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Old 08-23-2011, 07:06 PM
 
Location: not new to houston anymore
276 posts, read 427,457 times
Reputation: 249

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How do you deal with someone that is very close to you and is in a mentally abusive relationship? It can be very aggravating to hear about their willingness to take such treatment for a spouse, their seeming lack of self-worth, etc. Sometimes the excuses just seem so bizarre. How can one be supportive without having to stop talking about their situation all together?
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Old 08-24-2011, 01:10 AM
 
Location: La lune et les étoiles
14,702 posts, read 9,986,355 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by newtohouston2 View Post
How do you deal with someone that is very close to you and is in a mentally abusive relationship? It can be very aggravating to hear about their willingness to take such treatment for a spouse, their seeming lack of self-worth, etc. Sometimes the excuses just seem so bizarre. How can one be supportive without having to stop talking about their situation all together?
Be honest.

Call your friend/sister/brother/cousin out on the situation - be straightforward

Reassure them that you are behind them no matter what happens

Don't be afraid to set your own boundaries with that person
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Old 08-24-2011, 02:28 AM
 
Location: The cupboard under the sink
3,574 posts, read 4,116,733 times
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Firslty, you have to change your attitude.

It is not a "willingness" to suffer more abuse.
For a victim, it is extremely difficult to leave.

There are quite a few websites out there which will give general advice, but every relationship, and every abuser are different, so it's not one size fits all.

Do some reading about DV, so you fully understand what it's like to be a victim, then you can emphathise, rather than just wondering why they don't just "up and leave the dick"
You will then understand why your friend has such feelings of low self worth.

Most important point.
DON'T TRY TO HELP IF YOU DON'T KNOW FULLY WHAT YOU'RE DOING!!
You may do more harm than good.
If in doubt, try gently to get your friend to visit a womens' centre, they have training to give direct, targeted advice.

Have a read of some of these.

Abuse Victims

Effects of Domestic Violence

This guy has a few videos which will go some way to explaining some of the processes, I'd highly recommend you watch a few of them. Just click his name if you watch the viseo on youtube.


The Shock of Abuse - YouTube

Last edited by bobman; 08-24-2011 at 03:28 AM..
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Old 08-24-2011, 07:27 AM
 
1,812 posts, read 1,401,276 times
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Pick up and LEAVE unless you enjoy it STAY
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Old 08-24-2011, 07:36 AM
 
3,379 posts, read 5,845,609 times
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When someone close to you is being abused mentally by their spouse, but not staying because of a fear for their life, just their lifestyle, it's annoying as carp. If you know someone being physically abused, you know it's happening and they have the bruises/marks to prove it - step in. You are not a friend if you allow them to stay and make excuses.

Someone close to me was in an abusive marriage. It got old to hear, day in, day out - all her excuses. She has a daughter. Finally, I asked her what she would tell her in that situation... next, I explained that the FIRST time he hit her, it was HIS fault. The SECOND time, it was BOTH of their faults. 3+ were ALL HER FAULT - for being there. I also told her that if her daughter grew up to marry an abusive man, it would be ALL HER FAULT - just as she blamed HER MOTHER for raising her while in a physically abusive relationship.

It's not sweet and warm and sappy. It's called toughlove. You can sit, click your tongue and make sympathetic noises, or you can BE A FRIEND. If she is choosing to stay, then you point that out and refuse to support her in it, or accept it and let her know that while your couch is open, you no longer want to hear her complaints.
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Old 08-24-2011, 07:49 AM
 
Location: The cupboard under the sink
3,574 posts, read 4,116,733 times
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OP, I implore you to ignore advice such as this.


"tough love" will NOT work for most abuse victims. It will only confuse them even more, and add to their sense of low self worth, and feelings of guilt.

When it comes to DV, you'll find a great many people out there who are hugely opinionated, but also hugely uninformed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 30STM View Post
Pick up and LEAVE unless you enjoy it STAY

To the person who posted this, I'm sorry, but you have no idea what you are talking about.
I strongly urge you to watch the video I posted, and some of the other videos the guy has made.
Especially if you plan to "help" other people.

What you are doing is basically the equivalent of telling a depressed person to "cheer up", or telling an autistic person to "look at me when I'm talking to you".


Quote:
Originally Posted by sskkc View Post
When someone close to you is being abused mentally by their spouse, but not staying because of a fear for their life, just their lifestyle, it's annoying as carp. If you know someone being physically abused, you know it's happening and they have the bruises/marks to prove it - step in. You are not a friend if you allow them to stay and make excuses.

Someone close to me was in an abusive marriage. It got old to hear, day in, day out - all her excuses. She has a daughter. Finally, I asked her what she would tell her in that situation... next, I explained that the FIRST time he hit her, it was HIS fault. The SECOND time, it was BOTH of their faults. 3+ were ALL HER FAULT - for being there. I also told her that if her daughter grew up to marry an abusive man, it would be ALL HER FAULT - just as she blamed HER MOTHER for raising her while in a physically abusive relationship.

It's not sweet and warm and sappy. It's called toughlove. You can sit, click your tongue and make sympathetic noises, or you can BE A FRIEND. If she is choosing to stay, then you point that out and refuse to support her in it, or accept it and let her know that while your couch is open, you no longer want to hear her complaints.
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Old 08-24-2011, 10:06 AM
 
7,532 posts, read 6,245,373 times
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People stay for a wide variety of reasons.

From the outside we say, "I wouldn't put up with that crap!!!" However, we might not know the whole situation. Just what are friend is telling us is how we feel.
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Old 08-24-2011, 10:27 AM
 
Location: Pittsburgh
13,203 posts, read 10,851,060 times
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My sister's marriage is a lot like this. BIL is childish, possessive, and controlling, but my sister is codependent and is also part of the problem. While it's really frustrating to watch, I don't want to cut ties with my sister, and she knows that if she ever needs anything that I will be there for her. If I had any qualms about her personal safety I'd jump in in a second, but the mental stuff is so much trickier to deal with.
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Old 08-24-2011, 07:46 PM
 
Location: not new to houston anymore
276 posts, read 427,457 times
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there are a lot of good points here. i did watch the video above and it is interesting--you can apply some of it to this situation even though there is absolutely no physical violence in this very long term relationship. i think i basically just have to sit and listen since ive tried everything to rationalize with her, but, as the vid points out--they always find a reason to justify things. she has EVERY means to leave, thankfully (money, her own place, they guy actually is interested in someone else, etc), but it's the mental hang ups that wont let her break it off with him ("love", fear of loneliness, too much shared history, guilt, etc). i think the "love" part is the absolute worst. its so hard to hear someone say they love someone who has treated them that way.
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Old 08-24-2011, 08:24 PM
 
9,717 posts, read 6,979,258 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by newtohouston2 View Post
How do you deal with someone that is very close to you and is in a mentally abusive relationship? It can be very aggravating to hear about their willingness to take such treatment for a spouse, their seeming lack of self-worth, etc. Sometimes the excuses just seem so bizarre. How can one be supportive without having to stop talking about their situation all together?
I think the best way to be supportive is to just be their friend...sometimes they won't want to talk about it...but you both know....there is a great deal of shame entwined around an abused person...they lack any confidence.....You don't have to talk about it all the time....I'm sure the person going through it would probably welcome a chance to put it out of their minds when they are with a good friend.
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