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How can I help male colleague (and does he need help)?

(4 Posts)
NewUsernameForTheDay Tue 10-May-16 16:32:14

Hi there,

I've had a quick name change as I feel pretty bad writing this on a public forum in case I'm wrong.

I'm worried that my male colleague is being abused by his wife.

His wife has a history of (mental?) health issues, it seems inappropriate to ask the details, but in general it seems to have led to some pretty needy and controlling behaviour, panic attacks, seizures etc. TBH I'm pretty grey about the details as I don't want to ask too much.

I've never met the wife, but I am on friendly terms with my colleague, so I've made it clear that I really sympathetic and that the team is flexible to his needs (i.e. when he needs to take time off to take care of her).

More recently he's started coming in with bruises and scratches on his arms and cheeks - he passes it off that he has been trying to keep her safe when she's been having a meltdown (or maybe actual seizure).

But I'm really worried that he is being abused, but I don't know how to even start offering help.

Does his explanation seem plausible, or is there something I can/should be doing to help?

AntiqueSinger Tue 10-May-16 21:02:22

It sounds as though his wife's mental illness is very severe and I would conjecture (as the details are not very clear at this point) that there are three possible scenarios: His wife lashes out at him due to unstable personality or just being a violent woman 2. Due to mental illness she attempts to hurt herself and he intervenes and the scars are a result of this confrontation. 3. He is actually violent to her and she retaliates to defend herself. 4. None of the above; he has a new rough sport or something.

Based on your post I'm thinking either 1 or 2 likeliest. I think you ultimately need to find a way get him to talk to get a clearer picture.

coco1810 Tue 10-May-16 21:07:32

Have you got a HR department? I would have a chat to them if possible.

lljkk Tue 10-May-16 21:12:18

I you don't have a suitable HR dept to advise... I imagine social services are the people who could help him, and he needs to make decision to contact him. I would talk to him about maybe it would be good to see what support they can offer. He has told you a fair bit already, hasn't he?

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