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Advice on helping a friend LTB (or not)

(3 Posts)
juliej75 Tue 30-Dec-14 15:15:38

A close friend of mine is in a terrible relationship. She is treated like dirt by her 'D'H - basically he is emotionally, verbally and sexually abusive to her. However, he is generally very charming with friends and neighbours so very few people know about this, although other family members who know the DH well are aware that he can be a grumpy sod.

She has started confiding in me more and I have been deeply upset at what I've heard. I'm pretty sure she doesn't want to be with him any more but has no self-confidence left, is scared of potentially having to move away from friends, and worries that he would screw her over financially. She is also over 70 now and thinks she is too old to start again, although she is a lovely lady with lots of friends, supportive grown up children, fit and healthy etc.

Obviously I think she should LTB but am also wary of sticking my oar in where it's not wanted. Is there anything I can do to give her the boost to help her leave without putting pressure on her?

He does profess to love her and, in a weird sort of way, does seem to but I think he's too fucked up himself to realise what a shit he's being. Is there any hope that he could change if it's pointed out forcefully enough just exactly how unkind and unpleasant he is being?

If she doesn't leave him and he doesn't change (realistically the most likely outcome), how can I best support her? He would hit the roof if he knew she'd been talking about their relationship to anyone.

Bogeyface Tue 30-Dec-14 15:56:53

My aunt is in a similar situation, she is also over 70 (in fact I am wondering if its my aunt you are talking about), but she wont leave as she fears the same issues.

She is unhappy and has been for years, he has cheated on her many many times, is very emotionally and verbally abusive and we are sure he has hit her. But he is such a bastard that if she had left when my cousins were young he would have happily seen them on the street than give her a penny. He would have fought for custody of children he didnt want to punish her, he would have been a total bastard.

She gets through it because they have a holiday home that he spends most of his time in, she stays up here in our home town. Its during the winter that its toughest, the holiday place closes between November and March so they have no choice but to live together then. All we can do is invite her round as often as we can and be there for her when she asks.

I think that if her eldest child didnt live in the UK she would go and live with her youngest who emigrated some years ago, I wish she would tbh, she would be able to travel back here once a year as she does to see the emigrated DD.

Its frustrating but if she isnt ready to leave him then just be there for her when she wants you. I know that my aunt doesnt fully understand that he cant just cut her off, keep the house and savings etc (and tbh I dont think he understands that either), but also I dont think she is mentally in a place where she could fight him for them, and he would make her fight. This way she keeps her home to herself for most of the year and has access to money in a way she wouldnt, at least at first, if she divorced him.

CogitOIOIO Tue 30-Dec-14 19:57:39

It is very difficult, verging on impossible, to help someone who isn't ready to be helped. It's good that she feels able to confide in you and it's important not to jeopardise anything by insisting that she does anything she's not comfortable with. The Women's Aid website has a useful list of what not to say to someone in this situation.

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