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Is my ex in an abusive relaionship?


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I have an ex girlfriend who I dated many years ago. I know that before I met her she was in a physically abusive relationship. I know her mother abandoned her when she was a kid and she has low self esteem, despite being very good-looking.

 

I've always stayed in touch with her. At some point she got into a new relationship. At first I was happy for her, she wanted to settle down and have kids (something I didn't want at the time) and the new guy looked simple and down to earth. From a small village, normal job, comes from a big family, looked stable. Quickly moved in with her. I hoped for her she found ‘that guy’.

 

But 1,5 years into their relationship she starts complaining that they fight a lot, and can't agree on anything about their future, kids, etc. Mostly on where to live, he wants country side, she wants city live. She eventually moves to a bigger city a couple hours away, on her own. Says she considers herself single again, because other things were also not great with him. I was happy for her she stood up for herself and took control of her life if she was unhappy. But for some reason she slides back into the relationship, him now staying with her half of the week sometimes. She says he kind of accepted her move but hopes she would at some point change her mind and come back to the country side.

 

A few months later she asks me if a man can stop having any sexual desire for a woman but still say he loves her? She's in the situation now where he still sometimes stays with her but they behave like brother and sister. She feels rejected and insecure. That he destroys her self esteem. She complains that it even changed her way she behaves around other people. She also for some reason thinks she herself is to blame for all this. She says they fight a lot and she's constantly mad with him and maybe it’s her causing all this. That it’s her that’s the problem. That he sometimes sleeps at a hotel because they argue too much and she refuses to stay with him. That for her it’s really over, no matter how hard he tries.

 

She says that she broke up with him many times already, but he just won't let her go.

 

At the same time she describes him as a little spoiled but pretty down to earth, a nice person and quite sensitive. His parents adore him.

 

It's hard for me to understand what's really going on here.

 

The next year and a half they continue the cycle of breaking up and getting together repeatedly. She would say she calls him her ex, but he keeps calling her his girlfriend. And she would always slide back into the relationship eventually. He simply ignores the fact they broke up and keeps acting like they are still together.

 

A few months ago, she was 'single' again and this time it was for real. She even invited me to come see her (she lives in a different country) and possibly get together again. It also felt like she needed a rebound? We got flirty again and I actually started to feel butterflies for her a bit again. Boyfriend seemed finally gone.

 

But in the weeks leading up to us meeting (first convenient moment to travel was six weeks ahead) she started talking about her ex again:

- that he still has the keys to her house and sometimes comes inside her house when she's at work to 'check if there's still pictures of them' and he would leave her a message.

- that he brought her flowers

- that he took her to the airport

- that his father is ill and she feels obliged to ask him about it.

- that she can't be y to him after all he did for her.

- that she felt 'afraid' to slip back into the relationship again, because this is how it always goes: he just keeps acting like they are still together

- that he asked her to stay with her in her house for one month because of a new job in her city and that she feels like she can't refuse it because he still pays part of her rent.

 

I told her she was being very naif and asked how come she doesn’t see he's acting creepy and is just weaselling his way back to her?

 

She then sends me a picture showing a big cut in her nose. Saying it was an accident at the gym.

 

Eventually we meet but it was a big disaster. She kept picking random fights out of nothing, felt she was deliberately sabotaging our weekend. Then blames me for ruining the ‘chance’ she gave me/us.

 

I left hurt and confused and tried to talk to her about what happened. She tells me that I should leave her alone and she's back with her ex: that she wants to give another chance to 'the person who has been there for her the past years' and then she blocked me.

 

How must I interpret all this? Did they never really break up and was everything a lie? Or is she in an abusive relationship all this time? But then why would she still have me visit her eventually? Was this another failed attempt to get away from him? Should I be worried? Is there a moral obligation to take action? And what can/should I do?

 

What’s going on here? I can’t ask her anymore as she broke off all contact.

 

 

Thanks in advance.

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Sounds very much like it's your cue to walk away. You could analyse this until the cows come home but she's just used you as a buffer. She doesn't really know what she wants but sadly its definitely not you. Don't continue to invest anymore of yourself in to this hopeless situation.

