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Controlling man

(23 Posts)
Jungfraujoch Mon 13-Jul-15 13:06:13

Just looking for a bit of advice on how I can support a friend who has left her partner and is struggling to come to terms with the big hole he's left in her life (her words).

To other people he appears a larger than life character, good fun, maybe a little arrogant but generally 'nice'.

But in their relationship he very definitely just wanted it to be her and him. He didn't think it was right for her to see her friends on a weekend because that was their time, he didn't like it if her boss texted her - very, very rarely happened and one particular occasion that he did it was actually to congratulate her on a great week and invite her and colleagues out later that week for a celebratory drink - partner thought he had no place texting her on a Friday evening and should have waited til Monday!

He also wasn't keen on her going on girls only trips away. She works full time and he runs a business from home but on a very casual basis - as in he had plenty of time in his day to meet his friends, pursue his hobbies and just generally please himself. She would come home and washing wouldn't be done, no food in, dishwasher not emptied etc etc - you get the picture!

Anyway, sorry didn't mean this to be so long but I'm at a loss as to what to say to her to try and get him out of her head - it's almost like he's brainwashed her? She just keeps talking about the good times, and what good fun he was - seemingly forgetting about how crap he made her feel sometimes!

She knows it won't work between them again but I just want to help her move on a bit.

Thanks for reading this far ladies!

YNK Mon 13-Jul-15 13:23:56

Give her this (I had it for another poster but it sounds like your friend might benefit from it too. h

YNK Mon 13-Jul-15 13:24:12

Jungfraujoch Mon 13-Jul-15 13:38:06

Thank you very much YNK - that is very comprehensive - and in my eyes a lot of that is his behaviour, albeit maybe at a lower level IFYKWIM?

Pippin8 Mon 13-Jul-15 13:59:31

I have a close friend who is still in this kind of relationship. I am her only friend. Her partner has completely isolated her, she can't go out alone, he hates where she works as thinks she's having an affair, he doesn't like her kids & he has her running round after him & paying for him while he goes to the gym.

He works but only when suits (claims he's a property developer). He keeps ending it & messing with her head then running back with all these grand gestures & making up.

On the occasions when he's dumped her, I try to get her out for shopping or coffee. Then progress to meals & drinks. And just generally reassure her that there are good men out there & she'll meet someone else eventually. She's so scared of being alone in her 40's she just keeps having him back.

What about suggesting groups, joining a club etc.

Jungfraujoch Mon 13-Jul-15 17:13:29

I hope your friend finds the strength to leave Pippin. My friend's situation was not so severe, she did stand up to him and say she was seeing her friends, doing stuff etc but she often said she dreaded going home because she didn't know what sort of mood he'd be in. They were together for about a year and a half and the atmosphere was getting to her so if she had stayed I can only i,shine he would of ground her down even more eventually.

Jungfraujoch Mon 13-Jul-15 17:14:54

Assume not i shine! She gave him chances to change - he would start doing more round the house etc for a while but then would slip back.

Jungfraujoch Tue 14-Jul-15 14:36:21

So, today she has told me that she needs to explore her feelings for this man and she can only do this on her own and with him. I understand it's her decision - I shall sit back and watch it all go wrong again. I'm no psychiatrist but I think she's basically not happy in herself - string of failed relationships, loss of her father several years ago may be a factor? and is looking for something that just doesn't exist. Hey ho! hmm

Leostar Tue 14-Jul-15 15:40:21

Please please please ask her to google NPD Narcisstic Personality Disorder. Knowing what I'm potentially dealing with has giving me coping mechanisms for when he's been a totally unreasonable, controlling, selfish bastard. He sounds like the same as my STBXH!!

Be strong, don't give him the satisfaction of your reactions. You are better than him

Jungfraujoch Tue 14-Jul-15 17:39:50

Thanks Leostar. I will have to pick my moment! I would call his behaviour 'low level' but she was the one that was so unhappy that she made the decision to move out. Im confused! Sorry for what you are going through but you sound angry and anger causes action! Good luck!

goddessofsmallthings Tue 14-Jul-15 18:44:25

It's not her feelings for him she needs to explore - it's his feelings for her which need putting under the microscope as they're so bound up with the need to control her life it's unlikely that they have any depth, or are tantamount to genuine love of the kind which would seek to enhance her life.

