Speak up or Shut up?

United States
May 5, 2009 10:54am CST
Someone you don't know too well tells you their boyfriend slapped them in the face. They say they know it was an accident, he didn't mean to hit her. He has anger issues and he's getting help. She's going to stay with him so she can help him through his issues. You see that this is dangerous to her. Chances are he will not get the help, and even if he does, she's still in danger until he's worked through his problems. Next time it could be worse than a slap. You tell her you think she's making a mistake, and that she needs to run far far away, but she insists that she loves him too much, and refuses to leave him. What do you do? Realize she'll never listen and let it be? Continue to try to make her see the light? Pray in silence? Get others to help? Would it be different if the boyfriend were cheating instead of abusing? What if it weren't as big of a deal... what if he just refused to get a job but she still wouldn't leave because she loved him so much? Do you speak up or shut up?
4 people like this
22 responses
@tabsnlos (587)
• United States
5 May 09
I know how you feel! I have been in that same situation with a friend. And she never listened to me. Instead, she would stop calling as much because I think she didn't want to hear me tell her to leave him. Then when she did call, she would always say that things are great. But they really were having the same problems. My advice would be to give her your advice, but keep it to a minimum. She probably won't be leaving him, so you don't want to push her away and have her not feel comfortable talking to you about it. When my friend wasn't calling me, I worried so much! I hate how some girls just can't see that they are worth so much more!! And you can tell them all day and they will still stay in that bad relationship. It takes a strong woman to get out of that on her own.
• United States
5 May 09
That's a sad situation you had with your friend. It is a shame that so many women get themselves into these types of situations and nothing you say will change their mind.
1 person likes this
• United States
5 May 09
You know, being someone who was in that kind of relationship before, I have to say that its hard sometimes to see the forest for the trees, and love is just so blinding and overwhelming sometimes, especially when you want to really believe that this is going to work, that he WILL get the help, and that he WILL never do it again. But the reality of it is, he probably WILL do it again. Sometimes you care so much for a person you just dont want to believe that. Been there, done that. And I didnt listen to anyone. And I stayed in that relationship for 5 years. I was going to beat it! Or so I thought. The fact is, you could get an army of people to tell her that its dangerous and its not going to help. Sadly enough, some people have esteem issues that grab hold of those kinds of things and just dont let go until theyve been forced to. But just a suggestion...take her to a local women's shelter where they house battered women and let her talk to someone there, perhaps they can shed some light on the facts for her, perhaps you can speak to someone there and get some advice if she wont go, maybe find a website with stories of battered women who will more than likely say "I wish I wouldve listened to others when they warned me." Because we all say it. We all say that because we are usually warned at some point by someone who loves us.
• United States
5 May 09
It's such a shame. I was never in an abusive relationship, but I was cheated on before, and I look back on that relationship feeling like a fool, like I should have seen it sooner and taken the steps to leave him sooner. It's much the same, I had low self esteem and let him treat me badly. I also know that I wouldn't have listened to anything anyone said about him, and I would never have left him until I was ready.
@marcialoyd (1174)
• United States
5 May 09
I would definitely speak up. I would want to know if for some reason my friend was killed in a domestic abuse situation that I had done all I could to try to help her. I would probably call a domestic violence hotline and have a counselor talk to her. Or I would get a friend that has come out of an abusive relationship theirself to talk to her. I think it is much easier for them to talk to someone who has walked in their shoes. But the one poster is correct in saying that they will not really get help until they are ready.
• United States
5 May 09
Just wanted to add one more comment. It is never an accident either. I don't care if they do have anger issues. Punch a wall not your wife.
@cynthiann (18572)
• Jamaica
5 May 09
The sad thing is that the person who is being abused feels that if only she tried harder and didn't antagonoze him then he would not do it. s, in fact, she is taking the blame. Not that he is not worthy to wipe the soles of her feet! he will not change unless he gets help. My third son was in a deadly relationship with a lady in the U.K. I say deadly because she would strike him and scratch him with her fingernails etc and then taunt him because he would not strike her back. My sons are very tall - 6'2" and strong. One night he called me and asked me to speak to her because she was physically abusive to him and taunted him at not being a mna because he did not hit her back. I spoke to her and tried to tell her that my husband and I had brought up our sons to be respectful of women and not to abuse them. Hitting someone is not proving their manhood. I then told him that he should leave the scene until she had calmed down. Thank God this relationship ended. She was a nutter who took my son for every penny he had earnt and maxed out all his credit cards before she departed. I know that I have strayed from the point but she should leave or throw out this guy unless he gets help. How can you respect someone who abuses you?
