I have a friend who is in an abusive relationship

He is 6’3", 220lbs. She is maybe 5’2", 95lbs. She beats him. This is not a joke.

This guy has been a very close friend of mine since elementary school. He has never really been one to stay with girls for very long and, to be honest, he has never been all that interested in girls beyond sex. This is only his 2nd or 3rd actual relationship.

So they met this June on a beach trip. She was engaged at the time. Within a week or two of returning from the beach she broke off the engagement and began seeing my friend. It only took me a couple of days to figure out that this girl was nothing but trouble. She immediately demanded that he stop seeing all of his friends and would get intensely angry if she found out he talked to any of us.
Within 2 weeks of the start of their relationship she started trying to talk him into getting her pregnant. Within 3 weeks she started manipulating him into buying her an engagement ring. She hit him for the first time in under a month (she thought she saw him glance at another girl in a bar, he didn’t.)
This girl is incredibly jealous of him so much as looking at or talking to another person, male or female, including his friends and even his immediate family. She constantly tries to belittle him and lower his self esteem. She acts as if she is an authority figure to him and he has to ask her permission to do ANYTHING.

When I ask him what he sees in her he just says “I love her”
I say “you always say you want an intelligent girl, is she very intelligent?”


“You always say you want a cultured girl, is she very cultured? Does she listen to good music?”

“No, no.”

“You say you want a nice girl, who can get along with your friends, and who is a good cook. Is she any of this?”


“Then what the hell do you see in her?!!!”

“I love her.”

She is a racist and a christian. He was neither until he met her, now he is becoming both.

She literally doesn’t have a single friend and she doesn’t want him to have any either (this guy probably has more friends/acquaintances than anyone I’ve ever known in my life so keep in mind that this is a pretty drastic change for him.)

Last night he was in the car with me, leaving my house. She must’ve been hiding somewhere near my house because about a half mile down the road this car comes out of nowhere and starts approaching me from behind at an incredible speed. She was no doubt trying to ram me and would have succeeded had I not stomped on the gas. At the next redlight she jumped out of her car and started running towards us but I gassed it and turned right at the redlight. He made me stop at the next gas station so he could talk to her but she just screamed insanely at the top of her lungs, hitting him and screaming at him to get in the car. This little 95lb girl was physically intimidating him and literally chased him around the back of her car and into the passenger seat. I felt terrible for him. He looked absolutely terrified and humiliated like a puppy or a small child being reprimanded. As she sped off into traffic without looking and almost causing an accident I could still hear her screaming and see her hitting him. He had done nothing wrong. She had absolutely no reason to be angry. I talked to him later and he told me that she was doing well over 100mph (in 35 and 45mph zones) and when he asked her to please slow down she would scream “FUCK YOU!!! I WANT TO DIE!!!”

He keeps saying that everything will be ok once her marries her but I know that’s not true. I know her type and her pattern and I keep trying to tell him that it’s only going to get worse. She’s 9 weeks pregnant and she has him completely convinced that they are bonded together for life.

I saw the devil last night. I told him that if he doesn’t end this relationship then this relationship will end his life. But no matter what I say he just simply won’t listen to reason. He is like clay in her psychotic hands.
BTW, my friend and I are both hetero males so this has absolutely nothing to do with jealousy. I am just strongly against abuse in relationships and it kills me to see my friend being humiliated, abused, and manipulated like this.
So does anyone have any thoughts on this? Any helpful advice? Should I mind my own business?

You might Google “domestic abuse” and check out some of the links it brings up. I only looked at a couple, such as this one, but there are plenty of them out there. Try to find some information about women abusing men, because it’s entirely possible that your friend doesn’t realize he’s being abused on the misconception that domestic abuse is something that only men do to women. This site’s checklist of abusive behaviors fits this woman to a T.

And that’s just based on your post!

I had a friend in a similar situation. There is absolutely nothing you can do.

I imagine you’ve been friends for a long time and if he’s willing to throw away everything for this girl there’s nothing you can do except be a good friend when the whole house of cards falls in on itself.

However, first of all, you may want to try to get him to get some confirmation that she is really pregnant. How does he know? Did she tell him? Women have lied about pregnancies to keep men in relationships.

Beyond that, if she really is pregnant, he’s screwed. He’s attached to her at least partially for life now. He obviously needs to get out, but if he’s so blind that his answer to all rationale arguments is “I love her” then like an alcolohic he’s going to need to hit rock bottom and have his moment of clarity.

The best bet is to be supportive, at least for now, he’s not giving into her demands never to see you. As long as that continues he hasn’t been fully whipped and there is still hope.

