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My Good Friend Treats His Wife Like Crap  
User currently offlineAR385 From Mexico, joined Nov 2003, 6465 posts, RR: 32
Posted (3 years 1 month 4 weeks 6 hours ago) and read 3775 times:
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I really don´t know how to describe this. One of my best friends, from childhood moved away and I moved away from our cities of origin but lately we´ve converged in the same city. I´ve been invited three time over to his house for drinks or dinner and he treasts his wife like a piece of furniture. He verbally abuses her in front of the group of us and makes her do stuff she should not do, like basically, be the waitress in her own house. Verbal abuse and yelling is the norm.

I have not witnessed any physical abuse.

1. What should I do?
2. He is a great friend of mine but I feel terribly embarassed and guilty when I see how he treats the wife.
3. Should I meddle?
4. In which way? Should I tell him that I don´t like the way you treat your wife? Why does she does not do anything about it?
5. Should I talk to her on my own and tell her she does not have to be treated like that?

This is a very difficult situation for me. I don´t want to loose my friend but I can´t seriously go on another dinner or drinks in his house watching how he treats the woman.

It´s very distressing.

30 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineAirstud From United States of America, joined Nov 2000, 2732 posts, RR: 3
Reply 1, posted (3 years 1 month 4 weeks 6 hours ago) and read 3757 times:

You should talk to him.

Do not talk to his wife, because it seems - if the guy finds out the two of you talked - he would likely misconstrue this, and she may end up receiving even more abuse because of it.

Get him in private and make it sound real casual - like, "Were you angry at Matilda about something? Last Saturday when I was over there you were acting like you were pissed at her about something." Hopefully he'll ask what you mean and you'll be able to see where the discussion might be steered from there.



Pancakes are delicious.
User currently offlinena From Germany, joined Dec 1999, 10804 posts, RR: 9
Reply 2, posted (3 years 1 month 4 weeks 6 hours ago) and read 3754 times:

If he´s indeed a good friend, you must tell him. Dont go to his wife first, as you dont know what she will tell her husband.
You could start in a lighthearted way, like, if he´s commanding her, offer her to help in serving, and in general be exceptionally kind to her.

I also have a friend who does a bit like it. He doesnt treat his wife like a servant, but verbally fights with her in front of others, very often, and in front of their daughter, too, even uses insulting words. But in this case his wife always fights back. I have learnt its their normal way of "conversation". Not nice, but as the wife isnt humiliated it seems ok. If I wouldnt know them for long time, I would think they are in the final stages of marriage.


User currently offlineNimish From India, joined Feb 2005, 3269 posts, RR: 9
Reply 3, posted (3 years 1 month 4 weeks 6 hours ago) and read 3751 times:

I would definitely stop meeting this friend - and before you think it's easy for someone to say that, I've just done that when I discovered a "friend" was mistreating his wife. And in my case, I have encouraged the wife to walk away. Of course my example was much more extreme with physical violence etc  .

Another option would be to actually help out when at the friend's place, in the hope of "shaming" him, and giving the wife some help. So when he shouts out to the wife to get something, you get it instead, and joke about how your friend should help out at home too.



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User currently offlineBongodog1964 From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2006, 3658 posts, RR: 3
Reply 4, posted (3 years 1 month 4 weeks 5 hours ago) and read 3705 times:

Very difficult, I have a long standing friend who has treated his wife like a doormat for many years; we joked just after they got married that she would walk out within the year, but has to our suprise now hung around for 26 years. She has probably become institutionalised by now. His priorities have always been spending money on cars and cameras, to the detriment of anything else. He has a habit of getting deeply involved in car clubs and such like until the point where people get fed up with his behaviour, then he moves on to destroy something else. When you are with him, you do what he wants, when he wants.
He latched onto a good way of dividing up the finances, he paid the mortgage, the wife paid the household bills. Of course as years go on the mortgage reduces, but the household bills keep rising.

My wife got more and more fed up with his behaviour and attitude, especially when he thought he could treat her in a similar domineering way, we last met at Easter, and have had one e mail since from his wife which we politely replied to and a postcard from their holiday (usual destination where he wants to go)

In hindsight we had continued contact for the sake of his wife, but had come to dread meeting up, if she is willing to accept his behaviour despite being an intelligent, fairly forthright character (except when it involves him) thats her problem not ours.

