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Is it OK to go back?

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Just when I think I'm over him and I think that I am finally taking charge of my life - surviving all the "joyful holidays", going back to the workforce (not just a job but a career) and living a life without him -- the feeling of wanting him back is haunting me.


Is it really not good to go back to a relationship that I've decided to turn my back on? Don't you just really feel that sometimes, it hurts so much to be on your own, to be alone, to be broken instead of being whole... I mean, I am still married, have left my husband who was physically, verbally, mentally, emotionally abusive.


But it wasn't at all bad in the beginning, and it wasn't all the time bad. He had his moments. We had so many great memories, trips, places we went to... He was loving, generous, responsible, a good provider.


The first instance of physical abuse was when I was pregnant with our daughter. He had slapped me and pushed me down.


When I had upset him, he had our cable disconnected and donated our television to a local thrift store. I was a stay-at-home mom then and we were living north of the border (I had left my family here in the States to live with him) and my only connection back home was watching Good Morning America and CNN. He decided to buy the tv back when we were ok again.


I had upset him one night and it was so bad. He tried to drag me out of the house and wanted me to leave without our baby. Of course I fought hard to stay inside with my daughter. He kept my daughter's passport.


He ordered me to sleep in the couch while he and our daughter slept in the bedroom. He took the laptop, cellphone, carkeys, and cordless phone inside the room. I couldn't sleep that night for fear that he might leave with my daughter or that he might drag me out of the house and lock me out while I slept. When he was sleeping, I thought of filling my baby's diaper bag with my purse, my passport, checkbook, other important documents, diaper, baby food, baby clothes, water and juice for my baby. (I was planning our escape).


In the morning, I was so sleepy but he forced me to do the household chores. He called me lazy and all sorts of names. I kept quiet so as not to upset him. I tried to gain his trust because he was watching my every move. That night when he was sleeping and my daughter wanted a late snack, I decided to escape quietly. Oh my God. It was so scary. It was midnight, spring time so it was kind of cold. I tried knocking on our neighbor's doors (we live in an apt complex). I was shaking out of fear and cold. No one was answering. Luckily someone did. I called the police from there and told them that I left the house with our daughter so as not to trigger an Amber alert.


He found us after about a couple of days. He was very sweet and apologetic but I was confused and my family back home was incessant that I leave him. I left with his blessings because I told him that I just needed some time off but will be back in a couple of weeks or days.


Long story already --- I'm back in California with my parents and brothers. We are very closely knit and they are so against my plans or even hints of going back. It's been almost a year now and he has not stopped begging and pleading that we go back but he doesn't want to get help (neither therapy nor counselling). He is unemployed now and I pity him because his reason for not getting a job is because he is depressed we're not there with him.


Is it really that bad? He seems so apologetic and sincere while I am lonely and very undecided. I feel so hurt inside.


Help please.

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Please listen to your family. Please don't listen to him. He is doing everything you would expect of someone like him. You have taken away control and he cannot handle it. He resorts to whimpering and pleading but you will pay for what he perceives as your betrayal tenfold if you were to ever go back to him.


How desperately he wants you back in his control. How desperately he wants to make you pay for what you have done to him.


Please stay with your family.

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No, please don't go back. He did horrible, terrible, abusive things to you.


When I started to read this post, I thought "well, fair enough, if he's sought a lot of help, really addressed his behaviour, had professional input, understands why he behaved like that, is working hard to change etc" - then, maybe, *maybe* you might have wanted to talk about this.


But he hasn't. He hasn't done anything at all to change. He wants you back, but hasn't put in any work at all. You suffered a profound betrayal of trust by the way he treated you. Healing is a long process, and I understand your temptation to think back to the beginnning and wonder about going back to him. But seriously - what has changed/will change?


There are perpetrator programmes he COULD have gone on to learn about his behaviour and try to change:

link removed


But - and I don't often give this kind of stark advice - seriously, I don't think you should think about going back to him. He's abusive and controlling, and from your post I can't see what's changed or would change.


I'm sorry you've had such a tough time - focus on yourself, and your child. Not him.


Take good care

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here's one thing people should know about abuse intervention programs for abusers. they don't work!! often, abusers will voluntarily and willing go into an abuse prevention program to make it seem like they are changing or to get the courts off their back. once in the programs, they learn from other abusers and also from what they are taught in the programs, even more hidden ways to abuse. that's right.....the abuse does not go away, it changes into more subtle and hideous forms. for example, if you complain how he doesn't buy infant formula for the baby at the grocery milk, he will say "you're abusing me! i'm trying so hard to change. i've got such good reviews, you're the only one who can't see it" etc.


They learn NEW ways to abuse in intervention programs. Very few abusers ever change. 1. They don't think they did anything wrong even though they might say they do. 2. They themselves, do not want to change.


If someone has sunk to such depths as to treat their gf/wife like that......do you really think that person is someone who is going to "change?"


