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Is he EA? Signs someone is in a EA relationship

(53 Posts)
KikiShack Sat 23-Aug-14 08:01:26

I'll try and keep this short. It's not really my business, I'm just wondering if MN has trained my radar, and if so if there's anything I can do to help. Probably not as not my business but still...

DP has a best friend, I'll call him Dan. He's a lovely friendly guy, really funny, kind, good at impressions, into sport, always up for a laugh. The sort of guy who often gets followers iykwim.

He currently has a follower I'll call Adam.
Adam is a fairly normal, if slightly pathetic guy. The sort to do stupid things to impress the boys. The sort to probably make and laugh at sexist, homophobic and mildly racist jokes because they're 'banter'. So not the best specimen of a human, but nothing particularly standout evil either.

I'm wondering if Adam is EA. A couple of things make me think this:
Adam has a daughter who is ~5 who he never sees because his exgf won't let him. He's trying to take her to court to get access but has to save up £5kto do it, currently on £4k. Apparently the exgf gets legal aid which is SO unfair, even though she earns the same as him (I'd guess in the region of £20-£25k, poss as low as £18k but I doubt it). Legal aid in custody disputes means domestic abuse is involved??

Secondly Adam has a new girlfriend. They've been spending lots and lots of time together but only been together about 6 months, but Adam hasn't had time for anyone else for a bit. Dan hasn't particularly missed him DP saw Adam last night and apparently he was talking about how his new gf has gone a bit crazy recently. I don't think details were discussed, but she's being posessive, not giving him his freedom etc. On it's own I'd take this at face value, but paired with the legal aid / not allowed to see his daughter stuff I was wondering if this is typical EA stuff of him beginning to tighten the screws and his gf complaining, which he obv thinks is her being mad because he thinks he's in the right.

I can just imagine him being EA, he's a bit snivelling, a bit 'poor me'.

Dan is getting married in a few weeks so I'll see Adam again (only met him a couple of times) and also meet his gf. Just wondering - what are any signs I could look out for to see if their dynamic looks EA? I'm planning to try and talk to the gf, not in any way but just spend a bit of time with her and if I get the impression things aren't great do some very gentle suggestions to her about what a good relationship should be like. Just saying stuff assuming Adam is lovely to her so that if he isn't she'll maybe have a small jolt that things aren't right. Any tips what might be useful? Or should I absolutely 100% wind my neck in and leave well alone? Genuinely, I'm not really a busy body, just wondering what others would do. I will be looking after and bf my own DD so I won't get outrageously pissed and do something inappropriate thankfully!

Questionsquestionsquestions123 Sat 23-Aug-14 08:04:58

What does EA mean?!

FacebookWillEatItself Sat 23-Aug-14 08:08:29

I'm planning to try and talk to the gf, not in any way but just spend a bit of time with her and if I get the impression things aren't great do some very gentle suggestions to her about what a good relationship should be like. Just saying stuff assuming Adam is lovely to her so that if he isn't she'll maybe have a small jolt that things aren't right.


Why on earth are you investing so much time and mental energy in this quite-possibly-non-problem when you've only met the guy twice, and clearly do know very much about him, or his ex, or his new girlfriend?

Very, very odd indeed.

EarthWindFire Sat 23-Aug-14 09:12:24

Why are you getting involved? I agree with pp.

As for legal aid, it depends on when it started going through the courts. It could be an old case.

KikiShack Sat 23-Aug-14 09:34:50

I'm just interested as I've been reading threads on MN for a few months and I didn't know about EA before.
Last time I met Adam he told me at length about how unfair his exgf was witholding access, and how even though they earnt the same she got legal aid to fight him over access and he didn't. That made my spider senses tingle and I remember people posting that legal aid is given if there is domestic abuse. It got me thinking he's the sniveling sort of man I can imagine putting women down to bolster his own self esteem.
Then DP saw him last night and mentioned Adam had been complaining about his gf being crazy at the moment, so I put 2 and 2 together and am just interested whether you think I've made 4 or 29!
Nothing odd at all beyond caring for my fellow human beings, is that not allowed? I think I'll be sitting on their table at the wedding so I was wondering if there were any signs to look for or if I should just keep well out. That was my question in the OP so if people think I should just keep well out perhaps they could say so in a polite manner rather than being borderline aggressive and rude.

MissOtisRegretsMadam Sat 23-Aug-14 09:44:29

I think a wedding is the wrong place to start any investigation of this sort... If you meet her and click with her suggest meeting up as couples back home and build up a friendship first.

Tbh they may not even stay together that long if they are already having problems so don't spend too much time planning helping her escape him!
She also may be possessive and jealous and irrational like he says she is so be prepared for that!

A friend of mine was on a court access battle with her ex and there had been dv and she still didn't get legal I wouldn't get too hung up on that either.

placidjoy123 Sat 23-Aug-14 09:54:32

QQQ123 EL stands for emotional abuse. I too was unfamiliar with it until recently.

sonjadog Sat 23-Aug-14 09:55:10

I would find it very, very intrusive if I met you and you asked me those kind of questions. From what you say, this is the girlfriend of a friend of a friend of your husbands, so not someone you really know at all. If you are really concerned, then if you know a friend of hers maybe you could mention something. But again, I would not be happy if some vague acquaintance of mine told my friends they thought my partner might be EA.

placidjoy123 Sat 23-Aug-14 09:55:55

EA sorry

FacebookWillEatItself Sat 23-Aug-14 09:59:34

Although quite why the OP need to feel concerned at all I do not know. So far she has no evidence of any kind of wrongdoing except that the bloke has moaned to his mate that his girlfriend of six months is getting a bit too clingy and serious.