My answer, just walk away, we did and wish we had a long time ago.


User currently offlineHAWK21M From India, joined Jan 2001, 31702 posts, RR: 56
Reply 5, posted (3 years 1 month 4 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 3684 times:

Talk to your friend......If it does not work....dump the friend & state the reason when asked.


Think of the brighter side!
User currently offlineAloha717200 From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 4521 posts, RR: 15
Reply 6, posted (3 years 1 month 4 weeks 1 hour ago) and read 3577 times:

Quoting Nimish (Reply 3):
Another option would be to actually help out when at the friend's place, in the hope of "shaming" him, and giving the wife some help.

I would be careful about this, as some men might see that as you attempting to make a move on the wife. I've noticed that many men that treat their wives like crap are also very territorial over them. They wouldn't want someone "better" to come along and steal the wife away. Interesting how that works. I think deep down they know they aren't being very appealing to their wives, but don't care to change their behavior.

If it were me, I'd do what Airstud said and just casually mention it privately to him at some point. Come across as his friend and try to let him open up to you about why he treats his wife that way. Perhaps he has a lot of resentment for her that has built up over the years as a result of differences over money or lifestyle or whatnot. Once you find out what his problem is you will be able to offer useful advice from the outside looking in.


User currently offlineMEA-707 From Netherlands, joined Nov 1999, 4353 posts, RR: 35
Reply 7, posted (3 years 1 month 4 weeks 1 hour ago) and read 3557 times:

I follow the earlier advise, just ask or tell what you think in a one on one discussion, don't approach her directly as that would further complicate probably the brittle and mistrusting relationship they already have.
It seems like they simply fell out of love with eachother. The last 6 months of my relationship my ex partner and I were both surly and derogatory about and towards eachother in public, looking back we should have broken up earlier but I guess it's just a matter of time til that happens with your friend and his wife.



nobody has ever died from hard work, but why take the risk?
User currently offlineKen777 From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 8429 posts, RR: 9
Reply 8, posted (3 years 1 month 4 weeks 1 hour ago) and read 3552 times:

The guy is a jerk. A first class bum. Just like a lot of guys who believe they "own" their wife. It's pretty pathetic and, when kids get involved and see that type of behavior it simply adds another generation to this type of abuse.

I'd tell him to pull his head out and be grateful that some lass is willing to be his wife. Fora while at least.


User currently offlinesw733 From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 6363 posts, RR: 9
Reply 9, posted (3 years 1 month 4 weeks 1 hour ago) and read 3532 times:

Quoting Airstud (Reply 1):
You should talk to him.

I think this is the way to go. If the friendship means anything to him, he will take you seriously and listen to what you have to say. I know that in my core group of friends, they truly respect my thoughts and what I say. They may not always agree, or even change, but they will listen...and that is the first step to any solution. Then again, I have nobody in my core group of friends who could even remotely do this...that's not saying my friends are better, just that I don't have any direct experience with the situation, nor do I expect to anytime soon (or ever, hopefully)

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 8):
The guy is a jerk. A first class bum.

Agreed


User currently offlineBAViscount From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2004, 2338 posts, RR: 4
Reply 10, posted (3 years 1 month 3 weeks 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 3470 times:

Quoting Aloha717200 (Reply 6):
Perhaps he has a lot of resentment for her that has built up over the years as a result of differences over money or lifestyle or whatnot.

I had a similar situation to the OP too. I went to visit a good friend of mine who had set up home on the Isle of Man with his girlfriend and their baby son. The first couple of hours I was there were fine - it was the first time I had met my friend's girlfriend and everyone was on their best behaviour. But as time went on I noticed my friend starting to snap at his girlfriend and really be unpleasant to her - this upset me not only because he was being nasty to her, but because she was also being so sweet, running around after the pair of us, cooking us dinner and generally making me feel right at home.

But as the visit wore on I started to figure out why my friend was acting the way he was. It turned out that his girlfriend had a very serious alcohol problem. I ended up laying in my bed that night listening to her in the bathroom "talking to God on the great white telephone". I didn't keep track of how much she'd had to drink, but I know it was a lot more than my friend and me. I do know that she drank two bottles of red wine to herself after we got home from the pub. I know my friend well enough to know that he wouldn't find this kind of behaviour acceptable - he had suffered as a child because of his own father's alcohol addiction.

