her partner left them two weeks ago. He doesn't want to see her nor the baby (who is now 6 months), thinks he 'might not love her anymore', he apparently 'can't deal with the responsibility of having a baby' and is in some sort of a crisis, and told her she would be better of without him and should start building a happier life for herself and baby.
She thinks he might have a depression. He has seen therapists, but she doesn't know what's going on there. She has offered to work through things, even if he wants to live apart from her and baby for a while, but he says no, he doesn't want to burden her.

They arranged a few meetings where he was supposed to spend some time with the baby, without having to see her/her having to see him. He didn't keep any of the appointments.

I don't really know much about their relationship. I thought they were generally happy. Now I am unsure of what to advise her.
Should I be generally supporting her in dealing with her DP's depression? I know that having a depressive partner can put a strain on a relationship, and it sounds to me as if he might be depressive, and in his depression self-sabotaging. Perhaps she would want out, or she would want to try to work through it. Either way, I would like to 'support' her through it, be there for her.
Or should I be supporting her in dealing with the fact that her DP turns out to be a twat who would leave his partner and baby over 'not liking how his life changed once the baby arrived'? Who furthermore won't even stand up and say so, but rather quite passive-aggressively implies that he is leaving for her sake?

Also, does anyone know if/what the corresponding places would be to go to in Italy, regarding Relate or CAB?

Any help appreciated. As she is in Italy, I can't unfortunately pop over and be a RL shoulder to lean on, but I'll do my best to be an open ear for her, in any case.

ZZZenAgain Sat 30-Jul-11 13:23:12

I suppose I would listen to her with regards to the partner but I wouldn't knowwhat to advise/say about him. It sounds as if he has gone to me.

I should think she would be better off in the UK as a single mother but I don't know what provision the Italian state makes or how to go about getting help. She really needs help on the ground. So this man is useless basically but is his mother any help or perhaps a sister in law? Otherwise if it were me and I did not know where to turn there, I would speak to the paediatrician and see if the doctor can point me in the way of social services etc

Is she in a small place or a major town and does she speak the language, have friends?

Earlybird Sat 30-Jul-11 13:28:17

Does she have a relationship with her dp's parents, and if so, what is it like? Can they offer any advice / support / insight / practical help?

How long has she been with this man?

Meita Sat 30-Jul-11 13:47:32

It sounds as if he has gone to me too, tbh, but it's just impossible to tell from a distance. She is Italian herself, they were pretty much teenage sweethearts, they've been together for 13 or 14 years. They moved to the UK together for 6 years, and moved back to Italy together.

She's in a big city. Currently her parents are there, giving her a hand. But every time she talked about her parents in the past it was all about how they make life hard for her, how she'll never, ever put herself near their influence again. I think they are pretty toxic. They very purposefully did not move anywhere near where her parents live when they decided to go back to Italy.

Her DP's father has re-married and recently had a baby with his new wife (who is just a few months older than his grandchild). They get along reasonably well, but I'm unsure if he is currently in Italy or in the UK. Also no idea about DP's mother. But that's a good point Earlybird, I'll see if she has considered any help/insights available from that side.

DariusVassell Sat 30-Jul-11 23:45:56

I have never heard of a situation like this, when there hasn't been an affair involved. Hence, I think this is the most likely cause of his loss of feelings and it is not depression or baby jitters at all. I'd therefore advise your friend to get investigating, or alternatively, to stop worrying that he is ill or having some psychological crisis and move on without him.

If she finds out that an affair is happening/is on the cards, this can speed things up one way or the other, because once someone's true reasons for bailing out are discovered, they have to shit or get off the pot.

Meita Sun 31-Jul-11 14:39:27

Darius, I know, that did occur to me too. If it is the case, what an utter twat is her DP? It is true that it would be good to know though, for moving-on purposes.

But I hesitate to just confront her with the idea of an OW. She hasn't mentioned anything at all in that direction. Do you have a suggestion how to broach the subject with her in a sensitive way? She sounds so confused and devastated already (understandably), I don't want to go and cast more doubts, make the situation even messier... if there's no OW, worrying about one is really extra worry that she doesn't need right now!

garlicbutter Sun 31-Jul-11 15:29:37

Plant the seed. Whatever's up with him (my first thought was affair, too), the sad fact is he's more involved in his life without her and the baby. Since he couldn't even be bothered to show up for some Dad-time, he's clearly made the choice to do his own thing. The only rational course for her to take, then is the same - get working on the new life for her and DC, start reeling in support.

I do wish her luck. It's such a bastard thing to do; I wish more men had the guts to tell the truth.

mrsmillsfanclub Sun 31-Jul-11 16:13:28

As someone who lived in Italy for several years, I would urge your friend to think about coming home to the UK. The husband is almost certainly having an affair and my experience with Italian in-laws tells me that however much they may love their grandchildren, their sons will always take priority no matter what damage they may have caused in a marriage. The foreign wife will never be their first concern!

However much she doesn't get on with her own parents, I think at the very least she needs a break from her current environment. A few weeks in the UK may help her to clear her head a little and make a decision as to where her life will go next.

Meita Sun 31-Jul-11 22:44:40

mhm garlicbutter that does sound like sense.

Mrsmills, she is Italian too. They lived in the UK together for 6 years, but I don't think she has much of a support network here. But your thoughts about the in-laws' preference for their son sound sensible (I suppose she will have to judge if there's any hope to get any support from them).

DariusVassell Mon 01-Aug-11 11:21:39

Perhaps you can say that you were reading something the other day and it said that the most common reason for men to depart their marriages and families is another woman. Had she considered that?

Of course she will have considered it. It's the first conclusion any sane person comes to, because it is the most common reason. Just posted this on another thread too. She knows you will be thinking it too. I don't know how the Italian courts view adultery, but if it was my friend I would be advising her to assume there is an affair going on and to make decisions based on that assumption.

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