Abusive Relationships/Confused about a break up, wondering if it was an abusive relationship.
I had been dating my ex for about 4 years. We have broken up several times over the years and have had a lot of different issues like cheating and lying and a lot of fighting. I cheated on and left my husband for this guy and things between him and I started off really good. We spent a lot of time together at first then slowly he started spending more and more time with friends and at the bars. He wouldn't come home until early morning hours and when I would tell him I was upset he would just get mad at me because I wouldn't let him sleep..he was drunk and didn't care is what he would say. He punched walls and would walk out and leave for hours or drive off and be gone for hours to days. I would always call him crying and beg him to come back. Then we stopped living together for awhile. Things seemed to get better so we tried living together again. Again things started off good and then turned into a bad situation. We were fighting and he was accusing me of cheating (which he did from the begining of the relationship.) After all the fighting we broke up again and I found out he had cheated on me and lied to me for a year. Telling me all the while "I would NEVER hurt you like that I would never do that to you." There was one time that when we fought he almost hit me, stopped himself but his fist was on my face. After this break up I really wanted to be done. He started to almost stalk me. Randomly showing up at work and other places. Then again things slowed down he said he would change he would do anything to be with me so we again got back together. We stopped living together for a short time then moved back in together. Things were ok. We decided to give each other a clean slate. We were doing fine but then I was catching him in lies. He was on dating websites and talking to other women. Telling me it was my fault he was talking to them. Lying about staying at work but then going out with friends. I would catch him in a lie and he would basically say he didn't care. He would say sorry and move on. Or he would leave for a few hours come back and act like nothing had happened. In the 6 months that we lived together this last time we had 2 physical fights. He again almost hit me both of those times. Instead he punched a wall and punched the TV. I told him to leave. I was done. He then called me and made verbal threats that he was going to harm me in some way.
Basically I know that it was not a healthy relationship. But I find myself wanting to be with him regardless. We have kids together and my kids miss their dad. I am confused because I don't know how to move on from here. I know it was a bad relationship but how do you get yourself to stop loving someone even if he was maybe abusive.
Thank you for writing and asking for understanding of what is going on and ideas of what to do. Violent and unhealthy relationships as such can be very difficult to leave and move on from because of the intensity. The good times were probably just as intense as the bad which may have kept you hanging on hoping that change would happen because of not wanting to let go of the good times. Unfortunately, change is very hard for many people even if it creates unhealthy actions such as lying, cheating and fighting which is part of living life with intensity.
Accepting that he will most likely NEVER change may help you to finally let go and move on with your life. The emotional harm being around this type of intensity can negatively impact you and your kids for a very long time. The trust level can never be formed properly being around these type of behaviors leaving you with high levels of anxiety.
I would recommend seeing a professional counselor who understands this type of relationship intensity to help you readjust your desire for this type of connection. This will also help your kids learn more healthy relationship connections as well. An online counselor that I would recommend is Jennifer Young at http://saferelationshipsmagazine.com/healing-the-after-math-column-jennifer-youn
Jennifer is very familiar and understands this intense attachment and may be able to help you let go and move on for a happier and healthier life. There is also lots of good information on this website as well.
Please write again with any questions you may have and remember, you deserve the very best in life and have the power to make that happen. Moving forward to create a healthy life for you and your kids is the goal which will provide the more peaceful and loving life you are looking for.
Much peace to you,
Cathy Backlund, Life Coach Specializing in Abusive Relationships and Domestic Violence Education