Note: Mumsnetters don't necessarily have the qualifications or experience to offer relationships counselling or to provide help in cases of domestic violence. Mumsnet can't be held responsible for any advice given on the site. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.

What am I watching unfold here?

(122 Posts)
DoormatorDiva Thu 04-Apr-13 17:25:38

Please excuse me if this is too long. I'm offloading some worries, that I know I can't do anything about. Here goes:

In late January, my bff went to a dinner party, and met someone. They went for drinks, got on really well, and met again for the following few evenings before he had to leave (he was in the process of relocating, but at that stage was only in the country for a few days). They began texting, Skyping, phoning, for hours every day. He was generous with compliments, telling her she's 'stunning' etc, very polite and chivalrous to the point of being a bit old-fashioned (opening car doors etc). She noticed he seemed "quite anxious and over-thinking" at times, but on the other hand - they seemed to have an amazing amount in common.

He even mentioned liking a favourite song of hers, that she had posted on her fb wall a few months back.

On the surface he seems like her absolute soulmate - more so than anyone else she's ever met. But I'm worried. What do you think:

Within the first week of meeting/Skyping, he was asking when he could he meet her little boy, who has Autism. She told me herself "He is scaring me. He has kids himself and they'll be visiting him eventually. He tells me he hasn't seen his kids for 7mths. He doesn't have custody. That is a red flag. Will need to get to the details later. Anyhoo...I think I just offended him...Will tell you when we speak."

Apparently he would get defensive, whenever she tried to dig. His backstory is that he lost a lot of money a few years ago - mainly property investments that went down in the global recession, and it destroyed his marriage. He became depressed and drank a lot, and when it came to custody, he wasn't strong enough to fight ex-wife...but has since got back on his feet, and now working his way up again. He and his kids talk regularly on the phone - they seem to get on, even though he now lives several thousand miles away from them.

Soon afterwards, bff was helping him view apartments to rent, in the same block as hers. He was asking about them since he was relocating anyway, and she couldn't exactly tell him not to move into her block.

They were also talking so often, that if she didn't reply soon enough to a couple of his texts, due to being busy - he would ring her, to ask if she was alright.

She in turn started to arrange our Skype sessions around his calls. If we were talking on Skype and he phoned, she would arrange to call me back in order to speak to him. (to be continued)

scarletforya Thu 04-Apr-13 22:55:56

That post he put on facebook sounds like word salad, I think he is disturbed. His spending sounds manic. There's something amiss with him.

DoormatorDiva Thu 04-Apr-13 23:00:08

carabossse Yes I am in country 1, he was living in country 2 but has now moved to country3 where bff is.

AnyFucker I believe bff - although initially I was shocked and concerned. I don't think it was her beating him and it was a cover-up. I've known her for over 40yrs and it's not like her. And if something like that did happen, our friendship is such that she would tell me.
Whereas he's been on the scene 2mins and I've never had such a bad feeling about any of her bfs before!

Kernowgal No not googled...there's an idea...

DoormatorDiva Thu 04-Apr-13 23:09:07

NicholasTeakozy Careful? Tbh I am a bit scared to talk about it - but what do you do if someone you care about seems to be sleep walking into a scary situation.

AnyFucker Thu 04-Apr-13 23:10:15

no, I didn't agree with those posters on your other thread either, DD

DoormatorDiva Thu 04-Apr-13 23:29:31

carabossse Her exh (who seemed to have a few narcissistic traits too) left her and their ds about 2yrs ago. They had only moved into the country a few mths before he walked out. He relocated to another country too - and now only flies back to visit ds once a month or so. Bff was in a slump for ages - just getting through the days - no dating. She's only recently started getting back on track. This guy has come along like a whirlwind and swept her off her feet. She's been really lonely, and coping with ds's autism on her own has been tough, in a strange country too. She's severely been lacking in fun and attention - which new man has been giving her. So the pull of 'coupledom' must be even stronger.

TrippleBerryFairy Thu 04-Apr-13 23:32:03

I might be totally out of line but here's my version.
He was/is relicating because he is trying to escape things in his previous country. Avoiding child support payments/debtors/illegal stuff that has caught up with him. I'd think he was a liar/gambler/cheat and generally shit so wife threw him out. Why move 1000s of miles away from kids- to spite the wife, escape debts, who knows.

