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I have discovered that a male friend is the most incredibly controlling bloke I've ever known.

(15 Posts)
mindblown Tue 02-Sep-08 01:18:29

I mean, I've witnessed some nasty manipulative behaviour before, but this guy has just blown my mind completely. shock

(Have name-changed for this but don't expect to be spotted anyway)

DH and I've known him for about four years. We're all in our 40's. He's not round for coffee every day but it's always nice to see him, and we've helped him through a few difficult patches. In return he's done us the odd favour. He seems like a decent bloke.

He recently had a short relationship with another friend of mine, and I just cannot believe the way he has behaved. I won't bother describing it all but it was absolutely classic controlling stuff, starting with "You're so wonderful" and leading to gibes about her body shape a couple of weeks later (he works fast, I'll give him that), passing through the "deluging with expensive gifts" phase on to the "I don't want you to see/talk to/have a photograph of another man in your home"... I'm sure many of you get the picture.

In the end - about 4 weeks into the relationship - he issued an ultimatum that she behave in a certain manner or the relationship was over. She said fine, the relationship is over. She is the most straight-talking, no-bullshit woman I know and she won't change her mind - nor should she.

He doesn't seem to accept this at all.

I've seen some of the texts he's sent and heard some of the voicemails, and I also witnessed first hand the most incredible strop I've ever seen in a man aged over 40. (Not violent, btw, just a mega-petted lip)
I know she's not lying or bad-mouthing him, and I'm honestly shocked.

I had no idea he could/would behave like that.

When he phoned DH looking for sympathy, DH told him he's an arse. He cannot see this at all - he simply is right (and he simply isn't.)

Is there any point in me sitting down with him and pointing out the errors of his ways (which are many and multitudinous) or should I just keep out of it?

zippitippitoes Tue 02-Sep-08 01:26:23


i wouldnt bother trying to tell him where he is going wrong because he wont see it guaranteed

your friend ios lucky he got to the awful side of himself quickly befgore she got emotionally attached/subjugated

mindblown Tue 02-Sep-08 01:50:36

Cheers, zippi, she's been in an abusive relationship before and spotted it fast. grin

Thinking about it, I have seen elements of it (his controlling behaviour) before but since I'm a happily-married woman he never played out the full repertoire. But it's astounding, to me, how quickly he went from "Mr Nice Guy, Can't Help Enough" to "Mr Do What I Say Or It's Over, What Do You Mean It's Over, I Love You, You Junkie Bitch Slut" (She's not)

I really want to sit him down and slap him about the face with a wet haddock. angry

Alternatively, there is another female friend of his I met briefly when he had a crisis a couple of years ago. She's also married, and I know he repects her opinion (as he claims to respect mine - but he has quite noticeably not contacted me during this episode) so together we might be able to get some sense into him. I could contact her?

I'm not actually sure why I want to - I guess it's some sort of desire to "save" him from himself? hmm

At the moment I'm thinking if/when he introduces his next GF to me, my first words will be, "Hi, how lovely to meet you, leave him, run now, while you can...." grin

RnB Tue 02-Sep-08 02:46:37

Message withdrawn

mindblown Tue 02-Sep-08 02:57:09

Which letter did his name start with, RnB? I may know you via email. grin

I've just thought of a third woman who could put him in his place - and he really would listen to her. But if she's not already involved (and I don't think she is) would I be really nasty if I brought her into it? She has her own "stuff" to be getting on with.

RnB Tue 02-Sep-08 03:04:21

Message withdrawn

RnB Tue 02-Sep-08 03:06:16

Message withdrawn

mindblown Tue 02-Sep-08 03:16:51

No, it's not M - but yes, his behaviour was/remains truly classically abusive. That's what astounds me - that and the speed. It shouldn't surprise me really, I worked with WA for a few years and I know the pattern - but I didn't see it in him (until he took up with my friend).

