Help me help a friend
September 10, 2006 10:44 AM   Subscribe

Someone I care for deeply is in a predicament, and I'm not sure what, if anything I can do to help her, but I will be damned if I won't try.

This is complex (aren't they all?), but bear with me, oh wise hive mind...

The story starts as such: My friend was abused by her husband on a single occasion, and had photographic proof of the abuse. She used the proof to obtain a divorce. In exchange for the agreed divorce, she agreed to destroy the evidence against him. I think that was a mistake, in hindsight.

He moved out of the home, and she took in some roommates. They worked out a deal to sell the house at a later date, and everything was moving along in that direction until recently.

A little about him: he is a deeply manipulative sort, a wolf in sheep's clothing. Outwardly genial and generous, his true nature is somewhat chilling, or so I am told. He is a control freak of the worst sort: intercepting her snail mail, deleting voicemails so she would miss job interviews (he didn't want her to work) and that sort of thing. A real charming fellow, he is. I maintain he is not to be trusted under any circumstances.

My friend recently got a job, and he found out. He showed up unexpectedly, and announced that he was moving back into the house. She feels powerless to stop him: the house is still in his name. I don't know where he has been living for the last six months or so, but it's clear that her getting a job was his motivation to move back in. He doesn't need money, that's not an's a control thing, I'm sure.

I'm deeply suspicious of his motives, she tells me it's part of a campaign to show her 'he's changed'. He wants to be friends with her roomies, and for her to be used to having him around again. I'm sure that that's how he may rationalize it. However, I'm also afraid for my friend's safety: he is running out of time to influence her: once the house is sold he will have nothing to hold over her head, and she would be free of his influence. I am afraid those circumstances might lead him to violence to prevent him from losing his hold on her, or worse, prevent anyone else from having her. She is unable to date anyone because of this fear.

I maintain that his actions still constitute abuse: moving back into the house against her expressed wishes and buddying up to her roomies is *not* a rational action in the circumstances... I think, my gut tells me, the guy is dangerous. She went on vacation: he followed her to the same hotel, staying on the floor beneath hers.

So, hive mind, tell me:

I really am powerless in this, but I want to give my friend the best possible advice because I fear for her. What resources can she bring to bear to help fend off his unwanted attentions? How can she get him back out of the house, and make him be out of her life and business? She needs to be free, and I want to help in any way possible.
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (35 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Have her call a spouse abuse helpline. They've seen and heard it all, and will know how to advise her.
posted by konolia at 10:53 AM on September 10, 2006

"How can she get him back out of the house, and make him be out of her life and business?"

The incantation you are looking for is "restraining order." I don't see the words "restraining order" anywhere in your post. If your friend does not have such a decree, she should pursue it immediately.
posted by majick at 11:02 AM on September 10, 2006

Your gut is probably right, but your friend is not yet ready to 'hear' that, from what you've written.

In situations like this (I've been in one, and also have had a couple close friends go through variations on this theme) the person who needs to act knows intellectually and rationally what's going on, can talk about it and see what the deal is, can agree with your assessment and agree she needs to take action ... BUT her emotional IQ (so to speak) hasn't caught up with the realization so that she actually does something to protect herself. This can be a really long process -- like, never in some cases -- and is often frustrating and destructive to friends trying to understand why so-and-so won't just quit complaining and fix things, already.

IANAL, but what I was advised to do was change the locks, set up my own accounts, move part of joint money into them, and get a lawyer to start divorce proceedings PDQ. And begin a diary of contact and content. Important note: In my situation, there was no threat of violence, just relentlessness of the type you've described here.

YOU should keep being supportive and encouraging, even if it takes her time to take any action at all. It will be frustrating, but I think that's what I appreciated most -- the vigilance, but also the patience, of my friends.
posted by thinkpiece at 11:05 AM on September 10, 2006

I would think that, if she was able to get a divorce based on abuse, she should be able to also get a restraining order even without the photographic evidence. This guy does sound very dangerous and I would involve the police as soon as possible if I were her.
posted by Foam Pants at 11:08 AM on September 10, 2006

There are a lot of materials out there about how to support friends and family members who are in abusive relationships. Try here and here and here and here. I am not an expert in this area, but interfering with employment (e.g. showing up at her work, deleting job-related voice mails) is absolutely classic. I also know that safety planning (short term and long term) is really important. If she wants to call someone, we have a toll-free resource line at our office (in California) -- the number is 1-888-864-8335.
posted by ClaudiaCenter at 11:19 AM on September 10, 2006

Restraining orders can be a vital tool for people in these situations. At the same time, restraining orders can trigger heightened violence, including lethal violence, immediately after they are served. For that reason, it is considered vital as well as "best practices" to defer to the person being abused to decide when and whether to get a restraining order (while providing information and support if she does decide to get a restraining order).
posted by ClaudiaCenter at 11:23 AM on September 10, 2006

My friend was abused by her husband on a single occasion...

