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How can I help my friend?

(27 Posts)
scribbles1980 Thu 25-Aug-16 14:13:40

So long standing friend of mine. He is a truly lovely guy.
Wife has suddenly decided after being together for 28 years she no longer wants to be married.
Could write a book about the things she has done. She has really really been nasty
She has now been saying (and I think this is a way to get legal aid) that he has been abusive over the last 10 years of their marriage.
I know for certain this is not true. He is in absolute pieces. He is still very much in love with her & didn't see this coming at all.
I don't now how to help him.
Also how does he prove that she is telling lies about the abuse?
I wish he could start hating her but he feels that life is not worth living without her.
Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Crispbutty Thu 25-Aug-16 14:21:38

Some people seemed to think my ex husband was a lovely guy. To them he was. He gave a brilliant performance of being the hurt and injured party too when I left him. In reality he had been mentally and physically abusive to me for years. I'm not suggesting the same goes for your friend, but behind closed doors you do not know what their relationship was like.

Legal aid is not easy to get. I got it because my ex finally lost it in public when I made the decision to leave. He tried to kill me and I had to involve the police.

He still got support by lying to his friends about me and that hurt me a lot and still does. They still see him as the good guy who just lost the plot once because I left.

All I am saying is there is sometimes more going on than anyone else really knows no matter how close to their friend they think they are.

bluecashmere Thu 25-Aug-16 14:30:09

She won't get legal aid anyway (or it's very unlikely).

As PP said, you never know what goes on. It might be as you say but you do only know half the story.

The only thing you can do is be a supportive friend. Not sure what other advice there would be to give really.

scribbles1980 Thu 25-Aug-16 14:55:44

I know 100% that he hasn't been abusive. I have lived with them & Been friends with them both for years.
She told me a while ago how happy she is with him.
They have had their arguments but she definitely gives as good as she gets.
Believe me the things she has done since the split have been awful.

It is only recently that she has been saying about 'living in fear' . When they first split she just said she didn't love him anymore.
She refuses to speak to him & fear that he will do something stupid.
She didn't like his family (who he was very close to) so he went NC with them to please her.
I don't think that is the action of a abusive man?

FreeFromHarm Thu 25-Aug-16 15:01:20

What type of statement is ' I wish he would start hating her', are you his new partner.... friend , you have no idea what has happened and its between the 'friend' and his wife

TheNaze73 Thu 25-Aug-16 15:04:14

She sounds cold & manipulative. Sounds like she has OM on the face of it.

Think you just need to be there for him & be as supportive as you can

Blushingm Thu 25-Aug-16 15:04:36

You have no idea what goes on between them - you've never been with them 24/7.

My advice would be to make no assumptions - listen but don't take sides and in no way get involved

scribbles1980 Thu 25-Aug-16 15:19:39

No I am not the OW FreeFrom I am happily married.
If there has been any abuse in their marriage it has come from here.
I really don't want to post too much details as it could out me.
She has cut out friends & family who wouldn't take 'her side'. Even being neutral wasn't an option.
The reason I said that I wished he could hate her is because of the state he is in. She really is the love of his life.
I really don't want to get into the is he/isn't he abusive.
Would like some advise on how he can prove that he hasn't abused her & what are her chances if getting legal aid?

FreeFromHarm Thu 25-Aug-16 15:27:23

It was just a simple question as you seem to know quite a lot about their relationship that was all. Would advise strongly you stay out of it completely, a divorce is stressful enough as it is without another party getting involved.
As a previous poster has said, legal aid wise, there is very strict criteria, under Marac agencies and a history of abuse)
As you getting proof..... You do not know what went on only what he has told you and it is not your business to prove otherwise , totally inappropriate advice to ask for.

And before you start being curt with me, I am an abused xw.

Helloooooooo Thu 25-Aug-16 15:34:30

I can't think of anything you personally could do.

As for him, he needs to get legal advice. I assume they are divorcing and she is petitioning him? Depending on how serious the claims are, he might not have to prove anything. The divorce might be perfectly straight forward. Unless it's a police matter of course.