I never did get the chance to talk to my friend about it as I was leaving the next morning. However, not long after my visit they split up, sold their house and are now living seperate lives back in England.



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User currently offlinestratosphere From United States of America, joined Sep 2007, 1653 posts, RR: 5
Reply 11, posted (3 years 1 month 3 weeks 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 3252 times:

Funny I have seen women who deserve what they get sometimes. But I have a good friend who has a daughter who is in her 30's with 4 kids and is in nursing school trying to better herself her husband was all on board with her going back to school but he is a control freak and is making it impossible for her to do her studies and care for the kids that he said he would help with why she was in school. Not to drift from the OP too much if he is good friends with this guy he needs to speak his peace and if this guy is still a butthead then he needs to part company. I have a lot of friends and I would not stand for that from any of them.


NWA THE TRUE EVIL EMPIRE
User currently offlineTSS From United States of America, joined Dec 2006, 3070 posts, RR: 5
Reply 12, posted (3 years 1 month 3 weeks 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 3241 times:

I took the liberty of rearranging your questions a bit before attempting an answer.

Quoting AR385 (Thread starter):
This is a very difficult situation for me. I don´t want to loose my friend but I can´t seriously go on another dinner or drinks in his house watching how he treats the woman.
Quoting AR385 (Thread starter):
He is a great friend of mine but I feel terribly embarassed and guilty when I see how he treats the wife.
Quoting AR385 (Thread starter):
What should I do?

Basically, you have two options: Tell him how you feel and chance getting eliminated from his life, or continue to say nothing and stop associating with on your own.

Quoting AR385 (Thread starter):
Why does she does not do anything about it?

Because the cold, hard, unpleasant reality of the situation is that it takes two people to form an abusive relationship, and allowing him to treat her like that fulfills some need she has. She may have incredibly low self-esteem, or she may get off on playing the long-suffering martyr. If she truly didn't like it, she could either stop putting up with it or leave.

Quoting AR385 (Thread starter):
Should I talk to her on my own and tell her she does not have to be treated like that?

Big mistake. If you do, she'll be sure to let him know that you did, causing a much bigger rift in your relationship while making you look like the bad guy.

I've been in similar situations to yours before, and I've learned the hard way that the only thing to do is to walk away. However sick and twisted their relationship may look from an outsider's perspective, they are happy with it as evidenced by the fact that neither one is trying to change or end it.



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User currently offlinesccutler From United States of America, joined Jan 2000, 5581 posts, RR: 28
Reply 13, posted (3 years 1 month 3 weeks 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 3227 times:

Quoting na (Reply 2):

If he´s indeed a good friend, you must tell him.

Agreed. And I suggest a direct approach - no "lighthearted," subtle approach.

If he's offended, then he's no friend.

I cannot imagine treating my bride in that way - I love and respect her, and you do not treat people whom you respect in a disrespectful way.

If this fellow feels obliged to be ugly to his spouse, he should get help from a professional counselor so he can understand why he does this - why he is so insecure about himself, that he feels the need to belittle someone whom he has sworn to love, cherish, honor.

Not saying I have not had issues - every couple does - but after nearly 29 years, I know that I am a better person with her, than I am without, and I conduct myself accordingly.



...three miles from BRONS, clear for the ILS one five approach...
User currently offlineN1120A From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 26709 posts, RR: 75
Reply 14, posted (3 years 1 month 3 weeks 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 3069 times:

Quoting sccutler (Reply 13):
Agreed. And I suggest a direct approach - no "lighthearted," subtle approach.

Exactly. Something along the lines of "What the f@ck is wrong with you?"



Mangeons les French fries, mais surtout pratiquons avec fierte le French kiss
User currently offlinevikkyvik From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 10254 posts, RR: 26
Reply 15, posted (3 years 1 month 3 weeks 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 2990 times:
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Quoting N1120A (Reply 14):
Exactly. Something along the lines of "What the f@ck is wrong with you?"

  

My only caution is PLEASE don't do anything that you think might escalate the abuse. The last thing you want is for him to get pissed off and take it out on her.

It's a very difficult situation. I can only hope she realizes that she doesn't deserve how she's being treated, and doesn't get mad at you for butting into their personal lives.



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User currently offlineBN747 From United States of America, joined Mar 2002, 5618 posts, RR: 51
Reply 16, posted (3 years 1 month 3 weeks 5 days 11 hours ago) and read 2972 times:

Well 1st ..we to know what is your standing with this friend after 3 dinners & drinks...

