Medical Questions > Relationships > Troubled and Abusive Relationships Forum

she left me for her abusive ex boyfriend

i dont know where to start so i guess ill start from the beginning. i am a 26 yr old male and had been dating her (24 yrs old) for 5 months. she'd recently moved to VA (from NY) to escape an emotionally and physically abusive ex. They dated for about a year and shes spent the past 2 years trying to shut him out of her life (unsuccessfully).

I was a psychology major so i know how difficult it can be moving on from something like this. we spent our entire relationship trying to move past him but he kept persisting. i was as supportive as i could be throughout all of it. she'd repeatedly promised me she'd stop talking to him, only to find out she'd been breaking those promises.

finally it got to be to much, we took a few days apart so she could figure out what she really wanted, and i come to find out he drove 9 hours down to be with her and i have since been left for him. ive tried talking to her about how much of a mistake she's making but she just wont listen.

he is amazingly manipulative. she has had many failed relationships because everytime she's happy and moving on, he comes out of the woodwork and sucks her back in. he has a way of making her not like them anymore. she has admitted that i am the most wonderful guy shes ever dated and never been treated the way i treat her, but that unfortunately she's "f'd" up in the head and still loves him.

shes become a completely different person since and her only response to all of this is "i am sorry" and ignores me. this girl is the love of my life and i want to spend the rest of my life with her. what can i do?
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First Helper FlowerMom_03
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replied April 29th, 2008
Well, I'm a girl, so maybe I can let you into a girls mind....
I know that some girls look at that kinda stuff as "LOVE". I always had the boys who treated me like crap & loved them. Turned around & got with a man who treated me awesome & I wouldn't stay....like I said maybe she views the abuse as love!? Hopefully she'll wake up & come back to you, but I don't think thats gonna happen, she's used to the abuse.....Good Luck!!
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replied April 29th, 2008
i actually just called a domestic violence hotline and they told me the same things i knew and what my friends have told me... if shes going to learn, shes going to have do it on her own. and thats an incredibly hard fact to face, being unable to do anything. its horrible seeing someone you love getting involved in something so bad and not being able to help. thanks flowermom for the quick response.
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replied April 30th, 2008
Supporter
I agree with flowermom. Unfortunately there is nothing you can do. My guess is she interprets the stalking as him loving her and not wanting to give up on their relationship.
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replied May 7th, 2008
......Having just come out of an abusive realtionship just 8 weeks ago, i can understand how your ex is feeling. I also feel for you too!! For some reason a mentally and physically abusive man has ways of manipulating....they are very very clever people in once sense. Despite my ex nearly killing me, i do still have very strong feelings for him, but like your ex he is still pestering me now. (These types of ppl make you feel that you deserved what you got, they are clever at passing the guilt and making you feel so guilty, that you end up going back to them.) I've been back to my ex more times than i can remember and each time, they say they will change........however this is the longest i've been away from him and i just pray i don't go back.
What you need to realise is that altho you were so nice to her and you love her, unfortunately you will not be able to fight for her over a mentally abusive person.
I do feel sorry for you, hopefully you will be able to get over this and move on, or she may just see the light and return.

Cara
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replied January 28th, 2009
Wow
My story was the Stuff of Legend..

I met this great woman completely by accident in a way that still leaves me guessing. We had instant chemistry and immediately hit it off. Both with great energy; a crazy sense of humor; interdependent as well as independent people. We would talk about how beautiful/handsome and special the other person was and how wonderful and non-pressured and open our conversations were. Texting first thing in the morning and throughout the day; phone calls to and from each other; jokes about work and such; and, making plans for each other at least twice a week. It was no whirlwind- we didn't hook up or even get intimate with each other right away- and one night in Manhattan over dinner we looked at each other and knew it was right. We made the relationship official..

The first six weeks were great. Whenever she was out with friends during a time I was committed to work, we'd always extend the invitation even if we knew the other couldn't go- just to let them know we're thinking about them. It was our way.. to show gratitude for each other's place in our lives and to build trust. Dinners, walks, chilling at home, inviting her over to cook dinner for her and an occasional "breakfast" with a great night out on New Year's Eve.

..and then The Dark Times came..

