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You guys know the story. I met a fantastic woman at work who was leaving her husband. She has a great sense of humor, pretty, and intelligent. Our friendship, of course, grows into something more. It has been an unbelievably great 5 months. The things she had been through were just disgusting. She had been with him since she was 14, he was 17, and starting high school. She wasn't allowed to get her drivers license! She's 36 and just got it for the first time 2 months ago! I remember all the bruises on her at work, long sleeves in hot weather, etc etc. They have 3 kids all teenagers, who hate him and are afraid of him. They saw all the abuse, pulled him off of her during beatings, though he supposedly never hit them. I won't go into the emotional abuse because it's as awful as you can imagine and I don't think I can post it here due to it's graphic nature. Because of the restraining and no contact orders, the oldest daughter had him arrested 3 weeks ago for harassing her while she was getting lunch. My girlfriend got out, stayed with relatives, saved money, and has gotten her own place. The divorce was to be final this month.

 

I was as supportive as I could possibly be. Listening, encouraging, and complimenting as a normal person is supposed to do. We never fought, laughed until our sides hurt, and the love making was unreal. Even though he cheated constantly (which was her fault of course) she was never unfaithful. So being with someone new who put at least a little effort into her pleasure was earth shattering for her, or so I was told. With her horrible past with this guy, there was NO WAY she could ever want to go back...or so I thought. She was doing all the right things, divorcing, own place, kids in counseling to ease the divorce procedure for them, making police reports when he violated any orders against him. Seemed like a slam dunk.

 

This past Friday, the kids counselor called to give a progress report and asked the question, "Do you want to try couples counseling before the divorce is final?" That's all it took. She didn't say anything Friday to me, Saturday we had plans that night, didn't hear from her until late that she was at a friends house and had drinks so she wouldn't drive, and by Sunday noon I got the "We need to talk" text. Call me naive, but I do believe that she was at a friends house. She told me that she considered going to counseling a few times without telling me to see how it goes, but didn't want to be dishonest with me. He, of course, has completed several anger management courses that were required and he may be "a changed man". Same guy that was arrested 3 weeks ago! "She owes it to herself to at least try because of the history, he may be all better, she might to able to have the relationship that she and I have but with him..." all her words. It's all crapola and I know it, as do we all. Something about leopards and spots...especially if a person has been abusive their entire adult life, 6 months ain't gonna cut it!

 

Oh, I understand the psychology of it all. She's damaged, seriously, and the only one that can fix it is her. She has been subjugated by him for so long that no matter how good I am, the only persons approval she craves is his. Even with a less than 10% chance of working out, she'd rather try that than be with me. I just hate being pole-axed! Left field blindsiding. I just knew that it wouldn't happen to me since the abuse was so awful, and who would want that?!? It's the sudden pain that sucks so badly. I cannot fault her in any way in our relationship, she was wonderful to me and that is what I miss and will miss. I know it's going to be awful for her down the road and there's not a damn thing I can do.

 

I know, I know...let her go with love, work on me, no contact, what will be will be. When it blows up after the honeymoon period, and if I hear from her, Ill have to make another decision then. Fool me once and all. The craziest stats I saw on going back to an abuser who has been through anger management were even though the physical violence went down between 40-50%, the emotional abuse escalated by about 20%! I can't hit you as much, so I have to crank up the abuse elsewhere! So, she has that to look forward to.

 

Thanks for letting me vent. It's that damn actual physical pain in the chest thing that sucks so badly!

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Sorry to hear this. Agree it's trauma bonding. A 5 mos affair, it's best to cut your losses completely and go no contact and block and delete her. Do you still work together?

 

Unfortunately this clouded your judgement that she was married and a coworker 6808777]and the love making was unreal.

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Hey there. It's tough, but it sounds like she has a lot of healing to do before she's ready for a normal relationship and give YOU what YOU deserve. She should be a white knight (on occasion) too, you know.

 

Sorry, but I have to say this - I'm incredulous that a counsellor has recommended couple's therapy after his behaviour... it's waaaay past that!!!! The guy should be in jail. Anyone else find this odd?!

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I can give u some insight into the "abused". My ex abused me. I stayed after I got an apartment and decided to leave because he agreed to get counseling and go to a group.

 

It's partly because as the abused, u are not in your right mind. And also partly because U want and need to feel u did ALL YOU CAN DO to save your marriage.

 

When I look back on it, I am amazed at what I put up with and why I stayed 7 more years. Through more lies and more failed attempts at his "recovery".