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How must I interpret all this? Did they never really break up and was everything a lie? Or is she in an abusive relationship all this time? But then why would she still have me visit her eventually? Was this another failed attempt to get away from him? Should I be worried? Is there a moral obligation to take action? And what can/should I do?

 

What’s going on here? I can’t ask her anymore as she broke off all contact.

 

A moral obligation to take action...against what?

 

You have zero tangible evidence that he is abusive. You only know what she tells you, and from what I read here, he might be a pain in the neck and over-stepping boundaries but there is no concrete reason to suggest he abuses her. The scratch on her nose from the gym could indeed be a scratch on her nose from the gym. You have no clue if it came from him, though I sense that's what you're assuming. Your ex is stepping over boundaries too, though, OP. She is maintaining close ties with and ex-boyfriend and running to you every time she is mad at him. Does that sound remotely healthy? It sounds to me like she plays both sides of the coin and knows exactly what to say to you to get you thinking she needs rescuing - until she doesn't feel the need to be rescued anymore. Then it's all good and she goes back to him.

 

He might be a jerk. But your ex is part of the problem as well. She isn't doing what she needs to do if she actually wants to stay away from him. What I see here is a woman who is actually in love with this guy, however messy he might be, but uses you as a crutch when she wants attention. You need to really let go of her. She will find the resources she actually needs if she wants out. You can't be her escape hatch.

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this woman wants out of this relationship. its hard to cut ties with someone you've been with for a while. the relationship has become a habit.

I think she did split up with him, but is struggling to let go whilst he is still around.

 

I know this because I was that guy. ultimately my girl eventually left, as will this one. But you cant wait around and she isn't you're responsibility.

 

if she unblocks you, express to her how you feel, and that you're worried for her. but you cant wait around for ever. that should be the last thing you say to her.

 

good luck.

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Hi Danmarko thanks for your reply.

 

I get what you're saying. I agree there's no real point in investing more of myself in this and yes the situation seems hopeless with her / them. They are caught up in an endless cycle of breaking up and getting together, and there's not much I can do about that.

 

I do however think it's a bit dangerous to say that a woman 'just doesn't know what she wants' when she's trying to get away from a guy for 3 years, including moving to another city and he just won't let her go. She could be in a bad place and given her history of being in an abusive relationship before, it's not 100% unlikely that she subconsciously seeks out that type of dynamic in a relationship again. Besides that, If you break up with someone and they enter your house when you're not home to leave notes and check if their picture is still hanging on the wall, that's psychological abuse per definition.

 

But you're right, in the end there's not much I can do anymore. Also, my question was not if or how I could get her back, nor am I perusing her any longer.

 

I'm just a bit worried for someone who I once loved and have known for over a decade.

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Hi Misscanuck, thanks for your reply.

 

You are absolutely right, I have zero tangible evidence of physical abuse. And yes, I am very aware of the fact I always only hear her side. With 'taking action' I don't mean call the police on him or anything, but maybe inform someone close to her about my worries. And yes, a cut on her nose could very well be just an accident. I just won't to hear some other's people opinions about this, as I don't want to be that outsider who might be seeing a lot of signs and brushes them off with 'oh she's just crazy', or 'oh she doesn't know what she want'. Also I think it's a slippery slope to assume that if she really wanted to leave him, she would have just done so, it's her own choice to stay in this. That's not really how abuse works.

 

You are also 100% right that her staying in touch with me all these years is also very unhealthy. And yes she is part of the problem too in how she uses me for positive attention.

 

But like I wrote to DanMarko, not returning house keys, entering someones house after you broke up to check on her, send unsolicited gifts, showing up at her house unannounced, destroying someone's self esteem, acting like you're still together when the other side calls you their ex, are actions that are psychological abuse by definition. That's not so easy to get away from when this person already drove your self image into the ground. I never knew this guys was this manipulative until now. Some female friends called 100% bull on the 'accident story' when they saw the picture of her almost broken nose. When I saw her in person there was something off about her behaviour and her eyes didn't sparkle anymore. Like somebody who's been in a war.

 

It all leaves a very bad taste in my mouth, something feels odd here and I don't want to see or assume things that aren't there, but at the same time also not ignore something that might be very obvious. Hence me seeking some 'second opinions' from you guys and I thank you for that. :)

 

I know I can't rescue her or anything. But don't forget she's someone I care about as a friend too.