After six weeks of growing closer together, an ex appeared on the scene. I was the unfortunate recipient of a text message intended for a friend of hers. It read that she had become physically ill and vomited at the sight of her ex-boyfriend and his mother, whom she was still very close to. Politely, I texted her back and said that this message may have been meant for someone else.

We met at a coffee bar a few hours later. She looked like she hadn't eaten and like she had been crying. I heard a story of how he attempted to get her fired from her high-paying job with fabricated claims of HIPAA privacy violations; the restraining order; his imposing on her personal and emotional freedoms; and, how he had used his computer savvy to wreak havoc on the lives of people who came into her life. Finally, she told me that she did not want me to be involved in "baggage or her drama" and that it "wasn't fair to you". I was supportive- told her that I would be there for her; that I wasn't going anywhere; that I was patient; and that I was there to be a good listener and not offer any solutions. She returned her phone calls less; sent less texts; and she took the space she needed while still being in a relationship. During her travels to and from work or out with friends, she would tell me that all she could talk about was "my boyfriend does this for me" and "my boyfriend cares because he does (that)". That made me feel good; but, I could sense she was hurting. I could also sense that- while both she and I were in a room physically alone- there was a third "person" in the room.. her ex.. and I did not "invite" him in. Still, I was patient and I understood, but I expressed concern about how his presence was negatively affecting her mood and her attitude towards me. The thing she told me next was even more surprising but very honest and telling- that when she was with me she could "feel an argument coming" because during conversations about planning an outing together her ex-boyfriend placed inhumane and abusive limits on her personal freedoms with friends and family.. and that every now and again she might react that way to me.

This was not a good sign.

To answer the question- in my case, it was abusive; but, I believe she was protecting herself from a perceived threat.

The damage, by her own admission, was so deep that she my current actions of support, love and attention through the glasses of her ex-boyfriend's motives. My motives- to show support and to listen and be her partner- were pure; her abusive ex's motives were for domination, intimidation and control. But- if you are a man or woman who is feeling threatened and you have not resolved these issues before entering into a relationship, then you shouldn't have entered the relationship with me in the first place.

That in itself is a form of abuse- if you knowingly subject someone to something that you know will do them harm for their own benefit. Not being honest with herself in a sense leads to not being honest with someone else- especially your significant other who cares about you- is also a form of abuse if the intent is not pure.

I don't believe that a person willingly attracts and "tries to save" persons who have unresolved pasts as part of some universal pattern. I do, however, believe that you cannot be honest with someone else unless you are honest with yourself and- in this world- many pose to be something they are not to attain something they wish they had.. in hopes to acquire the qualities of or to be with someone they wish they could be.
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replied January 31st, 2010
Experienced User
Same happened to me dude, my first love and the whole ex who wanted her to change religion for him... all ****.

I loved her... that's it, I loved her so much...cared for her always there for her.

That's the problem dude, I've spent 2 years figuring why in the end (after a year being with her) she went back to her ex.

It's because we're too nice, dude, well I'm trying to be a less nice now. Girls want challenges, they want a guy who doesn't love them as much as they love us...that's the truth...

You give her the whole world, and fine she might think it's nice at the beginning but in the end, it was just too easy for her to have. Tease them, play hard to get, make sure you've got too much on your plate at times, and not have an open schedule JUST for her.

I haven't talked to my first love because she lives a long way, but still... don't follow the women's footsteps just do what ever you want to do dude.
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replied February 6th, 2010
Experienced User
To Heartbroken 13
She cannot want the abuse, obviosly not, but she`s trapped in it, and she is trapped. She is aware of all that you represent so this is all you can do for now.
This is not love as we`d think of it, (I think of it as a disease state) but rather raw meaningless emotion, with him pushing the buttons of her giult - Entrapment. The more that they hurt you, for reasons of (only) emotional equilibium (and emotion which isn`t love)the greater is the need for (unobtainable) genuine affection, and such this disease is hieghtened(?)
His turbulent and emotional state may on another level serve in and of itself, with a suggestion of the `child` and a need possibly for love (whether actual or not) as a direct magnet.
I believe there`s every chance she`ll conciously want to return, sub-conciously she likely already does. Obsticles may be over inadequacy and possibly fear of rejection - Better the memory than to have that taken to (?) Help to Override this by the remembering of special occassions. To keep it special, and it still can be, you may need to get-by on friendships. I hope I`m right, but it may take awhile!
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replied April 23rd, 2010
I miss my ex too. She called her perfect man but she left me for her abusive ex husband. We dated for close to a year and I was deeply in love with her. We met completely by accident but we hit it off from the start.

