Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
How do you help an abused spouse?
Old 10-10-2012, 10:12 AM   #1
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
brewer12345's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 16,391
How do you help an abused spouse?

DW and I have a friend who is being abused by his wife. Things have been on-again, off-again over the last 6 months, but I probably do not know the whole story because they are not local to us. She recently escalated the situation by grabbing him by the face and throat and slamming his head into the wall a few times. It was bad enough that he called the police and she was booked and charged with a domestic abuse charge. She made bail within the day (he does not know who bailed her out) and charged a whopping amount on their joint credit card to do so. Despite haveing a headace a couple days later he does not want to be checked out by a doctor and seems to be doing what he has done all along - sweep it under the rug, blame himself and tell everyone that *now* they will work it out. They have two small children and in my estimation are sliding toward bankruptcy, despite him working two jobs.

The officer who showed up to arrest her told our friend that he did not like the direction this was going and recommended that our friend take an emergency restraining order on his wife (the cop was ready to do the paperwork on the spot), but our friend refused to do so. I am very concerned that she will continue escalating and I have no doubt that all of this is affecting their kids. Nothing DW, I or a mutual close friend say to him seems to get through and he wants to keep this whole incident very quiet (he will not tell his family or hers what happened).

This all looks like the classic pattern of an abused spouse, including the abused party knuckling under and apologizing for the abuser. Is there anything I can do to help him? I am tempted to show up unannounced and shuffle him and the kids off to a safe place, but I know he would not go along with it.
__________________

__________________
"There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest have to pee on the electric fence for themselves."



- Will Rogers
brewer12345 is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that Early-Retirement.org is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 10-10-2012, 10:20 AM   #2
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
HFWR's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Lawn chair in Texas
Posts: 12,964
This is a toughy, Brewer, but perhaps some authority figure, such as a preacher/pastor etc. that he might respect, and who is "neutral", could intervene more effectively.
__________________

__________________
Have Funds, Will Retire

...not doing anything of true substance...
HFWR is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-10-2012, 10:26 AM   #3
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
brewer12345's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 16,391
Quote:
Originally Posted by HFWR View Post
This is a toughy, Brewer, but perhaps some authority figure, such as a preacher/pastor etc. that he might respect, and who is "neutral", could intervene more effectively.
Not religious and doesn't really have any authority figures in his life.
__________________
"There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest have to pee on the electric fence for themselves."



- Will Rogers
brewer12345 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-10-2012, 10:37 AM   #4
gone traveling
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Eastern PA
Posts: 3,851
Quote:
Originally Posted by HFWR View Post
This is a toughy, Brewer, but perhaps some authority figure, such as a preacher/pastor etc. that he might respect, and who is "neutral", could intervene more effectively.
Sorry, but that dosen't work.

My parents went through the same thing (and the reason I left home as soon as I could).

Don't look to religion to solve personal (not social) problems.

Just my POV, based upon reality...
__________________
rescueme is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-10-2012, 10:37 AM   #5
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
RunningBum's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 5,187
Maybe take that trip to talk with him, and at least figure out all of the next steps such as the restraining order, getting to a safe place, shutting down accounts, etc, so that when he does make up his mind that he'll know what to do. Talk about what it's doing to the kids and maybe it'll sink in sooner rather than later. It could be that when he sees the options and that he doesn't have to go through this alone he will take some action.
__________________
RunningBum is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-10-2012, 10:40 AM   #6
Administrator
W2R's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: New Orleans
Posts: 38,899
He has to make the decision to leave, himself. Often those who are abused are in a sense participants in the situation (like those who go from one abusive relationship to another, for example). Hopefully he is not like that.

I think the best you can do is offer him a place of refuge. Sometimes communities will have a battered wives' refuge but not one for a battered husband. I suppose you could ask. Otherwise perhaps you could step up to the plate and offer him a room in your home. The idea is to provide him with a place where he is protected from her and she cannot get to him and beat him again, while he sorts out what to do with his life.

Once he is physically safe, you can start trying to find some counseling for him.
__________________
Already we are boldly launched upon the deep; but soon we shall be lost in its unshored, harbourless immensities.

