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Friend constantly criticises her husband

(25 Posts)
And123456 Tue 22-Nov-16 11:29:30

I'm looking for a bit of advice regarding whether or not I should say anything about the way my friend treats her husband. They've been married for about five years and have a 4 year old and a 9 month old baby. She treats him like crap, ordering him about like a slave and constantly criticising everything he does in front of people. He seems quite depressed and has been very quiet but doesn't seem to stand up to her. He's a lovely guy and is trying his hardest to be a good dad and husband so it's very hard to watch. Should I say something to him? Or her? Or should I keep out of it? To be honest I'm going off her as a friend because of it.

SoleBizzz Tue 22-Nov-16 11:32:34

I know a couple like this too. Does your friend tru to treat you the same way?

SmellySphinx Tue 22-Nov-16 11:38:15

Eek! Nope I wouldn't unless I was a fly on the wall in their house and I knew everything. Obviously not possible. He could be a total prick behind closed doors. Not saying that this kind of relationship doesn't exist because it does I'm sure.
Did you know her husband at all beforehand or outside of the relationship?

Happybunny19 Tue 22-Nov-16 11:42:30

Could you chip in with a "what did your last slave die of" type remark to highlight the embarrassing, inappropriate comments she makes in front of you? Depending on how close friends you are, could you tell her how inappropriate it is to talk down to him in front of the kids? Do you think she would respond ok if he spoke to her like that? I would definitely not speak to him about it though, she's your friend and she may feel threatened if you approach him, especially if she perceived it as against her. Tread very carefully.

ZoFloMoFo Tue 22-Nov-16 11:45:15

I wouldn't speak to him, but I might say something to her about it.

Be prepared to lose the friendship over it though if you do say something.

SeaEagleFeather Tue 22-Nov-16 11:45:58

I think in the end you need to generally keep out of it. This sort of thing can go very wrong. If you do say anything, something on the lines of 'if things are ever difficult, then I'm always here for you to talk to'. It's an indirect way of finding out what's maybe going on.

If it becomes unbearable then you'll have to step back from the friendship.

Sadly if someone is being abused, generally only they themselves can do anything about it. They have to find the courage from somewhere, if they want to free themselves.

ProcrastinatingSquid2 Tue 22-Nov-16 11:47:08

Maybe you could ask her if she's happy, tactfully obviously... Then if she asks why, you could mention that you've noticed from the way she speaks to him she doesn't seem particularly happy. Again, tactfully. It mighr seem more like you're trying to understand why she's being like this then, and she's perhaps more likely to be open to comments if she feels you're coming at it from her angle and not his.

Iamthinking Tue 22-Nov-16 12:09:03

I would approach it as procrastinating says. A 'how are things between you two' conversation. Only because I just could not conceive of how else to start the conversation in which she is inevitably going to become very defensive and is unlikely to go well.

If as you say, you are going off her, then your friendship may be over anyway so you personally have nothing else to which case you could lay it all out there, no shilly shallying...?

coocoocachew Tue 22-Nov-16 12:14:17

If she's a close friend then I'd be checking with her that she's ok and tactfully point out that thinks seem a bit icy between them. If she wants to open up to you about it - depending on what she says - offer some advice on how she's coming across

gretagoodhouse Tue 22-Nov-16 12:22:08

I would definitely say something about it!

I don't usually like it when people jump in with "but what if it was a man and not a woman". But in this instance, it's instantly what I thought. She's being abusive!

If I saw that a female friend was being constantly belittled, criticised and ordered about in public by her husband, I would be really worried and I wouldn't think twice about asking if she is OK and helping her get away from him. Equally, if it was a male friend of mine speaking to his wife in that way, I would have no problems calling him out and also then seeking to speak to her and check she was OK.

Uppsala Tue 22-Nov-16 12:29:42

are you able to say a little more? what makes you think he is trying to be a good father and husband? what sort of things does she say to him?

