Abusive Relationships/To leave or not to leave
I have been in a serious relationship with my boyfriend for about a year. This guy is one of a kind. He understands the emotional and physical needs and desires of a woman, dedicated to me. Lives to stay involved and constantly wanting to talk about problems and challenges I face and best ways to solve them so I can be the best Mary I can be truly wanting me to be happy. Qualities that would definatly make our bond turn into marriage.. The past few months however have seen lots of arguing. I hate criticism and do not handle these things well so I may throw things or hit myself with an object (I realize not healthy and looks very manic) he will run at me grabbing me by my head at hair line or base of head and slam me to ground pulling pushing yanking! The other hand is used for grabbing pushing yanking etc.... Just about anything but punishing. Has caused so much pain and fear there have been times when I thought it would kill me. Instantly, that man I know my love, returns and is sick with regret and apologies. I know him. And he feels bad about these episodes. Can love exist at the same time? Will this stop or is a use forever. They say once abusive, always abusive. I can't leave the man I love that I mentioned in the beg of this inquiry
Thank you for writing and asking about your situation. Your question can love exist at the same time as abuse and the answer is NO. Abuse and control are not love. The emotional and physical needs that you are feeling are coming from a person who needs control over you, your emotions and behaviors. The proof of this is when you don’t act like he wants you to act, he gets angry, criticizes and attacks you. This man most likely needs to control others for his sense of well-being even though he comes across as understanding your emotional and physical needs.
In either case, for someone to place their hands on you, pull your hair, grab you by the head, slam you to the ground, push and yank you and creating this much fear and pain is a dangerous man. Usually this type of behavior will escalate over time and may cause more harm or death. And it is pretty common for folks as such to apologize afterwards and feel sick with regret but continue to repeat this behavior again and again. There is nothing you can do help or change him.
This is NOT your fault that he behaves in this manner and he will most likely NEVER change. I know that you enjoy the good times which is what you love about him but living with wondering when he is going to harm you again does NOT provide you with a safe and secure feeling.
Looking at the whole package in a relationship is necessary to determine how healthy it is and if this relationship will provide love, peace and joy in your life. Learning to give yourself the feelings that you crave from him will help you readjust your emotional attachment to him as well.
Here are a couple of websites that will provide you with more information and people to talk with that I would recommend for you:
Seeing a professional counselor who understands attachments to abuse will also help you sort out these issues of what real love is and love that feels like love but really is control. Also, if you decide to leave this man, I would also strongly suggest that you create a “safety plan” for the breakup. These type of folks do NOT break up and let go very easily because they like and need that control over you. Contacting your local domestic violence organization will help you understand and create a plan for your safety free of charge. You can call the clerk’s office at the court house to get local phone numbers for these organizations. Here is another website to help you with these issues: http://www.thehotline.org/get-help/safety-planning/
Reaching out to understand that you are in dangerous relationship is the first step towards creating a happier and more joyful life for yourself. Please keep asking questions as you go along and getting support from those who understand will help you through this. Staying safe and free from harm and moving towards a life of love, peace and joy is the goal.
Just remember, you deserve the very best in life and you have the power to make that happen. Understanding and learning what "real" love is will give you the life that you are looking for.
Much peace to you,
Cathy Backlund, Life Coach, Specializing in Abusive Relationships and Domestic Violence Education