To not have found this 'joke' funny.

(72 Posts)
DoormatorDiva Mon 25-Mar-13 02:32:59

My best friend has met a new man. Both are in their forties. I've not met him as they don't live in UK. They've known each other for a couple of months.

It all sounds quite 'whirlwind romance'. He's moved into an apartment in her block. If new man is due to visit bff, and I am due to Skype with her, she will rearrange our Skype, so as to spend maximum time with him, and if we are in the middle of a Skype session, and he phones, rather than not answer or get him to call back - she interrupts our conversation and tells me she'll ring me back, in order to speak to him.

This bugs me (or course), as I think she is giving way too much of herself - if she can't spare a regular Skype chat once a week - with her best friend.

She says herself, I was her 'lifeline', during a horrible couple of years and a marriage break-up. At certain points she was at risk of feeling suicidal, and I made an effort to 'be there' so, this treatment is a bit like a kick in the teeth. But, I'm also very glad for her, that she has met someone who seems to make her happy!

New man, sent me a friend request on fb, and I added him (more for bff's sake really). We exchanged a couple of polite messages - that's all really.

Then, this morning he sent me a message asking if my friend had any history of domestic violence, as this happened - and posted a photo of his upper arm, covered in a massive, swollen, dark purple bruise. It looked horrendous.

I was shocked and asked wtf happened - he said "she went Mike Tyson on me! I'm scared for my life, worried about my safety! Is she on medication at all??"

I told him not that I know of apart from some homeopathic stuff. What on earth happened? Anyway - it was also my dd's 4th birthday, and we were just unwrapping presents when I'd got these messages, it totally changed the mood, as I was then worried something awful had happened between friend and New Man. No reply from New Man.

Then, I got a text from friend saying to ignore his messages, 'he was just shittin ya' - I then asked her what was going on. She explained that he had been teaching her to punch and she was punching his arm, but he kept saying it didn't hurt...so she was doing it harder. eek. Friend suggested I play along and answer his message by saying "yeah, she's had a history of mental health issues, and been in an asylum" etc.

Told them both that I didn't think it was that funny, and their 'joke' had disrupted stuff I was doing with dd. Don't involve me in their games about domestic violence when it wasn't an issue, as I'd been really worried, and am too far away to either help or see it's just a stupid joke! They both apologised...

But...

I'm sort of thinking he's a bit of a knob, now. And also thinking she's actually quite self-centred - I've mentioned to her before it was dd's birthday today, and she knows that with the time difference it would have been morning for us. As if on top of prepping for a kids birthday party I have time to bloody well engage in stupid banter about domestic violence and mental health issues (which isn't exactly a laughing matter anyway). Considering their ages I can't believe how childish they were! To cap it all, when friend apologised and asked me to give dd a hug oh her behalf, she spelt her name wrong. hmm

So AIBU to be so UNamused? (I know IABVVU regarding the length of this post - sorry)

stressyBessy22 Mon 25-Mar-13 13:13:18

If this had happened the other way round (woman had been hit) would anybody believe the first message was a joke?

wannaBe Mon 25-Mar-13 13:22:13

shock that it's the man being referred to as the tool here.

If the friend had sent the message with the bruising and then the partner had sent texts explaining it away as a game who would people be branding as the one worthy of the red flags?

I would be inclined to wonder if your friend indeed does have a history of domestic violence and whether she was trying to cover up this fact...

RubixCube Mon 25-Mar-13 13:52:47

I agree with stressy and wannbe.It's like the reply of your freind to tell him she's mental etc is like an exuse/cover up.Women can be violent too

RubixCube Mon 25-Mar-13 13:53:26

*friend

This sounds odd. Violence in a relationship even as a joke is not a good sign. Possibly they are both immature, possibly she is violent or possibly he is a potential abuser and is starting to introduce a "jokey" amount of low level aggression into the relationship.

