My Friend gets beat by her husband..how can i help?

desijj14December 6, 2007

My friend is 20, and is married to a 19 year old. They have been married for a little over a year. Her husband is very controlling, and jealous. He yells at her on a regular basis and doesn't like her going out. I knew all of this before, but last week at work he got really mad and accused her of cheating. She left work early to go home and fix everything, and returned later with a black eye and bruises on her. She confided in me, and told me he beats her all the time.

I offered her a room in my house, money, help moving...anything she wanted. And she refused it all. I don't see her leaving him no matter what he does to her. What can I do?

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plasticgarden

Trust me,my sister has been in one abusive relationship after another.I have been through it all.The crying phone calls,the late night visits with crying and hysteria,even letting her move in so she could look for another place,Stepdad threatning her Boyfriends,everything.Police being called again and again...and getting annoyed that they are being called and that she never leaves!

Some people become "addicted" to the abuse in a sense.They actually look for that abuse because they see it as love.
Maybe because they were abused as a child and it is all they know.Or,they have convinced themselves that they deserve it.Or,they are just too scred to leave...

I think your friend is lucky to have a friend like you.I hope you have alot of patience though because this could go on for years.Especially since they are married.

Unless your friend is willing to stop playing games and call the cops and move out,really you cant do anything...
And it's torture.To have to always hear the crying,and always want to do something,but not be able to do anything!

I'm sorry I cant help you out more.But I have dealt with this alot,and your hands are really tied because if you get involved that just makes thngs worse for you and then they STILL dont leave.

    Bookmark   December 7, 2007 at 3:13AM
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bnicebkind

I have listened to a radio psychologist on this subject, and she advises woman to do 2 things, if they are in a relationship like this, and stay in such a relationship.

The first is if they "choose" to be in such a relationship, to have their tubes tied, so that they do not bring innocent children into such a home.

And the second, you can give her the number for the womens shelter, which she may or may not use.

I think plasticgarden is right. Perhaps some women mistake it all for love, or thrive on the drama and the vast ups and downs and mistake it for passion in all its forms, like love/hate. I think any shelter could tell you, that many women just keep going back. I think they so fear being alone, and will stay in such a relationship to keep from being alone. Or maybe a healthy relationship feels boring, without all of the drama, and all of the highs and lows.

    Bookmark   December 7, 2007 at 6:36AM
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sweeby

There certainly are drama-junkies in this world...
But why? Why is turmoil better than calm?
Why is the passionate violent love/hate type relationship preferable to the rock-steady and committed kind?

    Bookmark   December 7, 2007 at 9:39AM
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asolo

In the course of whatever you choose to do for your friend, be sure to protect YOURSELF. If/when he learns of your "meddling" he may come after you, too. Your friend and her husband are a couple of pretty sick people, IMHO.

    Bookmark   December 7, 2007 at 12:10PM
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rivkadr

Give her the card for a women's shelter. Don't get involved yourself, or your asking to be hurt.

I really don't understand women who involve themselves in relationships like that. And I have zero sympathy when they stay if they have children. Why? Because my mother was one of those women. And I had to grow up listening to her scream and cry while she got the crap beaten out of her. And I got screamed at myself and things thrown at me. So I have ZERO tolerance for women who will allow their children to grow up in that kind of situation. If you don't have the guts to get out for yourself, do it for your kids.

    Bookmark   December 7, 2007 at 12:26PM
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carla35

I think it's really hard to know why women stay in abusive relationships (either physical or mentally abusive). Maybe they don't know better (it's what they are used to), maybe they think they don't have options, or maybe they are afraid. I think abuse can often eat away at the common sense, self esteem and even sanity that normal people take for granted. I would think that leaving an abusive relationship may really be a lot harder than people think. Some moms, for example, may truly think that the courts will give the abusive husband full custody if she tries to leave. Or many may really feel they will just end up in the streets if they have no education or marketable trade.

Plus, personally I think emotional abuse is often even worse than physical abuse... and how many woman do you know stay in those relationships for their various reasons?

Anyway, I would have handy a woman's shelter number. Your home may not be the safest place for her if she ever chooses to leave him.

    Bookmark   December 7, 2007 at 2:40PM
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jennmonkey

I had a friend like this once. I helped "save" her and "escape" from him many, many times over the course of several years, but she always went back to him every time. It finally got to the point where I had to tell her to stop telling me about the abuse and the horrible things he did to her because if she was going to keep going back to him, I couldn't listen anymore. I finally had to cut off the friendship for awhile (which wasn't hard as he didn't allow her to see me, since I was a "bad influence". Ha! ME, the bad influence).

Finally she left him after she got pregnant and realized she couldn't have a child in that situation. Now, about 9 years later, she is with a much better guy and has two happy and beautiful kids.

Sadly, there is really nothing you can do but be supportive and try and encourage her to leave, but don't be surprised when she doesn't. Those who aren't in those situation cannot understand the brainwashing and control that goes on in those relationships and will never get it, just like I STILL don't. Good luck to your friend and you.

    Bookmark   December 7, 2007 at 3:21PM
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rob333

Here is the answer to your question, marriage instead of dating, though. What should you do? Be there for her without judging. She's not bad, stupid, or addicted to wrong behavior. She may not know why she is like she is and she probably has trust that "he'll change". Too bad he won't!

Wait until she's unhappy and complaining about the situation, then ask her what she wants to do. If she wants out, direct her to a women's shelter. Have the number handy and an address she can get to. She can go right then and have law enforcement meet her to get her "stuff" from him later. Tell her, "Don't wait, run to the shelter NOW".