 

Until she comes to herself again, which could literally take YEARS...u have to save yourself. If she is even considering this, it means she is not ready for you. She may love you, but she is not ready to love herself. Her love for herself needs to show up before she can love you. You are an escape from her drama and pain. She doesn't mean it to be that way. She can't help it. But neither can you. Save yourself. She will drown or swim. But that's going to be up to HER. you can only lose in this situation.

 

I will be happy to elaborate more if u want more insight from the other side. In the meantime, I wish u love and light.

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Thanks Wiseman. And praise the Aztec God Quetzalcoatl, I had gotten a new job 2 months ago. I know the logic of what to do, it's just waiting for the heart to catch up. We've all been here before, and we know it passes, just sucky while it does. And you're right, judgement clouded BIG TIME! Whew. Have a good day, amigo.

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Yes she cheats, he beats. It's nuts. It sounds like hearsay she made up to end the affair and get back with the beater.

I'm incredulous that a counsellor has recommended couple's therapy after his behaviour... it's waaaay past that!!!! The guy should be in jail. Anyone else find this odd?!
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Thanks Raggie. I know, the counselor's suggestion was very strange. All sources show that the abused should go to therapy alone. It's just that in every profession, there are some who suck at it. Thanks again!

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Thank you Dominique! I don't have any other drama in my life i.e. court stuff, so I'm sending love and light back your way Yep, it's just no fun as you well know. You all probably know this, but the brain registers psychological pain in the same area as physical pain. That's what causes that stupid heart ache and punch in the gut feeling. For some reason that makes me feel better as to the why I feel like this. As well as the brain releasing dopamine (as well as other chemicals) for pleasure when you are in love. So when you have a break-up, it stops releasing them and you go through withdrawal. Again, this makes me feel better knowing why. I guess, like the public service announcements say....the more you know...! I'm just trying to logic it all out until I feel better. Thank you again, and hold your head high too!

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You all know the self-esteem issues that go with being dumped. Am I only good enough for someone who is damaged, who will still leave me for said abuser no matter how good I am? What does it say about ME that someone would choose that over me? So, if I meet someone who is pretty together, low drama head on straight, how could she even find me worthwhile if someone would prefer being slapped around and called disgusting than being with me? I know these thoughts are incorrect, but it's what's swirling around in my head. Again, thanks for letting me vent.

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You are right, and I know it. I would say the exact same thing to someone else in my shoes. It's the subjectivity that makes this viewpoint hard at this time. Time and making good life decisions will fix this. Not to mention, having bad thoughts like,"So, if I'd slapped her around and degraded her, would she have stayed since she would think that all people are like this?" Don't worry, not in my nature. And it just seems exhausting! Bad day at work, tired, get home and now I have to beat her too?! What a chore!

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You all know the self-esteem issues that go with being dumped. Am I only good enough for someone who is damaged, who will still leave me for said abuser no matter how good I am? What does it say about ME that someone would choose that over me? So, if I meet someone who is pretty together, low drama head on straight, how could she even find me worthwhile if someone would prefer being slapped around and called disgusting than being with me? I know these thoughts are incorrect, but it's what's swirling around in my head. Again, thanks for letting me vent.

 

DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT, think like this! Her dumping you and going back to her abusive piece of sh*t husband has nothing to do with you whatsoever In fact, her choosing to go back to him is a reflection on how GOOD a guy you are. Sounds twisted, but it's the truth. You showed her that she is capable of being happy and capable of being in a normal, functional, healthy, and non-abusive relationship with a man who treats her right, treats her well, and is good to her - and the sad thing is that, due to her history of extreme abuse, she isn't emotionally able to sustain a normal relationship. She couldn't handle being with you because the GOOD she experienced with YOU most likely scared the hell out of her. Why? Because she's never had that with anyone. All she knows is the cycle of abuse, and her past experience tells her that all she is worthy of is a terrible relationship situation like she has with her ex. You took her out of her "negative comfort zone" from what it looks like. Now she has chosen to return to that negative comfort zone....and her choice has nothing to do with how she sees you. None. So please don't beat yourself up over the choice she is making. It is not a question of you being "not good enough". Most likely, the converse if accurate - she feels like she is not good enough for you and probably feels that she doesn't deserve you, and all the good that comes with you. She may also feel like you don't deserve to be saddled with her baggage and her issues as well. This isn't about YOU. There is nothing wrong with you. Yes, as you mentioned, she is broken, damaged, and emotionally dysfunctional. Why? Again, the abusive ex is all she knows, especially if she has been with him since age 14 and has been controlled, manipulated, beaten on, beaten down...etc... Think about it. It's literally all she knows... So don't ever doubt yourself and your "worthiness". Just the fact that you treated her well and were good to her, and because you are concerned enough about her and care enough to be supportive towards her, and also too because you care enough to come to this Forum for insight...shows your extremely "worthy" of someone good who can treat you well and share a healthy relationship with you! This isn't about your self esteem - it's about her total lack of her own self esteem!

