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Need some advice on how to support a friend

(7 Posts)
DeathByMascara Sat 07-May-16 21:57:25

One of my best friends left her husband at Christmas time and told me once they'd separated that he had been abusing her, both physically and emotionally, for their whole 11 year relationship. They have two kids together, one of whom was unperturbed when they separated, the other who was actively pleased and asked my friend to make sure her next boyfriend spoke to her nicely. Some of the stories she told me broke my heart.

It transpires she's moved back in to the family home with the kids and they're making a go of it. I don't know what to say to her. I'm angry with her but I know I can't say this to her. Can anyone please tell me how best to support her??

2ManySweets Sat 07-May-16 22:05:51

This is so hard. Like you if be angry. Angry for the kids witnessing all the shit that WILL mess their heads up, plus angry with friend for having so little self esteem and go back to a chronically dysfunctional relationship.

I don't have much more to say than you need to swallow your opinion here, certainly for the short term and be there for her when (because it's a when not an if) she needs your shoulder to cry on.

It's her choice. I fully sympathise OP, I would be spitting feathers just at the sheer AWFULNESS of her situation (she must be in a chronic state to go back to emotional and physical abuse) but you can't "tough love" this, as you'll drive her away just when you could perhaps be doing with keeping an eye out.

Just be there for her. And swallow your despair and stand firm for her. Not doing this means you could lose her (and lose sight). X

DeathByMascara Sat 07-May-16 22:19:26

Thanks sweets I know I need to rein in my tongue. I'm just so sad for her, she's worth so much more than someone's punchbag and what are her kids going to learn from this?? Her husband is messed up because he watched his dad beat his mum up as a child, yet is repeating the same pattern. I just don't know how to be with her.

Have sent her a message saying I just don't know what to say to that and I'm always there for her. We're the type of friends these days that love each other, don't see each other often but it's always like it's been 10 mins since the last time we spoke. Because I'm not around all the time for her I worry. I know she has other friends but I don't know if she can talk to them as much.

It's such a mess. I just want to help her but leaving him was the best thing she ever did for herself and now she's gone back to him sad

RandomMess Sat 07-May-16 22:24:19

As well as doing what you can to listen/support her please report the situation to SS anonymously, perhaps contact the DC school so they report it to SS (they may have an inkling anyway) - it's considered abuse to let dc witness domestic violence. Hopefully their involvement will give her the ultimatum to leave.

It would be hard to be "two faced" if you report her sad

DeathByMascara Sat 07-May-16 22:35:20

SS have already been involved and deemed the kids to be unaffected (that was my interpretation of the outcome). And he's been arrested by police who witnessed him assaulting her - this was after the SS originally got involved.

RandomMess Sat 07-May-16 22:40:18

sadsadsad I wonder if womans aid can give you some advice on how to be there for her until she is ready to leave again.

DeathByMascara Sat 07-May-16 22:58:53

Thanks Random I'll think about that as well. If the relevant authorities are all aware then I imagine there's little can be done by them. Ideally I want her to realise it's a terrible idea and leave him for good but obviously I'm powerless to do that. I feel like I want to do something but not sure what that is.

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