He seems overthinking stuff because he is lying so he's trying to evaluate how all the lies so far will fit in with the future ones. Has to make sure his story seems plausible.

He needs your friend. He's been doing his research about her- him mentioning her fav song is no accident. He's looking for her weak and vulnerable points. Her son is one of them. Does she have any assets/good job that he might see worth using/having?

The story about losing his money in recession is a lie. I bet his drinking/other addictions facilitated that.

He has already cheated on your friend- thats what the cryptic message was about.

His description of himself deciphered: 'high maintenance'- she will walk pn eggshells and things will never be good enough for him, 'energizer bunny'-addictions keep him going, possibly a sex pest, 'not ocd etc'- it's his way or the highway, doesnt suffer fools- well this one sounds like a veiled threat from him.

He is already controlling. Where is he getting his money from, does he have a job? Or maybe sells illegal stuff?

I think your friends son is a tool to control her. I was wondering about worse (paedos on every corner and all) but i now think he wants to become enmeshed in his life so that he van be used to control her.

All very bad news, hope she will wake up to his bullshit and soon!

DoormatorDiva Thu 04-Apr-13 23:43:15

MaggieMaggieMaggieMcGill Difficult - trust in bff's exh is not too high either - he did his share of being emotionally distant, then physically distant. She never found him to be that involved in parenting. He has not shown any interest in custody - he lives tbousands of miles away now. They are going through their divorce.

rockinhippy Fri 05-Apr-13 00:02:15

My first thoughts on reading your OPs were narcissist & child abuser, he is setting her up not to be believed, undermining her in a way that leaves her & her DS very vulnerable indeed - I'd be doing some seroius digging behind his back to de what you can unearth, he sounds dangerous

Yes google him - he sounds an outright liar, attention seeker and potentially dangerous.

rockinhippy Fri 05-Apr-13 00:28:52

& if you meet him, find a jokey way to get a look at his passport - he may not even be who he said he is

The original descriptions of this man and the whirlwind start to the relationship, gives me chills. It sounds like he knew she was there, he researched her on facebook, he knew stuff about her already (like her song) Does she leave her facebook wide open? Did he initially contact her through someone she knows? Did they already know him or just meet him too?
It sounds like he is trying to set her up for something, playing the long game, setting the scene, getting her trust, living in the same building, getting access to her child, taking a picture of the bruise she gave him. Something stinks and I think it's this new guy.
She should get out now before he tries to worm his way in further and make trouble for her and her son. Scary man!

pictish Fri 05-Apr-13 09:00:10

If nothing else, moving into a flat in the same building as her, after suxh a short time, is just fucking weird!!!

Who does that?

appletarts Fri 05-Apr-13 10:12:25

He's got bipolar, is having a manic episode and is alcoholic, could put money on that. Friend sounds like she needs professional help around relationships and maybe consider why you are also all wrapped up in unfolding drama. She needs to leave him now but very very carefully and not see him on her own ever again. First sign of violence/stalking involve police.

DoormatorDiva Fri 05-Apr-13 11:39:08

mozarela - lots of food for thought there. I think you may be on to something regarding there being more to relocating, than merely to follow a job offer - he sounds as if he left a trail of excesses. So over-thinking stuff could well be the effort of, if not juggling lies, then trying to work out how much to tell her.

He's told bff that before he lost everything - he had a property portfolio, of quite a few properties, more than twenty. His parents sound fairly well-off, both educated professionals. This is all background info, coming from him, so who knows. He is/was the revered youngest boy in the family, sounds like his Mum doted on him, was proud of him, although she was apparently concerned about his drinking and womanising. It's only now she's passed away, that the rest of the family, including his Dad, have 'had a go'.

It was almost like they staged a family 'intervention' thing after the funeral they way bff interprets the events. He apparently felt ambushed, hence why he flew back early. Bff told him it was probably down to everyone going through stages of grief etc. and it was just feelings running high.