DoormatorDiva Mon 25-Mar-13 15:03:00

I know men can be subjected to domestic violence too, and the issue as a whole is no joke whatsoever - which is why I did take it quite seriously. The way this relationship has gone - so intense, how joined-at-the-hip they seem already - she has said "it's like an addiction" and they "can't get enough of each other". While it's lovely that she's gone from depression/despair to being happy again, and he seems to treat her well (expensive watch within a month, nice dinners, cosy evenings in - on phone for hours) it's not too far-fetched to wonder what would happen if the bubble burst. I really don't know how she would react. She's never been so smitten, with someone, so quickly before. The only thing that makes me inclined to think that her explanation (however silly) - is the truth, is I've not known of anything like that happening in her past (i.e. her beating up a partner).

I'm wondering if this joke is the start of him trying to cause a wedge between our friendship - or whether I'm being paranoid?

For me, there are red flags all over the place.

1) He has just been through a bitter divorce, and has moved thousands of miles away from his ex-wife, and kids (a 5yo and 10yo) - kids not seen him in months. He apparently gets on great with his kids - but is known as more of a 'mate' than father figure. Bff has explained that in the ex-pat lifestyle, people do move around globally, job-hunting. It's just the way the corporate world works (I wouldn't know).

2) The weird 'humour'. He was telling my friend about how they broke the news to the kids about him and ex separating - 10yo ds went ballistic and his ex, the Mum, went to comfort ds and the son chucked her across the room. The story was recounted as a funny anecdote! Bff was initially disgusted, but now thinks it was probably more like a nervous laugh.

3) Bff has a 5yo ds with Autism, and from the start he has seemed anxious to move things along - asking when he can meet her son etc. She has now introduced them - he is basically forming a relationship with the son too.

4) He drinks about 10 units a day apparently and knocks back 3 Red Bulls for breakfast, and doesn't sleep much.

5) Kept telling her initially, that he is 'high maintenance' and has high standards, doesn't suffer fools (but doesn't think she does either - how flattering). She told me she found it quite irritating that he kept saying how high maintenance he was - and talked to me about it. I said it sounded a bit potenially unhealthy - like seeking permission to be high maintenance or controlling, by paving the way iykwim. She challenged him on it and he said it wasn't what he meant - just strong values etc.

6) When she was telling me how intense it seemed, initially, to be careful as "There's a saying - the candle that burns twice as bright, burns half as long." She told him what I said - he started referring to me as "Crash and Burn"! I'm a little suspicious about why she is going back and forth telling him, then telling me how he refers to me - it's a bit like she's quite confused, and playing us off to see which side wins. I have no interest in playing Tug of War - actually do want her to be happy.

7) His Mum died a week or so ago and apparently his family blamed him for his Mum's death - stress and worry over his drinking, excesses, and divorce. He flew back early.

8) In one of our initial 'pleased to make your acquaintence' type messages on fb - I said my friend was 'smitten' with him, so please don't mess her about - he said he was more than smitten. Then apparently he went off to look up the word and told my friend that it means 'to hit and conquer'. Well - yeah, but it also means hit by Cupid's Arrow, right? I found it a bit strange I had to even justify using the term. (Not very bright on both their parts tbh there). Then this whole domestic violence joke...

Each individual thing is a bit concerning, but altogether and I would be very wary. Friend oblivious. So sorry for the massive post again - thought I might as well get it all out.

DoormatorDiva Mon 25-Mar-13 15:07:29

Sorry lots of typos!

I would agree with you that there are a lot of red flags. I also suspect that right now your friend won't listen to a word you say and will happily tell her new bf everything.

All you can do is watch and be there to pick up the pieces, if needed.

Crinkle77 Mon 25-Mar-13 15:22:58

That's not funny. It's odd

EggyFucker Mon 25-Mar-13 15:35:45

He is a tool

WorraLiberty Mon 25-Mar-13 15:36:41

He's bruised

He's said he fears for his safety

He's asking if she has a history of DV or mental health problems.

That ^^ sounds like a cry for help to me...one that she probably found out about and now he's trying to minimise it as a joke.

If I were him, I'd get out of that relationship fast.

