i'm new to the forums.
I'm 29 years old and male.
I have a very good female friend whom I grew up with. She is three years younger than I am - age 26 - and is married to a man who is almost 40. They have been married for 6 years.
Fairly recently, as in the past few months, she has come to me with the problem of verbal abuse on his part.
He acts like a child. He will torment my friend until she's near tears, intentionally pushing buttons. She has severe back problems, but he'll tell the doctor not to give her pain pills or her medicine for a bipolar disorder. He gets his way with the bipolar disorder medicine.
He is not scum however - he was in the coast guard for several years doing undercover narcotics work. I did consider him a friend until I witnessed this abuse first hand - she had been, if anything, underexagerrating the problem.
I have no idea what to do. I have been there, listened to her, and (mistakenly) pushed her to get divorced. It's intense, and i'm near the end of my rope.
I myself have been in two bad relationships. In the first one, the woman would pull a knife if she didn't get her way. I got cut before I disarmed her. The second one involved verbal abuse on her part and ended with a glass flying at my head because I was packing my things. I am staying single for the moment and getting myself straightened out on how to pick a good woman.
But for me, it's always been straightforward: if the woman gets abusive (being defined as more than normal anger), i'm out of there. No second chances, and no apologies, only lessons learned.
In other words, a flowchart would look like this: I get with woman --> woman becomes abusive --> woman gets kicked to the curb, or I leave, now. I don't think about it any longer than necessary to recognize the abuse.
However, my friend just won't up and leave. He's left one mark on her - he grabbed her arm when she threw her hands up in disgust.
As well, she and I are business partners. She's begun trying to work the business around his whims. This doesn't fly with me, and she knows that i'll have to go it alone or find another partner eventually if this keeps up. I've made that clear. No matter how much I love her I cannot jeopardize my livelyhood.
I've stopped pushing her to leave as I recognized that could be part of the problem. She was talking about getting marriage counseling and asked me to set something up through my church as she does not attend one. I did so and she changed her mind about it.
She says that she knows it will eventually end in divorce, but she has all these "ifs" - if he would do this or that they'd be just peachy.
She's to the point where she trembles all the time, even in her sleep. She's stubborn and I really don't know that she'll leave. As she has an untreated mental disorder, I wouldn't rule out suicide as an end either.
I have studied psychology extensively for about 16 years. When I was 13 my grandfather had something akin to alzheimer's and I believed I could somehow help him. I couldn't, but the interest was there.
This psychology is failing me now.
I need someone to talk to - friends of abused spouses or something - and I need to know what more I can do, if anything. There's no question that i'm too emotionally involved here, but that's what happens when the person is like your own sister. I just don't know.
Any help or comments would be very appreciated.