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What would you think of your best friend if?....

(24 Posts)
HennyPennySpickle Fri 21-Apr-17 09:37:38

She had walked out on her marriage at 29 (leaving her 4 & 8yo dc behind) The dc had then been physically/sexually abused by their father and now decades later it transpires that both her dc have cut her out of their lives altogether with no explanation. Would you be able to maintain the friendship?

Smellyoulateralligater Fri 21-Apr-17 09:39:24

So, she confided this in you Henny?

anxiousnow Fri 21-Apr-17 09:44:33

How awful Henny! For me it would depend on whether she had any idea the D'CRUZ were at even the slightest risk of abuse. Did she maintain regular contact after walking out? I used to flat out not understand a mother leaving her children, but very recently a friends situation has made me see it is not so black and white. If she genuinely thought they would be better off living with their Dad and had no knowledge of abuse and had actively been a positive part of their life then I wouldn't end the friendship. Those poor children. If she left with even the slightest feeling they may be at risk I would cut her off completely.

anxiousnow Fri 21-Apr-17 09:44:59


HennyPennySpickle Fri 21-Apr-17 09:46:04

I've known about it for about 20yrs but the on-going total silence/blackout from the estranged dc is making me wonder a bit about my friend & what actually happened?

PurpleDaisies Fri 21-Apr-17 09:46:40

I don't think anyone can possibly know what goes on inside a marriage except the people who are in it.

Being friends isn't compulsory but I wouldn't assume you've got anything like the full story.

HennyPennySpickle Fri 21-Apr-17 09:48:03

She tells me her exdh did not encourage/permit ongoing contact with the dc, she saw them very infrequently after she left.

HennyPennySpickle Fri 21-Apr-17 09:49:30

She has written to both dc in recent years to try & build bridges but never hears anything back. She is totally cut out of her gc's lives.

picklemepopcorn Fri 21-Apr-17 09:50:02

I think you have to treat her as the person you know.

HennyPennySpickle Fri 21-Apr-17 09:51:13

It wasn't a happy marriage, she married to spite her parents.

picklemepopcorn Fri 21-Apr-17 09:51:13

The estranged children have every right to remain apart from her. That doesn't mean that she is a terrible person or did something particularly awful. She failed to protect her children which is enough.

HennyPennySpickle Fri 21-Apr-17 10:07:52

Is it not 'particularly awful' to abandon your children & then have them permanently abandon you?

PurpleDaisies Fri 21-Apr-17 10:09:35

henny have you thought about what it must take for someone to leave their children behind like that? People don't just do that for fun.

I don't know what happened and neither do you.

SarcasmMode Fri 21-Apr-17 10:10:10

Did she suspect about the abuse?
Did she contact them straight away after she found out?

If yes to first or no to second then no, I couldn't support her.

robinofsherwood Fri 21-Apr-17 10:36:32

In my wider friendship groups there are 2 women who, as part of ongoing domestic abuse, were convinced their children would be better of without them. Essentially their abusers convinced them that they were the problem and if they disappeared everyone would be happy.

Fortunately, both of them were given good support & realised what was going on. One managed to get residence back straight away, the other after a messy court battle.

Her children, sadly, dont know her and dont know the circumstances. But as an unaffected adult and her friend it might be worth considering if this was what happened to her.

picklemepopcorn Fri 21-Apr-17 11:31:01

It is awful Hen, yes. Do you think she did it lightly? Just fancied a new life? Or do you think she left in desperation because she couldn't imagine how to cope? Or was driven away?

I'm not sure what you want here. You know her, you know what happened, more or less. It was twenty years ago.

Her children have every right to resent what happened, which ever version it was. Her friends are in a stronger position and could make a more nuanced decision, with a better understanding of the situation. If you can't understand what went on, or understand but disapprove and want to drop her, you can do.

TheStoic Fri 21-Apr-17 11:35:24

Why do you think she left?

You've known about this for 20 years. What has just happened to make you question her character now?

ChicRock Fri 21-Apr-17 11:43:01

I would think that someone who married to spite her parents has issues, and you've probably only got half a story from her.

Fishface199 Fri 21-Apr-17 12:17:46

Have to reiterate Stoics question: if you've known about this for 20 years, why are you questioning it only now? confused

BigGrannyPants Fri 21-Apr-17 12:31:32

Perhaps she was being abused? It's easy for me to say but I would never leave my children, ever. Unless she knew they were being abused or suspected they were at risk, there is know possible way she could've known about that.

I don't think it's at all strange that her children don't speak to her. In their eyes, she abandoned them and left them with an abusive father, and never came back for them.

You also don't know what their dad told them when your friend left.

If you have known about this for 20 years and you and friend have never talked about it, I don't think you have the right to do that now. She is your friend and you should support her.

If it was me I would've asked at the time.

fantasmasgoria1 Fri 21-Apr-17 14:42:11

I worked with someone a while ago who did this albeit there was no abuse by the father and she does have some contact with her dcs. She had valid reasons for leaving and the decision a heartbreaking. Not seen her in a while so don't know what is happening with her but unless you have walked in someone else's shoes and experienced what they have it's very hard to judge or make a decision. Is she a good friend? Is she a nice person? If you have a good friendship then continue with it!

BroomstickOfLove Fri 21-Apr-17 14:49:23

in the situation you describe, I'd assume that she and the children were all victims of the abusive husband/father. I know someone who has been in a similar position. I admire the way she has turned her life around to live a pretty good life despite her abusive family and former husband.

Isetan Fri 21-Apr-17 15:09:46

Why is this an issue for you now?

gettinfedduppathis Fri 21-Apr-17 15:21:34

Seems to me that maybe she was completely at the end of her tether and left an abusive marriage. Her ex then refused to let her have contact with the children. He probably also spent years deliberately lying to them and saying that she wanted nothing to do with them.

They will have believed him. They probably now still believe that she must have hated them and that it is her fault that they were abused by their father, because she escaped, but left them with him.

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