That's not abuse. "He hit her" does not equal abuse. It might make him an asshole, and it might be cause for divorce; but, "He lost his temper this one time" does not constitute abuse, as you'll be curtly informed by any women who have actually suffered abuse (which is real and horrible and ought not be softened by comparing it to the one time your friend's husband smacked her).

You paint your story in starkly black-and-white terms: She's a victim, and he's a psychopath. It's rarely that simple — and when it's being painted that way by a somewhat involved friend who has been privy to only one side of the story, it's even more questionable.

How can she get him back out of the house...[REWIND]...the house is still in his name.

Yeah, there's a familiar theme: "My ex-husband is a maniacal stalker and I'm absolutely terrified that he might kill me. Please help me to be safe without inconveniencing myself."

once the house is sold he will have nothing to hold over her head...

Bullshit. Nobody can hold anything over your head unless you let them. I didn't spot the words "kids" or "children" in your story. If your friend really "needs to be free," as you say, then she walks away. She packs a bag and she leaves, and that's that. Fuck the house, the dishes, the mass-market paperbacks. She walks away with her freedom and her life. If she's really scared for her safety, and you really want to help, offer her a place to stay while she gets on her feet.

If you want to get a restraining order, knock yourselves out. Maybe it'll help. But maybe she ought to make some effort to stay away from him, first, before complaining that he won't leave her alone — like living somewhere he can't move into. Duh.

Here's the bottom line. No, you can't brush off the fear; his behavior sounds weird and obsessive, and just because he doesn't have a history of setting fires and strangling animals doesn't mean that he won't snap and murder your friend. It does happen. But it also sounds like, instead of acting on that fear, your friend is treading water and basically throwing logs onto the melodrama fire. If she's going to walk away from the guy, then walk away — don't stand in his doorway and then complain when he comes home.
posted by cribcage at 11:32 AM on September 10, 2006 [2 favorites]

She did keep the negatives, didn't she? You always keep the negatives!
posted by furtive at 11:49 AM on September 10, 2006

That's not abuse. ... "He lost his temper this one time" does not constitute abuse

You missed the rest of the post -- that was only one example given. He resisted divorce. He's backing out of a deal to sell the house, which is likely where she's going to get the money to find a new place to live. He interfered with her employment by deleting job interview voice mails and showing up at her work (work = money to get a new place to live). He followed her on vacation and stayed at the same hotel (if repeated, is considered stalking). The "I've changed" stuff is also classic, follows a pattern. And this is a summary of things that this friend knows about -- there are likely other examples.

Perhaps she could take more "logical" steps to get out of the relationship and get away from this person. As someone who hasn't had this kind of experience, I can certainly understand feeling frustrated, thinking "why doesn't she just [fill in the blank]?" I'm with ya, in a certain way -- from my vantage point (of not having been in this situation) I would pack the bag and walk. But from what I understand (from clients and colleagues at work), it's more complicated -- for many many reasons, some psychological (power dynamics, "cycle of violence" stuff, anxiety disorder stuff), some about money and other resources, it usually takes people a while to get out of these situations.
posted by ClaudiaCenter at 11:58 AM on September 10, 2006

If they are truly divorced and the house is in his name, then legally the house belongs to him. During divorce proceedings they should have separated ownership of all property to avoid situations like the one you describe. She doesn't own the house, she doesn't like the ex-husband, so she should leave ASAP.
posted by falconred at 12:00 PM on September 10, 2006 [1 favorite]

I agree with falconred. Are they officially divorced? Was there a court order to sell the house and divide the money? Either way, I think she should move out now.
posted by gfrobe at 12:09 PM on September 10, 2006

She'll need to consult an attorney, right away, before he can move back in. Once he's back in the house, he WILL have more power and she WILL have relinquished power. If there's an existing agreement or decree that specifies what the living arangement is supposed to be and how the property is to be disposed of, she need not feel "powerless" to tell him no.

