Confused about what to do with a domestic abuse situation I'm aware of.

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by cassanova, Mar 20, 2011.

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  1. cassanova


    Sep 4, 2000
    I have a very good friend of over 2 decades (we're so close we call each other cousins) whose wife is abusing him. She's not abusing him physically, but she is doing it mentally, emotionally, and financially. She's even had a few affairs on him. It's actually gotten so bad that he feels guilty and is blaming himself for it. He's also scared to death he'll never get to see his daughter again.

    In fact, the guy she's whoring around with told her, "I can't be with you right now because I have to get some things in order first. I need 6 months."

    He knows all this yet he keeps running back to her. He always uses the common rationalization excuses of "I love her," "I love my kids, so I do it for them." We have all talked to him in depth about this and I went into detail on the cycle of domestic abuse with him to help him better understand that he is in the circle.

    I am at a moral crossroads here, because a very large part of my being is tempted to call one of those domestic abuse hot lines you see that state "if you or someone you know is the victim of domestic violence call us." Because it might be able to help him out.

    The other side of me is saying "shut up, don't do it." You see, there's a part of me that does believe he's a grown man and if he chooses to stay in that marriage, then it's on him. Also, if he were to find out I made the call, he'd obviously be pissed at me, perhaps temporarily, perhaps the remainder of his days. His mother and my mother are also best friends. Making the call could possibly drive an irreparable wedge in their friendship. Not to mention destroy the bonds that I have with his mother, brother, and sister.
  2. MJ5150

    MJ5150 Moderator Staff Member

    Apr 12, 2001
    Olympia, WA
    It doesn't seem like he is as worried about it nearly as much as the rest of you. Leave it alone. When he has had enough, he'll do something about it.

    Forcing him out of the relationship since the rest of you think he'll be better off isn't a good idea in my opinion.

  3. Agreed. Keep giving him your opinion, and strongly so, but I think you should leave it at that for now. I'd be tempted to call a hotline myself, especially since there are kids involved but hold off for a little while and see how things go and, of course, if things do turn violent dial that number like there's no tomorrow (duh). Not to say that physical abuse is unquestionably worse than other types of abuse but it calls for, obviously, much more immediate action.

    It's definitely good that you're concerned about him and his situation. A person suffering any kind of abuse needs to have a person in their corner supporting them even if it's only a shoulder to cry on. I think that, as his friend, you'll know when the time is right for you to make a call and he'll thank you for it when you do. Good luck to you and him.
  4. Skitch it!

    Skitch it!

    Sep 6, 2010
    Affairs of the heart are not a good idea to get mixed up in tbh, you can become a focus of that discontent through it.

    He needs introducing to more' understanding' women I think, that may highlight the 'difference' he's experiencing in that relationship, sounds like she's broken him down and he doesn't know where else to go.
  5. warwick.hoy


    Aug 20, 2006
    Spokane, WA.
    Beta Tester: Source Audio.
    Is you "cousin" capable of things he might regret?

    Escalating to violence?

    The one thing I would recommend is not getting the police involved. In the state of Washington when the police are called to a Domestic Violence incident (not implying that violence has occurred),..their protocol dictates that someone has to get hauled off to jail,...usually the one that strikes first. Not saying that women don't go to jail over a DV call but it would seem that in a he said/she said case this protocol would strongly favor the woman.

    Of course this is a worst case scenario and I sincerely hope that it doesn't come down to this. But definitely something to consider.
  6. Sounds like he hooked up with my second ex-wife.....
    You can't fix it, just give support when he needs it.

  7. colcifer

    colcifer Supporting Member

    Feb 10, 2010
    QFT! Short of offing her (which I advise against), you can't fix this one. Sorry, bro but all you can really do now is say "Sorry, bro."
  8. Selta


    Feb 6, 2002
    Pacific Northwet
    You tried to talk to him, that's about as far as I'd take it.
  9. cassanova


    Sep 4, 2000
    I appreciate the input so far guys.

    I was rereading my OP and I noticed I did leave out one detail that may or may not be important. So, I'm including it here.

    It's the same old song and dance routine with him. "I can't take it anymore." "I want a divorce," etc, only to turn right around and say "but I love her." We provide him with advice, and all the while, he agrees with everything we're telling him, only to turn around and say, "I'm in it for the kids."

