Dear Ms. HeartBeat:
I have a friend who was in an abusive relationship for four years. They have a child together. She left him about 7 months ago, but 2 months ago they got back together and started dating again.
Now my friend has started doing everything with him! She’s been dismissing me from our outings to go out with him, or including him in our functions. She tells me he has changed, and because he is going to church now he is a better person. She is falling back in love with him.
My friend claims they have a connection that brings them back together. I am scared for my friend and don’t want her nor her child to get hurt. I want to know how can I get her to see the truth in the matter? Or should I leave it be? Can he really change?
A Worried Friend
I wish you’d told me a little more about exactly HOW he was abusing her to help me more accurately assess the risk of this relationship and the danger to your friend and her child. But based on prior experience, I can tell you that you are right to be concerned. Your friend has placed herself back into the lion’s den with a weak, insecure man who is out to get ultimate control over her.
The number one tool used by the abuser is isolation. Their goal is to keep any and everyone away from their victim so that he is her only friend, the only companionship, the only support that she has. These guys will create excuses and guilt trip women to manipulate them into avoiding friends and family, which is the exact behavior you describe in your letter.
Another aspect of that is keeping close watch and physical supervision over the victim, which is why he accompanies her to every outing she attends. It’s not about being a loving couple and socializing together – it’s about making sure that no one exposes his game, to make sure she doesn’t talk to another man or get on plane and leave him.
I am not sure how you can help your friend since she seems to be under the spell of “the good man who goes to church” which is nothing but straight unadulterated bullshit. So many men use the church and God to cover a multitude of sins against women. But it’s very easy to manipulate quite a few women with religion. He knows that for most black women, using God and the church and love in one sentence is a sure fire way to get a woman to “submit” to his will.
Unfortunately, so many black women fall prey to these types of games for two reasons: (1) they believe like children that love can “make” a man treat them differently than he already did when he claimed to “love” them; and (2) that having his baby means they must be forever tied to him in some way and that they need to lower their standards and make sacrifices to “create a family” with a knucklehead; and (3) by getting back together with him, he will magically honor, respect and never again be abusive.
Dead wrong on all fronts.
Be careful what you do and say in this regard. Your friend is so into him (and just so dumb) that she would tell him everything, and set you up to be seen as more of a threat to his total control of her than he already does. Abused women leave when they are ready to leave and not a moment before.
So for you I suggest you say you sincerely hope she is making the right decision, because leopards never change into tabby cats. Concern yourself with your own safety and merely tell your friend: “I’m glad you think he has changed, and hopefully he will prove it to you. But if he should show any signs of returning to his former way of treating you, here’s the number to a battered woman’s hotline in our area that can help you.”
That is all you can do. If she tries to come to your house if he is after her, do not do it. Call the police or remind her to go to the shelter. Stay out of it.
Abusers continue to abuse, and often increase the scope to include abusing children, other family members, and friends of the victim. You must think of yourself as well as your friend.
Bottom line – unless this man had some serious counseling and continues to be treated, the chances of your friend or her child escaping his abusive behaviors are positively slim to none.
Category: Dating Advice