Here's the thing about restraining orders: it's just a piece of paper. It says, essentially, "leave her alone." If he's already ignoring the similar message on his divorce decree and the move-out agreement, than he WILL ignore the restraining order too. Worse, abusers sometimes see this as the victim attempting to strip power over him, and respond forcefully to that perceived asttack. This is why she should NOT apply for a restraining order (ak.a. "TRO") without consulting with a local battered women's center first. They know not only how to help your friend weigh the chances of it helping vs hurting, but also about local conditions like what evidence the local judges would require before granting the order, and how vigorously the local cops would enforce it. Without the right combo, a TRO is worse than useless because it ultimately tells her ex :"Do what you want -- even the big scary legal system won't do anything to you for it."

The big problem is that his "unwanted attention" doesn't seem to be unwanted by her. Until she's certain that she wants him out of her life permanently and irrevocably, his manipulativeness will continue to be successful. She need shelp waking up to the danger, and she needs to believe that she's worthy of living free of all control and abuse no matter what. It wont' be easy for her to find those mindsets.

As a start, give her Gavin DeBecker's book "The Gift of Fear". And go talk to the battered women's center, because not only do you need info about how to help her, but also about how to protect yourself once he finds out you're encouraging her to break free of his control.

Good luck.
posted by nakedcodemonkey at 12:11 PM on September 10, 2006

That's not abuse. "He hit her" does not equal abuse.

"he hit her, interfered with her getting a job, read her mail and moved back in without her permission" certainly qualifies as abuse

her steps should be this ...

1) get a lawyer
2) talk to a spousal abuse counselor
3) get a restraining order
4) if 3 doesn't work, get the hell out of dodge ... i mean disappear so he can't find her ... (not necessarily disappear from the town or her job, but if that's what it takes ...)

he sounds dangerous to me
posted by pyramid termite at 1:10 PM on September 10, 2006

"... I really am powerless in this ..."
posted by anonymous to human relations (12 comments total) [+ add to favorites] [!]

Wise, wise words, from your own post, anon.

Getting sucked into someone else's divorce problems, regardless of your motives, generally helps no one. You're working with partial knowledge of the overall situation, and that's never good. Heed your own wisdom, and stay out of the drama, until and unless you are asked for specifics.
posted by paulsc at 1:14 PM on September 10, 2006

Damn it, this is the kind of situation that makes me wish you could just go grab a couple of buddies and severely mess the guy up, if not just make him disappear.

Alright, obviously, if she doesn't already have her own phone separate from the house, number 1 first thing isn't to call the women's shelter, it isn't the phone call to a lawyer. She needs a cell phone now. Maybe a PO Box, too. There is no way this guy should have access to any of her primary means of communication. He obviously can't be trusted with that.

The advice to talk to the local women's shelter and move the hell out and go back to court is good. Don't just tell her that. Get her the phone numbers for the local shelters and abuse hotlines and give them to her, maybe laminated. Strongly encourage her to reach out to all her connections — not just in the community but in her social circle — and make plans in case things get worse in any way. There should be friends and family members who knows her situation checking on her frequently (possibly every night, maybe every morning too) and it should be obvious so this guy knows she is not alone. She should have plans with her friends and/or the local shelter on what to do in case he gets violent or threatening. She should sit down with friends and family and an attorney and know what her options are if he backs out of selling the house, and if she gets in enough financial trouble. And additionally, make plans for any other scenario she's concerned about. Having plans is empowering. It takes away paralysis, it helps one face issues one might otherwise avoid.
posted by namespan at 1:29 PM on September 10, 2006 [1 favorite]

Stay out of it. It sounds like your friend is deeply co-dependent with whatever problems her ex-husband has. Give her the help she asks for; volunteering help she hasn't ask for will probably end badly.
posted by MattD at 1:42 PM on September 10, 2006

She needs a CPO, stat.
posted by Ironmouth at 1:42 PM on September 10, 2006

Offer to let her stay at your place if she wants, give her the numbers listed above, and then butt out. You can't force her to take your help.
posted by xammerboy at 2:15 PM on September 10, 2006

I agree with xammerboy - you can show her the door, but you can't walk through it for her. That's her job.

Also, as someone that's witnessed this sort of thing (from both my mother, as well as friends), sometimes - and i'm not saying your friend is like this, i'm just pointing it out - the "abusee" wants the easy way out. You can recommend that she get a cell and a po box, and the excuse might be "well I can't afford it". Some people want change, but they want it to be easy and don't want it to inconvenience them. Or in some cases, they actually LIKE what's happening to them - they like the attention they're getting from both the "abuser" and from friends that see/hear about their situation.

