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Terribly worried about my friend


annie24
How to leave an abusive relationshi...
How to leave an abusive relationship and why it's so hard

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hi guys - i am worried about my friend, I'll call her Kate. Kate is a very intelligent, attractive woman in her mid-30s. I met her a few years ago through friends and in the last 2 years, we've grown very close. A few months ago, she met a guy who works in her building as well (they are both PhD scientists). at first, he seemed great, bringing her chicken soup when she was sick, cooking her fabulous dinners, calling and asking her out all the time - seemed perfect. then trouble started, just a few weeks in. he's very jealous and controlling, always wanting to know who called her, who is who. an ex-boyfriend of Kate's sent her a text saying hi. she didn't answer it, thinking that was the 'right' thing to do. he blew up and demanded she send him a text that he never speak to her again as she has a bf. so she did. but he still wants to know details, etc... all that kind of stuff.

 

things have gotten worse. she tells me they'll have a couple of nice days, and then he gets very angry, she tells me she feels like she's walking on eggshells all the time. she says that he is sneaky with some of his activities, meanwhile, he is constantly checking up on her, including going through her bathroom trash. he frequently just 'happens' to show up wherever she is. (at her home in the middle of the night, at the coffeeshop she is at, at the nail polish section of the drug store. ) at first, she thought it was sweet, but more and more, it seems like stalking. it turns out in a previous relationship, he came home early one day and found his gf in bed with another man. it seems like he is constantly trying to catch her 'in the act.'

 

it gets worse. about 10 days ago, he was at her place, she went to the bathroom, she came out, and he said to her, 'i heard you open your medicine cabinet and then you flushed the toilet. what did you flush!' it's like he's accusing of her of anything, when she is doing the most innocent things. last week, they watched a movie, she fell asleep, and then had to wake up early the next morning to go to work. he sent her a text dumping her saying she didn't put out, therefore, the relationship is over. when they had their official breakup 5 days ago, he told her he was so angry at her he wanted to rape her, and that if they ever married, he would cheat on her. he's told her before that no one has ever loved her.

 

i don't know what to do, i'm at a loss. my friend is beautiful, funny, smart, a real catch! but i think she's kind of down on herself because she's in her mid 30s and wants marriage and children, and has none. i keep telling her that things should not be so dramatic 3 months in. things should be easy and smooth, and it shouldn't be constant fighting every few days, constant accusations, etc...

 

i'm really worried that this man will start beating her soon. i sent her a list of qualities of abusive relationships that i saw someone here post, and i gave it to her, and she said, 'i don't think that applies to me.'

 

help!

 

PS - i forgot to add, she had lunch with him yesterday and said he was being sweet.

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She's in denial. She knows that list applies to her but victims of abusive partners can't/won't acknowledge their faults. They spend more time defending the abuser. I tend to think that he has brainwashed her into actually believing that no one else will want her so she stays with him. She wants marriage and children and sadly she probably thinks the only way to have those things is to have them with him.

 

There needs to be some kind of intervention. Can you take her to a local shelter so she can see for herself the kind of pain these women have suffered at the hands of their partners?

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I would be worried, too. If she doesn't recognize the problem here, she's unlikely to treat it with the attention it needs. It sounds very dangerous to me and would scare me quite a bit as a girlfriend (short-term OR long-term). I guess you can be there for her when she realizes it's a problem or comes to you. With a boyfriend like that, you might run the risk of losing her as a friend if he's suggesting to her that her friends and family don't really love her. If and when she comes to you, don't judge him or their relationship...just listen and ask "what do you think you should do?" and things like that. If she wants help, then you can offer it. For now it sounds like she doesn't see this for what it is.

What a shame! I am also dumbfounded when smart, attractive, seemingly-confident people fall into these kinds of relationships!

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yeah, i have been saying lately, 'you must break it off with this man.' actually, last week, me and my ex (who i am friendly with) and kate all had dinner together, she told him everything, and he agreed that the relationship should be broken off. her mother is worried for her too.

 

i don't want to push too hard.... like you said, i am afraid that she'll walk away from me.

 

i talked to another friend about it last night, also beautiful and intelligent and all that. she told me that something similar happened to her too, that her bf even raped her and smacked her around. but it wasn't until she saw him out with another woman that she ran away.

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Have you showed her the 'loser' article. That one is especially poignant. THe whole isolating and controlling aspect.

 

He is a classic abuser, the whole honey pot ploy of appearing like the perfect guy to start with and then slowly he detiriorates into this controlling monster. No doubt he gets progressivley worse, and will get even more so.

 

You need to tell her, Im sure you already have that this IS NOT a healthy loving relationship and it is NOT love the way he is treating her its obsession, treating her like a possession, he obviously has depe rooted issues and she cants save him from them. ITs not her job.