TheNaze73 Tue 22-Nov-16 12:35:15

I don't think it's your job to highlight this. It's his battle, not yours

He should stand up for himself, like most people would. She sounds abhorrent & no one should put up with that crap.

Trifleorbust Tue 22-Nov-16 12:46:46

I don't think you should interfere unless he is a vulnerable adult. You can obviously step back from your own friendship but their marriage is their business.

kissmethere Tue 22-Nov-16 13:09:45

I knew a couple like this and it was so painful to see. One day I agreed with the DH on some stupid point ar was making an it all kicked off. She treated him like utter, utter shit and belittled him in front of people. One day I told him to grow a spine I was so infuriated at what I was witnessing. Harsh but I was so angry. She never spoke to me again after that (yay)
They're divorced now and we are much more if him and he's happier.
So say something if you like but it's really not your business, unless something happens in front of you and they're washing their dirty laundry in public.

anxiousnow Tue 22-Nov-16 13:11:20

I definitely wouldn't say anything to him but would to her. Even if I started it slightly jokey so as not to get her on the defence straight away.

Vagabond Tue 22-Nov-16 15:12:48

It won't end well. Husband will side with his wife. Just listen to her and try to figure out what is going wrong.

myoriginal3 Tue 22-Nov-16 15:15:19

Keep out of it. You don't know everything

Joysmum Tue 22-Nov-16 17:39:21

Personally I wouldn't want to be around that and would ask her if all is ok with them.

If she says it is then I'd tell her he's either a saint or got fuck all self esteem to put up with that from her as you and your DH would never speak to each other like she does...especially in front of people as shes embarrassing both you and her husband.

TBH I couldn't be friends with people who treat others like shit. People get away with things because good people do nothing. Abuse is normal to the abused and abuser because nobody raises it.

wherearemymarbles Tue 22-Nov-16 18:22:16

We know a couple like this. His wife is like someone who has the most awful and permanent pmt.

My wife thinks she is complete harridan. And had said so to her face, and infront of hubby. Who giggles and she said something like 'i'm not that bad' and he repiled 'yes you are'. I guess thats the dynamic in some realtionships. If not in this case, its up to hubby to speak his mind.

KindDogsTail Tue 22-Nov-16 18:32:58

I think you should try to tell her tactfully, one day when you are alone, that criticising your partner in public is one of those things you just do not do unless there is some extreme circumstance (even if she does have reasons for finding him difficult in her marriage). Tell her it is embarassing all round and as it happens makes her look bad, rather than him anyway.

She may not want to see you any more, but she may be grateful to know in the end.

palmadillio Tue 22-Nov-16 18:37:18

I'd say you probably don't know the full story. My DH is a wonderful, appealing man to outsiders who would do anything for anyone. Behind closed doors, he can be very selfish, neglectful, controlling and possessive of me at times and also very arrogant. People wouldn't believe me if I told them.
To outsiders, I'm a moaning PITA and he's an absolute saint.

KindDogsTail Tue 22-Nov-16 18:46:10

palmadillio you may be right. There is another thread about this. But the thing is, being rude in public is just so difficult for everyone concerned that it is very bad manners at the least.

No matter what he is doing, say he is as you say, her behaviour would be playing into his hands. It would only be adding to his suffering-saint-married- to-a-bitch persona if she is berating him this way.

Itchyclit Tue 22-Nov-16 18:59:06

Only do it if you're prepared to lose the friendship.

WombOfOnesOwn Tue 22-Nov-16 19:27:43

I once talked to a friend about a situation like this as I was very concerned. As it turned out, it was part of their "BDSM lifestyle," which they apparently did "24/7," including in front of close friends. I distanced myself quickly -- it's not fun to listen to someone get berated, and it's REALLY not fun to be made an unwilling partner to someone's gross sex games...

fiorentina Tue 22-Nov-16 20:58:56

I think he may be totally different when people seen it there, so it's tricky. Lots of people can put on a front in polite company, maybe she's worn down?

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