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Helping a friend in an emotionally abusive relationship?

Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
Hi all, I'm quite new here but everyone seems friendly so I thought I'd throw my problem out there! My best friend is living in London with her boyfriend and his family, they have been together for about a year and a half. He is Brazilian and is quite passionate and fiery, and she is the sweetest girl but with low self esteem. From what she has been telling me, he is quite emotionally abusive to her and I have seen it first hand- he puts her down in front of people, shouts at her, tells her what she can and can't wear, wants to know everything about where she has been, and blames her for everything they argue about. She knows that he has a temper and realises that the relationship is wrong but she is terrified that he will leave her- as I said he is very passionate and in her words usually 'treats her like a queen'- she is so low in confidence she needs to be loved and mistakes his control for devotion. I have to tread very carefully, and I live so far away from her I can't see her very often. How can I handle this situation!

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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Handle it carefully!

    I have a similar friend, he boyfriend is a complete toe-rag. Except he's not, he's very private and shy about being soft in front of other people. If you don't see them often you don't necessarily see the whole picture.

    Make sure you're right before you talk to her.
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Yeah I am very careful not to criticise him Fiend_85, but when she is calling me at 12am in tears because he has shouted at her and is throwing things around it is difficult :( I think he is devoted to her and does make her happy, it's just hard knowing what to say to be constructive.
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    *Holly**Holly* Deactivated Posts: 140 Helping Hand
    Hi JamieL and welcome to TheSite :wave:

    It's great that you care about your friend so much - she is very lucky to have you. Although, as Fiend_85 says, it's worth treading quite carefully here.

    There's advice on The Hideout about how to help a friend in an abusive relationship. I'm linking you to it here. Have a read and see if you find it helpful.

    This is bound to make you feel a bit anxious too as you care about you friend, but make sure you look after yourself too. If you ever need to talk or vent or type out some worries, that's what these boards are here for and there's always someone listening.

    Do keep in touch and let us know how it goes.

    Holly
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    hey first of all you should know that it is not your problem to handle in the first place. what you should do is talk to your friend, and ask her opinion and ask what she wants to do about it. and support her in her decision. never try to do anything other than that. speaking from the experience. if you do so, maybe you will be the third person who broke them apart
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    ReenaReena Posts: 1,375 Wise Owl
    JamieL wrote: »
    Hi all, I'm quite new here but everyone seems friendly so I thought I'd throw my problem out there! My best friend is living in London with her boyfriend and his family, they have been together for about a year and a half. He is Brazilian and is quite passionate and fiery, and she is the sweetest girl but with low self esteem. From what she has been telling me, he is quite emotionally abusive to her and I have seen it first hand- he puts her down in front of people, shouts at her, tells her what she can and can't wear, wants to know everything about where she has been, and blames her for everything they argue about. She knows that he has a temper and realises that the relationship is wrong but she is terrified that he will leave her- as I said he is very passionate and in her words usually 'treats her like a queen'- she is so low in confidence she needs to be loved and mistakes his control for devotion. I have to tread very carefully, and I live so far away from her I can't see her very often. How can I handle this situation!

    I agree with everyone saying its her business and you should tread carefully. At the end of the day, even if he is the lowest of scumbags, as long as she loves him there isn't much you can do except be there. Support her, if you can try to help her build her self esteem, that way she will see her own value and may decide he's not worth it. There is a course I went on for young people called "breakthrough to excellence," the careers advice center told me about it and I would recommend it to anyone. I wouldn't be where I am today without them.
    Thanks to that course I went to college, got jobs, learnt to drive. All of that I didn't think I could do, I didn't even want to leave the house.

    Once, a friend asked me advice on her relationship. At 16, and a virgin she thought her boyfriend would leave her if she didn't sleep with him, so asked what I thought. I told her at the end of the day it was her relationship and her choice and that she alone could decide, but personally I always felt weird around him, he had this vibe about him from the 1st day I met him, I hated him. And I told her that I didn't like him and if it were me I'd say no until I was ready. The little creep got what he wanted and broke her heart.
    So just be there for her like I was for my friend. You can't interfeer only support.
    Hope this helps, sorry I do rant a bit! xx
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