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An uncomfortable situation.

Oedipus

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I just want to hear your thoughts on it.

I used to work at a local computer repair shop (from ages 14-16) with my boss and his wife. He's pretty controlling of her, and their dynamic is pretty old fashioned: she does all the cooking and cleaning, he yells at her at work for not cooking and cleaning well enough, she carried all their shit to the car and back and does all the manual shit around the store, those sorts of little things that make you think that the power balance is maybe a bit off. While I was working there I became friends with May (the wife), and after a while I came to understand that she isn't allowed to speak to her family. First she asked me to help her set up an email address she could use on her 3DS so she could email her sister without her husband knowing, then she asked me to help set up the secret mobile phone her sister sent her in the post, and to help her set up a skype account and things. All this was done very hush-hush at work while my boss was busy or in the back room or bathroom. As you may have guessed this made me very uncomfortable. I ended up stopping working there in September (I get paid better washing dishes), so I haven't seen them in a while.

The other day, my mum was at the supermarket and May came up to her, asking if I'd be able to start working there again. Mum asked why, and May told her that she wants to go to her niece's wedding in London in June, but she's not allowed. So she wants me to as for some shifts and then subtly drop into conversation that I wouldn't mind looking after the shop for a couple of days or ask May how her family is or something, so May can suggest that I do her job while she goes to London, but not to mention it to my boss. Mum said she'd ask but that she knew I'd be uncomfortable with it, and took May's phone number. When mum told me this I said I'd think about it because I'm bewildered by the whole thing.

Anyway, May phoned the house today and asked to speak to me and told me the situation herself I just said I'd do it. She sounded fucking awful, really desperate and shit. But I really don't like being stuck in the middle of a middle-aged couple's marriage issues. He's just such a cunt.

What do, etc?
 

Duxwing

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I just want to hear your thoughts on it.

I used to work at a local computer repair shop (from ages 14-16) with my boss and his wife. He's pretty controlling of her, and their dynamic is pretty old fashioned: she does all the cooking and cleaning, he yells at her at work for not cooking and cleaning well enough, she carried all their shit to the car and back and does all the manual shit around the store, those sorts of little things that make you think that the power balance is maybe a bit off. While I was working there I became friends with May (the wife), and after a while I came to understand that she isn't allowed to speak to her family. First she asked me to help her set up an email address she could use on her 3DS so she could email her sister without her husband knowing, then she asked me to help set up the secret mobile phone her sister sent her in the post, and to help her set up a skype account and things. All this was done very hush-hush at work while my boss was busy or in the back room or bathroom. As you may have guessed this made me very uncomfortable. I ended up stopping working there in September (I get paid better washing dishes), so I haven't seen them in a while.

The other day, my mum was at the supermarket and May came up to her, asking if I'd be able to start working there again. Mum asked why, and May told her that she wants to go to her niece's wedding in London in June, but she's not allowed. So she wants me to as for some shifts and then subtly drop into conversation that I wouldn't mind looking after the shop for a couple of days or ask May how her family is or something, so May can suggest that I do her job while she goes to London, but not to mention it to my boss. Mum said she'd ask but that she knew I'd be uncomfortable with it, and took May's phone number. When mum told me this I said I'd think about it because I'm bewildered by the whole thing.

Anyway, May phoned the house today and asked to speak to me and told me the situation herself I just said I'd do it. She sounded fucking awful, really desperate and shit. But I really don't like being stuck in the middle of a middle-aged couple's marriage issues. He's just such a cunt.

What do, etc?
From what you've stated here, I'm almost certain that May is stuck under the thumb of her controlling husband and doesn't know how to--or doesn't 'want'--to either fix their marriage through counseling or get a divorce. Since she wants you to return, I have suspect that she sees you as a sort of lifeline. If you're feeling up to a bit of a drawn-out discussion, then use this situation to help her: convince May to leave her husband and get therapy for the personal dysfunctions that caused this abhorrent relationship in the first place.

But I'm not a marriage counselor, so take my advice with a grain of salt. :)

-Duxwing
 

C.Hecker88

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From what you've stated here, I'm almost certain that May is stuck under the thumb of her controlling husband and doesn't know how to--or doesn't 'want'--to either fix their marriage through counseling or get a divorce. Since she wants you to return, I have suspect that she sees you as a sort of lifeline. If you're feeling up to a bit of a drawn-out discussion, then use this situation to help her: convince May to leave her husband and get therapy for the personal dysfunctions that caused this abhorrent relationship in the first place.

But I'm not a marriage counselor, so take my advice with a grain of salt. :)

-Duxwing
Or do what you have to to let May visit her family and back the fuck out.