I know what it’s like to be in your shoes. My former best friend and her boyfriend (my first best friend and first love) abused each other, both physically and psychologically, throughout their three-year relationship. Being close to both of them got me a front row seat to the festivities.

In my experience, there’s very little you can do. The best thing you can do, though, is be there for him. Be his friend. Right now, people who haven’t been turned off by his girlfriend are in short supply. Be there for him. Listen and comfort him when he vents or is upset. It won’t seem like a lot, or enough, but it’s all you can do. It may sound uncaring, but you can’t save him.

You’ve tried talking to him about her. Even if you talked about her in a nonhostile, nonaccusatory way, he still won’t consider leaving her. You can’t make him see how bad she is, and you can’t force him to leave her. As there’s no magic spell or heartfelt speech guaranteed to make him see things as they really are, all you can do is be his friend.

It’s important that he come to the realization she’s bad on his own, and decide to leave her on his own. If he does, he’ll have the stronger resolve to leave her and undo the damage she’s caused. If it’s something he’s pressured into by you or others, his heart won’t be behind it, and he’ll cave in easily. If he’s not 100% in it, his girlfriend will eat him alive.

I think it’s good of you to be looking out for him.

This is probably out of left field, but have you ever considered speaking to her yourself? I’m not sure how much that would help/hurt, but just tell her about what you’ve witnessed first hand and that you are not pleased to see your friend being treated this way. It might make her ‘freak out’ at you, but at least you’d have said what you have to say and she’ll know that you know what she’s all about.

I suppose, on second thought, that would get him into more ‘trouble’ because it would raise her ire further. But I think it would be good for her to hear that he has your support and that you’re looking out for him.

I can’t imagine saying, “I love her/him” and being treated that poorly at the same time. Abusive relationships rarely end well, but hopefully, in your friends case, he can get out sooner rather than later.

Well part of it is the nature of life. A large man being physically abused by a tiny woman presents a comic picture to the world and even to many woman who would otherwise rail in anger against the man if the situation were reversed. I am also a large man who was used (briefly) as a punching bag by an angry woman in my youth. Unless a deadly weapon is involved (which is a distinct possibility as time goes by with an insanely angry person) it is amusing at first and quickly becomes not amusing.

As to the real reason why he is staying with her, if I had to guess I would say that there is probably a dominant (she) /submissive (he) erotic tension in the relationship and he is probably getting the best sex of his life as angry, unstable women who are seeking to get pregnant are often adventurous tigers in bed. All your practical reasons not to be together are as raindrops against the granite face of a great romp in bed and an orgasm that pops his head off. There is nothing in this world like hot sex with an uninhibited, slighlty crazy woman. Unfortunately the flip side of uninhibited sexuality is sometimes uninhibited anger and jealousy which gets old fast.

The main danger is making a baby with a nut. As great as the sex might (temporarily) be, being joined at the hip with a crazy person for the rest of your life by a child you had together can be a hell on earth.

She sounds like she has a major screw loose. I feel sorry for all involved in this one. Especially you, because you can only sit by and watch. Bummer.

Can you imagine how relieved her ex-fiance must be to finally be rid of this Harpie? Maybe that’s the path to take. Find some willing shill to try to woo her away from your pal. I don’t know how you might go about achieving this, but getting her to bail on the relationship might be the best way to solve this problem. In any event, maybe The Dopers can Brain Storm a Plan.

Good Luck.

CISCO - there’s a good book out there called: “To be an anchor in the storm” by Susan Brewster (if memory serves). I usually don’t like these books, but this one actually has good content in it.

Technically, it’s a guide for families and friends of abused women who are CURRENTLY in the middle of the nasty relationship and can’t get out (or won’t.) I’ve used it in the past with people who had male friends in abusive relationships.

Your friend, though he may not be able to find his way out of the situation, does need your help. You can’t make the decisions for him, but you can listen, and you can make your concerns about his safety known. Offer him ways out - shelters, a place to stay, a social worker to talk to…

His partner does need help. But your main concern has to be your friend right now. There are good pointers about how to handle the situation, as a friend, so that you don’t end up reinforcing his will to stay there (because “I love heeeer…”) and don’t excuse his partner’s actions.

Get a hold of that book - it’s got good suggestions, and good checklists. I have lots of experience working with people in these situations (women, men and children) - so feel free to email me if you want. I can perhaps give you more ideas.

Good luck.


** astro **

I have to disagree with:

Not so long ago, we used to say the same thing about women who stayed in abusive situations. We know now that it’s more than that - it’s a matter of someone’s will being crushed by another, and their notion of self being practically destroyed. People stay with abusive partners because they don’t think they deserve any better (and they’re told that), and they feel responsible for all the bad things that happen to them. There’s more at play than the sexual component of the relationship which can be, of course, pure powerplay too. Abusers are people who manipulate - they will play with emotions and minds to the point where their victim can’t function independently.