In one instance, a friend offered another friend of ours use of his guest house for as long as she wanted it, plus the use of one of his cars, plus a gift/loan/whatever of however much cash she needed to start over. All of her friends offered to let her crash on their couches. A few of us offered her jobs (she was unemployed because her husband kept interferring).

The friend in question still wouldn't take that first step, even with the makings of a new life handed to her on a platter. Some people just will not walk through the door, no matter how much you offer to help them.
posted by damnjezebel at 2:58 PM on September 10, 2006 [1 favorite]

You don't say if you are male or female. It matters, if you allow her to stay with you. If you are male, it could really fan the flames...

Advice. She is co-dependent to the max. It's difficult for most people to understand how someone who was emotionally abused can put up with more abuse. Get and read Patrick Carne's Betrayal Bond. Very insightful book. It will help you to understand her. When you're done reading it (be quick) give it to her.

Help her get a cell phone, P.O. Box, separate bank account - whatever tools of independent living she will need. Make sure she has a 'go bag' stashed at a friend's place. Then, help her take the steps necessary to leave.

He works, right? Well... I moved out of a potentially dangerous living situation while my S.O. was at work. I arranged a place to live, rented a truck, got a few friends to help, and was gone, gone, gone before he got home that night. I didn't want to take the chance that he would appear rational at first, then watch the situation deteriorate when he started drinking.

She has to want to make these changes, though. as damnjesebel said above, some people just will not walk through the door.
posted by Corky at 3:32 PM on September 10, 2006

ummm...cribcage, couple points regarding your extremely harsh analysis:

1)Whether the OP labeled the issue "abuse "or one simply says "he belted her once" or whatever, who cares? It's just semantics. It's irrelevant to answering the OP's question. A beatdown is a beatdown. Nobody is entitled to one free pass for beating someone up before physical harm is taken seriously.

2)Speaking of things not being that simple, just walking away may not be that simple. It takes MONEY to get a new place to live -- at least a couple of months rent. Maybe the OP's friend doesn't have much money. Not everyone does. Yes, she needs to be more proactive but let's not blame the victim.

3)Melodrama? Lighten up, dude. This is a discussion not a cage match.

4)BTW, you don't like women much, do you? Oy.
posted by bim at 6:02 PM on September 10, 2006 [2 favorites]

If she really is coming out of systematic abuse, she's probably not thinking straight. She probably trusts him to keep his word w-a-a-a-y more than she should, and likely she also ascribes to him a degree of power that she just doesn't have.

She needs someone who can set her straight and help her understand her rights and her options so that she can start making good decisions for herself. In other words, she needs a smart, solid divorce lawyer. Depending on your state, and depending on where they are in the divorce process, there may be non-restraining order options available to her that will help her to keep her house.

Get her in to see someone as soon as you can, and make sure that she discusses the abuse and the advisability of a restraining order with whomever she sees. This site is a good place to start your lawyer shopping.
posted by palmcorder_yajna at 6:38 PM on September 10, 2006

Nobody is entitled to one free pass for beating someone up before physical harm is taken seriously.

In some places, dogs are.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 8:14 PM on September 10, 2006

I think I see a plan developing, BitterOldPunk.

The OP gets herself a pitbull and exercises her "one free mauling" rights! :>
posted by bim at 8:20 PM on September 10, 2006

typo -- I meant that the abused woman gets a pitbull. Ruff!
posted by bim at 8:22 PM on September 10, 2006

You could look for a local "battered women's shelter". You should be able to find a local shelter via Google. They'll have experienced people she can talk to with or without you. Folks that have seen it all. And it will be free. It is worth considering just for the counseling, if she has any doubts at all.
posted by McGuillicuddy at 8:27 PM on September 10, 2006

Ten years ago I was married to someone just like this. I have hearing loss in one ear from his slapping me, a scar and a little chip on the bone under my chin from his wedding ring clocking me. He thought he was being nicer than most because he hit me left-handed, for less of an impact. He was careful not to leave bruises, at least where they coud be seen. I miscarried a baby from the stress of being with him. I was just over 100 lbs (I'm 5'7") and it was never thin enough, it seemed. I stayed with him for many reasons that seemed rational at the time. The main one? That he could beat me but not *beat* me -- that I would stick it out. In retrospect it was the one way I felt I could keep some power. (Stupid, I know.)

