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Should I say anything?(11 Posts)
My gut instinct is NO, but I am not totally sure.
I was with a man (let's call him Fred) for 20 years. We have 2 kids. 3 and 12.
The week I was in hospital giving birth to the toddler, he got with a new woman. Lets call her Amy.
These are not their names, but they are short and easy to type!
After Fred left, I began to realise what a controlling bully he was. (Still is, I guess)
The relief was immense! Even with getting ds to school and clubs with a newborn, it was a relief.
No sulking, stropping, being made to feel awful for not wearing the clothes "he thinks I should wear, to make him feel horny all day"
No questioning of me spending the money I earn. Or seeing my friends.
Being able to move without being molested. Being able to go to bed without being pressured into sex.
Just being allowed to be me. To be normal.
Have met Amy a few times, when Fred bothered to visit the dcs. She seems ok. A bit quiet/meek, but polite enough for the few minutes we have been together.
He has been sulking with her, he messed up with texts. He was texting me about ds Xmas present, and texting her after a fight. He sent the grovelling apology to me.
Last time they came to see ds, Amy looked awful! Wearing clothes that were extremely old for her and too small. Uncomfortably small. Nothing like the clothes she normally wears. For the past 3 years, she has been jeans/vest/trainers. And quite happy. (Similar to me, so no comment there)
But on one of the rainiest/coldest days in December, she was squeezed in a mini skirt and heels. They came visiting on the train, followed by a long walk.
Unless she has lost the plot, she would not wear these things on a cold wet day?
And she would buy them in her size? She is 40 something. 46? 47? So not a kid.
Yes, I know people change tastes/styles as they get older.
But this just strikes me as the same controlling behaviour he used with me.
They live 100 miles away (roughly), so I wouldn't actually 'go and talk to her', but I am concerned about her welfare. He did hit me a couple of times.
Is there a way I can warn her? Without her thinking I am interfering and trying to get him back?
There is no way I would ever take him back! I changed the locks the minute I knew he was gone!
I know I should not interfere. He is nothing to do with us any more. But if something happened to Amy, I would feel a bit guilty as I know what Fred is like.
Very difficult situation. She is unlikely to take anything you say to her in the spirit in which it's intended (assuming it's being done to try and win this 'prize' back). On the other hand, who knows, it could be the small ray of light she needs to realise it isn't just her, he's always been like this, and she needs to get away.
The fall out is likely to be severe in terms of your co-parenting relationship with your ex, how often does he actually see ds?
I suppose you don't know anyone in common with her except the ex? No-one who could pass a message on? No way to reach out to her mum or anything like that?
WhyCant, you really are a very lovely person to care about Amy the way you do
It's very tricky. I don't think you can guess how she will react. If she mentions it to him, he would say you were desperate to get him back. It's possible he could become difficult if he found out.
But despite all that, I think I'd want to say something. Ideally face to face or by phone, so that he cannot intercept the message. I'd tell her that I'd noticed a change in her, I hoped she was happy, but I feared that Fred was hurting her the way he hurt me.
It's entirely up to you. You don't owe her a duty of care. It's doubtful you would get any thanks. But it may help her realise what happens (even if she's rude to you, it may open her eyes).
You could be indirect next time you meet her. Stay in your PJs or whatever ex dislikes and say something like sorry for being underdressed, you love it now and couldn't cope with all the controlling behaviours when you were with ex. I'm not articulating well but hope it makes sense.
Could you say you'll be happy to listen if she ever needs to confide in someone about him? If she's beginning to realise she's being controlled she may be able to turn to you. If not, at least you have tried
Fred sees the kids about 3 times a year. Maximum. Sometimes not even once in a year.
Country, you do make sense! But I don't think I fancy walking around a big city in my nightwear. I don't own pjs! Joggers could work, I guess.
We only ever meet in a neutral or busy place. For our safety.
I don't know anybody who they know. Apart from his mother. Who is worse than him!
He is living in her house. She had the house before she met him. She has thrown him out a few times, so he went crawling back to his mum...
I know their address. Would it be worth googling an 'abuse helpline' in their area and getting them to post out some flyers? So it looks like they just came with the post? Like the hearing aid or sofa covers advert?
You could write her a letter and post it to her address. Either anonymously (just say that you have noticed change in her behaviour and her partner seems to be controlling her - you could still go from the angle that you know her partner and what he is capable of but she doesn't need to put up with it and she can get help) or actually from yourself. Whatever you feel is best. Anonymously would be better so he doesn't come
Do you have Amy's phone number or any means of contacting her without going through him or waiting to see if she appears when his next visit to the dcs rolls round?
I honestly wouldn't get involved, she's a woman in her forties and must know what he is doing to her, she goes along with it, her choice.
if it wasn't her it would be someone else - so glad you got away from such an evil nasty brute of a man.
It's frightening how many women on here are stuck with horrible nasty men!
I understand your concern and desire to help.
I believe that Amy will start to see Fred as controlling, and think about protecting herself, in her own time. Only when she herself is ready. Before that, anything you say will be dismissed.
When (and if) she is ready, though, there will be plenty of sources of validation and support for her to turn to. Think about the process you had to go through yourself.
You could speak to her, or not. It won't make her leave him. Best case scenario, she will file your words in her memory and return to them for validation once she is in the process of leaving him. But in the immediate, she is more than likely to just dismiss what you say, as long as her desire to stay with him trumps her desire to be respected.
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