- - H. Melville, 1851
W2R is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 10-10-2012, 10:44 AM   #7
gone traveling
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Eastern PA
Posts: 3,851
Quote:
Originally Posted by W2R View Post
He has to make the decision to leave, himself.
Fully agree.

Don't waste time on a situation that will never be as you wished it to be.
__________________
rescueme is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-10-2012, 10:47 AM   #8
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
brewer12345's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 16,391
Quote:
Originally Posted by W2R View Post
He has to make the decision to leave, himself. Often those who are abused are in a sense participants in the situation (like those who go from one abusive relationship to another, for example). Hopefully he is not like that.

I think the best you can do is offer him a place of refuge. Sometimes communities will have a battered wives' refuge but not one for a battered husband. I suppose you could ask. Otherwise perhaps you could step up to the plate and offer him a room in your home. The idea is to provide him with a place where he is protected from her and she cannot get to him and beat him again, while he sorts out what to do with his life.

Once he is physically safe, you can start trying to find some counseling for him.
I tend to agree that he has to make the choice. He is in counseling and they are supposedly in joint counseling, but it does not seem to be making much of a difference in the outcome.

I live ~1,000 miles away and in the city where her family lives, so I think a room in my house would not work (although I have offered). Frankly, I would happily pay the rent on a place for him and the kids to go if it came to that. He won't take it.
__________________
"There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest have to pee on the electric fence for themselves."



- Will Rogers
brewer12345 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-10-2012, 10:51 AM   #9
Administrator
W2R's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: New Orleans
Posts: 38,899
Quote:
Originally Posted by brewer12345 View Post
I tend to agree that he has to make the choice. He is in counseling and they are supposedly in joint counseling, but it does not seem to be making much of a difference in the outcome.

I live ~1,000 miles away and in the city where her family lives, so I think a room in my house would not work (although I have offered). Frankly, I would happily pay the rent on a place for him and the kids to go if it came to that. He won't take it.
In that case, it does not sound like he has made that choice and I would thoroughly agree with Rescueme's post:


Quote:
Originally Posted by rescueme View Post
Fully agree.

Don't waste time on a situation that will never be as you wished it to be.
It is sad to see this happening to a friend, but sometimes there is nothing we can do. It does not sound like this will end well.
__________________
Already we are boldly launched upon the deep; but soon we shall be lost in its unshored, harbourless immensities.

- - H. Melville, 1851
W2R is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 10-10-2012, 10:59 AM   #10
Moderator
MichaelB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Rocky Inlets
Posts: 24,464
I agree with W2R and Rescueme that as long as he does not make a choice, no one else can help. One thing would be the name of a local support group he could attend. Feedback from others dealing with similar issues can help.

A good therapist usually is helpful - but it is not a good sign that he is in counseling and it is not working.
__________________
MichaelB is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 10-10-2012, 11:50 AM   #11
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
HFWR's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Lawn chair in Texas
Posts: 12,964
Don't get me wrong, I'm not religious, and wasn't suggesting that religion is an answer. Was just trying to think of someone who would have some "weight". Sometimes friends just get into trouble trying to intervene in these situations.
__________________
Have Funds, Will Retire

...not doing anything of true substance...
HFWR is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-10-2012, 11:56 AM   #12
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
DFW_M5's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 4,982
Probably not much more you can do, other than point out how bad this situation will become for his kids, if he refuses to take pro-active steps to separate from this horror. Maybe he will place them above his own well-being.
__________________
DFW_M5 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-10-2012, 11:58 AM   #13
Moderator
Sarah in SC's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Charleston, SC
Posts: 13,456
Do you have any friends in common (in his town) that could check in with him? I would say that he is facing the stigma of being the battered husband, in a world that only imagines battered wives.
If you can locate a support group (perhaps through the local police dept there) that might have folks who could just make contact with him, tell him that they've been there, etc, it might be enough to encourage him to make the break.
I would think that the chance to talk to someone who has been through something similar might be helpful.
You are a good friend to care for him, and I hope he does find his own way out.
__________________
“One day your life will flash before your eyes. Make sure it's worth watching.”
Gerard Arthur Way

Sarah in SC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-10-2012, 12:12 PM   #14
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
bbbamI's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Dallas 'burb
Posts: 9,039
At least he called the police and she was arrested for domestic violence. In most cases, photos will be taken of the victim if there are noticeable bruises, cuts, etc that will show up in a picture. Measurements of injuries will be noted as well. (I did this many times at the pd)

She now has a record. This may be a benefit to him if he decides to take further action.
Quote:
I would happily pay the rent on a place for him and the kids to go if it came to that. He won't take it.
If he knows this is something you will do for him, it will be in the back of his mind. It will be up to him to extend his hand to you for help.