How you extrapolate from that that the woman needs a bit of counselling from a complete stranger at a wedding about her relationship, and possibly rescuing from an abusive man God only knows. confused

CogitoErgoSometimes Sat 23-Aug-14 10:01:46

Emotional Abuse is characterised by a sustained pattern of behaviours that are designed to intimidate, manipulate, control, frighten or coerce someone into acting in the way determined by the abuser. The key part is the 'sustained pattern' because, even in a healthy relationship, everyone's capable of being manipulative from time to time. Equally, we're all capable of doing something stupid in an effort to please a partner.

I'd caution you against leaping to conclusions and also against going in on some kind of rescue mission. People generally don't want to be helped unless they ask for help.

LingDiLong Sat 23-Aug-14 10:04:13

Woah, woah, woah! You are making a lot of assumptions based on very little. You clearly don't like this Adam at all so you're not likely to be very objective are you? Do you know for sure what they both earn and that legal aid is only given in cases of domestic abuse? Have you even ever seen him with his current girlfriend? I think you sound absolutely bonkers to be honest and can't work out why you could possibly think it would be a good idea to try and 'investigate' his relationship!

AnyFucker Sat 23-Aug-14 10:05:20

Gosh, you are thinking of trying to intervene with a woman you don't know who is in a relationship you have absolutely no connection with and you have not witnessed any of this abusive behaviour yourself ?

That's a risky kind of thing to do. I hope it doesn't massively blow up in your face.

KikiShack Sat 23-Aug-14 10:06:14

FFS I've clearly said twice that the legal aid thing made me wonder about EA, then coupling it with him referring to his new gf as 'crazy' reinforced my thought.
I'm not going to tell anyone I think he is EA, where did you get that from?
I'm asking if MN agree, you say not, so I'll go back to spending my spare time watching tv rather than wondering if a woman I don't know very well might be going out with a shitbag.

Questionsquestionsquestions123 Sat 23-Aug-14 10:06:15

Thank you placidjoy! Was trying to guess for ages!!
As for op- maybe just stay out of the situation until you know more definite facts!

placidjoy123 Sat 23-Aug-14 10:11:00

Any kind of logical rational dialogue about EA on MN quickly gets you accused of being a man, minimising, being drunk, being demented and getting told to FO to the middle East. Strange I know.

But mind reading, catastrophising, and generally jumping to negative distortions of limited facts seems to be the preferred way of "caring for a fellow human being"

KikiShack Sat 23-Aug-14 10:13:58

Thanks those of you who have given reasoned answers.
Those of you who called me bonkers etc, you've just massively put me off every trying to spot anything amiss in anythign in life ever!
My OP was very clear: these two things have been noticed, do you think I might be right or do you think I should stay well clear? I've got no problem with being told you think my 'evidence' is shaky and I should stay clear, that's what I asked after all. I do however have a problem with you getting so worked up and calling me odd.
I've spent the last few months telling people who don't read mn and only know about it through the negative media representation that actually it's a fantastic resource and support network for women, very feminist, pro women not taking any shit etc. I'm slightly shaking with the fact that by posting a question to mn I'm suddenly being leapt on. Not cool MNers, really unfair.
I'm going to retreat now, prob read a few more replies then might ask for this to be pulled. This is NOT what I came here for. I'm a decent person who just wondered if my radar might have been tuned by reading about EA. Nothing more...

AnyFucker Sat 23-Aug-14 10:14:20

I agree that op is "catastrophising" and I think it's great that you gave her a perfect example of that kind of thinking in your first paragraph, pj grin

AnyFucker Sat 23-Aug-14 10:17:01

Kiki, I don't think anyone is perturbed by your possible assessment of the situation, it is more your vague plan to "sort it out" and go in like a bull in a china shop that is causing a bit of consternation. You just cannot do that on such flimsy evidence, even if every one of your feelings on the matter turns out to be completely correct (and it is possible they are).

placidjoy123 Sat 23-Aug-14 10:18:57

All facts AF in writing as you well know. But glad we agreed on something at last. It makes me feel placid and joyful.

AnyFucker Sat 23-Aug-14 10:22:26

That's good. I'd love to see that thread where someone was told to fuck off to the Middle East though. I bet it was a doozie.

placidjoy123 Sat 23-Aug-14 10:24:20

Kiki I'm sorry this experience has made you feel bad. Your intentions are positive. But you could do more harm than good. Put yourself in the girlfriend's position. How would you react if a total stranger tried to make you "see that your boyfriend might be a shitbag"

sonjadog Sat 23-Aug-14 10:26:34

I think it is very commendable that you want to help other women and I am glad your awareness of EA has increased from reading here. I think one of the things I have learnt from MN is to be more aware of what people are telling me when they are talking about their relationships and I feel I have more practical advice to give people with problems than I have had earlier. But I think it is important to be the listener and to be there for people who want to talk rather than the person who goes out to seek injustice.

I think you should continue to be a good listening-ear to your friends and new people you meet. If the topic comes up, say what you think and then they'll know that you are someone who they can turn to if they need someone. But I wouldn't go out actively to speak to someone you don't know in the way you were thinking of doing at this wedding.

placidjoy123 Sat 23-Aug-14 10:27:27

Kiki I'm sorry this experience has made you feel bad. Your intentions are positive. But you could do more harm than good. Put yourself in the girlfriend's position. How would you react if a total stranger tried to make you "see that your boyfriend might be a shitbag"

EarthWindFire Sat 23-Aug-14 10:28:11

It is a fantastic source for all not just women smile

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