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how to support my friend in her relationship

(17 Posts)
NamesNick Sat 03-Jan-15 17:17:55

initially it was me, dp and his mate who would go out together so after a while I thought id introduce dps mate to my friend.
my friend wasn't long out of a relationship but as I already knew dps mate and thought he was a good guy, I thought a bit of fun was just what my friend needed.

anyway 3 months in and I kid you not, I could not have been more wrong about this guy.

they both like a drink, and seem to kick off at every opportunity, I get phone calls in the middle of the night from my friend, she is hysterical and asking to be collected. ..he is in the background being abusive towards her. A few times I have turned up at his house to collect my friend and before I even got to the house I could hear him screaming abuse at her. she is no angel either but my initial thoughts were to get her away from the abuse in order for her to think clearly...each time I've seen/heard awful things between them. he is very overpowering (a big lad) and she has had to literally fight her way past to get out the house.

I don't actually get involved anymore because they always end up back together after his grovelling and crying. its only been 3 months. they are both in their 30's but they just seem to love being volatile and creating drama.

lately my friend has become a little withdrawn. asking his permission just to nip to the shops or to my house for a brew.

today when she came to mine for a cuppa (and to use the loo grin ) she was here for say an hour and a half and on her return to him he went off on one. so they have spent all afternoon arguing. obviously I am not there and cannot know what is being said. but from what I have seen and heard and also been told he is just no good for her. seems he wants her as a possession and to control her life.

yes I am over involved, or whatever the current buzzword is but my friend talks to me, we both talk to each other and I have noticed a massive difference in her demeanor which worries me.

how do I support her in what she wants to do when I can see from an outside point of view that this is bad for her. I don't know what to do for the best.
he is a horrible person to her. im also a bit annoyed that I didn't spot how much of an arse he was in the first place albeit he has always been lovely with me...

she tells me she knows how awful he is and dreads being with him, yet they spend most nights together. weekends are the worst when they have a drink she knows she needs to remove herself from his company but doesn't. does that mean she loves the drama too?

this has been on my mind a lot over the festive period because the manipulation and abuse has really stepped up a level

how can I just leave it? should I just be an ear/shoulder for her and see how it all pans out? it is exhausting!

CogitoErgoSometimes Sat 03-Jan-15 17:46:50

All this in just three months? I can see how you would feel a sense of responsibility given that you introduced them but it's remarkable that the thing has gone from nought to disastrous in the space of just a few weeks! Sounds like you misjudged not only the abuser but also your friend who must have been in a pretty vulnerable state to begin with. What does DP say about his mate? What is he doing?

Quite honestly I think you need the police to intervene. If it's this bad now, she is in serious danger. When she's on the phone and he's in the background hurling abuse.... call 999.

MelenieBrewster Sat 03-Jan-15 17:55:04

Agree with Cog

You being on call to rescue her whenever this happens is not helping and could put you in danger. Call the police next time.

NamesNick Sat 03-Jan-15 18:00:49

that's the thing which baffles me most cogito, my friend is (was) one of the strongest people I know. we have always laughed at her 'take no shit' approach to almost everything.
we have known each other a long time and we know each other in side out.
she was looking for a new relationship (as had joined POF etc) so I thought it would be fun to be a foursome iyswim. how wrong was I!!

dp and his mate never discuss women etc - the extent of tjeir friendship is beers down the pub, sports and general fact I would normally discuss relationship type stuff with dps mate before my friend came along.
obviously there was never an inkling that he would be like this.
dp thinks I should just be there for my friend but try not to let this consume me as he thinks im involving myself too much...which I am to an extent, but I do feel responsible.

phoning the policeshock that does seem a bit drastic and could potentially bring more trouble.

CogitoErgoSometimes Sat 03-Jan-15 18:25:35

Drastic? Don't you think a situation where a woman is living in fear and subjected to repeated abusive behaviour is drastic? If you saw someone in the street being subjected to the same treatment would you walk on by, leave them to it, and turn a blind eye?

This is serious stuff . Women die this way. If you call the police it is not the end of the story and it is not an instant fix. But if you know criminal behaviour is happening you're obliged to get help.

Does your friend have DCs?

ChristinaMatthews Sun 04-Jan-15 05:29:10

Are you just getting involved in the drama and not actually seeing how serious this is? Your friend could be killed by this tosser.