You're a good friend Brewer.
__________________
There's no need to complicate, our time is short..
bbbamI is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-10-2012, 12:28 PM   #15
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
brewer12345's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 16,391
Part of the problem is that he is isolated where he is. He really does not have much in the way of a local social circle and he works from home in his day job. His closest friend lives overseas, I live 1000 miles away, and other friends are a few hundred miles away. DW and I do have an unrelated friend in the area who agreed to be on standby if the commode really hits the windmill.

I texted him this morning to make it clear that we are concerned about him and stand by ready to help. He responded acknowledging what I said, and then started in with apologies for her. I suppose I will just have to let it be and keep chatting with him every week or two.
__________________
"There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest have to pee on the electric fence for themselves."



- Will Rogers
brewer12345 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-10-2012, 01:13 PM   #16
Moderator
rodi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: San Diego
Posts: 8,817
Brewer - what a tough spot to be in.
Keep lines of communication open to him, so that when he is ready he knows you're there.
And when you talk to him - let him know he needs to stand up to her for the kids sake.
You don't mention how old the kids are - but unless they are infants, they are aware of the issues.

My parents had a highly dysfunctional relationship - and it definitely had an impact on us kids.
__________________
rodi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-10-2012, 01:22 PM   #17
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Bimmerbill's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 1,631
It sounds like he needs some therapy/counseling (solo). Please let him know that the abuse isn't just about him and his wife, it is affecting the kids. He should consider protecting the kids and taking action, as recommended by the police officer.

If things are not getting better he should consider why he wants to stay in the relationship and see if it is worth the damage to the kids.

If he is staying due to poor self image/worth, then therapy can help. IMO, he should focus on the kids. They don't need to see that kind of behavior. If he is staying married "for the kids" I think he should consider the things they are exposed to.

IMO, file for the PO and divorce. She is handing him the case and she is making all the classic mistakes you want to avoid in a divorce. Change bank account access, preserve what you can and prepare.
__________________
Bimmerbill is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-10-2012, 01:47 PM   #18
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 125
I think Sarah may have hit the nail on the head. The issue of domestic violence always seems to be focused on the battered spouse as the wife. I am persnally aware of a case where the batterer was the wife (they are now divorced). He was so ashamed and embarrassed to be the victim that he stayed entirely too long in the marriage. And their children grew up in a home where this happened on a regular basis.

In addition to counselling, my friend did get some help from some online forums for batterd husbands. They helped him realize that he was not alone.

Other than offering a sanctuary and moral support, there is little that family/friends can do. It is very frustrating.
__________________
dmdunca44 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-10-2012, 04:01 PM   #19
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 3,862
Sounds like you have done what you can. A forum specific to domestic violence or battered husbands may have some more insights. I think it's the kids I'd worry about more than your friend. That may be a lever to use when talking to him.
__________________
Animorph is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-10-2012, 05:08 PM   #20
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: France
Posts: 1,195
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sarah in SC View Post
I would say that he is facing the stigma of being the battered husband, in a world that only imagines battered wives.
I was surprised to learn recently that studies suggest that women initiate domestic violence about as often as men. (See for example here [PDF].) You don't hear as much about battered husbands as battered wives for various reasons, the most politically correct (and probably the most numerically representative, to be fair) of which is that blows from women typically do less damage. The case described here would seem to be an exception from that point of view.
__________________

__________________
Age 56, retired July 1, 2012; DW is 60 and working for 2 more years. Current portfolio is 2000K split 50 stocks/20 bonds/30 cash. Renting house, no debts.
BigNick is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


 

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 03:50 PM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.