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Could you attend a friend's wedding where you knew the groom was physically abusive?

(28 Posts)
StuffezLaBouche Wed 02-Jan-13 13:15:31

Just wondering really - bit of background:
A fairly close friend has been with a guy for 2 years. There have been 2 incidents where she's called the police, he's been arrested, bailed and told not to approach her or their home. Both times she has called and begged him back and dropped the matter. I have listened to her and tried to help her for hours, and would honestly drop everything if she wanted to bring her kids and stay at mine to get away from him, but she doesn't.

This is going to make me sound horrible, but he earns a massive (90k+ huge bonuses) salary, and has a job with a high profile sports team which means she gets to go places, meet people and experience things she wouldn't normally. I think this lifestyle is a big part of why she's staying. When we talk, even when things are in a "good" period, she talks quite blatantly about what a cunt he is, how he pisses their money away on drink and coke (!) and how he makes her feel shit. So the lifestyle is all I can think of that's keeping her there.

Recently they announced their engagement. As the wedding is taking place abroad I cannot go as I simply wont be able to afford it, but it got me thinking. Even if it was in the UK I don't think I could in all conscience attend. I'm not posting for advice on helping my friend, as I think all I can do is continue to let her know I'm there....but was just interested to see whether people in my position would attend or not.

AKissIsNotAContract Wed 02-Jan-13 13:19:32

I would attend as I would want her to know I was always there for her. The trouble with men like this is they tend to alienate their partners from their friends and I wouldn't want that to happen. The people who come to a wedding should be closest friends of the bride or groom, not necessarily both.

Absoluteeightiesgirl Wed 02-Jan-13 13:20:36

I would feel obligated to attend but only because a refusal could cause more problems. I guess all you can do, as you have said, is to be there for her when all this unravels. Such a shame that she is pushing on with marrying this man.

SoupDragon Wed 02-Jan-13 13:21:35

I would attend as I would want her to know I was always there for her

This.

nickelbabylyinginamanger Wed 02-Jan-13 13:21:36

exactly what kiss said.

StuffezLaBouche Wed 02-Jan-13 13:25:32

I feel bad about not attending, but currently money is an issue and the wedding location is in an extremely expensive European city. She knows I am always here for her and I will be going to the hen party, and luckily she's fine with this.
The other thing is, I KNOW the wedding will be one big coke-fest with him and his vile friends. I'm just SO CROSS!

HoratiaWinwood Wed 02-Jan-13 13:26:47

I'd struggle. I'd certainly want to give a present that was mostly for her - eg something for the kitchen if she is the one who cooks.

Her bad decisions are hers, but if you criticise while she is loved up - or believes she is - then you risk being pushed away and not being close enough when she does need you.

I would possibly consider offering childcare for the DCs if appropriate, so you could attend a minimal, supportive amount, then whisk the children away from the drink and drugs for a fun age-appropriate sleepover.

HoratiaWinwood Wed 02-Jan-13 13:27:57

I realise that wouldn't work for an eg Paris wedding; I'm talking more generally about what I hope I'd do on a similar predicament.

StuffezLaBouche Wed 02-Jan-13 13:30:02

The trouble with men like this is they tend to alienate their partners from their friends
That is true. Once when out having lunch with another friend, he text her from work and asked if she were home yet. To avoid hassle she said yes, to which he demanded a photo to prove it.

Horatia - that's a nice idea about the gift and I will do that definitely. Childcare not really an option, as I not live 250 miles from her so feel even more out of the loop. He has been VILE to her kids before. (they're not his)

jessjessjess Wed 02-Jan-13 13:30:52

I wouldn't go, but I wouldn't outright tell her why - I'd make an excuse so she didn't feel judged or pushed away.

CogitoErgoSometimes Wed 02-Jan-13 13:32:58

I also wouldn't go but I would be honest, sit her down, tell her why I wouldn't be attending but that I'd be there for her when she needs help again.

StuffezLaBouche Wed 02-Jan-13 13:38:23

I appreciate these opinions. The guy is a complete wanker - I cannot post the things he's done/been convicted for because he would sound like a bloody work of fiction. My friend is a lovely person and has many friends, so I know she will find support if needed. The dynamic is so weird. They live in a small town where everyone, EVERYONE knows him and his doings but it's kind of bigged up and he's some kind of local legend. I completely do not get it.

badinage Wed 02-Jan-13 13:42:25

I find the whole situation improbable and difficult to empathise because I know I'd find it impossible being friends with a woman who put money and lifestyle before her kids' happiness or her own.