There's no need to get further involved. Duxwing fancies you a marriage savior when you (In my opinion) should not even try to get mixed up in these people's problems more than you already have been.

Just my thoughts, though.
 

BigApplePi

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Oedipus. Since this is such an emotional situation I feel compelled to say something. I don't want to offer any solution, just look at the situation.

You are confronted with a morality issue: immoral treatment of the wife by the husband. Question: Why can't the husband prevent the wife from going to the wedding even if you fill in? Or is it okay just because you fill in and she sneaks off on the sly?

I'm puzzled by the husband's control over the wife. I'd like to learn more about that. I'd like to see the husband quizzed on his philosophy of marriage. Does he believe in female slavery? Is he aware of modern marriage mores? Is the wife trapped or has she ever thought about leaving him? Does he know you are disinclined to work there because you disapprove and have different views? Does he even know his wife is unhappy about his controlling behavior?

Those are my questions. I'm not saying there is a sure safe way to ask him for answers.
 

BigApplePi

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But I'm not a marriage counselor, ... :)

-Duxwing
I'm counseling* Duxwing to seek a marriage counselor license in his spare time.:D
________________

I have no license for this though.
 

C.Hecker88

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Oedipus. Since this is such an emotional situation I feel compelled to say something. I don't want to offer any solution, just look at the situation.

You are confronted with a morality issue: immoral treatment of the wife by the husband. Question: Why can't the husband prevent the wife from going to the wedding even if you fill in? Or is it okay just because you fill in and she sneaks off on the sly?

I'm puzzled by the husband's control over the wife. I'd like to learn more about that. I'd like to see the husband quizzed on his philosophy of marriage. Does he believe in female slavery? Is he aware of modern marriage mores? Is the wife trapped or has she ever thought about leaving him? Does he know you are disinclined to work there because you disapprove and have different views? Does he even know his wife is unhappy about his controlling behavior?

Those are my questions. I'm not saying there is a sure safe way to ask him for answers.
It is all about morals. Nowone would blame you Oedipus if you just did as you were told my this May woman. Just doing that is a great service. There is no need whatsoever to be the best hero here (jesus, Duxwing is trying to make you into some sort of vigilante in a way) when you can just be the hero you need to be (i.e. "So she wants me to as for some shifts and then subtly drop into conversation that I wouldn't mind looking after the shop for a couple of days or ask May how her family is or something, so May can suggest that I do her job while she goes to London, but not to mention it to my boss.").

There is no need to sort out all of these people's problems on your own. When it is time (if that time comes) May will grow some sense and leave the bastard. It is not rational to think that you can and should help out all of these people's marriage problems as Duxy suggests. This is not a video game.

Best wishes intended and good luck.
 

Duxwing

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Or do what you have to to let May visit her family and back the fuck out.

There's no need to get further involved. Duxwing fancies you a marriage savior when you (In my opinion) should not even try to get mixed up in these people's problems more than you already have been.

Just my thoughts, though.
Chill. I said "If you're feeling up to it". I never suggested that he ought to.

-Duxwing
 

Duxwing

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I'm counseling* Duxwing to seek a marriage counselor license in his spare time.:D
________________

I have no license for this though.
Hehehehe! :)

-Duxwing
 

Montresor

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It's a scam. You're the mark.
 

BigApplePi

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Oedipus. I counsel you to divorce your mom and pay proper respects to your dad.:D
 

C.Hecker88

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This.

It's not your problem, and you have a lot to lose if it all goes south.
Now here is a voice of reason. I beg you to listen to Absurdity, not Duxwing (no offence to him. He can give very good advice; just not in this situation).
 

Duxwing

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Now here is a voice of reason. I beg you to listen to Absurdity, not Duxwing (no offence to him. He can give very good advice; just not in this situation).
What scam? :confused: Considering that the accusation (of May) is fundamentally a call for skepticism, I'm unsettled that it's gone unchallenged. Also, have you guys not noticed all the red flags in the relationship that Oedipus has described?

-Duxwing
 

C.Hecker88

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What scam? :confused: Considering that the accusation (of May) is fundamentally a call for skepticism, I'm unsettled that it's gone unchallenged. Also, have you guys not noticed all the red flags in the relationship that Oedipus has described?

-Duxwing
I completely agree. Everyone is jumping to conclusions. It's good to consider, but people are going overboard.

I mean, comon. Aren't we all supposed to be rationals here?
 

walfin

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You should encourage May to stand up for herself and not accede to this request.

Duxwing said:
convince May to leave her husband and get therapy for the personal dysfunctions that caused this abhorrent relationship in the first place.
I don't know, if she is more assertive the husband may simply find himself having to be more reasonable.
 