And the big world out there becomes really scary. Victims think that their abusive partner really LOVES them, and that all they have to do is be better… and that being ALONE, if they left, would be far worse.

It’s the same for men. Right now, it’s the “the sex must be good if he stays” attitude that is keeping abused men locked up in their houses, equally wounded and fearful.

At least, that’s my experience dealing with abuse survivors, men and women alike.

Such a hard place to be in. You know he needs your friendship and support, but by lending it are you simply enabling him to stay in a bad situation? It’s a hard call.

I think you would do well to educate him about what’s normal and what’s abuse. Maybe “abuse” is a difficult word for him to stomach (even though it’s 100% accurate.) But surely he can accept that she is controlling and manipulative. She’s not “high strung” or “jealous” or “unique” or “Really in love with him.” She’s following a familar pattern of behavior that is well known to people who study abusive relationships. You’ve got to drum into him that a happy relationship doesn’t work like this. That marriage will not change her. Pregnant or not, this woman is a hellbitch.

I have to wish she will have a miscarriage because I would not wish a mother like that on any baby or child.

astro, I have not seen a single person in this
thread state that the situation is amusing. Abuse is
abuse, and I think the fact that you assume women will
find this funny is pretty offensive.

I have no good advice for you, Cisco, but I sincerely
hope everything turns out okay, sooner rather than later

Well maybe… but this picture “he looked absolutely terrified and humiliated like a puppy or a small child being reprimanded” from a man who is twice as large, and probably a good bit stronger than his “abuser” tends to point to some degree of self determination to be in that relationship.

The abused/abuser relationship paradigm in real life is a lot more complex than the standard snapshot of drunken, wife beating morons terrorizing their families or hapless, trembling doe like victims quaking in fear. If someone is truly a violently abusive sociopath, they need to be locked up, but the currently fashionable label of abused/abuser are rarely this clear cut in real life situations.

It is a documented fact (and quite unsurprising to most police) that men and women tend to be equally physically aggressive with each other although the end consequences are quite skewed due to men typically being larger and stronger. More than once I have I have verbally reprimanded otherwise well educated and sophisticated women for hitting me and telling them I did not enjoyed getting smacked or beaten excessively because they were frustrated or angry, and thought I should be an outlet for these frustrations simply because I was large and strong and stoic. The range of responses from these women (who typically self identified as feminists) was that I was being a little girl or “gay” (I will say, however, to see the VP of HR for a billion dollar corporation imitating a gay man by mincing across the kitchen while lisping “Oh did I hurt the big, strong maaan” is a sight to see) to I’m (insert almost any race/nationality) and we always acted out that way in my family.

There are “abusers” (especially when substance abuse is involved) who are stone cold evil, manipulative jerks, but I’m not sure they comprise the majority cohort of those in what are considered to be “abusive” relationships. Based on my observations over the years of friends, ex-friends and their spouses and ex-spouses relationships and the theatre of the absurd that these relationships sometimes become, the notion of who is abusing whom coming down to who raises the first hand is not an altogether accurate picture of the real dynamics present in these relationships.

It has been my observation that many men and women who are unsure of themselves or otherwise lack self confidence, self-esteem etc. tend to actively select out more aggressive and “controlling” people than themselves to form relationships with, especially if they are young and female. As time goes by and a person matures and becomes more sure of themselves this “directing” behavior on the part of their SO becomes less and less tolerable, to the point they start to rebel against the relationship role(s) they had eagerly sought out and had fit comfortable into previously. For the purposes of illustration assuming a male/female controller/controlled relationship “Mr. Aggressive and confident, take care of business man” may not (in real terms) have changed his personality much at all, but he is now “Mr. Controlling jerk” because she has changed, but he has not. This sometimes sets the stage for a war, which can escalate into physical conflict as Mr. “Aggressive and controlling” goes toe to toe with Ms. “You’re not the Boss of me!” Some people can eventually accommodate these new roles in their relationships but many others cannot.

If a person is getting physically injured in altercations with their SO they need to leave or otherwise remove himself or herself or the other person from the situation. It is a less direct and less obvious determination, however, to look at that scenario post-fight and say to the injured party you are a “victim” and you are the “abused” and they are the “abuser”. Relationships are complicated and slapping powerful accusatory labels of abuser/abused on what happens across a wide range of relationships and individual dynamics within those relationships, does not always clarify what is actually happening or has happened therein.