Originally Posted by psychomia
Polyburned, I'm so sorry for your heartbreak. I have no helpful wisdom, having just got my heart stomped on as well, but I feel very keenly for Jay's predicament. I was once an abused wife and if people who cared about me hadn't stood by until I was ready to get out, I don't think I would have been strong enough to do it.
Thank you psychomania, I'm sorry that you are experiencing heart break as well, I wouldn't wish this on my worst enemy, and I'm sorry to hear about ur experience being abused. If you dont mind me asking, from your perspective, would you recommend that I try to point out to jay the ways that bob has mistreated and manipulated him? Or is that something that he needs to figure out for himself? I feel like the line is so fuzzy bc I'm not just an outside perspective, I was part of their relationship for 3 months, although it was the most intense 3 month relationship I ever had as a I spent almost every day with them, and i feel like I saw the good the bad and the ugly. I don't want to overstep my boundaries and I don't want it to seem like I have a vendetta to break them up, but I do have a genuine concern for jays well being. He would never bring it up on his own, in fact any kind of emotional discussion whatsoever leads to jay shutting down completely, but he has said before that it's so difficult bc bob will bounce between extremes, being so loving and charming one minute and then doing a 180 to being highly critical and putting him down by telling him he isn't attractive and talking down to him. He still thinks there are "things that are good that nobody else can see," including me who spent 3 months with them.
Viablealternative, i agree with everything you said. I guess what I'm wondering is how I can be the best support for jay, especially being that bob has banned him from even speaking to me. Jay gets attacked for even mentioning my name, followed by a serious guilt trip. I certainly don't want to make his life more difficult, but I want him to have someone to support him. Right now I asked jay for space to allow myself to heal, and I'm sure bob is using this time to convince jay that I am the source of all their problems. bob has a tendency to blame the victim, for example in his eyes it's my fault that he exploded on me, hurled personal insults at me and threw me out, bc "if I had only gotten in bed with him none of it would've happened." it's such a difficult situation for me bc I was part of their relationship, experienced it first hand, and the boundaries are so blurry, I dont know when I'm crossing the line when I'm talking to jay about this stuff.
swmnkdinthervr, ur point is assuming that the criminal justice system is effective in these matters. This is something that is extremely difficult to prove, what usually ends up in these cases is that I would publicly drag my sexual history and his through the courts only to end up without a conviction. Although I think i was a victim here, I still think it is everyone's responsibility to protect themselves, which is why I am so glad I listened to my instincts and always insisted on using protection, although that said had I known about his status there would have been more precautions that I could've taken. And the truth is, I don't know that a conviction would even be enough to stop him from doing this to anyone else, unless everyone that meets him in the future runs a background check on him before engaging in sexual activity. Ultimately it seems the lesson here is the emphasis on educating each individual on the importance of safe sex and the responsibility to protect oneself, especially since most cases of HIV are transmitted from people who dont even know they are positive, and criminal cases like these are just more likely to discourage people from even getting tested to eliminate their responsibility to tell their partners their status, similar to what blackunicorn pointed out. It's such a complex situation and trust me when I say, it's not easy for me to take this position. The broken hearted, vengeful side of me would love to be the hero and take this guy down, get revenge for myself while potentially warning others. But like I said, if only the system was that effective, and there are just so many other complexities. I don't know the right thing to do, but I certainly don't think it's fair to put responsibility for the welfare of society on victims who are deceived like i was. I understand this is a complex, heated issue and there's bound to be differing opinions, especially with the stigma and ignorance surrounding HIV, I don't know if there is a "right" answer.