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Please Help! Stuck trying to keep the peace
November 12, 2005
11:16 am
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Pegasus
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Hi, I really need some help. My best friend has been in an incredibly abusive relationship for about ten years. It was mostly mental abuse but some physical abuse. He is only now getting the strength to finally cut it off and I am so proud. He actually went to a lawyer and filed for divorce.
The problem is that now he is in constant fear that if he doesn't do for her or give her exactly what she wants, she'll make his life miserable. (Guess what, she already is!) He feels like he needs to kiss her behind and do whatever she wants until one landmark after another, until she is served, until it's final. Unless he stands up for himself, she will never stop controlling him. It is so bad that he is becoming seriously ill. He has 2 ulcers that make him sick and has started having anxiety attacks that he thinks are the beginnings of heart attacks.
I've been down this road before and know that unless he stands up for himself he will be trapped. How do I help him best? Thanks.

November 12, 2005
11:44 am
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mamacinnamon
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Pegasus:

May I ask if there are children involved? If so, then he may need to suck up a bit to get what he wants. Otherwise, he needs to not play her games. Do you know why he thinks he must kiss her behind? From what I went thru in my first divorce.... I had to do some behind kissin to get some of the things I needed, specially for the kids. But, after it was over... no more.

To stand up to her he needs to have a no contact rule except if there are kids involved. My opinion.

November 12, 2005
12:01 pm
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Pegasus
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Hi Mama, Thanks for the reply. There are no children involved. They've even resolved all the separation of goods and she has taken a $7000 payoff and spent it. She even admitted to cheating on him. I think he feels like he has to kiss her behind so that she doesn't abuse him. She has put off leaving the house, packing and things but it's always an excuse and while she still lives in the house, she abuses him terribly. He feels that if he just keeps her happy, she won't bother him and she'll just keep the divorce easy and not make it ugly. What he doesn't realize is that she's already making it ugly by terrorizing him. How do I make him see that he has nothing to lose by telling her to get lost?

November 12, 2005
1:47 pm
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mamacinnamon
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Oh, hard one. Ya know... you cannot make him see anything that he chooses not to see. Maybe instead of trying to make him see you just be his friend. Listen, have empathy, give him advice but be sure he knows it is his decision. Sounds like his self-esteem is so beaten down. That takes time to build. He's more likely to start seeing w/ the gentle hand of a friend guiding him. Show him that others don't live that way.

You'll get it.

Gotta run for now but be back in an hour.

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