I agree that you can't know exactly what went on and you have to leave them to it.

scribbles1980 Thu 25-Aug-16 15:39:03

FreeFrom
I was not being curt with you. Perfectly acceptable to ask if I was the other woman.
But I wanted you to know I am not and there is no love interest there.
I didn't ask how I can get proof I asked how he could prove he hasn't been abusive.
As for staying out of it he is a very close and good friend of mine. Should I stay out of it if it was a woman asking for my help?
I am sorry that you have been abused. I suffered an abusive (physically, mentally and sexully) relationship too.
However, I refuse to tare everyman with the same brush.
I am sorry if I am being curt now but I don't think I deserve your attack.
By the way if I was on here asking about a friend who was a woman would I be getting the same response?

Luvjubs Thu 25-Aug-16 15:42:37

How do you know '100% that he has not been abusive towards her'?

Missgraeme Thu 25-Aug-16 15:43:52

Unless she has police evidence to show dv she won't get legal aid. It must be proven abuse not just say so.

scribbles1980 Thu 25-Aug-16 15:51:45

Luvjubs I guess I can't say 100% but I have witnessed their relationship over many many years and I think I would have noticed something.
Maybe, maybe not. But from her actions I am prepared to stand by him.
Maybe I am wrong. Bit surely not all women saying they are abused are telling the truth?
As I said I had a very abusive relationship and I would not want any woman to suffer or be frightened of speaking out.
My post wasn't about is he abusing her it was asking for advise on how to help him.
I don't think I would be getting this if the situation was the other way around.

FeedMeAndTellMeImPretty Thu 25-Aug-16 15:54:39

Nobody knows what goes on between a couple except them. Even if you live with them, are you in bed when one of them makes a snarky remark to coerce the other into sex? Are you aware of all their finances or the way one of them over spends and then makes the other feel guilty for spending on themselves? Do you have any concept of how people behave differently in front of others to when they are alone?

You honestly cannot say you are 100% sure your friend isn't abusive. Nobody knows - sometimes not even the abuser themselves.

My XH seemed genuinely surprised when I told him how hurt I was by the way he treated me for 14 years, he thought he was just being 'rational and sensible' as he had perfectly good reasons why he was allowed to spend money and I wasn't. Would I have told other people about it? No way, I was too embarrassed at being treated like a naughty child and the most hurtful 'jokes' he made about my appearance would never have been shared in front of other people.

If it helps his DW to get the divorce moving by making it about unreasonable behaviour rather than having to wait 2 years to divorce due to separation then I can see why she might want to exaggerate some stuff, but fwiw it doesn't usually make any difference in how things are split between them. If there's no official record of abuse, it won't help her to get legal aid or make any difference to access arrangements for any DCs.

Obviously he doesn't have to agree with whatever she puts on her divorce petition, and he can stall it for as long as he likes but when it gets to 2 years she doesn't need any evidence of being mistreated.

The fact that it has come completely out of the blue is odd to me, if he honestly has no idea that she was so unhappy I'd have to say they weren't that close at all. If she was really acting as if she was still totally in love with him she's obviously some sort of psychopath and he's well rid.

FreeFromHarm Thu 25-Aug-16 15:56:07

Not attack you at all, sorry you were a fellow sufferer, Which makes it even harder to understand why you would want to get involved when you truly do not know the whole story , surely your friend has not disclosed everything to you, that is my point.
You asked for advice, being defensive on the answers which you are given , and it is not only me saying staying out of it btw.
Remember there are two sides to every story, how passionately you feel you want to help your male friend , it is their divorce .

PenelopePitstop24 Thu 25-Aug-16 16:05:23

Why are people attacking this thread?

Just because he is a man and he's been accused of this doesn't mean he did. Both men and women get accused of abuse, but it doesn't mean in every case it is true. Sometimes there is an ulterior motive.

I have a best friend that is male and if it was the same situation I would be looking for any advice I could get to help him. Doesn't mean I have any interest in him, it's just hard to watch your friend go through something so horrible when you know it isn't true.

So if we go on the assumption he didn't do any of this as you said, I still doubt she will get any legal aid. It just looks like she's spiteful and looking for the best ways to hurt him.

Be there for him as much as you can, try and do stuff with him to take his mind off of her, but ultimately he needs to see her for what she is by himself.

