A former school friend, who lives in another city and sends texts sometimes, keeps mentioning that her boyfriend hits and shoves her while screaming at her.
In the very next sentence, she’ll brag about the expensive piece of jewellery that he bought her, or about their fabulous condo in a high-priced building.
We’re both 33, and were never that close so I’m surprised that she tells me all the bad stuff about him, since she was always only interested in the financial worth of any guy.
Her boyfriend’s a trust-fund guy, living off his wealthy mother’s money. He never worked in his family’s business but bought everyone’s tickets for popular sports games, etc., wooing so-called “friends” as well as women.
I was in a different crowd, and married my long-time boyfriend who still works two jobs. I work as well. We live in a nice apartment that meets all our requirements and we’re very happy together. When we disagree, we work it out together.
I’m just not sure why she writes me about the ugly side of her relationship… especially since I don’t even live near her.
How should I respond to her shocking stories? I’m afraid to just say, “leave him,” in case he reads it and does something horrible to her.
She writes you because you live elsewhere.
You’re the distant friend whom she believes won’t react and cause more chaos in her life by getting police or family involved.
You’re the “safe” person who won’t convince her to try to leave so that she’d have to start over again without the lovely jewellery and fine address.
She’s wrong, of course, for both her sake and yours, too.
You’d deeply regret staying silent if some day you learn that she was the damaged victim (or worse) of partner abuse.
She lives with that fear, very foolishly. But she reaches out to you because, despite the differences in lifestyle needs, she respects you.
Call her, so that her abuser doesn’t see a text.
Tell her you’re worried about her, and that you want her to keep in touch regularly.
You’re not responsible for what happens to her, but you can build on her trust, enough for her to recognize that she mustn’t dismiss serious fears of this man.
She may even accept it, if you eventually urge her to get counselling, privately, without his knowledge. Or if you explain the wisdom of her making a safe plan (using a private email and library-based computer) for leaving him.
She may not follow through. But you’ll know that you did try.
FEEDBACK Regarding the letter-writer who complained about reading so often how the pandemic affected people’s lives (July 3):
Reader – “I'm a long-time reader/fan and I generally appreciate your comments. Even if I don’t always completely agree, it forces me to at least re-think my opinion.
“I understand why you frequently mention COVID-19, we are all affected to some degree. Some people lose their jobs, can’t take a planned trip, or get out and about as before.
“Their family, friends and neighbours will be similarly affected to varying degrees and that may affect how their relationship is affected.
“The virus risk may be in the background or considered an explanation for any differences or strain in a relationship, whereas previously, things were perhaps resolved more casually during face-to-face meetings.
“Now the novel coronavirus may be the reason something is a bigger problem than before. Your mentioning it may help people to realize that.”
After two years (five years together) my husband and I are separating. We’d bought a home together. I’ve equally paid the mortgage plus all utilities and groceries despite earning 33% of the joint income. I have two kids, he has one.
I didn’t stress over my out-of-pocket expenses, thinking we’d share bank accounts or better manage our collective money. We never did.
Upon house sale, my ex wants 100% of his down-payment back plus half the sale profit.
Legally, I’m entitled to half of all the marital home net proceeds. He says I’m “a terrible human being” if I pursue with a lawyer because he’d trusted I wouldn’t take his money.
If you have a lawyer whose knowledge and approach you trust and can accept, follow that advice and forget separation-inspired insults.
However, if you’re “torn” because you do recognize unfairness in your lawyer’s directions, tell him/her you want the financial division to be absolutely fair.
Tip of the day:
When someone faces danger, trying to help matters.