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Helpless bystander!

Hey guys,

My friend - in her 40's recently split up with her partner of 20'odd years after having 3 children together. The two suddenly just did not see eye-to-eye anymore.
It was a very hard breakup, the husband has become very narcisistic and her two young teenage boys (14 and 12) have almost been "brainwashed" by her husband. They are living in different houses, but the youngest boys have been turned totally against her. She's had her house broken into twice by the boys - messing everything up in the process and breaking very personal items to her.
She's wiped her laptop clean recently as it had a virus, the boys stole it and found out all their files were gone (obviously) and her ex husband has put into the boys mind that this is fraud and that they should do something.

Shortly after the break up, the husband physically punched her in both eyes giving her very huge bruises - in retaliation she scratched him on his arm, which he showed the boys and the boys now believe she initiated the attack.

My problem is, I feel so helpless when she comes crying to me asking for comfort... what on earth do I say to someone who's whole entire life has suddenly been so violently and traumatically turned around?!

The boys want nothing to do with her at all, her youngest daughter (only 4) is kept mostly oblivious from all of this - though obviously she's allowed contact with her father and brothers, you can tell she's terribly confused despite seeming like she's coping with the whole situation well.

It's so very disgusting what he's doing to her and her niáve boys, they were very well behaved kids - I used to give the oldest boy guitar lessons and he's very intelligent, well spoken and usually very calm - but suddenly, after being taken from her by her husband, he's this violent, irrational and uncontrollable boy, bent purely on destroying his own mothers life (that's what it looks like, anyway).
We don't blame the children at all, we know it's difficult and very hard for them, and the situation is totally new and stressful for everyone. It's the fathers fault for filling their minds with nonsense and giving them ideas to put towards a "collective vendetta" towards her.

Please help!

Cheers,

- John -
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Avatar_f_tn
this is terrible but your friend is very lucky to have you as a friend,i think the first thing to do is to contact a solictitor so your friend can find out her rights regarding the children she also needs to start involving the law when he becomes violent towards her,tell her to keep a full record of everything that happens too her however small,as the mother i am sure she will have more chance of getting custody of her boys and as the father is being violent this will most definetly go against him,i can totally understand that your friend feels like there is nothing she can do and feels helpless and alone,but once she gets the fight back in her she will see that she actually will have more support than her husband will,i wish you both all the best and please keep in touch.
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973741_tn?1342346373
Ugh.  What a horrible situation.  I'd encourage her to document all of this.  I think she is really in a tough position.  Has she done anything in the marriage such as an affair that began this drama? I only ask because of the level of animosity.

Now, his violence against her is unacceptable and again, encourage her to document.  I'd get a restraining order against him and file assault charges personally.  What are her son's going to do---------  be more terrible to her?  The husband is dangerous at this point.  

She should try to take the high road at all times, hire a good lawyer and pray that these teenage boys of hers will come around.  

You can encourage her and be a good friend while at the same time not becoming part of the drama yourself.  What I mean by that is that sometimes our friends have absolutely horrible things going on----  we offer support but do not take on their burden ourselves.  I've done that before and it is draining.  You help while remembering that this is her life-----  knowing when to also separate from it for your own good is important.  

Hope she has a good lawyer!!  Peace.
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Avatar_m_tn
Thanks for the replies.

She used to be a policewomen herself and is very meticulous in documenting everything anyway and has done throughout this just incase things get far too out of control.
She didn't have any affairs, no, the two just drifted apart and realised they've really little in common then all of a sudden he turns violent and starts playing all sorts of mind games - aimed towards the children which will have a knock-on-effect to her and now she's in a tough situation.

She doesn't really want to involve lawful procedings as she doesn't want to distance the children further - even though she would win a custody battle, they've been so deluded by her ex husband that they would most likely be 'unapreciative' and think that she's being vindictive towards their father.

This is the problem! There's not a lot she can do, I know to keep out as much as I can - but we're good friends, and I've been apart of a lot of it as a sort of "whitness"

Cheers,

- John -
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