How do I make my friend see that her partner is toxic for her?

(PHOTO: Getty/Gallo Images)
(PHOTO: Getty/Gallo Images)

I think he’s abusing my friend 

Question

My friend is in a relationship with a much-older man. He’s married but my friend says he’ll leave his wife for her soon. I’ve never liked him, but my friend tells me he’ll look after her. I’m worried she’s being controlled by this man. I don’t think he hits her but he’s always putting her down, even when other people are around, and telling her she’s not clever or not doing something right.

How can you tell if someone is being emotionally hurt? My friend won’t talk about it when I try to ask her, but I can see she’s losing her confidence and she’s not the same as before. How can I help her?

Answer

Your friend seems to be in an emotionally abusive relationship. And it’s unfortunate that no matter how hard you try to show her this situation isn’t good for her; she’ll not see it. It’s necessary for her to acknowledge that this man is abusive before she can do something about it. Until such a time comes, you’ll talk until you’re blue in the face and she’ll not see anything wrong with what he’s doing.

She’s got herself into a very tricky situation by believing this man will eventually leave his wife for her. It won’t be easy for her to listen to you as she seems smitten. All you can do is give her your support and be there as a friend. If you keep on nagging her about this, she’ll become defensive and might end up pushing you away.

Psychology Today suggests that Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) includes physical and psychological aggression to gain power over your partner. Try to gently tell them, that you’re concerned for their safety (or emotional or physical health). Also remember to not be judgemental, stay calm and let her know that she is not alone.