Did I react appropriately?

I was at my bf's place last weekend when his brother's wife came by to drop off a few things. My bf's brother & wife have been having marital problems lately, and I don't know all the details of it, just that my bf felt awkward being caught in the middle.

When she came by this weekend she seemed exhausted. I offered her to come in and said, how are you doing, you look tired? She came inside and didn't really respond to me and started talking to my bf and I could tell she was about to cry.

She started talking about her husband (my bf's brother) saying some pretty personal things about their fights. I asked if she'd want me to leave the room, but she ignored me and continued, so I stayed. I felt awkward but figured if she wanted me to leave she would have said so and so as she started crying I approached her and started rubbing her back to comfort her.



She mostly seemed to be talking to my bf and was telling us she had bruises and that she was still having trouble swallowing from when he strangled her. She said she couldn't live like this and that she had no family here and was embarrased to go to her friends every time her abusive husband started acting this way with her.

My bf was very quiet but tried to comfort her too. I didn't really know what to do and just let her talk it out. She said he had asked her for a divorce and she asked my bf to do an intervention with him to deal with his anger issues.

After she left, I was a little rattled. I talked to my bf about it. He said he's tried talking to his brother to help him understand that his violence is hurting others, but he doesn't seem to think he has a problem. I encouraged him to try again when he has a chance.

I'm a little scared, and I hope I reacted the right way. I don't know what to do now, this is very intense and scary. Can anyone give me some advice?

5 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    I think you did a good job with a bad situation. Your b/f can't do anything about his brother, its like dealing with a drunk, if the brother doesn't recognize that he's abusive, he won't seek help.

    If it was me I would do two other things. Look up the local women's shelter and give the information to your b/f's sister in law. And if you decide to marry into this family, get counseling with your b/f. Abusers are made in a family. Its about power and control. Something happened to that man to cause him to act out in violence, he didn't just wake up one day as abusive. Before I became part of that family, I would want to get to the bottom of that.

  • 1 decade ago

    Listening helps and you have to follow your heart on this one. Personally my advice to anyone who is the victim of abuse is get out. I tell them no one deserves to be hit family or not.You are in a rough situation being a gf.No one can fault you for being kind to her. Talk to your bf and let him know you wish you could be of more help to her but as his gf and it being his brother doing it you are worried how that would affect your realationship. Figure it out as a couple. I wish you well your in a tough spot just be true to who you are and think about if it were you how you would want to be treated.

  • CC
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    First of all I don't think she was consciously ignoring you. Sounds like she is so wrapped up in her own emotional upheaval that it is consuming her. So don't take offense if it seemed like she did not acknowledge you. Also, it is always appropriate to want to comfort someone. That is human nature.


    Please look to see what resources are available to a woman who is abused. I do not think she should be encouraged to stay with a husband who is abusive.

  • 1 decade ago

    First of all, this woman should NOT be going to her brother-in-law about this. She should talk to females or males who are directly related. This is a mess waiting to happen.

    Secondly, battered women do not do anything about their situation until they're ready. I know from personal experience that she will not listen to anything you say. So, save your breath.

    Give your boyfriend some cards with the phone number of the local battered women's shelter. Tell him that, every time she comes, he is to give her one of them and tell her to call them. He should not let her in. He should NOT be alone with this woman, or he will be pulled into this scary mess.

    ONLY PROFESSIONALS CAN HANDLE THIS. Just keep encouraging her to call the battered women's shelter.

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  • ang l
    Lv 4
    1 decade ago

    you did what you felt was right so that is not wrong. try to get you bf to get her some help. i don't think talking to his brother will not help. he needs serious counciling. the woman should be encouraged to leave him. he will never stop the abuse.

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