Pendeen Mon 25-Mar-13 16:15:51

"She explained that he had been teaching her to punch"

He sounds a complete idiot.

She sounds extremely gullible.

DoormatorDiva Mon 25-Mar-13 16:36:29

Worra

He must have shown/forwarded her his messages himself though - as fb messages are private (I don't mean the wall to wall messages - I mean the direct, personal ones which don't appear on the public feed). If it was really a cry for help - he could have carried on without her knowing.

8.40am - FB message
New Man to DorD:

Hi DorD,
Hope you are doing well.
Point of clarification - does [bff] have any domestic violence tendencies. Attached is exhibit A - post dinner on Friday night.
[photo of purple bruise on arm]

8.46am - FB message
DorD to New Man:
shock Err...not that I know of. Wtf happened?

8.49am - FB message
New Man to DorD:
She went Mike Tyson on me!!! I'm scared for me life and well-being now!!
Is she on medication???

9.00am - FB message
DorD to New Man:
Omg...really??

I know she's been taking some homeopathic stuff - she said it seemed to help release pent-up emotions, and it's magnified. Jeez, though...what triggered that? I have never heard of her doing that to any one before.

9.00am Viber
Bff to me:
Pls ignore New Man
@#$%!

9.10am Viber
DorD to Bff:
What's going on? It's not looking good. Are you alright? That bruise on him looks really bad.

9.15am Viber
Bff to DorD:
lol don't worry...he's just messing with ya. Yes bruise from me, we were playing. Does look pretty bad though...shock he was teaching me to punch and gave his arms punching really bad and kept me going saying it doesn't hurt...blush

9.17am Viber
Bff to DorD:
Suggest you play along and tell him I'd spent time in an asylum or sthg

9.18am - FB message
DorD to New Man:
Ohhh, it's a joke. Hah. Guess you had to be there to see the funny side.

9.18am Viber
Bff to DorD:
History of violence and he's not the first...grin

9.19am Viber
DorD to Bff:
Jeez. No, I don't think it's that funny. I just told him I know it's a joke and you probably had to be there to see the funny side. God you two are a bit childish. I have tonnes stuff to do today - was really worried there for a sec. Dd was in middle of unwrapping birthday presents etc. which got interrupted while I was wondering wtf. Don't involve me in your games about domestic violence that isn't really an issue, as I'm too far away to help or see it's a stupid joke! See - my sense of humour isn't that great.

9.31am Viber
Bff to DorD:
Sorry. Pls give dd a big birthday hug for me. We had a silly weekend.

9.38am Viber
DorD to Bff:
Ok. Think you caught me at the wrong moment.

10.19am FB message
New Man to DorD:
Opps. Sorry. Yes you're correct - funny side guess was in physical presence. Trust you're well.

10.28am FB message
DorD to New Man:
Yeh. Never mind lol. Caught me at the wrong moment. Fine thanks - having a busy day.

I spent 35mins wondering if there'd been some sort of major incident that may or may not have been ongoing before bff intervened. Really didn't need it when I had loads on. New Man didn't reply to my 'what happened' at all. He apologised nearly 2hrs later.

DoormatorDiva Mon 25-Mar-13 18:05:07

She's texted me - I told her I was thinking of backing off as any red flags I raise, will be seen as me begrudging her being really happy. She said "What red flags, I really want to know" - I told her she already knows them, she's the one who has told me about them! Asked her how she knew about the messages he sent - were they together at the time, or did he think of it himself and then show her the thread.

She says there were together - she was with him when he messaged me on FB, hence why she warned me. Apparently they'd been laughing all day at the bruise, and it's to far-fetched that she could be violent to anyone, it was all the more funny. She is a bit taken aback that I actually could take it seriously. We are going to Skype tomorrow to have a chat about it as I 'mean the world' to her, and am supposed to keep her grounded.

Hmmm...

DoormatorDiva Mon 25-Mar-13 18:06:23

there = they

MrsKoala Mon 25-Mar-13 18:22:48

oh dear, i would be very wary what you say. It sounds as tho she will tell him - probably to add a bit of drama, or to test his reaction or whatever. But if when she does, he will not like you and if they stay together he could try to isolate her from you.