Montresor

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Your involvement ends where you end it.

I still think they're scamming u. I don't need to prove it, regardless of whether it's a deliberate call to skepticism or not.
 

Oedipus

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@BigApplePi

Fuck, the summon had better work.

"Why can't the husband prevent the wife from going to the wedding even if you fill in?"
I don't even know. I think he justified her not being able to make this particular trip by saying he needs her to help with the shop, so this is the solution she's come up with. May is of below average intelligence, and I don't think she has thought this all the way through. I suppose I could still give it a shot, though. I've won battles for her before.

"Is he aware of modern marriage mores? Is the wife trapped or has she ever thought about leaving him? Does he know you are disinclined to work there because you disapprove and have different views? Does he even know his wife is unhappy about his controlling behavior?"
He's pretty sexist, which I've called him out on before but he brushes it off. It may also be worth noticing that even when I was 14 the pecking order was my boss > me > May. He has very little respect for her. I've never spoken to her about leaving him, but I think I might do that in the future. I've never seen them express affection for each other and I don't know if she actually likes him. But I mean, that would probably be melodramatic of me. I've tried in the past to get her to assert herself more and I'd probably try that again or something. My boss knows that I think he's an asshole, but he doesn't take the things I say seriously at all. When I quit I said it was because I got paid better washing dishes (which is the case). I didn't want to leave on bad terms or anything because I might need to work there again in the future and also I still get a discount. And yes, he knows she's unhappy with his behaviour. They used to have arguments about it in English and then switch to Chinese as it gained momentum.


(I'm very sure that May is being truthful, by the way).
 

Duxwing

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Your involvement ends where you end it.

I still think they're scamming u. I don't need to prove it, regardless of whether it's a deliberate call to skepticism or not.
Eh?

-Duxwing
 

Montresor

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Yeah man. How on earth could I prove they're scamming him? Get real. Have you ever been scammed? No. You haven't.
 

Absurdity

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Scenario 1: He is not being scammed
Probability: High
Consequence of assuming the contrary: Little to no damage to OP

Scenario 2: He is being scammed
Probability: Low
Consequence of assuming the contrary: Unknown but losses could be significant (Wife runs away with lover and husband beats his ass for abetting, etc.)


It's called erring on the side of caution. As stated earlier, the OP has very little to gain (maybe he'll feel good about himself if he helps her) and could (although the probability is low) end up in a serious mess.
 

C.Hecker88

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Scenario 1: He is not being scammed
Probability: High
Consequence of assuming the contrary: Little to no damage to OP

Scenario 2: He is being scammed
Probability: Low
Consequence of assuming the contrary: Unknown but losses could be significant (Wife runs away with lover and husband beats his ass for abetting, etc.)
Scenario 3: The OP's mother is actually May's Husband in disguise.
Probability: Low.
Consequence of assuming the contrary: Unknown but losses could be significant (Wife runs away with lover and husband beats his ass for not doing chores, etc.)

Your argument is flawed.
 

Oedipus

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I don't really think May is clever enough to come up with this scam.
 

C.Hecker88

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I don't really think May is clever enough to come up with this scam.
I think that they're just fucking with you.

Just do what you think is right. If you want to be a hero, go ahead. If you want to do the bare minimum just to skirt by the situation, you'll have my respect.
 

The Gopher

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I think that they're just fucking with you.

Just do what you think is right. If you want to be a hero, go ahead. If you want to do the bare minimum just to skirt by the situation, you'll have my respect.
Heh... While that is a possibility to be fair I bet Oedi has a better read on the situation than you do. If she should do it or not is the main problem.
 

redbaron

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Does May like daggers?
 

C.Hecker88

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Heh... While that is a possibility to be fair I bet Oedi has a better read on the situation than you do. If she should do it or not is the main problem.
I meant that some of the members of the forum are fucking with him. I just realized that I phrased that post incorrectly. I apologize for that.
 

The Gopher

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I meant that some of the members of the forum are fucking with him. I just realized that I phrased that post incorrectly. I apologize for that.
Ahh makes perfect sense. I was confusing you with absurd ideas.
 

Mandy87

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I have some experience in these things. 1) It sounds, obviously, like an abusive relationship (at the least very controlling, clearly). 2) it can be dangerous for you to be involved (which I think you are picking up on. 3) some of the fixes you are helping her make are temporary (though it is fantastic you made it possible for her to contact her family).

