General Question

Kokoro's avatar

Am I holding on to my abusive ex?

Asked by Kokoro (1419points) March 2nd, 2010

My ex emotionally abused me for almost two years. When we broke up, he pleaded me to come back to him but eventually I guess he lost hope and I heard he was flirting/dating another girl. After so much pain and proof that he has issues, I still have this part inside me that wants to help him, help him realize and get help for his emotional abusive tendencies.

Why am I thinking like this? I should hate him, yet I still want the best for him. Is this me holding on and having difficulty letting go? We live in a small city, I can’t move away or pretend he doesn’t exist. What can one do in this situation?

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21 Answers

partyparty's avatar

He has really played with your feelings. He has moved on, and I suggest you do the same.
Instead of remembering the good times you had, stick with the memories of all the abuse he gave you. Good luck

SheWasAll_'s avatar

I know exactly what you are going through. My ex emotionally abused me for nearly a year until I finally had the courage to end it and walk away. Yet when I found out that he had a new girlfriend just a few months later, it crushed me. Most of me does hate him now but at the time I was still holding on to him. The way I’ve moved on from it is I’ve severed all ties to him and just focused on myself. It’s the best thing you can do for yourself. Make your world all about you and not about “helping” him. Besides, if you can’t help yourself, how in the world are you supposed to help someone who truly needs and wants your help?

Kokoro's avatar

@partyparty I’m guessing he has either moved on, or she was a rebound to distract him from the pain of the break up.

Kokoro's avatar

@SheWasAll_ Thanks. I’ve severed all ties to him, but as I said earlier I can’t REALLY do that as it’s a small city and since we work in the same company per se, I may have to see him from time to time.

thriftymaid's avatar

Just because someone hurts you and you distance yourself from them doesn’t automatically follow that all feelings die. Of course you care. Just don’t confuse that with a desire to be with him. You know he isn’t good for you. Try not to think you are the one who can help him; he will have to do that for himself.

CMaz's avatar


“I still have this part inside me that wants to help him, help him realize and get help for his emotional abusive tendencies.”

Talk to someone… And, RUN AWAY! Get as far away as possible from this person.

LuckyGuy's avatar

STOP!!! Why on earth would you want any relationship with an abuser? Is that the best you think you can do? Aren’t there other nice guys you can meet? He was/is an abuser! He should not be given the chance to procreate. (Especially with you.)
Find someone nice. They are out there.

Kokoro's avatar

@worriedguy That’s what I don’t understand about myself. How can I get it through my head that he doesn’t deserve any sort of relationship with me, whether it be friendship or romantic? I am too forgiving for my own good, and in this situation it is damaging me and not making it any easier to move on.

Steve_A's avatar

Having read your other questions @Kokoro I have to say yes.

escapedone7's avatar

Abusive relationships are harder to get over. You become conditioned over a period of time to think about that person a lot more than a normal person. Every thought necessarily becomes wrapped around preventing their next explosion.

I can’t do this, it makes him mad. I want to go somewhere but that makes him mad too. I better not wear this he says it makes me look fat. I want to buy this but he says I waste money and I’m stupid for wanting it. Last time I bought something we didn’t need he freaked out.

So yeah. You think about him when you’re eating, when you’re shopping, when you get up, and when you go to bed. He becomes the center of your world because he makes every single thing about him him him him. You get brainwashed and lose your sense of self. After a long time of this, when you break up there is a giant hole where he used to be. Who is your life going to revolve around now? It takes a while to fill up the gaping emptiness and out of habit you still think about him a lot. Don’t mistake that for love or missing him! It’s just you need to rebuild your life and there is an emptiness because for so long it was all about him.
You know deep down you can not fix him and he will never change. You’ve just been conditioned into a pattern of revolving your life around him and sacrificing your well being for him and that brainwashing hasn’t worn off. You need to rebuild your life, your self esteem, your entire schema, where he is no longer the center of your universe. It would be VERY unhealthy to go back to him. It is very normal though to have a harder time getting over such a person.

Kokoro's avatar

@escapedone7 That makes a lot of sense. Thanks so much for breaking it down for me. If only I could speed up time so I wouldn’t have to be thinking of him so much. Any advice on what I can do since I still have to see or hear about him occasionally?

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

Give it up already.

escapedone7's avatar

I wish I knew. I am still working on it too. I have relied on therapy, an online support group for other women, reading self-help books, and just finding healthier friendships and relationships to replace unhealthy ones. It took time. I’ve worked on developing skills like setting and keeping healthy boundaries with people. It takes time.

I moved away and mine is not in my face all the time. I would have a very hard time if he was.

Captain_Fantasy's avatar

Yup. You are holding on.
Let him be unless you really want to get beat on again because it absolutely will happen if you go back for any reason.

ZEPHYRA's avatar

Run as fast as you can and don’t look back. Keep your dignity and don’t go back, he will treat you in an even worse way knowing that you can’t live without him. It will give him a stronger sense of power over you. You will only experience pain with a person like that. Sorry for my negativity, but you deserve more in life!

Bronny's avatar

Sweetheart, please please please please. People like this will only extinguish your confidence in yourself.

You guys had your shot to work on yourselves in order to be good for each other and it didn’t work. He has to choose himself that maybe the reason why no one will stay with him is because he has issues. I feel bad for the other girl but maybe after he has failed again and again he will do something positive for himself.

You are a sweet person, and you invested more in the relationship because you put up with more…so you gave a lot of love and patience to someone who just sucked you dry. Of course it is hard for you to cut that connection.

But thank god you did. Keep going. And like everyone else is saying, run. Run run run, emtionally mentally as far away from this person as possible. Some people cannot be cured or saved. Unlike in movies and books, love alone is just not enough.

lfino's avatar

@escapedone7, “Abusive relationships are…” very excellent answer.

Dr_Lawrence's avatar

@Kokoro , it was not your job to “fix” your ex when he was your partner. Forget trying to “fix” him now!

Your task is to leave him and your history with him behind you and move on to making a new life for yourself in which your ex plays no part at all.

Pursue your own interests. Make new friends both male and female and when you find someone who treats you with respect and love, consider moving ahead with a new love life.

Sophief's avatar

Yes, far too much.

jkcrichton's avatar

I feel similar though I can see what an arse my ex is. he has a new girlfriend now and I felt really bad a week ago when he told me but now I feel ok. She can have him. He was a little shit and I deserve better. I’m just so so so lucky he’s not trying to get me back at the minute cos he’s focusing on her or it would be absolute hell. She has been my Guardian angel taking him away from me and I love her to death (She doesn’t know this of course!) I am just praying that she stays with him and keeps him occupied till I’m over it completely. Mind you I’m having counselling now so I think I’ll be just fine. Write a list of all the shityt things he did and you’ll see in time, more and more, that he is just not worth your thoughts

Celestine's avatar

Steve_A has it spot on. Don’t confuse yr love for the absence of bad drama. Cause that’s what an abusive relationship is based on. No abuser, no drama. U do get used to the highs and low but remember it’s unhealthy. You cannot abuse someone u love and u don’t love someone u abuse. Bancroft said that. Read his book. Good luck and stay strong cause u deserve so much more. I’ve been there. It will get better.

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