Our relationship was long distance but a month or so before the breakup I went and got a house in her city. She broke up with me about a week before my move-in date. After a few days of fighting I eventually wished the two of them the best of luck and I started "No Contact". I then decided not to move to her city and instead head to NY and start fresh

About a week later she calls me crying from her ex husbands house saying she wants me back and asked me if i could forgive her. I of coarse said yes "stupid i know" and she bursts into tears. She then sees her husband coming so she quickly gets off the phone and tells me she will call tomorrow.

She calls the next morning, we exchange "I love you baby''s...lol", we get back together and I book a NON-REFUNDABLE plane ticket to go see her. Her ex calls about an hour later and they talk. She then calls me and breaks up with me again.

At this point I''m done with her. I quit answering her calls and I made it obvious that she was no longer a priority in my life. She eventually quit calling me but that only lasted for about 4 weeks.

I eventually answered the phone and she starts telling me that she knows she made a huge mistake by letting me go and that she loves the way I treated her. She asks me if I would still come and see her and if she can come and visit me. She also asks me if I still love her.

She still tells that she is deeply in love with me. She calls me from time to time but I try to play it cool when she does. She has even said that she wants to go away with me for a weekend when she has some time off from work.

We have been broken up for close to 4 months now and for the most part I have moved on but I would be lying if I said I didn''t still think about her. I have been dating other girls but none of them make me feel the way she did.

The reality is "She''s Gone" but that''s life Smile - Just gonna keep on smiling and keep my head held high. Best of luck to all those broken hearts out there.
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replied May 2nd, 2011
My situation is also similar, except we got together while she was still with her ex. Finally he exploded on her again and she called me that night to pick her up. Of course I came running.

We spent the next year constantly dealing with her ex e-miling, texting, calling and trying to get back with her through facebook. She promised me she'd never go back with him because she loved me so much and "saw the light". Sure enough, when we started talking about moving in together after having a pregnancy scare two weeks later she left me for him.

Girls like this have two problems: 1) They're co-dependent. They can't stand the thought of ever being alone. She kept making comments about my past as I used to be a ladies man. The thought of me leaving her was too much to bear. 2) They suffer from something called "Stockholm Syndrome". Look this one up because it's really tough to explain.

The best thing to do is offer your support as a friend if she ever needs it. It will happen again, that she wants to leave her ex. Her knowing that you'll be there for her is all you can do. If you try and contact her it will just make her angry. This anger comes from the fact that they're suffering inside and they know it, they just don't know what to make of their feelings. Professional councelling for your ex is a very important step to recovery. Play it cool and hopefully she doesn't marry the "loser" or have his child.
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Users who thank Advisor242 for this post: Brandon15 

