Originally posted by XLR8R
I met the man twice. I'm a bit of an introvert so observing people and analyzing their body language is kind of what I do. His body language
wasn't out of place. He never spoke louder than she did or cut her off mid sentence or put himself between me and her. As for physical contact I
don't recall him ever approaching her while I was there. A was only in their presence for about 10-15 min both times though. On new years we hugged
and she gave me a peck on the cheek and he didn't even flinch. Her other boy friends did though. They had major self-esteem issues....from what I
I think it is perfectly normal for her previous boyfriends to feel somewhat threatened by such a close relationship with the father of her children
and to flinch a little. I'm not going to try and read anymore into the situation as you've described it, but from what you describe, he seems to be
very much in control of himself.
Abuse can take many forms, financial, emotional, psychological, sexual, violence, or the whole lot combined, and it very rarely starts out overtly.
It is gradual, almost imperceptible at first, both to the person being abused, and those around them. The abuser can be charm itself, but all the
while chipping away, bit by bit. By the time it reaches it's peak, the abused often truly believes that it is their fault and it is their doing.
And because the times in between, or directly after, are such a relief, you push the bad times to the back of your mind and think that it'll be
different this time, you won't make the same mistakes again, and you will make sure that you won't set them off like that again.
At this stage, I would be very surprised if anything has occured in front of anyone, especially your children, other than perhaps his close
associates. He may have done things like take her to a gathering and then ignored her all evening, or made inappropriate jokes at her expense.
Anything else will be very personal, not something she would perhaps feel appropriate mentioning to you, such as critiquing her sexuality or
femininity, comparing her to other women disfavourably...but again, it is going to be very subtle. He is going to be highly aware of how close the
two of you are and he is going to play on that with her...as in 'please don't tell him, I cried and begged you to take me back/try
I'm trying hard not to lead you here, as I understand that you are feeling, understandably, stressed by this situation, and to be perfectly honest, I
am not sure that there is anything that you can do if this is what is going on. But as others have said, a previously good, dedicated mother does not
suddenly decide to up and leave her children. You have told her that they need her, but for some reason, she thinks that he needs her more...and
he's a grown man...something is not right, and those of us with direct experience of abusive relationships are seeing something familiar.
Best of luck.