Would you call this domestic abuse?
The downward spiral of domestic abuse...
As some of you know/remember, I relocated when I moved in with my fiance, so whilst I still have contact with friends back home it was important for me to make new friendships here. It surprised me how much more difficult it can be to actually meet and make friends as an adult. Its more, individuals rather than friendship groups, but anyway I'm getting off topic.
One of my fairly newer friends has had a rough time, she, like me, relocated for her partner. However its not exactly worked out the way she had envisioned. Her partner has no children, has never been married and is younger then her, great right? No baggage? He was having a bit of legal drama with an ex that they had made large joint purchases with, but in comparison to step-world, no biggie!
This friend would often talk about feeling unhappy, feeling ignored and as if her boyfriend wasnt prioritising their relationship. He would say many things but day after day his behaviour wasnt changing. They would argue alot and he would make excuses saying it was all due to the stress with the legal proceedings.
Low and behold, these legal issues have been resolved, her boyfriend has been able to retain ownership of the things he wanted so hes come out well, my friend was expecting their day to day life to get better, now this major stress had been taken care of.
From what she says there seems to be a cycle of them arguing over anything and everything, normally he starts shouting at her, she cries, apologises, ends up kissing his ass and after a while of ignoring one another they get over it. But a few days ago when he shouted at her, she didnt cry, she was angry and she shouted back. Her words to me were that her boyfriend "lost it" and went to shove her, she told me that in that moment she was genuinely fearful that he was going to lay a hand on her, he didnt, he stopped himself and instead stormed out of their home. Later he calls her in tears, telling her that he doesnt know why she loves him, that hes a terrible person etc etc. You know the drill, the whole guilt trip act.
This friend later texts me all about it and her texts are reasonable, she tells me what happens and tells me that shes not prepared to deal with these obvious anger issues that root deeper than she had previously thought. That they have gone through alot but shes not prepared to be his emotional punching bag and certainly not risk being his physical punching bag and she wants to leave and return to her home country.
We text for a little while and then I call her, yet somehow between these texts and the phone call her entire position on everything changed.
Hes given her the "I love you and itll never happen again" speech and she figures since he didnt actually touch her then its no harm, no foul. We then have a good long chat about everything and she tells me that she loves him dearly and wants him to get help and that if he agrees to getting some anger management help then shes prepared to support him so long as he never touches her but confesses she doesnt know how to talk to him about this because, in her words, if she talks about things that he doesnt want to hear then he gets angry and starts screaming at her.
I point out to her that if its that bad that she feels unable to talk to him about things because shes scared of his reaction then the emotional abuse is already happening.
So she goes home and talks to him, and now hes decided that it was wrong and hes horrified by it but he doesnt think its necessary for him to look into anger management, thats all over reacting because he didnt actually lay a finger on her, he doesnt have a problem, shes overreacting a bit because it wasnt that bad.
My friends response? So its sorted now but if he hits me Im leaving.
I cant help but sit here thinking WTF. I want to help but I have no idea how you are supposed to help someone that is able to make such massive 360s in such short spaces of time. A couple of weeks ago she was talking about trying for a baby with him, she know claims thats totally off the table whilst hes "like this" but when I asked, ok so what is HE going to do to change and actually make things better? There was no answer other than wait and see.
Some people are naturally more hot headed, some people are naturally more likely to lash out in an aggressive manner, Im not saying that everyone has to hold hands and sing all the time. BUT when it gets to this point to me, THIS is the time to actually do something about it.
I could understand her wanting to work things out if he was to turn round and say, his working hours are stressful so hes going to change those hours and hes going to do an anger management or stress managing type thing and actually did it. We all have faults, its being able to identify them and work to improve them that matters. But this whole, I dont have a problem you are over reacting, to me it just spells out disastor.
Or, am I perhaps over reacting on the information Ive been given?