All the advice given here (lawyer, restraining order, moving out, counseling) is great. But probably the most important thing for her to do is to get to a battered women's support group. I was in a lot of denial about my husband, even after I found out he had also cheated on me with a few other girls in town, until I went to that group. What I saw: women of every shape, size, and background telling the same painful story. We even had a running joke that we must have all been married to the same man! I swore that I would never, ever be in that situation again -- many of these women had gone back to either the same man or to another of the same ilk.

What became clear was that all the reasons I had for sticking with the guy were... not unique. He was not unique. This helped me get out (although actually he moved out first) of town and start a new life. I left a partially-finished graduate degree behind. I had no money, no furniture (he took it all). I had told no one about the abuse (I was ashamed). But I got another job. I cut classes to work. I scraped a little together and moved in with friends in another town (bless them), got a new job, a new apartment, a new life. I never looked back.

I think it's worth saying that physical abuse is usually just the tip of the iceberg, and a single punch can have many other forms of abuse (emotional, sexual, etc) behind it, going on for a long time. The fact that a man feels that he can throw a punch is pretty significant -- there is so much leading up to that act that your friend will need to work through, and that she most likely isn't telling you. It's a hard road, but she can travel it.

I finally came to my senses when after I yammered on to a friend about how I was still committed to working things out (still not outing the physical abuse, but she read between the lines), she asked me "what if your sister were in this relationship?" Without even thinking I immediately blurted: "I'd tell her to get the hell out." If she has sisters, ask her this question. It wrenched the veil from my eyes, at least enough to leave. But it still took me years to say words like "he raped me" without wanting to take it back, to ameliorate the memories so that he could somehow emerge from them a better person. In the end I realized that "the truth will set you free." Sometimes I would stop myself and ask myself, "what is the TRUTH of that situation?" I forced myself to look at it and see it for what it was: the worst form of manipulation by a poor excuse for a man. With practice, this got easier.

There are many ways of leaving the situation, but the most important thing after that is for her to ensure that she won't be back in it, with him or anyone else. For what it's worth, I'm married to a wonderful, kind, loving man now. We have a baby. I am at peace. I've also forgiven my ex-husband (but not forgotten).

Sorry for the long post -- and maybe this doesnt' answer your original question -- but again, maybe it will help clarify what you can do for her. Good luck.
posted by mdiskin at 3:36 AM on September 11, 2006 [44 favorites]

Thanks for sharing your insight, mdiskin. It was perfect. :)
posted by bim at 4:08 AM on September 11, 2006

I have to agree with cribcage. She should walk away, get a lawyer. He is obviously harassing her, not physically abusing her, apart from the one incident. Since he is a manipulative nutcase she needs to stop talking to him, sell the house, get her half, and break ties. Actions not words.
posted by LoriFLA at 2:41 PM on September 11, 2006

I am amazed by the amount of posts suggesting the following order of operations:

1) lawyer up
2) abuse counseling
3) police / restraining order
4) leaving

The woman needs to run - not walk - away from this man, and that includes moving out of his house. Counseling will surely help, should she decide to pursue it, but I think moving out from under the cloud of this man will help just as much.

I understand that it takes a fair amount of resources to move, but clearly she has friends (and hopefully family) who are willing to help. The best thing you can do to help this woman is to somehow enable her (directly or indirectly, emotionally or in actual fact) to move out and get on with her life. Her divorce (if not yet finalized) will keep somewhat of a connect to this man, but from here forward, it should be the only connection.
posted by littlelebowskiurbanachiever at 6:19 PM on September 11, 2006

I highly recommend this book. Might shed some light on the mentality of the man in question, and how to deal with him.
posted by dobbs at 8:29 AM on September 12, 2006

“That's not abuse. "He hit her" does not equal abuse. It might make him an asshole, and it might be cause for divorce; but, "He lost his temper this one time" does not constitute abuse.”

