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Is this controlling, abusive or OK?

(9 Posts)
thelastpersonthereis Wed 08-Jun-16 13:32:09

I have concerns about a friend. I know that her husband isn't physically, verbally or financially abusive, but I think he is quite controlling and I'm not sure if this spills over into emotional abuse. I'd like some opinions please if that's ok?

He works shifts, and whenever he is not at work, he expects my friend to be with him. He does not like her seeing friends or going anywhere when he's not at work, and if she arranges to do so, he makes thugs unpleasant for her by expressing his disapproval, then phoning/texting her a lot while she's out, often manipulating her into coming home before she has planned to.

If he is at work, he doesn't ask her not to go out, but he will still text/phone her several times while she's out and manipulate her into going home early.

He often sulks or strops if she talks to someone more than him when they're out and about and is very possessive. He treats her like a possession, not somebody he loves.

I'm aware that this is on the milder side of the spectrum, but t makes me so sad and angry to see my friend being manipulated and treated like a possession by the person who's supposed to care about her most. Am I right in thinking that this is an healthy relationship or am I being over sensitive about my friend?

Idontknowwhoiam Wed 08-Jun-16 13:37:55

Sounds like he's controlling and jealous to me... does she seem upset or annoyed?
Maybe it's a scheme set up as an excuse for her to leave early without hurting her friends feelings.
Ask her x

thelastpersonthereis Wed 08-Jun-16 13:39:35

She's not happy with it but accepts it without question.

Froginapan Wed 08-Jun-16 13:41:24

It's abuse.

AttilaTheMeerkat Wed 08-Jun-16 13:50:51

Your friend is being controlled, it is a dysfunctional relationship where the power and control is all his. She really has no say at all.

Controlling behaviour is abusive behaviour; it is all about power and control over the other person, in this case your friend. He really does not want her to be ever out of his sight because in his head he really does think she is going to go off with another man. Keeping her a prisoner is his gilded cage is the usual way such inadequate men operate.

If she is unhappy then you need to talk gently to her and over time about him and how she feels about the relationship. Do not just tell her outright to leave, get her to work on her own feelings.

What do you mean when you write that you are aware this is on the milder side of the spectrum?. What spectrum?. What are you assuming wrongly here?. It makes me wonder what you learnt yourself about relationships when growing up. There is no justification at all for the ways in which he is acting. He is out and out abusing her and he is really messing with her head. She will need a lot of support in order to leave him because these men really get into their chosen victim's head. He targeted her.

Men and women who go onto control others can behave like this through childhood conditioning as well and controlling behaviour is often learnt from childhood onwards.

hellsbellsmelons Wed 08-Jun-16 13:56:16

Do they have children?

Blimey even my (back then) 17 YO DD managed to finish with her BF because he displayed exactly the things you state above that your friend puts up with.
If my 17 YO can see it and get out then so can your friend.

Unless there are kids etc....
Do they own a house together?

thelastpersonthereis Wed 08-Jun-16 14:51:40

Thanks for your responses. It's interesting that you seem to think that I am correct. I expected to be told that I am over sensitive and that he is a bit of an idiot with some control issues, but not abusive. For the record, I think he is abusive too. When I say it's mild, I mean that emotional abuse can be much more severe than this.

Yes, they have children. I don't even think that she wants to leave. She knows that other people don't have this issue in their relationships but accepts it as something she has to do to keep him happy. She hasn't got very good self esteem (hmmm, I wonder why hmm)

AttilaTheMeerkat Wed 08-Jun-16 15:46:14

Why did you expect to be told that you are over sensitive and that he is a bit of an idiot with some control issues?. I think you yourself need to think about that. You are not over sensitive at all and this man your friend is with is an abuser. Its as simple as that, he is certainly not just a bit of an idiot with control issues.

Re your comment:-
"When I say it's mild, I mean that emotional abuse can be much more severe than this".

You're wrong there, this is not mild at all and abuse does not operate in a continuum of severity. Abuse is a continuous cycle of nice/nasty. Abuse is about power and control. He is abusing her in multiple ways. He wants absolute control over her. What she is experiencing is coercive control and that is now against the law as well.

He would certainly be found in Lundy Bancroft's book called "Why does he do that?". You may want to read that publication yourself to further understand the dynamics.

As I stated before controlling behaviour is abusive behaviour.
The only acceptable level of abuse within a relationship is NONE. Your friend is in an abusive relationship and in turn her children are as well.
Fear obligation and guilt also keep her within this; she is very afraid of him and he has likely made her believe that she is nothing and could not manage without him. He may well have threatened her with violence if she did leave. All this conspires to keep women like your friend within such a relationship.

She is only responsible for her own happiness, not his. She cannot act as a rescuer or saviour in a relationship. He would have acted the self same regardless of whom he was with frankly because he is at heart abusive. Men like him really hate women, all of them.

What does she think her children are learning about relationships here?. I would ask her that question. They are learning from their parents about relationships and they could well go onto form abusive relationships themselves when adults. Her children are picking up on all this and see this as "normal". It is clearly not.

thelastpersonthereis Thu 09-Jun-16 14:39:50

I've read Lundy Bancroft's book (I was in an abusive relationship some years back and read it to help to come to terms with what I'd been through). I had a look through his book re: my friend's situation before I posted on here and I couldn't find anything that fitted her situation properly - her partner is controlling but only in certain situations. My gut says that he is abusive though, which is why I posted on here to see what others thought.

So...how do I get her to understand that she is in an abusive relationship?

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