Abusive ex-husband

Test12543

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Hey guys, need some opinions here. I have a friend - let's call him Jake - who is really an amazing guy. He's funny, smart, kind, generous, and just an all around great guy. He's a really genuine person, and everyone I know likes him a lot, and he's become a really close friend of mine.

Here's the issue: Jake was married previously, and his ex-husband was incredibly abusive. He would constantly do anything he could to destroy Jake's self-esteem, constantly calling him names and telling him "no one will ever love you for anything other than the way you look (he's very handsome)" which is the meanest thing I can imagine. He also stole money from Jake, hit Jake, and when Jake finally left, basically took all their joint property by threatening to go to court and destroy his reputation. They separated a couple of years ago, but their divorce isn't final, since his ex needs to remain married in order to get his green card. When I ask Jake why he would still help someone who treated him so horribly, he says "I gave him my word that I would get his green card. His behavior doesn't determine mine - if I make a promise, I keep it." I told him that no one would fault him for just divorcing him now, but he refuses to even discuss it, he always says "if a man only keeps his word when it's easy, then his word doesn't mean a goddamn thing."

While I think this is admirable, it's still really obvious that Jake carries a lot of scars from years of being told that he's worthless and stupid, and it shows. He has a new boyfriend who he's crazy about and who treats him really well, but in private he tells me that he's so worried that his boyfriend will figure out he's a loser and leave him. He also worries a lot that his boyfriend is bothered by him still being legally married to his ex, and even though he's explained the situation, Jake thinks he might secretly have a problem. He's also worried that he's much uglier than his boyfriend (they look almost identical), and that he doesn't make enough money (he's pretty successful).

I try and reassure him it's not true, but I can see that he doesn't believe me. How do I make him see his value? He's so deeply in love with this new man, and I'm so happy for him, but I worry that years of abuse will destroy everything he's working to build. Does anyone have any experience in these types of situations? And before anyone says it - no, I am not interested in dating him. I just really care about my friend and I hate to see him suffering like this. I know that he's tried therapy and it didn't help much, it seems like years of being constantly berated and abused have really permanently damaged his self-image. Any help/ideas would be greatly appreciated.
 

dreamer20

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Here's the issue Jake's ex-husband(?) was abusive, <tried> to destroy Jake's self-esteem, stole money, hit Jake, and when Jake left took all their joint property + threated to go to court and destroy his reputation. They separated 2+ years ago.. but remain married in order to get his ex's green card. When I asked Jake why he said I promised him my I would get his green card - "I make a promise, I keep it." Re: Suggestions of divorcing him now: he refused.
I think this admirable. It's obvious Jake carries lots of scars from years of being told he's worthless and stupid. His present boyfriend treats him well, but he's secretly worried his boyfriend is bothered by him being legally married to his ex, and could leave him, even though he's explained the situation. He's also worried that he's much uglier than his boyfriend and doesn't make enough money (he's pretty successful).
I reassure him it's not true but he doesn't believe me. How do I make him see his value?

Welcome to lpsg Test. What Jake should do, in order to put himself in a better position financially, is to consult a divorce lawyer, tell that person everything and play his trump card. The trump card he holds is his ex's need for his cooperation in order to obtain a green card. Jake can easily use this as leverage to get an admirable out of court divorce settlement and keep his promise. Not to take this course of action would indeed be stupid IMO. As for his new relationship, just tell him he's on his own there and he has your shoulder to cry on if things don't work out.
 
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Sklar

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Point out that your friend is a hypocrite.

he always says "if a man only keeps his word when it's easy, then his word doesn't mean a goddamn thing."
If he truly believes that, remind him of his wedding vows: For Better, For Worse, For Richer, For Poorer....

Right now he left because of the theft (worse) & assault (worse).

Remind him that his word means nothing because: he always says "if a man only keeps his word when it's easy, then his word doesn't mean a goddamn thing."

If he doesn't go running back to his legally wed husband than he is a hypocrite. He doesn't get to pick and choose when his word means something. He needs to get his ass back there and suck it up. Because a man keeps his word, regardless of the cost. Secondly, he is lying to his current boyfriend i.e. breaking his own honesty for his own selfish reasons. And he already knows that his currently affair partner, because that's what he is having, an affair, will drop him be he can't even be truthful about his own situation. Heaven forbid his current affair partner actually proposes to him and he says, sorry, can't, I am secretly married to a person who stole from me and beat me but I didn't divorce him because I gave him my word I would help him get his citizenship.

Further, if he allows this piece of scum to actually get citizenship, he will morally be culpable for all future thefts and assaults his legally wed husband will commit.

Sklar
 
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Mxexpert

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Point out that your friend is a hypocrite.

he always says "if a man only keeps his word when it's easy, then his word doesn't mean a goddamn thing."
If he truly believes that, remind him of his wedding vows: For Better, For Worse, For Richer, For Poorer....

Right now he left because of the theft (worse) & assault (worse).

Remind him that his word means nothing because: he always says "if a man only keeps his word when it's easy, then his word doesn't mean a goddamn thing."

If he doesn't go running back to his legally wed husband than he is a hypocrite. He doesn't get to pick and choose when his word means something. He needs to get his ass back there and suck it up. Because a man keeps his word, regardless of the cost. Secondly, he is lying to his current boyfriend i.e. breaking his own honesty for his own selfish reasons. And he already knows that his currently affair partner, because that's what he is having, an affair, will drop him be he can't even be truthful about his own situation. Heaven forbid his current affair partner actually proposes to him and he says, sorry, can't, I am secretly married to a person who stole from me and beat me but I didn't divorce him because I gave him my word I would help him get his citizenship.

Further, if he allows this piece of scum to actually get citizenship, he will morally be culpable for all future thefts and assaults his legally wed husband will commit.

Sklar
You are correct, who need kind of shit in these kind of country. The keeping word to me sound dumb.
 

nj6443

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I think your friend needs therapy. It’s difficult because you’re asking how you can help him but he doesn’t seem to be seeking this help on his own. If that’s the case, you can’t do anything except be a shoulder for him to cry on or be the one who praises him often to counteract his ex’s abuse.

I’d say it a bit softer, but I do agree with @Sklar. He’s keeping his word with the green card, but not with the marriage. It’s a lose-lose situation. I think it’s okay to take this ex to court if he has indeed taken almost everything for himself. Speak to the lawyer and at LEAST have Jake get some of his property back in exchange for waiting for his ex to get the green card

Jake will also eventually need to choose his current BF over his ex - is he really willing to wait until his abusive ex gets his green card to take his relationship with his current BF to the next level? If I were new BF, I’d respectfully decline to date Jake until the marriage issues were resolved and just stay friends in the meantime. Not a good look for Jake unfortunately
 
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Nicky7

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Leaving an abusive ex-husband can be a harrowing journey, but it's crucial for one's safety and well-being. Seek support from trusted friends, family, or professionals who can provide guidance and resources. Remember, you deserve to be treated with respect and kindness. You are not alone, and there are people who can help you through this challenging time. Stay strong and prioritize your safety above all else.