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Friend is being exploited by his partner

Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
A friend of mine is being physically and financially exploited by his possessive, greedy, lazy, controlling partner. She has a parasitic lifestyle. She leeches off him and treats him as her property; she contributes nothing. She orders him around all the time, she makes him work long hours, do all the shopping (including things that are only for her) and housework, pay the mortgage and all the bills. He is also a slave to her family. He does most of the childcare, despite the fact that her children aren't his. Every time they go anywhere - whether for a couple of hours or a couple of weeks - he has to pay for everything. When repairs need doing to the house or the car, he has to pay for it all. He has to give her expensive presents on Valentine's Day, Christmas Day, Easter Sunday, her birthday, their anniversary - even on Mother's Day (the latter being ostensibly from her children). He also has to give presents to several of her family members at Christmas and on their birthdays. She never gives any presents to him or to his family. The way she manages to control him is that she withholds sex until he's paid for everything and finished all the tasks. When he tried to ask her to pay her way, she always said "do everything I say, or I won't have sex with you". She's told him that if he ever has, or tries to have, sex with anyone other than her, she will leave him. There's nothing good about his partner - she has no positive qualities at all. No-one knows what he sees in her. He doesn't even like her, let alone love her. She's never cared about him. She looks down on him with contempt and insults him. Neither of them ever say anything positive about each other or show any affection towards each other.

He frequently complains to several people, including me, about the exploitation his partner inflicts on him. Every time I speak to him, he's very unhappy. His conversations have to be short, because she rations how much time he can spend talking to people other than her. We all advise him to get her out of his life. Several people, including me, have tried to persuade him to remove her from his life. On several occasions, he's said he'll end the relationship. However, he always backs out of going through that with, using various excuses. In his previous relationships, he was exploited in the same ways by the same type of parasitic predator. He claims that all women are similar to his partner and all relationships centre on the woman exploiting the man using withholding of sex as her weapon. We've tried to tell him that's not the case, but he doesn't believe us. He believes that he only has the choice of his current situation (with his current partner or another similar woman) or of being single and living alone. He said he hated being single, partly because he rarely managed to get sex then. He also hated living alone. He said he couldn't stand going back to that type of life. He doesn't know anyone whom he could move in with, have move in with him, or house-share with.

I can't relate to his situation, because I'd never want anything to do with someone like her. It seems that sex is the only positive thing he gets out of being in the relationship. I can't understand how he can have sex with someone who is so horrible to him and whom he dislikes. If someone victimised me, I'd be unable to get an erection anywhere near that person, even if she looked like a supermodel (which she doesn't; she's ugly).

I'd like to help him regain his freedom, but I don't know how to.


  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Hi again Steve,
    thankyou for taking the time to post, I'm sorry to hear that your friend is having some difficulties. It must be hard for you to see someone you care about unhappy. This sounds like a tricky situation but from what you've said, could it be a possibility that he has low self esteem/lack of confidence? It could be an idea to suggest that he talks to someone professional such as his GP or perhaps seek some counselling.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I guess that he must have low self-esteem and lack confidence - although he doesn't admit that's the case.

    His partner would never allow him to talk to his GP or counsellor about the situation. She invites herself along wherever he goes. He couldn't go to the corner shop without her - let alone to an appointment. She goes through his phone, email account and letters. If he sought professional help, there would be no way of him avoiding her quickly finding out.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Forgive me if you feel I'm being nit picky... But you mention in the first post, that he works long hours, could you not suggest he books an appointment within those hours? Or perhaps looking at the situation in a completely different way, that he could find some time to sit down with his partner and tell them how he feels or even couples therapy if that's something they might want to do. Sometimes it can make things a bit clearer just by getting them out in the open. Hope this helps a bit.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    She regularly checks up on him at work. There's no way that he could pretend he's working whilst actually going to an appointment.

    She knows how he feels and she couldn't care less. She's a ruthless, arrogant, selfish, uncaring, predatory parasite. She'd never go to couples therapy. She is unwilling to change. She enjoys exploiting him and wants to continue doing so.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I still think it would be worth mentioning a few of these options to your friend and seeing if there is any that he might like to try. Nothing ventured and all that. He might suprise you!
  • StephSteph Posts: 448 Cool Newbie
    Hi Steve,:wave:

    Sounds like a difficult position for your friend to be in, you've done a really good thing by looking for some help for him. :yes:

    Just wanted to add that The Mix has some info about relationships that might be useful for your friend to have a look through which you can find here: LoveSmart

    Also your friend is more than welcome to get in touch with us himself if he'd like to chat about what's been going on. :)
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    My friend is his partner's prisoner. He's not able to try the options you've given, which is why I'm trying to help him. His partner doesn't allow him to look for advice. She checks his Internet and phone histories and he would be punished by her for the 'crime' of seeking advice.
  • StephSteph Posts: 448 Cool Newbie
    Hi Steve, :wave: sounds like a really tricky situation for your friend to be in. It's really kind of you to be trying to help him with what's been going on. It sounds like its tough for your friend to get some help for himself. What kind of help are you looking to try and get for your friend? :chin:
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Obviously he needs to get his partner out of his life completely, permanently and as soon as possible. I'm trying to find out how to facilitate and assist that. I'd like to help him understand that he doesn't have to suffer being treated badly every day, that his relationship isn't a normal/typical one and that he can find someone much better.

    What would you do if it were a friend of yours who was in his situation?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    if it was a friend of mine, I would suggest to them that not having intimate relations is not the be all and end all of life and if getting help meant he had to forego that for a period of time so that he could get the help he needed then so be it. But that's just what I would do, I hope your friend manages to overcome this situation :)
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Sex is very important to him. His main motivation for being in a relationship is to have frequent sex. He rarely got sex when he was single, despite regularly trying to.

    If he were to seek help, his partner would punish him in other ways - in addition to withholding sex.
  • StephSteph Posts: 448 Cool Newbie
    Sounds like a really tricky situation for your friend to be in Steve, wonder if others in the community here at The Mix might have some advice that might be useful for your friend :chin:
  • MaisyMaisy The Mix convert CymruPosts: 266 Moderator
    Not sure if it'll help much, but I came across an article on leaving abusive relationships, here.

    Unfortunately, it can be very easy for outsiders to pick up on when a relationship is abusive, but harder for the person involved. They may be in denial, they may be scared of consequences getting caught trying to leave, and most often, they may feel 'dependent' on the abuser in some way- which only serves to stay in the relationship. They may also be so caught up in the abuse, that they believe they deserve it or they are exaggerating and it's not that bad. Since you say that she checks up on him regularly at work, I'm wondering what work colleagues think? Perhaps he could tell them what's going on and get help that way?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    His work colleagues have advised him to get his partner and her children out of his house and his life. However, he doesn't take any notice of them.

    I don't understand why he lets her and her children order him around. It's his house and he's paying for everything - yet he's at the bottom of the pecking order.
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