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Genuinely on behalf of a friend - what should she do? Bit long - sorry

(13 Posts)
pamelat Wed 17-Sep-08 12:32:29

My female friend if 45 and has DS aged 5.
When she got pregnant (5 years ago) her boyfriend freaked. It was a planned thing but he got scared and left her.
He is also 45 but spends most of his free time in the gym, on sailing holidays and out with the lads. He is in very good shape but completely loves himself.
She found out a couple of years ago that he started seeing someone within weeks of her pregnancy, this relationship continued for 3 years (unknown to her at the time)
During this time, he "got back together" with my friend and they lived together at her house, but with no physical relationship. She was unaware of this girlfriend, she belived that he had issues with sex and agreed to give him time.
Anyway, she found out about girlfriend A 2 years ago. He promised to leave her but never did.
My friend moved away but boyfriend (who is IMO manipulative) constantly visited her and persuaded her to come back and move in with him.
To cut a long story short, in June this year they resumed the physical side of their relationship.
She found out this week that this was only because girlfriend A had told him the day before that she would no longer have anything to do with him. She found some phone bills which showed that he called girlfriend A within an hour of them having had sex (for the first time in 5 years).
Since then, these same phone bills have showed 2 new girls that he has called (late at night and consistantly) since girlfriend A ended their relationship.
She is in bits.
Her family have fallen out with her because of him and don't want anything to do with her (other than to see the little boy). She has lost a lot of friends over the years because of him and feels trapped.
Now, I think that she should leave him (as am sure most of you will think) but she says that she can't. Despite how he has treated her, she says that she loves him.
She says that at 45 she doesnt want to be by herself.
Are there any other options open to her?
She confronted him and he was quite nasty to her and said that she shouldnt snoop in his phone bills (she had lots of reasons to be suspicious). He said that as he hasnt slept with either of the 2 new girls that he doesnt see what the big issue is ... !!
Arggghhh, it drives me crazy that she wont leave him.

ladystardust Wed 17-Sep-08 13:13:09

She needs to seriously think about whether she wants the rest of her life to be lived as she is living it now.
Only she will know the answer to that.
Of course everyone on the outside can see the answer is 'NO! Who would want to live like that?'
She must get there herself, will full support from friends.

ladylush Wed 17-Sep-08 13:25:08

It must be hard to be her friend and not want to grab her by the shoulders and give her a good shake. I think I was lucky in that my close friends did not judge me and were actually very supportive of me giving h another chance (after he was unfaithful) but I think this was on the basis that he had no previous and is generally very well-liked. This guy however sounds like a prize knob angry

pamelat Wed 17-Sep-08 13:38:20

Thank you

I do want to shake her. She seems to accept that "most men are like this" - not the ones I know!

He comes across as the loveable rogue but after hearing this latest news, I think its more sinister than that. I think he has effectively controlled her and engineered that she has lost her family and friends.

He alternates between telling her that she is looking good and telling her that she is old/unattractive/needs to lose weight - and she takes this negativity to heart.

We don't all have time to spend hours in the gym each day! He basically does whatever he wants.

He goes out (drinking) 4 out of the 7 nights a week, and is rarely home for bedtime. She could cope with this (I couldn't) but she can't believe that he has 2 new women (lots younger than him) lined up already.

She called one of them and she said "Oh I know all about you, X has told me but apparently you are going through a tough time" - how unoriginal.

lulumama Wed 17-Sep-08 13:40:39

look, if she knows about the other women, and that he is a liar and a cheat, but still won;t make the break, there is not a lot you can do

her self esteem must be on the floor, if she feels at 45 she is over the hill

all you can do is be there to support her, whatever she decides

good on you for sticking around

unavailable Wed 17-Sep-08 13:41:05

"she says that at 45 she does not want to be by herself".

She must be aware that with his track record he is liekly to leave when he find what he considers a better option - be that soon or in 5 years.

She must also know he does not love her.

pamelat Wed 17-Sep-08 13:44:20

I know. But how can I make her see?

2 years ago everyone told her to walk away.

She is (today) saying that if he proposed then it would perhaps make amends ... ?!!

I want to stand by her regardless (she is 15 years my senior so don't want to patronise her either). She knows that she "should" leave but I really don't think that she will

I was going to call him and ask him to make a decision one way or the other ... ?

Ohforfoxsake Wed 17-Sep-08 13:50:09

Sadly, you can't make her see. She'll only open her eyes when she wants too.

Reassure her that you will be there for her whatever happens. Help build her self-esteem. Let her know that she can be a single parent, and that it is OK.

If you call him I think there might be a chance you could risk losing her, she might chose him over you and see you as interfering. Sorry if that sounds harsh, I think you are in a bit of an impossible situation, you want to shake her and slap him.

But you are a good friend, and you won't let her down. These things generally go tits up in their own time, and you'll be there for the fall out. I think thats the best you can do unfortunately.

ladylush Wed 17-Sep-08 19:55:04

Yes if he has seen off all but one of her friends, he is controlling and manipulative. She is deluding herself that he will propose? Yet she knows exactly what he's like. I doubt very much you can make her see sense. I also find it very frustrating when people stay with someone because they fear being alone. I would rather be alone than stay with someone who treats me like shit. I'm sure you are the same. By the way, I don't think talking to him is a good idea because it could backfire in a spectacular way.

MollyCherry Wed 17-Sep-08 22:14:27

She would not be on her own - she has her DS and he needs to grow up within a healthy loving relationship, or better to just have a strong and loving mum if that's how his dad behaves. Do you think she has thought about it from this point of view? How is he with his little boy?

pamelat Thu 18-Sep-08 09:05:01

Thanks all again.

I forgot to say that the reason I know her is because (originally) my DH is HIS friend. My DH has had enough of him too though.

I worry about the little boy more than her really. He is going to grow up with a very strange take on relationships. He has seen both his parents (frequently) shouting, crying etc.

He said to his dad the other day "why do you always upset my mummy" but by the end of the day was telling his mum "but you upset dadddy too mummy" so goodness only knows what and who has told him what.

In a more light hearted way he also told his mum "mummy when you both shout I can't hear the tele".

It cant be doing him any good though.

With girlfriend number 1, he was so young, that his dad introduced them several times. When my friend found out about girlfriend 1, she actually asked her son whether he had met "daddys new friend" and he had a few times.

The guy just never learns. I genuinely don't understand him.

And yes, I would much much rather be by myself (just with the son).

Ohforfoxsake Thu 18-Sep-08 14:14:54

Any chance your DH could have a word?

It is so much better to be single and happy than with someone and miserable. Raising a child with two happy - but seperate - parents is much healthier IMVHO, than two miserable, bickering, manipulative people who don't love each other. What they do will have an effect on his relationshps when he is an adult.

Its such a sad situation. Hope you can help make a difference.

ImnotMamaGbutsheLovesMe Thu 18-Sep-08 14:24:04

If she loves him and believes she can't manage alone there is nothing you can do until she comes to her senses.

Maybe point out to her that her son will grow up just like dad if he sees that he can treat his mum like that and get away with it.

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