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Hi lonewolf1991 thanks for your honest reply.

 

if I may ask, if you say you were that guy once, what was your motivation to stick around her? Did you also just ignore the fact that she broke up with you and acted like nothing happened each time you broke up? Would you in hindsight qualify your behaviour as very passionate or manipulative? What made you ignore the fact she didn't want to be with you anymore? Was that pure love or did you know you could just pressure her into coming back by manipulation, because you knew how to play into her weakness? Were you just crazy in love with her or was did it become a power game?

 

Or maybe your dynamic was completely different, I understand that no two people (couples) are exactly alike

 

I'm not judging here, I'm just curious to know the thought process from the other side. Because like I replied to MissCanuk, I am very aware I always only hear her side of the story. I'm interested to know how this cycle of breakup / makeup goes between people, where one wants to leave and the other won't let them.

 

I understand if these questions are too personal or too much in your face.

 

I thank you for your initial reply very much already. And you're right she's not my responsibility. I just have a strange taste in my mouth from how things unfolded and would like to understand things a but better. It's difficult not to worry about someone you've known for over a decade.

 

:)

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You are absolutely right, I have zero tangible evidence of physical abuse. And yes, I am very aware of the fact I always only hear her side. With 'taking action' I don't mean call the police on him or anything, but maybe inform someone close to her about my worries. And yes, a cut on her nose could very well be just an accident. I just won't to hear some other's people opinions about this, as I don't want to be that outsider who might be seeing a lot of signs and brushes them off with 'oh she's just crazy', or 'oh she doesn't know what she want'. Also I think it's a slippery slope to assume that if she really wanted to leave him, she would have just done so, it's her own choice to stay in this. That's not really how abuse works. .

 

I know very well how it works; I've been in an abusive relationship myself in the past.

 

I think you misunderstand what I meant. Allow me to clarify: she is not ready to leave him yet. Whether its out of fear, or needing to get some other support system in place first to make her exit safely, she isn't there yet. If she keeps going back, there is something in her that isn't ready to cut the cord. It could be a matter of logistics, a matter of summoning up the courage to inform someone about what is going on, a matter of finding room in a shelter, a matter of not yet accepting that he hasn't changed.

 

We also don't know what his side of the story might be. It's an equally slippery slope to label a situation as abusive (physically, psychologically, etc) when you are hearing only one version of events. You don't know how much of what she tells you about him is completely accurate. This guy might have a very different picture to paint, of a girlfriend who keeps her ex on call at any rough patch in the relationship. He might have legitimate complaints about her behaviour, too. She might have been totally honest about him. She might not have been. Do you have any way to verify that?

 

Whatever the case may be, she is making it clear she doesn't want your help anymore. Should you inform someone close to her? You could, although I would be prepared to then cease all ties forever. Explain your concerns, and then wash your hands of her.

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Women and men are both wired differently:) Let me tell you one thing there is always 2 sides of the story.

 

She is a grown up adult and knows if her partner is abusive she needs to do something about it. Her parents and family even friends are there to seek out support or advice.

So why come to you an ex, its simple you have left some door open for her to seek you. She thinks you are there for her if her current relationship doesn't work out.

It's difficult not to worry about someone you've known for over a decade.

Why are you hung up on a person who is with somebody else? She is not helpless, she can take care of herself and her family is there for support.

Dont waste time on her, there could be many girls out there who may not treat you like a backup, you will be a priority for that person and thats a very healthy relationship you need to work towards.

Block her & Let her go she isnt worth your time. Use the time to work on yourself else you will keep thinking about her as a damsel in distress whom only you in this whole world can help.

Take the higher road man...i know your gut says something is not right about her.

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Hi MissCanuck, thanks for clarifying.

 

everything you say is very on point. And most of all you are absolutely right that it's a slippery slope in both directions. And no, there is no way to verify anything 100%. And yes, the only option left now is to let her go and let her find her way.

 

it's really just about the bad taste in my mouth from this situation. Things just felt odd with her. Things didn't add up. Her behaviour chaotic and anxious. A gut feeling something is not right. Her self blame. Her empty eyes. The crying and asking why he wouldn't just let her go if he hates her so much. Remembering her previous physically abusive relationship. Nothing about this made me go: oh well, he must really be her big love and I'm happy for her they found each other again.