If i'm being generous, they sound as tho they got carried away with a very childish 'joke'. The red flags are things she already knows about him which means she is okay with them, so you pointing them out will not change her mind. If you want her to turn to you if she needs you in the future, i would not say too much.

To me, he sounds as tho he is laying foundations for his behaviour in the future. i would watch on cautiously but not give him any ammunition against me. She will side with him as she is wrapped up in the drama/romance and adding the 'against all odds' element is a heady mix.

DoormatorDiva Mon 25-Mar-13 19:05:18

Really? I've always tried to be quite straight with her...I mean, presumably that's why she trusts me. Oh dear! confused

MrsKoala Mon 25-Mar-13 19:09:00

If she already is telling you both what the other is saying then why wont she tell him what you say in your conversation tomo? If she does tell him what you say, what do you think the outcome will be?

DoormatorDiva Mon 25-Mar-13 19:33:28

You're right, yes. It will just cause bad feeling...

Perhaps I already said too much anyway - as I've already told her I thought it was weird that he would show a friend from overseas, whom he's never met, an incriminating photo and suggest bad stuff about her. So I asked her how she knew about his messages - was she with him, or was he acting by himself. I said was worried that he was trying to stir up trouble - maybe isolate her and make her more dependent on him.

That's when she said she didn't think so - as she was with him at the time.

DoormatorDiva Mon 25-Mar-13 19:38:37

It seems if I back off - it will leave her a bit more isolated and dependent on him. If we carry on Skyping regularly I will have to bite my tongue at everything she comes out with that makes me think hmm, and that doesn't feel authentic either!

MrsKoala Mon 25-Mar-13 19:49:11

If it were me i would down play it a bit tomo. I would just say i had not found it very funny and a bit childish and then leave it at that. I would be vague about things and try to let her do all the talking. I would ask very open questions 'counselor' style. ie 'so how are you feeling about everything', 'and how does that make you feel' then mmmm a lot. Don't be drawn to give an opinion - say things like 'well i haven't met him yet' or 'if you say you like him/are happy then that's good enough for me' (she will tell him that and it will takethe wind out of his sails if he was going to say 'see she doesn't like me...') etc. I would also reinforce i was there if she needed me. But other than that i would not go further at this stage.

coffeeinbed Mon 25-Mar-13 20:14:24

Sorry, I don't believe the joke bit for a moment.
Reading the messages, no..I think they had a domestic, and she tried to fob you off.

fuckwittery Mon 25-Mar-13 20:20:53

I think you are way too involved and query why you even engaged in conversation with virtual stranger without getting straight on the phone to your friend. I think telling him about the homeopathic medicine aimed at release of pent up anger etc was getting yourself too involved.

Step back, let her live her life with him, and be a good friend to pick up the pieces if it goes wrong. They are both being very weird with you.

Do you REALLY have to talk every week?

AmberLeaf Mon 25-Mar-13 20:31:28

Going on the stuff about his marriage breakup/kids etc he sounds like an utter tool.

If this had happened the other way round (woman had been hit) would anybody believe the first message was a joke?

Nope.

I think the whole thing sounds very unhealthy.

DoormatorDiva Mon 25-Mar-13 20:42:30

Thank you MrsKoala - that sounds reasonable advice. I shall try and play it down. Told my DP about it all, and he seems to think that it was a childish joke on their parts, but nothing more sinister than them being in a bit of a self-absorbed bubble. He is of the opinion that however misguided, they were trying to include me in their 'bubble' and however misguided, was trying to break the ice between me and New Man. (Oh how that backfired)

coffeeinbed
How likely is it though, that if there was a real domestic, and New Man really was 'scared for his life' that a) he would tell anyone, never mind someone he's never met, and her best friend, and b) having decided to tell someone, why would he do it in such close proximity to bff, so that she would be aware of him doing so?

I'm not trying to make excuses for her - it just doesn't make sense, having thought about it.

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