    Bookmark   December 7, 2007 at 3:22PM
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rob333

It had an extra digit

link

    Bookmark   December 7, 2007 at 3:25PM
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asolo

"Doctor...I've been pounding my toes with this hammer and...know what?....it really hurts! How can I stop it from hurting? Do you have a pill?"

I don't know what to do with idiots. Does anyone?

    Bookmark   December 7, 2007 at 7:51PM
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amyfiddler

Women stay because of the dream that things will get better- they are addicted to the good side of the relationship (the great sex, the excitement) and they hold on to the hope that "if I can just _____, he'll change".

Sometimes women just don't realize they have options. Unfortunately, they don't realize that they have SOOOOO many options, and that while I rarely ever encourage breaking up a family, this is one of those exceptions.

    Bookmark   December 7, 2007 at 7:52PM
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marge727

Desi there is nothing you can do. I am beginning to wonder if being sympathetic and helpful to her is even a good idea.
As asolo and others have pointed out they don't leave and more to the point, they do need friends to complain to. The friends can be in danger, and the reason is that often the wife will call the husband and tell them where she is--hoping he will show up with apologies and flowers. They also seem to tell the abusive husband everything people say about him. So unfortunately, sometimes he shows up angry and hostile on your doorstep.
I gave up practicing family law that involved abusive husbands when one showed up at my office with a gun.Since I had filed no papers yet and the wife was supposedly in a shelter, there is only one way he could have known how to find me. I don't need that much drama in my life and frankly when some abused women divorce their husbands they seem to end up with one thats worse. I have one friend who would end up with the one guy on parole from San Quentin if she went to a church dance.
So if anybody used to be married to a really abusive husband for 5 years and is now happily married to a wonderful guy they appreciate, please say so, because we all need to hear inspirational stories.

    Bookmark   December 8, 2007 at 1:19AM
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sweeby

"So if anybody used to be married to a really abusive husband for 5 years and is now happily married to a wonderful guy they appreciate, please say so, because we all need to hear inspirational stories."

I was married to a verbally and emotionally abusive man for 10 years (yikes! I'm embarassed to even admit I stayed so long) -- but with counseling, saw the light, got out, and have now been married to a wonderful, loving and caring man -- the most considerate person I have ever met -- for 13 years and counting.

Interestingly, EvilEx married again about six years ago, and his new wife's first husband was a physical abuser. I hope he doesn't abuse her, because she's a very nice person and a good StepMom to my son, but I doubt the leopard has changed his spots.

    Bookmark   December 8, 2007 at 10:24AM
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desijj14

Thank you all for the advise. I have found information for an abusive shelter near by her, and I have it handy. I have decided to not be as involved, as I don't want to bring harm to myself or my family.

I hope she leaves and will encourage her other wise, but as somebody commented earlier... she thinks he will change, and is obsessed with the sex and excitement. Hopefully she will get out before it's too late.

Another thing I forgot to mention, both of them had abusive parents...So I would imagine it is a pattern? I pray she will not get pregnant, and she is on birth control.

    Bookmark   December 8, 2007 at 9:34PM
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halfdecaf

SHE MUST GET OUT.
Period. This person could kill her - I am not exaggerating. The sooner and faster the better. Physical abuse is a deal breaker.

Having said that, I realize that she won't leave him on her own volition...right now. But here are some suggestions:

1) Do some research for her - find a women's shelter that puts women in protective care and keeps their whereabouts confidential...the kind that basically helps them "disappear," and offers counseling on a daily basis. Have it ready if/when she's ready to consider it.

2) Unless she is convinced that she must leave, she will almost certainly return, even if she were to leave for awhile. Find a counselor in your area who specializes in women's issues and abuse issues, and encourage (STRONGLY and CONTINUALLY encourage) her to visit.

3) Call the cops. Ask them what you can/should do as someone who knows what's going on. They can advise you on what - if anything - you may be able to do if the situation you described happens again.

4) Keep her trust and be her friend so that you can be her confidante. You may be the only person she's telling and she needs to be telling someone. Even if you "push" a bit to get her out of her home, always let her know how much you care about her, and that you're there for her. Get her talking about the abuse (ask her how she feels when it's happening, ask her if she thinks it's okay for a husband to beat his wife, etc.). Also talk to her about how she sees herself - chances are she has a very low view of herself and you can help "re-frame" her views by telling her how valuable you think she is. Sometimes an "a-ha" moment is possible for a person when they begin to hear themselves talk. And keep telling her - with as much urgency as you can - that she should never be treated this way by anyone and that she needs to get out ASAP.

5) Find out if she's talking to anyone else about this. If she has family that are reliable and who know what's going on, consider putting together an "intervention," wherein everyone sits her down for a "come to Jesus" talk about the danger she's in.

It's good that you want to be her friend. She's lucky to have you.

    Bookmark   December 8, 2007 at 10:03PM
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halfdecaf

Hi desijj -
Your post above went up as I was writing my post to you.

You said, "both of them had abusive parents...So I would imagine it is a pattern? "
Yes, yes and yes. In fact, in a weird and very twisted way, your friend thinks that it's normal and loving to be hit because as a child the people she trusted the most would alternate between hitting her and saying "I love you." You can keep telling her that her treatment is neither normal or loving - otherwise she will continue to live in her skewed reality until she gets hospitalized or worse.

    Bookmark   December 8, 2007 at 10:10PM
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popi_gw

The abuse could easily esculate, your friend could suffer real harm, or even death.

From where I sit...lots of guns in your country, that's a real worry, when people are unbalanced.

    Bookmark   December 10, 2007 at 2:02AM
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