Abusive work relationship... TW: talk of abuse + suicide

TW: Talk of abuse + suicide.

I’m going to be honest, this is going to get a little confusing in parts, so if you read the whole thing… Good luck :sweat_smile:

A few months ago, my managers’ girlfriend started working in our department… She is an incredibly anxious person, and so my manager, knowing my story with mental illness told her I was a safe person to be around at work… So, very quickly we became friends…

Fast forward to last week, she messaged me saying that there had been a huge fight and she had been kicked out… Turns out, he got her pregnant, didn’t want anything to do with the child and so when she said she wanted to keep it, he kicked her out. I thought that was where the whole situation ended, however, I was very wrong…

I met up with her a few days ago to see how she was doing, and she showed me some texts between her and him, and him and his ex, who also used to work for the company on our department. It was the most disgusting set of messages I have ever seen. He was calling her all these horrendous names and saying all these horrible things about her mental illnesses and explaining he didn’t actually love her, he was only with her because she had no family and nowhere to go. Also in these messages was HIM ADMITTING to physically abusing her. Having worked for this guy for nearly 3 years, I didn’t believe he was capable of physically hurting anyone until I saw this message.

On top of these messages, she told me that he had been telling her to go and kill herself, convincing her that the world would be better off without her. After this she held a knife to her neck, he grabbed her to pull it away and ended up stabbing her in the leg - where a physical fight broke out, and he called the police on her. The police arrested her but decided it was mental health-related and took her to the hospital, and the hospital deemed her mentally stable and agreed that she was just defending herself having been in an abusive relationship… They released her to a women’s refuge center where she’s staying now until she can find a place to live.

This is an “outside of work” issue, which means my manager is still allowed to work unless the police get involved. However, in the same breath, my store manager and senior manager (his boss) have decided to pay my friend to stay away from the workplace until New Year’s Eve and won’t allow her on our department because my manager doesn’t want to see her carrying his child - it makes him too uncomfortable.

Me and my family are having her over to spend Christmas with us so she’s not on her own as her family don’t live here - and I’m doing what I can to support her, however, I’m not sure what I can do for her since I still have to go to work, and work for the man that abused her and put her in this situation…


omg, if you were to write the script for a POS person… this is this guy!! So many disgusting actions on his part :o

I really hope that the police get involved, and that she is compensate for all this mistreatment! Well done you for helping her and being her friend during these seriously difficult times!


Hey there Kalya

I am glad she has a person to support her.

What I will recommend - PRINT OUT THOSE MESSAGES from your phone and get a written agreement from work stating why she is on leave. (btw it is non of your managers business who’s child it is and has no right to an opinion in this case.)

With all of that said, Also get a copy of the arrest. I would say to keep those documents with you. NOT WITH HER. So in the case he shows up and tries to star some drama you have documentation that will make him leave when the police show up. Do not let him in. Do not open the door for him. Ask him to leave and he has 5 minuets. If he does not - contact authorities. This is not only protecting you and your family but her as well as her child. Press charges if you need to. He has NO right to toss his pregnant ex out and put an unborn childs life in danger weather he wants to be in the child’s life or not.

I only recommend this because a friend of mine had a similar situation and things went very south for her… Please under NO circumstance allow him to bully you or her in anyway.

I am sorry this is happening.

Hold fast, Zephirah


Also, scan everything, save it everywhere - in the cloud, multiple devices, email yourself, dropbox, whatsapp etc. lots of great practical advice here ^^

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You are a wonderful friend. I am not even slightly surprised to see how supportive you’ve been with her. It is also very kind to welcome her in your family during Christmas. Hopefully it will fill her heart with love and take her mind away from her struggles, even just for a little bit.

I can’t help wondering - how does your friend feel about being paid to stay away like this? And more generally about all of this situation? It is definitely a lot to process and there are for sure actions that could be taken, but certainly not without her and without her agreement, as this is about her life and job. On one hand, the police seems to have done what they already had to do. And I hear that it’s not a work matter, but since they are working together and the police already admitted that this is an abuse situation, it might be possible for her to try to get a restraining order, which would apply at work as well. The first step would be for her to file a complaint. Even just talking about that possibility for the moment could be something to do. At the refuge where she is, there has to be workers equipped to inform her and support her through that kind of procedure as well.

As far as for the job, I can tell that what your manager and senior manager have decided to do is completely shady, and actually more than likely illegal. In your situation and regarding your friend specifically, I would encourage her and you to connect with a union if that is not something she’d be already part of. It is more than likely that this situation is going to last, and the context seems to be prone to decisions made against her, with the risk of harassment/abusive attitudes at work as well. Not allowing her on a department because of the manager emotional limitations is absolutely not okay and could be denounced. With a decision like this, I would bet that they’d keep using their power in a wrong way in the future, and knowing that you support her as well, I wouldn’t want any of this to be turned against you either. Connecting with a union could really be a way to protect yourself and your job preventively. I’ve been myself in situations where managers/hierarchy was absolutely messed up, and I don’t want that for any of you.

As for you personally, I can’t even imagine how conflicted you might feel with this idea of working for this manager, still. In your situation, I would probably want to dump everything, show a middle finger and leave like a queen, but… we know it’s not that easy when it’s about our job. There’s definitely an ethical dilemna there, and I’d say that for now something important is to discuss about it openly with your friend and make sure it doesn’t cause any confusion in terms of who you are supporting. Of course she probably already understands and accepts it, but expressing your discomfort to her, that of course you keep working but feel like it sucks to work for someone like that, at a time that would allow it, would probably be appreciated by her as well.

I can’t help wondering of course, since all of this happened/is happening, are you thinking about looking for another job again? How woud you feel about it? Just asking really, because I imagine that it’s something that would cross your mind in such circumstances.

For now, Merry Christmas my friend. I hope this will be a time of reunion, love and blessings to you, your friend and your family. You are a blessing in my life, and in the life of so many.

Sending plenty of hugs your way. :hrtlegolove:

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