I don't like to give advice- but I think it would be wise to talk to her, individually, and maybe provide her with resources/contacts that can help her get out of the situation (there are often domestic violence resources that will keep her info confidential and can provide ideas for how to get out/prevent stalking/etc). She has to decide she wants out though. Women sometimes take a very, very long time to choose that. The main thing is that she have resources available when/if she decides to make the jump. It is heartbreaking to see these situations, but she's got to be the one to want out.. and you could be in danger if he finds out you've been helping (she could be in danger too, for that matter). Just my thoughts. Hope it helps!

And good for you for believing her. Many people assume that women like this are fabricating. These situations certainly happen, and it sounds familiar to ones I've heard myself. Sad, sad.
 

EditorOne

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OP: Sometimes you can think of life as a baseball game. When you're a fielder, your job is to think, before every pitch, what you'll do if the ball is hit to you, not wait until it's on the way to figure it out.

In this case: What will you do if you go back to work and her husband still refuses to let her leave for her family event? Will she be turning to you for more help and are you ready to give it?

The first takeaway: You can think not just about what to do when the ball gets hit to you, but, more importantly, whether this is a game you want to play.

The second takeaway: I'm willing to believe you come across as a somewhat empathetic person. So this might not be the last time a troubled soul turns to you. Maybe you should get a counseling degree/ license. :-)
 

Wolf18

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Oedipus, how much do you trust May? How will your boss just not notice that his wife is gone? London is a >6 hour drive from Glasgow (although I don't know where in Scotland you are from). That would be 14-hour transportation accounting for traffic, and the wedding would probably be around 3 or 4 hours. That's 18 hours of praying her husband doesn't notice she's gone.

It sounds like you're being set up, but why would May do that if you were helping her?

SW
 

C.Hecker88

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I have some experience in these things. 1) It sounds, obviously, like an abusive relationship (at the least very controlling, clearly). 2) it can be dangerous for you to be involved (which I think you are picking up on. 3) some of the fixes you are helping her make are temporary (though it is fantastic you made it possible for her to contact her family).

I don't like to give advice- but I think it would be wise to talk to her, individually, and maybe provide her with resources/contacts that can help her get out of the situation (there are often domestic violence resources that will keep her info confidential and can provide ideas for how to get out/prevent stalking/etc). She has to decide she wants out though. Women sometimes take a very, very long time to choose that. The main thing is that she have resources available when/if she decides to make the jump. It is heartbreaking to see these situations, but she's got to be the one to want out.. and you could be in danger if he finds out you've been helping (she could be in danger too, for that matter). Just my thoughts. Hope it helps!

And good for you for believing her. Many people assume that women like this are fabricating. These situations certainly happen, and it sounds familiar to ones I've heard myself. Sad, sad.
^I agree wholeheartedly. Very nicely put, Mandy.
 

Oedipus

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What will you do if you go back to work and her husband still refuses to let her leave for her family event? Will she be turning to you for more help and are you ready to give it?
This is my main hang up about this.

Maybe you should get a counseling degree/ license. :-)
Hell fucking no.
 

Oedipus

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Oedipus, how much do you trust May? How will your boss just not notice that his wife is gone? London is a >6 hour drive from Glasgow (although I don't know where in Scotland you are from). That would be 14-hour transportation accounting for traffic, and the wedding would probably be around 3 or 4 hours. That's 18 hours of praying her husband doesn't notice she's gone.

It sounds like you're being set up, but why would May do that if you were helping her?

SW
I trust May to be telling the truth but I don't trust that her plan is well thought out. I don't think she wants to sneak off, she wants me to be willing to work for her so she can go, because her husband probably used the fact that she needs to work as an excuse to not let her.
 

Oedipus

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I have some experience in these things. 1) It sounds, obviously, like an abusive relationship (at the least very controlling, clearly). 2) it can be dangerous for you to be involved (which I think you are picking up on. 3) some of the fixes you are helping her make are temporary (though it is fantastic you made it possible for her to contact her family).

I don't like to give advice- but I think it would be wise to talk to her, individually, and maybe provide her with resources/contacts that can help her get out of the situation (there are often domestic violence resources that will keep her info confidential and can provide ideas for how to get out/prevent stalking/etc). She has to decide she wants out though. Women sometimes take a very, very long time to choose that. The main thing is that she have resources available when/if she decides to make the jump. It is heartbreaking to see these situations, but she's got to be the one to want out.. and you could be in danger if he finds out you've been helping (she could be in danger too, for that matter). Just my thoughts. Hope it helps!

And good for you for believing her. Many people assume that women like this are fabricating. These situations certainly happen, and it sounds familiar to ones I've heard myself. Sad, sad.
Thank you, this is very helpful.
 

