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New Girlfriend From Abusive Relationship

by Chris

I have a girlfriend that recently left a very abusive husband. She was married over a decade. She was abused in every way. We have been very happy in every aspect of our relationship and moved in together. I am not perfect, but I'm a kind and loving person and far from abusive. I appreciate a give and take relationship of 2 equals.She now threatens to leave every once in a while because she "can't do normal". She sometimes threatens to go back to her ex husband because she misses a person controlling her life.

Advice from her friends has been that I need to scare her sometimes and play the jealous/possessive type. That just doesn't seem right and not something I'd be happy doing for any length of time.

I love her and want it to work, but I'm afraid that being healthy means I will lose her. Worse yet, she will end up in an abusive and unsafe situation.

Please help?

Response from Dr. DeFoore

Hello Chris, and thanks for telling your story here. You have an interesting and unusual situation. I'm glad that you're not abusive, and regardless of the well meaning advice of your friends, it will never help you or your girlfriend for you to go out of character to be jealous and controlling.

If "keeping" your girlfriend is your top priority, then you may find yourself becoming someone you don't like. Love is letting go. If she genuinely loves you, she will have to learn to love (and heal) herself to allow your love in. That's up to her.

Nothing is worth giving up your psychological and emotional health for. If you did that, you would resent her and yourself, and then you would be the one with the problem, and she'd probably leave you for that.

The only way is to be healthy, love her, and let her go if she insists that she needs to be controlled.

Please read the following pages on relationships, which I think will help you:

quotes on relationships
letting go of a relationship

I hope this works out well for both of you, Chris.

My very best to you,

Dr. DeFoore

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Oct 24, 2011
Advice from a woman in an abusive relationship
by: Anonymous

If I were you I would suggest to her that she needs to get professional help. She obviously does not want to be in an abusive relationship or she would not have left her ex-husband. She may be having trouble making the transition from being told what to do 24/7 to being able to make her own decisions. It can be scary because she probably doesn't have a lot of confidence in her own decision making abilities. You can be there for her and help her make decisions without making them for her. Put in the time and effort to help her get better and build herself esteem and I think her current issues will fade.

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