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How do you help someone in a shit relationship?

(9 Posts)
HootOnTheBeach Fri 02-Jan-15 11:53:42

My friend is back together with her abusive on/off ex … again. This has been dragging on for about 4 years now. She is early 20s and he is significantly older than her. In the beginning he was physically abusive and hit her. He is controlling, immature, manipulative, loves to throw his toys out of the pram, argue about stupid things, and he has thrown her out of the house on multiple occasions.

Where is the tipping point, the final straw if you like, to break it off for good? Is there anything I can do? I care about her a lot but it's frustrating to watch this car crash. She breaks it off, insists she will focus on herself etc etc but he always somehow worms his way back in.

My Any advise? Any insight? My mother was in an abusive marriage when she had me so I KNOW how damaging it is for everyone involved, I just don't know what I can do to help. sad

iloverunning36 Fri 02-Jan-15 11:58:58

Be there and non judgemental (very difficult) could you get her to ready the Lundy Bancroft book do you think? Well done to you for being a lovely friend where others may give up on her flowers

woowoo22 Fri 02-Jan-15 12:01:02

Listen to her, think that's the biggest thing you can do.

Windywinston Fri 02-Jan-15 12:01:54

Do they have children?

Tell her you don't support her choices but you support her. Be there for her if you can, but always remind her that this is her choice and she can leave whenever she wants.

Try not to judge, it's hard for a person who has been broken down by abuse to leave.

Encourage her not to marry or have children with this man.

Distance yourself emotionally. She might never make the decision you want her to. Don't place any level of your own happiness on her decisions or his actions.

HootOnTheBeach Fri 02-Jan-15 12:04:29

Windy, no kids, but not for a lack of trying.

Windywinston Fri 02-Jan-15 12:07:18


CogitoErgoSometimes Fri 02-Jan-15 12:09:24

From the Womens Aid website you might find this link.... Things not to say and do ... useful

Sadly, abusive relationships are centred around coercive control. There's a high level of manipulation and intimidation which results in the total smashing of spirit. This makes it incredibly difficult for the victim to think clearly, let alone escape. There was a screening of Panorama recently on the subject and it was harrowing to watch a woman beaten black and blue, rescued by the police and still very reluctant to say anything against her husband.

If you think your friend is in immediate risk of harm, call the police. If there are any children involved, call in Social Services, NSPCC or Child Protection. Above all, understand that whilst it's good to be a friend, you are not obliged to stick around to watch the car crash unfold if it is making your life stressful and unhappy. You couldn't save your mother and you're not responsible for this woman either..

glammanana Fri 02-Jan-15 12:48:32

Being there for your friend is so important for your friend and not judging her choices just make sure she knows your door is always open to her,she should be made aware though it is far more difficult to leave if they ever have any children she will be tied to him for years to come.
I feel she will need to reach rock bottom before she makes the choice and no amount of advice will change her mind on this,is she frightened of being on her own if this relationship does break down ? it certainly does not look good for the long term.

fluffapuss Fri 02-Jan-15 19:37:19

Hello Hoot

I would continue to offer your support and help

However, some people like the "drama" of a bad relationship, the splitting up and making up

Ultimately, it has to be her decision and this may take some time, even years

Until she can see a better more positive life either on her own or with a new partner, she is likely to stay with the existing partner

She obviously deserves better

take care

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