AmantesSuntAmentes Sun 04-Jan-15 06:01:23

It sounds like you feel calling the police is an over reaction. Is it because as you said, you think she might like the drama? The thing is, you are party to that drama when you respond to her calls. I wouldn't do nothing and leave her in that situation but nor would I continue to facilitate the cycle.

Honestly, an anonymous call to the police, saying you've heard a disturbance at this address and are concerned a woman is in trouble, should have them trotting over to check it out.

This really could be just the wake up call your friend needs in order to extricate herself. If not, then do it again. Keep doing it until he decides he doesn't want a record and she realises just how dire this relationship is.

NamesNick Sun 04-Jan-15 12:08:25

spent some time with friend last night and discussed at length her 'escape plan'

good thing is she realises that this is no good for her and is going to finish with this guy.

I expect when the time comes - which according to her it will be soon - we will need to phone the police. she actually suggested this last night so I wouldn't feel so bad being the one making the call.

fwiw I have had to call police on an incident in the past and it brought no end of trouble to my door. this was pre dc and I was able to cope with the aftermath, but now with four dc under my roof I hope you can understand my reticence to go down that route again.

for now friend has agreed to record, where possible, any incidents of abuse.

I never really understood 'gaslighting' until now as this man is so good at turning things round and friend ends up apologising for things she has not done. he makes her feel stupid and blatantly denies anything she says he has done or said

CogitoErgoSometimes Sun 04-Jan-15 12:13:28

Do you think the trouble would come from the police if you reported it? Do you think this 'mate' would threaten reprisals? I'm sorry but I would be very pessimistic that your friend is going to either escape or report. She may be saying all this to get you off her back. Be prepared.

CogitoErgoSometimes Sun 04-Jan-15 12:15:41

If your friend called Women's Aid 0808 2000 247 they could guide her through how to get shot and stay safe at the same time. FWIW the usual advice is to contact the police non emergency number 101, speak in confidence to the DV unit and then they are aware of the abuse and on stand by should things turn nasty.

NamesNick Sun 04-Jan-15 12:24:15

Thanks cogito.
this is all very odd to her as she finds herself completely drawn in by him. personally I do believe she enjoys the apologies etc when he is begging forgiveness etc. i told her that last night too.
she admitted she was in an abusive relationship though.
I will keep the WA number handy

NamesNick Sun 04-Jan-15 12:26:54

I don't think trouble would come from the police.
I believe there could be reprisals from him (and maybe from her) and then I wouldn't be in a position to talk to her.
I feel I do need to be careful because as long as she is talking to me about it then she is not trying to hide it...I believe if the police were called and she knew it was me then she would go silent on me and possibly pretend all was ok.

NamesNick Sun 04-Jan-15 12:29:12

having said that I think an anonymous call the next time they are at it could be good.

it could be anyone who made that call

CogitoErgoSometimes Sun 04-Jan-15 12:55:55

You just said that she's planning to leave and accepts that the police may need to be involved. If that's the plan, why would she go quiet on you? Why would there be reprisals? As for the 'mate'... bullies tend to be cowards.

Give your friend the WA number and tell her that calls to it do not appear on itemised bills. Does she have her own place? Are there children involved? Might she need refuge?

AmantesSuntAmentes Sun 04-Jan-15 16:14:39

having said that I think an anonymous call the next time they are at it could be could be anyone who made that call
Exactly! If you could hear him from the road, then any passerby or neighbour could too.

I have 4 DC too, op. If anything, they would make me more inclined to involve the authorities, because if one of them became a victim of an abuser in the future, I truly hope someone would help.

NamesNick Sun 04-Jan-15 16:41:22

I need to be really careful here because friend can be really impulsive and say things in the moment and totally go back on what she had said.

I have asked her if she means what she is saying and not just saying it because she thinks that's what I expect her to say.

I don't want her feeling bullied by him and then bullied by me to an extent. where she doesn't actually know her own mind.

I am certain, and have discussed with dp that the next time I get a call then I will be calling the police to report abuse.

whatever the fall out from that can only be better than the current situation.

friend lives apart from this guy, but during the holidays she has been kinda kept prisoner by him - and was only allowed out to see me last night if she could be at his for him coming home from work shock which she did.

CogitoErgoSometimes Sun 04-Jan-15 16:55:11

You said originally that your friend wasn't long out of a relationship. Do you know why that one ended? Do you think it was abusive? Because she sounds - and this isn't a diagnosis - very fragile, somewhat unstable, and rather vulnerable in the context of this relationship. However confident she may appear in other aspects of life, if she's encountered abusive partners before, it can be extremely damaging

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