 

Believe me, I know what you are going through and what you are thinking. I am in a similar situation with a similar type of damaged and broken woman who pushed me away 6 months ago and then immediately invited her abusive loser piece of sh*t ex (who she has a restraining order against, mind you) back into her life. Like you, after hearing all of her stories of woe and abuse concerning this guy, I figured he would be the last guy I would have to worry about her becoming reinvolved with. Well, I was wrong, just like you. And it's been nothing but misery for her since. Now she wants him out of her house, but he won't leave, or she can't pull the trigger, whatever, and she's stuck bigtime. I still love her. Still have hope. However, I'm staying out of it. We communicate sporadically, and she's shown up at my house twice to use it as a "safe place"....but it's totally up to HER to do what she needs to do to get rid of him. I think she's scared of him, and scared to call the police because I'm sure he's got her convinced that she could be in big trouble for violating the restraining order, even though it's HER property. Like you, her and I had 6-7 months of blissful no drama, no conflict, healthy normal relationship.... then her lack of self esteem kicked in, she got scared, pushed me away...then chose to reopen her door to the absolute worst option she could take - a guy who is the total antithesis of me and who I am. They extreme opposite! So it makes absolutely NO sense whatsoever, but yet she went down that road, didn't she? My girl has a terrible track record too...a small string of abusive relationships with guy who have treated her like dirt. With me she "broke the mold", and she knows it! In fact, our last interaction in person she said something very telling - "I feel like by letting him (abusive ex) back in and running away from you I've thrown 7 years of counselling down the drain going back to Eric (her 2nd hub, and that was very bad)".... So she knows she's damaged, broken, screwed up...a "whack job"...etc... What's said in her case is that she KNOWS what she needs to do, and WANTS to change her life. She was well on the way to doing that when she chose me this time last year. She could'nt sustain it. I was good to her, treated her well, treated her right... She treated me like I was the love of her life constantly. However, due to her own issues, she sabotaged our relationship, and she knows that too. We've talked about it. If you want to read my story in whole, look up my thread a little ways down this board.

 

Moving forward all you can do is live your life as if she was never in it and never will be in it again. Meet new women, make new friends. She's broken and damaged and you don't want to get involved further with her drama. You have a choice to 1. Cut her off completely or 2. Keep the communication lines open and offer to be there for her as her friend Neither of these options comes without pain, I am aware. And don't beat yourself up worrying about if you were "good enough" for her. You were, too good probably. And don't wonder "gee, if I had just slapped her around and put her down a little bit" things would be different. Are you really capable of being that kind of guy? An abusive dbag? Most likely you aren't. Most guys aren't. So don't ever consider trying to be something you are not. Thank God you are NOT an abusive dbag! Be happy with who you are and hold your head up high and know that you did all you could.... Again, this isn't about you. It's about HER.

 

Couple of questions: Let me guess - she has very few, if any, really close friends of her own, especially other guy friends? Does she has any kind of "support system" like several close girlfriends, family, (other than her kids) that she can turn to for support moving forward (and towards ultimately getting free of this guy completely)? My guess is that she has almost no support system like that. My girl is in that boat. Due to her spending most of her adult life with controlling, manipulative, and abusive jerks who have kept her under their thumbs, she has very few close friends. Hopefully, YOU have a large social circle and a strong support system around YOU! I do. It helps. But if she doesn't, it makes it that much harder for her to escape from this guy, and that sucks!

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Thank you very much. Yep, you are correct. She has almost no friends, wasn't allowed to have them. It's just sad all the way around. As far as my negative thoughts go, I do recognize them as wrong. They won't last forever. It's just this beginning part of any break-up is the toughest. Thank you also for sharing your story. Lots of parallels! It helps knowing that one is not alone in a situation. And please know that I am not a smack her around kind of guy. I realize it's "do me" time, I just have to get on with it!

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