There is just so much misinformation about abuse that it bothers me. I know that in our fair and just hearts, yes, we want to believe people can "change" but believe me...very very few abusers do. Change takes tremendous effort, determination, persistence...and these are patterns of behavior that are deeply ingrained in the abuser. Without their own motivation to do so......it doesn't happen.


and also......here is the thing about going back. If you were to go back and you ever wanted out again.......you will have a very very very hard time trying to escape. Think about this........he accidentally let you escape once from outside his control and power. If he were to get you back again......he wouldn't be so careless, he would cover his bases even more, and this means, you will have an even harder time trying to get away.....if at all.


If your pet dog escape from inside a fenced pen and ran off for a few months, what would you do if he came back? How would you prevent him escaping again? You would build an even higher fence right? Bingo. This time it would be lockdown.

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Hi There and Welcome to Enotalone.


First I want to congratulate you on leaving a dangerous and abusive situation, and staying away! As you have discovered, it is no easy feat to escape and start over with a new life, but you have done just that and should be very proud of yourself.


Please listen when I say that there is NO WAY that you should be going back to this man. He is NOT a good man, he is someone who abused, controlled, and manipulated you. Someone who treats you this way does not love you- I hope that you can recognize that- it is all about control to him, and right now he is furious that you took that control away from him by leaving.


You have a young daughter to think about here. Ask yourself, if she were older and in a relationship with a man like this, what would you tell her? Would you want her to go back? Ask yourself why family and friends are afraid of the idea that you return to him and are against it. Those are the people whom really love you and have your best interests at heart.


If he is still harassing you after a year to come back, it's time to put in a call to the police and get a restraining order. No one has the right to push and harass you.


I was in an abusive relationship for 5 years with a man whom I lived with but thankfully, never had children with. I know it is hard to get out and start over, but you have made tremendous progress and should be very proud. Please don't backtrack all that progress by even considering taking someone like that back. You deserve so much more, and there is a reason that you snuck away with your baby- because you both deserve to feel safe, loved, and respected.


I hope you will seriously reconsider. Remember how all those things you wrote about that he did to you made you feel.

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This is a very dangerous man. He took your phones among other things into the room and held you PRISONER! Unlawful Detention!! If you go back to this relationship you could end up DEAD. Please don't be one of those people who says, "that could never happen to me". Nobody thinks it could be them, it's only the people on the news...think again.

You have made a tremendous, corageous step to end the awful life you were in..I am proud of you! Being lonely is hard, I know, but if you could just hold out a bit longer, it WILL get better. I agree that you should take out a restraining order against this monster. Don't fall for his manipulative ways. When we are lonely, we only remember the "loving" and fun times. If you start to miss him, just look at your own post and remember the hell he put you through. You will have another chance at a loving relationship with someone else...it may not feel like it, buy you will. You met your husband right? You will meet someone else eventually, but please work on loving yourself. Your abuser has crushed your self-esteem, he had no right! Take it back.

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Is it really that bad? He seems so apologetic and sincere while I am lonely and very undecided. I feel so hurt inside.


Help please.


Yes. It really is that bad. And if you go back to him, you are not only endangering your life, but your daughter's. Please read this article if you still have any doubts about your decision to stay away from him: link removed

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Thank you for all your meaningful advice. I will carefully consider all your suggestions. It really is hard to talk about something like this but I'm glad to have found a community wherein I can be myself and just pour my heart out.




I am glad that you came back- this a great place for support and just to be heard, and a bonus is that it is mostly anonymous so if there is something that you need help with but don't feel comfortable talking about with those close to you, you can get that here.


I hope you will come back and update us.

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I am not here to say not to go back cuz thats your choice and i cant tell you what to do. But really do you want to be treated like that again, let your baby be in a living area like that?

Yes you may of had heaps of wonderful times together but really the bad over take that right?

Wouldnt your rather feel safe and alone, than scared all the time and with this guy?

If that was me i wouldnt go back i wouldnt let this guy keep hurting me like that. You deserve to be happy not scared for your life all the time.

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Hi darling,


I've been there, and will NEVER go there again.


My best advice: if someone you knew came and told you this story, what advice would you give them? You'd tell them to run like crazy and never return. So why do you deserve less than that?


You and your daughter do not need to live like that. Life doesn't have to be a constant struggle. They choose it to be, it has nothing to do with you.


Find yourself, take care of yourself, and stay far away from him. Abuse intervention programs don't work I'm afraid. My abusive ex went to them, counseling, anger management, even hypnosis...then he'd come home and abuse me.


Don't risk it. I did, and it's a thousand times harder to escape the second time. Once your prized dog jumps the fence, what do you do?...you build a higher fence so it won't escape again. The same thing is true in these relationships.

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i've been in that situation before, where the abuser asked me to come back. make a stance. say NO.


i can kind of see where you are in your process of getting away from him. i too remember a time where i said " when he's not being abusive, he's there for me, sometimes he's nice, what about the good times etc."


but after time passes....you realize it all wasn't worth it and that the good times really weren't that good and the bad times were way worse than you let yourself believe.


you'll be surprised at the changes in your thinking, feelings, and strength as time goes on. you'll be surprised at how much better you feel, how much clearer you think, and how disgusted you are by him.

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As I kept on reading through all your replies, it made me think about how crazy I was to even think of going back after all the miserable hell I went through -- What in the world was I thinking?


