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My son's ABUSIVE boyfriend - what do I do?

(8 Posts)
ddishews Mon 29-May-17 18:56:31

Hello there, I'm not exactly sure how to use this site as I never have before but I've decided I need advice and have no idea where to get it without betraying the trust of my son.
My son has begged me not to tell anyone about what I'm going to say so I'll try and stay as anonymous as possible.
He's 21 and in a relationship with another man, let's call him 'Josh' to make things easier. I've never particularly liked this 'Josh' since I first met him just over a year ago. Whenever my son came to ours and Josh was over, he always acted very different. He was quieter than usual and a lot more reserved and also seemed to spend the entire time staring at Josh as if asking for confirmation that everything was okay when it clearly was. I didn't really think much of this at the time as my son does have anxiety but he just seemed on edge.
My son has been contacting both me and his brother less and less recently and I wasn't sure if it was because he was growing up or if there was another reason. I managed to get a hold of one of my son's friends who said my son never really 'hung out' with them much anymore and seemed to spend a his time with Josh. I don't know if they were still friends but he said he didn't really know why my son just stopped talking to her.
I've seen my son's social media and of the few things there are the only person he ever seems to be with is Josh.
Last Sunday, my son turned up at my house unannounced, which never happens, and said that he wanted to talk. He didn't really say anything for a while and then began crying. He said that he was sorry he never answered my texts or calls and that Josh had told him he didn't need me anymore because he had him. He said he was too scared to tell Josh he wanted to see me as at Christmas he asked to spend it with me and Josh had had started shouting at him and I don't know if he did anything else, as my son refused to talk about that night anymore. He said Josh didn't like him going out but Josh went out a lot himself and when my son accused him of cheating, which from what I can piece together he did, Josh had had a melt down and reversed it saying my son must have cheated and that he wasn't loyal and didn't believe that Josh wasn't cheating. I told him that if he didn't want to be with Josh he could leave but my son then said that somehow Josh was the best thing that ever happened to him and he loved him. He stayed for a while and then left as we both had work the next day and he lives a good three hour drive away.

My gosh. I'm very sorry for the little rant but as it's a bank holiday I didn't have work to take my mind off the worry so I just did a little rant.I'm not really sure what advice I want but I just want to make sure my son is safe and I really don't know how. Thank you anyway x

Arealhumanbeing Mon 29-May-17 19:07:45

Could you try gently explaining to him what an abusive relationship looks like? Early signs and red flags right through to isolation and psychological and physical violence.
There's loads of information on the internet.

It will be important though not to alienate him and he will not enjoy hearing that you believe he is being abused by someone he believes loves him and is the best thing in his life.

Make sure he knows you're there for him and if you can, make sure Josh knows that too. Often abusers up the ante when they sense friends and family members are tiring of the situation.

So sorry you're dealing with this. Keep posting though, you'll get some good advice.

Northernparent68 Mon 29-May-17 19:07:57

This must be very hard for you, but at least your son has turned to you. I would insist he moves back into your house, and hopefully he will end the realationship with josh. Maybe get him to look at the websites of the charities that help the male victims of DV.

Shayelle Mon 29-May-17 19:10:03

Its great he came to you. Just keep being there for him flowers

AgentProvocateur Mon 29-May-17 19:12:33

I've been in exactly the same situation with a DS and a controlling boyfriend. Unfortunately, all you can do is keep the lines of communication open and wait for if to run its course (which it probably will do). Looking back now, DS can see that it was abusive relationship and can't understand why he stayed as long as he did. It's so, so hard. Hopefully your son will have colleagues or friends where he lives, who will be gently encouraging him to end it too. Hugs and flowers

ddishews Mon 29-May-17 19:28:39

AgentProvocateur It's good to see someone who's son has been through this and is fine now but I feel awful just doing nothing. And my son already said he was scared to ask to see me and I don't want that to escalate even further or it might've already as I haven't had contact with him since he came round.

AndTheBandPlayedOn Mon 29-May-17 20:56:21

Have your son read the thread at the top of this board "Right, Listen Up everyone".

Have him read "Why Does He Do That?" By Lundy Bancroft
This was written about abusive men, but much applied to my abusive sister.

Relationships are awesome to be in; but we should not have to sacrifice our self esteem, self respect, or mental health to be in one.

There are worse things than being alone-being in a relationship with with a controlling, manipulative, angry person is one of them.

Atenco Tue 30-May-17 04:07:45

Oh you have all my sympathies, OP. My dd, while living at home had an abusive bf, it lasted three years. Fortunately she never lived with him. Obviously you cannot bring your son home to live, I think the only thing you can do is keep the lines of communication open and that probably includes gritting your teeth and being nice to Josh, if you see him. But if you get the chance make sure your son knows that this is a pattern and one should never, ever give up friends and family to keep a partner happy.

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