DEAR ABBY: My best friend "Owen's" wife, "Shirley," is a narcissist, and she's driving everyone away from him. They have been married for 10 years. I've known Owen since high school. He has always been a quiet, easygoing guy. Shirley is a nightmare. She has berated him at work and has left him by himself on holidays, including birthdays. She orders him around, and she runs everything without hardly paying for anything. I am divorced and I've been through it.
I don't know how to tell Owen that there's a safety net for him. I know telling him his wife is a crazy narcissist and he should leave isn't the answer. She has berated me for “getting in their marriage." My friend is afraid he has no support if he leaves because Shirley has alienated him from all of his friends, and the only family he has are his parents and sister, who live many miles away. She has pushed me away from him as well. What can I say to Owen to make him understand that there are people here who are just waiting for him to ask for help without his feeling I am pressuring him? -- HAS HIS BACK IN FLORIDA
DEAR HAS HIS BACK: There is more than one kind of partner abuse. Although most people associate the term with physical violence, another is emotional. It appears Owen is the victim of many years of emotional battery. Because he is scared, a group that might lend him emotional support is Stop Abuse for Everyone (stopabuseforeveryone.org). It's a nonprofit that provides services for domestic violence victims of all ages, genders and sexual orientations and helps those who typically fall between the cracks of domestic violence services. Please mention it to Owen and remind him that he may not be as isolated as he fears, because his friends are waiting to support him when he is ready.