 

Thanks for your input MissCanuck! I'm gonna let resonate the things you said.

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Hi Spawn, thanks for your reply.

 

You are absolutely right, she has been using me as a backup and it's unhealthy. Also unhealthy from me to let that exist. You are right about a door always being a bit open. The thing I have to oppose to is that she has parents, family and friends around her to seek support. Parents not there anymore, the little bit of family she has lives on the other side of the planet. She doesn't have any close friends in the city she moved to. I am pretty sure for her I was one of the few people she can turn to for support and advice. I think I played both roles for her. I know a lot about her and she often mentioned that she feels safe to talk to me about problems, even relationship problems. And I'd listen and support her to do the right thing, whatever that was.

 

You are also very right that there's plenty of opportunity with other women to have a healthy relationship with. But my question is not how or if I could get her back, and I'm not pursuing that even.

 

She hasn't had an easy life and I would hate it if history is repeating itself and she's once again in a bad place. And that is exactly what my gut tells me.

 

At the same time I know there's not much I can do anymore. But it's nice to hear some different opinions when things feel so off and unclear.

 

Thanks for your input Spawn, I will let your words resonate and think about it.

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I'm sorry but nothing you describe sounds like he is abusive and there is no such thing as he won't let her go. What you are describing is two people who aren't done with their relationship. It might be messy and dysfunctional, but they are both in it together willingly.

 

What you really have here is a pretty common argument with couples. One wants to live here, another there. If neither one can yield, the relationship starts to break down.

 

Your lady friend is not the weakling you seem to believe that she is. She wanted to live in the city, so she moved. Got her own place, has a job, has her own means. She is not stuck in some abusive situation, she is dictating what's going on in her life. Him coming up there, staying with her can only happen because she allows it. She has to unlock the door and invite him in, OP, not to mention have him stay with her for as long as he does.

 

They are still in the same standoff they've been in all along. She pulled a power move - I'm leaving and if you love me enough you'll follow. He is kind of doing it, but also staying stubborn about wanting to live where he does - out in the country. So round and round they go. Her trying to force him to move up to town, hoping if he stays with her, he'll learn to like it, him sending flowers, etc wooing her and hoping she'll move back down to country life.

 

Where do you fit in their game? A pawn. If she tells him she'd been chatting up her ex, he might just break and move in with her....or not.... This game will end when they both decide it's going to end and not one second before then. In other words, either one of them will finally yield and move, or more likely, they'll give up and part ways for good.

 

As for you, OP, time to close that door on your ex. Leaving it open is its own toxic game and she knows how to play you and make you come running, the knight in shining armor to the rescue of the damsel in distress.....except this damsel isn't in any distress. It's just a story you want to tell yourself. Maybe take a good look at yourself and why that appeals to you so much. You are creating this "he is an abusive creep" story all too conveniently for yourself without anything to support it in reality. In fact, you are totally disregarding reality to fit your preferred narrative. What's up with that?

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Unfortunately you are just a friend she confides in despite visits and butterflies. She is with this guy, on/off etc. Read up on abusive relationships if you wish to understand those dynamics better.

 

However that is not your dilemma because you know it's abusive, so your question really is ...'when will she leave him for good and come back to me?' And that is what you really wish to know.

 

All the other info is found in abundance online. Your mystery is what she is feeling and confusing a perplexed woman with someone who may be available soon.

It's difficult not to worry about someone you've known for over a decade.
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Hi Dancing fool, thanks for your extensive answer.

 

You are very on point in all that you say. And yes, I am probably seeing or trying to see things that aren't there because of my own feelings being mixed into the situation. It just confuses me how a woman can time and time again tell me that she doesn't like how her boyfriend is treating her, is living like brother and sister, no affection, him destroying her self worth, never committing to fully moving in with her and how she hates the way he makes her feel insecure, also in front of others, and every time she breaks up, tells him it's over and she starts dating other people he starts love-bombing her, refusing to give her keys back and showing up in her house unannounced, is considered as two 'people in this together willingly'. I'll probably never understand that dysfunctional dynamic then.

