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How to help friend in an abusive relationship

(8 Posts)
feelinghappy Sun 16-Aug-15 22:11:47

I've been friends with Sarah since we were at school - we're now 36. We both grew up with domestic violence. She went into an abusive relationship at 15 he left her for someone else when she was 23. Her mum died when we were 19. She became estranged from her dad & brother 3 years ago. She's like a part of my family - my mum treats her as one of her own as we all do - my children call her auntie etc.
She has always craved a family of her own - has talked about getting married & having a baby since she was 15.
The relationships she has had since have lasted about a year. She gives her all completely - does everything for them immerses herself completely in their lives. Talks about marriage etc.
She met the guy she is with 18 months ago. They very quickly (within 6 months of meeting) brought a house together & moved to a village only 40 mins away from me but 2.5 hours away from his family and friends. He showed her his nans engagement ring which he said would be hers in the near future but he "wants to propose properly" - that was a year ago.

She has recently been diagnosed with a chronic hip and knee problem so has given up work and been put on disability benefits. She has come off the pill so that they can try for a baby.

She has told me that he is becoming increasingly aggressive - shouting swearing, breaking things, punching walls. She has been sleeping on the sofa the past week.

From past experience I know that I can't just say "leave him" & she'll skip out of the door. So I have focused on trying to get her self back. She is entitled to a disability car (she sold her car when she stopped working) but she wants to give the money to her bf so he can upgrade his car! I've said she needs a car - for the sake of her physical health. I've suggested that she could try volunteering a couple of mornings a week (to get her out of the house) but she has said she can't because of her hip.
I've said she needs to try talking to him to work out what's going on.

I've tried focusing on the need for a car (I can go with her etc) & that she needs to talk to him (have some bullet points written down).

She won't do either! Instead she is sleeping on the sofa, joined a dating site & just messages me all the things he is doing wrong.

Dina1234 Sun 16-Aug-15 23:09:28

Try introducing her to some people that experienced violence from their fathers as children. if he is violent towards her he will brutal to any children that they have. try to get her to understand that he can't be a good father to her children and that she should find someone else.

maybebabybee Sun 16-Aug-15 23:15:23

Don't try and persuade her to leave. She won't do it until she is ready no matter how bad things are.

Just be there for her, validate her feelings and experiences and try not to judge. That's the best you can do flowers

feelinghappy Mon 17-Aug-15 07:27:10

We both grew up with violent fathers - she made the link herself between her bf behaviour and that of her father. & she's said he reminds her of her first bf aggressive behaviour which developed into violence

goddessofsmallthings Mon 17-Aug-15 09:38:16

I hope she goes back on the pill pronto - surely she's knows it would be insane to have a dc with this violent twunt?

Is she sleeping on the sofa because she can't get upstairs to bed? What is she doing on a dating site - is she hoping to hook a knight in shining armour who'll whisk her away from the hell she's living in?

feelinghappy Mon 17-Aug-15 10:17:35

She's sleeping on the sofa to show him how unhappy she is. I think she's waiting for him to turn into her knight in shining armour?! She said she's on dating sites for an ego boost - I've said this could make things worse - how would she feel if he did the same? I've also said to her if she does leave him she needs some time on her own to focus on rebuilding her confidence etc.

She's not listening to me which is so frustrating. She will only answer my calls messages of its to agree how badly he is behaving. But will ignore my messages if it's anything such as meeting up to look at cars or if I ask her if she's tried talking to him?

She knows she can stay at mine or my mums

feelinghappy Mon 17-Aug-15 10:20:14

She's told him she's going back on the pill but has admitted to me she hasn't started taking it yet!
Don't get me wrong I think he is a complete arse but she is playing games with him - don't think I can tell her that. It's so frustrating!

Smilingforth Mon 17-Aug-15 13:41:38

Wow very complicated. I sense that you just have to stay close and be there to catch this when it exploded; this sounds truly toxic

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