Hi Sasha, So Melissa, we'll call her, used to date Franco (as we'll call him). It was a wildly emotionally and verbally abusive relationship. The entire reason why she now lives in this city is because she moved to get away from him. Changed her phone number, the whole shebang.  Well, Franco has her new number (she says she doesn't know how, but as you'll later see, it was likely that she drunk-texted or something of the sort.) Over the past four or five months that I've known her, she is constantly showing all kinds of psychotic text message conversations that have taken place.  Franco has done everything from tell her he slept with multiple numbers of her friends, to texting her pictures of girls he's 'dating' and saying how much prettier they are, to calling her a fat, ugly pig and saying he has no idea why he ever had sex with her, except that she was good in bed, etc.  About a month ago, he called her over 50 times one night, and left voice mails saying that he was outside her building (in her new city), and a friend had to answer the phone and say she wasn't there, so to go away.  I have repeatedly asked her to call the police and file a complaint, in order to get some kind of documentation of Franco's VERY abusive harassment, just in case it should ever escalate. To me, the guy screams psychotic stalker and I see this going down a very dangerous road.

About a week ago, Melissa is telling someone else that Franco has been in therapy, and telling her he's changed, and he loves her, and he wants nothing more than to be with her etc. Asked if she'd consider getting back together with him, and perhaps going to therapy with him to see how he's working things out... and much to my chagrin, Melissa says YES.

Do I keep my mouth shut, or do I interject when she gives me the opportunity to express the dangers of the situation and hope one comment will take hold? Thanks A

Emotionally abusive relationships are soooo f-cking complex.  Not only does the abuser manipulate, degrade and project their negativity on to their partner, but the real damage, the real destruction starts when the abusee starts believing all those negative projections as truth.   So why do they stay?  Well, a lot of these men possess a split personality, some would say quite similar to that of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.  And as soon as they sense they’re losing control they turn their nice side on in order to make sure their partner doesn’t leave.  And it’s because of that split personality the woman holds out hope that the good half might have potential to turn into a whole one day…so they stay.

What I find the most f-cked about all of this is that this is such a well formulated and documented plan.  I don’t know how these insecure men - because that’s what they are - learn how to do this, but it works every goddamn time.  

A, I know you’ve probably heard all of this before, but it’s really important for you to really understand what your friend is going through right now.  This is not easy for her at all.   She’s not just some stupid girl that needs to snap out of it.  When you’ve been in a destructive relationship like she has been for this long it takes a lot of work, a lot of courage and a lot of support.   To say relationships like this are a mindf-ck is a giant understatement.

Right now your friend Melissa sounds likes she’s at a very critical time - things seem to be escalating in a negative way and I would hate for things to get really dangerous.  So you should absolutely voice how you feel about this situation and tell her that you’ll be there to support her whenever she needs it.  I also want you to buy her the following book:  Verbally Abusive Relationship. It has proven to help a lot of women, and once they read those textbook traits, it can be a real eye opener.  

From the sounds of it she’s still not over him, and it seems as though she’s going to see him through these therapy sessions. Admittedly, I don’t believe that people can make a 360 in their personality, especially when it’s as flawed as this guy, but it does happen.  I’ll leave you with one more thing to pass on to her.  Click here. It’s a really fantastic analogy that I hope she can look at as a contract of sorts for what she’s willing and not willing to accept.

Hope this all helps! xx