 

Also yes, I know I am a pawn and she probably used my increased attention for her against him and tried to make him jealous. (for all the reasons you mentioned) It's a painful realisation though, because she sold it to me so well, triggering all the feelings of trust, safety, loyalty and love between me and her.

 

You are right, she isn't in distress, but she sure did pretend to be. She literally told me I should conquer her and get her out of this relationship. But when I did, she destroyed all that was left between us within 48 hours. If this was all a play, I think it's a nasty move on her part and I feel used. Especially after listening to her cry about how ty her boyfriend/relationship is many long nights the past years.

 

You are also on point that I maybe hang on to the story of her of being in distress too much. But like I said, she sold it well. But I don't like to assume the abusive creep scenario at all. I would be much happier if she gave me the feeling that he is in fact her big love and I would be glad that they found each other again. You have to believe me on that one. It's in fact some female friends of mine that pointed out to me that his behaviour came across as creepy to them. Then I started doubting myself and wondering if I'm not connecting the right dots here.

 

Anyway, the conclusion stays the same, I have no business in her life or this situation anymore.

 

Thanks for your insight DancingFool. It helps me see things from a different angle.

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Hi Wiseman2, thanks for you answer.

 

What you say makes sense. But do I understand your answer is in fact 'yes'?

 

As for reading up on (mentally) abusive relationships, the top signs of abuse are:

 

- ignoring the fact that the partner broke up and keep acting like you're still together

- keeping control by not returning house keys and showing up inside their house uninvited/unannounced

- keep some kind of financial control by still paying part of the rent

- unsolicited gifts and favours

- destroying someones self worth

- withholding affection

- isolating from friends

 

etc the list goes and and he ticks all the boxes (from what I hear from you)

 

However, most of the answers here tell me that I'm seeing this all wrong and I'm trying to see things that aren't there.

 

Would you care to collaborate a bit more on how you see this?

 

And I will think about your statement if my real question is if she will leave him for good anytime soon and if I'll hear from her again then.

 

 

Thanks for your insight Wiseman2, I will let your words resonate too and if you can elaborate a bit more why you see things differently than most people here I'd be happy to hear.

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Hi Dancing fool, thanks for your extensive answer.

 

You are very on point in all that you say. And yes, I am probably seeing or trying to see things that aren't there because of my own feelings being mixed into the situation. It just confuses me how a woman can time and time again tell me that she doesn't like how her boyfriend is treating her, is living like brother and sister, no affection, him destroying her self worth, never committing to fully moving in with her and how she hates the way he makes her feel insecure, also in front of others, and every time she breaks up, tells him it's over and she starts dating other people he starts love-bombing her, refusing to give her keys back and showing up in her house unannounced, is considered as two 'people in this together willingly'. I'll probably never understand that dysfunctional dynamic then.

 

Also yes, I know I am a pawn and she probably used my increased attention for her against him and tried to make him jealous. (for all the reasons you mentioned) It's a painful realisation though, because she sold it to me so well, triggering all the feelings of trust, safety, loyalty and love between me and her.

 

You are right, she isn't in distress, but she sure did pretend to be. She literally told me I should conquer her and get her out of this relationship. But when I did, she destroyed all that was left between us within 48 hours. If this was all a play, I think it's a nasty move on her part and I feel used. Especially after listening to her cry about how ty her boyfriend/relationship is many long nights the past years.

 

You are also on point that I maybe hang on to the story of her of being in distress too much. But like I said, she sold it well. But I don't like to assume the abusive creep scenario at all. I would be much happier if she gave me the feeling that he is in fact her big love and I would be glad that they found each other again. You have to believe me on that one. It's in fact some female friends of mine that pointed out to me that his behaviour came across as creepy to them. Then I started doubting myself and wondering if I'm not connecting the right dots here.

 

Anyway, the conclusion stays the same, I have no business in her life or this situation anymore.

 

Thanks for your insight DancingFool. It helps me see things from a different angle.

 

Look, if she was destitute, without a job, stuck living with him, etc, then I'd be on board that maybe she needs help.

 

However, she wanted to leave, she left. She has a job, she has her own place. The keys? Come on....she can change her locks any day she wants. She is not stupid. And how did he get keys to her place in the first place? She invited him, she gave them to him. Not the actions of a woman who wants to leave a relationship. Sorry. This is all game playing on HER part. If she was serious about wanting him out of her life, she'd change her lock and call the cops if he showed up banging on her door. Harsh truth is that she is very much encouraging him and inviting him in.

