Facebook share
LinkedIn share
Google plus share
Twitter plus share
Give Advice
Ask For Advice
Page 1 of 5 1234 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 50

Thread: Emotional Damage from history of toxic/abusive relationships -seeking insight!

  1. #1
    Gold Member Fun Boater 1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Central Illinois
    Age
    52
    Posts
    591
    Gender
    Male

    Emotional Damage from history of toxic/abusive relationships -seeking insight!

    Good morning, I am just now active on this site after a few years of being away. Need insight and encouragement with another romantic situation I've involved in.

    My estranged girlfriend who pushed me away 2 months ago....no closure, we've been in sporadic communication since, all positive, no drama or anything "bad" ever happened between us, she always treated me like the love her life, told me how good I was to her...etc..the entire time we dated. She's had several "bad"'s in her past. Emotional abuse, physical abuse, beaten down, talked to down to...all the typical things dbag guys do to treat women that will wreck their self esteem she's had done to her. In me, she had NONE of that kind of stuff. I heard some of her stores, but not all of them.

    Just learned that she has reconnected with her ex boyfriend since she has pushed me away. This is a guy who is an abuser and has put her through all kinds of torment. Prior to them breaking up finally last Spring, he has phyically harmed her, had her arrested, and had done things like vandalized her property and broken into her house. He tormented her enough for her, and some family/friends of hers to go to court and get a 2 year restraining order placed against him. She always said she was so glad she finally broke from him, and remarked how much she was looking forward to changing her life for the better and ..making better choices. (of which I was one of those choices)

    So she pushed me, the GOOD guy, away.... the man who treats her like gold, respects her, and who she knows would never harm her and would probably hardly raise my voice to her, yet alone lay a hand on her. Now she has had fresh contact with loser ex, the bad guy, who she's not supposed to have any contact with whatsoever.

    Please enlighten me on what is in the mind of a woman like this? How can anyone who has been treated repeatedly like dirt by a guy, open the door to that guy again? Especially after the whole restraining order thing, and all the torment he put her through? A week ago she texted ME to give her a ride to the hospital ER to get her hand looked at. I wasn't available to do so, and I thought it strange that she tried to tap me for that task - reason for ER trip was that she punched a guy (99% sure it is ex guy) in the mouth because he would'nt let her out of his car and grabbed her...so she socked him the mouth and knocked out two of his teeth. Again, history of violence with this guy.

    So I'm looking on insight from women who have been in this situation and who have maybe pushed away a good man, then ended up re-entering the "cycle of abuse".
    How can I move forward with this? What can I do to reach out? How should I handle her?
    I never once doubted her feelings for me. In fact, knew she was scared of her feelings for me, and realize that based on her low self esteem, insecurity, and history of abusive past relationships I was probably going to have to face the prospect her running away - not from dissatisfaction with me, but due to her own emotional damage and feelings of anxietey.

    Anyone? Help?

  2. #2
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    12,131
    What is in the mind of a woman like that is that they are so emotionally unhealthy themselves that they are not able to form stable, normal relationships. Not until they've had a good long stint of therapy, had no romantic relationships for a good solid year or more while they take the time to sort out their issues, and then and gotten their own life on the right track.

    I'm sorry, but this is what you fail to understand. Love alone will not make a person sane, love alone with not make a person choose good over bad, because the issue isn't you or how or what you did or didn't do. It's that she needs to realize on her own that she needs to walk away and then she needs to spend a good solid amount of time just getting her own act together, learning what emotionally healthy and sane and balanced relationships are. And then and only then deciding maybe she deserves better.

    Right now I'd say she's hooked on this guy like a drug, and like all addictions she'll run back every chance she gets. Until the day she and she alone decides she's out and doesn't need or want anyone else to be the one responsible for her happiness but her.

    It's time to block, delete, go NC and the next time you meet a girl make sure they have been out of all relationships for a good solid six months and if they start to complain about how bad the other guy treated them, make sure to ask them what they did for themselves to get free of that and how long ago did this happen? IF they say it was under a year and that their entire idea of handling it was, "Well, we broke up" then run, don't walk, for the door.

