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She took him back, I can't keep supporting(14 Posts)
Friend has a dysfunctional relationship with her boyfriend. Over the last year I have supported her through all the ups and downs. The arguments, her insecurities, his disappearances, his cheating etc etc.
At the beginning of lockdown it came to a head and he beat her up, badly.
The police came, he left and she took out an injunction against him. I have been there for her every day, checking on her, giving her support, boosting her self esteem, reassuring her she has done the right thing.
Then the other day her teenage son shared a video on Instagram and low and behold guess who is sitting in the garden all cosy.
I text her and she did the oh you caught me he's so sorry, we are just talking etc etc.
I'm so cross with her for letting him back in, I feel like I can't keep supporting her if she is going to continue this roller coaster life. I know it's not her fault and she is under his control but it's draining.
I told her I'm upset and that I'll always be there if she's in trouble but that I can't watch it unfold all over again.
Is that selfish on my part?
No I don't think you are being selfish. You've told her you are there if she needs you so just step away from the day to day stuff. This happened with a friend of mine(not the physical) she kept returning to a toxic relationship I was worn out with worry but I had to pull back as I was exhausted from all the stuff going on.
No, you've told her you're there for her if she needs you but you have the right to establish your own boundary.
I have a friend like this, she's been with her abuser (not physical, emotional and psychological) for 8 years. I don't want to keep having the same repetitious conversations with her.I'm sick of hearing about it. I'll help her if she wants help, but I won't be her sounding board anymore, it's too draining and infuriating.
As the PP have said. Don’t get drawn in again whilst she’s not prepared to cut the strings for good.
Absolutely not selfish. At all.
I have had to deal with the same thing with a friend of mine. Emotional, sexual, financial and physical abuse on countless occasions. Unfortunately, it has driven a wedge and I've had to distance myself to sparse 'cordial contact' only because I'm worried I won't be able to bite my tongue any longer. I did the same as you and said I was there for her, but she needed to take action for herself and I needed some space.
They have to reach their own point of no return before they'll leave for good, I understand that. I too know how hard it is to leave an abusive relationship. It doesn't stop it being insanely tough and frustrating to watch and be involved in. I felt like it was sucking the life out of me and was almost giving her a release without having to take action. I had to change that dynamic before something came to a head between us and I made matters worse permanently.
"Put your own oxygen mask on before trying to help others" is a good way to look at it, I feel.
Put your own oxygen mask on before trying to help others should be a MN mantra.
It’s not selfish, I’d do the same. Make it crystal clear you’ll welcome her friendship back once she hits rock bottom/the point of no return with him, and it’ll be without judgement, but until then you won’t be party to supporting the relationship.
No, you're not being selfish. You can understand the dynamics that keep bringing her back and still find it utterly maddening and dispiriting. All you can do is protect yourself and figure out your own boundary about whether you want to stay in contact and be there when/if she leaves again. But she's an adult and you can't do it for her, and, human as your anger and frustration is, if you take it out by hectoring her you only add to the control in her life.
What you've said to her sounds sensible.
Thanks all, it's good to hear the reassurance. I want to help but as others have said it's totally draining. I don't want her to feel she has to stay with him as no one is supporting her to leave but at the same time I can't keep dealing with the drama.
Not selfish at all and some parts of this I could of written myself
My best friend since school has a cunt of a boyfriend , we all really round when he hits her , calls her names and leaves her
Then myself and her family should 'give him another chance ' each and every time, he had changed , he needs help blah blah blah
Iv stepped away completely but she knows I'm there if needed
Not unreasonable in the slightest OP, and I say that as somebody who has taken my cheating and emotionally abusive husband back twice.
I'm actually wondering whether that is the reason my Dbro has become distant, for the same reasons you give.
I tend not to lean on people about it because I don't want to bore anybody and have their good advice be wasted because I can't leave until it's financially possible.
Ultimately she will only leave for good when she is ready to, but that doesn't mean you have to be her sounding board and go through the motions with her.
Put yourself first now, you have been a good friend.
I think sometimes people distancing themselves can be a good thing.
It's very tempting to 'offload' all the crap onto others, and kind of 'talk yourself back round' into keeping the shit boyfriend/partner. If there is nobody to nod and tell you yes, it's bad, you ought to leave, this is what you should do, you come to the realisation by yourself. Sometimes.
Just be there, quietly, in the background. She will need your support one day.
Not healthy for her poor teenage son either having this as his relationship role model. That's really upsetting too. Your mental health is just as important as hers. If she had the oops silly me attitude I would go no contact and say I can't be a part of this as you're not putting your son first. When you do I'll help. She had an injunction. She was protected as was her son. Very sad situation
Yep, keep the door open but tell her it's too emotionally difficult to hear everything all over again, knowing that it will be the same end result.
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