 

IT happened exactly this way with my ex. He began to become verbaly abusive and controlling. A man not in control of his emotions and behavious is dangerus. when he looses his temper it could easily turn into physical abuse. Its liket hey slowly break women down and down further and further until they know they can do/say what they like. ITs like having control over SOMETHING in their life, and treating her how he likes and it will get worse.

 

You just need to explain that this isnt what she deserves, and that its the classic way it begins. Ask her...if it was you going thrugh the same thing ,then what would she tell you to do? Ask her to write a list of the bad things hes done vs the good. AND tell her its not worth suffeirng hoping he'll go back to the way he was when they first met, beause he wont.

 

I also agree in not pushing her TOO hard because if she breaks it off with all her friends and family because she is so besotted with this guy and wants to defend him she'll end up with no one to turn too if it gets worse.

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yeah, i have been saying lately, 'you must break it off with this man.' actually, last week, me and my ex (who i am friendly with) and kate all had dinner together, she told him everything, and he agreed that the relationship should be broken off. her mother is worried for her too.

 

i don't want to push too hard.... like you said, i am afraid that she'll walk away from me.

 

i talked to another friend about it last night, also beautiful and intelligent and all that. she told me that something similar happened to her too, that her bf even raped her and smacked her around. but it wasn't until she saw him out with another woman that she ran away.

 

OMG.....how awful? He raped her? Did she call the police?

 

What's wrong with woman? Why do we feel we can't be without a man?

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yeah, i just sent her the Loser article this morning. i see so much of him in it, it is scary. he hasn't started hitting her yet, not that i know of, but i fear it is coming up.

 

he's broken into her apartment building, figured out a way to jimmy the front lock so he can get in. she sleeps like a log, but apparently, he broken in and spent 2 hours knocking on her door from 2 AM to 4 AM last month. it appears he even damaged her front door.

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oh, and he gets angry at her about things that I've done!!! like apparently, one day he waved to me from accross the street, and i didn't wave back. i apologized to him later, saying that i wasn't feeling well and i was walking home. i'm often in my 'own little world' when i walk home and have my ipod on, not to mention sick. but Kate was not happy that he was starting to get on her case that things that I have done, or not done.

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yeah, i just sent her the Loser article this morning. i see so much of him in it, it is scary. he hasn't started hitting her yet, not that i know of, but i fear it is coming up.

 

he's broken into her apartment building, figured out a way to jimmy the front lock so he can get in. she sleeps like a log, but apparently, he broken in and spent 2 hours knocking on her door from 2 AM to 4 AM last month. it appears he even damaged her front door.

 

can't she get a restraining order?

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Give your friend some information on abusive relationships. Let her see the Cycle of Abuse because what you've described sounds exactly like it.

 

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This control will only lead to violence. This guy fits the abuser pattern perfectly and she needs to escape now before it becomes too late for her.

 

Give your friend the number of a domestic violence advocate group in your area or have her call the National Domestic Violence hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE.

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He's a ticking timebomb waiting to go off. She needs to start the process of getting him away from her. Restraining order would be a good way to start. She has to be willing to go through with the entire process from start to finish though. Often, victims of abuse will file the initial order but not go to court to get the final order.

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but she keeps meeting him for lunch and whatnot. she keeps getting back with him. until she makes up her mind, a restraining order won't do much good.

 

Then sadly, there is probably nothing you or a team of experts can do for her right now because she is either terrified of leaving him or has been conditioned to deal with whatever he torments her with.

 

All you can probably do now is just continue to be a good friend to her as she will likely need one. I know how hard it is to just sit by and do nothing but she's not going to accept any kind of help from anyone.

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Everyone is offering great suggestions for WHEN she thinks there's a problem. Until then, I'm not sure what you should do.....?? I've thankfully never been in this situation or dated an abuser. I know I'd be losing sleep if it were my friend or one of my sisters. Maybe YOU can call an abuse hotline and ask for what do when you're the friend and she doesn't see it yet..??

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oh, and he gets angry at her about things that I've done!!! like apparently, one day he waved to me from accross the street, and i didn't wave back. i apologized to him later, saying that i wasn't feeling well and i was walking home. i'm often in my 'own little world' when i walk home and have my ipod on, not to mention sick. but Kate was not happy that he was starting to get on her case that things that I have done, or not done.

 

Annie, don't be suprised if suddenly he decides for her that the two of you can't be friends. I suspect it's only a matter of time before he makes sure that she has alienated herself from you because you are now posed as a threat.

 

He's a f@#$% jerk!

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I guess I will admit I'm too selfish to deal with that, Annie.

 

You have told her what you fear. And she still wants to be with him.

 

Now if you say much more to her, she will tell him. Then you are putting yourself in the middle and possibly in physical danger. I'd walk away from the both of them.

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i just sent her the loser article, and she wrote back that the 'stress induced depression' resonated with her. it's a start. i think we are having lunch today.

 

i think he will probably tell her i am just jealous because i am single and not in a relationship and i want her to be single too. i can see him saying that.

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