• United States
5 May 09
I remember that situation with your son, and I'm glad he got out of that relationship! What I described is a hypothetical situation, I don't personally know a person like that. The sad part is though that you're right. I have seen other abused women who go through these situations and they do think it's their fault. It's a sad situation.
@ladybug565 (2217)
• United States
5 May 09
I think that once you have said all that you have done all you can, just pray for her and be there for her when she needs a friend. I defenatly wouldnt stay with a man if he hit me but only because I learned the hard way, but other problems i would as we know from my other discussions, lol. most of us dont listen to our friends and relatives in these situations even when we know they are right. it is a verry complicated issue.
• United States
5 May 09
It's a shame you're willing to put yourself in that sort of situation willingly. It's not as complicated as it would seem. I personally believe making the choice to be with someone who isn't healthy in that sense shows a lack of self esteem on our part. See a counsellor and redeem your self esteem and self worth, and you'll be strong enough to choose a mate who's worthy of you!
@snowcat46 (2323)
• United States
5 May 09
I was in a similar situation, except she was a really good friend. I worked with her too. Every day for months, she told me about him hitting her, cheating on her, then moved on to complaining about how she wasn't making rate and was going to get fired. She would spend a good half hour complaining before starting to work. I tried to talk to her, but she didn't want to listen. I was just supposed to shut up and listen, and listen, and listen. She refused to leave him, or consider doing something about it. He would change, he was so romantic (after beating her, he'd give her roses or jewels or take her out), his children needed him (yes, he was hitting them too. Her parents called the cops on him frequently for it. That's why she refused to let her parents see the children anymore. They turned in the bruises.), she couldn't stand the thought of divorce, and so on. One weekend, she was beaten more severely than usual. I kept calling her through the week, no answer. Called her parents, they had the children and they couldn't get ahold of her either. We were frantic, we called the police. They knew of the history, having been called out there so much. She came home and was furious with us. Her and hubby had gone off to a motel and patched things up. How dare we interfere in her life, how dare we call the cops? So what if she was gone for 5 days and no one knew where she was? So what if she hadn't shown up to work for those days without calling in? Who did we think we were? She was very abusive to us, swearing at us, with that creature/husband smirking at us in the background. I called it quits. I told her she was my friend, but I was not going to listen to her anymore. I was tired of her complaining, but never doing anything to fix the problem. I said if she ever wanted to get away from him, call. But otherwise, I didn't want anything more to do with her whining. I was already suffering from depression from listening to her day after day, but being unable to help. Until they're ready for help, they won't accept any. They just want to say it over and over and hear sympathy. They don't want to act, and they'll drag you down too. It's a harsh thing to say, but you can't change their mind. Only they can do that. And you have to take care of yourself too. He did eventually leave her. So she had to suffer through the divorce anyway. Then she had to go through HIV tests, cause he had been sleeping with men as well as women. Lots and lots of them. Speak up. It probably won't do any good, but there's always the chance they're ready to get out. If they're not ready, nothing you say will go in their ears anyway.
• United States
5 May 09
That's a sad situation, even worse that kids were involved. It kills me to see women being this stupid with not only their own lives, but their children's lives as well. Why must they be so blind? EVERYONE tells them they're wrong, yet they don't listen. You're right though, it's pointless to try to talk to them, they won't listen.
@rocketj1 (6957)
• United States
5 May 09
I would call a women's shelter or abuse line for advice. There may be resources in your area that could help this woman deal with this situation. If he is really going thru therapy, then he needs to be totally honest with his therapist or counsellor about this recent incident. I would think they would advise her to move out for awhile. She's a grown woman and obviously you can't tell her what to do. But I would say at least call for an expert opinion. I might also be tempted to let someone else in her family know. She may be hiding this from all of them and someone may step in to confront the guy. They would certainly feel more responsible in this situation to do so. Be careful too!
• United States
5 May 09
It was a hypothetical question actually, but that's good advice for someone who truly knows another person in this situation.
@ravinskye (8245)
• United States
6 May 09
Well that would be a hard situation. I think I would speak up right away. But until she is ready to accept that he won't change and get out of that situation there isn't much else that can be done. If I had a friend that was being abused I would try to get her to leave when she told me about it. But from what I've heard they usually end up going back. So I would just be a supportive as I could till she decides she is ready to leave. I would make sure that she knew I was there to help her get out whenever she was ready to leave.
