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I don't understand....


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My situation is a strange one and it's starting to effect me and it will hit the point where it will cause me to break up a wonderful relationship.


The situation in brief is a girl I met and have spoken to for about a year and a half recently left her abusive husband (emotional, physical pushing, strangulation etc..) we are now together ( probably a bit fast but it feels right) and have a great relationship. Trust is taking time to build and I always think there are things she is not telling me which is to be expected due to the nature of her abuse.


Anyway her mother does not like me and keeps saying how great a man her ex was (her mother knows about the abuse), I mentioned strangulation this happened on two occasions one where her brother had to pull him off her, and the second time at a party in front of people he did not know. If he had not been pulled off her she would probably have been killed.


Now for a long time she believed it all to be her fault and has stayed in this abusive relationship for close to 8 years, wasting her life with him which bothers me but it's the past and I will deal with it. I still get the feeling she cares for him and worries about his life and keeps doing things to make sure he is ok, this bothers me deeply and I don't understand it at all, how could someone who has been abused and nearly killed not that they have someone willing to treat them well and protect them act in this way. I have not seen abuse in my life as I grew up in a pretty normal family with no anger or fighting.


Her brother was drunk the other week and he also started to tell me how great a man her ex was, this was the brother that had to pull him off her as he was going to kill her. How can people be like this?


How can a mother think it's ok for her daughter to stay with an emotionally manipulative and physically abusive man who nearly killed her daughter twice, and how can a brother who stopped him killing his sister tell me that he is a great guy?


I don't understand and it's driving me up the wall, in what world are women led to believe that they should accept the abuse that men give them and stay in a broken relationship? Why would the girl in question believe it was her fault and feel sorry for her ex because she left him? Why would a brother still go out drinking and talk with a person that tried to kill his sister? And why would a mother tell her daughter I'm going to turn in to her ex and he should stay with him and not me?


I am really at a loss and it driving me up the wall at a very fast rate...

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They have not been sperated long (3/4 months) but it was her decision for her and I to get together so soon, i wanted to wait but she was afraid I would find someone else and she would lose me. Her divorce will be finalised in about 2 months.


He has no money other than the massive debt that they both built which I am in the prcess of getting split and we will clear her part of it.


They do not support her they believe she was wrong for leaving him and think she should stay, her mother said some really nasty things to her during an argument and is trying to tell her I am the same and will become much worse than him. In the future.


This is making her doubt her actions I know it, but not due to us not working as we do. She is the happiest she has ever been with me and everyone passes comment on how different she is now that she is with me, she will never go back with him I am sure of this. But he mothering and worrying about his emotions when he does not care about hers bothers me a lot !


I do not know how to approach the subject with her...

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Well she was in a toxic relationship for almost a decade. Though she should have got out sooner, she didn't. Many bonds are forged when there is a abusive relationship that people that haven't been in that situation don't understand. I think you two got together a little soon but it doesn't mean the relationship is doomed. Unfortunately because of those aforementioned bonds, many times the abused end up going back even after a separation. That is not to say she will, but it is not out of the realm of possibility that she might.


She needs individual counseling to deal with her family and past relationship, and you both may benefit from counseling together(especially if you typically go for the Damsel in Distress type).


In regards to her family there is not much you can do except limit the time that you spend with them. She needs to realize her family is caustic and must deal with them when she is ready.

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The main problem is she says she does not care but shows that she does towards him, I don't like lies and she is lying to me in some attempt to make me feel better about the situation which is doing the exact opposite. She should have left him a long time ago but her family were the ones pushing her to stay and only when she met me and a few other people she realised no! What he was doing was actually wrong and she deserved better.


I hope the relationship is not doomed and I will do everything in my power to keep us together, but she will NOT go back to him, she can leave me but I will not allow her to go back.. Take out of that statement what you will. I have thought about counselling for her but I do not think she would go but it is an option and I will talk to her about it.


I am moving her away from her family, not far but at the moment we are surrounded by them, she is within 5 minutes of her ex, and lives with her bro at the moment. I am moving her into a different house a bus distance away to get her away from the visual cues for daily memories of her abuse, she is still living in the house where she was strangled.


