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Well, seems this section of MN has given me a backbone

(23 Posts)
BibiBlocksberg Thu 02-May-13 20:44:13

Just finished talking to my neighbour whose OH is absolutely horrendous to her (they sit in their garden and his voice is LOUD)

He was tearing her apart verbally in every way imaginable and I just couldn't take any more.

So, called her over with a safe excuse and told her I can hear what he's doing and she doesn't deserve any of it.

Shared some other truths I've learned on here but she knows what he's like (apparently he hit her last year as well sad) so she knows but is caught in he illusion of if she just tries even harder he will be nicer to her and says she 'loves' him.

Reminds me so much of my my own relationship history. Times like this I always remember how alone I felt when being utterly abused by an arse of the neighbours caliber and would have given anything for someone to open their mouth and say 'I see it too, you're not alone'

Anyway, this is not a 'slap me on the back' post but never would have had the courage to speak out without what I've learned in the relationship section here, so thank you all who share their experiences here.

Also, I've been asked to talk to the arse himself tomorrow night and let him know I can hear and it's unacceptable (did point out it might make things worse for her but she's adamant it won't)

Should I go there do you think?

Lweji Thu 02-May-13 20:56:59

Personally, I don't think it's a good idea.
His obvious abuse may be toned down, but it will be transformed into a different form, possibly worse, as it will be less obvious for outsiders.

You should support her to leave, really.

Lweji Thu 02-May-13 20:57:36

Well done, btw. smile

BibiBlocksberg Thu 02-May-13 21:06:48

I agree Lweji and did tell her that he knows what he's doing and will move the goalposts again and again to suit himself no matter what anyone says or does.

Very hard when you have the victim of this arseholery almost begging for you to go say something to the abuser directly (without letting on she's said anything so she's clearly scared of him)

Chubfuddler Thu 02-May-13 21:10:36

I don't think you can say anything to him. She's hoping he will change if he can be shamed into it but frankly that's a bollocks plan ( and likely to end in him punishing her in some way at some point for involving an outsider).

The only way you can help her is by encouraging her to make an exit plan, talk to women's aid, come here for advice. You can't help her manage this situation.

Lweji Thu 02-May-13 21:12:34

It's up to you, then.

If you don't think it's a good idea to talk to him, then don't.

Just let her know that you will support her, but not allow him to get worse.

Would she agree that you can call the police if you think it's dangerous for her? Or agree a safe word she can scream?

BibiBlocksberg Thu 02-May-13 21:23:15

Yes, agree with both of you, good idea re the safe word, unfortunately they're not next door (across from me)

I sit out the front with my cat and they sit out the front in their little patch of garden and as I said he is loud when he talks.

She is such a beautiful person, strong, capable, smart, makes everything happen in their lives but of course, according to him she is and does nothing.

Sorry for drip feed but do know them a little via the odd chat when coming and going (and one of my cats loves to visit lol)

So hard, in fact impossible trying to make someone see what you can at times like this.

Vulcan mindmeld needed I think.....

See how I feel tomorrow, there's a part of me that wants to let him know another pair of eyes and ears are around on her behalf but doubt it will change anything sad

Chubfuddler Thu 02-May-13 21:24:19

I'm sure it will make things worse for her. The only helpful thing to do is encourage her to leave.

breatheslowly Thu 02-May-13 21:29:12

Do you think that speaking to him will put you at risk and do you have any plan to mitigate the risk?

CharlotteCollinsismovingon Thu 02-May-13 21:29:43

Think you're right it won't change anything, Bibi - how many people respond well to an outsider telling them how to conduct their relationship?

I can see why she's asking you - I've wanted someone to do the same for me in the past - but if he needs someone else to tell him when he's being unreasonable, then he's not someone you can be in a healthy relationship with.

As you and I both know, and hopefully she is coming to terms with. sad

She knows she has your support now and she has someone she can talk to. That's pretty major, just in itself.

CharlotteCollinsismovingon Thu 02-May-13 21:30:54

"you can" = "it's possible to"

Since clearly you wouldn't want to be...!

BibiBlocksberg Thu 02-May-13 21:40:32

I know, a virtual outsider won't make him behave himself like the respectful human being he's supposed to be sad

Very arrogant of me to think i can have any kind of effect on him that won't backfire on her (as another poster said, he'll just go further underground with his abuse)

Maybe she's hoping for some respite from his attacks while he thinks people are watching & listening?

They don't have Internet as otherwise I'd encourage her to join here.

