Please help, advice for a friend

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This topic contains 8 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by  ferdiel 2 years ago.

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    Hi All. I need some advice on behalf of a friend. Mid last year she met a man who seemed like prince charming gift wrapped and all, and in October he asked her to live with him. She resisted saying she needs her space, and her son needs stability etc, But he promised her the moon and the stars and so she did. He convinced her to give up her place, sell all her belongings.

    Then he went into what she describes as a severe depression. I think it”s more like he went through a WTF was I thinking, this is not the happily ever after I had in mind. Apparently he became extremely emotionally abusive towards her and even moved out. Last night he sends her a text that he wants her to go, he can”t deal with the chaos and wants his life back and he wants her out NOW. She has absolutely nothing. No family she can go to, no furiture, no bedding, kettle, nothing. She has a car and clothes and that is it. She is also not in a financial position to pay a deposit for a place or to go and buy the basics. She is destitute.

    I know there is always another side to the story, but, can she claim a kind of maintenance from him till she gets on her feet. This is just so wrong to me that he convinced her to give up everything for a ” new life” Where can she go for shelter. I thought about having her stay with me, but my house is small, and I am also not in a position to carry somebody financially as I also just make ends meet, and am saving furiously to send my son to a private school for high school . This would also rattle my son, who is facing his last year of primary school. He absolutely flourished last year academically, and much as I cannot see this woman on the street, I also can”t rock my son”s boat.

    Any advice would be so welcome. This is really heartsore and I want to help her, I just don”t know how.



    As far as I know, she has to live with him for at least six months to claim anything. I do suggest that she plays hard and just refuse to move out, he has to get a court order to do that. It is not ideal, but will at least buy some time, as long has he is not a physically violent.

    Keep us posted on what is happening.




    Hi Jules – Your poor friend, she trustingly handed herself and her child into this man’s care and it hasn’t ended well. It’s really up to her family to assist, I agree completely that your son’s well being is your most important priority, and it sounds like you are doing an awesome job there. I do wonder what happened to the money from everything she sold, though?



    Hi Jules, sorry to hear about your friend and what she is going through.

    Unfortunatly I don’t think there is much she can do. That was a decision she made and now have to live  with it. That was also my question, what did she do with the money she got for selling all her stuff?



    Thank you all for your comments.  She sold the stuff to a pawn shop, and apparently didn’t get much which she put into the joint household and settled some of her debt.

    What a mess. 

    Thank you Carol.  That means a lot.  I try really hard to be a good mom.  Not always easy though :-)




    Shame that is a mess. I don’t think he will give her any money to help her either.

    Can’t she try and get a personal loan to help her get back on her feet again, because to fight or stay for another few months in the hope that he will pay maintenance does not sound like a good idea.

    Good luck to her. I really hope everything works out for the best.



    Hi Jules

    Unfortunately, common law does not apply wherein she can make any claims against this man. If there is anything in writing, this will go a long way in helping her case.  There used to be a thing like “common law husbnd/wife” – status after a set time. This no longer applies.

    If your friend can endure the verbal abuse or hostile environment, it might be worth staying in a separate room until she has saved enough to move on. There are often furnished granny flats advertised and it’s perhaps her best option for now.

    You are to be commended for your empathy and it’s evident that you care for your friend, however, it is HER problem and you can only be supportive. It would not benefit you to disrupt your family life too.

    It would be wise for your friend to explore other avenues to help her, eg social support in the way of community services, the church, shelters for women and children where they can assist, even if it’s just for advice.

    Your role is to support her, not to solve her problems. However, you are a good friend and no-one can fault you on that (even if you do feel guilty). Look after yourself and your son. She will land on her feet again.

    Best of luck!







    Hello Jules

    Unhappy, lonely or insecure people are gullible. For someone who wishes to take advantage of that person, it is not difficult to find the right combination of words to make her feel special or needed. Unfortunately, your friend made a choice which cannot be undone. I know someone in a similar situation, although the circumstances were a bit different. Another man convinced her to leave me and promised her a better life. The strange thing is that he had nothing to offer her. Her share of the accumulated wealth we agreed on before the divorce was reduced to nothing in about 4 months after divorce. Today, she is destitute. My guilt almost got the better of me and I almost allowed her to move in again, but I didn’t. I knew I will have that “WTF was I thinking” moment. The one thing I have learned is that you should not do things only to make other people happy. Do things that make you happy.

    The reality is that, should your “guilt” force you to take your friend in, the guilt will be a lot worse in a few months if your friend still rely on you and you have to ask her to leave. You cannot be everything to everybody, but you should be everything to you and your son.

    Best of luck



    I agree with guesswho, these days, you have to first make sure your own life and home is in order before attempting to help others. I’m busy going through a divorce myself and by thinking I will find righteousness by helping others, you just make life even more complicated.


    I strongly suggest that she gets help from some NGO that is equiped to deal with cases like this. In which area does she live, I think I can get somebody to help.



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