 

What's in bold is one heck of a manipulative move on her part with. Look, she is actively, intentionally triangulating you with her bf. It's cold and calculated. Your personal poison/weakness is her playing up the pity card. Poor her, such a victim. You don't even know if anything she tells you is even remotely true, but it pulls on your emotional strings and gets the reactions she wants.

 

Please, for your own sake, block and delete her at long last. This woman isn't a victim. She is a toxic perpetrator. Sorry, but that's what this looks like from the neutral seats. She is a master manipulator and you are hooked hard on that. Only way out for you is to block, delete, and let go for good, forever.

 

As for your female friends commenting that some of the things he does is creepy... Going to speak as a woman that I am here. Creepy is a matter of perspective. When you don't like the guy, EVERYTHING he does is creepy. When you like the guy, EVERYTHING he does is cute and romantic...gasp....look how he is chasing me....he must care sooo much......he is willing to climb mountains and cross oceans just for me.....sigh....soooo romantic. Yup it really is like that. Bottom line being very simple - if she wanted to shut him down, she'd do it in a heartbeat. She is NOT dependent on him in any way shape or form. She is the one calling the shots here. Not him.

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Hi DancingFool, thanks again for your extensive reply and added simplification.

 

You are 100% right about that if you look at it that way she does not seem to be not in control of her life at all. And that is at the same time what confuses me.

 

Because YES she is strong enough to move to the city on her own and build a new life and tell him it's over (and have him running after her like a puppy).

 

Then why , would she not push through and break it off right at that moment, if she's so strong? Because she loves him, but not enough to stay in the country side?

 

Then why would she complain long nights that after he 'can't let go of her' whenever he stays at her place all they do is fight, she's constantly mad with him, that they live like brother and sister and he only makes her feel like terrible, rejected, unattractive, destroys her self esteem and that she cries WHY DOESN'T HE JUST LET ME GO?? That she calls him her ex and he keeps calling her his girlfriend. Why is she then not strong enough to change the locks and force a real break-up if he is treating her so terribly? Is that by choice? Does she actually like him to treat her like this? Is that something she's just telling me / faking all that? (But with what goal?)

 

If she secretly really loves him soooo much why doesn't she just move in with him in the country side and make babies? Wouldn't that be way more important than 'living in the city'?

 

Or is all the talk about how terrible he treats her and how he keeps harassing her by showing up uninvited in her house all lies to manipulate me?

 

 

I'm sorry if I keep asking more questions but I'm just puzzled and confused about what is what and why she would have painted a false picture to me all this time.

 

I hope you would explain this to me?

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You seem to want to believe that if her relationship is abusive, she will leave him for good and you'll have a chance with her. However, she may leave if it's not abusive, she may stay if it is abusive. She may find someone local whether it's abusive or not. So the question of defining abuse is academic.

And I will think about your statement if my real question is if she will leave him for good anytime soon and if I'll hear from her again then.
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Hi DancingFool, thanks again for your extensive reply and added simplification.

 

You are 100% right about that if you look at it that way she does not seem to be not in control of her life at all. And that is at the same time what confuses me.

 

Because YES she is strong enough to move to the city on her own and build a new life and tell him it's over (and have him running after her like a puppy).

 

Then why , would she not push through and break it off right at that moment, if she's so strong? Because she loves him, but not enough to stay in the country side?

 

Then why would she complain long nights that after he 'can't let go of her' whenever he stays at her place all they do is fight, she's constantly mad with him, that they live like brother and sister and he only makes her feel like terrible, rejected, unattractive, destroys her self esteem and that she cries WHY DOESN'T HE JUST LET ME GO?? That she calls him her ex and he keeps calling her his girlfriend. Why is she then not strong enough to change the locks and force a real break-up if he is treating her so terribly? Is that by choice? Does she actually like him to treat her like this? Is that something she's just telling me / faking all that? (But with what goal?)

 

If she secretly really loves him soooo much why doesn't she just move in with him in the country side and make babies? Wouldn't that be way more important than 'living in the city'?