I myself am a very violent person and I’ve paid for it more than a few times. I won’t get into how bad it’s been, but it’s been very bad. Yet I cannot imagine a situation where I would hit my wife. I see it as a possibility (I could develop a mental illness for example), but even given that, I see no situation in which I would forgive myself for it.
I don’t know what constitutes abuse legally. But I do know what I’d do to a man that put his hands on my wife whether he “lost his temper one time” or not. I doubt I’d be any more forgiving with myself. There is no room for violence in a relationship and no excuse for it either. The “one time” violence in any relationship develops from an entire mindset and perspective on that relationship. Me hitting my wife would very much be like another man hitting my wife because of how I think and feel about our relationship. It would not happen short of a major uncharacteristic malfunction on my part. What would spark such a thing I can’t speculate, but I don’t accept the argument that abuse in a relationship is contingent on quantity. I take your point that certainly some abuse is worse and some people have been hit harder, longer, etc. But I think once violence has been done - that line has been crossed.
Certainly there is room for forgivness and redemption, but the good man losing his temper one time is as much a myth as second virginity. Those feelings and attitudes are there before the violence is done. While that man might have good in him, he has to seriously reconsider his attitude and very much retrain himself in how he thinks and acts in personal relationships. Which does somewhat raise another point, the man here is a victim of himself as well. Recognizing that however doesn’t shift any of my sympathies. She needs to get out of that relationship, and they both need to get help.
posted by Smedleyman at 2:29 PM on September 12, 2006 [1 favorite]

I strongly urge your friend to look into abuse support groups and/or call the national domestic abuse hot-line 1-800-799-7233. It takes a lot of help to not only realize but then deal with the fact that the person you choose as your life partner is abusive. It's embarrassing and society judges women who are in these relationships very harshly. Every time I hear someone say "I have no sympathy for her, she should have left him the first time he hit her" I want to scream. It's such a long a twisted process to get to a point in a relationship where the person who is supposed to love you more than anyone actually hits you, it's amazing. It was always my opinion that the physical abuse was actual less painful than the psychological. My point is, all the restraining orders and lawyers in the world won't help her if she's not ready to admit and then face up to the fact that he IS abusive and she does NOT deserve it. I wish her the best of luck and I hope you can continue to be supportive and just there for her even if she ends up not being able to make the choice to leave right now.
posted by yodelingisfun at 9:17 PM on September 12, 2006

***Your friend is in danger! Abused women are more likely to be killed shortly after a separation/divorce than at any other time.

What to tell her:

She needs to seek refuge someplace safe and both of you need to tell the police what's going on.

There's no need to Prove past physical abuse. He is stalking her! Get a restraining order!

posted by mynameismandab at 12:49 AM on September 14, 2006

I disagree with the poster who claims "one hit is not abuse." The first time can be the longest coming, but I've never known there to not be a second, and third.

Contact your local battered women's shelter. They are in undisclosed locations and you won't need first and last month's rent to have a place to lay your head; at least for a while.

Having left two (count 'em, two) abusive marriages (young, dumb, bad choices), I can assure you that once breached, violence is fair game, and any move you make to separate yourself will be seen as fundamentally threatening to him. He will come down even harder, the violence will escalate, and none of us ever really knows what a violent-driven man can sink to. I pray you take no chances.

Pack everything you need while he's gone--you might never make it back for the leftovers. And don't be too generous about what you leave behind. If he's like my first two spouses, they certainly weren't and I had to start from scratch.

Then, high thee to a shelter. Do not pass go, unless you have money in the bank you have ready access to. If you wait, chances are it won't be there when things have "calmed down," whatever that looks like.

One hit is like breaking trump in bridge--anything can happen, and usually does. #1 held a switchblade to my throat during a blind raging drunk. I can still smell his fetid breath. #2 held our 2-year-old in one arm and slapped me with the other; oh, that was before he threw my father down a flight of stairs and tried to do the same to my mother.

I was dragged across a gravel driveway by my long blonde hair and lost a baby I'm now glad never saw light. The second took everything but the pictures on the wall. I had to call long distance time and temperature just to see if I was running on time for work. Did I mention the collapsed lung?

Restraining orders are only as good as law enforcement's willingness to enforce them. #2 was a good ol' boy in a small town and though I plunked my money down, he never saw any evidence of it. That was 25 years ago; I hope hope hope it's better now.

I've made peace with my past, and my 3rd husband of 25 years can look really angry, but I've got a couple of sons who would make him very sorry. He's also a much gentler person.

There's hope for your friend. I married #1 at the wee age of 18, #2 at 21 and that just lasted three years. I waited until 28 for #3 and he's been around for 25 years and will likely stick around a while longer.

Something that changed in me between two and three was my affection for "bad boys." They're really quite dull on a daily basis and given to bouts of insane jealousy. Just one woman's story, but I'm sure I speak for many.

Good luck to you and your friend. It's hard, but doable. And, most importantly, the rewards can be spectacular.
posted by wordswinker at 7:55 AM on September 14, 2006 [2 favorites]

« Older Simple rss feed for new tv eps?   |   Help Fill Me with C02 Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.