As for me, no I am not usually a person who jumpes into dysfunctional relationship with a lot of baggage but this is totally different for me, I'm in love with this girl deeply and I want to make it work. I'm not trying to fix her as she is the only person that can do this but I am trying to understand so I am better equipped to deal with it.

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I think the area you need to explore is what her dear old dad was like. You didn't mention him. How long was he part of her life? I have a feeling he was emotionally and physically abusive. Mom put up with it for whatever her reasons were. Your GF and her brother put up with it now, because it's what they learned to be a "normal" relationship when they were growing up.


As to why she stayed for so long and still appears to care for him, I suggest you google Stockholm Syndrome.

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It sounds to me that her entire family of origin is dysfunctional. It's almost a textbook example of a family with an abusive father/husband. I agree with oldenoughtoknow: what they think is normal is skwewed and it's likely the father was an abuser. Her mother and brother are supporting her situation of abuse.


There are complicated and deep problems for your girlfriend to address on her own. The really wonderful thing is she has gotten away from the abusive marriage, and that you are being a kind, caring, and considerate supporter. It's stupendously loving of you to help her physically move away from her immediate family. I think this will help her get her own life, and bolster the strength she has already shown by leaving.


Be careful. Statistically the most dangerous time for a woman who has survived abuse is when she leaves the partner. This can trigger his rage and he may go after her.

I think it's extremely important for her to get individual counseling, or at least join a support group. Please call a women's hotline to identify services for her in your area, and encourage her to have at least one meeting. These counselors are specifically experienced in the area of surviving abuse and will know what to say to her, and how to help her help herself.


Neither you nor she can do anything about her family-- they have to deal with their problems on their own. You and your girlfriend concentrate on yourselves and each other, and do what is best for yourselves and your relationship. Don't allow others to interfere.


You are to be commended for many reasons, especially for understanding she must do this for herself. You aren't her rescuer, you want her to be her own person, and you are supporting her efforts towards that end.


I wish you all the best. The love you are expressing shows in your post and will lead to much happiness.

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Yes her father was abusive actually hitting her until she wet herself at one point, calling her * * * * and a * * * * * beating her mother etc....


She has finally come clean to her biggest secret and this is she cheated on her ex before they were married ( she has lied to me to cover this up for over a year), this has eaten away at her and she has been able to talk with the person she cheated with like nothing happened, acting like nothing happened I think makes it worse. I have asked her to stop talking to him and cut all ties and if anyone asks why make up some other excuse.


She now believes because she told me that I am going to leave her because of the situation (family, stress etc..) and pleaded with me that I don't. It was a major thing for her to tell me this as it was her deepest regret and longest secret it was a hard moment for me to find out she had been lying to me for about a year and waited until not to tell me but I can understand it.


I used this moment to talk her into counselling which she is starting tomorrow, I told her we need to stop this repeating cycle of believing she deserves all the hurt in her life and needs to change the way she views th world. If this is not stopped i fear she will cheat on me if we ever have a bad moment in our life, counselling I hope will begin the process of her healing.


If it all goes to pot in the future and we break up due to cheating or something else, at least I will have put in place something that she can turn to and not the arms of another man who will use her. She is way to fragile to sort her life out alone and I will be there in whatever capacity I can, even if it's not as a boyfriend/partner. I'm glad I met her and i hope we can work through everything together and come out the other end with a greater love and respect for each other.


Thanks to everyone who replied and thanks to the people who have read my story, it makes me feel better knowing that people who don't even know me can take a moment out of their day to share my story and give their advice on it.

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It's a great thing that you got her into counseling. The next important piece is that she meshes with the counselor and is completely honest with him. There's not enough information to determine why she cheated, unless cheating was part of her parent's relationship as well. But given the known trauma she's suffered as a child, it makes sense that she was drawn to an abuser. She will no doubt be very wary of her new "normal" relationship with you. Her latest revelation may have come about as her way of testing your resolve, or as a way of sabotaging what she has. Again, not enough info to determine which. But I hope you really understand that this will not be a short, easy journey. I hope this all works out for you both.

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