You all made me feel stronger. You just don't know what tremendous effect your words had on me. Forgive me though, if I sounded so wimpy on my post. Thank you all for cheering me on.


OK, so I will never go back to where I was. I will never let him sweet talk me into coming back and I will officially cut my ties from this man. I have in fact told him that we're not coming back and we should file a divorce soon.


Should I be the one to file the divorce? Should I even let him see our daughter? What do you think I should do? But that's another topic, another forum, I guess. Anyway, if you guys even come to reading this and have an idea, please let me know or direct me to where should I go....

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I think you have made a great decision Sweet Jasmine. I love it when members of eNot make smart decisions!!


Yes you should file for divorce, from what you say he never will and the filing is actually a pretty simple process.


Re. the kids. I doubt you'll have any choice but to allow him access. Courts nowadays rarely grant sole custody unless the is a chance that one parent may physically harm or expose the children to physical harm.


Really your first stop should be to a trusted lawyer to get advice on all your options and the best way to play them out.

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I am so glad that you came back to let us know how you were doing. It sounds as though you feel much stronger and more resolved to keeping yourself and your children safe- and that is excellent.


Melrich is right- speak to a good attorney about your children and the divorce, and he or she will help you & the court make the best choices for the children.


Hope you will keep us updated!

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You all made me feel stronger. You just don't know what tremendous effect your words had on me. Forgive me though, if I sounded so wimpy on my post. Thank you all for cheering me on.


Hey girl...well, you don't know how good it makes me feel to hear you put your wellbeing, and your daughter's, first. Although I don't know you personally, it gave me a tremendous feeling of relief. Probably because, like a lot of other posters on this thread, I've been in an abusive relationship. I well remember the conflicting feelings of fear, anger, hope, and guilt. It's an awful mix of feelings I wouldn't wish on anybody.


There are a lot of people on eNotalone who have been in abusive relationships - both women AND men, I'd like to add - who completely understand what you are going through. I can assure you that you will always find the support and objective feedback you need here, as you embark on a new chapter in your life. It's not going to always be easy. You've probably still got some rocky moments ahead. But never forget you and your daughter are physically safe now. You've got eNotalone, and it sounds like you've got a pretty amazing family, as well.

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When I left my abusive ex, I had periods when I felt the same way. Missing the good moments and wishing for the person I fell in love with back. I sometimes wondered if I just tried a bit harder it might have changed.


But then I realize, I did everything I could to make things work and only got abuse back. He always promised better but only gave worse. His words were not worth anything but false hope.


Now I have a new guy in my life. He treats me well without those awful lows. I am happier with him. I feel just loved, instead of alternating between love and hate. And its a much much much better place to be.


So cling to your hopes of having someone in your life, just make sure you find someone who treats you the way you deserve without the unreasonable pain and abuse.

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you made a good choice. no one deserves to live in a situation with abuse. even if there are good moments, we deserve to have those moments without fear, violence, pain, or hurt experienced from someone who supposedly "loves" us. the truth is, no one who loves you would ever treat you like that.


you are being a friend to yourself. you are loving yourself by keeping yourself safe. also.....abusers also have a habit of turning children against their mothers. there are a variety of tactics abusers can use to foster disrespect for the mother, to use the children against the mother, to hurt the children knowing that this hurts the mom, to stop children from listening to their mother.....ETC. so many sick games.


much better to stay away.

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Hello. I let my ex back in and after a few weeks he was back to his abusive ways. For no apparent reason, he was screaming profanities at me and pointing his finger in my face. I asked him to leave, he left. A few weeks later, I gave in, I let him in again. He was loving, caring, cooking dinner, whispering sweet nothings in my ear, the whole 9 yards. What do you think happened after 3 weeks? In a nutshell, here I am 8 times later, starting at square one...alone again, depressed, confused, feeling like I was hit by a tornado. Why did I subject myself to this you ask? Why would you?

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because it's hard for rational people like us to believe that the sweetness isn't genuine and that they would prefer to act like a ranting, angry maniac than a normal person. it's hard to believe that they choose to flip faces like that when life could be so good, they rather create drama and then blame us for all of it.


not normal. i figure he has a personality disorder or some major emotional problems. but it's not up to me to fix it, i just want out.


i've heard of women who've stayed trying to fix their man for 20, 25+ years, trying to get him to "change"....and in the end, it was a waste of time and also their youth. when they could have gotten out early, taken that time to explore relationships with someone who treated them right......they wasted the time trying to get him to be different only to have to leave decades later.

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Mint, maybe we can be one anothers strength. This isnt easy. My friends tell me they dont even want to talk to me if I let him back again. They are so frustrated. I am a kind person. I want to live. That is my motivation. I dont want to die at his hands. When I'm in a hole and my kids are motherless and broken hearted, he'll get away with it..."a crime of passion." It seems you and I have already made the right decision, we just need emotional support. Also, if this helps, if people could be so mean and cruel to Jesus Christ, then what makes me believe that it couldn't happen to me? We are good people. Our biggest fault is kindness and not protecting ourselves...and loving someone else more than we love our own selves. We need learn the love of our lives is the self.

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