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Should I be concerned for my friend?

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Old 7th July 2011, 10:00 AM   #1
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Should I be concerned for my friend?

I know my friend for around 10 years (I'll call her Emma). We became really good friends after we have both moved out in the same big & new city (for Uni). She's involved in a pretty strange and abusive relationship - one side of me is really concerned for her, while the other side can't understand her actions at all.

Emma has a relationship with a man who: is divorced, but keeps in touch with his ex-wife (all three of them live in different cities). He spends all the weekends, all the holidays, all the b-days and anniversaries with his ex-wife. He tries to hide all his affairs from her, and he's constantly scared that she's going to find out the truth. He is paranoid and imagines things. He beats his ex-wife, he attacked her a couple of times (pushed her through a window, wanted to hit her with the car), he has plenty of obsessions, he adores to control everything, he likes blaming both of them, he blackmails them to get what he wants, he's manipulative and cries like a baby when he's not the centre of their attention.

He visits Emma only when he wants to. Meanwhile he keeps telling her how things are going to get better and how he's going to leave his ex-wife blah blah. I think Emma is now almost completely brainwashed. She's doing only what he says. She's not "allowed" to stay on the internet, she can't go out (only by herself), she can't really have friends; whenever he calls her, she starts shaking and runs in a place where there isn't anybody, otherwise he'll accuse her of being with someone else. She can't and won't answer phones if she's with him. He keeps threatening her with all kind of things. She's terrorized... but she allows it to happen. Whenever he comes back after a huge fight, she accepts him with her arms wide open, then she calls me and tells me: "Ohhh... he came back to me, he loves me, we're so happy, he proposed me". Then he leaves, and everything suddenly goes back to normal. I seriously can't understand how this is working

The thing is... whenever he decides to leave her, she turns him back (to her). From lying that she's sick, to reproaches & lines like "I can't live without you" - she'll say anything. She won't leave him alone. It's like she's asking for it. And this is where I'm like "what...the...heck?".

Last week they had a pretty bad fight. He told her something like: "You don't even know what I'm going to do to you; I'm sorry I've cheated my wife with someone like you, you're a golddigger b**ch." They were both decided to break up (again); Emma had my full support & the support of her family, everything seemed to go well. We wanted to go to a movie Tuesday, and yesterday we were supposed to go out for dinner because it was my b-day... and guess what? I haven't heard anything from her. All I got was a message: "He was here, he came to my workplace, we've spent the night together." This was a couple of days ago. I called her & sent her a couple of messages to see if she's fine, and nothing.

I'm sorry if this story is a bit incoherent; there are too many sides of it. Btw, his ex-wife knows everything, but both her & Emma accept this situation.
I'm wondering what's the best attitude I can have, and if there is anything I can do to help my friend.
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Old 8th July 2011, 2:39 PM   #2
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She called me today and basically she said she can't talk too much to me anymore because he won't let her. Niiiiiice.
Next month she's supposed to show him her phone calls & messages sheet (sorry if it's not called that way), so he can "trust her again".
I don't think I'm able to say anything anymore...
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