    It's classic behavior of those in abusive relationships.
  10. cassanova


    Sep 4, 2000
    He does have a temper. He says he'd never hit her, but I know full well how that can go when someones finally been broken and snaps.

    So in my professional opinion as a counselor, I'd say yeah this can escalate. Now, the friend in me doesn't want to believe that it will escalate.

    That all being said, I'm actually trying to keep my personal feelings and biases out of it, and use all my training and experience as a counselor when dealing with him and his situation.
  11. don't do it.....this is probably a game these two have played before.....the sicko payoff is to draw well meaning friends and family in to it,and control the fun.....

    one thing i've learned....if a guy wants out of a relationship,he will get out......if you stay out,no doubt they will find new friends,family,co-workers etc. to play......if you jump in no good will come of it....
  12. In light of that information I think that you should call somebody. I have no idea who but it seems pretty clear that he either doesn't believe he's capable of ending it himself or he is truly incapable of ending it himself and needs help. I'm not saying become Atlas here, but it's definitely looking like he needs more than a talking to. Is there some sort of public service group that does house calls in this situation?
  13. clear to's not that you have had much real world experience yet.....
  14. cassanova


    Sep 4, 2000
    She absolutely broke him. Especially last night. She was trying to control his every move, dominate the conversations, even belittled the hell out of him in front of all of us. He looked like a shadow of his former self, as if all the life had been sucked out of him. Then just as she made him miserable enough, she demanded he they leave. Now keep in mind this was at a bbq for his brother who just returned home from Afghanistan and is shipping out again tomorrow to Jacksonville for 3 months for more training.

    I think he's definitely scared of being alone and has a codependent personality, coupled with a low self-esteem. He's never actually been on his own. He got married almost right out of high school, divorced 12 years later, then hooked up with his current wife, & within days him moving back to Florida after his first wife and him separated.

    He also is scared to death of not being able to see his daughter with this woman because he has 3 kids up in Illinois that he never sees, one of which wants nothing to do with him right now. His current wife uses that as a tool to maintain even more control of his life by trying to encourage him to give up his parental rights to all them.

    As far as meeting other women, I just don't think that can happen while his wife's in the picture. His wife somewhat dictates whom he can associate with. Many of his new friends are all senior citizens and all married. She does not like him talking to other women, other people in general outside the family. To help ensure he doesn't go on a cheating spree, she actually limits the amount of funds he's allowed to have when he does go somewhere.
  15. I just don't agree with this. I can't. I'm sure that the many of us who aren't in relationships where we feel powerless would think along similar lines but it's just not true. Thinking you are unable to do anything to change a situation is almost as bad as actually not being able to change that situation. I've seen it happen. You hear of similar circumstances all the time, and the only thing that makes this instance any different is the fact that it's a grown man but for all intents and purposes, that difference is purely cosmetic.

    If things are as Cassanova says, then this will continue forever. I think you should so whatever you can, within reason, to help him out. At the very least you'll know you tried.
  16. ok,i see you are already in......i hope you will take a step back and look at this situation afresh,before it starts to eat you up too.....
  17. at twenty you have not seen enough to even me ,by age forty you will be unsure of almost everything you are sure of now.....
  18. I don't think you can judge how much real world experience I have without actually knowing me. Either way, I have and in this case would, do what I could to help not leave a friend to fend for himself when it doesn't look like he can.
  19. you have so little experience dude.....wait a will find that "friends" can be everything from saints to savage predators that will swoop down and destroy you on a whim ,if they feel it will improve their lot......ah,youth,innocence.......
  20. jmattbassplaya

    jmattbassplaya Supporting Member

    Jan 13, 2008
    I'm with Kwesi on this one. This guy needs help, and you being a blanket for him to come to and cuddle with whenever he is having 'issues' with his wife isn't good for him or you. I'd tell him point blank that he needs to leave her because of x, y, and z reasons (and make them good ones that he can't ignore or deny). If he continues to fight it then I'd tell him that you'll either cut off all communication with him until he comes to his senses, or you'll call one of those hotlines. The guy needs help and you aren't skilled enough to handle it on your own.
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