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Helping someone after an abusive relationship

(10 Posts)
MissMogwi Wed 31-Oct-12 22:57:16

My sister's frankly awful partner has left her for someone else. He has been physically, emotionally and financially abusive throughout their relationship.

This 'man' has left her a shell of a woman. I
Want to help her as much as I can but its difficult as she is obsessed with him. I've given her some info on the local women's aid group who offer loads of support.

My parents and I are helping with childcare, finances and really trying our best. What else can we do?

Since being with this man she has changed into someone who can be very selfish and says and does things that are shocking, especially to our parents who are in their 60's.

I do realise its all part of the abuse she has suffered and I want to help. What else can I do?

MissMogwi Wed 31-Oct-12 22:58:16

Apologies that the post is a little disjointed, on phone. Thanks.

HissyByName Wed 31-Oct-12 23:09:25

You are a family to be so very proud of!

So many of us victims have our families compound our abuse or desert us.

Keep talking to her, keep showing her how normal lives are, how normal relationships are.

It will be a hard slog, but she needs WA help, perhaps in time, as she's not seeing it right now, but hopefully soon she will.

Support her as you would anyone else whi has had their H leave them, let her talk it out.

The fog will lift in time i hope.

I wish my family had been like yours. She's a very lucky woman.

MissMogwi Wed 31-Oct-12 23:14:50

Thanks. Both my sister and I are very lucky to have our parents. They are brilliant.

My own partner left me for someone else years ago, so I can understand some of what she is going through. We have had a good chat tonight and she had a good cry.

I feel awful saying it as I hate seeing her like this, but I'm glad he's gone and I hope he stays away. Friends that he has frightened away have rallied around and I think that will help too.

CogitoEerilySpooky Thu 01-Nov-12 06:16:51

Your sister is currently still influenced by this person. That's the trouble with abusers.... they tell their victim black is white so often that they eventually start to believe it. They constantly use emotional blackmail ... "do this and it'll make me happy" ... but are never happy. They isolate their victims from friends and family who might point out that the behaviour is wrong. It all leads to a victim who is fixated, dependent and has lost not only their confidence but also their terms of reference.

What your sister needs most is time away from this man. If she has zero contact so that his influence stops, over time she'll eventually realise that she has been manipulated. So do your best to keep them apart. The second thing she needs is to rediscover her confidence. With reassurance from you and others she can shake off the destructive dependence that he has created. Good luck

MissMogwi Thu 01-Nov-12 06:28:23

If I could keep her away from him I would. But she is an adult and we can't actually stop her doing anything. They have a child together and therefore she will have to see him as they won't entertain other ways of contact, such as through his or our parents.

I realise she will have to work through this, and we will keep on supporting her as we always do.

CogitoEerilySpooky Thu 01-Nov-12 06:32:45

You can't stop her doing anything, naturally. But you are quite at liberty to point out that the more opportunities he gets to communicate with her, the longer the abuse will carry on. The fact that he has left her for someone else doesn't mean he will stop grinding her into the dirt.... bullies get their jollies from seeing other suffer. He will make her suffer for as long as he can get away with it. Who 'won't entertain other ways of contact' exactly?.... if he runs true to type it'll be him demanding this and she will think she has no choice but to comply.

MissMogwi Thu 01-Nov-12 06:53:26

It's mostly my sister with the contact issue. She wants to see him, she also doesn't want him taking the child to the OW home which is understandable at this point.
We have offered contact alternatives but she won't do it. The ex will see the child with his mum but not our parents (which is probably because he's a coward who knows what they must think of him) But when he saw the child with his mum he couldn't really be bothered and they took him home after 30 minutes. His mum is really trying to help and it must be awful for her too.

I have tried many times over the years to help my sister. Ive talked until I'm blue in the face but she doesn't even seem to hear me, just rolls her eyes and says I'm being dramatic. I understand that it's because of how downtrodden she is but it's so frustrating.

He is still controlling. He has taken the child's passport 'so she can't take him on holiday'. This is a massive red flag to me but my sister is adamant he won't take the child away. He still has keys to her rented home although her name is on the tenancy and he has no rights to them.

I've told her to ask her landlord if she can change the locks, I'll pay for it. But she won't.

My parents are terrified he'll leave the OW and she'll take him back. It's wearing them out worrying about her and my DN.

Sorry for the essay-need to vent!

CogitoEerilySpooky Thu 01-Nov-12 07:13:40

You can only help those who want to be helped. Does 'taking the passport' mean he is of a different nationality? Sounds like your sister is planning a reconciliation and don't be too shocked if you also find out she's still sleeping with him.

Sad to say this but you may find you have to take a big step backwards at some point and let her get on with it. It's good that you want to be supportive but when it gets to the stage where it is making your or your parents' lives miserable with worry then the kindest thing may be to detach.

MissMogwi Thu 01-Nov-12 07:33:02

No he's British, but he has said before that if they split up she is not allowed to take the child on holiday. Just another controlling mechanism.
Apparently he's giving the passport to a solicitor for safekeeping but I very much doubt it.

He is wrapped up in his new relationship right now but I wouldn't be surprised if it blows up and he tries to come back. Every time they have reconciled in the past it has been hearts and flowers for a few months, as is the norm I expect. Then it goes back to the same horror.

He has never left her for someone else however, and my sister says she won't have him back. I can only hope.

Nor would I be surprised if she's still sleeping with him, as she would see it as a sign he loves her and that she is worthy.

I have a lovely friend who has been through a similar situation who has offered to have a chat with her. She has received fantastic support via women's aid. I will see if my sister wants to meet up with her.

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