Has the relationship between the two of you picked up where it left off years ago?

If so, how good of friends were and are you (now)? And what was the standing? By that I mean 'who was the alpha male' between the two of you?

Very few male/male friendships are 50-50 in leader/follower roles. Even if it's just a slight 49.8% & 50.2% differential..it makes a difference.

Before any real advice is could be given.. and you fly off doing what people here are saying..could end up badly for her and badly for you. Situations like this are far from frivolous and nothing to joke about. Your opening statements point to an abusive person which means this is a very negative situation. Everyone here is offering advice in hopes of a positive outcome. But this is impossible to predict with so many unknown factors worthy of consideration surrounding the entire mess.

BN747



"Home of the Brave, made by the Slaves..Land of the Free, if you look like me.." T. Jefferson
User currently offlineBabybus From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 17, posted (3 years 1 month 3 weeks 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 2889 times:

Your friend and his wife are not Siamese twins. Both are individuals living in separate bodies and either one can walk away at any time if they don't like what's going on.

Not being funny but sometimes I think women like the 'treat them mean, keep them keen' approach. Some women put up with all sorts of shite. The law protects women very well, or at least in the UK.

If you ask me husband/wife, boyfriend/girlfriend relationships are not for these times. They belong to a time way back in social history. We all need flexibility now.


User currently offlineKen777 From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 8429 posts, RR: 9
Reply 18, posted (3 years 1 month 3 weeks 5 days ago) and read 2820 times:

Quoting stratosphere (Reply 11):

Funny I have seen women who deserve what they get sometimes

Until they "get" a gun and blow the jerk away?

Do you believe some wives"deserve" to be slapped around a bit when they don't do as they are told?


User currently offlinesccutler From United States of America, joined Jan 2000, 5581 posts, RR: 28
Reply 19, posted (3 years 1 month 3 weeks 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 2810 times:

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 18):
Do you believe some wives"deserve" to be slapped around a bit when they don't do as they are told?

...asked the question I was wondering, as well...

---

If you have this feeling, this impulse when dealing with a mate (husband, wife, life partner, whatever), there's not a respectful relationship extant anyway. Adjust your attitude or move on.



...three miles from BRONS, clear for the ILS one five approach...
User currently offlineOA260 From Ireland, joined Nov 2006, 27245 posts, RR: 60
Reply 20, posted (3 years 1 month 3 weeks 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 2737 times:

Quoting Babybus (Reply 17):
Not being funny but sometimes I think women like the 'treat them mean, keep them keen' approach. Some women put up with all sorts of shite. The law protects women very well, or at least in the UK.

I have to disagree there . Sometimes Women have no choice and are scared to go it alone. They either choose to stay otherwise they seek refuge in a place that could be worse. If they are economically able to Im sure they would go but you would be surprised how many in the UK and Europe still find it impossible to leave. Some have no financial independence as their husband is the provider and they are a house wife.

I live in rural Ireland and some things I see and hear on a daily basis makes my blood boil. Some Men are still treating their wives like trash.

Maybe it hits a raw nerve with me because my Father treated my Mother like shit and I will never forgive him for it . Even though Im on talking terms with my Father it has affected my relationship with him. My Mother and I are so close and she forgives him but she is that kind of a person. She took the crap and had no where else to go and wanted my Sister and I to have a decent life. After 17 years of marriage she finally got her freedom back and now is very happy, financially secure and has my Sister and I .

Seeing your Mother crying whilst picking up food off the floor because your Dad has thrown it at her because the Dinner was an hour late ......      

When Women are abused by their husbands and they kill them in a fit of rage I think they should be let off and given rehab not jail...


User currently offlineBN747 From United States of America, joined Mar 2002, 5618 posts, RR: 51
Reply 21, posted (3 years 1 month 3 weeks 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 2727 times:

Quoting stratosphere (Reply 11):
Funny I have seen women who deserve what they get sometimes

On the surface.. that sounds pretty twisted and tragic on your part.

The only type woman who 'deserves what they get' (in the way you're suggesting) is one who has been violently abusive to her husband. There are some cuckold husbands out there. But that's it. Nothing else would be worthy of what you're talking about if I read that correctly.

