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Thread: He’s in therapy and promised to change. Should I take him back?

  1. #1
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    He’s in therapy and promised to change. Should I take him back?

    Hi everyone. My ex (23 M) and I (21 F) have had serious issues in our relationship that never seemed to be making any progress and for that reason I dumped him and we have been broken up for over a month now. I have posted on this forum about our issues before, so little back story: [Register to see the link]

    Tl;dr version: I hooked up with someone a few times during the “talking stage” with my ex. He found out a few months later when we became a couple and has verbally/emotionally abused me for more than half a year over the same issue.

    Fast forward to now, we are still broken up but have kept contact and remained friends since we have a 4 hour long class together at school and are in the same lab group. He has been trying for a month to get back with me and has taken steps to change. In the first few weeks there were A LOT of begging, pleading, telling me he needs me, blowing up my phone with apologies, waiting outside my house for me to come out and talk to him, leaving voicemails of him crying and apologizing...he has now stopped most of this behavior after starting therapy which I am very proud of him for doing. I’ve just been having a really hard time dealing with all of this and my feelings for him. I don’t miss him terribly. I still love him, just not as much as I did before. Some days I want to take him back and other days I don’t. I don’t know if I miss him or just the familiarity of our relationship. I know a lot of advice columns online talk about narcissistic abusers, or those who are ill-willed and manipulate to gain control and power over the victim. But I don't believe my ex is like that... and this is making me second guess. I think he is just an emotionally troubled guy with insecurities and a rough childhood. His dad is an alcoholic and can be abusive when intoxicated. He really wants me to give him one last chance chance to show me that he’s changed, that he’s trying, that things will be different this time because he got to experience what it’s like to really lose me (I was unresponsive and unreachable for a while, also started seeing other people and he knows this). He’s expressed a lot of remorse and told me he’s very ashamed over how he treated me. He told me his issue was that he didn’t know how to forgive and that his therapist gave him a worksheet to fill out that helped him immensely, but I don’t know...

    Any thoughts and advice would be appreciated.
    Last edited by somegirl313; 03-27-2020 at 01:34 PM.

  2. #2
    Platinum Member smackie9's Avatar
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    I dated a toxic guy for 2 years....when they say they will change...that's a lie.

  3. #3
    Platinum Member Wiseman2's Avatar
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    Please do not mother, fix, change, doctor or try to control anyone like this. Sadly it's a way to keep the focus off yourself and your own issues. He is not your project. Leave him alone. Delete and block him and all his people from all your devices messaging apps and social media.

    Ask your parents to get a restraining order and call the police if he shows up like this. Why are your parents tolerating this? Do they know you are clinging to an "abusive relationship"?

    Focus instead on your issues and what kind of help would help you out best. You do not have to be his 'friend". In fact you are far from a friend and he is equally toxic toward you.
    Originally Posted by somegirl313
    has verbally/emotionally abused me for more than half a year over the same issue.

    waiting outside my house for me to come out and talk to him, leaving voicemails of him crying and apologizing..

  4. #4
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    Do not give him a second chance. This guy abused you for more than half a year, and he will continue to do the same. This is who he is. Do not allow people to treat you this way.

    You need to cut this off. Block and delete!

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  6. #5
    Platinum Member melancholy123's Avatar
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    With luck he will continue his therapy. In the mean time no you dont take him back, and really I dont think you should ever consider getting back together with him. Dont let him push you into anything. If you need a restraining order, get one. You can block and delete him from your phone.

    The world is full of nice guys who dont act like jerks!

  7. #6
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    He does not love you, if he did he would have treated you this way. He is an abuser!

    Do your friends and family know how he treated you?

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    My friends know, family don’t.

  9. #8
    Platinum Member SherrySher's Avatar
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    The therapy he is having now and the lessons he learnt with you, is to improve himself for some other woman in the future.
    You and he will not work a second time around.

    I can also see why he felt so insecure. I don't feel as though you behaved very well either. Hooking up with someone else while talking to another man, isn't exactly great behavior and in future, I hope you learnt a lesson to on how your choices could affect someone someday.

    But as for you and he..those days are done.

  10. #9
    Platinum Member bluecastle's Avatar
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    I recall your last thread vividly.

    Here is my most generous take on this: The true sign that he had changed? It would be letting go of you, for real, for a good long time. Not hours, not weeks, but about a year. No contact. You live your life, he lives his, processing this chapter, living the lessons, digging deep in therapy, and then reconnecting from a completely different angle.

    What you're describing? It's the opposite of change, since he's just trying to get you back, to "win," and what he's actually shown you is that he is very impatient when it comes to getting that validation. In other words, it's just staying exactly where you two have been, in the exact same unhealthy dynamic, but just with some window dressing of "change" sprinkled about. Not fun to hear, I know, but I say it from a lot of experience on all sides of this coin.

    Your take on him? That he's not a monster, but just a troubled dude? It might be accurate. Still, what does that get you? You're 21, with a life to live. Why hitch that life onto someone who you yourself deem troubled and who has shown you—repeatedly, a few different ways, including what he's doing right now—that he lacks the ability to treat you with kindness? That's a bit like investing your life savings in a mutual fund with a history of producing nothing but losses, or perhaps staking your fortunes on a the blackjack table.

    You have a lot of feeling tied up in this man, I get it. But "lots of feelings" is not always the same as "valuable," and certainly not the same as "healthy." You can do some very hard drugs and feel all sorts of feelings, many of them wonderful, but that does not mean it's advisable to do those drugs, if that makes sense.

  11. #10
    Platinum Member DancingFool's Avatar
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    Do your friends abuse you? No, right? So why do you continue to stay in touch with a guy who abuses you and call him a friend? Do you think that's love? No, that's not what love and caring looks like.

    As others pointed out, abusive people do not change, not even with therapy. Usually "I'm in therapy" is just a ruse, a lie to get you back under their control that they can carry on for a long time. This guy doesn't see you as a human being, he sees you as a possession that is currently out of control and needs to be brought back under control.

    Please do yourself a huge favor and block and delete this guy permanently from your life. No contact whatsoever ever again. I'll say this again - this is NOT what love looks like. Someone who actually cares about you as a person, as a woman, as a human being is not going to be abusive toward you. Abuse is NOT caring, it's the opposite of that.

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