I'm reluctant to think he is quite as bad as being a possible child abuser, and sells illegal stuff etc. He has a decentish job (GM level) - it's apparently similar to what he did ten yrs ago, but all part of having to start again, and he could do it with his eyes shut etc. Doesn't sound like he is lying about that as he goes to work every day, she was passed to his boss that time, when he asked her to ring him at the works do etc.

SquinkiesRule Thankfully it does seem as though the meeting was a chance thing. They met at a dinner party hosted by mutual friends, whom bff has not known very long, but they have known new man for a few years. Work connections. The only reason bff was invited to the do that night was she happened to contact her friend (the woman) to see if she was doing anything, and the friend said they had a friend in town (nm), and having him round for dinner, would she like to join etc. When they found out that nm had been seeing bff the guy was apparently very protective of bff - telling him not to mess her around. The woman just told bff that they really hadn't been planning to get them together. The fave song thing - bff has her account set to 'friends', and by the time he mentioned it as one of his faves, he was already on her friends list as by then they were talking every day. She doesn't think he saw it because he didn't seem to know she'd posted it on her wall - and it was a few pages back. So yeah - could be coincidence or he could have researched her fb history.

pictish Well yeah it is well weird, right? Bff thinks it seems fairly logical - he was relocating, needed to look for somewhere, she lived in a nice apartment block, why shouldn't he check out places to rent. By then they were speaking for hrs every day, so it felt like they'd known each other for months. Also it was fairly obvious they were getting on great, and maybe the logical thing to do was to live near each other for convenience.

However. The other way of looking at it is, if someone knew that they may be embarking on a new relationship with someone they barely knew, the LAST thing they would want is move into the same block. For the sake of not putting undue pressure on anyone, including themselves? Is that the more usual way to behave? But narcissists don't really respect boundaries do they?

Googled him a bit yesterday - but there isn't that much, just some old social media, and networking accs. One twitter profile of his name, shows a list of eight people followed, and they are ALL women with the same name!!! (bff does not have that name). Bit creepy but not sure what it means. If it is him that is...

However, a bit of looking around his fb friends list and I think I found his father's fb account...omg...

DoormatorDiva Fri 05-Apr-13 12:04:35

appletarts - I do wonder myself why I'm so involved and on some level I know it's better for me to walk away - but it would also feel like betrayal or abandonment. I'd feel better if I knew she had other close friends nearby for sure. She is like a sister to me. One that I get on with at that. We have a lot of shared childhood memories, a lot of history.

I have questioned it myself, whether our friendship has an element of co-dependency - but I think we just clicked from when we met as kids, and complement each other's personalities - we celebrate each others differences, I admire things about her, but don't want to be her, as I have a happy life, nice DP who treats me well, lovely kids. I count myself as lucky, but she has much more drama/excitement in her life, and would just find my day to day life utterly boring! lol.

There is genuine concern here - it's not like I disapprove of all her partners or anything. Well, tbh they have never been my 'type' but hey ho. Up until now I've not had any trouble staying on the 'your life, your business' side of the fence.

DoormatorDiva Fri 05-Apr-13 12:19:48

The father's last 12 status updates are full of flowery overblown language about how his wife's death has affected him, how she gave herself unconditionally.

He has even posted up the Eulogy...here is a snippet. "I had the golden last opportunity to take that last journey with my [wife] from the funeral house to the Memorial Gardens and in this hour I silently conversed with her and I felt that she was patiently listening. I poured all my pains and sorrows and asked for forgiveness for any wrongdoing that I may have caused her in our years to fruitful family life. Silence from her side was taken as agreement. I felt so much relieved."

There are videos of the funeral in several parts.

Latest update:

"She was totally committed to my happiness but has now decided to serve me differently".

Well.

NicknameTaken Fri 05-Apr-13 12:22:24

I don't think it's about co-dependency. I would be very alarmed for a friend who seems to be sleepwalking towards disaster, and this is what it looks like to me. I find the whole bruise thing worrying - it seems like a very calculating set-up so that he can inflict bruises on her down the line, and tell her that she's done it to him, and he didn't mind, so how can she?

There's another thread on here atm about "Your abusive ex. Did anyone try to warn you?" and I think there's a lot of overlap - you might find some of the advice helpful.