She was telling me her other friends tell her the same things I have and even the police officer who brougt him home after the hitting incident last year told her he's a total abusive arse.

Such is the brain washing this sort of 'man' inflicts that he has her believing she can't survive without him when it's the other way around.

Waffling now, thank you so much all for your input!

CharlotteCollinsismovingon Thu 02-May-13 21:47:09

I think you were more hopeful than arrogant, OP. smile

Doesn't seem to be much cause for hope, though, does there? sad

TheNorthWitch Thu 02-May-13 21:51:39

If he thinks you are a source of support to her he may try and cause trouble to come between you and keep her away from you - abusers are very devious - tread carefully.

Lots of people seem to have told her he's abusive and you need to wait until she accepts it herself and wants to do something about it - you can't fight her battles or force her to leave even if it's in her best interest - only be there for her when the time is right

BibiBlocksberg Thu 02-May-13 21:53:00

I much prefer to see myself as hopeful CharlotteCollinsismovingon, thank you for the different perspective.

It sounds hopeless but I like to believe there's always hope, Christ, if I was able to wake up from my 'he's a nice guy really' delusions then there must be smile

Lweji Thu 02-May-13 21:55:57

I am in a similar position, as a friend of mine is married to an abuser. He hit her on the arm and reportedly put his hands around her neck in front of their daughter.
All I can do is really point her in the right direction and let her know I'm here for her.

I suspect both are on a co-dependent relationship, from which it's very difficult to get out, as even the physical incidents haven't had an effect.

As seen often here, it can take a lot for some women to leave their partners, and you don't even want to be in a position where she (and him) ends up blaming you for a break up. sad

BibiBlocksberg Thu 02-May-13 21:57:27

Sorry, x posted with you TheNorhWitch - good point, I'm taking that on board too.

I'd need to let her know why I won't be having a chat with him though wouldn't I? To keep her from thinking im scared of him too or just not willing to put my money where my mouth is (to coin a phrase)

betterthanever Thu 02-May-13 21:59:07

I filled up when I read the bit about how you felt all alone in the past. You did a good thing. But don't get involved talking to him. Your opinion will not count, he will only think about what his own needs are. Having you will mean so much to her, we know.

BibiBlocksberg Thu 02-May-13 22:17:12

Aw, thanks betterthanever, I found there was no one in RL who was prepared to get involved beyond the usual 'there, there, men eh?, tsk' platitudes.

Afterwards there was a great outcry of 'oh yes, we knew he was a total arse' and I just remember thinking 'well, thanks for telling me when I was in the middle of it all and thinking I was the mad one'

That's why I love MN, filled with people who are not afraid to call an arse an arse and won't just make soothing noises.

TheNorthWitch Thu 02-May-13 22:23:11

I would just say that on reflection it's her marriage and that you do not feel you have a right to interfere/it's not your place to pull him up/it would definitely make things worse for her but that you are there if she wants to talk or needs help (complain about the noise if you want).

Remember she may repeat everything you say to him or turn against you when he brainwashes her that you are 'jealous' of them or something. I speak as a messenger who's been shot more than once!

BibiBlocksberg Thu 02-May-13 22:39:05

Ha, I was just rehearsing those exact words in my head for tomorrow TheNorthWitch!

With the input from you wise ones I've decided that to talk to him would definitely be detrimental to her. Hope she'll be able to see it was done out of care and not indifference/fear/laziness on my part one day.

garlicyoni Thu 02-May-13 23:06:40

Oh, well done, Bibi smile

Yes, of course it's a bad idea for you to try and "make him see" though I'm sure we all recognise his poor wife's desperation sad You could try reminding her that even the police couldn't make him change his ways, so he must be determined to carry on being an arse.

As you say, people usually try and avoid the topic so, if all those other people have told her she's being abused, he must be really bad! I'm sure you can be of more real help to her by providing a bit of sanctuary (and a place to read your old copy of Saint Lundy?) If you show that you're on to him, of course she won't be 'allowed' to talk to you.

BibiBlocksberg Thu 02-May-13 23:23:19

Hi garlic (with new yoni moniker smile) those were some funny threads, good ole Brian and his 'soothing' hands eh smile

I digress, saint Lundy is a good idea though not sure it would do much in breaking the barrier of 'must try harder' with her. You never know though (mind you, the shock of recognition was too much for the last friend I gave it to and she is my friend no more)

Still, better that than being in the silent/platitude group in my opinion.

Hadn't thought of the 'not allowed' to talk to me anymore, he is highly controlling so that's a very likely outcome too, another strike against talking to him.

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