@Ozarkgirl (774)
• United States
6 May 09
Speak up to her, tell her any and all information you have, tell of statistics that abused women make excuses for their man or believe their mans excuses, that an abused women will go back to her abuser at least 7 times before fianlly leaving for good and sometimes that is in a body bag, her body bag, tell her no one deserves to be hit, slapped, pinched, kicked, or put down verbally. Tell her of the shelters in your area, tell her of the hotline, tell of order protection. I am an advocate for Abused Women and Children. So this is my passion, and I have loads of information if you need any. So break the cicle and SPEAK UP!!
@SuzyLong (775)
6 May 09
I've got a scar on my face from an ex from when he got angry at someone and took it out on me. As soon as I was over the shock, I beat the crap out of him and I'd do the same to any bloke if they even tapped one of my friends. Tell her to get away from him and leave him behind. If he does anything really bad to her, you will end up feeling guilty for not doing anything.
• Philippines
6 May 09
[b][/b]It's so hard,specially if the person is someone very close to you, that no matter what you said will not listen to every single word you say, even though you know that she knows that you are right.What is more hurting are the innocent children that got hurt in the situation. All you can do is pray and hope that someday her eyes will open to the truth and get out of that relationship before it's too late.
• China
6 May 09
i dont know.but most time i may shut up.because we are not one of the party.so we can't tell the truth when we just listened to one of them.unless i know them very much,i may help them to solve the problems.but you said you didnt know them very well.so i suggest you shut up.you cannt make sure will you do the right thing.so the best choice is to shut up.let them cope it themselves.the can do it.we are just normal friends.not very close.but these things depend on your choice.i just advise.
@deejean06 (1953)
• United States
6 May 09
Hi kats...I think I would speak up on this one. I would desperately try to get her away from him which I know would not be an easy feat. If she's saying right away that it is an accident then she's already making excuses. I think the problem comes when nothing happens and the ball just keeps rolling. If you speak up now maybe the ball stops and she doesn't get hurt anymore. Good luck to you.
• United States
6 May 09
I would always speak up, I am a good friend. If something was to happen and you didn't try to help by speaking up you would have to live with the guilt. Why some women put up with abuse is beyond me, I can't imagine why you would make excuses for someone like that. When you love someone maybe you justify their behavior, I don't know. There are just things that I won't stand for.
@bing28 (3800)
• Philippines
6 May 09
If you think you've done everything, advises, prayers and still she don't listen, then nothing to be worried of, perhaps she could see a need for her to stay. She may have reasons that she sacrificed of continuously living with him. Just pray and hope for the best for them or until she realized she had supposed to listen to you.
@pitstryke (310)
• Philippines
6 May 09
that's a complicated issue..hmmm...as what people say if you really love the person whom you with...you will accept him/her no matter what he/she is and his/her attitude. But you must tell your partner what is wrong with his/her. You must tell your partner about the things that made you cry or made you dry. Speak up. Sometimes they just need to realize that there is a problem that needs to be fix.
@Pigglies (9340)
• United States
6 May 09
I'd probably say something to her even if I didn't really know her. Especially if it was more than a slap. Because it is hard to tell what people mean from a slap. Maybe it was a very weak slap and she misinterpreted it. But if she had a bruise then I'd definitely try to talk some sense into her. Luckily I've never been in this situation, but one time one of my friends had her boyfriend cheat on her. And I flat out told her she should dump him. And then she tells me that he said he was raped, and she believed him. What a dummy. But I tend to speak up even when I shouldn't I guess. I will fight any cause, lol.
@clorissa123 (4930)
• United States
5 May 09
If she won't listen for the second or third times from your heartful advise, I definitely gonna shut up, and leave the matter for her to solve. But next time, don't crying so hard in front my face, that is your own personal issue, I got no right to interfere or giving further advise since you won't listen, and keep on finding excuse for him. That is How I am.
• China
5 May 09
I will speak up instead of shut up. He must konw what I think,I love his,but she also love me. I wonldn't shut up.
@Sador88 (70)
• Netherlands
5 May 09
I'd try to talk to her, as a friend I feel I have to. I don't want her to get hurt. On the other hand, if she refuses to listen to me then it's her own fault. She can think about it herself too and it's not that much of my business. I think cheating would be very different. Most people consider cheating something which means their partner doesn't love them and they will usually break up or give a final chance. For some reason most people feel different when they are hit by their partner. They might think it's their own fault, that they deserved it or that it was something that happened once out of anger and will never happen again. Or maybe they are just terrified because their partner might get even more agressive. At any rate, I would try to talk some sense in her, and if she refuses to listen I would let her make her own choise.