Quoting Babybus (Reply 17):
Both are individuals living in separate bodies and either one can walk away at any time if they don't like what's going on.

Maybe in your fair hamlet it's that way - and even then, I assure you right where you live are couplings mired in circumstances so complexed that your simplistic approach does not apply.

Quoting Babybus (Reply 17):
Not being funny but sometimes I think women like the 'treat them mean, keep them keen' approach.

That may be possible somewhere, I've certainly met many who explicitly expressed that they felt 'the woman's place is in the home'...most prominent was a model, I was pretty blown away by that in this day and age. I'm sure somewarped religious beliefs played a role in that line of thought.

Quoting Babybus (Reply 17):
Some women put up with all sorts of shite. The law protects women very well, or at least in the UK.

In some cases in the UK not all, an immigrant woman in an abusive situation cannot seek 'official' assistance out of fear of her immigrant status. Regardless of how you you might feel about undocumented residency..she's still a human being and doesn't deserved to be treated like an animal.

BN747



"Home of the Brave, made by the Slaves..Land of the Free, if you look like me.." T. Jefferson
User currently offlineRussianJet From Belgium, joined Jul 2007, 7714 posts, RR: 21
Reply 22, posted (3 years 1 month 3 weeks 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 2710 times:

There is no simple answer here. There is no question that the kind of behaviour displayed by your 'friend' is unacceptable in the extreme, but you must tread carefully in tackling it. It is admirable that you obviously care enough to show such concern and want to help, but as others have pointed out there is always the risk that things could get worse as a result of perceived outside interference.

Knowing your friend, only you are really best placed to be able to guage his potential reaction to raising the subject with him. My gut instinct is to do something about it, but please - tread very carefully for all of your sakes, not least the woman concerned.



✈ Every strike of the hammer is a blow against the enemy. ✈
User currently offlineaa757first From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 3350 posts, RR: 8
Reply 23, posted (3 years 1 month 3 weeks 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 2681 times:

Just out of curiosity, what is your friend like to others? Is he a very blunt, assertive guy? I know people, men and women, who have very commanding presences in all of their relationships. It seems to be especially noticeable in romantic relationships.

I'm not saying this is the case here, but there are definitely people that like to be bossed around by their boyfriend or girlfriend. I can't even begin to understand enjoying this relationship from either side.

Quoting AR385 (Thread starter):
5. Should I talk to her on my own and tell her she does not have to be treated like that?

I definitely wouldn't do this. First of all, your friend is still your friend. This might make sense if you were thinking that he was beating her, but since that's not the case, you should bring it up with him. If you were to do this, it could also put you in the middle of their relationship, with each of them complaining to you and you being stuck in this awkward position.

Quoting AR385 (Thread starter):
3. Should I meddle?
4. In which way? Should I tell him that I don´t like the way you treat your wife? Why does she does not do anything about it?

Why not bring it up in a peripheral manner? Maybe something along the lines of "you and your wife seem to fight and argue quite a bit. Is everything okay?" If he's open to talking to you, there will probably be a point in the conversation where you can throw in your two cents. Of course, he may also just refuse to speak to you about this. In that case, your options seem pretty limited.

Also out of curiosity, does she have any close female relatives? I wonder what they think of the situation, or how much they even know.


User currently offlineDelboy From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2001, 725 posts, RR: 0
Reply 24, posted (3 years 1 month 3 weeks 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 2587 times:

Being a friend is never having to say you are sorry. If he's a good friend he'll undersatnd this.

Take him to one side and tell, quite clearly, him he's being a first class prick. Hopefully, the shock will make him see sense.


25 BN747 : Interesting .. 'these caught in middle' threads always get a proper christening and send off.. but the voyage after all the input - never seem to make
26 AR385 : You are right, and I apologize. It´s been a busy week. Here´s what I decided to do. Nothing. Why? Because: I´ve been over there a few other times a
27 wn700driver : I think you did the right thing, FWIW, AR385. Good friendships are hard to find, and you've clearly recognized that there is an established dynamic at
28 aerorobnz : Exactly what you did do. Well done.
29 Post contains links vikkyvik : While that can be true, it's certainly not a given. There are plenty of stories of people who put up with abuse for years for a variety of reasons. P
30 OA260 : Thank god she finally got freedom and justice. May he rott in hell. ! The bad side of anyone staying in such an relationship is that they might take
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