replied May 29th, 2013
Left me to go back to her abusive ex
I met a beautiful amazing woman at an event! She immediately came up to me and start talking to me. We exchanged numbers, and texted and spoke on the phone for almost for two weeks before I went to visit her.. We hit it off really well from the start. I told her about my life and she about her past. We became really close and started to plan our future with each other.. I told my family about her and she did the same. I even met her children and they asked her when would they see me again. Her ex-boyfriend and ex-husband was physically and emotionally abusive to her. She was married for 10 years to her ex-husband only leave him and meet someone else alike. She would say all the time that she's over the abusive behavior from her ex and want better for her and the kids. She even told me the ex does like her kids. The Ex came back into the picture and basically convinced her that everything would be different.. So she told me the she cant no longer speak to me, she's working it out with her ex, she's following her heart and said "I'm sorry"....
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replied June 3rd, 2013
Dear Heartbroken: For your sake and her sake, please remember that if you each have stable/resolved relations with your parents and past, then NOBODY can manipulate you and pull you off kilter. Make sure your foundation is solid and you are standing on independent ground, or you will get sucked into the drama and lose your footing. So make sure you are at peace with all your relationships first. With her, if you want to help her get out of the manipulation game, where are her parents and how do you and she stand with them? i can't see how this guy could have stable relations with either his parents or hers if this is what he does to exert control. people with solid relations don't do stuff like this to overcompensate! So that is where you may have an advantage. Any true friend looking out for another friend would work with the other friends and family around her (and also around him if that's what it takes him to get off her and work on his own garbage where it came from). If you really feel you are called to do more, then look into what is going on with her other circle of friends and families, and bring that together in a safety net around her. the only way this man can be manipulating her is by 'divide and conquer" so to beat this or help her is to "unite and overcome" you have to do the opposite of what he is doing. any good friend would want to help her stay safe and avoid further abuse. if you focus first on being a good friend, then anything you are able to help with is necessary anyway just for stable family and friend relations. After she breaks this cycle or habit of being hijacked and abused, then she can consider choices of romantic relations but not when she can't even hold her own ground on this level first. you can help her as a friend but only if you are on solid ground first. don't jump in to the water to save a drowning person but stay on the sidelines where you can throw a lifeline or life preserver so she can pull herself out. you can't do that if you jump in the water. you've got to hold your ground and not get sucked in to this or you are no good to either of you. if it's really bad, she needs professional help, so if she won't get it, you could ask her family and friends if they share the same concerns to put together an intervention if he is truly abusive and everyone else knows that but her. maybe as a group you can do something by working together, but not alone especially if you are not a professional and aren't asked to help. Can you contact her other family and friends, and stay in touch and keep watch in case it gets worse and she does ask for your help? I thought of starting an online group forum for Teams Against Relationship Abuse because I realize it takes teamwork to intervene around someone when the abuser plays divide and conquer. are there other friends and family who feel concerned but helpless? can you work together and support her until she takes steps to get out of this cycle? Like Al Anon?
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replied June 3rd, 2013
Dear Heartbroken: For your sake and her sake, please remember that if you each have stable/resolved relations with your parents and past, then NOBODY can manipulate you and pull you off kilter. Make sure your foundation is solid and you are standing on independent ground, or you will get sucked into the drama and lose your footing. So make sure you are at peace with all your relationships first. With her, if you want to help her get out of the manipulation game, where are her parents and how do you and she stand with them? i can't see how this guy could have stable relations with either his parents or hers if this is what he does to exert control. people with solid relations don't do stuff like this to overcompensate! So that is where you may have an advantage. Any true friend looking out for another friend would work with the other friends and family around her (and also around him if that's what it takes him to get off her and work on his own garbage where it came from). If you really feel you are called to do more, then look into what is going on with her other circle of friends and families, and bring that together in a safety net around her. the only way this man can be manipulating her is by 'divide and conquer" so to beat this or help her is to "unite and overcome" you have to do the opposite of what he is doing. any good friend would want to help her stay safe and avoid further abuse. if you focus first on being a good friend, then anything you are able to help with is necessary anyway just for stable family and friend relations. After she breaks this cycle or habit of being hijacked and abused, then she can consider choices of romantic relations but not when she can't even hold her own ground on this level first. you can help her as a friend but only if you are on solid ground first. don't jump in to the water to save a drowning person but stay on the sidelines where you can throw a lifeline or life preserver so she can pull herself out. you can't do that if you jump in the water. you've got to hold your ground and not get sucked in to this or you are no good to either of you. if it's really bad, she needs professional help, so if she won't get it, you could ask her family and friends if they share the same concerns to put together an intervention if he is truly abusive and everyone else knows that but her. maybe as a group you can do something by working together, but not alone especially if you are not a professional and aren't asked to help. Can you contact her other family and friends, and stay in touch and keep watch in case it gets worse and she does ask for your help? I thought of starting an online group forum for Teams Against Relationship Abuse because I realize it takes teamwork to intervene around someone when the abuser plays divide and conquer. are there other friends and family who feel concerned but helpless? can you work together and support her until she takes steps to get out of this cycle? Like Al Anon?
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replied November 1st, 2014
Same Story.... like clockwork
Every single one of these stories is the exact same as mine. She is amazing, incredible, the most beautiful woman I ever laid eyes one. Her last text to me said she loved me so much, that I am amazing, and that she feels so much guilty. Then she blocked my calls and texts and is now talking to her drug using, drug dealing, alcoholic, abusive ex again. My last words to her were, my phone is always on and my door always open, anytime, ever and if anything ever happened to you I wouldn't be able to live with myself without you knowing that I am here for you.
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