Going to her wedding would seem like I was giving the marriage my blessing, so I couldn't do that. But I'd be honest about it.

StuffezLaBouche Wed 02-Jan-13 13:48:01

I find the whole situation improbable and difficult to empathise because I know I'd find it impossible being friends with a woman who put money and lifestyle before her kids' happiness or her own.

This is what I struggle with, and I really am going to sound horrible now. Although she is what I consider a friend, we only became friends because of working in the same pub as a second job and working in similar areas in our main jobs. As two women of the same age or thereabouts you become close naturally, but I suppose the similarities end there. I only have one "proper" female friend, and if it were her in this situation I think I would be in absolute bits. Close friend or not though, she deserves support. I just wish she'd open her eyes.

Corygal Wed 02-Jan-13 13:51:58

Yes, because of the reason kiss gave. But no, because of the cost and all the achingly dull cokeheads.

See them in UK when they get back - have them for dinner or something.

pumpkinsweetieMasPudding Wed 02-Jan-13 13:52:28

I would attend pure and simply as to be there for my friend.
Physicall abuse goes hand in hand with 'brainwashing' and mental abuse, so your friend will be manipulated by him to a high degree.
It isn't that easy to leave an abusive person, they rip your confidence away. Your friend will be in a very awful place right now, regardless of money i'm betting she isn't a happy personsad

My mum was once married to a discusting creature, just like your friends partner and believe me i was there for her through the entire ordeal and was there to help her pick up the pieces afterwards when she finally found the bravery inside herself to leave him.

All you can do is, be there

ILoveSaladReallyIDo Wed 02-Jan-13 13:56:37

no I wouldn't if I couldn't afford it
otherwise yes so that the friend knew I was there for when/if she was ready to leave

badinage Wed 02-Jan-13 14:00:07

I think being a true friend to someone requires honesty and a bit of tough love.

I just couldn't keep my mouth shut if a friend of mine was letting a drug addict abuse her children and show her violence.

In fact, I wouldn't keep my mouth shut if I was a stranger. Those kids are at risk.

SolidGoldFrankensteinandmurgh Wed 02-Jan-13 14:07:19

I also would be more concerned about the kids than about the adult woman. She has a choice (to put up with his abuse for the sake of the money and glamour). They don't. You say they are not cockhead's kids - what about their father? Is he another arsehole?

ProphetOfDoom Wed 02-Jan-13 14:18:14

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Absoluteeightiesgirl Wed 02-Jan-13 14:19:44

You say he is vile to her children yet she is going to marry this man? That is really worrying. Regardless of any other reasons that would be the main issue I would be very vocal about if a friend was in the same position

HoratiaWinwood Wed 02-Jan-13 14:41:28

my STBExH's cousin's dd got engaged to a physically abusive man & all the family, who are extensive in number, went to the engagement party. I thought it was a lovely show of support for her but it turns out that behind the smiles they were all having a threatening word with him. Up until then he'd only knew of her grandmother, mother and younger siblings & hadn't met the numerous ex-miner uncles and cousins. Their engagement lasted a further 3 or 4 months and she ended it.

That is utterly wonderful.

StuffezLaBouche Wed 02-Jan-13 15:00:52

Believe me, she knows my feelings about him. So does he, due to him reading her messages sad
SGB, the kids' dad sees them regularly and although he sees the kids often, I think he's definitely what you would classify as "another arsehole."

I am reading feeling very shit, as even though I have said ALL this to her, her standard response is an uneasy "yeah I know" but nothing ever changes.

Good news, Schmaltzing!

Jux Wed 02-Jan-13 22:55:57

I wouldn't go, and I'm afraid, for better or worse, my friend would know why. The only reason I could justify attending to myself would be to tell every single member of her family and every single friend she had there what he was like. Which would probably be a bad idea.

VoiceofUnreason Wed 02-Jan-13 23:14:36

I wouldn't go either. It would be hypocritical because I couldn't celebrate what I felt was a big mistake for her and her children. I would absolutely be there in her life to pick up any pieces at a later date but I would also sit her down and tell her why I felt unable to go.

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