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If you hear about a toxic relationship - is it your business?

vikinganna87vikinganna87 Live Free or Die member
Fifth Anniversary 250 Love Its 100 Comments First Answer
I've gotten to know one of H's friends, his college roommate - let's call him Harry- over the past few years.  He lives about 2 hours away and travels a lot for work so we see him every couple of months.  He has a long distance girlfriend - lives in a different country - who I first met about a year ago when they started their relationship.  She's 10+ years younger than me (22); though I don't know her well, the time I've spent with her has been positive and she & Harry have seemed like a good fit.

Two days ago they came to visit us.  Harry's GF and I started talking and she told me some things about her relationship with Harry. He's verbally abusive and treats her badly - says things to intentionally hurt her. Dr. Jekyll / Mr. Hyde type thing where he has that extra drink and flies off the handle and becomes jealous & controlling.  According to H, Harry doesn't have a great track record with one of his exes but for some stupid reason I was surprised to hear this story from GF. I felt horrible for her.  I told she can call me any time and that if she needs a place to stay or a ride to airport to please let me know.  She's seeing a therapist.  As we were talking, H & Harry showed up so I just whispered for her to send me a fb msg.  Yesterday she sent a message, very short...essentially - thanks for listening.

I have no idea if she intends to break up with him.  I told H about it and he seemed pretty worked up.  We're supposed to see them next weekend at a BBQ at Harry's place.  The ragey impulsive part of me wants to pull Harry aside and say some strong words. However, Harry's GF told me this in confidence, which I've already broken by telling H (and TK). The other part of me says it's none of my business and all I can do is make myself available to support Harry's GF.

She flies home next Monday so there's a chance this all just ends after the visit, though I suspect no.  They're already planning to go to a wedding together in GF's home country in October.  Harry's mother and GF's parents meet for the first time.

Should I just keep my mouth shut and offer support for GF?

Re: If you hear about a toxic relationship - is it your business?

  • ShesSoColdShesSoCold bend over and I'll show ya mod
    Moderator 5000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its
    I've gotten to know one of H's friends, his college roommate - let's call him Harry- over the past few years.  He lives about 2 hours away and travels a lot for work so we see him every couple of months.  He has a long distance girlfriend - lives in a different country - who I first met about a year ago when they started their relationship.  She's 10+ years younger than me (22); though I don't know her well, the time I've spent with her has been positive and she & Harry have seemed like a good fit.

    Two days ago they came to visit us.  Harry's GF and I started talking and she told me some things about her relationship with Harry. He's verbally abusive and treats her badly - says things to intentionally hurt her. Dr. Jekyll / Mr. Hyde type thing where he has that extra drink and flies off the handle and becomes jealous & controlling.  According to H, Harry doesn't have a great track record with one of his exes but for some stupid reason I was surprised to hear this story from GF. I felt horrible for her.  I told she can call me any time and that if she needs a place to stay or a ride to airport to please let me know.  She's seeing a therapist.  As we were talking, H & Harry showed up so I just whispered for her to send me a fb msg.  Yesterday she sent a message, very short...essentially - thanks for listening.

    I have no idea if she intends to break up with him.  I told H about it and he seemed pretty worked up.  We're supposed to see them next weekend at a BBQ at Harry's place.  The ragey impulsive part of me wants to pull Harry aside and say some strong words. However, Harry's GF told me this in confidence, which I've already broken by telling H (and TK). The other part of me says it's none of my business and all I can do is make myself available to support Harry's GF.

    She flies home next Monday so there's a chance this all just ends after the visit, though I suspect no.  They're already planning to go to a wedding together in GF's home country in October.  Harry's mother and GF's parents meet for the first time.

    Should I just keep my mouth shut and offer support for GF?
    Yes. Nothing you do or say to Harry will make his any better and will likely only make it worse. 
    Image result for someecard betting someone half your shit youll love them forever
    vikinganna87novella1186
  • I think you've done enough and should now stay completely out of it. You're basically a stranger to this woman. If she reaches out, def offer support, but if not do nothing.
    vikinganna87
  • OliveOilsMomOliveOilsMom South Jersey member
    Ninth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    I would only continue to support the GF in all this.  She came to you, so keep that line of communication open.  I would say nothing to Harry.  I would probably encourage the GF that she should not be limiting herself to a relationship where she is not treated properly.  GF is in therapy, hopefully she will continue that even when she goes home.
    ShesSoColdvikinganna87novella1186onefootinthebayou
  • I agree that you should just continue to offer your support to her, talk to her if she wants to talk, etc, but mentioning something to Harry isn't going to do any good.  When she is ready to leave, she will leave.
    Married 9.12.15
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    vikinganna87
  • ShesSoColdShesSoCold bend over and I'll show ya mod
    Moderator 5000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its
    edited September 2015
    Posted on the wrong thread. No one here cares about my lost and then found driver's license.
    Image result for someecard betting someone half your shit youll love them forever
  • I would only continue to support the GF in all this.  She came to you, so keep that line of communication open.  I would say nothing to Harry.  I would probably encourage the GF that she should not be limiting herself to a relationship where she is not treated properly.  GF is in therapy, hopefully she will continue that even when she goes home.
    I agree with this. If you confront him, he could decide to isolate his GF from you so that he doesn't have to deal with your disapproval or whatever, which would make things a lot worse for the GF since she clearly feels comfortable confiding in you. 

    Abusers won't change just cuz you tell them to, and abuse victims won't leave until they decide to do so on their own. It sucks but there's not really anything you can do besides be there for her if she ever asks for your help. 
    image
    vikinganna87
  • I would only say something if he did something at the bbq. I wouldn't just say something out of the blue though. I think being a support for her is important, and it's so nice of you to do that.
    image
    vikinganna87kimmiinthemitten
  • Yes, I would stay out of it.  

    GF came to you, and knows how to reach out to you on FB is she needs to talk in the future. My guess is that she wouldn't have said something about it if she wasn't already thinking long and hard about the relationship. She is an adult, and needs to make her own decisions. I think it's fantastic that she's in therapy.

    vikinganna87
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    10000 Comments Seventh Anniversary 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    I would only discuss it further with her if she approaches you for help in the future. Definitely say nothing to Harry.
    vikinganna87
  • lyndausvilyndausvi Western Slope, Colorado mod
    Moderator Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its
    I've witnessed more toxic relationships then a care to remember.  Sometimes it's the woman, sometimes it's the man.    Sometimes it's both of them feeding off of each other.   

    There is no clear right answer here.   I've gained stronger friendships "taking sides".  I've also lost relationships do to my interfering. One time I was on the victims side, yet still lost the relationship because she ended back with him and I became the bitch who complained about her now-husband. 


    In this case, a girl I barely know, who lives in OOT (out of the country at that) I wouldn't get involved.   I will listen, but I do not think there is a strong enough bond to get involved.






    What differentiates an average host and a great host is anticipating unexpressed needs and wants of their guests.  Just because the want/need is not expressed, doesn't mean it wouldn't be appreciated. 
    vikinganna87
  • vikinganna87vikinganna87 Live Free or Die member
    Fifth Anniversary 250 Love Its 100 Comments First Answer
    Thanks for all the advice; I appreciate it.

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