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Friend marrying violent man

(7 Posts)
superchocolatedigestive Thu 16-Feb-17 15:04:18

Close friend marrying physically and emotionally abusive man. Im meant to be one of the bridesmaids. Have supported her through this relationship for the past 7 years, through the physical abuse, the cheating etc but this I cannot do. I cant stand there and watch and dont want to be the one with a face like stone on her hen do/big day. Please, some advice on how to tell her that I love her but that I dont want to be involved in anything wedding-related. She has started planning dress fittings etc and wants my input. I feel awful but I know my limits. Thanks x

Adora10 Thu 16-Feb-17 15:20:10

Sorry but I think you are being unfair; it's her big day, she's decided she wants to marry him so I'd keep quiet about your personal opinion of him and do the right thing, by her.

I agree though, it must be hard when you have had to witness all that. I've been there and honestly, her relationship with him is her business, her friendship with you is separate.

But, having said that if you really feel you just can't go ahead with the façade then tell her but be prepared for a falling out.

Justmuddlingalong Thu 16-Feb-17 15:27:41

I agree with you, OP. This seems like too much of an ask. 7 years of supporting her is what a friend does, but celebrating her marrying him is not what a friend does.

tinydancer88 Thu 16-Feb-17 15:30:55

This sounds really difficult. You're in a tough position - your friend has confided in you about being in an abusive relationship and you've been supportive; she must know this cannot simply be forgotten now they want to get married. Being a friend doesn't mean just accepting (or in this case, celebrating) decisions which are blatantly damaging for her physical and emotional health. I would do my best to emphasize that you cannot support the marriage, but will always support and love HER.

Lottapianos Thu 16-Feb-17 15:34:47

'I feel awful but I know my limits'

Knowing your own limits is a very important thing. There's huge pressure on women to get out the pompoms and be cheerleaders for our friends no matter what. Well sometimes you just know that your friend is making a catastrophic mistake and you simply can't, in good conscience, be a cheerleader for them. You need to exercise your own judgement and clearly you have hit your limit here. Totally understandable.

I would tell her that you love her and will always be there for her, but that you cannot be involved in the wedding and she knows why. Emphasise that you will always be there if she needs you. She may well decide to shoot the messenger but that's entirely her decision to make and your conscience will be clear. I was in a violent relationship myself years ago and became very defensive when other people didn't go along with the pretence that all was wonderful. Looking back, friends would have been doing me absolutely no favours to go along with my edited version of reality so well done for being true to yourself. It a horrible situation to be in. One day she may be very glad indeed that she has a friend like you.

EighthElement Thu 16-Feb-17 15:41:02

Don't go to the wedding. Take her zip lining or something, it's a great self-esteem booster. Chat to her about self-efficacy and see if she believes she has the power to change her own life. The Lundy Bancroft Book is a good one. It says what you can't!

I spent 7 years with an abusive man and one of the things that kept me there was that in my distorted mindset appearances were very important to me (I was different back then).

I would send her a link to the sunk cost phallacy (?)

Ask her very gently whether she wants to have a chance of being genuinely happy or to sleep walk through the rest of her life focusing on appearing to be happy.

Tell her that she has the right to make a mistake. Tell her to forgive her self for having spent 7 years on this man and to reclaim her future now.

It's too much to ask of you. I leant on a couple of people too much before I left my x. I felt guilty about it later.

You do not have to go to this wedding in order to be a good friend.

EighthElement Thu 16-Feb-17 15:43:03

Lottipianos wrote a good post.

You can explain WHY you can't face it and tell her you're still her friend but it's not an event you can celebrate

I think on some level deep down it'll boost her self worth to know that somebody some where is protesting. On her behalf.

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