I think all you can do is make sure you keep the connection. If her emails/phone calls start to tail off, make sure you're keeping up the communication, even if it feels one-sided for a long while. As you said, this is her journey and you can't persuade her not to take it. Just make sure she can turn to you if/when it goes wrong.

NicknameTaken Fri 05-Apr-13 12:23:14

They're certainly a weird lot.

DoormatorDiva Fri 05-Apr-13 12:24:25

Wtf is this family. Bff really has no clue, and if I tell her, she will just go and try and 'talk' to nm about it, to try and get his perspective, gain reassurance. He will HATE me.

Maybe I do need to drop it and just leave her to it.

pigsDOfly Fri 05-Apr-13 13:00:05

Read the whole thread OP and one thing that crossed my mind you've mentioned in your last post; be very careful what you say to her because it sounds as if she will just go back to him with your concerns in a sort of 'Doormator is being so funny, she thinks you're likely to do xz & z', and he will have a further tool with which to isolate her - the fact that you are being disloyal to her in criticising the man she 'loves'.

She's obviously deeply enmeshed with this awful man and not terribly wise. Allowing him to meet her very vulnerable DC so early on speak volumes, I think. Tbh I don't think there is a lot you can do except tread very carefully, keep in regular contact with her and be there to help her pick up the pieces when it all blows up.

ladyjadie Fri 05-Apr-13 13:28:19

This sounds a bit scary and you do have reason to be concerned, a lot of people have made a lot of good points re: her life having some 'spark' now he's in the picture. Unfortunately it also sounds as though there is a silent, tiny 'gas leak' to go with the 'spark' and it could well go off at any time. His enmeshment is worrying as is his possible fleeing of his responsibilities in the other country. Lots of red flags.

However someone mentioned the "your abusive ex-did anyone try to warn you?" thread and I don't think she is ready to listen to you really. Lots of us didn't, even to our closest friends. She doesn't want to believe the blindingly obvious warning signs because she's being treated (materialistically) well and having attention lavished on her which she's been previously starved of - the perfect vulnerable type for him to dig his hooks into. My opinion is that this cannot end well (as seems to be the general consensus)

Sadly though what you say will fall on deaf ears, as she will only go to him (the worst person) for reassurance and of course he will see that you are not as blind on to him and will just turn it on you. He wants to isolate her and getting rid of you will be his number one priority, as you are her number one confidante/friend. I can imagine lines like "you don't need her, I am your best friend and we only need each other and look at her trying to spoil your happiness" being spouted from the classic EA script.

So the only thing you can really do is be there for her when she calls, and try your damnedest to not badmouth him, even if she is (because she inevitably will flip back to forgiving him and then his logic of you being the baddie will be reinforced to her) and just be there for her some more. Keep your friendship lighthearted and as it has always been. But don't let your life become too affected by it as it is your life and she is living hers

Sorry, really long. But this strikes more than one chord in me sad

ladyjadie Fri 05-Apr-13 13:30:03

Or what pigs managed to say in a much more concise way blush
(didn't see her post)

he does sound like he's in a full blown manic episode complete with self medicating with massive amounts of alcohol. if he is full on bipolar then this could tip over into psychotic symptoms.

obviously speculating but so much fits with mania and would explain why some are seeing narc - delusions of grandeur is part of the manic episode.

it's all high drama - you must be really worried about her but i'm really not sure what you can do.

carabossse Fri 05-Apr-13 13:54:30

Some aspects of this guy's behaviour remind me of a friend who has manic depression. During a manic phase actions like emigrating, changing job, rushing into a new relationship are likely. Being consumed by things "it's wonderful! This is how I want to spend the rest of my life" and reckless behavior (sexually, financially, health etc) are as standard. Just another thought as manic phases and narcissistic behaviour have overlaps.

When your friend talks about him (and I imagine she talks of little else) perhaps try the technique of asking "and what do you think / feel about that" rather than offering your opinions. Even if she says little while on the phone it may spark a private train of thought that helps give her some clarity.

carabossse Fri 05-Apr-13 13:57:17

To be clear, manic depression is now commonly referred to as bipolar disorder.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now