Hello everyone, I have a bit of an issue and I hope you can help...
So basically I have this friend, let's call her A. She has a husband, let's call him H.
Anyway, so A and I have been friends for a long time. She is probably my oldest friend so we have been through a lot together. We never lived near each other (she lived near my dad, I lived near my mom. Every other weekends, some parts of summer etc)... Anyway, she moved to California right before college and moved in with her then boyfriend H. She would always tell me what a great guy he was when we could talk and one day (a few years ago) I finally had enough cash to go visit her.
Since she was staying in H's house he was technically the host. He was an ok guy, but a LOT older, like in his 40s and she was a bit younger than me in her early 20s... He didn't give me weird vibes really, just the impression that he wasn't really a super chill nice guy like how he was acting... but I was only there for two weeks and he worked a lot so I don't know if I have the right to judge him.
Anyway, a few months ago she called me and talked to me for hours about how terrible things were. They had gotten married (in secret, her family back in our home state doesn't know) since he lost his job and they moved in with his mom who was SUPER religious. A had converted to his family's religion for him. She changed everything about herself. She isn't the same person I knew.
Apparently the stress from loosing his job and her stress from still going through college and dealing with on and off extreme depression pushed things... Things got physical a few times. She said he hit her with a clipboard so hard it broke. He would take the car and make sure she couldn't go anywhere without his permission. His mom and sister would keep an eye on her for him.
She blamed it all on herself though and said she wasn't being a good wife... and God would want her to work through things and be a better wife, and if she did H would be a better husband. She said it wasn't abuse if she hit back or started it by yelling first...
A few weeks go by, then a few more months and she acts like nothing happened. If I bring it up she just says that it was a rough time, all couples have them... besides who would date her if they broke up? She wasn't good enough -especially since she would never have sex outside of marriage again.
I have never even been on a date in my life, she reminds me... I don't know what relationships are like...
Fast forward to present day. I am in Korea teaching English, we are talking about her coming out when the corona-virus is done with. She keeps saying that it sounds great and as soon an they have money THEY would love to come out...
So here is where I need advice...
Like I said, I only was with them two weeks and I didn't see anything that happened during their 'rough patch'... She isn't one to lie so I believe her when she says what happened happened, but still...
First: Am I able to judge their relationship? I really don't like H, but I never saw him do anything wrong... I feel like her brainwashed her. She doesn't have any friends other than him and his friends and she has been out there for years... I wish she would leave him, but I don't know if I should be 'allowed' to feel this way. Like she said, I don't have experience, how can I judge. She has changed yes, but people change. How can I blame changes I don't like in her on H?
Second: Even if I don't like him, they are married and she is very religious now. How can I bring this up? Should I? I honestly don't think she will leave him... should I leave it alone or risk our friendship for the slight chance she will see things my way?
Third: She wants to bring H out to my home in S. Korea when she visits. As I said, I would not be comfortable with this. How do I tell her no? I am not sure if she would come out without him and I really want to see her. I am worried that she might mention how I stayed in HIS house in CA so I would be ungrateful if I don't let him stay with me.
I just don't know what to do.
You don't have to deal with this guy, rather your friend has to because she made a choice to be with him. Regardless of what she states, she is being physically abused and and if she says it's her fault, then she's being emotionally abused as well. On top of this, her family know nothing of her marriage. Sure, all marriages go through rough patches but you don't have to be experienced with relationships to understand that no successful relationship which is based on true love and respect has any form of abuse in it...it's that simple.
She has involved you by reaching out to you about it and if you're a true friend, you will voice your opinion, never mind thinking that you're not allowed to, because true friends tell us how it is whether we like it of not. They tell us what we need to hear rather than what we want to hear but sometimes good advice takes time to sink in.
It doesn't matter if you've never been on a date in your life, you instinctively know that something's wrong with your friend's marriage and you should tell her that in plain English, rather than worrying about hosting her controlling husband in your home. You don't have to blame anyone for the changes in your friend, you just have to accept them regardless if they eventually 'cool' your friendship, because she has made decisions which are for her and not for you.
I think that you should not have to worry about that. I agree with the above comments that it is not your problem to have to deal with it. I do understand that you care for her and want the best for her but she has to see these things for herself. If she is going to leave him she has to do it for herself. I know it is tough to see her go through these things but she will eventually realize it for herself that she should be treated better.
I also think you should tell your friend that you are excited to see her but due to the issues that you have herd in regards to their relationship it may be best to just see her and just have a good time with her and kinda phrase it as a girls hangout time (vacation).
I also think it is better to tell her how you feel about him and how you think he is taking her down and worried it is going to cause a potential strain on ou and her friendship and other things she has going for her. I would suggest to her to reach out to a counselor or life coach they also are great help and can provide the professional tools and resources to help her as well.
I hope that this helped you!
I think she would have to do this herself or better still let her parents know about it so they can help because from what you said he might be abusing her and that might get worse in the future.
This trip involving the two of them will probably never happen. (Control freaks never go where they can’t be in control)
But if it’s brought up again, insist that it be a “ girls only” vacation.
Please don't wear down your heart and zap your energy about this relationship. You are too far away to do anything about it. Encourage her to find help from a local women’s center.
It’s a sad situation , for sure.