    From someone who once counseled abuse victims and was herself in an abusive relationship once. There is no sanity in those on both sides of the fence. She will need to be the one to decide to walk away and to stand on her own two feet, not lean on anyone else or expect someone else to make things better. This is entirely on her to fix, it doesn't matter how good someone treats her or doesn't, she would rather have this guy who is abusive. And yeah, it sucks but it is what it is.

    The same applies to men who stay in abusive relationships BTW, the whole abusive relationship dynamic is not gender specific.

  3. #3
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
    Posts
    1,539
    It doesnt matter male or female. She isn't over this guy. So she can't be 100% into you. Don't be second. She has to wake up for herself doesn't sound like she is ready to do so yet

  4. #4
    Platinum Member gebaird's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Location
    An island of peace in an ocean of chaos
    Posts
    1,849
    Gender
    Male
    I had a female friend who was in an abusive relationship for many years. When she met a new guy who treated her with basic human decency, it only confused her. She was worried he was just being nice to her because he "wanted something" from her or that there was some ulterior motive behind his kindness. In her mind, his behavior couldn't possibly be explained by the fact that he was in love with her. There had to be something more. She grew up in a world of conditional "love," where every favor would eventually be called in and every kindness would someday have to be repaid. When she took this mindset into a healthy relationship, she couldn't help feeling that she owed a huge emotional debt to her boyfriend, because she couldn't possibly repay all the good things he gave her. This overwhelming feeling of "owing" eventually caused her to break up with him.

    Self-esteem issues that run this deep don't end easily. It's possible that your kindness, while heartfelt and genuine, is what drove her away. Maybe she went back to her ex because she knew he would treat her the way she felt she "deserved" to be treated.

  5.  

  6. #5
    Platinum Member Wiseman2's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Location
    Cloud Nine
    Posts
    34,849
    Gender
    Male
    Read up on trauma bonding. It describes this inexplicable return to abusive relationships

  7. #6
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    24,060
    Gender
    Female
    Please take care of yourself - no contact with her again. Don't answer her calls - don't be a white knight.

    She is not here - you are - it could be as simple as not being over her ex or it could be more complex and people do get scared sometimes when things are good, but it doesn't matter. What matters is you - you talk about how "damaged" she was. What attracted you to her? What inside you did not watch cautiously, and decide that if someone has a laundry list of abuse, etc, have they been out of a relationship long enough to truly be ready for another one? Its not about judging another person - but protecting yourself. If she had not had a history of abuse - would you get into a relationship who just left someone else.

    I was in an abusive marriage which I thankfully am no longer in. It took a lot of personal work (counseling, support groups, a short stint on anxiety meds to be able to walk out the door to actually go to these things initially) and it took a lot of personal assessment to know if I was ready for another relationship or even to go to coffee or lunch. I did other things of personal enrichment and was not eager to look for another relationship right away and for a time even avoided situations where I might meet unattached men. I even wore my wedding ring for a little while after the divorce as a security blanket.

    Your job is not to understand this to the point of wanting to rescue or fix her, but to learn enough to say "oh, well, the breakup was not 100% my fault" and to move forward - to heal - and to seek out less "complicated" women. If they have experienced abuse, it is not something that is in the immediate past and they have gotten to a certain point of healing to be able to be in a relationship.

  8. #7
    Gold Member Fun Boater 1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Central Illinois
    Age
    52
    Posts
    591
    Gender
    Male
    Originally Posted by Matt3939
    It doesnt matter male or female. She isn't over this guy. So she can't be 100% into you. Don't be second. She has to wake up for herself doesn't sound like she is ready to do so yet
    I'm not looking to be "second". I know exactly what you are saying, and I understand it. Just trying to understand some of the reasons for her actions and get my head around why she acts like she does. I'm way past the initial break up stage, and not obsessed with trying to "get her back". I still love her and care about her very much of course, but I'm under no illusions about her and reconnecting as a couple any time soon. Maybe at some point I can see that happening, but it's ON HER, as another poster said.
    In a strange way, this recent incident of violence with this POS ex loser guy, and her subsequent wanting ME to drive her the the ER the morning after it happened, makes me feel much better about the whole situation. Because it validates much of what I had expected about her. Her running away from me had very little to do with any dissatisfaction with me as a person, a boyfriend, or even as a friend-friend (as we were before we started dating) and everything to do with her own issues, and I can't control that.

