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Thread: Going back to an abusive partner

  1. #1
    Unregistered Guest

    Going back to an abusive partner

    Hi, my girlfriend and I recently broke up so that she could go back to her ex, we're still in contact and on relatively good terms. He was alcoholic, mentally abusive, and physically abusive. She has children with him, and wants to go back to him to try to have an unbroken family. They were separated for one year, he's been off the alcohol for 6 months, and has now convinced her that he won't be abusive again (he always used alcohol as an excuse for the abuse).

    Has anyone been in the same or similar situation as her, and went back to an abusive ex?

    Did it or didn't it work?
    Did the abuse reoccur?
    What advice would you give her?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    NYC
    Posts
    14,201
    idk man, im skeptical. this is an abuse survivors site so we dont have many happy families here and my perspective might be biased, but here are some random thoughts:

    first, six months isnt enough for addiction recovery. its a good start if its true, but its far from finish yet. now its september, so he quit drinking in march. id like to see how he handles the holiday season, at least. a lot of addicts relapse between thanksgiving and new years, cuz its a stressful time for everyone, and it will be his first sober holidays. id like to see how he manages it, before considering any relationship decisions.

    second, im sorry being a party pooper, but both partners in an abusive relationship need therapy. both got problems, both are doing the whole relationship thing wrong, and need to learn how to do it right. abuse means lack of problem-solving, lack of communication/negotiation/etc. he likes to get wasted and beat her up whenever theres a problem, whenever hes unhappy about something. and she likes to sweep problems under the rug, walk on eggshells, and pretend everything is fine even if it isnt. both approaches sum up to avoidance and lack of conflict resolution skills. and complement each other: he can only beat her up if she pretends its not happening, and she can only pretend its not happening if he allows her to. a healthy partner wouldnt let her act as if nothing is wrong when he senses theres a problem, cuz a healthy partner believes that whatever is the problem it can be resolved, and wants to resolve it. while an abusive partner believes the only way to maintain the relationship is if she shuts up and pretends everything is fine. so they are enabling each other, and shes going back to him cuz thats the only way she knows to have a relationship. im not saying shes doomed to be a victim of domestic violence for the rest of her life, but she cant learn any other pattern of behavior while staying in the same relationship, even if the violence and alcoholism stop (which is statistically unlikely). and he's just as unlikely to learn any other pattern of behavior while staying with her. its like learning to swim while sitting on shore, just doesnt work this way.

    and third, something that many people dont realize and/or dont wanna hear of. when two adults have custody of a child, both of them are responsible for the child's well-being. and if he hurts the child, she could be held responsible as well, for knowingly placing the child in an unsafe environment, for not contacting child protective services, not calling police/ambulance, etc. it can and does happen: he beats up her and a kid, and she goes from ICU to jail and then to prison for 20-30 years. even though she never touched the child and even though she herself is the victim. cuz her relationship choices are her business, shes an adult, but a child doesnt have a choice where to live, and its her job as a mother to ensure the child's safety. making a child live in the same household with a violent alcoholic is a form of neglect; if the child isnt physically harmed, she can lose custody, and if the child is physically harmed (usually happens on accident), she can go to prison for a coupla decades. im not saying its a good arrangement or a bad arrangement, im just sharing what the arrangement is. just something to consider.
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  3. The following 3 users say thank you to Manya for this useful post:

    MadelaineJennae (09-08-2016),Tasha1701D (09-07-2016),weepingwillow (09-07-2016)

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Posts
    3
    I went back to my abusive ex boyfriend again and again for four and a half years. It never worked out for me. I would get lonely and he would call me back by telling me I wouldn't get anyone else. And I was so broken, I believed him. Sometimes it takes someone telling you to get out. But sometimes it takes a lot more. Your girlfriend (ex?) is very lucky to have someone like you who shows concern and care. All you can do is be there for her and be there when she needs you.

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