Someone close to my(f) partner(m) is in an abusive relationship
Im overwhelmed by the pain this woman has gone through. She fits ever category, every sign of a domestic violence victim. She even called the hotline and that was why she was out of that home. And now she's gone back; back to the man who made her feel worthless and gaslight her into thinking she was nothing.
And it's tearing me apart. As a woman. As a survivor of child abuse.
When things like this happen I see how much power men can have over us. They had power over me when I was 10 years old. They have power over this woman, the sweetest woman I've ever met.
It's hurting my partner. He cares for her so so so much and it breaks my heart.
Its two fold. Im hurting for both my partner, and for her. I can't support him, I can't even deal with it myself.
I don't know if you can even do anything when they go back to their partners.
I cannot deal with not being able to do anything. My psych has always told me that being so hyperaware of being in control/not in control affects my anxiety levels, but I just cannot stop. I'm so scared for her. I feel like I have a right to be anxious here. This isn't just GAD.
Yes, you have a right to be anxious; a right to help; and a right to be concerned.
Relationships are complicated and they are all different. No two relationships are the same. A relationship that works for you and your partner may not work for your friend.
If your friend is a victim of domestic violence, encourage her to report the matter to the local police. Give her somewhere to stay if she needs help, there is a lot that you can do to help. Has your friend said anything to you about DV?
I don't know much about GAD but perhaps it is a part of the problem; I really don't know. What did your psych have to say about your concerns.
She has told us about how her husband has taken control of the money, won't let her leave her home, constantly degrades and humiliates her and her family. All while she is heavily pregnant. She has already contacted the DV hotline once which was how she could even leave that place.... And now she's voluntarily gone back.
Its made my partner, the most gentle spirited person I know, rage-filled. He's in pain because she is in pain. And my inability to do anything has me on edge. She has all the resources. She knows we are here for her no matter what.
It is still terrifying. We're scared she'll end up beaten or worse. I know it's not just my GAD talking because my partner is just as frightened. She could go back to him a million times, we just want her and her baby to be safe from that vile man.
One day she hates him and the next she's gone back. It's terrifying.
Thank you for the link. Even though it doesn't really help me figure out what to do now, at the very least it's helping me understand her.
All we can do is sit and wait for her to approach us since she knows we're here for her... And hope he doesn't do anything to her in the meanwhile, I guess.
It has to be her decision.
Doesn't make me any less anxious though. Or any less frustrated.
I’m so sorry you’re going through this and I can hear how scared you are for your friend. Like your friend, I was in an abusive relationship with someone who would control me and verbally abuse me and at times worse. But it’s so hard to describe, because that person isn’t like that the rest of the time, they are for the most part the person you love, and you find yourself just wishing that they could just get rid of this other bit of their personality you could be both happy. But they can’t..and it takes a long time to reconcile that..particularly because they keep promising they will, and you want so badly to believe them. It’s why most domestic violence victims keep it a secret, because they are ashamed, but also so they don’t have to feel the pressure to leave. They already have enough pressure and guilt and all those feelings. Just support your friend, give her a place to stay when she needs it. You will never be able to force her to leave her partner, she knows everything but just can’t face it so you won’t get through. But take her out to places, make her feel good about herself, so that her life without him is so much richer than her life with him. Then it will be easier for her to leave. I hope I have given you some insight
I'm so sorry your friend is in this situation. She's very lucky to have such good friends like you and your partner.
The more you and your partner understands about DV then the more you can stabilise your own selves for the long haul. You know already that it can be a very LONG haul.
One of the things DV abusers do is "isolate" their victims. Many victims, like myself, have everyone they know turned against them by the abuser(s). It's ok we're well out now.
Having no one to turn to is one reason why victims stay.
It will be emotionally challenging for you both to KNOW what's going on and to hang in there for her and the baby. But it seems you are very committed and I acknowledge your convictions.
Police told me recently to "just call us" when I knew a violent situation was occurring in another household. You can do this if you know. You can also speak to her Local Police Social Worker and tell them about the situation. Ofcourse SHE will have to be the one to report him etc but YOU can give Police the headsup.
She will make every excuse known to skip meeting up with you etc. Keep contact.
Abusers may also be recording calls, going through texts and download all sorts of apps to monitor their victim's phone. Try to take her out places and encourage her to open up to you. You have the perfect excuse now she's pregnant to just turn up with "something for the baby".
Local Women's Health Centres run incredible courses for women in DV relationships and those recovering from them. They never give details out to spouses, so her confidentiality is maintained. She can say she's going to a Mother's group which is pretty close to the truth lol and attend one of these courses even with the baby.
This was a pinnacle point in my understanding of DV and gave me more of my strong conviction to leave for good.
Best wishes. My Prayers are with you all during this time.