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suspect friend's dp is controlling

(12 Posts)
MrsKeithRichards Sun 14-Oct-12 10:54:00

She's went from party animal to recluse in 18 months. But it's more than that (she needed to slow down she had no one left to party with as the rest of us are married/babies etc).

She met him 2 years ago. A little over a year after splitting up with her dh and moving back to the area we all grew up and still live around. We are relatively young (28) and we (group of friends) supported her with the end of her marriage as best we could. She's always been quite a closed book when it comes to serious stuff. Like we didn't know her marriage was breaking down until she arrived back 'home' and even then it took a long time to get the story out of her.

So she has a blow out, went out lots, slept around a bit and found a new place to live and got a new job. It was like she had got all that out her system and was calming down a bit. Then she met this new man. She was practically living with him very quickly. We met him a parties and he seemed ok.

We've all been through it, and we're all old enough, to realise when a new man is about its natural, to a certain extent, for someone to spend less time with friends. But as I said before we're all busy people we're not out every weekend anymore but all keep up with each other.

There's been a few alarm bells ringing.

We went on a girly weekend, she was texting him constantly and he'd phone her all the time to the point she was taking hushed phone calls from him at 3a.m.

She's more introverted than I've ever seen her. Before, even when she was married, she would answer to no body. If she was wanting to do something she done it. Now she takes ages to respond to texts, is cagey on the phone and is still always on the phone to him if we are out.

I met her for lunch one day and he turned up out of the blue.

As a group we've always just socialised as 'the girls'. Our partners all get on, on an as and when needed to basis but they don't seek out each other's company. We don't get together that often we don't want the men lurking about cramping our style! She is always trying to organise couple things. I understand she wants everyone to get to know him and we (dh and I) have made the effort but I get the feelin that he doesn't like her meeting us on her own.

At a recent wedding she had to phone the bride and ask if her dp's son could come. He's 6 and it wasn't an issue it was just weird. His mum takes the boy most weekend's. When I asked friend if they were having baby sitting problems she just said 'it's complicated'. I just interpreted it as him trying to put a damper on her night. Every time she got up to dance he sent the boy up to ask her something like go to the bar or dad's wondering where your purse is. Total nonsense things.

It's hard to put my finger on, I just think something isn't right but don't know how to go about checking she's old

MrsKeithRichards Sun 14-Oct-12 10:54:15

Not old, ok!

clam Sun 14-Oct-12 11:09:23

Maybe wait until the next odd thing? I mean, if there's another 3am phone call, it'd be perfectly reasonable to ask if everything was OK and if she says "yes," ask if it's usual for him to call at that time.

I hope someone else has something more helpful to offer, as I have a friend in possibly similar situation.

CogitoErgoSometimes Sun 14-Oct-12 11:18:18

I also think you have to wait for specific examples of controlling behaviour, ask 'is that normal' and try to get her to open up a bit.. "Wow...Do you have to ask permission for everything?" "Don't you think all this keeping tabs on you is a bit OTT?" "I'm worried about you because, since you got together with X, you don't seem anything like your old self" "Do you want to talk about what's going on because you don't look happy at all?..... etc.

MrsKeithRichards Sun 14-Oct-12 11:24:36

It's hard to define what's worrying me. At this wedding she accompanied dh and I out for a cig. They've just stopped smoking last week but she was just coming with for some fresh air. She did not smoke. Dh went and sat with her and her dp, I went to the loo then dancing. Later on dh was telling me dp totally snapped at her, called her a liar etc and my dh stepped in and told him straight she hadn't smoked. Dh said it was weird as friend didn't just tell her dp to shut up (like she would have she's never been afraid to stand up for herself) but was quite sheepish about the whole thing.

brettgirl2 Sun 14-Oct-12 11:28:14

I think its really hard to do anything. If her oh detects that you are against him he will stop her seeing you if she is that scared of him. sad Can you observe and be there for her?

DoubleYew Sun 14-Oct-12 11:37:16

You need to just stick around and be there. I have split with an abusive husband and it took a while for me to realise how bad it was and let go. One of my friends was very outspoken that he was a bad 'un and it made me avoid her a bit tbh honest as I didn't want to be lectured / judged.

DoubleYew Sun 14-Oct-12 11:38:55

Except if she is talking of getting pregnant - then kidnap her!

clam Sun 14-Oct-12 11:58:57

I think it's important that you keep open the lines of communication with her. Try to appear non-judgmental, even if inside your head you're screaming "just leave the bastard!"
The sad thing is that you just cannot run this for her. She'll do what she has to do when she's ready to do it. Although I don't suppose there's any harm maybe gently planting hints that this isn't how it should be, or used to be.

snooter Sun 14-Oct-12 19:09:36

This sounds awful - can you get her alone & voice your concerns? Do you think he might be violent? Could you keep an escape bag of stuff at your house in case she ever needs it?

MrsKeithRichards Sat 27-Oct-12 10:39:31

I don't think he's violent she's never said anything to suggest that.

tallwivglasses Sat 27-Oct-12 13:57:48

Casually direct her to Mumsnet and the red flags thread?

At the moment she'll be excusing his behaviour (he cares too much, he's insecure because of a past relationship, he had an unhappy childhood, etc). Once she realises there's a script and a well-troden path to abuse, she'll hopefully see sense.

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