Without trying to be too much of a Captain Obvious, I have to say that your roommate is in a serious situation. Any kind of abuse, verbal or physical, is not to be taken lightly. Your roommate needs to get out now while she still can. When hearing about a situation like this, the knee jerk reaction from anyone is the question: “why doesn’t she just leave him?” But it is never that simple of a solution. One of the problems could be that she is afraid that he will do something to her if she leaves him. The other problem is that he will do something to her if she stays. It’s a double edged sword and I can guarantee she lives in fear of this guy. He sounds like an arrogant bully bastard to me.
I don’t understand why people stay in abusive relationships. Men and women are both guilty of this. Have you ever seen the show Bridezillas? Those men can get out before they are stuck for good with these verbally and sometimes physically abusive women but they elect to stay with them. I often joke that the sex must be really amazing and that these women have magical vaginas, but really it boils down to a serious psychological problem on both ends.
Why do women, or anyone stay in abusive relationships? There are any number of reasons. Every situation is unique and is never black and white. No one in their right mind ever desires to be in an abusive relationship and many who are in one believe that things can truly change. They can’t. Not unless the abuser is willing to go to great lengths to change. That is a personal decision that they need to make on their own. No amount of begging or discussing will ever work unless said person has made up their mind and will follow the path they need to take to heal themselves. Usually it is best if they do this alone. Anyone who is abusing their significant other needs help, they cannot change on their own. When I say help, I mean professional help from someone who is not a friend or relative. I hope your friend is not of the mindset that she can change him. She can’t. Once she realizes this, then it will be easy to get her away from this guy. The hard part will be convincing her otherwise.
This guy has total control over her. I bet he controls who she talks to, hangs out with, what she talks about and completely isolates her from the life she could be living. His power and control are probably rooted deeper than you imagine. She is just your roommate and I doubt she confides in you, let alone tells you how truly bad things are. Her feelings are conflicted between love and hate, giddy and guilt, fun and fear. She probably is so confused, put down and threatened that she is completely detached from reality.
It is time for you to stage an intervention. You obviously care a great deal about this girl, or else you wouldn’t have written in to Ask Us Fort Collins. I must warn you that this will not be easy, but she needs you.
You need to get in contact with her close family and friends and get their help in order to help her. I guarantee your roommate is too frightened to get help on her own. I hope you have some way to find out the number of some one who you can trust to help her with her situation. There is no way you can do this alone. Make a time for everyone to come together and physically be in her presence to talk to her about her situation. She will resist, but it is time for some tough love. If her family is out of state, tell them that they need to get here as soon as possible. If you let the abuse go on for too long, you don’t know how far this guy will take it.
The Dickhead needs to be reported. I don’t care if he “only” hit her once or how much time has passed, he needs to answer for his wrongdoing. She will need to make this phone call. It will be the first step in her separation from this guy, and should be done while her family and/or close friends are with her. There is safety in numbers and what she needs most is warm bodies around her to support her. Click HERE for a list of hotlines and safe houses that your friend can reach out to for help.
The rest is up to her, and I strongly suggest she seeks counseling. What you need to do is get her started on the right path. It will not be easy, but your safety and hers are on the line.
Any form of Domestic Abuse is NOT OKAY. The more the situation gets swept under the rug the worse things will be. Have your roommate get a restraining order and help her move on to better things. This will be a struggle, but in the end it will all be worth it. Make your safety a number one priority and help her see the light. Have strength in each other and you will get through this together.
What did you think of Robyn’s advice? Do you have any advice for Distressed over a Dickhead? Comment below with any help you can offer for this serious situation then tune in on Friday to see what Skippy has to say.