I still want to hit him in the face with a wet haddock - but I think getting the 3 women I know he respects together with him would be an interesting experience. grin

I'm not sure he's salvageable, but perhaps we could introduce a little awareness?

(Any clues as to why I actually care?)

FlightAttendent Tue 02-Sep-08 06:20:38

No, I think you need to stop expending your energy on it. I may be wrong but I strongly suspect that somebody with such deeply entrenched behaviour would require a fair bit of therapy in order to change their beliefs and behaviour.

You know you can't accomplish a turnaround in him that quickly...if you could, the thousands of women who saty in relationships like that because they think they can 'change' the bloke would be onto something.

Fwiw my ex was very much like this. He seemed so very nice and amiable for the four years I knew him as an acquaintance. I thought he was just shy and that was why he was still single at 39.

A few weeks in there was the midnight stones throwing at window to wake me up and demand, shouting drunkenly, that I leave the children asleep and go to his house, to prove I loved him. hmm

I dismissed this as a one off but then the criticism started - my hair was a mess, my shoes, clothes, anything, he didn't like them - I was too messy to meet his children, they were 'disgusted' that my hair was windswept one day hmm

In the end I realised it was his mother. He loooooved his mother, was still deep in her bosom, she was controlling as f*ck and he would never, or could never, accept another female to take her place or 'dethrone' her. Which is why he was being so damning to our relationship. He wanted me to kick him out.

Anyway I did and then the letters to my parents started, the begging phone calls, as though nobody else would consider me, he was my only hope etc etc.

Everyone who had known him prior to this - several mutual friends, said 'Oh, ... - he's the nicest bloke in the world! What a great match!' and it was very hard to tell them I had had to end the relationship because of his abuse, without sounding like the bad guy iyswim.

There are a lot of them around... sad

FlightAttendent Tue 02-Sep-08 06:22:08

I forgot to mention he suggested I beat my son...! shock

This was all within about 6 months. I left him at 8.

nametaken Tue 02-Sep-08 10:04:47

I wouldn't bother saying anything - if he doesn't know how to behave by the time he's 40 nothing you say will make a difference.

Anyway, there's usually a good reason why someone that age is single and now you know why he is grin

mindblown Tue 02-Sep-08 16:21:50

"You know you can't accomplish a turnaround in him that quickly...if you could, the thousands of women who saty in relationships like that because they think they can 'change' the bloke would be onto something."

You are, of course, absolutely right. I should have thought of that. blush

Thanks, ladies.

I guess I'll just call him an arse the next time I see him, and leave it at that. grin

dittany Tue 02-Sep-08 16:33:18

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

mindblown Tue 02-Sep-08 16:59:05

"You could always ask "Do you want my opinion?" and if he says yes give it to him."

Lol, from what I've realised, I think he'd be more inclined to tell me what my opinion is! grin

Actually, I find it interesting that he's not asking for my input - he usually does in affairs of the heart, but with his past couple of relationships I didn't really know the women involved so I believed his version of events. This time it's different, and I wonder if he's in some small way ashamed? hmm

cestlavie Tue 02-Sep-08 17:08:47

Hmmm. Sadly, I'm inclined to agree with the others that if he's as big an arse as he sounds you'd simply be wasting your breath.

(Speaking as a guy) as was good friends at university with one guy who I'd always thought was a decent bloke. However, when he went out with a mutual friend for a while he treated her appallingly. For example, he would shag around but if she flirted with someone he'd bawl her out in public/ have a massive strop and storm off/ threaten to break up with her.

And yet he simply and genuinely couldn't grasp that he had double standards or was behaving like a twat. I, or another friend, would say something along the lines of "mate, you're acting like a complete wanker" and his response would always be something along the lines of "no I'm not, it's different because [random reason]". And actually, he'd even get stroppy with me about accusing him of behaving badly. Occasionally, really occasionally, there'd be a tiny glimmer of self-recognition but it passed in seconds. Anyway, suffice to say that we stopped being friends a while back and from what I hear his behaviour never improved.

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