 

Or is all the talk about how terrible he treats her and how he keeps harassing her by showing up uninvited in her house all lies to manipulate me?

 

 

I'm sorry if I keep asking more questions but I'm just puzzled and confused about what is what and why she would have painted a false picture to me all this time.

 

I hope you would explain this to me?

 

Because she is disordered, toxic, and manipulative. There is literally NOTHING that she says that you can believe because....her words do not match her actions. It's really that simple.

 

Yes, she is playing you by playing alleged victim. Again - it works on you. It makes you jump at her beck and call.

 

Stop trying to understand and untangle what you cannot - a crazy person - and that's putting it politely. You can't understand that, you can't untangle that skein, you aren't an exprienced psychiatrist who specializes in her brand of crazy. The only thing you can untangle is yourself and what is attracting you to this toxic drama. After all, this is none of your business. Where are your boundaries? Why aren't you pushing the block and delete button?

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You seem to want to believe that if her relationship is abusive, she will leave him for good and you'll have a chance with her. However, she may leave if it's not abusive, she may stay if it is abusive. She may find someone local whether it's abusive or not. So the question of defining abuse is academic.

 

Hi Wiseman2.. true... true.. 100% true.

 

I think I'm in denial that I've been played so hard then?

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Because she is disordered, toxic, and manipulative. There is literally NOTHING that she says that you can believe because....her words do not match her actions. It's really that simple.

 

Yes, she is playing you by playing alleged victim. Again - it works on you. It makes you jump at her beck and call.

 

Stop trying to understand and untangle what you cannot - a crazy person - and that's putting it politely. You can't understand that, you can't untangle that skein, you aren't an exprienced psychiatrist who specializes in her brand of crazy. The only thing you can untangle is yourself and what is attracting you to this toxic drama. After all, this is none of your business. Where are your boundaries? Why aren't you pushing the block and delete button?

 

True.. true.. thanks for pointing that out. I am helped by your confirming that her words don't match her actions. That's what causes the confusion.

 

What made/keeps me invested is that she made me fall in love with her again. And she did it in an extremely powerful way, pushing all my buttons by playing into still existing feelings of trust, safety, loyalty, love, understanding. It's hard to resist especially combined with heavy flirting and sexual innuendo.

 

Like I wrote in another answer, I'm probably in denial how I have been played.

 

Thanks DancingFool for your insight.

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The reasons behind why someone continues to participate in abusive relationships are very complex. There are likely some deep seating emotional reasons why.

 

It would be helpful if you viewed this as a drug addiction. It's similar in a lot of ways.

 

You can't help them if they aren't ready. They have to recognize they have a problem and what they are doing no longer works. And it often has to be really bad, or hit rock bottom before they get that wake up call for change. And they have to want to change bad enough.

 

She's not there. . not even close.

 

It's not something you can relate to, much like you probably couldn't understand why someone would drink themselves to death after losing every thing, including their family, job and home.

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The reasons behind why someone continues to participate in abusive relationships are very complex. There are likely some deep seating emotional reasons why.

 

It would be helpful if you viewed this as a drug addiction. It's similar in a lot of ways.

 

You can't help them if they aren't ready. They have to recognize they have a problem and what they are doing no longer works. And it often has to be really bad, or hit rock bottom before they get that wake up call for change. And they have to want to change bad enough.

 

She's not there. . not even close.

 

It's not something you can relate to, much like you probably couldn't understand why someone would drink themselves to death after losing every thing, including their family, job and home.

 

Hi reinventmyself, thanks for chiming in.

 

What exactly makes you come to the conclusion she is indeed in an abusive relationship? I'm asking because a lot of answers here point out that she might be the abuser/manipulator herself.

 

Your remark about similarities with a drug addiction make a lot of sense.

 

In a way it feels like she finally (if you want to keep with the drinking metaphor) declared she was sober and wanted to see me, but by the time I arrived she already had started drinking again. And instead of admitting she has a problem, she started shouting and chased me away so I would not interfere and she could go back to the cafe and her drinking buddies, undisturbed by someone who hoped she got sober.

 

Thanks for your insight could you elaborate more why you actually think she IS being abused?

(Again, because most people here tend to see it the other way around?, just curious to know you're thinking process also)

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