TheScornedReflex

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Apparently the notion that they're manipulating him in some way is. Since it cannot be logically proven (by me) at this time.
Even if you cannot prove it logically, doesn't mean it isn't a possibility.
 

Wolf18

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I trust May to be telling the truth but I don't trust that her plan is well thought out. I don't think she wants to sneak off, she wants me to be willing to work for her so she can go, because her husband probably used the fact that she needs to work as an excuse to not let her.
But May's husband won't even let her contact her family. Why would he let her visit her family? I don't think that May's having someone to take over her work for her would convince the husband to let her go, and she can't hide for 18 hours.

SW
 

Duxwing

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But May's husband won't even let her contact her family. Why would he let her visit her family? I don't think that May's having someone to take over her work for her would convince the husband to let her go, and she can't hide for 18 hours.

SW
Perhaps May would do best to divorce her husband entirely.

-Duxwing
 

BigApplePi

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We've consulted with Oedipus and learned about May. I would like to have the husband available so we can interview him. We've not heard his POV. Please log him on here and give him a handle, say, "MasterBlaster" so we can recognize it as him.

Thank you.
 

RaBind

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That's quite a sticky situation. Like the others said, it depends on how far you wouldn't mind getting involved in this situation. Don't forget that this is a sensitive matter, there's probably some tension between May, your Boss, May's family and even yourself. It would do you well to not jump to conclusions and make assumptions, since you'r still not filled in on many details (i.e. the "maybe hidden?"problem between your Boss, May and her family, the events that lead to this relationship...). Unless you are confident you can defuse the bomb, I'd say don't try to interfere with the actual confrontations or try to bring about confrontations and tell May to seek help from others or find May people who are trained with situations like this.

From my perspective the most I'd be willing to do it fill in for her, but even this in close inspection has some risk. The worst case scenario, in you filling in for her, is May has planned to run away or will decide to after reuniting with her family (through their encouragement or an awakening to her own senses). Either way this will get you into trouble, your boss will probably direct his anger and frustration towards you. I don't know your situation, I'd say if you live in quite an urban area and their are services around to increase you safety (i.e. there is a police station in the neighborhood and the community is quite close, so that they would get involved if you got into trouble) I'd probably help her in your situation. If you live in a rural area, the police are in a distant town and you don't know many people in the community or there aren't many people in the community I'd say be cautious quite cautious indeed. Can you afford to get into trouble? What do you have to lose?

Again I'm telling you that I'D stay clear of the ROOT of the problem, and leave that to the real experts, as they can be quite explosive. The most I'D do in you situation is help May the way you've been helping her, which is providing temporary relief to the symptoms of the cause, which seems to be the relationship. This is what I'd do based on my situation, you should assess the situation you're in. This is not from experience or from a professional, just an opinion of a guy.
 

Peripheral Visionary

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I would counsel you a bit differently.

I think you should get deeply involved in this situation with May and her husband.

I advise this because I regard pain as the greatest teacher. The earlier you learn painful lessons, the better you can live the rest of your life as wise and knowing.

So by all means, play Jesus to the lepers.

Just don't be shocked when--instead of healing them--you wind up with lepersy.
 

Oedipus

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But May's husband won't even let her contact her family. Why would he let her visit her family? I don't think that May's having someone to take over her work for her would convince the husband to let her go, and she can't hide for 18 hours.

SW
Yeah, exactly. I don't think she's seen them in a few years now.
 

Montresor

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I would counsel you a bit differently.

I think you should get deeply involved in this situation with May and her husband.

I advise this because I regard pain as the greatest teacher. The earlier you learn painful lessons, the better you can live the rest of your life as wise and knowing.

So by all means, play Jesus to the lepers.

Just don't be shocked when--instead of healing them--you wind up with lepersy.

This is a good post! Smart ... and totally on the mark.



Leprosy.
 

Wolf18

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Perhaps May would do best to divorce her husband entirely.

-Duxwing
That would be a good move, wouldn't it be? But this relationship stuff is always more complicated than it seems...

SW
 

Trebuchet

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You are way out of your league. Don't get between them or try this deceit. It could be dangerous to you and the wife.

It does you credit that you want to help, and if you are willing to take action, I recommend calling the police. (If you hate that idea, try a hospital, a church, or look online for help.) Tell them that a woman you worked with has been asking you for help and you think she is a victim of abuse. You would like to give her the number for an abuse hotline, without the husband knowing about it. See what they say.

Since it sounds like you are a minor, you should talk to your mum about it before you do anything, just so she knows what is going on.

No act of kindness is ever wasted. If you do this, it will be worth it for having tried, whatever comes of it.
 
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