Unfortunately, as much as you have good intentions and want to help, love is blind.

scribbles1980 Thu 25-Aug-16 16:33:45

Thank you do much Penelope
I really feel that I am being attacked for wanting to help my friend.
As I have said I really think if I were talking about a female friend the responses would be a lot different.
The things she has done recently have been very spiteful & she is very manipulative.
Feedme do you know what I really think she is a psychopath and I am not the only person to gave said it.
I really do not want to go into details but her actions are not that of a sane woman.
To be told to keep out of it I find really offensive. Lots of women have been on here asking for advise regarding separation and divorce and have been advised to talk to real life friends.

MatildaTheCat Thu 25-Aug-16 16:50:32

I think he should consider getting a solicitor to write to her in very firm terms advising her of the laws of the land regarding slander and libel. It's disgraceful that someone's reputation can be stained forever more by lies about abuse. ( this is obviously assuming that he is speaking the truth and she is lying.)

scribbles1980 Thu 25-Aug-16 17:49:02

Just been reading my posts back and I'm sorry for all the typos and spelling mistakes.
Thanks for the (few) positive replies.
I am not going to stay out of it. He is my friend and I want to help.
I wish I could say all the things she has done but it would completely out me.
I'm very sorry for women that have been through abusive relationships. Having survived one myself I know how terrible it is.
I do not believe her & I really think that she is trying to destroy him.
I will continue to support him as much as I can. Which I would have done if this was a female friend.

RedTitsMcGinty Thu 25-Aug-16 20:55:06

OP, my STBXH accused me of emotionally abusing and sexually assaulting him. This destroyed my world. It was nearly a year before he admitted he "got it wrong". He has bipolar disorder and borderline personality disorder - and it turned out he was also cheating on me. I'm rebuilding my life but this will haunt me for a long time, because it has shaken me to the core that he could think (and his illness meant he did actually think) that I would hurt him. My friends - including mutual friends - thankfully recognised that it was his illness that led to the accusations and they provided support for me. While I want to always believe anyone who says they are facing abuse, it has left me very, very damaged at being falsely accused.

scribbles1980 Thu 25-Aug-16 21:13:31

Thank you RedTits (love the name by the way).
I'm sorry that you went through this. It is awful being accused of something so terrible.
This is how he feels, his whole reputation is on the line & maybe she is ill. Some of the things she has done are defenitley not normal behaviour.
I'm glad you had support. This is what has really annoyed me about some of the posters telling me to keep out of it.
I hope you continue to rebuild your life flowers

MakeMyWineADouble Thu 25-Aug-16 21:25:55

I'm not saying don't get involved and help where you can. But I would be very careful how if she's as manipulative as you have said she may try and use you as a way of making your friend look bad.

Lovelydiscusfish Thu 25-Aug-16 21:36:24

Scribbles, your posts have touched me as I fairly recently supported my friend through his bloody awful divorce.
I think all you can do is be there for him, and listen to him, through the good times and the bad. There is not much concrete help an outsider can offer in these circumstances.
My friend was still in love with his wife (although she had been unfaithful many times). So it didn't help if I sounded angry about her behaviour (though believe me, I was). Also, he had a number of kids with her, and I couldn't sit there criticising my friend's kids' mum.
He went through ups and downs - times when he'd be excited about the future, others when he was just so sad and spoke about how much he loved her. You just have to listen neutrally and supportively to it all.
And hopefully he will come out of it well and happy, as thankfully my friend has, two years down the line.
Good luck!

0dfod Thu 25-Aug-16 21:48:15

Op some things that you can so to help your friend,

Suggest that he asks his gp for a counselling referral, also is gp may help if he is suffering from lack of sleep, stress and anxiety.

Do some simple shoping for him, easy to digest foods such as soups and smoothies. Multi vitamin and mineral supplements may help if he is eating erratically, zinc and bit c will help to support his immune system. Immune system can become repressed when stress occures.

Listen to him and let him know that you are there for him.

Suggest that he gets support from his family and friends.

Herbs such as st johnswort (mild to moderate depression) scull cap (anxiety), valerian (anxiety and sleep) and hops can have calming effects, however always check that they are safe with any medication he may be on etc.

suggest to him that going out for walks can help to clear the head and
reduce stress by raising endorphins, or what ever other exercise he prefers.

A short break away from it all can work wonders.

just some practical things off the top of my head.

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