Maybe she'll realise one day that life's too short to waste on an on/off relatonship with controlling tosser just because she's scared of being on her own.

Until then all you can do is bite your tongue stand ready with the wine for the inevitable to happen again.

Sickoffrozen Tue 14-Jul-15 19:23:36

Some people just won't listen.....

Bogeyface Tue 14-Jul-15 19:33:56

I have just finished reading a fantastic book about a woman who defected from North Korea. She said that many defectors really struggle with life in South Korea because they simply cant cope with the freedom. Not just the freedom to choose what to do with their lives but the responsibility that true freedom brings.

It is the freedom to fail, the freedom to make mistakes, that scares them. In many ways escaping an abusive controlling relationship can be like that. If you have been controlled in various ways most of your life, the idea of truly being free to make all your own decisions can be terrifying. I have often thought that this is a reason that many women return, being controlled feels safe. You are not allowed to make decisions but that means that you dont have to make decisions as someone else is doing all that for you. Thats why many defectors return to N Korea, despite knowing that they will probably be executed. Dying in chains is preferable to living without restraint.

The gap she refers too is probably that feeling. At the moment she is floating free as we all do, but because she has been tied down for so long, it doesnt feel safe, its scary.

All you can do is be there for her until she realises that it isnt him she misses, but security and that security can only come from inside her.

Jungfraujoch Tue 14-Jul-15 20:54:10

Wise words from you all - thank you.

Bogey face - your last paragraph sums it up!

Sleepsoftly Tue 14-Jul-15 22:00:59

He may not of liked particular things she did, and bet your bottom dollar she didn't like things he did either (and you said that OP).

It seems like they may have communicated little in their relationship and so they only have each other to blame.

And he didn't make her feel crap or brainwash her. She did that to herself.

buttonmoonboots Tue 14-Jul-15 22:09:24

Encourage her to do the Freedom Programme.

Jungfraujoch Wed 15-Jul-15 13:57:49

Your post has puzzled me Sleep. Would you not feel crap if your partner wasn't happy about you seeing your friends on a Friday or Sat eve? Or not wanting you to go away with your friends? ��

Jungfraujoch Sun 19-Jul-15 12:55:16

And so she's back with him - she didn't actually tell me (although maybe her message to me up thread was her way of saying so?) mutual friend text me this morning expressing surprise having seen pics on FB via another friend. Feeling a bit let down but it's her bed etc etc ....

frankbough Sun 19-Jul-15 16:56:57

I'm baffled as to why people invest so much emotional energy in other peoples relationships.. When people are married or in LONG term relationships some friends just cannot seem to grasp that certain types of behaviour may now be off limits and tbf not really appropriate...

Trying to surf between single lifestyle and marriage commitments is impossible and poor inter personal boundaries is one of the reasons relationships fail...

There seems to be a big fad at the moment that friendships are on an equal footing with relationship partners, they're not, people need to left to make there own choices.. Stop interfering...

Namechanger2015 Sun 19-Jul-15 17:01:55

Encourage her to do the Freedom Programme.

YES! This.

Jungfraujoch Sun 19-Jul-15 17:07:57

I'm not interfering! Just can't help being concerned for her and her kids plus not only emotional energy invested but practical too - I let her and daughter move into my house for a while when she left him, moved all her furniture and stored it here too. So I feel slightly let down that she hasn't told me. But it's her decision to go back with him, she knows my thoughts and I'll leave her to get on with it. Just be awkward when we speak/meet not to mention him.

frankbough Sun 19-Jul-15 17:16:47

It sounds to me she needs to focus her energies on herself and her children, on the one hand she has a potentially controlling man and on the other she has her friends both seem to be at odds with one another, with this person in the middle with poor emotional and personal boundaries being pulled from pillar to post..

Jungfraujoch Sun 19-Jul-15 17:21:15

Yes Frank she does! She said she needs to focus on her kids And only last week she told me that her daughter had said she didn't want him back in their lives.
And now they're together again and booked a holiday apparently, so I've heard. I give up!

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