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I Had No Idea I Was Being Abusive!

by Alex
(Northampton UK)

My name is Alex. I was in a relationship for 2 years with Stéphanie which ended 6 weeks ago.

Stéphanie fell madly in love with me the very 1st time she saw me when she joined a company I worked for. I gave her 1 on 1 training for 2 weeks when she joined, she would flirt constantly and did all the chasing, so much so that I had to request 1 more week of training so I could actually do the product training for her. We got together shortly after the training finished and she moved into my home 2 months later.

We shared amazing times and memories together, travelled to some incredible places across the world together and always made each other laugh. There was so much chemistry between us.

Stéphanie is from France and I'm from England. We had very different personalities...I'm Mr laid back and nonchalant with my own insecurities of not wanting to be alone and she is very lively, adventurous and insecure too.

I grew up with my father and older brother after my parents split up when I was 6. My father was very strong but abusive verbally and physically to me and my brother whenever we did things wrong.

Stéphanie's parents also split up when she was a little older than me as her father was an alcoholic and would hit her mother and Stéphanie during his rages. She developed bulimia in her late teens as a result and has been recovering / fighting this for the past 5 years.

Approximately 16 months ago, Stéphanie left the job where we met to go to a new job and I left the same company 2 weeks later with no job to go to. I spent 3 months going to several interviews and being rejected from them at late stages in the process. I got desperate and took the 1st offer that came my way, even though it was over 90 miles away from my home, meaning I was out all day until late in the evenings and very tired when I got home.

I left this position after a month for something closer to home but I hated this new job and left it 4 months later. I joined a company that Stéphanie had gone on to join that was over 120 miles away from home. Stéphanie worked from home for this company but I was based at the office, so I had to rent somewhere to stay close to the company during the week and for the length of my probationary period.

The job was not good and I left again after a month and accepted a position closer to home, thankfully with the company I'm still working for 8 months later. I again had a probationary period of 6 months with this company and I was always anxious that they could terminate my employment at any time.

During this whole period I guess I became very anxious or depressed and our relationship suffered. We began to fight whilst always loving each other greatly. She would always try and boost my confidence to lift me, but I would fight her.

I became complacent, took her love for granted, stopped doing anything to make the relationship work, stopped making any decisions so she had to take the lead on everything, stopped showing her that I cared and loved her, stopped supporting her with her issues and stopped listening to her when she tried to help me to help our relationship.

Instead, my ego and my beliefs and childhood told me to fight her as I felt it was more manly to be this way. During arguments I knew that I was losing, I would fight her verbally and verbally abuse her when I knew she was right but I couldn't admit it to her. Then there were 3 occasions when I would walk away after calling her names, she would chase after me to confront me and I would physically push her away from me. The last fight we had I even spat in her direction which has haunted me since the second after I did it.

She still stayed with me for 2 weeks whilst she tried to work on our relationship and to see how she felt...needing some time to get over this fight. She told me she loves me and she wanted us to work things out and she just needed time. I noticed after a week she was really struggling and she had pulled away from me completely, compared to the woman that was literally smothering me (in a nice way) for 2 years.

We split a week later, and she moved to a town 60 miles away from me. I've seen her only once since when she came to collect her belongings. We spoke a couple of times on the phone when speaking about belongings only and we sent a few messages directly after the split. I very nearly got her to agree to meet me for a date but she eventually declined.

I continued sending messages, not an amount that would be considered harassment, just a few over a period of time and always nice messages asking how she is or telling her I’m sorry and I love her, but she stopped responding and eventually blocked my number on Whatsapp messaging. I'm pretty sure that's the only thing she blocked me on but I got the message that she doesn't want to hear from me, at least not now, so I've not tried to contact her's been 5 days since this happened.

Immediately after we split I took 32 hours of counselling for domestic abuse. I understood the physical abuse I was doing from the pushing but when I was made aware of the psychological abuse I was also doing, it made me feel like such a monster.

I've learnt the causes for my behaviour stem from my childhood and my father teaching me the beliefs I had grown up with, which were very very wrong. I've learnt how to change and what I should be doing to support her and I truly believe in the work and progress I've made.

But she's still gone and won't contact me.

I'm consumed with good and bad memories of our relationship and of her. I'm also consumed with the guilt of how I treated her during our relationship and I cannot forgive myself, mainly because I feel she doesn't forgive me.

I really want to reconcile our relationship with the new me and treat her exactly how she should be my princess. She means everything to me.

How can I ever have any kind of relationship with her now after this, loving or friendship?

Please help.


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Jan 19, 2017
Don't Jump The Gun
by: Dr. DeFoore

Hi Alex

I'm glad you've gotten some help, and feel that you are "the new you." Be aware that these patterns you refer to can take a while to go away completely. You might be in too much of a hurry to be in a relationship, and you certainly don't want to be abusive to anyone else.

Get help, take some time, and get to the bottom of the issues in your past that led you to be abusive.

You can do this. Believe in the kind, respectful man you are inside.

My best to you,

Dr. DeFoore

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