  9. #8
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    24,060
    Gender
    Female
    Originally Posted by Fun Boater 1
    I'm not looking to be "second". I know exactly what you are saying, and I understand it. Just trying to understand some of the reasons for her actions and get my head around why she acts like she does. I'm way past the initial break up stage, and not obsessed with trying to "get her back". I still love her and care about her very much of course, but I'm under no illusions about her and reconnecting as a couple any time soon. Maybe at some point I can see that happening, but it's ON HER, as another poster said.
    In a strange way, this recent incident of violence with this POS ex loser guy, and her subsequent wanting ME to drive her the the ER the morning after it happened, makes me feel much better about the whole situation. Because it validates much of what I had expected about her. Her running away from me had very little to do with any dissatisfaction with me as a person, a boyfriend, or even as a friend-friend (as we were before we started dating) and everything to do with her own issues, and I can't control that.
    In the future, ask her to call an ambulance, her mother, the police, etc - do not be there for her to lean on at all - because she'll continue to see someone else while you bail her out. She needs to be on her own. Hard for me to say that as an abuse survivor, but you need to untangle yourself completely - reaching out to another woman or authorities is what she needs to do.

  10. #9
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
    Posts
    1,539
    Like gebaird said she might just not think she deserved better. When I first met my ex she said how could anyone not like this? She always would ask me what my addiction was there had to be something. (For over 3 years )Well eventually she made up some for me. It's really sad but some people r broken. I understand being fearful and all of that but sometimes they want to be treated how they feel.

  11. #10
    Gold Member Fun Boater 1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Central Illinois
    Age
    52
    Posts
    591
    Gender
    Male
    Originally Posted by abitbroken
    In the future, ask her to call an ambulance, her mother, the police, etc - do not be there for her to lean on at all - because she'll continue to see someone else while you bail her out. She needs to be on her own. Hard for me to say that as an abuse survivor, but you need to untangle yourself completely - reaching out to another woman or authorities is what she needs to do.
    She hasn't tried to "lean on me", or use me in any way. When she pushed me away, I took a giant step back. We've each made tentative steps towards each other at different times since, but I haven't pushed anything. Just thought it was odd that she reached out to me after the incident and wondered what she was thinking? It wasn't because she didn't have any other options for a ride to get her hand looked at. The whole story would have came out had I been logistically able to give her that ride to the ER. We talked on the phone that afteroon too - first time we have talked other than email or text since Thanksgiving. Felt like we had just talked the day before, very pleasant, no awkwardness whatsover either. You would think your former b/f that YOU broke up with would be the last person you would reach out to after you just had a violent incident with an abusive ex who you shouldn't be in contact with at all, and by law (restraining order)...right? At least that's what I would think. However, knowing how she is, and after learning about the "cycle of abuse" and other self esteem issues and how they work, it makes perfect sense that she would immediately reach out to me...because I'm the one guy she KNOWS is going to be there for her...plus, I"m sure she may have been turning to me simply to make sure that I am still available to her....so it does make sense. It's whacked, but it makes sense. And you know I'm not the kind of guy that would tell her "NO" in that situation. There has been no violating of any of the "honor code" items I see as relationship deal breakers - infidelity, dishonesty, or theft. As I said, things were always easy, no drama, roses all the way, between us the entire 7 months we dated, and she always treated me like the love of her life. There has been no negativity between us. So no way I'm going to just start being mean or standoffish with her. However, I have gone "ambivalent" on her. I disagree the "need to untangle" - really not "tangled" with her at all at this point, and NOT been mixed up in any of HER drama. I think she knows me well enough to know that I'm not the kind of guy who gets sucked into this kind of drama. lol I'm just keeping my distance and responding pleasantly when she contacts me....my guard is back up. I know so much more about her and understand so much more about this stuff than I used to. I know I can't "fix" or "save" her. It's just curious to me though how she could be so good at a healthy and normal loving relationship for months, and then choose to allow herself contact with such a loser ex, and choose to put herself back into a toxic situation. I get it. But that' doens't make it any easier to understand or accept.

Page 1 of 5 1234 ... LastLast

Give Advice
Ask For Advice

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •